CSUSB has named businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist Mohannad Malas as a recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist Mohannad Malas, founding principal of Irvine-based IRA Capital, has been named a recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Cal State San Bernardino.

“Mohannad Malas has shown dedication, determination and care that has not only helped him succeed in the business world, but also shines through in his philanthropic work in helping others including the Islamic community, immigrants, refugee families and others,” said CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales. “It is our great privilege to bestow an honorary doctorate to Mohannad for his amazing efforts and success.”

The honorary doctorate will be bestowed on Malas at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, during the fall 2021 commencement ceremony for the College of Education and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Coussoulis Arena.

“Receiving an honorary degree in recognition of my community involvement is humbling, and I am proud to be associated with CSUSB,” Malas said.

Malas is owner and CEO of Dana Investments and a cofounder of IRA Capital, real-estate investment companies that own, manage and lease properties across the United States. Dana Investments was established in 1985 in Atlanta, with offices in Irvine and Denver. He cofounded IRA Capital in 2009. Combined real-estate holdings for the two companies exceed $1 billion and include retail and medical offices. A Muslim immigrant to the U.S. in 1985, Malas is committed to helping educate other Americans about Islam through projects that focus on education, innovation and supporting minorities and refugees, including through producing films with a strong social message.

A brief, selective list of his philanthropic work includes establishing chairs in Islamic Law at the University of California Irvine (UCI) School of Law and in Islamic Studies at Claremont Graduate University (CGU); and serving as advisor and major supporter to Bayan Claremont College and Zaytuna College. He also serves on the boards of trustees for CGU and on the UCI Foundation and is a founding member of UCI Beal Applied Innovation and the Orange County Islamic Foundation.

He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO). His work on behalf of immigrants and refugee families ranges from supporting SABIL, a nonprofit organization providing food assistance and mental health services for immigrant families, to sponsoring a program for young attorneys through UCI Law School to provide immigration application processing services pro bono to refugee families seeking legal entry into the United States.

He is a supporter of The Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), an organization that uses an integrative approach employing holistic interventions to address structural and systemic injustices, incorporating primary and behavioral health; artistic expression; leadership development; housing; and job training, to help improve the quality of life for marginalized communities.

Films and documentaries he has executive produced include “Game Changers,” “1948: Creation and Catastrophe” and “The Present,” which recently received the BAFTA award and nominated for an Oscar in the short film category.

Malas earned a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Manitoba and completed the YPO executive program at Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration and several courses at Singularity University.