University of Leeds community members honored for service to country


Leading university researchers, alumni, a former vice-chancellor and a member of the university council were honored on the Queen’s birthday for their service to the country.

Professors Paul Johnson and John Barrett have been made Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), while along with other notable Leeds alumni in the honors lists, Leeds alumnus Seb Elsworth and a member of the university council, was appointed as a member. of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Professor Michael Arthur, who served as Vice-Chancellor of the University from 2004 to 2013, was knighted.

Professor Simone Buitendijk, current Vice-Chancellor, said: “These accolades are well deserved, reflecting the fantastic work of outstanding past and present colleagues and members of our alumni community. I am personally delighted for each recipient.

“This recognition of their services demonstrates the breadth of talent the University attracts and reflects our community’s commitment to harnessing research expertise and education to help shape a better future for all.”

Professor Paul Johnson

Professor Paul Johnson is Executive Dean of the University’s Faculty of Social Sciences and a sociologist and member of the School of Sociology and Social Policy. He is made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to equality, diversity and human rights.

Professor Johnson joined the University as Executive Dean in January 2022 from York University, where he headed its sociology department. His research focuses on a number of general questions about the relationship between law, human rights and sexual orientation and he has a particular interest in the European Convention on Human Rights and the rights of lesbians and homosexuals.

He regularly engages with the UK Parliament and has worked on many aspects of sexual orientation equality law reform. More recently, following a six-year campaign, the provisions of the Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 have made available to a wide range of people convicted in under now repealed homophobic laws for conduct that is no longer an offence, misunderstandings and pardons.

Professor Johnson said: ‘I am extremely grateful that the work designed to address contemporary and historical injustices suffered by lesbian, gay and bisexual people, and to advance equality and human rights, has been recognized in this way.

“I have been fortunate in recent years to work at two great universities – Leeds and York – which help social scientists to conduct research with the aim of changing the world, for the good of all. It is a honor to do the work that I do.”

Professor John Barrett

Professor John Barrett is with the School of Earth and Environment in Leeds and the Sustainability Research Institute (SRI). He receives an OBE for climate change assessment services.

He said: “Addressing the climate crisis is becoming increasingly urgent and requires strong and solid evidence. I am delighted to have been recognized for my contribution to this database and to climate change assessment in general.

“This has only been possible through close collaboration with outstanding researchers over the past 20 years – I would not receive this honor without them.”

Professor Barrett was part of a team of researchers who provided the evidence supporting the UK Government’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. He was also l lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 5th Assessment for Working Group III. , which focused on mitigating climate change, evaluating methods of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

He is co-director of the Center for Energy Demand Solutions Research (CREDS) which runs projects that offer a positive view of how the UK can rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while delivering quality high life for all.

Professor Michael Arthur

Professor Michael Arthur, who was Vice-Chancellor of Leeds from 2004 to 2013, was awarded a Knights Bachelor for his services to higher education. Sir Michael is a former President and Provost of UCL (2013 to 2021) and prior to his role at UCL and Leeds was previously Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences at Southampton . As a hepatologist, he had research interests in liver cell biology.

He said: “I am deeply honored and personally delighted to receive this national award in recognition of my contribution to higher education in the UK. I have had the pleasure of working with excellent colleagues at the University of Southampton, the University of Leeds and more recently at University College London.

“This award is a brilliant reflection of these great universities and I am grateful to all of them for their excellence, support and assistance over many years. Together we have accomplished a great deal and it has been an immense privilege to be entrusted with the leadership of these exceptional institutions. »

Seb Elsworth

A Leeds alumnus, former Leeds University Union leader and current member of the University Council, Mr Elsworth was awarded an MBE for his services to social investment.

A lay member of the Council since 2016, he graduated from the University in 2004 with joint honors in history and philosophy.

Since 2015, Mr Elsworth has been Managing Director of Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, which helps charities and social enterprises across England to be financially resilient by developing business activity and providing blended finance .

His previous roles have been in the charity sector covering policy, strategy and fundraising. After graduating, he served two consecutive terms on the Leeds University Union Executive, during which time he also served on Council as a student representative.

Our partners at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust

Professor Julian Hartley is an Honorary Professor at Leeds in Health Leadership and Chief Executive of one of the university’s main partners, the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. He received a Knights Bachelor for Services to Health Care.

Dr Fiona Campbell has a visiting role at the University School of Medicine and is a consultant pediatrician for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. She received an OBE for services to children and young people with diabetes.

Other honored graduates

Chief Executive of the Institution for Mechanical Engineers and most recently Director of the UK Space Agency, Doctor Alice Bunn (BEng Materials 1995) received an OBE for service to the UK space sector and charity.

Regional Director of Public Health, North-West, Department of Health and Social Action, Dr. Andrew Simon Furber (MPH Health Sciences 2000), an OBE for public health services.

Amjid Hussain (Law 1998) awarded a British Empire Voluntary Service Medal to the community of Bradford.

Dr. David Lawson Jacques (BSc Civil Engineering 1970, MSc Civil Engineering 1972), awarded an OBE for services to the history and conservation of gardens.

Dr Martin Longden OBE, (BA International History and Politics 1994 MA Military History 1996 PhD History 2000), most recently Acting Chargé d’Affaires, United Kingdom Mission in Afghanistan, Doha, has been made a Companion of the Order of St. -Georges (CMG) for services to British foreign policy.

Professor Renee Elizabeth Sockett (BSc Biochemistry and Microbiology 1983) was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to microbiology.

More details

For media inquiries contact the University of Leeds Press Office: [email protected]


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