Fiona McConnell awarded prestigious geography prize

Catz Fellow Fiona McConnell, Associate Professor in Human Geography, has been awarded the prestigious Back Award by the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers).

The award is presented annually ‘for applied or scientific geographical studies which make an outstanding contribution to the development of national or international public policy’.

Dr McConnell’s research focuses on how communities that are officially excluded from formal state politics nevertheless engage with statecraft. Recent work has included studying the challenges faced by diplomats from stateless communities advocating at the UN, analysing the training of diplomats from postcolonial African states and trying to understand conflict mediation in mining-affected regions in Mongolia and Central Asia.

Fiona has received the award for her ‘outstanding scholarship underpinned by a commitment to shape public policy in geopolitical settings’.

Commenting, Fiona said: ‘I am honoured and delighted to receive the Back Award, and do so in recognition of the representatives of stateless, minority and indigenous communities who I’ve had the privilege of working closely in seeking to make their voices heard on the international stage.’

The Back Award was first presented in 1882 and is named in honour of the notable British Arctic explorer Admiral Sir George Back.

It is given alongside a series of other annual awards by the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers), the UK’s learned society for geography and professional body for geographers.

See the full list of winners of this year’s medals and awards.