Open Knowledge Foundation CEO Catherine Stihler awarded OBE

Catherine Stihler is made an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) by the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace

Catherine Stihler is made an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) by the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace. PRESS ASSOCIATION. Photo credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Our chief executive Catherine Stihler has been awarded an OBE by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.

She was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her service to politics.

Yesterday, Catherine took part in the investiture at Buckingham Palace, watched on by her proud family.

Catherine said: “It was an immense honour to receive this recognition and be awarded an OBE by Prince William.

“When I entered the European Parliament as Britain’s youngest MEP 20 years ago it was because I believed in public service as a force for good. That’s something I still passionately believe today.

“At the Open Knowledge Foundation I continue to fight to improve politics, tackling disinformation and lies and working towards a future that is fair, free and open.

“The overwhelming majority of people who choose public service do so to improve lives for their communities, and we should never lose sight of that.”

Catherine has been chief executive of the Open Knowledge Foundation since February 2019. Prior to this, she represented Scotland as a Member of the European Parliament for Labour since 1999. As Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, she worked on digital policy, prioritising the digital single market, digital skills, better accessibility of digital products for the disabled, as well as citizen online data protection and privacy. As leader and founder of the All-Party Library Group she promoted and advocated for the importance of libraries and how libraries can remain relevant in the new digital age.

Born in Bellshill in 1973, Catherine was educated at Coltness High School, Wishaw and St Andrews University, where she was awarded a MA (Hons) Geography and International Relations (1996), and a MLitt in International Security Studies (1998). Before becoming a MEP, Catherine served as President of St Andrews University Students Association (1994-1995) and worked in the House of Commons for Dame Anne Begg MP (1997-1999). She has a Master of Business Administration from the Open University, and in 2018 was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of St Andrews. Catherine was elected to serve as the 52nd Rector of the University of St Andrews between 2014 and 2017.