Honorary graduates 2023
Dame Melinda Simmons DCMG (LLD)
Tuesday 18 July 2023 9:00am
Dame Melinda Simmons is currently the British Ambassador to Ukraine. She has been in this role since September 2019. She began her career in international sales and moved from there to work for an NGO specialising in conflict prevention and resolution in war torn countries. She progressed to the Civil Service and worked for the Department for International Development in several policy roles, including a tour overseas in South Africa as well as heading up the Middle East and the Europe Departments. She also worked for the National Security Secretariat at the Cabinet Office, setting up and running a cross government fund focused on prevention and resolution of violent conflict, before transferring to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Before taking up the role in Kyiv Melinda was head of Conflict Department, and among her work there campaigned for justice for crimes of sexual violence against women and girls in wartorn countries. She also specialised in United Nations peacekeeping and peacebuilding. Dame Melinda has a Bachelors degree in Modern Languages (from Exeter University), and a Masters Degree in European Politics. She speaks French, German and Ukrainian, and as part of a lifelong passion for foreign languages, has previously studied modern Hebrew, Spanish, Dutch and Russian. She is an associate member of the Chartered Institute for Personnel Development.