Six New Members Appointed to the United Nations University Council

  • 2019•05•15

    15 May 2019 ― The United Nations University (UNU) is pleased to announce the appointment of six new members to the governing United Nations University Council. The new appointees, who will serve six-year terms, took office on 3 May and attended the 71st session of the UNU Council that was convened in Rome on 13–14 May.

    In accordance with Article IV of the UNU Charter, the new UNU Council members were appointed jointly by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. Appointed members serve in an individual capacity ― not as representatives of their country’s government ― and are selected with an eye to achieving a geographic and gender balance, with due regard to major academic, scientific, educational, and cultural trends as well as each member’s field(s) of expertise.

    The six new UNU Council members are:

    • Dr Denisa Čiderová (Slovakia), Vice-Rector for Research and Doctoral Studies, University of Economics in Bratislava
    • Dr Comfort Ero (United Kingdom), Program Director, International Crisis Group
    • Dr Xin Fang (China), President & Professor, School of Public Policy and Management, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
    • Professor Adam Habib (South Africa), Vice-Chancellor and Principal, University of Witwatersrand
    • Professor ‘Funmi Olonisakin (United Kingdom & Nigeria), Vice-President/Vice-Principal International & Professor of Security, Leadership and Development, King’s College London
    • Professor Brenda Yeoh (Singapore), Raffles Professor of Social Sciences, National University of Singapore

    For links to profiles of these new Council members, see the UNU Council page.

    They join six Council members whose six-year terms will end in 2022:

    • Professor Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz (Brazil), Scientific Director, São Paulo Research Foundation & Professor, Gleb Wataghin Physics Institute, State University of Campinas
    • Ms Isabel Guerrero Pulgar (Chile), Director, IMAGO Global Grassroots, & lecturer at Harvard and MIT
    • Dr Angela Kane (Germany), UNU Council Chair; Senior Fellow, Vienna Centre for Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, & Professor, Sciences Po, Paris
    • Dr Segenet Kelemu (Ethiopia), Director General and CEO, International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology
    • Dr Radha Kumar (India), Policy Analyst
    • Professor Tsuneo Nishida (Japan), Honorary Director, Institute for Peace Science, Hiroshima University

    For profiles of all current UNU Council members, see

    The UNU Council comprises 12 appointed members, the UNU Rector, and three ex officio members (the United Nations Secretary–General, the Director–General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization , and the Executive Director of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research). Its main functions are, inter alia, to formulate the principles and policies of UNU, govern the University’s operations, and consider and approve the UNU biennial work programme and budget.

    Journalists who would like more information about the UNU Council or wish to request an interview with any of the new UNU Council members may contact Hillary McBride, UNU Head of Communications (+81 3-5467-1212,