A senior British diplomat who is responsible for the transformation of the UK Government's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) was welcomed to Heriot-Watt University today (Wednesday 19 June).
Paul Rennie is one of five public figures who are being recognised with Honorary Doctorates at this year's Summer Graduations for their contribution to academia, business and society.
Born in Edinburgh and educated at George Heriot's School, Paul entered into a diplomatic career in 2001 as a professional economist with the British Government. He is currently Director for Diplomacy and Networks, responsible for transforming the FCO into a more expert and agile organisation by 2020.
Heriot-Watt has been one of the pioneers in delivering a world-class British education to a truly global community and it has been both a privilege and an inspiration to work with them in that regard on behalf of the British Government.
In his role as Deputy High Commissioner in Malaysia, Paul led on the Education Strategy for South East Asia and is responsible for launching the UK Government Initiative; “Proud to Support” Education is GREAT, promoting UK education overseas.
He said: “It is deeply humbling to be recognised by such a prestigious institution in this way. Heriot-Watt has been one of the pioneers in delivering a world-class British education to a truly global community and it has been both a privilege and an inspiration to work with them in that regard on behalf of the British Government.”
Paul was selected for an Honorary Degree by Heriot-Watt in recognition of his expertise and contributions to the development and strategic positioning of UK education overseas.
Professor Richard A. Williams, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Heriot-Watt, said: “It is a great pleasure for us as a global university to recognise someone who has done so much to promote British education overseas.
“Paul is a passionate advocate of Heriot-Watt University in Malaysia, engaging with many students on campus and is extremely supportive of the work of British schools and universities in the country.
“His dedication to higher education has contributed tremendously to the region, raising aspiration and changing individual lives for the better.”