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  • Jocelyne Gacel-Ávila

    Jocelyne Gacel-Avila holds a PH.D in International Education, presently vice-dean for social sciences and humanities, tenured researcher at the University of Guadalajara (Mexico) and a member of the national research system of Mexico. UNESCO Chair on “Internationalization of Higher Education and Global Citizenship”; President of the Consultative Board of the Mexican Association of International Education. Recipient of the CONAHEC Award of Distinction for her contribution to academic cooperation in North America and the AMPEI Award for her contribution to the Internationalization of Mexican Higher Education. Considered the expert in the internationalization of Latin America and the Caribbean.

  • Meg Harris

    Meg Harris works as IAU Communications and Media Officer. Prior to beginning her current position, she interned at the IAU. She has a masters degree from Sciences Po Paris School of International Affairs in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action with concentrations in the human right to education and project management. She has previously worked with numerous education-oriented NGOs to grow the access and quality of education in various environments. Meg grew up in the United States, but she has been living in France for the last five years. She speaks English and French.

  • Renée Barata Zicman

    Renée Barata Zicman is Executive-Director of the Brazilian Association for International Education (FAUBAI) and a former Professor in the School of Social Sciences at Pontifical Catholic University of Sao Paulo PUC-SP (1980-2017). She is the author of books and articles on the internationalisation of higher education and has been a member of the Academic Committee of the Latin American Memorial Foundation. She has been named Chevalier (Knight, 2020) of the Order of the Légion d’Honneur, the highest French decoration, and Officier (Officer, 2012) and Chevalier (Knight, 2002) of the French Order of the Palmes Académiques. She has served as Director for International Affairs at PUC-SP (1994-2012) and Vice-President of the Franco-Brazilian Center of Technical and Scientific Documentation (2010-2015). In addition, she has taken part in various programmes and projects focusing on the internationalisation of higher education and the Brazilian national internationalisation strategy.

  • Marcelo Knobel

    Marcelo Knobel was the Rector of the University of Campinas (Unicamp) in Brazil from 2017 to 2021, where he is a Full Professor of Physics (see He held other leadership roles, including: Executive Director of the Unicamp Exploratory Science Museum, Vice-Rector for Undergraduate Programs, Vice-President of the Brazilian Physics Society, President of Insper and Executive Director of the Brazilian Nanotechnology National Laboratory (LNNano).

    Knobel has already published more than 300 scientific papers, in addition to numerous opinion pieces in both national and international newspapers and magazines. He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials (Elsevier). Knobel is an Eisenhower Fellow (2007), Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2009) and Lemann Fellow (2015). He is a Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, Member (elect) of the Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science (SBPC) and Member (elect) of the Governing Council of the Magna Charta Observatory.

  • Stephen Sterling

    Dr. Stephen Sterling is Emeritus Professor of Sustainability Education at the Centre for Sustainable Futures, University of Plymouth, UK. A former Senior Advisor to the UK Higher Education Academy on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), and a National Teaching Fellow (NTF), he has worked in environmental and sustainability education in the academic and NGO fields nationally and internationally for some four decades, including as a consultant and advisor on on UNESCO’S Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) programmes. Widely published, he was co-chair of the UNESCO-Japan Prize on ESD International Jury 2015-19, and is a Distinguished Fellow of the Schumacher Institute. At Plymouth University, he led whole institutional change towards sustainability.

  • Hans de Wit

    Hans de Wit is Professor Emeritus of the Practice, Distinguished Fellow and Former Director (2015-2020) of the Center for International Higher Education, Boston College, USA. Before joining CIHE, he was Director of the ‘Centre for Higher Education Internationalisation’ (CHEI) at the Università Cattolica Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy, and Professor of Internationalization of Higher Education at the Amsterdam, University of Applied Sciences. He was Vice-President for International Affairs of the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1996-2003.

    He is founding member and past president of the European Association for International Education (EAIE). He is Founding Editor of the ‘Journal of Studies in International Education’ (SAGE), Consulting Editor of the journal Policy Reviews in Higher Education, Associate Editor of International higher Education, and Co-editor book series ‘ Global Perspectives in Higher Education, Sense Publishers.

    He publishes a blog in University World News, He has (co)written books and articles on international education and is actively involved in assessment and consultancy in international education, for organisations like the European Commission, UNESCO, World Bank, IMHE/OECD, IAU, European Parliament. In 2021 he received the North Star Medal of Lifetime Achievement (A. Noam Chomsky Global Connections Awards) of STARScholars, society of transnational Academic Researchers.

  • Diana Camelia Iancu

    Dr. Diana-Camelia Iancu holds a PhD in public administration (2008) and is senior lecturer in comparative public management at the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (Bucharest, Romania). She has previously worked for Radboud University, Nijmegen School of Management (the Netherlands) and assumed different academic assignments in Slovenia, France, Spain, USA and Greece. Since 2012 she is the Dean of the Faculty of Public Administration at the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Romania). Diana has worked as a quality assurance expert for the European Association for Public Administration Accreditation (EAPAA) and the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ARACIS) and starting with 2018 she serves a four years mandate as an independent expert of the Group on the European Charter of Local Self-Government of the Council of Europe. Her research interests include political-administrative relations in transitional democracies, local government development and sustainability in higher education. In preparation for the IAU 2020 General Conference, she contributes to the creation of the “IAU at 70” celebration publication.

  • Isabel Toman

    Isabel Toman is working as Programme Officer for Sustainable Development at the International Association of Universities (IAU), based in Paris at UNESCO. Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD) forms one of the four strategic priorities of the Association. Amongst Isabel’s tasks at the IAU are the coordination of the IAU Global HESD Cluster, communicating with Members and partners on HESD, and creating content for the HESD Portal, as well as working on related events and publications. More recently, she coordinated the work on the 3rd IAU HESD Global Survey, conducted in 2022, with the report published in January 2023. Before coming to the IAU in 2019 and taking up her current position in 2020, she gained international experience during work placements in the higher education sector in Mexico and Germany, and her studies (politics, international relations, languages) in Germany, Spain and the UK.

  • Andreas Corcoran

    Dr. Andreas Corcoran took up the position as Deputy Secretary General of the International Association of Universities in 2019.

    For the last two decades, Dr. Corcoran has taken an interest in the role universities play in society – history, present, future. He is a keen believer in the transformative power of higher education as a driver of global development. He sees diversity, academic freedom and integrity as prerequisites for any form of academic enterprise and as the bedrock of progress. He is therefore proud to share the IAU’s mission and to be part of the IAU’s global network committed to the shaping of international higher education policy and the formation of a truly global scientific community.

    As Deputy Secretary General, he contributes to the organisation’s institutional development, the conceptual design of the IAU strategic plan, takes the lead on the thematic priority ‘Value-based leadership’, and the IAU cooperation with partners and members. He oversees the IAU university leadership programme and the strategic development of the reference publications, including the World Higher Education Database.

    Prior to joining the IAU, Dr. Corcoran was Director of Higher Education at SOFIA in Rome where he managed the higher education portfolio in charge of the financial, academic and institutional development of a university in Tanzania - spanning across strategy, governance, recruitment, and internationalisation.

    Previously, Dr. Corcoran worked for the University of Kent in the UK, the Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt Foundation and the German Historical Museum in Berlin. Dr. Corcoran has published and lectured on university management, history and epistemic culture and holds a PhD in intellectual history from the European University Institute in Florence and a Master’s degree in Reformation and Enlightenment Studies from Trinity College Dublin.

  • Jessica Huang

    Jessica Huang holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Shanghai Normal University and studied English at Shanghai International Studies University. After 8 years working experience in client services & events in the hotel industry in Singapore and China, Jessica joined IAU in 2019, as Assistant to the Secretary General and as Assistant, IAU Administration. In addition to her mother tongue Chinese, she speaks English, French and Cantonese.

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