History and Background

Former Rectors
Former Vice-Rectors
Former Council Members
  • In his 1969 Annual Report to the United Nation General Assembly, UN Secretary-General U Thant proposed the creation of a “United Nations University, truly international in character and devoted to the Charter objectives of peace and progress”.

    The General Assembly ordered a feasibility study and appointed a panel of experts to work closely with UNESCO in examining the potential for building such an institution. The panel submitted a report to the UN Economic and Social Council in September 1972, and in December 1972 the General Assembly adopted the decision to establish the United Nations University (UNU), thereby formally establishing the world’s first international university. A Founding Committee then prepared a draft University Charter and Resolution, both of which were approved by the General Assembly in December 1973.

    It was through the generosity of the Government of Japan, which offered to provide headquarters facilities in Tokyo and to contribute US$100 million to establish an endowment fund, that UNU was able to launch its academic work in September 1975.

    The first UNU Council and the University’s first Rector, Dr. James M. Hester, were appointed in 1974, and on 20 January 1975 a formal inauguration ceremony for the University was held at its temporary headquarters building in Tokyo. It was there that UNU’s first priority programme areas — world hunger, natural resources, and human and social development — were framed. These priority areas have been refined and built upon over the ensuing four decades to form the three thematic clusters that UNU pursues today:

    • Peace and Governance
    • Global Development and Inclusion
    • Environment, Climate and Energy

    Since official commencement of its academic activities in 1975, UNU has worked to live up to its role as an international university by expanding partnerships with academic institutions around the world. During the tenure of the University’s second Rector, Dr. Soedjatmoko, the first UNU research and training institute — UNU-WIDER — was established in Helsinki, Finland, in March 1985.

    UNU has since grown to encompass institutes and programmes in 12 countries around the world, as well as several UNU Associated Institutions.

    During his tenure the immediate past Rector, Prof. Dr.  Konrad Osterwalder, took steps (including amendment of the UNU Charter) to provide the University with the ability to confer postgraduate degrees. The first of these degree programmes was launched by the UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace in September 2010, and the University graduated its first master’s degree students in July 2012.

    UNU will continue to extend the scope of its global institutional network and build on its list of postgraduate programmes in order to recruit leading academics and graduate students equipped with a truly international mindset and the knowledge necessary to address the pressing issues currently faced by the international community.

  • While serving as chief academic and administrative officer of UNU, each former rector has contributed much to strengthening the University’s unique position as an academic institution within the United Nations system.

    Dr. James M. Hester

    First Rector • 1975–1980

    Dr. James M. HesterDr. James M. Hester was the first Rector of the United Nations University. His appointment was announced in November 1974 by United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim after a world-wide search. He commenced full-time duty as Rector in September 1975. Dr. Hester came to UNU after fourteen years as President of New York University, one of the major institutions of higher learning in the United States. There he earned an international reputation for the role he played in strengthening the university and as a leading spokesman for higher education.

    He originally joined New York University in 1960 as Executive Dean of Arts and Science and Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Science. Committed to the concept of the urban university as an agency for the intellectual, cultural, professional and economic progress of the city, he maintained that “the world needs men and women who combine appreciation of their cultural heritage and knowledge of the challenge of urban civilization”.

    Dr. Hester was born on 19 April 1924, in Chester, Pennsylvania, and spent his boyhood at various stations to which his father, a United States Navy Chaplain, was assigned, including Hawaii and Samoa. In 1942, he graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, California.

    He attended Princeton University, where he won honours in the humanities and election to Phi Beta Kappa; he was awarded an A.B. degree in 1945. After joining the Marine Corps’ officer candidate programme, he was trained to be a Japanese language officer. He subsequently served in Japan in a civilian capacity as civil information and education officer on the Fukuoka Military Government Team.

    In 1947, he entered Pembroke College, Oxford University, as a Rhodes Scholar, earning a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, politics and economics. Upon his return to the USA in 1950, he became assistant to the American Secretary to the Rhodes Trustees.

    Recalled to active duty with the Marines in 1951, he served seventeen months as a battalion adjutant and instructor at Quantico, Virginia. After leaving the military, he spent several months at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., doing research for his doctoral thesis. He received a D. Phil. degree from Oxford University in 1955.

    After three years of business experience in management consultation and consumer research, he returned to academic life. In 1957, he became Provost (administrative and academic head) of the Brooklyn Center of Long Island University in New York and subsequently Vice President of Long Island University. In 1960, he became Dean of both the undergraduate and graduate schools of arts and science at New York University. He became President of the University in 1962, at the age of 37. The University awarded him an honorary degree (L.H.D.) in 1977.

    He served as chairman of the President’s Task Force on Priorities in Higher Education in the United States (1969). He was also President and a member of the executive committee of the Association of Colleges and Universities of the State of New York, and was President and member of the board of trustees of its Commission on Independent Colleges.

    Dr. Hester served on the board of the American Council on Education, on the New York State Regents Advisory Council on Higher Education and Regional Co-ordinating Council for Post Secondary Education in New York City. He was the United States member on the Administrative Board of the International Association of Universities and a member of the executive committee of the Association of American Universities.

    Upon leaving the UNU rectorship, Dr. Hester served a term as President of New York Botanical Gardens. He then spent 15 years as President of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation in New York, an operating foundation charged by its founder to support research on the causes, manifestations and control of violence, aggression and dominance. This programme is carried out through grants in a wide variety of fields and by conferences and publications. Retiring in 2004, he is currently a lifetime director of the foundation.

    He holds honorary degrees from many leading universities and colleges, and is a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour. In 1981, His Majesty the Emperor of Japan conferred upon Dr. Hester the First Class of the Order of the Sacred Treasure.

    Dr. Hester was married in 1953 to the former Janet Rodes. They have three children: Janet, Margaret and Martha.

    Dr. Soedjatmoko

    Second Rector • 1980–1987
    In memoriam

    Dr. SoedjatmokoDr. Soedjatmoko became Rector of the United Nations University in September 1980. He was appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in consultation with the Director-General of UNESCO, to succeed Dr. James M. Hester who had been the University’s first Rector. In 1985, Dr. Soedjatmoko was appointed to a second term.

    A scholar of international development and politics, Dr. Soedjatmoko published numerous articles in scholarly journals as well as books on the social, economic, cultural and political aspects of development. Among those titles published in English are The Primacy of Freedom in Development (1985) and Development and Freedom, based on his Ishizaka Lectures in Japan, published in 1980.

    Dr. Soedjatmoko also played an active role in the international debate on global issues. He was a member of the Independent Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues (Palme Commission), the Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issues and the Club of Rome. He also served on the Boards of the Aspen Institute, the World Resources Institute, the International Institute of Environment and Development, the Steering Committee of the North South Roundtable, the International Council of The Asia Society and the Council of the International Foundation for Development Alternatives in Switzerland. He was a longtime member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, London, and was for 12 years a member of the Board of Trustees of the Ford Foundation. He had also been involved with a number of other cultural and academic organizations, for example, he was an International Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an Honorary Member of the Siam Society (Bangkok, Thailand), and a member of the Jakarta Academy, and was twice a member of The Aga Khan Award for Architecture Master Jury.

    From 1971 until he assumed the UNU Rectorship, Dr. Soedjatmoko was Adviser for Social and Cultural Affairs to the National Development Planning Agency of Indonesia. From 1968-1971 he served as Indonesian Ambassador to the United States. Prior to this Ambassadorship, and again afterwards, he was Personal Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia. An earlier phase of his career was in Indonesian journalism, as Director of Pembangunan Publishing Company, Editor of the weekly Siasat, and Associated Editor of the daily newspaper Pedoman. From 1956-1959 he was an elected member of Indonesia’s Constitutional Assembly.

    Dr. Soedjatmoko had a long association with the United Nations, having been a member of the Indonesian delegation to the Security Council from 1947-1950 and Alternate Permanent Representative of the Indonesian delegation to the UN from 1950-1951; in 1966 he was Vice-Chairman of the Indonesian Delegation to the General Assembly. Later he was a special consultant to the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and from 1977-1980 a member of the Programme Advisory Committee of the former Human and Social Development Programme of the UN University.

    In 1978 he was the recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding (sometimes referred to as the Nobel Prize of Asia). The citation included the following: “The lot of the independent thinker amidst the political tumult of developing Asia is precarious. It is a measure of Soedjatmoko’s positive commitment that concern for himself has not inhibited forthright expression. Nor has he allowed his membership in numerous leading international forums and organizations to divorce his concern from the realities of Indonesian village life.” His writings, the citation noted, have added “to the body of international thinking on what can be done to meet one of the greatest challenges of our time, how to make life more decent and satisfying for the poorest 40 per cent in Southeastern and Southern Asia. In the process he is stimulating others to sharpen their perception and make government and private efforts more relevant.”

    In 1985 he was a recipient of The Asia Society Award, presented to four individuals who have made outstanding contributions in their own fields to greater understanding of the Asian/Pacific region. In 1986 he was chosen to receive the Universities Field Staff International Award for Distinguished Service to the Advancement of International Understanding.

    Soedjatmoko was born in Sawahlunto, Sumatra on 10 January 1922. He studied at Medical College in Jakarta, Indonesia and at the Littauer School of Public Administration at Harvard University in the United States. In 1961-1962 he was Guest Lecturer in South East Asia History and Politics at Cornell University (USA). He was the recipient of honorary degrees from Yale University, Cedar Crest College and Williams College in the United States; Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan; Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand; and Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia.

    In October 1987, after he retired from the Rectorship, he was awarded an honorary degree by Georgetown University, D.C. In introducing him, Elliot Richardson, former US Secretary of State, said that what had impressed him most of all about Soedjatmoko’s career was that “one is talking to a man who has transcended the narrow limitations that divide people”. In December 1989, while lecturing to college students at his old university in Jakarta, Soedjatmoko suffered a heart attack and died at age 67.

    Soedjatmoko was married in 1957 to the former Ratmini Gandasubrata. They have three daughters.

    Prof. Heitor Gurgulino de Souza

    Third Rector • 1987–1997

    Prof. Heitor Gurgulino de SouzaHeitor Gurgulino de Souza assumed the office of Rector in September 1987. At the time of his appointment, he was the President of the Latin American University Group, the head of the Planning Commission of the Federal Council of Education in the Brazilian Ministry of Education, and a member of the United Nations University Council.

    After leaving UNU in 1997, Professor Gurgulino de Souza was named Special Advisor to the Director-General of UNESCO, a position he held until 1999. He was elected Vice-President of the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP) for the term 1999-2002 and then Secretary-General for the term 2008-2011.

    Professor Gurgulino de Souza received his degree in physics from Mackenzie University in São Paulo and did graduate work at the Aeronautics Institute of Technology in Brazil and the University of Kansas in the United States. Since 1959, he has held the chair of Professor of Science at the Julio de Mesquita Filho State University of São Paulo.

    In 1962, he joined the scientific department of the Pan American Union at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. During his seven years there, he helped to organize a regional programme for scientific and technological development, and the promotion of research, training and curricular programmes for use throughout Latin America. For most of that time, he also directed the Unit of Education and Research in the Department of Scientific Affairs of the Organization of American States (OAS).

    In 1970, Professor Gurgulino de Souza returned to Brazil to help establish the new Federal University of São Carlos in São Paulo State and was subsequently appointed its first Rector. From 1972 to 1974, he was also head of the Department of University Affairs of the Brazilian Ministry of Education and Culture; from 1975 to 1978, he was Director of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development of Brazil; and from 198O to 1982, he served as Vice-President of the Federal Council of Education of Brazil, of which he had been made a member by presidential appointment.

    Professor Gurgulino de Souza has been involved in a number of international organizations active in the promotion of academic research and teaching. From 1974 to 1977, he served as Chairman of the Inter-American Committee on Science and Technology of the OAS Council for Education, Science, and Culture. In addition he was active with the International Council for Educational Development, and the Institute Ajijic Sobre Educación Internacional of Mexico.

    Professor Gurgulino de Souza is the author of a large number of articles in the fields of physics, the application of science and technology to development, higher education, and university administration.

    He was married in 1960 to Lilian Maria Quilici and they have two sons: Carlos Eduardo and Gustavo Alberto.

    Prof. Dr. Hans J. A. van Ginkel

    Fourth Rector • 1997–2007

    Prof. Dr. Hans J. A. van GinkelProf. Hans J. A. van Ginkel was born in Kota-Radjah (Bandar Acheh, Indonesia) on June 22, 1940. In l966, he completed his M.Sc. studies at Utrecht University in human and physical geography, anthropology and history, cum laude. His M.Sc. thesis focused on the morphology and functions of Southeast Asian cities in the early 17th century. In l979, he defended his Ph.D. thesis on “Suburbanization and recent residential environments, with a case-study of the Green Heart of the Randstad”, within the social sciences, cum laude as well.

    From 1965 to 1968, he was a teacher of geography and history at the Thomas à Kempis College, Arnhem. Ever since he has been active in secondary education as the chair of national committees, in teacher training and in establishing links between secondary schools and universities. From 1988 to 1998 he was Chair of the National Science and Technology Week, a foundation focusing on information to the public, in particular the young, on recent developments in science and technology. In l997, this foundation merged into a larger one, with Prince Claus as the honorary president.

    From 1968 to 1985, Hans van Ginkel worked at Utrecht University in the Faculty of Geographical Sciences. In l980, he was appointed full professor in human geography and planning. From 1981-85, he was Dean of Faculty, becoming a member of the Executive Board of the University in 1985, and in 1986 Rector Magnificus. His special fields of interest are urban and regional development, population and housing studies. He was a member  — and is now an honorary member — of the Commission on the History of Geographical Thought of the International Geographical Union (IGU), was the Chair of the Organizing Committee of the 28th International Geographical Congress (The Hague, 1996: “Land, Sea and the Human Effort”) and first member and then Board Chair of the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (1986-2000).

    Prof. van Ginkel has a strong interest in the application of geographical knowledge in society, in particular in urban and regional planning, public housing and housing markets, and public administration. From 1988 to 1993, he was independent Chairman of the Regional Council of Utrecht. He became a Board member of the Utrecht Network for Innovation and Economy (UNIE) in 1994. Prof. van Ginkel was appointed Chair of the Coordinating Committee of Advisory Councils on Science Policy (COS) in 1991 and a member of the National Foresight Committee on Science Policy (1993). From 1994 to 1998, he has been a member of the European Science and Technology Assembly (Bruxelles) and in 1997-1998 member of the National Council for Science and Technology Policy (AWT).

    Having a strong interest in internationalization, Hans van Ginkel has contributed to numerous international organizations, for example, the governing board of the International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation at Enschedé (President 1990-1998), the Board of the European Association of Universities (CRE, Vice-president 1994-1998), and the Board of the International Association of Universities (IAU, Vice-president, 1995-2000, President, 2000-2004). He was the Treasurer of the Netherlands Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education (NUFFIC) from 1986-1997. He also extended the cooperative links of Utrecht University towards Latin America (in particular, Costa Rica and Bolivia), Southern Africa and South-East Asia.

    In 1992, he became a member of the Governing Council of the United Nations University; in 1994 also of UNESCO’s Advisory Group for Higher Education and in 1996, member of the Steering Committee for UNESCO’s World Conference on Higher Education (Paris, 1998). In this last capacity he prepared and led among others the thematic debate on “Higher Education and Sustainable Human Development”. He was appointed Rector of the United Nations University in Tokyo in 1997.

    In 1992, he was appointed to the Social Sciences Council of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). Prof. van Ginkel also served as a member and Vice-chair of the Board of Trustees of the Asian Institute of Technology, AIT, Bangkok, as well as a member of the Governing Board of UNESCO-IHE in Delft and of the International Advisory Board of the Institute for Social Sciences (ISS), The Hague.

    In 1994, he received a Knighthood in the Order of the Netherlands’ Lion from Queen Beatrix. He also holds the highest medals of distinction of the City of Utrecht, the Chamber of Commerce and Utrecht University. In 1997, he received an honorary doctorate from the Universitatea Babes-Bolyai of Cluj in Romania for his work in geography as well as internationalism. In May 2003 he received an honorary doctorate from State University of California (Sacramento).  He has also received honorary doctorates from the University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana in 2005, the Technical University of Zvolen (Zvolen/Slovakia) in June 2006, and McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, in June 2007. In 2001 he was appointed a member of Academia Europaea. He is also a honorary fellow of ITC.

    Hans van Ginkel is married to Bep Teepen. They have two children: son Auke and daughter Mapje.

    Prof. Dr. Konrad Osterwalder

    Fifth Rector • 2007–2013

    Prof. Dr. Konrad OsterwalderProf. Dr. Konrad Osterwalder joined the United Nations University on 1 September 2007 as its fifth Rector. In that role, he holds the rank of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations.

    A Swiss national, Rector Osterwalder was born in 1942. Educated in Switzerland, he earned a doctorate in theoretical physics in 1970 at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule; ETH) in Zurich. After a year with the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, and two years as a research fellow at Harvard University, he was promoted at Harvard to Assistant Professor in 1973 and to Associate Professor for Mathematical Physics in 1976.

    In 1977, he returned to Switzerland upon being appointed a full Professor for Mathematical Physics at ETH Zurich. He became Rector of ETH in 1995 and held that post for 12 years. In 2006 and 2007 he also served as ETH President pro tempore.

    Rector Osterwalder was a Fellow of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (1974–1978) and is a member of the Swiss Academy of Technical Sciences. He holds an honorary degree from Aalto University, is an Honorary Member of Riga Technical University, and has been awarded the Premio Matteo Ricci by the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano, and the Leonardo da Vinci Medal by the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI).

  • Dr. Ichiro Kato (Japan)

    First Vice-Rector and Senior Adviser to the Rector • 1975–1976

    In memoriam

    Dr Ichiro Kato was appointed as first Vice-Rector and General Counsel of the United Nations University on 1 April 1975, while the UNU headquarters was still being organized. He subsequently was named Senior Adviser to the Rector by Rector James Hester.

    At the time of his appointment, Dr Kato was a well-known figure in Japanese academic circles. After a long and distinguished academic career as a legal scholar, he served from 1969 to 1973 as President of the University of Tokyo. During that time, he also served as Chairman of the Association of Japanese National Universities.

    Dr Kato handled administrative and legal affairs for the UNU, and acted as the University’s chief administrator in Tokyo during the Rector’s absence.

    Dr Kato has published numerous books on various aspects of Japanese law. A recipient of the Matsunaga Prize, he was a member of the IAU Administrative Committee and member of the Legislative Council, and served as Vice-Chairman of the Association of Agricultural Laws and Chairman of the Japan Traffic Study Association.

    Dr Kato passed away in November 2008 at the age of 86.

    Dr Walter Manshard (Germany)

    Vice-Rector, Natural Resources Programme • 1977–1980

    Dr Walther Manshard, a distinguished specialist on natural resources and human ecology, was Vice-Rector for the Programme on the Use and Management of Natural Resources, a unique endeavour devoted to finding better ways to use the world’s intellectual resources for the practical benefit of humanity. He assumed his post in February 1977, after having achieved worldwide recognition in tropical geography as Professor and Director of the Institute of Geography at the University of Freiburg, Germany.

    Dr Manshard came to UNU after notable careers in both academic and international life. A graduate of the University of Hamburg, where he took degrees in geography, geology and oceanography, and a doctorate in natural sciences, he lectured and taught widely at several universities, including the University of Southampton, University of Ghana and University of Cologne.

    Before assuming his post as Director of the Institute of Geography at the University of Freiburg, Dr Manshard was Professor and Director of the Tropical Institute at the University of Giessen. He also served for three years (197O-1973) as Principal Director of the Department of Environment Sciences and Natural Resources Research at UNESCO in Paris.

    Dr Manshard was Secretary General of the International Geographical Union and served as a member of the Scientific Board of the Federal Republic of Germany’s Ministry for Economic Co-operation, the German National Committee for Man in the Biosphere, and the Executive and the National Science Committees of the German UNESCO Commission. He also was a consultant to the Commission on Environmental Planning of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and to the FAO.

    The author of more than 80 papers and six books, of which his work on Africa and his study on Tropical Agriculture (London, 1974) are the best known, Dr Manshard also edited, on behalf of the German Research Society, a series of thematic maps on tropical Africa.

    He is married to the former Kiku Koch, who was born and brought up in Japan. They have one daughter, Andrea.

    Dr Miguel Urrutia (Colombia)

    Vice-Rector, Development Studies Division • 1982–1985

    Dr Miguel Urrutia, a Colombian economist and labour specialist, was Vice-Rector of the Development Studies Division. Prior to joining UNU, he held a number of governmental posts in Colombia, including Minister of Energy (1977); Executive Director, with cabinet rank, of the National Department of Planning (1974-1977); Deputy Governor of the Banco de Republica de Colombia, in charge of monetary policy; and Adviser to the Monetary Board of the Junta Monetaria de Colombia.

    After leaving UNU, Dr Urrutia was Head of the Economic and Social Development Department at the Inter American Development Bank and Director of Fedesarrollo, a private development research institute, as well as a professor at Universidad Nacional in Bogota. He served as General Manager of the Bank of the Republic of Colombia from 1993 to 2004 and is currently a Titular Professor of Economics at the University of the Andes in Bogota.

    Dr Urrutia has published a number of books on economics, labour and development, including The Development of the Colombian Labour Movement (Yale University Press), Employment and Unemployment in Colombia (Universidad de los Andes), Compendium of Historical Statistics (National University of Colombia) and Income Distribution in Colombia (Yale University Press).

    He was educated at Harvard University and the University of California at Berkeley (USA), receiving a Ph.D. in economics from the latter institution.

    Mr Edward Ploman (Sweden)

    Vice-Rector, Global Learning Division • 1981–1986

    In memoriam

    Mr Edward W. Ploman, a Swedish expert in international communications, was Vice-Rector of the Global Learning Division. Mr Ploman brought to the University some three decades of experience in international communications in his native Sweden, Europe and United Nations agencies. From 1972–1981 he was Executive Director of the International Institute of Communications in London. Previously he had worked for the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation and acted as consultant to various Swedish ministries and as a Swedish delegate to intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. He worked in various capacities for the European Broadcasting Union, the United Nations, UNESCO, UNICEF and other bodies.

    Mr Ploman published numerous books and articles in scholarly journals on satellite broadcasting, communications technology, information flow and communications policy, and planning in development and relevant international law, including International Law Governing Communications and Information (London, 1982).

    He was educated at the University of Uppsala, Sweden, where he received an LL.B degree in 1950.

    Mr Ploman passed away in 1990 at age 64.

    Prof Alexander A. Kwapong (Ghana)

    Vice-Rector, Institutional Planning and Resource Development Division • 1976–1988

    In memoriam

    Prof Kwapong was educated at Achimota College (Ghana) and Cambridge University (UK), where he graduated with First Class Honours in Classics in 1951. He joined the faculty of the University of Ghana in 1953, received his PhD in classics in 1957 and became a full Professor in 1962. Prof Kwapong taught Greek, Latin and Ancient History at the University of Ghana for more than a decade and served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor, and in 1966 became the first Ghanaian appointed as Vice-Chancellor.

    In 1961–1962 he was Visiting Professor of Classics at Princeton University (USA). which awarded him an honorary degree in 1974. In 1976, he joined the United Nations University as Vice-Rector for Institutional Planning and Resource Development. This was followed by three years as International Development Professor at Dalhousie University (Canada) and two years as Director of Africa Programmes for the Commonwealth of Learning, encouraging the development and sharing of open learning/distance education knowledge and becoming a leading spokesman for higher education in the British Commonwealth.

    A classicist and an authority on higher education in development, Prof Kwapong held honorary degrees from the University of Warwick (UK) and University of Ife (Nigeria). He was awarded the 1981 Simba Prize for Scholarly Essays (Rome) and is the author of many articles in scholarly journals.

    Prof Kwapong served on numerous boards, including the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies and the International Council for Educational Development, the Association of African Universities, the Association of Commonwealth Universities (President, 1971), the International Association of Universities, and the International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies (Vice-President), and was Chairman of the Education Review Committee of Ghana.

    After his retirement, Prof Kwapong was appointed as Chairman of the Council of State of Ghana, an advisory body for the President and government of Ghana.

    Professor Kwapong passed away in 2014 at age 87.

    Prof Kinhide Mushakoji (Japan)

    Vice-Rector, Regional and Global Studies • 1976–1989

    Prof Kinhide Mushakoji, a Japanese authority on international affairs, was Vice-Rector of the Regional and Global Studies Division of UNU.

    Particularly interested in peace research, Prof Mushakoji is the former Director of the Institute of International Relations at Sophia University, Tokyo, which he founded in 1969, a year after joining the Sophia faculty. He was a visiting professor at Princeton University and Northwestern University (USA) and, subsequently, a Senior Specialist at the East-West Center in Hawaii and consultant to the Committee on Society, Development and Peace in Geneva.

    He is a former Vice-President of the International Political Science Association and member of the Executive Board of the Japanese Political Science Association. He is also a member of the Japanese Association of International Relations, the Japanese Peace Studies Association and the International Peace Research Association. Among his publications are An Introduction to Peace Research, Japanese Foreign Policy in a Multi-Polar World and Behavioural Sciences and International Politics.

    Prof Mushakoji was educated at Gakushuin University in Tokyo and the Institut des Sciences Politiques at the University of Paris. He is married to the former Noriko Uchida; they have one son.

    Dr Roland Fuchs (USA)

    Vice-Rector, Development Studies Division • 1987–1994

    Dr Roland J. Fuchs, an American geographer specializing in development problems and policies, was appointed Vice-Rector of the Development Studies Division on 1 January 1987. Dr Fuchs had been Chairman of the Department of Geography and Special Assistant to the President at the University of Hawaii, and served concurrently as Adjunct Research Associate at the Population Institute, East-West Center in Honolulu.

    Dr Fuchs, who has been active in both the US and international geographical communities in varying capacities for three decades, has been particularly concerned with spatial population and urbanization and regional development policies. Much of his research and writing has focused on the countries of Eastern Europe and Asia.

    He has been a member of the University of Hawaii faculty since 1958 and Chairman of the Department of Geography since 1964. At the East-West Population Institute, he has been involved in research on urbanization, migration and development. Dr. Fuchs did post-doctoral work in Soviet urban geography and planning at Moscow State University in 1960-61, and was a Fulbright Research Scholar at Tribhuvan University (Nepal) in 1966.

    In addition to his academic career, Dr Fuchs has served the United Nations system in various capacities. He has been a consultant to UNFPA and UNDP, and was a member of the ESCAP Technical Working Group on Migration and Urbanization in 1981.

    Dr Fuchs is a member of the Association of American Geographers, and serves on its Committee for International Cooperation. He is currently First-Vice President of the International Geographical Union and Chairman of its Research Development Committee. He has been active in the US National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council, where he has been Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU). He was Chairman of the US delegations to the ICSU conferences in Amsterdam (1980) and Berne (1986). He is a member of the Council of the Pacific Science Association and of the US National Committee for Pacific Basin Economic Cooperation.

    He has published extensively in scientific journals on development, demography, land use and urbanization. He is co-author  Urbanization and Urban Policies in the Asia-Pacific Region and a number of other books on geographical policies and problems, particularly as they relate to development. Dr Fuchs was educated at Columbia University (New York) and Clark University (Worcester, Mass.), from which he received his PhD in 1959. He is a native of Yonkers, New York (born 15 January 1933).

    Prof Takashi Inoguchi (Japan)

    Senior Vice-Rector • 1995–1997

    Prof Takashi Inoguchi, a Japanese political scientist specializing in international relations in the Asia Pacific region, was Senior Vice-Rector of UNU from April 1995 to 1997.

    Prior to his appointment at UNU, he was Professor of Political Science at the Institute of oriental Culture of the University of Tokyo, Prof Inoguchi also held research and teaching positions outside of Japan, including at the Universite de Geneve (1977-78), Harvard University (1984), Australian National University (1986), University of Delhi (1989), Aarhus University (1990), Johns Hopkins University (1990), Universitas Gadjah Mada (1990), University of California, Berkeley (1993) and Beijing University (1993).

    Prof Inoguchi received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in International Relations from the University of Tokyo in 1966 and 1968, respectively. He obtained a PhD in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1974. From 1974 to 1977 he served as Associate Professor at the Institute of International Relations, Sophia University, Tokyo, and in 1977 joined the Institute of Oriental Culture, where he has been Professor of Political Science since 1988.

    Prof Inoguchi had been a member of the international advisory committees for the Australia-Japan Research Centre, the Australian National University and the East-West Center in Hawaii. He has served on editorial or advisory boards for such journals as World Politics, International Organizations, the International Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, the Journal of Japanese Studies and the Review of International Studies. He also contributes to Japan’s policy-making as a member of the Government’s Economic Council, the Council for Stabilization of National Life and the Academic Council.

    Prof Inoguchi has published widely, writing or editing more than 20 books in Japanese and English in the area of world affairs and international relations. His publications include Global Change: An Analysis (in Japanese, Chikuma Shobo, 1994); Contemporary Japanese Diplomacy (in Japanese, Chikuma Shobo, 1993); and Japan’s Foreign Policy in an Era of Global Change (in English, Pinter Publishers, 1993).

    Prof Inoguchi was born in Niigata Prefecture, Japan, in 1944. He is currently the president of the University of Niigata Prefecture, and is a professor emeritus of Tokyo University. He is married to the politician and academic Kuniko Inoguchi, and has twin daughters.

    Prof Abraham Besrat (Ethiopia)

    Vice-Rector • 1995–1999

    In memoriam

    Professor Abraham Besrat (1938–2002) was a nutrition and biochemistry specialist. A native of Ethiopia, after receiving his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Minnesota (USA), he returned to Ethiopia and joined Haile Selassie I University, which later became Addis Ababa University. He had many responsibilities during his time there. First, he was head of the Department of Arts and Sciences, then was promoted to Associate Vice-President for Research and Publications and then he became Dean of the College of Agriculture.

    In 1975 he became Provincial Programme Officer for Ethiopia’s National Campaign for Development, a position that entailed setting up and administrating a feeding and rehabilitation shelter for famine victims, under the direction of the Ethiopian Relief and Rehabilitation Commission. In 1978 he was appointed founding Dean of the School of Graduate Studies at Addis Ababa University. While there he put together 23 new graduate studies programmes, some of which led to master’s degrees and some to medical specialty certificates.

    Professor Besrat went back to the USA in 1981 under a UNU fellowship as a visiting scientist in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he worked on a UNU/UNICEF-supported research programme on primary health care. Following this, he worked for two years as a consultant advising FAO on nutritional considerations in their agriculture and rural development projects.

    Professor Besrat joined the UNU in 1986 as a Training and Fellowship Officer. He served as the focal point for all of UNU’s training and fellowship activities and was involved with raising funds to support them. In 1989, he was promoted to Senior Academic Officer and took on added responsibility for providing technical backstopping from the UNU Centre for the Food and Nutrition Programme, the Programme for Biotechnology in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Microprocessors and Informatics Programme and, later, the UNU International Leadership Academy.

    In 1995, he became Principal Academic Officer. This position gave him greater management-oriented duties, such as participating as part of the University’s Executive Committee, helping to direct the Academic Division and developing new programmes. In 1997, he was appointed Acting Vice-Rector for seven months before becoming Vice-Rector in 1998. He was a member of UNU’s senior academic staff and was responsible for overseeing the University’s postgraduate education programme.

    Professor Besrat was married to Tsehai Gebre Selassie; they had two children, Hiruy and Naomi. He passed away in April 2002 at age 64.

    Prof Motoyuki Suzuki (Japan)

    Vice-Rector, Environment and Sustainable Development Programme • 1998–2003

    Professor Motoyuki Suzuki is an environmental engineering specialist. He served as Vice-Rector from 1 April 1998 until his retirement in March 2003. He was a member of the UNU’s senior academic staff and worked as part of the University’s Environment Programme. Professor Suzuki was born in Japan on 7 February 1941. He was educated at the University of Tokyo. After obtaining a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, he went to the University of California, Davis, as a Post-doctoral Fellow.

    In 1968, he joined the University of Tokyo as an Assistant Professor in the department of chemical engineering. He then worked his way up to Lecturer, Associate Professor and Professor. He also served intermittently as Chairman of the University’s Graduate School of Chemical Engineering. In 1995, he became the Director-General of the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Industrial Science (IIS) (the largest university-affiliated research institute in Japan, consisting of approximately 100 professors and numerous laboratories). During his term in office, IIS improved its budgetary status and increased its academic activities.

    Professor Suzuki encouraged international cooperative research links and instigated 14 such agreements with overseas universities, including a contract between IIS and the UNU Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS). He also worked hard at improving the Institute’s relations with private research centres and the business community.

    Professor Suzuki is actively involved in eco-restructuring initiatives. He is Principal Researcher on the project Achievement of Zero-Emission Oriented Material Cycle Systems that involves 70 researchers and is funded by the Japanese Ministry of Education. Prior to becoming Vice-Rector at UNU, he was an Adjunct Professor at UNU-IAS where he advised the Institute’s Director on zero-emission programme issues and assisted young scholars with their research.

    Professor Suzuki is the author of 10 environmental engineering books and has published more than 300 papers in scientific journals. He has received numerous awards for his work, such as the Scientific Achievement Award from the Japan Society of Water Environment, the Distinguished Research Award from the Society of Chemical Engineers in Japan, and the Doctoris Honoris Causa from Hungary’s Veszprem University.

    Professor Suzuki is an active member of several professional associations. He is the President of the International Adsorption Society and President of the Japan Society on Water Environment. He also belongs to the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the International Association of Water Quality, the Japan Absorption Society and the Society of Environmental Science.

    His wife’s name is Keiko. They have two children, Hiroyuki and Junko.

    Prof Ramesh Thakur (India)

    Senior Vice-Rector, Peace and Governance Programme • 1998–2007

    Professor Ramesh Thakur is a political scientist and peace researcher. He was appointed to the position of Vice-Rector on 1 April 1998 and was promoted to Senior Vice-Rector in October 2003. Professor Thakur served as a member of the senior academic staff at UNU and worked as part of the University’s Peace and Governance Programme (now UNU-ISP). He is currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and Professor of political science at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

    Professor Thakur was born in India on 23 November 1948. After completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Calcutta, he immigrated to Canada where he earned his Ph.D. in political studies at Queen’s University. He moved to New Zealand in 1980, where he joined the University of Otago as a Lecturer in the department of political studies. In recognition of his research achievements, he was appointed Associate Professor and then Professor. He also served intermittently as the department’s acting head. In 1992, the University granted him a personal chair in international relations. He had three significant administrative accomplishments during his 16 years at Otago: he helped to establish the annual Otago Foreign Policy School as the pre-eminent forum for foreign policy debate in New Zealand; he set up an inter-disciplinary major in Asian Studies; and he chaired the Panel to Review University Extension.

    In 1995 he was appointed to head of the Peace Research Centre at the Australian National University. While at the Centre, he was involved with policy-oriented research, workshops and dissemination on numerous undertakings, such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review and Extension Conference, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. He was also a consultant to the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

    Professor Thakur has taken on various responsibilities during his career with national bodies in New Zealand and in Australia. He was a member of the Public Advisory Committee on Disarmament and Arms Control (a statutory body chaired by the Minister of Arms Control and Disarmament to aid and advise the Government of New Zealand on security issues) and a member of its Australia counterpart, the National Consultative Committee on Peace and Disarmament. He was also the External Moderator, on behalf of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, for a diploma and degree programme in international relations at the International Pacific College, prior and subsequent to the college’s establishment.

    Professor Thakur is the author of numerous peace-related publications. His books include 14 volumes in print and an edited collection of papers from the ARF Track Two Seminar on Non-Proliferation, which was held in Jakarta in 1996 and which he helped organize and chair. He has published more than 100 journal essays and book chapters. He has had several articles printed in The International Herald Tribune, The Asian Wall Street Journal, The Australian and The Australian Financial Review.

    Prof Itaru Yasui (Japan)

    Vice-Rector, Environment and Sustainable Development Programme • 2003–2007

    Professor Yasui graduated from the Faculty of Engineering, University of Tokyo, in 1968. He received his Doctorate in Engineering from the University of Tokyo in 1973. Since 2009, he has served as president of the National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE).

    Prior to joining UNU, Professor Yasui served as a Lecturer at the Institute of Industrial Science from 1975, and became Associate Professor in 1979 and full Professor in 1990. From 1996-1999, he served as Director of the Centre for Collaborative Research at the University of Tokyo. During 1998-1999, he served as representative to the National Conference for Centres for Industry-University Collaboration, and since 2000 he has served as head investigator of the Man-Earth Research Project of the Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Professor Yasui is a member of the Evaluation Committee for Independent Administrative Institutions of the Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

    He has served on a number of academic societies and associations, including as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Japan Association on the Environmental Studies, as a fellow of the American Ceramic Society and as a member of the Engineering Academy of Japan.

    Professor Yasui has published some 150 scientific papers in academic journals, 100 papers in proceedings of international conferences, and 30 papers in university publications. He has authored or co-authored some 50 books and written more than 120 articles in commercial and other publications.

    Prof Govindan Parayil (India)

    Vice-Rector • 2008–2014

    Professor 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).

    Professor 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 PhD 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.

    Prof Kazuhiko Takeuchi (Japan)

    Senior Vice-Rector • 2008–2016

    Professor Kazuhiko Takeuchi was Senior Vice-Rector of the United Nations University, and Director and Professor of the Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science (IR3S) at the University of Tokyo. He served, inter alia, as a member of the Science Council of Japan, as vice-chairman of the Food, Agriculture and Rural Area Policies Council, Government of Japan, and as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Sustainability Science (Springer).

    Educated and trained as a geographer and landscape ecologist at the University of Tokyo, Prof Takeuchi engages in research and education on creating eco-friendly environments for a harmonious coexistence of people and nature, especially focusing on Asia and Africa. He led the Satoyama Initiative as well as climate/ecosystem change research in Asia and Africa.

    A few of his publications include “Rebuilding the Relationship between People and Nature: The Satoyama Initiative” (Ecological Research, 25, 891-897, 2010), “Sustainability: Engaging in Global Change through Harmonious Adaptation in Asia” (co-authored, Nova Acta Leopoldina, NF112, Nr. 384, 213-226, 2010), Sustainability Science: A Multidisciplinary Approach (co-edited, UNU Press, 2011), Satoyama-Satoumi Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Socio-Ecological Production Landscapes of Japan (co-edited, UNU Press, 2012), and “Using Sustainability Science to Analyse Social–Ecological Restoration in NE Japan after the Great Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011” (co-authored, Sustainability Science 9: 513-526, 2014).

    Mr Max Bond (USA)

    Vice-Rector • 2014–2016

    Executive Officer • 2003–2016

    Mr Max Bond was appointed Vice-Rector (2014-2016), following 32 years of service to the University. He concurrently occupied the post of Executive Officer — the key coordinating position of the UNU system — through September 2016 (a role he held since December 2003), and served as the Secretary of the Conference of Directors of UNU institutes and programmes, and of the Academic Committee. He additionally served as the Secretary of the UNU Council, the governing board of the University, from 1996 to 2015.

    Mr Bond started his career at UNU in 1982 in the Institutional Planning and Resource Development Department. He subsequently served in a number of different capacities within the UNU system, including as Assistant to the Director and Programme Services Officer at the UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) in Helsinki, Finland from 1986-1989; as Administrative Officer at the UNU Office at the United Nations in New York from 1989 to 1992; and as Planning and Development Officer at the UNU Centre in Tokyo (1992-1994).

    Mr Bond played a key role in the institutional development of UNU dating back to the preparatory activities for the 1984 establishment of UNU-WIDER. He subsequently was directly involved in the establishment of new UNU institutes in Algeria, Belgium, Germany, Ghana, Japan, Jordan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and Spain, and led direct negotiations with host governments on the establishment of many of these institutes.

    Prior to his service with UNU, Mr Bond served as Assistant to the Vice-President of Public Affairs and Development of an international student exchange programme — Youth for Understanding — in Washington, D.C. from 1978–1982. He is originally from Michigan, USA and completed his education at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

    Prof Jakob Rhyner (Switzerland)

    Vice-Rector in Europe • 2010–2018

    Professor Jakob Rhyner was appointed UNU Vice-Rector in Europe and Director of the UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security in 2010. At present, he serves as Professor of Global Change and Systemic Risks and as Scientific Director of the Bonn Alliance for Sustainability Research/Innovation Campus Bonn at the University of Bonn.

    Professor Rhyner has extensive international research experience. In 1986, he served as guest scientist at L.D. Landau Institute of Theoretical Physics in Moscow (Former USSR). He was a visiting scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) from 1990-1991, and a scientific advisor at ABB Kabeldon in Alingsas Sweden from 1996-1997.

    Prior to joining UNU, Professor Rhyner served as Director of the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) of the Swiss Federal Institute of Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), and as Head of SLF’s Warning and Prevention Research Unit. In this context, he also acts as a member of the Directorial Board of WSL.

    Additionally, he is a member of the boards of the Swiss Expert Group on Natural Hazards, the Swiss Physical Society, and the research evaluation boards of the European Commission. He has authored numerous reports, articles and book chapters, including chapters in International Security in the 21st Century: Germany’s International Responsibility and Advancing Culture of Living with Landslides.

    Professor Rhyner holds a diploma and a PhD in theoretical physics from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (Switzerland).

    Mr Sebastian von Einsiedel (Germany)

    Vice-Rector in Europe • 2018–2019

    Mr Sebastian von Einsiedel is a German expert on international peace and security. He served as the Vice-Rector in Europe from November 2018 until August 2019, after which he joined the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) as Senior Advisor on Internally Displaced Persons. Mr von Einsiedel previously served as the founding Director of the Tokyo-based UNU Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR), from its inception in June 2014 until its merger with the UNU Office in New York in June 2018.

    Mr von Einsiedel has 17 years of professional working experience in the field of international affairs, including more than a decade with the United Nations. Prior to joining UNU, Mr von Einsiedel worked in the Policy Planning Unit of the UN Department of Political Affairs (2009–2014), where he led development of policy initiatives on conflict prevention, peacebuilding, counter-terrorism, and organised crime.

    Mr von Einsiedel first joined the United Nations in 2004, on the research staff of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change. He later joined the UN Secretary-General’s Office to help prepare for the 2005 World Summit. After serving for two years as Special Assistant to the President of the International Peace Academy (now International Peace Institute) in New York, he re-joined the United Nations in the field, serving with the UN Mission in Nepal (2007–2008). In 2008 he returned to New York, working in the UN Secretary-General’s Strategic Planning Unit on terrorism-related issues.

    Mr von Einsiedel holds a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University and a Magister Artium in Political Science from Ludwig-Maximilians University. He has published extensively on multilateral security issues and is co-editor and author of a number of books, including The UN Security Council in the 21st Century. He is married and has two children.

  • UNU Council members serve for a period of six-years. Former Council members have included directors of research institutes; university deans, vice-chancellors, rectors, professors or presidents; government officials; consultants; ambassadors; and board chairpersons or trustees. Upon completion of their term, a number of former Council members have remained active within the UN system, serving, for example, as directors or executive directors of UN agencies.

    Former Council members are listed here by term of service.


    • Prof. Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz

    Senior Vice President, Elsevier Research Networks

    • Ms Isabel Guerrero Pulgar

    Executive Director IMAGO Global Grassroots; Lecturer at Harvard Kennedy School

    • Ms Angela Kane

    Vice President, International Institute for Peace; Senior Fellow, Vienna Centre for Non-Proliferation and Disarmament; Professor, Sciences Po (Paris)

    • Dr Segenet Kelemu

    Director General and CEO, International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe)

    • Dr Radha Kumar

    Policy Analyst

    • Amb. Tsuneo Nishida

    Special Advisor to the President of Kanagawa University; Honorary Director of the Institute for Peace Science, Hiroshima University


    • Prof. Ernest Aryeetey

      Secretary-General, African Research Universities Alliance

    • Professor Simon Chesterman

      Dean, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore

    • Ambassador Elizabeth Cousens

      Deputy Chief Executive Officer, United Nations Foundation

    • Dr Bassma Kodmani

      Executive Director, Arab Reform Initiative

    • Professor Irena Lipowicz

      Professor, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University (Warsaw)

    • Professor Lan Xue

      Dean, School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University; Director, China Institute for S&T Policy; Deputy Director, China Institute for Strategic Studies on Engineering and Technology Development


    • Prof. Nobuyasu Abe

      Commissioner of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission

    • Dr. J. Michael Adams (deceased)

      President of Fairleigh Dickinson University

    • Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon

      President of the European Research Council

    • Prof. Rahma Bourqia

      Director, National Evaluation Authority of Education System, Training and Scientific Research, Morocco, Member of the Royal Academy Morocco, Former President of Hassan II University Mohammédia, Casablanca

    • Senator Cristovam Buarque

      Member of the Brazilian Senate, Professor at the University of Brasilia

    • Dame Fiona Caldicott

      Immediate Past Principal of Somerville College (Oxford), Immediate Past Pro-Vice Chancellor for Personnel and Equal Opportunities at the University of Oxford, Chair of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust

    • Tan Sri Dato’ Emeritus Professor Gajaraj Dhanarajan

      Chairman, Board of Governors at Wawasan Open University

    • Prof. Mohamed H. A. Hassan

      Chair of UNU Council; Co-Chair of IAP, the Global Network of Science Academies

    • Prof. Zellynne Doloris Jennings-Craig

      Former Director of School of Education/Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education at the University of the West Indies

    • Mr. Jin Xiaoming

      Director General of the Department of International Cooperation at the Ministry of Science and Technology

    • Prof. Konstantin Khudoley

      Chief of the European Studies Department, School of International Relations, St. Petersburg State University

    • Prof. Lily Kong

      Provost of the Singapore Management University

    • Ms. Lydia Shouleva

      Managing Partner of Business Intellect, Ltd., Former Member of the European Parliament, Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy

    • Prof. Mala Singh

      Professor Extraordinaire in the Centre for Higher Education Research, Teaching and Learning at Rhodes University


    • Prof. Paolo Blasi

      Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Florence

    • Prof. Juan Ramón de la Fuente

      Immediate Past President of the International Association of Universities

    • Prof. Dr. Louise Fresco

      Professor of Foundations of Sustainable Development in an International Context at the University of Amsterdam

    • Prof. Fadia Kiwan

      Professor of Political Science in the Faculty of Law and Political Science

    • Prof. Goolam Mohamedbhai

      Former Secretary-General of the Association of African Universities

    • Prof. Dr. Francisco Komlavi Seddoh

      Former Rector of the University of Lomé in Togo

    • Prof. Dr. Gita Sen

      Professor of the Centre for Public Policy at Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore

    • Prof. Ivan Wilhelm

      Deputy for Research and Higher Education of the Minister for Education of the Czech Republic
      Czech Republic

    • Prof. Margret Wintermantel

      President of the German Academic Exchange Service

    • Ms. Angela Cropper (deceased)

      Special Adviser to the United Nations Environment Programme


    • Prof. Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad

      President, Qatar University

    • Prof. Lidia R. Arthur Brito

      Director, Division of Science Policy and Sustainable Development, Natural Science Sector, UNESCO

    • Mr. Jayantha Dhanapala

      Former Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations, New York; former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva
      Sri Lanka

    • Prof. Gloria Cristina Florez

      Professor, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos

    • Dr. Eduardo Carrega Marcal Grilo

      Trustee, Gulbenkian Foundation; former Minister of Education of Portugal

    • Dr. Ji Fusheng

      Independent Consultant; Former Counselor, Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations

    • Prof. Marju Lauristin

      Professor of Social Communication, Tartu University; former Minister of Social Affairs, Estonia

    • Prof. Andrei Marga

      Professor of Contemporary Philosophy and Logic; former Rector, Babes-Bolyai University

    • Dr. Otto S. R. Ongkosongo

      Geologist and Research Professor, Research Center for Oceanography, Indonesian Institute of Sciences

    • Prof. Akilagpa Sawyerr

      Former Secretary-General, Association of African Universities; former Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Law, University of Ghana

    • Ambassador Terusuke Terada

      President, Foreign Press Center/Japan; former Ambassador of Japan to Mexico, Belize, and Republic of Korea

    • Prof. Hebe Maria Cristina Vessuri

      Head and Senior Researcher, Department of Science Studies, Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research

    • Prof. David Ward

      Consultant, American Council on Education; Former President, American Council on Education
      United States

    • Prof. Alison Wolf

      Professor of Management and Professional Development, King’s College London, University of London
      United Kingdom


    • Prof. Peter H. Katjavivi

      Ambassador of Namibia in Germany

    • Prof. Rafaa Ben Achour

      Prof., King Saud University, Faculty if Administrative Science, Department of Law

    • H. E. Dr. Ahmad Jalali

      Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of the Islamic Republic of Iran to UNESCO

    • Prof. Jose Raymundo Martins Romeo

      Rector, Colegio do Brazil

    • Dr. Dorothy L. Njeuma

      Rector, University of Yaounde I

    • Prof. Jocelyne Perard

      Prof., Centre de Recherches de Climatologie, Universite de Bourgogne-UMR CNRS

    • Prof. Dr. Dagmar Schipanski

      Minister, Thurigian Ministry for Science, Research and Art

    • Prof. Vappu Taipale

      Prof., Director-General, National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES)

    • Dr. Juan Vela Valdes

      Minister of Higher Education; Rector, Universidad de la Habana

    • Prof. Dr. Lyudmila A. Verbitskaya

      Rector, St. Petersburg State University
      Russian Federation


    • Dr. Yoginder K. Alagh

      Member of Parliament (Upper House), India; Vice-Chairman, Sardar Patel Institute of Economic and Social Research; and former Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology and Power, Government of India

    • Prof. Faizah Al-Kharafi

      Former President, Kuwait University, Safat, Kuwait

    • Dr. Josep M. Bricall

      Former President, Conference of European Rectors (CRE)- Association of European Universities); and former Rector, University of Barcelona, Spain

    • Prof. Ana Maria Cetto

      Deputy Director-General and Head, Department of Technical Cooperation, International Atomic Energy Agency; and former Research Prof., Institute of Physics, National University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico

    • Prof. Elizabeth Croll

      Head, Department of Development Studies, University of London, United Kingdom
      U.K./New Zealand

    • Dr. Donald Gerth

      President, California State University, Sacramento, California, USA

    • Prof. Aleksandra Kornhauser

      Director, International Centre for Chemical Studies, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

    • Prof. Lin Quan

      Secretary-General, Ministry of Science and Technology, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

    • Prof. Ahmadou Ndiaye

      Former Ministre Conseiller spécial du Président de la République, Dakar; and former Rector, Université Gaston-Berger de Saint-Louis, Senegal

    • Dr. Jairam Reddy

      Independent Consultant in Higher Education; and former Vice-Chancellor, University of Durban, South Africa
      South Africa

    • Prof. Dr. Wichit Srisa-an

      Former Rector, Suranaree University of Technology, Thailand

    • Prof. Francoise Thys-Clement

      Pro-Rector, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

    • Dr. Carlos Tunnermann Bernheim

      Consultant on Higher Education; and former Special Adviser to the Director-General of UNESCO for Latin America and the Caribbean, Managua, Nicaragua

    • Ambassador Chusei Yamada

      Member, International Law Commission of the United Nations; and former Prof. of International Law, Faculty of Law, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan


    • Prof. Donald Ekong

      Professor University of the Gambia, Banjul, Gambia; former Consultant in Higher Education Management, The Ford Foundation, Johannesburg, South Africa; former Secretary-General, Association of African Universities, Accra, Ghana; and former Vice-Chancellor, Port Harcourt University, Nigeria

    • Prof. Paolo Costa

      Sindaco (Mayor), Comune di Venezia; Professor, Department of Economic Science, Universita Ca’ Foscari di Venezia; former Minister of Public Works, Ministry of Public Works, Government of Italy; former Rector and Professor of Regional Economics, University Ca’ Foscari of Venice, Italy

    • Dr. Salim El-Hoss

      Former Prime Minister of Lebanon and former Minister of Education, Government of Lebanon

    • Prof. Genady Nikolaevich Golubev

      Head, Department of World Physical Geography and Geoecology, Faculty of Geography, Moscow State University, Russian Federation; and former Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Assistant Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
      Russian Federation

    • Prof. Francoise Heritier-Auge

      Director, Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, College de France

    • Prof. Risto Ihamuotila

      Chancellor, University of Helsinki; former Rector, University of Helsinki; Vice-Chairman, Finnish Council of University Rectors, Finland

    • Dr. Graca Machel

      President, Foundation for Community Development (FDC); Chairperson, National Organization of Children of Mozambique; former Minister of Education and Culture, Government of Mozambique

    • Dr. Valeria Merino-Dirani

      Executive Director, Corporacion Latinoammericana para el Desarrollo CLD, Quito, Ecuador

    • Prof. Ingrid Moses

      Vice-Chancellor, University of New England; former Vice-Chancelor (Academic), University of Canberra, Australia

    • Prof. Jose Joaquin Brunner Ried

      Director, Programa Educacion, Fundacion Chile; and former Minister, Ministry of the Secretary-General, Government of Chile


    • Mr. Vladimir Dlouhy

      Minister of Industry and Trade, Czech Republic
      Czech Republic
      (Resigned in December 1995)

    • Ambassador Hideo Kagami

      Former Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations in New York

    • Dr. Hanaa Kheir-el-Din

      Professor of Economics and Chairperson, Economics Department, Cairo University, Cairo

    • Prof. Sang Soo Lee

      Professor Emeritus, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul
      Republic of Korea

    • Prof. Madina Ly-Tall

      Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to France

    • Dr. Edson Machado de Sousa

      Former Secretary of Science and Technology of the Presidency, Government of Brazil

    • Dr. Lucien F. Michaud, SJ

      Professor University of Sudbury, Ontario

    • Dr. A. P. Mitra

      Bhatnagar Fellow (CSIR), National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi

    • Prof. Jacob L. Ngu

      Inspector-General In Charge of Higher Education, Ministry of Higher Education, Yaounde

    • Dr. Luis Manuel Penalver

      Honorary President, Grupo Universitario Latino-Americano (GULERPE)

    • Dr. Victor Rabinowitch

      Senior Vice-President, MacArthur Foundation, Illinois
      United States of America

    • Prof. Frances Stewart

      Director, Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford University
      United Kingdom

    • Prof. J. A. van Ginkel

      UNU Rector from 1 September 1997 to 31 August 2007
      Rector Magnificus and Professor of Human Geography, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
      The Netherlands

    • Dr. Wang Shaoqi

      Director-General, Department of International Cooperation, State Science and Technology Commission (SSTC), Beijing


    • Dr. Claude Frejacques

      Professor and former Chairman, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris

    • Dr. Sippanondha Ketudat

      Chairman, Petroleum Authority of Thailand, Bangkok

    • Father Felipe Mac Gregor

      Chairman, Instituto de la Paz, Universidad del Pacifico, Lima

    • Dr. Lucille Mair

      Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations in New York

    • Dr. Abdel Salam Majali

      Chairman, World Affairs Council, Amman

    • Prof. Lydia Makhubu

      Vice-Chancellor, University of Swaziland, Kwaluseni

    • Prof. Vladen A. Martynov

      Director, Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow

    • Prof. Fatima Mernissi

      Prof. and Researcher, Institut Universitaire de la Rechereche Scientifique, Universite Mohammed V (Rabat)
      Resigned in 1993

    • Dr. Rafael Portaencasa

      Rector, Polytechnical University of Madrid

    • Dr. Raimo Vayrynen

      Professor of International Relations, University of Helsinki

    • Prof. Josephine Guidy-Wandja

      Professor of Mathematics, Université National de la Cote d’Ivoire, Abidjan
      Cote d’Ivoire

    • Prof. Yao Erxin

      Director, Department of International Cooperation, State Science and Technology Commission, Beijing
      People’s Republic of China
      (Resigned in 1991)


    • Prof. Mary F. Berry

      Professor of History and Law, Howard University, Washington, DC
      United States of America

    • Father Alfonso Borrero

      Rector, Universidad Javeriana, Bogota

    • Dr. Umberto Colombo

      Chairman, Italian National Agency for Atomic and Alternative Energy Sources (ENEA), Rome

    • Ambassador Kuniyoshi Date

      Former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Iraq and to the Federative Republic of Brazil
      (Appointed in 1987)

    • Dr. Keith B. Griffin

      President, Magdalen College, Oxford University
      United Kingdom

    • Prof. Heitor Gurgulino de Souza

      Physics Department, Universidade Estadual Paulista
      (Resigned in 1987)

    • Prof. Joseph Ki-Zerbo

      University of Dakar
      Burkina Faso

    • Prof. Candido Mendes de Almeida

      President, Sociedade Brasileira de Instrucao, Rio de Janeiro
      (Appointed in 1987)

    • Prof. M. G. K. Menon

      Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, New Delhi

    • Dr. Martha Mvungi

      Principal Secretary, Ministry of Education and Senior Lecturer, University of Dar-es-Salaam

    • Prof. Mihaly Simai

      Deputy Director, Institute for World Economics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest
      (Appointed in 1987)

    • Prof. Rehman Sobhan

      Chairman, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, Dhaka

    • Prof. Ryozo Sunobe

      Kyorin University, Special Adviser to the Crown Prince’s Household and Member of the Provisional Council on Educational Reform, Tokyo
      (Resigned in December 1987)

    • Prof. Justin Thorens

      Faculty of Law, University of Geneva, and President of the International Association of Universities


    • Dr. Bakr Abdullah Bakr

      Rector, University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran
      Saudi Arabia

    • Dr. Bashir Bakri

      Chairman, National Bank of Sudan, Khartoum

    • Dr. Marie-Therese Basse

      Technical Counselor, Office of the President of the Republic of Senegal, Dakar

    • Prof. Andre Blanc-Lapierre

      Professor, Signals and Systems Laboratory, Advanced School of Electricity, Gif-sur-Yvette

    • Prof. Dr. Jozsef Bognar

      Director Institute for World Economics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest
      (Resigned in April 1986)

    • Dr. Mercedes Concepcion

      Dean, Population Institute, University of the Philippines

    • Dr. Helge Gyllenberg

      Professor of Microbiology, University of Finland, Helsinki
      (Appointed in May 1985)

    • Prof. Walter Joseph Kamba

      Vice-Chancellor, University of Zimbabwe, Harare

    • Dr. Gerald C. Lalor

      Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of the West Indies, Kingston
      (Appointed in May 1985)

    • Dr. Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo

      Former Caretaker Prime Minister, Lisbon

    • Prof. Yevgeniy M. Primakov

      Director, Institute of World Economy and International Relations USSR Academy of Sciences, Moscow

    • Dr. Alberto Wagner de Reyna

      Former Ambassador of Peru to UNESCO

    • Ms. Zhao Dihua

      Deputy Director, Division of Information Science and Methodology, Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China, Beijing
      People’s Republic of China


    • Royal Prof. Ungku Abdul Aziz

      Vice-Chancellor, University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur

    • Dr. Daniel Adzei Bekoe

      Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra
      (Resigned in April 1984)

    • Dr. Elise Boulding

      Professor and Chairman, Department of Sociology, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire
      United States of America

    • Dr. Satish Chandra

      Chairman, University Grants Commission, New Delhi

    • Prof. Donald E. U. Ekong

      Vice-Chancellor, University of Cross River State
      (Appointed in July 1984)

    • Dr. Dennis Irvine

      Vice-Chancellor and Principal, University of Guyana
      (Resigned in June 1984)

    • Prof. Andre Louis Jaumotte

      President of the Council, Free University of Brussels

    • Prof. Dr. Reimut Jochimsen

      Minister of Economics and Transportation of Land North Rhine-Westphalia, Dusseldorf
      Federal Republic of Germany

    • H.E. Dr. Stanley Kalpage

      Chairman, University Grants Commission; Secretary, Ministry of Higher Education, Colombo
      Sri Lanka

    • Sir John Kendrew

      Secretary-General, International Council of Scientific Unions (Paris); Director-General, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (Heidelberg)
      United Kingdom

    • Dr. Karl Eric Knutsson

      Secretary-General, Swedish Agency for Research Cooperation with Developing Countries (SAREC), Stockholm

    • Prof. Shizuo Saito

      President, Foreign Press Center of Japan, Tokyo

    • Dr. Charles Valy Tuho

      Rector, University of Abidjan
      Cote d’Ivoire

    • Prof. Victor Urquidi

      President, El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico City


    • Dr. Estefania Aldaba-Lim

      Secretary, Social Services and Development

    • Prof. Dr. Pawel Bozyk

      Extraordinary Professor, Central School of Planning and Statistics, Warsaw (now Warsaw School of Economics)

    • Dr. Carlos Chagas

      Director, Institute of Biophysics, Rio de Janeiro

    • Dr. Wilbert Kumalija Chagula

      Minister for Water Development, Energy and Minerals, Arusha

    • Dr. Jean Coulomb

      President, Academy of Sciences, Paris

    • Dr. P.N. Dhar

      Prime Minister Secretary, New Delhi
      (Resigned in October 1978)

    • Reverend Father Felipe E. MacGregor

      Rector, Catholic University, Lima

    • Dr. Abdel Salam Majali

      Minister of Education, Amman

    • Prof. Malu wa Kalenga

      Director, Centre for Nuclear Study, National University of Zaire, Kinshasa

    • Dr. Stephan Verosta

      Professor of International Law Vienna

    • Dr. Shams E. El-Wakil

      Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of the Arab Republic of Egypt to UNESCO

    • Dr. Ines Wesley-Tanaskovic

      UNESCO National Commission of Yugoslavia, Belgrade


    • Dr. Jacob Festus Ade-Ajayi

      Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos

    • Lord Briggs

      Vice-Chancellor, University of Sussex
      United Kingdom

    • Dr. Roger Gaudry

      Rector, University of Montreal

    • Dr. Hans Lowbeer

      Chancellor of the Swedish Universities, Stockholm

    • Mr. Yoshinori Maeda

      Former President, Japan Broadcasting Corporation Tokyo

    • Prof. Antonio Marussi

      Instituto di Geodesia e Geofisica, University of Trieste

    • Dr. Joseph Maina Mungai

      Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Nairobi
      (Resigned in April 1976)

    • Mr. Motoo Ogiso

      Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations in New York
      (Resigned in 1974)

    • Dr. Majid Rahnema

      Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, Former Minister of Science and Higher Education, Tehran

    • Dr. Marcel Roche

      Former Director, Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research, Caracas

    • Dr. Seydou Madani Sy

      Rector, University of Dakar

    • Dr. Edward W. Weidner

      Chancellor, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay
      United States of America

    • Dr. Eric Eustace Williams

      Prime Minister, Port of Spain
      Trinidad and Tobago

    • Dr. Keniz Fatima Yusuf

      Vice-Chancellor, Islamabad University


    • Prof. Jean Bernard

      Member of the Académie des sciences; Professor of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Paris

    • Dr. Marcolino Gomes Candau

      Director-General Emeritus, World Health Organization, Geneva

    • Dr. Ismail Ghanem

      Former Rector, Ain-Shams University, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Cairo

    • Prof. Janusz W. Golebiowski

      Head of Chair of Contemporary Politics, Department of Social Sciences, Warsaw University

    • Dr. Aklilu Habte

      Former President, Haile Selassie I University, Addis Ababa

    • Prof. Dr. Reimut Jochimsen

      State Secretary Federal Ministry of Education and Science, Bonn
      Federal Republic of Germany

    • Dr. Gopalaswami Parthasarathy

      Vice-Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

    • Dr. Jose Louis Romero

      Former Rector, University of Buenos Aires

    • Dr. Victor E. Sahini

      Director, Centre of Physical Chemistry, Bucharest

    • Dr. Victor Urquidi

      President, El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico City

    • Dr. Abdul-Razzak Kaddoura

      Rector, University of Damascus
      (Resigned in January 1976)