The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) welcomes four new Honorary Fellows this year.
Eileen Barker, Professor Emeritus of Sociology with Special Reference to the Study of Religion at LSE, is among those becoming an Honorary Fellow. Also being honoured are Tharman Shanmugaratnam, minister for finance in Singapore, Angela Mason, deputy leader of Camden Council, and Audrey Eu, a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong.
Honorary fellowships are awarded by LSE each year to people who have attained distinction in the arts, science, or public life, or who have rendered outstanding services to the School or its concerns. They will be presented at LSE's graduation ceremonies in July and December.
Eileen Barker, OBE, FBA, is Professor Emeritus of Sociology with Special Reference to the Study of Religion at LSE. Her main research interest is ‘cults’, ‘sects’ and new religious movements, and the social reactions to which they give rise; but since 1989 she has also been investigating changes in the religious situation in post-communist countries. She has around 300 publications (translated into 27 different languages), which include the award-winning The Making of a Moonie: brainwashing or choice? and New Religious Movements: a practical introduction. In the late 1980s, with the support of the British Government and mainstream Churches, she founded INFORM, an independent educational charity based at LSE which provides information about minority religions that is as accurate, objective and up-to-date as possible. She is a frequent advisor to governments, other official bodies and law-enforcement agencies around the world; and was the first non-American to be elected president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. In 2000 she was the recipient of the American Academy of Religion’s Martin E Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion.
Tharman Shanmugaratnam was appointed minister for finance in Singapore in December 2007. He had previously served for five years as minister for education. He was appointed chairman of the International Monetary and Financial Committee, the policy steering committee of the IMF, in March 2011. He was also admitted to the Group of Thirty, also known as ‘The Consultative Group on International Economic and Monetary Affairs’, in June 2008. Tharman led Singapore’s Economic Strategies Committee (ESC), which brought together business, union and government leaders in May 2009 to chart directions for Singapore for the decade ahead. The ESC’s major recommendations, aimed at achieving inclusive growth and a high-skill innovative economy, are being implemented. Besides serving as member of parliament for Jurong GRC, he is chairman of the Ong Teng Cheong Labour Leadership Institute, and chairman of the Council of Advisors of the Singapore Industrial and Services Employees Union. He also chairs the Board of Trustees of the Singapore Indian Development Association, which seeks to uplift educational performance and aspirations in the Indian community. Tharman spent much of his earlier professional life at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Singapore’s central bank and integrated financial regulator, where he was the chief executive before his entry to politics in 2001. He did his undergraduate education at LSE (BSc Econ 1981), followed by an M Phil in Economics at Cambridge University. He later obtained a Masters in Public Administration at Harvard University, where he received the Lucius N Littauer Fellow award for outstanding performance and leadership potential.
Angela Mason CBE is deputy leader of Camden Council. Previously she was executive director at Stonewall, head of the Women and Equality Unit, and National Equalities advisor for Local Government. She obtained a BA Hons at Bedford College in 1962, followed by an MSc at LSE 1968, and qualified as a solicitor in 1972. She is also an Honorary Doctor of Laws at Royal Holloway College and Doctor of Open University. She chairs the Fawcett Society, a leading UK women’s rights group, and is commissioner of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Angela was awarded an OBE for services to homosexual rights in 1999, followed by a CBE for services to equality in 2008. She is a leading campaigner for equality, rights of women and civil rights for lesbians and gay men, including introduction of civil partnerships and new equality legislation.
The Honourable Audrey Eu, SC, JP, obtained her LLB from the Hong Kong University in 1975. She completed her LLM with the University of London in 1976 and was called to the Bar in England in 1977. She was admitted as a barrister in Hong Kong in 1978 and has been in practice since then. She has served on various statutory or non-statutory bodies and is interested in community services. In 1993, she was called to the Inner Bar and became a Queen’s Counsel (now Senior Counsel). In 1994, she became a non-official Justice of the Peace. She was the chairman of Hong Kong Bar Association in 1997 and 1998. She is currently a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong.