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Dr Soumya Swaminathan to be awarded honorary doctorate by McGill University

She was selected as one of the 10 outstanding individuals who will receive honorary degrees in Canada.

Soumya Swaminathan is an Indian pediatrician and clinical scientist. / MS Swaminathan Research Foundation

Dr Soumya Swaminathan, formerly the Chief Scientist of the World Health Organization (WHO), has been selected as one of the 10 outstanding individuals to be awarded honorary degrees during McGill University's Spring 2024 Convocation ceremonies.

In 2017, Swaminathan began her tenure at the WHO as Deputy Director-General (Programmes). She was subsequently appointed as the organization's first Chief Scientist in March 2019. Dr Swaminathan served in this role throughout the Covid-19 pandemic until late 2022.

Over two centuries old, McGill, a public research university in Montreal, grants honorary degrees to individuals "who have lifetime records of outstanding scholarly, scientific, or artistic achievement, or of exceptional contributions to the public good through professional or philanthropic activity”, an announcement by the University said.

Swaminathan, aged 65, will be honored with the Doctor of Science, honoris causa (D Sc) in Health Sciences during the Spring 2024 Convocation ceremonies, which are scheduled to take place from May.28 to June.5. 

"The conferral of an honorary degree, McGill's highest honour, is both a recognition of the transformative power of individual achievement and a celebration of the values and aspirations that unite our community," said Deep Saini, President of McGill.

“Overwhelmed to be receiving an honorary doctorate from @mcgillu this month. Look forward to the visit & meeting the faculty & students,” Swaminathan said in a post on X.



“Swaminathan is a globally recognised leader in public health and infectious diseases. A pediatrician and a renowned researcher on tuberculosis and HIV, Dr Swaminathan has more than 40 years of experience in clinical care and research and has worked throughout her career to translate research into effective programmes,” the McGill University announcement stated. 

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