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Motor racing, mentoring, communications, and nudging all feature in the list of Honorary Graduates announced for the University of Warwick’s Winter Degree Ceremonies

The University of Warwick has just announced that it will award honorary degrees to four people at its winter degree ceremonies which will run from Tuesday 21st January - Friday 24th January 2020 (inclusive) in the Butterworth Hall of Warwick Arts Centre. Those to be honoured include:

Tuesday 21st January Morning
Dr Reuel J Khoza (Hon LLD)

Tuesday 21st January Afternoon
Currently no Honorary Graduate

Wednesday 22nd January Morning
Currently no Honorary Graduate

Wednesday 22nd January Afternoon
Viki Cooke (Hon DLitt)

Thursday 23rd January Morning
Paul May (Hon LLD)

Thursday 23rd January Afternoon
Professor Michèle Lamont (Hon DLitt)

Friday 24th January Morning
Dr David Halpern (Hon DSc)

Friday 24th January Afternoon
Currently no Honorary Graduate

Some short biographies on each graduand now follow along with information on the type of degree each will receive.


Viki Cooke – Hon DLitt (Honorary Doctor of Letters)

VikI CookeViki Cooke is a co-founder of BritainThinks. Prior to founding BritainThinks she was co-founder of Opinion Leader Research and Co-Chair of Chime Communications Insight Division. She has more than 25 years’ experience in strategic insight.

Viki has a track record for innovation having pioneered deliberative research methods in the UK – she was involved in delivering the UK’s first Citizens’ Jury, first Citizens’ Forum and first Citizens’ Summit. She personally led a number of high-profile programmes including Your Health, Your Care, Your Say for the NHS and The Prince of Wales’s Business Summit on Climate Change. Viki is passionate about involving citizens in informed, influential and inspiring debates about the issues that impact on their lives and is well known for her work in this area.

Viki is a serial entrepreneur having co-founded a number of other successful companies over the last two decades including Opinion Leader Research, The SMART Company, Brand Democracy and Caucus. She is also Chair of Hubbub Foundation and a Trustee of The Climate Group.


She has served Warwick for more than a decade at a time of rapid expansion and has helped to shape its strategy. Viki is the outgoing Vice Chair and Pro Chancellor of the University of Warwick with almost 12 years of voluntary service on University Council and major committees including: Buildings Committee (now the University Estate Committee), Nominations Committee, Fundraising Ethics Committee and she currently chairs the Audit and Risk Committee.


Dr David Halpern - Hon DSc (Honorary Doctor of Science)

David Halpern Dr David Halpern is the Chief Executive of the Behavioural Insights Team, a global social purpose company that started life as a UK government unit. It exists to improve people’s lives and communities by working in partnership with governments, local authorities, businesses and charities, often using simple changes to tackle major policy problems. The company generates and applies behavioural insights to inform policy, improve public services and deliver results for citizens and society.

He has led the Behavioural Insights team since its inception in 2010. Prior to that, David was the founding Director of the Institute for Government and between 2001 and 2007 was the Chief Analyst at the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. David was also appointed as the What Works National Advisor in July 2013. He supports the What Works Network and leads efforts to improve the use of evidence across government. Before entering government, David held tenure at Cambridge and posts at Oxford and Harvard. He has written several books and papers on areas relating to behavioural insights and wellbeing, including Social Capital (2005), the Hidden Wealth of Nations (2010), Inside the Nudge Unit (2015) and co-author of the MINDSPACE report.


Professor Michèle Lamont - Hon DLitt (Honorary Doctor of Letters)

Michèle Lamont - Hon DLitt (Honorary Doctor of Letters) University of Warwick Michèle Lamont is Professor of Sociology and of African and African American Studies and the Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies at Harvard University. She served as the 108th President of the American Sociological Association in 2016-2017 and she chaired the Council for European Studies from 2006-2009. She is also the recipient of the 2017 Erasmus prize for her contributions to the social sciences in Europe and the rest of the world.

A cultural and comparative sociologist, Lamont is the author of a dozen books and edited volumes and over one hundred articles and chapters on a range of topics including culture and inequality, racism and stigma, academia and knowledge, social change and successful societies, and qualitative methods.

Her most recent publications include the coauthored book Getting Respect: Responding to Stigma and Discrimination in the United States, Brazil, and Israel (Princeton University Press 2016); her ASA Presidential Address “Addressing Recognition Gaps: Destigmatization and the Reduction of Inequality” (American Sociological Review 2018); the 2018 British Journal of Sociology Annual Lecture: “From ‘Having’ to ‘Being’: Self-Worth and the Current Crisis of American Society”; and a special issue of Daedalus on “Inequality as a Multidimensional Process” (coedited with Paul Pierson; summer 2019).

She serves on the boards of the American Council of Learned Societies, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity. Lamont is Director of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University; and Co-director of the Successful Societies Program, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

An Andrew Carnegie Fellow for 2019-2021, she will be spending 2019-2020 on sabbatical at the Russell Sage Foundation, where she will be writing a book on self-worth and inequality in the United States and Europe.

Paul May - Hon LLD (Honorary Doctor of Laws)

Paul May - Hon LLD  (Honorary Doctor of Letters) Paul started his career as an accountant in London. He went on to work in a number of finance, operations and general management roles within the US Corporation, Avery Dennison. In 1999, he became Vice President and General Manager of their EMEA, Asia and Latin America Office Products businesses, based in Munich. He helped to establish Avery as a global brand outside the USA through a number of acquisitions and joint ventures. He subsequently returned to the UK to set up his own business focusing on image transfer solutions.

He has been a business mentor with The Princes Trust for six years and has helped a number of young people start new businesses. He also sits on the Business Launch Group, which approves Princes Trust support for new ventures.

After his aunt Elizabeth Creak passed away in 2013, Paul was appointed Chairman of her Charitable Trust. The Trust supports and encourages new talent in farming and finances projects to help farmers survive and thrive in their challenging modern environment. This has led to the creation of numerous scholarships and other relevant educational infrastructure initiatives. More recently Paul was instrumental in creating the Elizabeth Creak Universities Network with the UK’s leading agricultural universities, with the aims of more effectively translating research into practice and influencing government policy.

Paul has a keen interest in motor racing. He is a Director of Brabham Branding Ltd and is working with David Brabham to bring the iconic brand back to motor sport. This has led to the launch of the Brabham BT62 supercar and a Brabham being back racing after 27 years.

Dr Reuel J Khoza - Hon LLD (Honorary Doctor of Laws)

Dr Khoza is President of the Institute of Directors in South Africa (IoDSA) and a leading figure in South African business and society.

Reuel is currently Chairman of Dzana Investments (Pty) Ltd and AKA Capital (Pty) Ltd : a former Chairman of Nedbank Group Limited and Globeleq, and a director of several companies. He has chaired the boards of such corporations as Eskom Holdings and GlaxoSmithKline South Africa and served as a director of JSE Limited, IBM South Africa, Liberty Life Group, Standard Bank Group, Nampak Limited and Old Mutual plc. He has been involved in the formulation of the Mervyn King Codes on Corporate Governance.

He is already a Warwick graduate (EngD: Engineering Doctorate) and holds qualifications from and positions in a number of other universities.

He is an author whose books include Attuned Leadership, Let Africa Lead, The African in my Dream and The Power of Governance (with Mohamed Adam), and African Humanism.

He is a keen farmer of avocados, pears and macadamia nuts; his family trust venture in farming has been rated the second largest exporter of avocados to Europe.

He has received a range of rewards including: the Distinguished Business Leadership Award from the Association of Chambers of Commerce in Southern Africa in 2007; the Chairman's Award in 2006 by the National Energy Regulator of SA (NERSA); BMF's Thought Leadership Award in 2006; the Leadership in Practice Award from the University of South Africa (UNISA) School of Business Leadership in 2001; the Excellence in Business Management Award from the University of the North in 2001; BMF's Presidential Achievers Award in 1997 and 2016; and the Life Time Leadership Award from the Mayor of Greater Bushbuckridge.

For further information please contact:

Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Media Relations, University of Warwick
Tel UK 024 76523708 office 07767 655860 mobile
Tel overseas: +44 (0)24 76523708 office +44 (0)7767 655860 mobile/cell


PJD 12th December 2019