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Honorary Graduand Biographies Summer 2013

Professor Leslie Valiant: Hon DSc (11.00AM Ceremony on Monday, 15 July 2013)

Leslie Valiant was educated at King's College, Cambridge; Imperial College, London; and at the University of Warwick, where he received his PhD in computer science in 1974. He is currently T. Jefferson Coolidge Professor of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1982. Before coming to Harvard he had taught at Carnegie Mellon University, Leeds University, and the University of Edinburgh.

His work has ranged over several areas of theoretical computer science, particularly complexity theory, learning, and parallel computation. He also has interests in computational neuroscience, evolution and artificial intelligence. Leslie is the author of two books, Circuits of the Mind, and Probably Approximately Correct.

He received the Nevanlinna Prize at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 1986, the Knuth Award in 1997, the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science EATCS Award in 2008, and the 2010 A. M. Turing Award. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (London) and a member of the National Academy of Sciences (USA).

Professor Jan de Vries: Hon DLitt (3.00PM Ceremony on Monday, 15 July 2013)

Jan de Vries was born in the Netherlands during World War II. When he was four he emigrated to the United States with his parents. Raised in Minnesota, he went on to study at Columbia University and Yale, where he achieved his History PhD.

At Yale, Jan studied with William Parker and Harry Miskimin. After working at Michigan State University, he joined the University of California at Berkeley, where he remains, holding the Sidney Hellman Ehrman Chair in European History and appointment in the Economics department.

His research interests have included European agrarian history, historical demography and urbanisation, environmental and climate history, and, most recently, the history of consumer behaviour. He has written six books, co-edited four and written 80 published articles and book chapters, and 60 book reviews.

Jan is a past president of the Economic History Association and was editor of the Journal of Economic History. He has Woodrow Wilson and Guggenheim fellowships and has held visiting fellowships to the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, and All Souls College, Oxford.

He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the British Academy, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences, and the Flemish Academy of Sciences of Belgium. He is the 2000 recipient of the A.H. Heineken Prize in History.

Mr Dominic Cooke: Hon DLitt (3.00PM Ceremony on Monday, 15 July 2013)

Dominic Cooke is a theatre director who studied at the University of Warwick. After graduating he took on his first job in television, as a runner. He then founded a production company which he ran for two years until he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company as an Assistant Director. At the same time he worked as a freelance director. He joined London’s Royal Court Theatre as Associate Director in 1999. He then worked as Associate Director of the RSC between 2002 and 2006.

Dominic took on the role of Artistic Director at the Royal Court Theatre in 2006. He joined at a time when the Theatre had been accused of ‘losing its way’, so he promised to refocus its efforts. And his work paid off. His departure earlier this year prompted a stream of positive publicity about what he had achieved.

Dominic’s credits at the Royal Court include Aunt Dan and Lemon and The Fever by Wallace Shawn; Seven Jewish Children by Caryl Churchill; Wig Out! by Tarell Alvin McCraney; Now or Later by Christopher Shinn; and War and Peace and Fear and Misery by Mark Ravenhill.

His credits at the RSC include Arabian Nights; Pericles, The Winter’s Tale, As You Like It, Macbeth and Cymbeline by William Shakespeare; The Crucible by Arthur Miller; Postcards from America by David Adjmi and Brett Neveu; and The Malcontent by John Marston.

Dominic received Laurence Olivier awards for Best Director and Best Revival for The Crucible in 2007; TMA award for Arabian Nights in 2000; and a Fringe First award for Autogeddon in 1991.

Sir Paul Nurse: Hon DSc (11.00am Ceremony on Tuesday, 16 July 2013)

Sir Paul Nurse is President of the Royal Society, which exists to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity. He started his five year term there in December 2010.

He was born in 1949 and was educated at Lyon Park school in Alperton and Harrow County Grammar School for Boys. He was awarded his undergraduate degree from the University of Birmingham in 1970. In 1973 he achieved his PhD from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of East Anglia. From there he went on to work at the University of Edinburgh for six years.

Sir Paul is a geneticist and cell biologist who has worked on how the eukaryotic cell cycle is controlled and how cell shape and cell dimensions are determined. His major work has been on the cyclin dependent protein kinases and how they regulate cell reproduction. He is President of the Royal Society and Director of the Francis Crick Institute in London and has served as Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK and President of Rockefeller University. He shared the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and has received the Albert Lasker Award and the Royal Society's Royal and Copley Medals. He was knighted in 1999 for services in cancer research and cell biology, and he received the Legion d'honneur in 2003.

Mr Michael Mackenzie: Hon LLD (3.00pm Ceremony on Tuesday, 16 July 2013)

After a 21 year career in the wine trade, Michael MacKenzie took a change of direction and became Director of Operations for Scottish European Aid, an aid agency specialising in Eastern Europe.

Whilst working in Bosnia in 1993, a ‘bit of a bump’ curtailed this new occupation earlier than planned. Mike broke his ribs, collapsed his lungs, lost his spleen, broke his hands, lost his left leg, gave his head a serious bash and severed his spinal cord, resulting in paralysis from the chest level. He ended up in The National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville. He later lost the other leg.

After 18 months in hospital he returned to his home in Scotland where he took up skiing and found that, with some determination, life was a great but very possible challenge.

Michael is now a motivational speaker, hotel and leisure industry disability consultant, writer, charity chairman and adventurer.

He has taken part in a wide variety of charity events and challenges including wheelchair relays, driving rallies and Around the World in 80 Ways, in which he circumnavigated the globe with two blind people.

Michael founded Spinal Injuries Together (SIT), a consortium of five national spinal charities, for which he is now Founding President. He is a Director at Motorsport Endeavour, a motorsport organisation for disabled people, especially service personnel. He is a Trustee at Dive-able, an organisation training people with disabilities to scuba dive. He is also Chairman and Trustee of the Poppa Guttmann Trust.

Ms Ruth Jones: Hon DLitt (11.00am Ceremony on Wednesday, 17 July 2013)

Ruth Jones is an actress, writer and producer. Born in Bridgend, South Wales, she studied Theatre Studies and Dramatic Arts at the University of Warwick between 1985 and 1988. She went on to study acting at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Her first professional acting role was with Dominic Cooke's theatre company Pan Optic playing the countess in a national tour of The Marriage of Figaro.

Ruth’s subsequent success meant that she quickly became a household name. Perhaps best known for co-scripting and starring in the multi-award winning hit TV comedy Gavin and Stacey, for which she won the Best Female Comedy Newcomer award at the British Comedy Awards in 2007.

In 2009 Ruth scooped the Sian Phillips Award by Bafta Cymru, which recognises Welsh men or women who have made a significant contribution in either a film or network television programme. She was also made a Fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and drama in 2009.

She has appeared on television in many other programmes including Fat Friends, Little Britain, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Torchwood, The Street and played comedy actress Hattie Jacques in biopic Hattie. She also starred in movies East is East and Very Annie Mary.

Ruth has performed on stage with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. She even has a chart-topping single to her name, after she recorded the Bee Gees hit Islands in the Stream with Gavin and Stacey co-star Rob Brydon to raise money for Comic Relief.

Aside from acting and writing, Ruth and her husband, David Peet, run independent television production company tidy productions. The company produces comedy and comedy drama and is based in Cardiff and London. They are currently working on the third series of comedy drama Stella for Sky, with Ruth in the title role and which is filmed in Wales. A Christmas special has also been commissioned.

Mr Adrian Lester: Hon DLitt (3.00pm Ceremony on Wednesday, 17 July 2013)

Adrian Lester is an award-winning actor, director and writer who is currently receiving phenomenal reviews for his appearance in the title role of Othello at the National Theatre. He won the coveted Critic’s Choice Award for Best Actor earlier this year for his portrayal of Ira Aldridge in Red Velvet at the Tricycle Theatre, for which he also received an Evening Standard Theatre Award nomination.

Adrian was born in Birmingham in 1968 and began acting with the Birmingham Youth Theatre at the age of 14. He went on to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London for three years.

Adrian’s acting career quickly began and he appeared on stage with the Royal National Theatre in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. His subsequent theatre experience includes major roles in Company, As You Like it, Six Degrees of Separation, Kiss of the Spider Woman, a Winter’s Tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the title role in Peter Brook’s 2000 production of Hamlet, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and of course the title roles of both Othello and Henry V for the National Theatre.

His entry to the big screen was playing the lead role in the major film Primary Colours, in which he appeared alongside John Travolta and Emma Thompson. Adrian has since gone on to star in a multitude of films including The Day After Tomorrow, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Dust and Case 39.

Adrian regularly appears on our TV screens too, for example with significant roles in: Merlin (BBC1), Sleep with Me (ITV), Ghost Squad (Channel 4), Being Human (BBC), Ballet Shoes (BBC1), Bonekickers (BBC1) and Channel 4’s Empire’s Children and hard hitting, and the award winning TV drama, Storm Damage. He also blended TV and theatre when he appeared in the BBC2 TV documentary When Romeo Met Juliet together with his wife Lolita Chakrabarti as acting mentors to the pupils of two Coventry schools involved in a production of Romeo and Juliet.

Adrian’s achievements were celebrated when Adrian was appointed Office of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for Services to drama.

Professor Anne Marie Slaughter: Hon LLD (3.00pm Ceremony on Thursday, 18 July 2013)

Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter is currently the Bert G. Kerstetter '66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. Beginning in September 2013, she will assume the presidency of the New America Foundation, a public policy institute and idea incubator based in Washington and New York, and will become a professor emerita at Princeton. From 2009–2011 she served as Director of Policy Planning for the United States Department of State, the first woman to hold that position. Upon leaving the State Department she received the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award for her work leading the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, as well as meritorious service awards from USAID and the Supreme Allied Commander for Europe. Prior to her government service, Dr Slaughter was the Dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs from 2002–2009 and the J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign, and Comparative Law at Harvard Law School from 1994-2002.

Professor Slaughter has written or edited six books, including A New World Order) and The Idea That is America: Keeping Faith with Our Values in a Dangerous World (2007), and over 100 scholarly articles. She was the convener and academic co-chair, with Professor John Ikenberry, of the Princeton Project on National Security, a multi-year research project aimed at developing a new, bipartisan national security strategy for the United States. In 2012 she published the article “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” in The Atlantic, which quickly became the most read article in the history of the magazine and helped spawn a renewed national debate on the continued obstacles to genuine full male-female equality.

Professor Slaughter is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and writes a monthly column for Project Syndicate. She provides frequent commentary for both mainstream and new media and curates foreign policy news for over 65,000 followers on Twitter at @SlaughterAM. Foreign Policy magazine named her to their annual list of the Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. She received a B.A. from Princeton, an M.Phil and D.Phil in international relations from Oxford, where she was a Daniel M. Sachs Scholar, and a J.D. from Harvard.

Professor Robert Calderbank: Hon DSc (11.00am Ceremony on Friday, 18 July 2013)

Professor Robert Calderbank graduated from the University of Warwick in 1975 with a first class honours degree in Mathematics. His postgraduate studies in Mathematics took him to Oxford and the United States where he received a PhD from the California Institute of Technology in 1980. Robert spent 20 years in industry, joining Bell Labs as a Member of Technical Staff and retiring from AT&T in 2003 as Vice President for Research with additional responsibility for Intellectual Property.

At the start of his career at Bell Labs, Professor Calderbank developed voiceband modem technology that was widely licensed and incorporated in over a billion devices. Voiceband means the signals are audible so these modems burped and squeaked as they connected to the internet.

Professor Calderbank has also developed technology that improves the speed and reliability of wireless communication. He served on the Technical Advisory Board of Flarion Technologies a wireless infrastructure company.

Professor Calderbank was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2005 and received the IEEE Hamming Medal in 2013.

In 2004 he joined Princeton University as Professor of Electrical Engineering and Mathematics. He joined Duke University in 2010 as Dean of Natural Sciences. He has served as Director of the Duke Initiative in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and he currently directs the Information Initiative at Duke.

His aim is to make sense of big data: information characterised by massive size, tremendous variety and rapid change.

Gregory Doran: Hon DLitt (3.00pm Ceremony on Friday, 18 July 2013)

Gregory Doran is Artistic Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).

His career with the RSC dates back to 1987, when he joined as an actor. He became an Assistant Director in 1989 and he was made an Associate Director in 1996 before he was appointed Chief Associate Director in 2006.

He directed Julius Caesar for the World Shakespeare Festival and The Orphan of Zhao as part of the A World Elsewhere season. Later this year he will direct Richard II in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, in which David Tennant will star. This will be the first RSC production to play live to cinemas around the world on 13 November 2013.

His RSC productions in the UK and internationally include Twelth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, MacBeth, Coriolanus and King John. His production of Hamlet, in which David Tennant played the title role, won the WhatsOnStage Best Regional Production and Theatre Event of the Year in 2009.

He is an Honorary Fellow of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow of the Shakespeare Institute. He is also the Humanitas Visiting Professor in Drama at the University of Oxford.

In June 2012, he received the Sam Wanamaker Award from Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, an annual award that recognises and celebrates work which has increased the understanding and enjoyment of Shakespeare.