Prof. Govindan Parayil joined the United Nations University as a Vice-Rector in August 2008, and was appointed Director of the UNU Institute of Advanced Studies in January 2009. Prior to joining UNU, he had served since 2004 as a full Professor with the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture at the University of Oslo (Norway), where his research focus was on science, technology, innovation and sustainability. He served concurrently as Director of Research and Leader of the Innovation Group for two years.
Prior to that, he was Head of the Information and Communications Management Programme and a member of the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences at the National University of Singapore (2001–2004), and was on the faculty of the Division of Social Sciences of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (1994–2001). His previous academic affiliations include Cornell University, Illinois Institute of Technology and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (USA) and the University of Sulaimaniyah (Iraq).
Vice-Rector Parayil holds a Bachelor of Science degree (Electrical Engineering) from the University of Calicut (India), a Master of Science degree (Science, Technology and Values) from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (USA), a Master of Arts degree (Development Economics) from American University (USA), and a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (USA). He authored Conceptualizing Technological Change (1999), edited Kerala: The Development Experience (2000) and Political Economy and Information Capitalism in India (2006), and has written numerous book chapters and articles in international journals. His co-edited book The New Asian Innovation Dynamics: China and India in Perspective was published in 2009. He is active in research and advocacy work in science, technology and innovation for sustainable societies.