Six New Members Appointed to United Nations University Council

The new appointees, who will serve six-year terms (2022‒2028), will formally take office on 4 May.

2 May 2022 ― The United Nations University (UNU) is pleased to announce the appointment of six new members to the UNU Council. The new appointees, who will serve six-year terms (2022‒2028), will formally take office on 4 May and will participate in the upcoming 77th Session of the UNU Council on 30–31 May.

The new UNU Council members were appointed jointly by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, in accordance with the UNU Charter. Appointed Council 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 and expertise.

The six new UNU Council members are:

  • Ms Yamini Aiyar (India), President & Chief Executive, Centre for Policy Research
  • Prof. Sir Hilary Beckles (Barbados), Vice-Chancellor, The University of the West Indies
  • Dr Enrique Forero (Colombia), President, Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences
  • Prof. Catherine Kyobutungi (Uganda), Executive Director, The African Population and Health Research Center
  • Amb. Kuni Sato (Japan), Advisor, East Japan Railway Trading Co., Ltd
  • Dr Vanessa Scherrer (France), Vice President for International Affairs of Sciences Po

They join six Council members whose terms will end in 2025:

  • Dr Denisa Čiderová (Slovakia), Associate Professor in the Department of International Trade and Liaison for Idea Puzzle at the University of Economics in Bratislava
  • Dr Comfort Ero (United Kingdom), President and CEO, International Crisis Group
  • Dr Xin Fang (China), Professor, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Prof. Adam Habib (South Africa), Director, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
  • Prof. ‘Funmi Olonisakin (United Kingdom & Nigeria), Vice-President & Vice-Principal International and Professor of Security, Leadership & Development, King's College London
  • Prof. Brenda Yeoh (Singapore), Raffles Professor of Social Sciences, National University of Singapore

In addition to these 12 appointed members, the 16-member UNU Council includes 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 (UNESCO), and the Executive Director of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). The main functions of the Council are to formulate the principles and policies of UNU, govern the University’s operations, and consider and approve the UNU biennial work programme and budget.

For more about the UNU Council, or to view profiles of the incumbent appointed members, see the UNU Council page.

UNU would like to take this opportunity to also thank the six Council members who served from 2016 to 2022 for their outstanding contributions to the continuing success of UNU: outgoing Council Chair Dr Angela Kane (Germany); outgoing Council Vice-Chairs Prof. Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz (Brazil) and Prof. Tsuneo Nishida (Japan); and outgoing Council members Ms Isabel Guerrero Pulgar (Chile), Dr Segenet Kelemu (Ethiopia), and Dr Radha Kumar (India).

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Journalists who would like more information about the UNU Council or who wish to request an interview with any of the UNU Council members may contact Yukiko Nakahari, Japan Communications Specialist (; +81-3-5467-1275).

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