Noubar Afeyan, co-founder and chairman of Moderna, has been honored with Lebanon’s National Order of Merit.
On behalf of the President of the Republic of Lebanon, H.E. General Michel Aoun, the Ambassador of Lebanon to the United States of America, H.E. Gabriel Issa decorated Moderna’s Executives and Scientists of Lebanese descent with the National Order of Merit, for their achievement and work in developing the COVID-19 vaccine.
The National Order of Merit was presented by to:
Dr. Noubar Afeyan-Co-founder and Chairman of MODERNA
Mr. Marcello Damiani- Chief Digital & Operational
Mr. Said Francis- Senior VP for Business Development & Corporate Strategy
Mr. Charbel Haber- Senior VP for Regulatory Affairs
Dr. François Nader- Board Member
Ms. Monique Yoakin Turk- Director, Program & Alliance Management.
Mr. Joe Sarkis- Associate Director
Ms. Joyce Kfoury Sousa-Quality Control Manager
Noubar Afeyan was born in Beirut to Armenian parents in 1962, did his undergraduate work at McGill University in Montreal, and completed his Ph.D. in biochemical engineering at MIT in 1987.
Addressing the ceremony, Afeyan expressed deep gratitude to Lebanon for hosting his ancestors after the Armenian Genocide.
“When I was born, I thought all Armenian people lived in Lebanon. There were so many of us. There were 78 churches, there wee 60 schools. That doesn’t exist in many countries,” he added.
Afeyan is one of America’s leading bio-tech and life sciences entrepreneurs. He has set up more than 30 companies in the past 28 years from his base in Boston. Collectively, they are worth $10bn and each employs anything from a dozen staff to 400. He has done it by pioneering a new way of starting a business, based on the idea of survival, constant adaptation and overcoming obstacles, however big they appear – just as his forbears did in historical Armenia.
A passionate advocate of the contributions of immigrants to economic and scientific progress, Noubar Afeyan received the Golden Door Award in 2017 from the International Institute of New England, in honor of his outstanding contributions to American society as a U.S citizen of foreign birth.
He was also awarded a Great Immigrant honor from the Carnegie Corporation in 2016, received a Technology Pioneer award from the World Economic Forum in 2012, and was presented with the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2008.