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New Year Honours List 2021

Posted on Jan 20

2 min read

Alumni Events & News

Five Johnians were recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours List 2021.

Dr Paul van Heyningen (1993) was awarded an OBE for services to energy policy. He started his civil service career in 2001 as a Fast Streamer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, just a few weeks before the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak struck. Since then, he has held a variety of posts in Government, focused on energy, climate change and environmental policy.

Paul is now a Deputy Director in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Between 2016 and 2020, he led teams on the UK’s exit from the European Union: first on carbon emissions trading, and latterly on Northern Ireland, which shares an all-island electricity market with the Republic. In his current role as Deputy Director for Net Zero Electricity Networks, he works with his team to ensure the electricity grid is ready for the transition to electric vehicles and other low carbon technologies as we move towards net zero emissions.

Sarah Docherty (2008) was awarded an OBE for services to British foreign policy. She was most recently the Deputy Principal Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary, working for the Rt Hon. Dominic Raab and his predecessor the Rt Hon. Jeremy Hunt. Prior to this she worked on the UK’s Brexit negotiations, and was posted to the UK Representation to the European Union in Brussels. 

Alan Maryon-Davis (1962)

Professor Alan Maryon-Davis (1962) was awarded an MBE for services to public health. He has chaired the Public Health Advisory Committee for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for the past ten years, producing guidelines on effective interventions to tackle such issues as child obesity, oral ill-health, indoor air pollution and poor mental wellbeing at work. He was formerly President of the UK Faculty of Public Health, Chair of the Royal Society for Public Health and Director of Public Health for the London Borough of Southwark.

On the charity front Alan is Chair of Medact, which campaigns for health justice, and was formerly Chair of Alcohol Change and the children’s charity Best Beginnings. He has been a prolific writer and broadcaster on health matters for over 40 years and is still much in demand commenting on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Usha Goswami (1990)

Professor Usha Goswami (1990) was awarded a CBE for services to educational research. She is Director for the Centre for Neuroscience in Education and Professor of Cognitive Developmental Neuroscience, and her research focuses on children’s cognitive development, particularly the development of language and literacy.

You can read more about her research in an article she wrote for The Eagle 2020: ‘Dyslexia, poetry, rhythm and the brain’.

Michael Weekes

Dr Michael Weekes (1992), from the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, was awarded a BEM for services to the NHS during COVID-19. With a large team of people from a wide diversity of disciplines, he set up and ran a COVID testing service for staff at Addenbrooke’s, testing asymptomatic staff and those with potential symptoms. Subsequently, with University staff and students coming back to work in the collegiate University, they set up a dedicated testing scheme for symptomatic University staff, with pods at Addenbrooke’s and on Fen Causeway. They are now offering screening to all 11,000 staff at Addenbrooke’s on a weekly basis, which has proved particularly effective in keeping the virus under good control around the hospital.

At the height of the pandemic in March-April 2020, one of our biggest surprises was that 3% of CUH staff reporting fit for duty tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. This really drove home why regular mass screening for SARS-CoV-2 combined with an effective track and trace system is so vital to combat this virus.

Michael Weekes