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Dr Randal L Newcomb: oration

Read Professor Sarah White's oration on Dr Randal L Newcomb for the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws in June 2016.


Dr Randal L Newcomb
Dr Randal L Newcomb

Randal Newcomb is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Humanity United, a social investment organisation committed to advancing human freedom and building the conditions for lasting peace in some of the most challenging environments across the world.

Randal took his first degree from Northwest Nazarene University in Idaho, going from there to Fuller Theological Seminary in California. He came to Bath in 1989, graduating with an MSc in Development Studies in 1990. Randal began his career working with troubled young people in downtown San Francisco as the executive director of Golden Gate Community, Inc. He also undertook a doctorate of Education at the University of San Francisco. He then joined the Omidyar Network, a philanthropic foundation established by Pierre and Pam Omidyar, founders of Ebay. He has been President and CEO of Humanity United since 2003.

Under Randal’s leadership, Humanity United combine long term engagement with certain countries and regions – such as South Sudan, Liberia and Nepal – with support for particular initiatives – such as to end forced labour in Thailand’s fishing industry. Combining programmatic grants with direct advocacy, the portfolio is distinguished by a wide range of funding to specific initiatives, targeted interventions which are aimed to make a strategic difference. The portfolio is united by two abiding concerns: to end modern day slavery and trafficking and to combat the political violence and terror that shreds livelihoods and lives.

The name ‘Humanity United’ conveys the core message, that in combating the worst of humanity’s inhumanity, we experience our common identity, such that the actions of one contribute to the outcomes for all. In his frequent, high profile contributions on international human rights issues, Randal Newcomb also stresses the critical combination of strong public policy to set the conditions under which families and communities can flourish, together with actions at the personal and community level, to ensure that potential is realized. Finally, anyone who has met Randal will attest to his personal warmth, approachability, kindness and friendliness.

Randal Newcomb is an outstanding example of commitment to human rights, social justice and positive peace, an inspiration to us all to work harder to find local and global solutions to the challenges our world presents to us.

Chancellor, I present to you Randal L Newcomb, who is eminently worthy to receive the Degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Professor Sarah White

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