UN Scientific Advisory Board Named

Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil, addresses the inaugural meeting of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. (UN Photo/Amanda Voisard)

In September, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced that he had decided to to create a Scientific Advisory Board to inform the debate on sustainable development. The announcement was made at the inaugural meeting of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.  The Director-General of UNESCO was asked to establish the Board and UNESCO to host its Secretariat.

Now 26 members of the Board have been named. Board members will act in their personal capacity and will provide advice on a strictly independent basis. They will serve pro bono for two years, with the possibility of renewal for one further two-year term, upon the decision of the Secretary-General. The first session of the Board will be held at the beginning of 2014.

Gretchen Kalonji, UNESCO’s assistant director-general for natural sciences at UNESCO, told SciDev.Net that “it was still too early to say how much the advisory board would cost, who would fund it, or how the proposed chief scientific adviser would liaise between the board and the secretary-general.”

The members of the Scientific Advisory Board are:

  • Tanya Abrahamse (South Africa), CEO, South African National Biodiversity Institute;
  • Susan Avery (United States of America), President and Director, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution;
  • Hilary McDonald Beckles (Barbados), Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal, University of the West Indies;
  • Joji Cariño (Philippines), Director, Forest Peoples Programme;
  • Rosie Cooney (Australia), Visiting Fellow, University of Sciences, Sydney;
  • Abdallah Daar (Oman), Professor of Public Health, University of Toronto, Canada;
  • Gebisa Ejeta (Ethiopia), Professor of Agronomy, Purdue University, United States;
  • Vladimir Fortov (Russian Federation), President of the Russian Academy of Sciences (see also);
  • Fabiola Gianotti (Italy), Research physicist and former Coordinator of ATLAS Experiment, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland;Ke Gong (China), President of Nankai University;
  • Jörg Hinrich Hacker (Germany), President, German National Academy of Sciences – Leopoldina;
  • Maria Ivanova (Bulgaria), Professor of Global Governance, University of Massachusetts, United States;
  • Eugenia Kalnay (Argentina), Professor of Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences, University of Maryland, Unites States;
  • Eva Kondorosi (Hungary), Research Professor, Biological Research Centre, Academy of Sciences of Hungary;
  • Reiko Kuroda (Japan), Professor, Research Institute for Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science;
  • Dong-Pil Min (Republic of Korea), Emeritus Professor, Seoul National University;
  • Carlos Nobre (Brazil), Senior Climate Scientist, National Secretary for R&D Policies;Rajendra Kumar Pachauri (India), Director-General, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI); Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – Nobel Laureate for Peace;
  • Shankar Sastry (United States of America), Dean, College of Engineering, University of California, Berkeley;
  • Hayat Sindi (Saudi Arabia), Founder and CEO, Institute of Imagination and Ingenuity;
  • Wole Soboyejo (Nigeria), President, African University of Science and Technology (AUST), Garki;
  • Laurence Tubiana (France), Director, Institute of Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), Paris;
  • Judi Wakhungu (Kenya), Professor of Energy Resources Management, First Cabinet Secretary, Ministry for Environment, Water and Natural Resources;
  • Ada Yonath (Israel), Director, Helen and Milton A. Kimmelman Centre for Biomolecular Structure and Assembly, Weizmann Institute of Sciences; Nobel Laureate in Chemistry;
  • Abdul Hamid Zakri (Malaysia), Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia; Chair, Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES);
  • Ahmed Zewail· (Egypt), Director, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, United States; Nobel Laureate in Chemistry.


About the Author

John Daly

John Daly is the former director of the USAID Office of Research and instructor at George Washington University on UNESCO. His professional background is in promoting the capacity for science and technology in developing nations, especially the applications of information and communications technology. He served as the acting Work Program Administrator of infoDev, and has been a consultant with the RAND Corporation, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and on the Research and Training Network of the Development Gateway. He served as Vice President of Americans for UNESCO from 2005-2012.

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