SOAS University of London

Recognition for SOAS community in Queen’s Birthday Honours

14 October 2020

Five members of the SOAS University of London community have been honoured in Her Majesty the Queen’s 2020 Birthday Honours list.

SOAS Board of Trustee member Nizam Uddin received an OBE for services to Social Mobility and Community Integration. Nizam is the Senior Head of Mosaic and Community Integration at The Prince’s Trust, a youth charity that helps young people aged 11 to 30 get into jobs, education and training.

Nizam said: "I am truly humbled by this recognition and extremely honoured to be able to do the work I do within social mobility and community integration. SOAS has been a constant source of learning, challenge and value in my life, and I am grateful to the SOAS community for their long-standing support and encouragement."

SOAS Honorary Fellow Professor David Khalili, who is a longstanding supporter of SOAS, was knighted in recognition of his lifelong contribution to cultural philanthropy, education and interfaith relations. Professor Khalili, who is also a SOAS alumnus, is a world-renowned scholar, collector, benefactor and philanthropist as well as a successful businessman. He was also a member of the School’s Governing Body for 17 years and spoke at SOAS’s flagship Centenary Lectures Series when the School celebrated 100 years.

Sir David said: "It is with gratitude that I received the news that I have been honoured in Her Majesty the Queen's Birthday Honours list. I am humbled that my efforts to bring people of different faiths together, through culture, education and the arts, have been deemed worthy of such an accolade. I am also mindful of the huge amount of work that has yet to be done in the cause of greater global unity and peace. To this end, I accept this honour, both as a recognition of my own work and as a testimony to my family, friends, and colleagues with whom I have the privilege to serve. We can build a better world together.

Professorial Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology Dr André Singer was also awarded an OBE for services to Anthropology and the documentary film industry. Dr Singer is also Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director of Spring Films, a twice Oscar nominated, Emmy, BAFTA, Peabody, Grierson and RTS award winning factual production company based in London.

SOAS alumnus Graham Wrigley was also knighted for his achievements in the field of international development. Graham is Chairman of CDC Group, a development finance institution. Prior to his CDC appointment, ​Sir Graham ​quit his business career and decided to “retrain” for a new career by completing an MSc in Development Economics at SOAS. He then worked in a variety of roles with SME and Microfinance organisations in sub-Saharan Africa, Nepal and the poor states of North India, with a personal goal of helping these companies become sustainable and help their countries’ economic development.

Former SOAS Board of Trustee member Kofi Adjepong-Boateng, Chair of the Economic Justice Programme at Open Society Foundations, also received an OBE for services to Philanthropy. Kofi is also the founding partner of the Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund and a senior advisor to Credit Suisse AG.