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Ben-Gurion University of the Negev awards honorary doctoral degree to Donna E. Shalala

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev


IMAGE: University of Miami president Donna E. Shalala receives an honorary doctoral degree from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. view more

Credit: Dani Machlis

BEER-SHEVA, ISRAEL, June 1, 2011 - Ben-Gurion University of the Negev awarded an honorary doctoral degree to former Clinton cabinet member and University of Miami President, Donna E. Shalala on Monday evening.

In conferring the degree, BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi said, "This award recognizes Donna Shalala's dedication to public service, promoting access to health care and her devotion to education to bridge social inequalities. It also acknowledges her devotion to the improvement of health services and the promotion of higher education."

Accepting the degree, Shalala said, "I am honored to share this special day with the students and scholars at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

BGU proudly represents Israel's abiding commitment to the special values and tradition of higher education."

Shalala has more than 30 years of experience as an accomplished scholar, government executive, teacher and administrator. During her tenure, the University of Miami has solidified its position among top U.S. research universities. She has raised $1.4 billion in private support for the university's endowment, academic and research programs and facilities, one of the first billion dollar capital campaigns completed.

Last year she received the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights, which recognizes individuals for outstanding dedication in improving the health and life chances of disadvantaged populations in South Africa and internationally.

In 2008, President Bush presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award. President Bush later handpicked Shalala to co-chair with Senator Bob Dole the Commission on Care for Returning Wounded Warriors.

Shalala served eight years as U.S. secretary of health and human services (HHS) under President Clinton, becoming the longest serving HHS secretary in U.S. history. She also served in the Carter administration from 1977 to 1980 as assistant secretary for public development and research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Shalala was president of Hunter College of the City University of New York from 1980 to 1987 and served as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1987 to 1993.

Throughout her distinguished career, Shalala also served on the Council on Foreign Relations; National Academy of Education; the National Academy of Public Administration; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the American Philosophical Society; the National Academy of Social Insurance; the American Academy of Political and Social Science; and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Shalala earned her Ph.D. degree from The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

She received her A.B. degree in history from Western College for Women.


American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion's vision, creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University's expertise locally and around the globe. With some 20,000 students on campuses in Beer-Sheva, Sede Boqer and Eilat in Israel's southern desert, BGU is a university with a conscience, where the highest academic standards are integrated with community involvement, committed to sustainable development of the Negev. For more information, please visit

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