LAFF Society


A Nation’s Honors For LAFF Members


Dr. Natalia Kanem and Sir Gordon Conway
Natalia Kanem received the Order of Belisario Porras, in the degree of Grand Officer, from the government of Panama as “yet another of capable, prepared women who make a difference and who devote their time, effort and knowledge to achieve a better society”. 
Dr. Kanem, who was born in Panama, is the Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director (Programme) of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). She worked at the Foundation from 1992 to 2005 in the Lagos office in West Africa, in management services in New York and in the Peace and Social Justice Program.
In conferring the honor, it was noted that throughout her 30-year career “she has occupied important positions of leadership in the fields of medicine, public and reproductive health, social justice and philanthropy with significant contributions at a global level.” 
She received the award in the Bolivar Palace in Panama City as her 96-year-old mother looked on.
Sir Gordon Conway was awarded the Founder’s Royal Medal of the Royal Geographical Society for the “enhancement and promotion of agricultural development in Asia and Africa”. 
Sir Gordon, a former president of the society, was honored as “a world leader in international development and one of the world’s foremost experts on food security and the sustainable development of agricultural land. For over 50 years, Sir Gordon has worked to improve the lives of millions through his pioneering research, leadership of major organizations, and advice to government on sustainable development”.
During those decades of work, he spent four years, from 1988 to 1992, pursuing his activities as the Foundation’s representative in New Delhi.  
The award, given by the society since 1830, is part of a series that is approved by the reigning monarch and known since its inception as being among the highest honors in the world.
“Although by training and experience I am an agricultural ecologist, I am an applied geographer at heart,” Sir Gordon said on receiving the award. “My mother was a geography school teacher, so the subject is in my genes.”



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