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Three Somervillians recognised in 2020 Birthday Honours

20th October 2020

Three Somervillians have been recognized for their outstanding acts of public service in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list. 

A number of awards this year were in recognition of the amazing work done by so many during the coronavirus pandemicincluding an OBE for Sacha Romanovitch (1986, Chemistry) 

The first woman to head a major UK accounting house, Romanovitch has been supporting the affordable credit sector during the pandemic as CEO of Fair4All Finance, helping to protect the lifeline they provide to families and small businesses. 

Sonia Phippard (1978, Physics) was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in in recognition of her long career with the Civil Service, including as Director-General, Policy Delivery of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from April 2015 to December 2019.  

I am delighted and humbled to receive the CB, while recognising that all achievements in public service are so dependent on great teamwork,” she said. 

I am also pleased that it celebrates the significant achievements we have made for the environment in the last five years. 

Finally, the entrepreneur Neeta Patel (1980, Chemistry), whose achievements include launching Europe’s first personal finance website in 1996 for Legal and General, was recognised for her work to support the future of British business as CEO of the Centre for Entrepreneurs. 

 “I am deeply honoured to have been awarded this CBE for services to entrepreneurship and technology, both of which have been my passion throughout my working and personal lives” she said. 

 I am lucky to have worked with and continue to support and be supported by some incredibly passionate and talented business people on my team and through our volunteer network.  

 The impact we have made has been very much a group effort. I would like to thank them all.

Neeta Patel

Sacha Romanovitch

Sonia Phippard

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