Leading figure in the campaign to eradicate polio honoured as Fellow
Aberystwyth University President Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd with Honorary Fellow and polio campaigner Judith Diment
19 July 2019
A leading figure in the campaign to eradicate polio, has been honoured with a Fellowship of Aberystwyth University as part of its graduation celebrations.
Judith Diment, who studied geology and geography at Aberystwyth, has been a passionate fundraiser and global campaigner for the eradication of polio for more than two decades.
Coordinator of the Rotary International Polio Eradication Advocacy Task Force, UK National Advocacy Adviser for Polio, she is also a member of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee (IPPC) and Chairs the IPPC Grants Sub Committee.
She has also organised many polio advocacy and media events at the Houses of Parliament, European Parliament and Chatham House, and has held senior positions in marketing and communications including the Natural History Museum in London.
In 2016 she was elected as a Councillor for Royal Borough Windsor & Maidenhead.
The same year, she was presented with the “Rotary Service-Above-Self Award”, the highest honour bestowed to Rotarians who volunteer their time and talents to help others.
Judith Diment was presented by Professor Chris Thomas, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research, Knowledge Exchange and Innovation at Aberystwyth University, on Friday 19 July 2019.
The full conferral presentation is available below, in the language in which it was delivered.
Presentation of Judith Diment by Professor Chris Thomas:
Ganghellor, Is-Ganghellor, graddedigion a chyfeillion. Pleser o’r mwyaf yw cyflwyno Judith Diment yn gymrawd Prifysgol Aberystwyth.
Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, graduates and supporters. It is an honour and a privilege to present Judith Diment as a Fellow of Aberystwyth University.
Judith Diment, who was born into a Welsh farming family, graduated in geology and geography at Aberystwyth.
She has gone on to be an award-winning businesswoman, extraordinary fundraiser, global campaigner, international event manager, experienced lecturer, published author, and a passionate advocate for polio eradication.
Judith ran an independent award-winning Thames Valley public relations consultancy and held senior positions in marketing and communications for over 30 years.
It was through her public relations work that Judith first became involved with Rotary in the 1990s, and she joined her first Rotary Club in 2004.
Through Rotary, Judith has been an advocate for polio eradication for more than 20 years.
She now leads Rotary’s UK advocacy efforts, constantly fighting to raise the profile of polio with politicians and governments across the globe.
She is currently the Coordinator of the Rotary International Polio Eradication Advocacy Task Force, a UK National Advocacy Adviser for Polio and a member of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee (IPPC).
She Chairs the IPPC Grants Sub-Committee which recommends essential grants to WHO and Unicef up to $150m annually to fund technical assistance staff, vaccinators, social mobilisation; transportation, and communication: a truly global effort to eradicate the disease.
She has organised numerous polio advocacy and media events at Houses of Parliament, European Parliament and Chatham House.
In February 2008, Judith arranged for the now familiar catchphrase “END POLIO NOW” to be beamed onto the Palace of Westminster. Photos of the spectacular light installation went viral, and it became the global brand of Rotary International’s initiative to encourage the world to get behind the final push to eradicate polio from the four remaining endemic countries, and has since been projected onto dozens of iconic buildings around the world.
In 2016 she received the “Rotary Service-Above-Self Award” from the President of Rotary International, Ravi Ravindran. This is the highest honour bestowed to Rotarians who volunteer their time and talents to help others.
A tireless advocate for this cause, in 2017, Judith led Rotary’s efforts to create champions for polio eradication among UK political leaders, resulting in the UK committing an additional £100 million to the global initiative.
And it is not surprising that when, last year, Rotary International marked its celebration of “30 Years of Women in Rotary” by naming 30 incredible members who have served and led by example, Judith was among the women chosen.
Thanks largely to the work of Rotary International over the last three decades, polio looks set to go from being a widely occurring infectious disease, to becoming only the second infectious disease to be eradicated in human beings, since smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980.
Judith Diment has played a significant part in this amazing success story.
Canghellor, mae’n bleser gen i gyflwyno Judith Diment i chi yn Gymrawd.
Chancellor, it is my absolute pleasure to present Judith Diment to you as a Fellow of Aberystwyth University.
Aberystwyth University Honours 2019
Nine individuals are being honoured by Aberystwyth University during the 2019 graduation ceremonies, which take place at the University’s Arts Centre from Tuesday 16 until Friday 19 July.
Honorary Fellowships are presented to individuals who have, or have had, a connection with Aberystwyth or Wales, and who have made an outstanding contribution to their chosen field.
The 2019 Aberystwyth University Honorary Fellows are (in order of presentation):
- Alan Phillips, retired peripatetic music teacher who worked for Ceredigion Music Service for 35 years
- Professor Frank N. Hogg OBE, the first Principal of the College of Librarianship Wales
- Ruth Bidgood, Welsh poet and local historian
- Professor R Geoff Richards, Director of one of the world's leading orthopaedic research institutes, the AO Research Institute in Davos (Switzerland)
- Emyr Jenkins, first Director of the National Eisteddfod and former Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Wales
- Professor Virginia Gamba, leading expert in the field of disarmament research and policy formulation
- Ian Hopwood, who has worked in the development field for over 40 years in UNICEF HQ and in field assignments in Africa, Asia, and the Arab Gulf States
- The Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, former First Minister of Wales and Leader of the Welsh Labour Party 2009-18
- Judith Diment, a leading global figure in the campaign to eradicate polio