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Orla Guerin to be awarded Honorary Degree

Posted on 17 January 2018

Award-winning journalist Orla Guerin is among eight leading figures from the world of journalism, performing arts, politics and business to receive honorary degrees from the University of York this weekend (19 and 20 January 2018).

The University of York confers the honorary degree of Doctor of the University honoris causa on individuals who have made outstanding contributions to society.

The recipients of 2018 honorary degrees, which will be awarded as part of the University's winter graduation ceremonies, are:

  • Former President of the Federal Republic of Germany Professor Dr Horst Koehler.
  • Pianist, poet and author Alfred Brendel.
  • Vasily Petrenko, chief conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • Sacha Romanovitch, the first woman to lead a major City accountancy firm.
  • One of the three founding executives of Freeserve, the UK’s largest Internet Service Provider, Rob Wilmot.
  • The engineer, educator and government advisor Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya.
  • Dame Vivian Hunt Managing Partner for McKinsey & Company’s United Kingdom and Ireland offices who has been identified as one of the 30 most influential people in the City of London by the Financial Times.
  • Award-winning journalist currently based in Cairo for BBC News, Orla Guerin.

Beginning her career in newspapers, Orla Guerin joined RTÉ News in 1987. In 1990 she became the broadcaster’s youngest foreign correspondent, covering Eastern and Central Europe and the former Soviet Union.‌

Orla joined the BBC in 1995 and went on to become Southern Europe Correspondent, returning to the Balkans to report on the crisis in Kosovo. A short period in Moscow followed before a five-year stint as the BBC’s Middle East Correspondent, based in Jerusalem. In 2006 she became Africa Correspondent. She moved on to Pakistan in 2009, and returned to the Middle East in 2013.

Orla has been awarded the News and Factual Award by Women in Film and Television UK, the Broadcaster of the Year Award from the London Press Club, the David Bloom Award (USA) and an Honorary MBE in 2005. She has been nominated for a BAFTA award, and has several Emmy nominations.

Whether in Chechnya, Kosovo, or the Gaza Strip, Orla has displayed an unfailing commitment to maintaining the highest standards of journalistic integrity in spite of great personal danger.