Director General of the WHO visits the University of Nottingham

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a University Alumnus, will visit the University of Nottingham on Friday 19 July to receive an Honorary Degree recognising his outstanding contribution to world health care. Dr Tedros received a PhD in Public Health Medicine from the University in 2000.

 Professor Shearer West, Vice-Chancellor of the University said: “I am delighted that Dr Tedros, one of our most inspirational and successful alumni, will be attending the University to accept an Honorary Degree. His career is truly inspiring to everyone here at the university.  We look forward to showing him some of our world-leading research and giving some of our staff and students the opportunity to meet with him.”

Dr Tedros will then deliver a Vice-Chancellor’s Lecture along with Professor Jonathan Van Tam MBE (Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Health and a Professor at the University), on ‘Facing the Future: Challenges and Opportunities for the Next 25 years of Global Public Health’.

 The lecture will be chaired by the University Vice Chancellor – Professor Shearer West, and will be live streamed here.

 Meeting front-line staff

Following the lecture, Dr Tedros will head over to the QMC where he will be met by Professor Joanne Lymn, the Head of School for Health Sciences, and Professor Mandie Sunderland, Chief Nurse at Nottingham University Hospital (NUH), and meet with staff and student nurses and midwives to learn more about the research and innovation happening on the frontline of care.

 He will also hear more about NUH NHS Trust’s journey to Magnet® accreditation, an international marker of nursing excellence. NUH NHS Trust will submit accreditation documents in October – the culmination of over eight years of work to promote and evidence outstanding care practices at the Trust.

 Dr Tedros will then visit the Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre where he will meet with Professor David Walker and hear about the important translational research which is being done into new treatments for brain tumours and reducing the life-changing disabilities that can occur as a result of current treatments.

He will also get to meet staff, children and families on the Paediatric Oncology ward at the QMC.

 Professor Mandie Sunderland said: “It’s a pleasure to welcome Dr Tedros to NUH and the city of Nottingham. We are delighted to share with him our exciting journey to nursing excellence, and our intention to become the first Magnet® accredited hospital in the NHS. Our nurses and midwives are leading nationally and internationally on research, nursing outcomes and patient involvement, and we look forward to sharing our work to date.”

 World-changing research

 Later in the afternoon, Dr Tedros will take part in a World-Changing Research Roundtable discussion, chaired by Professor Robert Mokaya, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement at the University, where he will hear about some of the ground-breaking research taking place at the University, before attending the inaugural University of Nottingham Civic Graduation Dinner in the evening.

 Dr Tedros is the first WHO Director-General to have been elected by the World Health Assembly and the first person from the Africa Region to serve as WHO’s chief officer. After taking office in 2017, Dr Tedros outlined key priorities to transform WHO including universal health coverage, health emergencies, and health impacts of climate and environmental change.

 Globally recognised as a health scholar, researcher and diplomat, Dr Tedros held a number of important national and global public health positions prior to his role at WHO including Ethiopia’s Minister of Health, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

 Professor John Atherton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University, said: “It’s a great honour to welcome Dr. Tedros back to Nottingham, where he previously studied in Public Health. We are so pleased that he has accepted an Honorary Degree from the University – our highest accolade. We are hugely proud that he has risen to be the Director of the World Health Organisation. Having him visit us here, and watching his career, is an inspiration to our students and staff.”

Story credits

To attend the photo call or for more information please contact Charlotte Anscombe, Media Relations Manager for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences in the Press Office at The University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 74 84417,

Charlotte Anscombe - Media Relations Manager - Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Phone: 0115 748 4417

Notes to editors:

About the University of Nottingham

Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.

Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.

The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The university is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.

We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.

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