Published on 13/09/2021
Alec Cameron and Jacqui Smith
  • Rt Hon Jacqui Smith was the UK’s first female Home Secretary from 2007 to 2009
  • She is currently Chair of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and Sandwell Children’s Trust
  • She was MP for Redditch in 1997 and became a Minister in 1999, serving in the Education, Health and Equality portfolios

The UK’s first female Home Secretary has been awarded an honorary degree by Aston University.

Rt Hon Dr Jacqui Smith was awarded the honour at a ceremony held at the Eastside Rooms, the city’s latest purpose-built conference and events venue.

Jacqui Smith was the UK’s first female to hold the post of Home Secretary from 2007 until 2009, having being elected to Parliament as MP for Redditch in 1997, becoming a Minister in 1999. She served in the Education, Health, Industry and Equality portfolios, and in the Cabinet as Chief Whip before taking on the role.

Dr Smith  is currently Chair of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and Sandwell Children’s Trust. She also chairs the Jo Cox Foundation, along with The Precious Trust, a Birmingham charity she founded with Marcia Shakespeare to support girls at risk of gang violence.

Professor Alec Cameron, Vice-Chancellor of Aston University, said:

“I am delighted that Aston University has bestowed this honour on the Rt Hon Dr Jacqui Smith.

"Jacqui is a passionate advocate for women and girls carving their way forward for a better future. She is an inspiring role model to our students.”

Notes to Editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University was named University of the Year 2020 by The Guardian and the University’s full time MBA programme has been ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking. The Aston MBA has been ranked 12th in the UK and 85th in the world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)7446 910063 or email: s.cook2@aston.ac.uk

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Sue Smith, Head of Press and Communications
    0121 204 3521
    s.p.smith@aston.ac.uk

Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5065
    s.cook2@aston.ac.uk

Claire Fry, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5068
    c.fry@aston.ac.uk

Rebecca Hume, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5159
    r.hume@aston.ac.uk

Alternatively, email pr@aston.ac.uk

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