UN genocide prevention expert honoured at University of Exeter winter graduation 

UN genocide prevention expert honoured at University of Exeter winter graduation

A campaigner leading the UN’s international efforts to fight genocide is among the experts being honoured at the University of Exeter’s winter graduation ceremonies this week.

Adama Dieng, the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide, Jeremy Hughes CBE, the Chief Executive of the Alzheimer's Society and investor Neil Woodford CBE will all be given honorary degrees. Joining them will be around a thousand predominantly postgraduate students graduating this year at the ceremonies being held on 14th and 15th December, presided over by University Chancellor Lord Myners.

Mr Dieng, also the UN Under-Secretary-General, is a Senegalese judge who has been a driving force in strengthening the laws for human rights. He was part of the team which investigated the 1994 Rwanda genocide and has served in a range of capacities since joining the organisation in 2001 as Assistant Secretary-General and Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. He has served as the Secretary General of the Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists from 1990 to 2000 before joining the UN.

Mr Dieng said: “As time honoured custom, education institutions do not lightly make decisions to confer honorary degrees precisely because it embodies and epitomizes their own hard-earned esteem, credibility, status and values they stand for before their own communities and public at large. It was therefore overwhelming and humbling experience to have learnt of the decision of this magnificent institution to bestow on me this accolade. It is a singular privilege and honour that I accept with deepest humility and gratitude.”

Mr Hughes has worked for over 25 years in the voluntary sector and worked as the Chief Executive of Breakthrough Breast Cancer before joining Alzheimer’s Society.

Mr Hughes said: “Improving the lives of people living with dementia today and finding how to prevent or cure it for future generations is only made possible by collaboration between Alzheimer’s Society and cutting edge researchers. In being honoured with this Doctorate I see not just recognition of our existing partnership with Exeter University but also a commitment for the years to come”

Neil Woodford, a graduate of the University of Exeter, is one of the best-known fund managers in the UK investment industry. He established Woodford Investment Management in 2014.

Mr Woodford said: “It’s a cliché to say that I never imagined receiving an award like this – but it’s absolutely true. I’m honoured and thrilled to have been recognised in this way and am delighted to be associated with a University which continues to grow in size, strength and stature.”

University of Exeter Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Steve Smith, said: “We are delighted to be honouring three outstanding individuals at our winter graduation ceremony this year, and we are proud to welcome them to our graduation ceremonies.  It is one of my greatest privileges as Vice-Chancellor to celebrate the achievements of our graduating students, who have worked exceptionally hard during their studies. I am looking forward to congratulating them and wishing them well as they embark on their next steps.”

For more information on graduation, including how to watch live streaming of the ceremonies, visit the University’s website.

Date: 13 December 2018

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