press release
Published: 10 July 2018

Honorary doctorates awarded for outstanding contributions to the arts, business and international politics

The University of Surrey will award three honorary doctorates in their July graduation ceremonies to those whose achievements range from outstanding scientific research in international relations to business success and contribution to the Arts.

On 19 and 20 July, honorary doctorates will be given to Jamie Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges at NATO, Ashley Herman, Deputy Chairman at Encore Tickets Ltd, and Professor Brian Allison, Non-Executive Director of the Goodwood Estate Company.

Since 1966, the University has bestowed honorary degrees on those who have made a significant contribution in their field and society. They include Dr Jonny Wilkinson OBE, Lord Professor Robert Winston, and TV personalities Terry Gilliam, Sandi Toksvig, and Michael Buerk.

Professor Max Lu
Professor Max Lu

Professor Max Lu, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey, said: “We are proud to honour Professor Allison, Mr Herman and Dr Shea for their contributions to industry, theatre, and public policy and leadership. Their commitment to excellence, outstanding achievements, and high level of service in their fields inspire us, and enrich our global community.”

Dr Jamie Shea was nominated in recognition of his outstanding contribution to international politics. Working with NATO since 1980, Jamie is the current Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges. Prior to this, he worked in several other impressive positions within the organisation from Secretary General of NATO for Special Projects to many others. He is a regular conference speaker and lecturer on NATO and European security matters.

Jamie currently acts as the Associate Professor of International Relations at the American University, Washington DC, while also making valuable contributions to institutions based in the UK and mainland Europe. He is also an Oxford University alumni, originally studying a DPhil in Modern History, a member of the Policy Council at the World Economic Forum in Geneva, and a founder and member of The Security and Defence Agenda in Brussels. Jamie will be presented with his award by Professor Michael Aaronson, Honorary Visiting Professor, on 20 July.

Ashley Herman was nominated in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the performing arts. By age 21, Ashley’s curiosity and enthusiasm for theatre helped him gain the role Assistant Stage Manager at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. While quickly progressing through production management and associate producer roles, he eventually created his own production company in 1981.

Going on to produce some award-winning West End productions, his marketing company, Encore, remains the world’s leading distributor of London theatre. He also founded a similar company,, with Cameron Mackintosh in 1990 and, in 1999 he became appointed Chairman of the Guildford School of Acting (GSA). He served on the Council of the University of Surrey for six years, received a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and is elected fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Ashley will be presented with his award on 20 July by Professor Michael Kearney, Provost and Executive Vice-President.

Meanwhile Professor Brian Allison was nominated in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the field of Economics and Business. Brian has been a visiting professor to the University since 1976. After studying economics and serving in the Royal Air Force, Brian became involved in the petroleum industry and other business ventures before starting his own business, BIS Group, an IT marketing services company, later sold to the NYNEX Corporation in 1987.

Brian has built up an inspiring career portfolio of non-executive directorship positions and other senior roles, covering different industries from Halifax Building Society’s London Board to English China Clays and others. He continues to dedicate his time to the business community, and he is currently the Non-Executive Director of the Goodwood Estate Company and Chairman of the Advisory Board at the Surrey Business School (SBS). Brian will be presented with his award on 19 April by Professor Ansgar Richter, Dean of SBS.

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