Students Staff

10 March 2008

Presidential honour

Colchester Campus

Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile

The President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, is to be awarded an Honorary Degree by the University.

In a break with tradition, President Bachelet will be presented with her award during a ceremony in London next month and not at the July Graduation.

Michelle Bachelet Jeria is Chile’s first female President and only the second woman to be elected to lead a Latin American nation. Having spent much of the 1970s in exile she returned to her home country in 1979 where she completed medical training at the University of Chile. Following a career in paediatric medicine, which included working for the West Santiago Health Service and the National Aids Commission, she became Senior Assistant to the Deputy Health Minister in 1994. She was later Senior Assistant to the Defence Minister and became a member of the Socialist Party Executive Committee. In 2000 she was appointed Health Minister and in 2002 she became the first woman in Latin American history to hold the Defence portfolio. In 2004 she stood as presidential candidate and after a closely-run election was named President in 2006.

Details of the Honorary Graduands for the 2008 Graduation Ceremonies will be announced next month.

For further information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 874377 or e-mail

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