- MSc/58 , PhD/61
Ivan Fellegi joined Statistics Canada as a statistician in 1957 and was promoted to Assistant Chief Statistician in 1973. In 1979, he briefly left the Public Service to second President Carter’s Commission on the Reorganization of the US Statistical System. He returned to Statistics Canada in 1980, became Deputy Chief Statistician in 1984, and, in 1985, was promoted to Chief Statistician of Canada. He retired in 2008.
Throughout his career, Fellegi transformed Statistics Canada from a simple data collection agency to an organization that sheds light on Canada’s most pressing current social issues. He gained international recognition for the political independence the agency maintains. Under his leadership, Statistics Canada also made great technological advances that enhance communication with Canadians of all ages.
Fellegi, an officer of the Order of Canada and a former vice-chair of Carleton’s board of governors, was awarded a doctor of science, honoris causa, in recognition of his lifelong contribution to the field of statistics in Canada and abroad in 2001. Fellegi holds five honorary doctorates and has been awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award of the Public Service of Canada. Honorary Member of the ISI, Honorary Fellow of the RSS.
In 2010, he received the A.D. Dunton Alumni Award of Distinction—Carleton’s highest alumni honour in recognition of outstanding achievement or contribution in any field of endeavour.
“Carleton showed incredible flexibility and lack of bureaucracy toward the newly-arrived refugee that I was in 1957. I did not have a formal degree from my home country, but Carleton decided to put more emphasis on knowledge than on papers: it gave me a comprehensive oral examination to ascertain that I did indeed have the knowledge equivalent to a BSc. On that basis, it admitted me as its very first graduate student – with its own reputation on the line. This literally opened up my subsequent career for me,” says Fellegi.