Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Haji Omar Bin Abdul Rahman, graduated in Veterinary Science from University of Sydney Australia (1958), and obtained a Doctorate in Philosophy from Cambridge University, UK in 1966. He started his professional career in 1960 in veterinary research, then in 1972 became the founding Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences of University Pertanian Malaysia (UPM), now Universiti Putra Malaysia. He was also the first Professor appointed by UPM. His last position at UPM was as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
In 1984, he was appointed the Science Adviser in the Prime Minister’s Department, the first person to hold the position and as Science Adviser, he served on a number of national committees including the National Development Planning Committee, The National Council for Scientific Research and Development, The National Information Technology Council and the National Telecommunication Council. He was the founding Chairman of the Malaysia Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) and the founding Chairman of Technology Park Malaysia Corporation, the founding Joint-Chairman of the Malaysia Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) and founding President of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia. He was also the founder of Composite Technology (Research) Malaysia Sdn Bhd (CTRM), the manufacturer of composites components for commercial aircrafts.
On the international scene, he has served on the United Nation’s Council for Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD), was a member of various committees of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and Organization of Islamic Conference’s Standing Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation (COMSTEC). He was the President of the Third World Network of Scientific Organizations (Asian Region) and of the Science Council of Asia. He is the current President of the Federation of Asian Scientific Academies and Societies (FASAS) and the founding and current Chairman of the Commonwealth Partnership for Technology Management (CPTM), the Founding Fellow of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the Academy of Science for the Developing World (TWAS). He is current member of UNESCO’s World Commission on Ethics of Science and Technology (COMEST).
Tan Sri Datuk Dr Omar was conferred an Honorary Doctor of Veterinary Science from University Melbourne in 1985 and honorary doctorates from the Universities of Stirling, Guelph, Bristol, Queensland and from University Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and UPM. He received the Asean Achievement Award (Science) in 1993, the Fook Ying Tung South Asia prize in 1998 an the Tun Abdul Razak Award (International Category) in 2000.
He also is a recipient of the Darjah Mulia Sri Melaka and three Federal Awards, namely Johan Setia Mahkota, Johan Mangku Negara and Panglima Setia Mahkota. Upon retirement as Science Adviser in 2001, he established the government-owned venture capital company “Kumpulan Modal Perdana Sdn Bhd” and served as its Executive Chairman until April 2007. He was President and CEO of Malaysia University of Science and Technology (M.U.S.T) from 2007 – 2009. He is Chairman of the Board of Kotra Industries Bhd, Green Packet Bhd and Great Wall Plastic Industry Bhd. He is also member of the Board of OSK Ventures International Bhd and BCT Technology Bhd and a number of private companies.