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Dr Cary Adams: oration

Read Professor Michael Finus' oration on Dr Cary Adams for the honorary degree of Doctor of Education in June 2016.


Vice-Chancellor, it gives me great pleasure to introduce to you and the congregation Dr Cary Adams who serves as a national and international role model for young people how to combine a successful career in the business sector with a leading role of a very important Non-governmental Organisation (NGO), the Union of International Cancer Control.

Born in London, Cary Adams received a BSc Honours degree in Economics, Computing and Statistics in 1985 and a Masters degree (with Distinction) in Business Administration in 2002, both from the University of Bath. He is a Harvard Business School Alumni having attended the School’s Executive General Management programme in 2003. In 2014, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in International Relations from the University for Business and International Studies in Geneva.

In 1985, Cary was recruited by Lloyds Bank as a graduate trainee. In 2001, Cary took on his first general management responsibilities in the Business Banking division of the bank. He became Managing Director in 2004 on the strength of his vision for turning this division around. This success led to his appointment as Managing Director of International Private Banking for Lloyds TSB Group, headquartered in Geneva. In three years, Cary led the business into strong growth and profitability with high morale, a success that led to his last assignment as Chief Operating Officer of Lloyds TSB Group International Banking in London in 2008.

In 2009, Cary was appointed to his current position as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). He was chosen above candidates with considerable NGO experience. “The final choice was a unanimous one,” said UICC president, Professor David Hill who was confident that they had “chosen a leader with outstanding capacity to build the organisation, commensurate with the challenge of the global cancer crisis.”

Today, as CEO of the Union for International Cancer Control, Cary heads an organisation with over 870 members in 155 countries, featuring the world’s major cancer societies, ministries of health and patient groups and he liaises with influential policy makers, researchers and experts in cancer prevention and control. Among other activities, Cary advises the World Economic Forum, the Clinton Global Initiative and many international corporates wishing to become global health leaders. Cary and his team focus on global advocacy to deliver the World Cancer Declaration targets by 2025, running worldwide programmes that address key cancer issues and using the organisation’s membership reach to bring about the exchange of best practice between countries.

Thanks to Cary and his team at the UICC, cancer is now at the centre of discussions and debates at the UN and the Members States’ annual World Health Assemblies. In recent years, Cary’s team have secured a global commitment that no-one should die in unbearable, avoidable pain. And this year, they secured agreement from the World Health Assembly to increase the number of recommended essential drugs for cancer from 30 to 46. The UICC is considered as a forward thinking opinion leader, hosting for instance the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit with three leading United Nations Agencies every year at a different location around the world.

Cary is also Chair of the Non-communicable Diseases (NCD) Alliance, a coalition of around 2,000 organisations working on non-communicable diseases, which include cancer, diabetes, heart, respiratory, mental and neurological diseases. This has grown to be the largest Alliance of its kind in the world in only 5 years.

Vice-Chancellor, I present to you Dr Cary Adams, who is eminently worthy to receive the degree of Doctor of Health, honoris causa.

Professor Michael Finus

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