Prior to heading ARUA – a network of 16 of Africa’s flagship universities – Professor Aryeetey was vice-chancellor of the University of Ghana (UG) (2010-16), director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research at UG (2003-10) and the first director of the Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institution, Washington DC. An economist, he has also held academic appointments at Soas, University of London, Yale University and Swarthmore College in the US. He is a member of the governing council of the United Nations University.
Phil Baty is a leading international authority on university performance and strategy, with more than 22 years of experience in global higher education, including a decade as editor of the prestigious Times Higher Education World University Rankings and its derivative analyses. He is an award-winning journalist, a sought-after speaker and commentator, and the creator of the THE World Academic Summits.
Before joining UCL in 2014, Dame Nicola was a British diplomat at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She was British High Commissioner to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland (2009-13). Currently, she also supervises UCL’s Institute of Education and is the gender equality champion on UCL’s senior management team. She was director-general Europe at the FCO in 2004 for the UK’s last presidency of the EU, and from 2007 to 2009 was the first chief executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Professor Casals took up his current position at Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona (UPF) in 2013, having previously served as executive vice-president of the university’s Continuing Education Institute, vice-rector for teaching staff and vice-rector for postgraduate and doctoral studies. He is also a full professor of Philosophy and a senior fellow of the Institute for Catalan Studies.
Jean Chambaz was president of Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC) from 2012-17, prior to which he was vice-president of research and vice-president of ways and means. He was also head of endocrine biochemistry at La Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital. In 1999, he created a joint UPMC–INSERM (French National Institute of Health and Medical Research) research unit in the field of metabolism and intestinal differentiation. Other roles include member of the European University Association board (2015-18), president of the Coordination of French Research-Intensive Universities (2014-18) and head of the League of European Research Universities (2018).
Youngsuk “YS” Chi is a leader in the media and technology industry and currently serves Elsevier and RELX Group in several capacities. His primary role is as director of corporate affairs and Asia strategy for RELX Group, Elsevier’s parent company, and he is also non-executive chairman of Elsevier. In addition, he has served as chair of the Association of American Publishers, president of the International Publishers Association and on dozens of charitable, educational and industry boards, including Princeton University, the Korean American Community Foundation and McCarter Theater.
Sara Custer is digital editor at THE. She has covered global higher education as a journalist for more than five years. Before joining THE in 2017, she was editor of international education website and magazine, The PIE News.
Ronald Daniels took office in 2009 as the 14th president of Johns Hopkins University. Under his leadership, Johns Hopkins continues its pre-eminence in education, patient care and innovative discovery, and has received more competitively allocated federal research funding than any other university in the US for more than 38 years. Prior to his appointment, he served as provost of the University of Pennsylvania and dean and professor of law at the University of Toronto. In 2013, he unveiled “Ten by Twenty,” a set of priorities to guide the university through the remainder of the decade.
Dr Diamond began her presidency at OCAD – Ontario College of Art and Design – in 2005. A computer scientist and research leader in data visualisation and new media art, she led OCAD University to retain its traditional strengths in art and design, while transforming the university to become a leader in STEAM+D. She collaborated with Indigenous colleagues to develop the Indigenous Visual Culture Programme, with correlative prioritisation of Indigenous knowledge and culture at OCAD. A city-builder, she established OCAD University Richmond Street Campus, a Category A gallery and the transformation of McCaul Street’s refurbished and new Creative City Campus.
Vice-president of product management, funding and content analysis
M'hamed el Aisati has held his current position in the research management unit of Elsevier since 2012. He leads a team that looks after content and analytical services, supporting large research performance evaluation programmes and rankings. After joining the company in 1998, he contributed to the realisation of its first digital journals platform, which preceded ScienceDirect, and in 2004 he helped launch Scopus. El Aisati was granted a master’s in computer sciences from the University of Amsterdam. He has published several papers in peer-reviewed journals and holds two patents.
Richard Florida is a professor at the Rotman School of Management and the School of Cities at the University of Toronto. Previously, he has held professorships at Carnegie Mellon, George Mason and Ohio State universities, and taught as a visiting professor at Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research provides unique, data-driven insight into the social, economic and demographic factors that drive the 21st-century world economy. He is the author of many books including The Rise of the Creative Class and numerous book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed academic journals.
Professor Fujii is in charge of finance and external relations at the University of Tokyo. He served as associate professor in the university’s Institute of Industrial Science (IIS). He worked at the Riken Institute for four years before returning to IIS where he was promoted to full professor in 2007 and served as director-general (2015-18). He also served as an adviser to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (2005-07) and was co-director of LIMMS-CNRS/IIS (2007-14), a joint research laboratory between CNRS (the French National Centre for Scientific Research) and IIS.
Professor Gertler is one of the world’s foremost authorities on cities, innovation and economic change. He has advised governments in Canada, the US and Europe, and such international agencies as the OECD and the European Union. He chairs the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities, co-chairs the Business/Higher Education Roundtable and serves on the board of the Hospital for Sick Children, MaRS Discovery District – a not-for-profit corporation that commercialises publicly funded medical research and other technologies – and Universities Canada. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a member of the Order of Canada.
John Gill has been editor of Times Higher Education since March, 2012. He has previously held roles as news editor, deputy news editor and reporter with the magazine. John has been closely involved in the development of THE’s World University Rankings portfolio over the last eight years, and was called to give evidence to the recent parliamentary inquiry into teaching metrics.
Geoffrey Hinton is a vice-president and engineering fellow at Google, chief scientific adviser of the Vector Institute, and an emeritus distinguished professor at the University of Toronto. He was one of the researchers who introduced the back-propagation algorithm and the first to use back-propagation for learning word embeddings. His other neural network research includes Boltzmann machines, distributed representations, time-delay neural nets, mixtures of experts, variational learning and deep learning. His research group at the University of Toronto made major breakthroughs in deep learning that revolutionised speech recognition and object classification. He recently received the ACM Turing Award.
Prior to his current role at CEU in Budapest, Michael Ignatieff served as chair of press, politics and public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School in the US. An international commentator on democracy, human rights and governance, Professor Ignatieff is also an award-winning writer, teacher, former politician and historian with a deep knowledge of Central and Eastern Europe. He has held academic posts at the universities of Cambridge, Toronto and British Columbia. In 2006-11, he served as an MP in the Canadian Parliament and was leader of the Liberal Party.
Dr Lachemi was appointed to his current role in 2016. An internationally recognised researcher and accomplished academic administrator, he has been a key contributor to the growth of Ryerson over a transformational time in the university’s history. As president, he has contributed to the success of the DMZ – Ryerson’s business incubator for early-stage technology start-ups – and has overseen the development of Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst, a national centre for cybersecurity. He is a member of the National Research Council of Canada, fellow of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering and fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.
Before taking up his current position in 2018, Peter Lennie served as provost at the University of Rochester, New York, and also as dean of its Faculty of Arts, Sciences and Engineering. In these roles he drove a major expansion of the university’s international engagement. He retains an appointment as Jay Last distinguished university professor. Before joining Rochester, he was dean for science at New York University. His research as a neuroscientist has focused on the visual system and has contributed notably to our understanding of how information about colour is represented in the brain.
Dr Lenton is the eighth president and vice-chancellor of York University, Toronto. She joined York in 2002 as dean of the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies, and went on to serve as vice-provost (academic) and then vice-president (academic) and provost. A champion of community engagement and innovative partnerships, she has significantly expanded York’s institutional collaborations with government, business, community organisations and other post-secondary education partners. A sociologist by training, her areas of teaching and research expertise include gender, family conflict, research methods and higher education.
Professor Miller, an expert on urban and intellectual history, took up his current role at Palacký University – his alma mater – in 2014. He is a former director of the Historical Institute at Palacký. He has held academic research posts in high-ranking universities worldwide and received numerous prestigious scholarships. Since 2012, he has served as the ambassador of the Fulbright Commission in the Czech Republic.
Principal and vice-chancellor, University of Glasgow
Chair, Russell Group
In his current role since 2009, Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli fulfilled the same role at Heriot-Watt University from 2007-09. He is chair of the Russell Group of UK universities, and of the Scottish Government’s Standing Council on Europe, a non-political group that provides expert advice to Scottish ministers on protecting Scotland’s relationship with the EU. He also chairs the Commission on Economic Growth for the Glasgow City Region and is a member of the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisers. His research interests are monetary economics, central bank independence, fiscal policy, international finance and macroeconomics.
Dr Ofulue is an associate professor of linguistics and former director of research administration and advancement at the National Open University of Nigeria. She joined NOUN in 2005 and has served in various capacities including as acting dean of the School of Arts and Social Sciences, and as foundation head of the Quality Assurance Unit. She has coordinated and facilitated several capacity-building initiatives on different aspects of open and e-learning. Her research interests are sociolinguistics and contact languages with focus on the study of language use in multilingual contexts and in technologically mediated contexts.
Angela Owusu-Ansah was educated in Ghana, Spain and the US, and is provost and full professor at Ashesi University. Previously, she served as faculty chair of dissertation research and an innovation fellow at Concordia University in Montreal, and as associate dean of the School of Education at Elon University in the US. Prior to this, she served as assistant dean and associate professor at Samford University in Alabama. Her research interests include the assessment of the impact of quantitative literacy on student learning outcomes, African women higher education leaders and intercultural understanding.
Professor Phakeng, a National Research Foundation B1 rated scientist, took on the role of vice-chancellor at the University of Cape Town in July 2018, having previously been the deputy vice-chancellor for research and internationalisation. She joined UCT from the University of South Africa where she was vice-principal for research and innovation (2011-16) and, before that, dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. She is an internationally renowned educator and mathematics education researcher, and has won numerous awards for her research and community work.
Dr Rajagopal leads efforts to empower and catalyse the use of digital technologies to augment and transform how MIT teaches, and to share the best of MIT knowledge and perspectives with learners around the globe. He joined MIT in 1997 and his theoretical physics research focuses on how quarks behave in the extraordinary conditions of the microseconds-old universe. His work links nuclear and particle physics, condensed matter physics, astrophysics and string theory. He is the author of more than 100 papers and was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2004.
Duncan Ross has been a data miner since the mid-1990s. As director of data and analytics at THE, he oversees a team that generates university rankings and related data products. Prior to this, he led Teradata’s data science team in Europe and Asia, where he was responsible for developing analytical solutions across a number of industries, including warranty and root-cause analysis in manufacturing and social network analysis in telecommunications.
Dame Nancy Rothwell became professor of physiology in 1994 and held a Medical Research Council research chair from 1998 to 2010. Concurrent with her faculty posts, she has also been vice-president of research (2004-07) and deputy president and deputy vice-chancellor (2007-10). Her ongoing research in the field of neuroscience has contributed towards major advances in the understanding and treatment of brain damage in stroke and head injury. She takes a strong and active interest in the public communication of science, and was appointed DBE in June 2005 in recognition of her services to science.
A thoughtful leader and an advocate for the world’s most vulnerable, Reeta Roy has built a foundation that is collaborative and known for its lasting impact. During her tenure, Mastercard Foundation has committed US$2.6 billion to education, skills training and financial inclusion programmes, primarily in Africa. Those programmes have reached 38 million people living in poverty, so they can improve their lives and the circumstances of their families and communities. Reeta’s childhood in Malaysia helped her to develop her capacity to listen and the empathy with which she approaches the foundation’s work.
AnnaLee Saxenian is professor of regional development at the University of California, Berkeley. She was dean of the School of Information from 2004-19. She is author of Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128 (1994) and The New Argonauts: Regional Advantage in a Global Economy (2006) and has published widely in journals of economic geography, regional development and industrial change. She chaired the Advisory Committee for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences at the National Science Foundation from 2010-15.
Dr Spence has been in his current role since 2008. Under his leadership, the University of Sydney has forged a distinctive strategy focused on the transformation of undergraduate education, promoting interdisciplinary research, and strengthening the culture around its core values. Dr Spence was instrumental in leading the university’s A$1 billion “Inspired” philanthropic campaign. In 2017, he was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia. Before joining the University of Sydney, he spent 20 years at the University of Oxford and latterly headed the Faculty of Law and the Social Sciences Division.
Professor Tan took up his post in January 2018. He is the university’s fifth president and the 23rd leader to head Singapore’s oldest higher education institution. A pioneer architect of the current academic system at NUS, Professor Tan has seeded many initiatives such as the Special Programme in Science, University Scholars Programme, University Town College Programme, Grade-free Year and Technology-enhanced Education.
Vicki Thomson was appointed chief executive of the Group of Eight – Australia’s eight leading research-intensive universities – in January 2015. Prior to this, she was executive director of the Australian Technology Network of Universities. Ms Thomson’s diverse media, political and policy background includes print and electronic journalism, politics, issue management and the higher education sector. She has also been chief of staff to a South Australian Premier. She is a board member of the European Australian Business Council and is a member of the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan Reference Group.
Professor Toope was appointed vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge in 2017. He was previously director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, and president and vice-chancellor of the University of British Columbia. He publishes and lectures around the globe on international dispute resolution, international environmental law, human rights, and international legal theory. He also served as chair of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, and as fact-finder for the Commission of Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials in relation to Maher Arar.
Marijk van der Wende’s research in the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance focuses on the impact of globalisation and internationalisation on higher education systems, institutions, curricula, and teaching and learning arrangements. She is also an affiliate faculty and research associate at the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California Berkeley and guest professor and member of the International Advisory Board of the Graduate School of Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. She is a member of the Academia Europaea and has been a chair and member of numerous national and international advisory committees and editorial boards.
Shuaiguo Wang is the chief operating officer at XuetangX, the first Mooc (massive open online course) platform in China founded by Tsinghua University in 2013. Prior to joining XuetangX, he was responsible for research in digital learning at Tsinghua. His Mooc has been awarded the National Mooc of China, with more than 70,000 enrolments. In 2015, he founded Rain Classroom, claimed to be the most active teaching tool for higher education in China, with more than 20 million users. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in computer science from Tsinghua University.
Henrik Wegener – in his current role since March 2017 – is an expert on food safety, zoonoses, antimicrobial resistance and emerging infectious diseases. He has served as adviser to national and international authorities and governments (including as chair of the High-Level Group of the EC Scientific Advice Mechanism), international organisations and private companies, and universities and research foundations. He has also served, and is presently serving, on several national and international committees and boards on food safety, veterinary public health and research policy. In addition, he is a former pro-rector at the Technical University of Denmark.
Tassew Woldehanna, a professor of economics, is president of Addis Ababa University. As a development economist, his main interests are fiscal incidence, child welfare and poverty, employment, micro and small-scale enterprise development, entrepreneurship and food security. He has published several book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals on poverty, education and health. He is an active researcher and is currently leading several projects in Ethiopia. He is a chair and board member of several organisations including the Ethiopian Higher Education Relevance and Quality Agency and Lion International Bank.
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