Honorary degree for first female British ambassador to Russia

To Russia with love: Dame Anne Pringle's honorary degree recognises her outstanding contribution to the development of education in Russia

The first ever female British Ambassador to the Russian Federation was today (Friday 15 October) honoured with a degree from Heriot-Watt University in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the development of education in Russia at a ceremony held at the British Embassy, Moscow.

Dame Anne Pringle, DCMG, who was born in Glasgow and read French and German at St. Andrews University, took up her post two years ago.

Heriot-Watt has a strong reputation for delivering the very best in teaching and resources; I am delighted to be associated with its drive to encourage shared learning between the UK and Russia.

Dame Anne Pringle, British Ambassador to the Russian Federation

Her appointment marked a significant achievement and a turning point for women working in the Foreign Office, becoming the first female to be selected to the role since diplomatic links with Russia were established over 450 years ago.

An active supporter of the Heriot-Watt University Petroleum Engineering MSc programme running in Russia, Dame Anne has recognised the importance of cementing educational opportunities between the UK and Russia at a time when cooperation in fields as diverse as trade, science, defence and culture has become increasingly favourable.

Professor Steve Chapman, Principal of Heriot-Watt University said, "The role that Dame Anne plays is of great benefit to the continuing provision of our educational programme in Russia, which complement those run here in Edinburgh. The links which have been created offer top level exchange opportunities which are increasingly important in this modern world and we are therefore delighted to award her with this honorary degree."

Dame Anne said, "I am delighted to accept this accolade and happy to be able to use my position to raise awareness of and interest in the educational opportunities which are available in Russia. The University has a strong reputation for delivering the very best in teaching and resources and I am delighted to be associated with its drive to encourage shared learning between the UK and Russia."

A distinguished career

Dame Anne's distinguished career has seen her progress through the ranks of the diplomatic service. On graduating from St Andrews in 1977, she joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and was posted to Moscow as the Third, Secretary, Chancery and Private Secretary to Her Majesty's Ambassador where she remained for three years.

The role that Dame Anne plays is of great benefit to the ongoing provision of our educational programme in Russia, which complement those run here in Edinburgh.

Professor Steve Chapman, Principal of Heriot-Watt University

Dame Anne Pringle, DCMG, who was born in Glasgow and read French and German at St. Andrews University, took up her post two years ago.

This was followed by various appointments in the United States of America, in the European Union in Brussels and at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office when, in the late 1990s, she headed the Foreign Office department in London responsible for policy towards the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

From 2001 to 2004 she was the British Ambassador to the Czech Republic and, before taking up her present role in Moscow in 2008, was the Director of Strategy and Information at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and a member of the Foreign and Commonwealth Board.