The University of London has conferred its highest honours on exceptional individuals on the Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Mary Chinery-Hesse.
This is in recognition of her “substantial contributions to public life and the University.”
The 83-year-old was awarded the honorary degree with three others at the University’s 2021 Foundation Day, held on Tuesday, November 23 for their “substantial contributions to public life and the University in very different ways.”
Mrs. Chinery-Hesse’s honorary degree was presented by the University’s Chancellor, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.
The ceremony, which took place in Bloomsbury’s Senate House, marked the 185th anniversary of the creation of the University of London by Royal Charter on 28th November 1836.
Mary Chinery-Hesse has had distinguished careers in Ghana’s Civil Service and at the United Nations.
She is an important voice on economic development issues, a defender of human and women’s rights, and an advocate for African imperatives.
She was the first African woman to be appointed Resident Coordinator of the UN System, the first African woman to attain the rank of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, and is the first female Chancellor of the University of Ghana.
She was also the first female Deputy Director-General of the International Labour Organization.
Chinery-Hesse received the highest national award of Ghana, the Order of the Star of Ghana, under John Kufour’s administration.
She was also awarded the Gusi Peace Prize for International Diplomacy and Humanitarianism in Manila, Philippines, on 24th November 2010. She is the first African woman to receive this distinction.
She holds an Honours Degree from the University of Ghana in Sociology and Economics and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) by her Alma Mater, the University of Ghana, in 1991, the first female product of the University of Ghana to be so honoured.
She undertook her Post-Graduate Programmes in Development Economics at the University of Dublin and at the World Bank Institute in Washington D.C. where she was inscribed as a Fellow of the Institute.