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Susan Kilsby, Chairman of Shire plc, awarded honorary degree from City University London

Susan Saltzbart Kilsby has been awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of her outstanding business leadership and contribution to higher education.

by Kyla Njoku (Senior Communications Officer)

Susan Saltzbart Kilsby, Chairman of Shire plc awarded honorary degree from City University London

Susan Saltzbart Kilsby has been awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of her outstanding business leadership and contribution to higher education. She received the Doctor of Science honoris causa from the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Paul Curran, at the graduation ceremony for students who attended the University’s Cass Business School.

Susan Kilsby is Chairman of Shire plc, a top 20 FTSE100 business that focuses on developing and delivering innovative therapies for people with rare diseases and highly specialised conditions. In her position as Chairman, she has overseen the organisation’s strongest period of growth. She steered the business through a $50 billion hostile bid in 2014 and recently concluded a successful $35 billion cross-border deal to buy US company Baxalta, thereby creating the largest global biotech company focused on rare diseases. This was the largest of several acquisitions which Shire completed during her tenure.

Susan Kilsby has played a key role in higher education in the US and the UK. She is a member of Wellesley College's Business Leadership Council. She also serves on the Board of Advisors of the Gordon A. Rich Foundation, previously served on the Board of the Yale School of Management and is a Senior Visiting Fellow and Chair of the Mergers & Acquisitions Research Centre at Cass Business School.

She was the first woman to lead a mergers and acquisitions business for a major Wall Street investment bank, and is the first female non-executive Director to join the board of Goldman Sachs International from outside the firm. During her banking career, she was recognised by both Forbes and Financial News as one of the Top Women in Finance.

Susan Saltzbart Kilsby, honorary graduate said, “It’s with great pride and honour that I receive this degree from City University London, reflecting my commitment to leadership in business and higher education. I wish this august institution and its graduates the greatest success in the future.”

Professor Sir Paul Curran, Vice-Chancellor of City University London commented, “It gives me tremendous pleasure to present Susan with an honorary degree from City University London. Susan is an exceptional leader who has enjoyed a distinguished career in finance and continues to lead organisations to great success at board level. This degree recognises Susan’s outstanding business leadership and contribution to higher education.”

Professor Marianne Lewis, Dean of Cass Business School said, "It is a delight to award Susan Saltzbart Kilsby an honorary degree at the Cass graduation ceremony. Susan is an integral part of Cass faculty as both Senior Visiting Fellow and Chair of the Mergers & Acquisitions Research Centre. She has been instrumental in the success of the research centre, helping to keep its work relevant and cutting edge and securing its place as the first of its kind in a UK business school.”

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.