A SCOTTISH humanitarian aid and conflict specialist said he is “flabbergasted” at being awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours list.

Glasgow-born civil servant Keith Mackiggan is being recognised for services to International Development after a 20-year career with the Department for International Development (DFID).

Keith was leading the UK’s reconstruction team in Iraq when a colleague was killed in a rocket attack at their Basra base.

He said: “I’m really not sure why I’m getting this honour.

“I basically have imposter syndrome, so I was really surprised but my husband Simon was like ‘Och, of course you deserve it’.

“He’s always very supportive. I was flabbergasted.”

Glasgow Times:

The aid hero is one of almost 1000 UK government staff based at DFID’s joint-headquarters in East Kilbride.

He says that his toughest experience without doubt was a six-month posting to Basra, Iraq in 2008 and 2009.

Keith recalled: “I’ve been to lots of hazardous places but Iraq edges it because there were rockets being fired at the airbase where we lived.

“The worst moment was the rocket attack that killed one of our catering staff, who worked in the compound with me.

“I was there for six months and I’ll be honest, I was scared the whole time.”

Keith’s job has also seen him helping deal with the world’s worst Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone in 2015 and 2016.

Glasgow Times:

He also spearheaded the UK’s response to the drought and famine that hit southern Africa in 2016.

Keith joins a slew of deserving winners to be honoured by the Queen.

Professor Sheila Anne Manson McLean, Professor Emerita of Law and Ethics in Medicine, is being honoured with an OBE for services to Health and to Education.

The Principal of Glasgow University, Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Sheila has been honoured in this way.

“Her work on medical law and ethics has been outstanding and she is a very worthy recipient.

“Many congratulations from all of us at the University of Glasgow.”

Glasgow Times:

Also being made an OBE is actress Maureen Beattie, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland graduate for services to the entertainment industry, having become the second female president of the Equity trade union last year.

As is Catriona Matthew for her work as European Team Captain at the 2019 Solheim Cup.

Nicola Killean, chief executive Sistema Scotland, will also receive an OBE for services to Music, to Children and to Community Cohesion.