President of Kosovo receives Durham Doctorate
(4 July 2013)
On Thursday 27 June 2013, Madame Atifete Jahjaga, President of Kosovo, received an honorary doctorate from Durham University for services to her country and post-conflict reconstruction. DGSi’s Executive Director, Dr Jeroen Gunning, gave the oration, listing her many achievements. As Deputy Director of the Kosovo Police, Madame Jahjaga helped to turn the nascent police force, re-established after the Kosovo War of 1999, into one of the country’s most respected institutions. As President, she made combating corruption one of her prime targets and has secured greater international recognition for Kosovo. She is the first female head of state of the modern Balkans and worked hard to promote gender equality in both the police force and the institutions of government more broadly. As President of a predominantly Muslim country, she has invested heavily in ‘interfaith dialogue’ and was the first head of state to visit Decani Monastery, an important pilgrimage site for the Serb Orthodox Church, to celebrate Easter.
In awarding this degree, the University wishes to honour the President for her tireless service to her country, and for the example she sets of public service. It wishes to honour her as the first female President of Kosovo, and as the highest ranking police woman in Southeast Europe. And through honouring her, it also wishes to honour the country of Kosovo, for the way it has re-emerged from the rubble of the Kosovo war and transformed itself into a beacon of hope.