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What words can I muster to do justice to the life and legacy of my dear and friend and colleague, Ali? Those who knew him will, of course, mention his kindness and decency, his curiosity and brilliance, and his amazing capacities to bring people together to bring about change. He was a man who had big ideas and the ability to implement them. He was a futurist, a strategist and a pragmatist.

Ali was also a great mentor and colleague. He was an engaging dinner companion and a compelling story teller. He loved and embraced the complexities of a puzzling world, sharing ideas and contemplating the possibilities.

What will I remember most about Ali? That he was an extraordinary academic, a visionary leader, and a dear friend – someone who elevated the universities with which he was associated, and who worked every day to make the world a better place.

Maureen's and my hearts go out to you, Ann, Kia and Nikisa, at this sad and difficult time.