Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Overseas Honours List recognises outstanding contribution to vital foreign policy priorities [December 2022]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 30 December 2022.

The New Years Overseas Honours list recognises the outstanding contribution of British nationals for their service abroad.

  • UK Ambassadors in Kyiv and Moscow among the 141 people to receive honours for their exceptional service to the UK overseas or internationally
  • awards recognise extraordinary people across a range of fields including foreign policy, health and development
  • Dr David Nabarro and Masood Ahmed are recognised with Knighthoods for their outstanding contributions to global health and international development respectively

Senior diplomats at the forefront of the UK’s response to the war in Ukraine will be recognised alongside 141 others for their service to the UK overseas and internationally on the King’s New Year honours list.

Melinda Simmons, HMA Kyiv, and Deborah Bronnert, HMA Moscow will both receive Damehoods for their services to foreign policy, including their work supporting Ukraine and countering Russia’s aggression this year.

Extraordinary achievements by British nationals, both officials and non-officials, who worked on the UK’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are also recognised. These include 2 awards at OBE [Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire] to Lt Col (Rt’d) Andrew Kent and Dr Paul Ransom for their outstanding contributions to UK health support overseas, including on the ground in Ukraine.

Former Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill receives a Knighthood for his career in public service spanning domestic and international policy across 7 prime ministers.

Alok Sharma receives a Knighthood for his contribution to combatting climate change through his leadership at COP26 and driving the UK to agree a historic agreement from individual countries that will have a major impact in addressing climate change in the future.

Distinguished international public servant Dr David Nabarro who receives a Knighthood for his outstanding contribution to global health, most recently as the WHO Special Envoy for Covid-19 Prevention and Response.

Also recognised with a Knighthood is Masood Ahmed, President of the Center for Global Development. One of the most strategic thinkers and leaders in the international development system, Mr Ahmed has led successful initiatives that have advanced the economic development of countries around the world for over 3 decades.

Sir Philip Barton, Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Head of the Diplomatic Service, said:

I congratulate everyone receiving an honour and thank them for their hard work and years of service. The UK’s impact around the world depends on exceptional people like those recognised in His Majesty The King’s New Year Honours list. I am grateful for their outstanding contribution.

The New Year Honours list also recognises a number of non-official contributions including:

David Wightwick

Chief Executive Officer, UK-Med, receives a CMG [Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George] for services to UK humanitarian support.

David Wightwick is recognised for an exceptional and sustained contribution to UK humanitarian support overseas. His career began as an aid worker in Kosovo for the International Medical Corps and has now spanned 3 decades of leading and managing complex humanitarian crises for Save the Children, the World Health Organisation, Merlin, GOAL and, for the last five years, as Chief Executive Officer of the UK charity UK-Med. Considered amongst his peers as one of the most outstanding emergency operational leaders in the sector, his distinguished career has enhanced the reputation of the UK in international humanitarian work, reflecting his personal involvement in most major international crises over recent times. Mr Wightwick’s operational leadership and bravery, including in Ukraine, has ensured emergency medical aid has been rapidly delivered when oversea crises hit, saving thousands of lives.

On learning of his award, David Wightwick said:

I feel exceptionally honoured and delighted to receive this award. I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in humanitarian response alongside many outstanding individuals and teams over the years and to have enjoyed the steadfast support of my family throughout.

Professor Lesley Lokko

Founder and Director, Africa Futures Institute, Accra, Ghana, receives an OBE [Officer of the Order of the British Empire] for services to architecture and education.

Professor Lesley Lokko is recognised for an outstanding and sustained contribution to architecture and education. As an architect, academic, author and curator, Lesley Lokko has radically changed the global conversation around race, identity, and architecture. Born in Dundee to a Ghanaian father and a Scottish mother and raised in Ghana, when she first began exploring these issues thirty years ago, architectural production, education and criticism were essentially the preserve of men. Her 2000 book, White Papers, Black Marks: Race, Space and Architecture, pioneered the study of race within architecture and remains one of the most important pieces of work in the field. Professor Lokko’s ongoing research culminated in her recent appointment as the first ever Black Curator of the Venice Architecture Biennale, the most important cultural event in architecture worldwide. Her Biennale, the 18th in the series, will be held in 2023 as only the third to be curated by a woman. She is also only the second Briton to curate the event, following Sir David Chipperfield in 2012.

On learning of her award, Professor Lesley Lokko said:

I am deeply touched and honoured by this unexpected recognition, not just for me personally, but for the wider field of architectural education, which is so richly expanded by the ongoing inclusion of different voices.

Sylvia Goodall

Founder and Patron, The Mud House Children’s Foundation, Tanzania, receives an MBE [Member of the Order of the British Empire] for services to education in Tanzania.

Sylvia Goodall, a Founding Member and Patron of the Mud House, Children’s Foundation, is recognised for her exceptional contribution to education in Tanzania. Since falling in love with the Ngorongoro region and the Maasai people following a safari holiday to Tanzania 2006, Mrs Goodall has embarked on various charitable projects in the country. The Mud House Children’s Foundation formed in 2014 supports vulnerable and underprivileged children in Wasso, Tanzania. Mrs Goodall working alongside her son, daughter and others has personally helped deliver various projects on the ground such as sponsorship of children, playgrounds, libraries and classrooms, which have made a significant and positive impact on the local population. Her commitment and dedication is such that she has undertaken many visits to Wasso over a sustained period, at her own expense, to support her charitable works.

On learning of her award, Sylvia Goodall said:

I felt overwhelmed and couldn’t believe it. Its so exciting, a huge honour for me and all my family and friends both here and in Tanzania. I’ve met so many wonderful people, it’s been a joy. The Charity has worked tirelessly alongside the Maasai community to provide meaningful and long lasting improvements to education.

John Lawton BEM (Mil)

Manager, the Episkopi Station Running and Walking Club, Cyprus, receives a civilian BEM [British Empire Medal] for services to charity and the community in Cyprus.

John Lawton is recognised for an outstanding contribution to charity and the community in Cyprus as Manager of the Episkopi Station Running and Walking Club. Following a long army career in which he was recognised with a military British Empire Medal, for the past twenty years, Mr Lawton has voluntarily run and managed the Episkopi Station Running and Walking Clubs, British Forces Cyprus. Despite turning 80 earlier this year, he continues to do so with great enthusiasm, devotion and discipline. Members of the club consist of British service personnel, their families as well as members of the local community and are offered a wide variety of activities to suit all ages and abilities. All the sessions are personally delivered by Mr Lawton throughout the year, in all conditions, and include walks, park runs, track, and build-up training for specific race events, and have had a significant impact on the health and well-being of the community.

On learning of his award, John Lawton said:

I feel very honoured with the award of a second BEM. The award also recognises the contribution made by the running/walking club to all communities. The club has been involved with raising funds for many charities over the years including for the church in Anoyira Village, The Soldier’s Charity, and many others.