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Girtonians recognised in 2024 King's New Year's Honours list

Gold crown graphic with purple background. The text says 'New Year Honours 2024'

All here at Girton send our sincere congratulations to those Girtonians recognised in the New Year Honours List 2024. The Mistress, Dr Elisabeth Kendall, said:

"It is always thrilling to see Girtonians recognised for their services and contributions to society. Those honoured in the King’s 2024 New Year’s Honours span sectors as diverse as foreign policy, education, innovation technology, the promotion of STEM subjects and, and their landmark achievements will undoubtedly prove inspirational to future generations of students."

Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Dr Sabesan Sithamparanathan stands in front of Girton CollegeDr Sabesan Sithamparanathan FREng, Founder and President, PervasID and Enterprise Fellow, Girton College, University of Cambridge. For services to Innovation Technology and the promotion of STEM Subjects in Education.

Sabesan first joined the College in 2011 as the Tucker-Price Research Fellow in Science. During this time he invented and developed the world’s most accurate battery-free radio frequency identification (RFID) real-time tracking solution, founding PervasID in the process. Sabesan has successfully grown PervasID into a multimillion-dollar global enterprise providing solutions to multiple sectors including retail, healthcare, industrial, logistics and supply chain. In 2021 he won the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Silver Medal and in 2023 he was elected a Fellow of the Academy.

Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Maxine PurdieMaxine Purdie, Head of Catering and Conferencing, Girton College. Previously Chief Executive Officer, PraxisAuril. For services to Knowledge Exchange.

Prior to joining Girton in 2023 Maxine was the CEO of PraxisAuril, which brings together professionals from the worlds of academia, government and business. During her 20 years of leading the organisation, it grew from offering a single training course to a wider curriculum of courses and other professional services. It also offers connections for more than 5,000 professionals from 182 organisations. We are thrilled that Maxine has chosen to continue her career at Girton.

Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Sarah LingardSarah Lingard (Cobb) SPS, 1998. Deputy Director, Delivery, Projects and Consultancy, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). For services to British Foreign Policy and to The Coronation of Their Majesties The King and The Queen.

Sarah joined Girton in 1998 to read Social and Political Sciences. After graduating Sarah worked in the charitable and Not for Profit Health Sector, before joining the Civil Service in 2008. She worked for the Cabinet Office and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport before transferring to the Diplomatic Service. Sarah holds postgraduate qualifications from qualifications in Strategy, Marketing and Communications (CIM) from BPP University Law School and Cranfield Business School, and a master’s degree in Art History from Birkbeck, University of London.

Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Jon McGohJonathan McGoh (McIntosh) Classics, 1999. Chair and Co-Founder, The Reach Foundation and Co-Founder and Trustee, Reach Academy Feltham, London Borough of Hounslow. For services to Education.

Jon studied Classics at Girton from 1999–2002. Soon after graduating Jon founded Reach Cambridge to run summer schools and study abroad experiences for international students. In 2008, after completing year abroad at McGill University studying social entrepreneurship, Jon set up The Reach Foundation, a charity focused on addressing educational disadvantage. From this launchpad Jon and two co-founders established Reach Academy in Feltham, an ‘all-through’ free school serving a community of social need. The school opened its doors in 2012 and soon after received an “Outstanding” Ofsted rating and achieved the 16th best progress score in the country in its first set of examinations. Preparations are now underway for a second school, Reach Academy Hanworth Park. Jon chairs the board of The Reach Foundation, which runs local initiatives alongside schools such as the Feltham Convening Partnership and Family Hubs. The Foundation also runs a variety of national initiatives including school leadership training programmes and a network of cradle-to-career partnerships as well as incubating innovative organisations with national impact such as Oak National Academy and Languages for All.

Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Liza Barry, Natural Sciences, 2001.  Deputy Director, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. For services to National Security.


We welcome hearing about any awards or honours received by Girtonians – please email with your news.