Former University of Guelph president Alastair Summerlee has won the 2015 Lewis Perinbam Award for International Development from the World University Service of Canada (WUSC).

In an announcement today, WUSC said the award recognizes Summerlee’s efforts to improve lives in the developing world and to offer new ways to address development challenges.

Honouring volunteer contributions to international development, the annual award is named for Lewis Perinbam, a former WUSC international director who also worked with international organizations, including the World Bank and the Canadian International Development Agency.

Summerlee is currently executive director of Fund the Food through the Kirchner Food Fellowship, which invests in global food security solutions.

As U of G president, Summerlee began seeking solutions to humanitarian issues in refugee camps in Kenya. He encouraged faculty, staff and students to look for ways to alleviate hunger and poverty, and raised funds and awareness of issues such as cancer, disability and mental illness.

With two University of Guelph graduates, he is also involved in Lucky Iron Fish, a company seeking to improve the health of billions of people in the developing world with iron deficiency.

The award citation said Summerlee has advocated publicly for better conditions for people in refugee camps, and often speaks on teaching, research and community engagement.