Nicholas Lawson, director of field human resources for "Doctors without Borders/ "Médecins sans Frontières" (MSF), will receive an honorary degree from Eastern at its 124rd Commencement Exercises on May 13 at the XL Center in Hartford. Lawson began working for MSF in 1997 as a logistical and administrative expert in a project in southern Sudan during that country's brutal civil war. Since then, he has held 11 other positions within the organization, which have taken him on humanitarian missions across the globe to Afghanistan, Burundi, East Timor, Pakistan, Kenya and elsewhere.
Last year in Uganda, Lawson coordinated MSF's response to the Kamango/Bundibugyo refugee crisis on the Uganda/Congo border. In 2011, he coordinated a similar mission to provide HIV-related hospital care to the population of the Chiradzulu district in Malawi. Over the years, Lawson has traveled to and coordinated humanitarian and medical relief efforts in a number of other countries in response to natural disasters, refugee situations, the AIDS pandemic and other health emergencies.