Issue date: 14 November 2000

Sir Donald Maitland is to be awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the understanding of European international affairs.

Born in Edinburgh, Donald Maitland was educated at George Watson’s College and Edinburgh University. After wartime service in the Middle East, India and Burma, he joined the Foreign Service in 1947. He married in 1950 and has a son and daughter.

Donald Maitland served in various posts in the Foreign Office, and several in the Middle East. Between 1956 and 1960 he was Director of the Middle East Centre for Arab Studies, Lebanon. In 1967 he became Principal Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary and later Ambassador to Libya. In the early 1970s he was appointed Chief Press Secretary to the Prime Minister. Sir Donald received his Knighthood in 1973.

During much of the 1970s Sir Donald was the United Kingdom Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York and later to the European Community in Brussels. In 1980 he became Permanent Under-Secretary of the Department of State for Energy. Later he became very involved in the development of world telecommunications and was Chairman of the Independent Commission for World Wide Telecommunications Development from 1982 to 1985. In the late 1980s he was Deputy Chairman of the Independent Broadcasting Authority.

Sir Donald has been President of the Federal Trust for Education and Research since 1987 and was Chairman of the Health Education Authority for a five year period in the early 1990s. He has also held numerous other public and academic appointments including directorships of: Britoil Plc.; Slough Estates Plc.; and Northern Engineering Industries Plc.

He was Chairman of Governors of Westminster College, Oxford between 1994 and 1997 and has been Pro-Chancellor of the University of Bath since 1996. He is also President of the Bath Institute for Rheumatic Diseases.

The Honorary Graduand has had a close association with the University of the West of England and has participated in many of its activities, including the Royal Society of Art/UWE Euro Debate. He has also been a guest speaker on numerous occasions. He has written many articles on international and other public affairs.

The Honorary Degree will be conferred at the Awards Ceremony of the Faculty of Languages and European Studies in Bristol Cathedral at 2.45 on 15 November.

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