Sandie Okoro

A journalist and alumna with over 30 years of experience in broadcasting and a distinguished immunologist at Osaka University, Japan, are among the nine graduands receiving honorary doctorates this week, the University of Birmingham today announced.

More than 6,000 students will collect their degrees at a series of 23 ceremonies being held between Wednesday 10th and Thursday 18th July at the University’s iconic Great Hall.
The honorary graduands are:

Datin Kathleen Chew is the Group Legal Counsel of the YTL Group and Programme Director of the YTL Foundation. She was Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN 2016 and a Local Ambassador for the British Council’s Study UK Alumni Awards 2018. She sits on the boards of various Malaysian charities, the Asia Philanthropy Circle and Acumen Fund, Inc. and is also Chairperson of Alpha Malaysia, a Christian organisation.

Shimon Sakaguchi, a Distinguished Professor at Osaka University, Japan, is an immunologist recognised for his discovery of regulatory T cells, an indispensable constituent of the immune system for preventing immunological diseases. For his accomplishment, he has been awarded the Medal with Purple Ribbon from the Emperor, and many international prizes including the Gairdner Award and the Crafoord Prize, and recently designated as Person of Cultural Merit by the Japanese Government.

Sir John Pendry has worked at the Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, since 1981. He has many interests but is most well-known for inventing ‘metamaterials’ whose electromagnetic properties owe more to their micro-structure than to the constituent materials, leading to novel properties not found in nature and opening new avenues of research.

Dame Amanda Fisher has contributed to many areas of biology including the molecular discovery of HIV and the impact of chromatin and nuclear location for gene expression. In addition to her research activity, she guides the strategy of the Medical Research Council London Institute of Medical Sciences at Imperial College London (ICL).

As a postdoctoral scientist, Amanda produced the first biologically active molecular clones of HIV that enabled studies of the function of the genes of the virus. She later became interested in epigenetics and nuclear reprogramming, particularly in lymphocytes and embryonic stem cells.

As Head of the Institute of Clinical Sciences at ICL, Amanda leads efforts to better link science and medicine so that a greater understanding of human disease can be translated into improved diagnoses and treatments.

Sir Paul Ruddock is co-founder of investment management company, Lansdowne Partners, from which he retired as CEO in 2013. He is the Oxford University Endowment Management and Investment Committee Chair and former Chairman of the Victoria and Albert Museum having served two terms. Sir Paul is also Trustee and Chair of the International Council for the Metropolitan Museum, WW1 Cathedral Repair Commission Chair and a Trustee of the British Museum.

Educated at King Edward’s School, Birmingham and Oxford University, Sir Paul was awarded a knighthood in 2011 for services to Art and Philanthropy.

After graduating from the University of Birmingham, Martin has spent the last thirty years as a police officer working for four different forces. Since 2015, he has been the Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police. Martin is the National Police Chiefs Council lead for Professional Standards and Vetting and introduced Biometric vetting to British Policing as well as the National Vetting Code. In the 2016 honours, Martin was awarded the Queens Police Medal.

Jane Garvey is a renowned radio presenter, currently of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, and co-presenter of the award winning podcast series Fortunately. She was the first voice on BBC Radio 5 Live on air when it launched on 28 March 1994.

Jane began her broadcasting career in 1988, working for BBC Hereford and Worcester as a reporter, later becoming their Breakfast Show presenter. She joined Radio 5 Live as co-presenter of the breakfast programme in 1994, the relaunched Midday show, and later co-presented its Drive show on weekday afternoons. In October 2007, she left 5 Live after 13 years and joined Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour programme as the second principal presenter.

A University of Birmingham alumna, Jane is also a prominent member of the #BBCWomen movement for equal pay.

David Troughton followed in his father Patrick's footsteps and has been an actor for over fifty years. He has worked extensively in radio, television, film and stage, most recently at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

A law alumna from the University of Birmingham, Sandie Okoro, was appointed Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the World Bank Group in February 2017. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, she had been a General Counsel of HSBC Global Asset Management and Deputy General Counsel of HSBC Retail Banking and Wealth Management since 2014, prior to which she was Global General Counsel at Barings. Sandie also delivered the keynote address at the 2019 University Annual Meeting.

For more information please contact Dominic Benson, Deputy Director of Communications, University of Birmingham, on +44 0121 414 5134. Alternatively, contact the Press Office out of hours on +44 (0)7789 921165.

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