May. 16, 2012


Six outstanding individuals last night received honorary doctoral degrees from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev as part of the 42nd Annual Board of Governors Meeting.  

The Honorary Doctorate Recipients were as follows: 

Justice Dorit Beinisch, Israel;

Prof. Howard (Haim) Cedar, Israel;

The Baroness Deech, D.B.E., UK;

Prof. Deborah Lipstadt, USA;

Prof. Jesse Roth, USA;

Dr. Debrework Zewdie, Ethiopia 

Justice Dorit Beinisch was elected to the Supreme Court in 1995. For the last six years, she led the court as its president until retiring earlier this year. She is the first woman to achieve that position and the first native-born Israeli to do so. Beinisch began her legal career in the State Prosecutor’s Office in Jerusalem, eventually rising to become State Prosecutor in 1989. 

Prof. Howard (Haim) Cedar is Professor of Molecular Biology, Hebrew University Medical School. He has advanced the knowledge on DNA methylation, the chemical changes in a DNA molecule, which may lead to new treatments for diseases. He has won numerous awards including the Israel Prize in Biology in 1999 and the Wolf Prize in 2008 and was inducted into the Israel Academy of Sciences in 2003. 

The Baroness Ruth Lynn Deech, D.B.E is a British academic, lawyer and bioethicist, most noted for chairing the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), from 1994 to 2002. Lady Deech sits as a Crossbench peer in the House of Lords (since 2005) and Chairs the Bar Standards Board (since 2009). 

Prof. Deborah Lipstadt is Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta. She has written widely about Holocaust denial including “History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving” (2005) the story of her libel trial in London against David Irving, who sued her for calling him a Holocaust denier and right wing extremist. The book won the National Jewish Book Award and was a finalist for the Koret Book Award. Dr. Lipstadt has also written “Denying the Holocaust” (1993), the first full length study of those who deny the Holocaust.

Prof. Jesse Roth is Professor of Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University and Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine as well as Professor of Molecular Medicine, The Elmezzi Graduate School of Molecular Medicine and an investigator at the Laboratory of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. An expert in diabetes, he has published more than 400 articles including some “citation classics.” He has been Assistant Surgeon General, spent years at the National Institute of Diabetes Digestive and Kidney diseases, NIH eventually rising to head the Diabetes branch and is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal from the U.S. Public Health Service and the American Diabetes Association’s Banting medal, its highest award for scientific achievement. 

Dr. Debrework Zewdie is deputy executive director of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria. An Ethiopian national, Dr. Zewdie is a clinical immunologist who has dedicated the past 20 years to mitigating the HIV epidemic. She conceptualized and managed the groundbreaking US$1b. multi-country HIV/AIDS Program that changed the AIDS funding landscape and pioneered the large scale multi-sectoral response with direct financing to civil society and the private sector. She also led the articulation of the World Bank’s first global strategy on HIV/AIDS and the Global HIV/AIDS Program for Action. 

View photographs from last night's ceremony