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Senior Officers

Each IARU partner is represented by a Senior member of the institution. Senior Officers meet annually to review the initiatives that are branded under the Alliance's name as well as to discuss specific topics of interest related to the higher education trends. The IARU Senior Officers are:

Australian National University

Professor Shirley Leitch has been Dean of the College of Business and Economics at The Australian National University since 2014. From November 2015, she was also appointed as Pro Vice-Chancellor (International and Outreach). Previously, she was Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, where she co-founded Online Education Services Ltd (OES) in partnership with SEEK Ltd. In 2015, OES was recognised as Australia's fastest growing company in the BRW Fast 100.

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ETH Zurich

Dr. Jürg Brunnschweiler obtained his doctorate in Biology from the University of Zurich. He joined ETH Zurich in 2002, working first in the Presidents’ Staff and the Lecturers’ Office, then in the office dealing with the European Union Framework Programmes. In 2009, he returned to the Office for Faculty Affairs where he was responsible for faculty recruiting procedures at various departments. In addition, he was contact person for academic career advancement and Secretary of the Tenure Committee. Since 1 October 2012, Dr. Brunnschweiler is the Head of ETH Global and Director of Global Institutional Affairs at ETH Zurich.

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Mr. Anders Hagström is the Director of Global Educational Affairs at ETH Zurich. His previous appointments included project manager of ETH Zurich’s ICT development program, "ETH World", and various positions in the field of lifelong learning for engineers at Helsinki University of Technology, Cambridge University and European Federation of National Engineering Associations.

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National University of Singapore

Prof Andrew Wee is currently Vice President (University and Global Relations) at the National University of Singapore (NUS). In his role as Vice President, he works with the President on the University’s efforts to become a leading global university located in the heart of Asia through the strengthening of strategic relations with stakeholders both in Singapore and overseas.

Professor Andrew Wee was previously Dean of the NUS Faculty of Science from April 2007 to March 2014. He is a Provost’s Chair Professor at the NUS Department of Physics, and Director of the Surface Science Laboratory in the NUS Faculty of Science. He is also an adjunct scientist at the Agency of Science, Technology and Research’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE).

Prof Wee is currently the President of the Singapore National Academy of Science. He was awarded the President’s medal in 2008 by the Institute of Physics Singapore (IPS), and is a fellow of the Institute of Physics UK (IoP), the Singapore National Academy of Science (SNAS), the Institute of Physics Singapore, as well as an academician of the Asia-Pacific Academy of Materials (APAM).

Prof Wee’s research interests are in surface and nanoscale science, scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and synchrotron radiation studies of the molecule-substrate interface, graphene and related nanomaterials. He has published more than 500 internationally refereed scientific papers and has garnered more than 9000 citations. He is an Associate Editor of the journal ACS Nano since 2011, and serves or has served on several journal editorial boards including Applied Physics Letters-Journal of Applied Physics (2009-2011), Surface and Interface Analysis (2005-), and Surface Review and Letters (2002-).

Prof Wee was previously a visiting scientist with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories in the US, a Commonwealth Fellow as well as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Physics as well as a Masters degree from the University of Cambridge. He received his DPhil from the University of Oxford.

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Peking University

Dr. Li Yansong is the Vice President for international relations at Beida. He is concurrently the Co-Director of Peking University Center for International Higher Education, Secretary-General of Hongkong and Macao Research Association of Peking University, Standing Vice President and Secretary-General of Association for Introducing Foreign Intelligence, sub-association of Chinese Association of Higher Ecudation (CAHE), and President of Association for Ecucation Management Research of Macao, Taiwan and Overseas Chinese students in Beijing. His previous appointments in Beida included various key positions in the Office of International Relations. Dr. Li is an experienced administrator and researcher with a specialization in international relations, communication and development related issues.

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Dr. Xia Hongwei is Director of the Office of International Relations of Peking University and the Deputy Director of the Peking University Center for International Higher Education. He received his Bachelor degree in Political Science from the University of International Relations in 1989 and went on to further his postgraduate studies at Peking University and was awarded the Master and PhD in International & Intercultural Studies in 1994 and 2009 respectively.

From 1995 to 1997, Dr. Xia was invited as an exchange scholar in the Department of Communication Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States, engaging in the study of cross-cultural communication. In June 2005, he was again invited as a visiting scholar sponsored by DAAD to conduct research on the China-Germany Educational Exchange in the late 19th century at Freie Universität Berlin. In the summer of 2007, Dr. Xia visited the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University as a visiting fellow focusing on the research of cultural interactions between China and US in the early 20th century.

Dr. Xia has published several theses in academic journals about sino-foreign higher education exchange, edited books on the internationalization of universities and conducted some research projects on student mobility of China's National Association of Research on Study Abroad. His main research areas include: sino-western cultural exchange in late Qing Dynasty, cross-cultural conflict and communication, internationalization of higher education and international communication and management between universities.

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Dr. Chen is a tenured full professor in the Faculty of Academy for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Peking University, since September of 2011. He is the Dean of School of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Director of Office of Science and Technology Development of Peking University.

Dr. Chen was an adjunct Professor of the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences where he served as the co-director of the Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics from 2004 to 2009. Before that he was a Sr. Rowland Fellow and the Head of the Nanoscale Quantum Physics Lab. of Rowland Institute at Harvard University where he worked from 1989 to 2004 and where he led the development of two generations of low temperature scanning tunneling microscope. His academic expertise includes nanotechnologies and advanced semiconductor process integrations, nonvolatile material and device physics, MEMS device and process, MEMS-CMOS integration; spin and quantum device physics. He co-authored more than 70 scientific publications and 200 US and international patents.

Dr. Chen is an Associate Editor and board member of Applied Physics letter and Journal and Applied Physics; a Sr. Associate Editor of Chinese Science Bulletin and an Associate Editor of Chinese Physics Letter.

Dr. Chen is a serial entrepreneur. He is the Chief Scientist of 4DS Inc. and a key inventor of 4DS’ Metal Oxide Heteorjunction RRAM device. He also co-founded Miradia Inc. in Silicon Valley in 2003 where he raised 80M USD from tier-1 venture capitals and led the development of a platform technology for MEMS-CMOS 3D integration for applications in digital micro-mirror array and motion sensors, and successfully licensed company’s patent portfolio to a major foundry in Asia.

Dr. Chen is the Board of Director, Sr. Advisor and former Chairman & President of Chinese American Semiconductor Professional Association (CASPA).

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University of California, Berkeley

Professor Pradeep Chhibber is the Director of the Institute of International Studies at UC Berkeley. He is concurrently the Indo-American Endowed Chair and Class of 1959 Chair as well as a professor at the Department of Political Science at UC Berkeley. Professor Chhibber has published extensively on issues related to party systems, electoral politics and the politics of India.

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Professor Price's research and teaching fields include comparative politics and African affairs, with a special emphasis on South Africa. He is author of Society and Bureaucracy in Contemporary Ghana (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975), U.S. Foreign Policy toward Sub-Saharan Africa: National Interest and Global Strategy (Berkeley: Institute of International Studies, 1979), The Apartheid Regime: Political Power and Racial Domination (co-editor, Berkeley: Institute of International Studies Publications, 1980) and The Apartheid State in Crisis (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991) as well as a variety of journal articles and book chapters dealing with the new African state, U.S. foreign policy towards Africa and political change in South Africa.

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University of Cambridge

Dr. Toby Wilkinson took up his appointment as Head of the International Strategy Office at the University of Cambridge in July 2011. He works closely with the Vice-Chancellor and the Pro Vice-Chancellor for International Strategy to support the schools, faculties and departments in their international engagements and to develop the university's strategic engagements overseas, particularly research collaborations with the EU, USA, India, China and Brazil.

Prior to joining the International Strategy Office, Dr. Wilkinson served for four years as Chairman of the Cambridge Colleges Development Group, coordinating the external relations and fundraising functions of Cambridge's 31 colleges in the context of the university's institution-wide £1 billion campaign.

Dr. Wilkinson is also an acknowledged expert on ancient Egyptian civilisation and one of the leading Egyptologists of his generation. He is a Fellow of Clare College Cambridge.

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University of Cape Town 

Dr Marilet Sienaert completed a PhD in Literary Studies at the former University of Natal (Durban) and worked at the universities of Pretoria, Natal (Durban) and Durban-Westville from 1977 to 2000.

Moving through the ranks from lecturer to full professor during this time, her own academic work and on-going involvement in institutional research development projects led to a growing interest in higher education research management and a career change in 2000, when she was appointed to UCT as head of the then Grants Office.

Her experience as an academic stood her in good stead as her role, and that of the office, continued to evolve in response to rapid changes in the higher education environment. A number of donor-funded grants were obtained to enhance the Office's support and management capacity, resulting in a range of initiatives that were subsequently mainstreamed into central university operations. These included improved information management, strategic research planning and implementation as well as a 'framework of support' based on a series of staff development interventions for researchers at different phases of their research careers. Known as the Research Office since 2003, this entity is furthermore responsible for all pre-award processes related to grants; benchmarking; reporting; quality assurance; research internationalisation and the brokering of collaborative partnerships.

As Executive Director, Sienaert's mandate covers the activities of the Research Office; the Office of Research Integrity; the Directorate of Postgraduate Studies. She works closely with the cluster of research committees as well as the Deputy Vice Chancellor for research, to develop and implement the institutional research strategy and to position UCT optimally in relation to on-going challenges and opportunities in the national and international research and policy environment.
An active member of the South African Research & Innovation Management Association (SARIMA) and the International Organisation for Research Management Societies (INORMS), Sienaert has delivered many papers at a range of national and international conferences on research management. She has also served as panel member on the Council for Higher Education's national quality assurance audits of universities and on reference groups of the National Research Foundation.

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University of Copenhagen

Professor Thomas Bjørnholm has been Prorector and Director of Nano-Science since September 1, 2010.

Professor Bjørnholm obtained his PhD in materials chemistry in 1990. In 1992 he became affiliated with the Chemistry Department at the University of Copenhagen as Associate Professor, in 2000 as Research Professor and in 2005 as full Professor. In 1997, he was a visiting professor at the University of Texas at Austin and since 2003, he has been the chairman of the Copenhagen Graduate School for Nanoscience and Nanotecnology.

Professor Bjørnholm's main research interest lie within the area of organic electronics, single molecule science, nanochemistry and bionanotechnology. He has published more than 140 papers in scientific journals and books including several contributions to high impact journals as Science and Nature and given more than 150 invited talks at conferences and research institutions.

Professor Bjørnholm is elected member of the Danish Natural Science Academy, the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences, the Royal Danish Academy of Science and Letters, the Danish Natural Science Research Council and the Danish Technology Board. He has received several research awards including the Ole Rømer Fond Prize, the Ellen & Niels Bjerrum Prize and gold medal and the Direktør Ib Henriksen Prize.

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Dr. Lykke Friis is Prorector for Education since August 2013. Ms. Friis has once before been Prorector at the University of Copenhagen and held the position from 2006 until she was appointed Minister of Climate and Energy in November 2009–2011 and from 2010 also Minister for Gender Equality. She was member of the Danish Parliament from 2011–2013. Earlier in her career she has held positions at the Confederation of Danish Industries, the Danish Institute of International Affairs (Head of Research), the European Parliament and the Danish Ministry of Business Affairs. Ms. Friis holds a 1992 Master of Science in European Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science. The following year, she graduated from the University of Copenhagen as Master of Political Science. In 1997, she received her PhD in International Politics from the University of Copenhagen. Ms. Friis has studied and worked with EU and European affairs for many years. She has published scientific articles and often gives lectures on the subject or participates in panel debates at conferences. She has taught International and European affairs, both at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Copenhagen and at Copenhagen Business School. Moreover, she frequently publishes articles on the development of Europe and the EU in various Danish newspapers. She is a frequent guest in Danish television as an expert on European affairs – and on football. In 2008 Lykke was appointed member of the EU Reflection Group established by the European Council.

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Mr. Steen Ulrich is currently the Director of the Rector’s Office at the University of Copenhagen. He has held previous positions as a political advisor in the European Parliament and as a European Affairs consultant with the Confederation of Danish Industry. Mr. Ulrich has also undertaken an internship with the Prime Minister’s Office in Denmark. He has a MSc in Political Science and MA in European Affairs.

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University of Oxford

Loren Griffith is Director of International Strategy within the University of Oxford. He and the International Strategy Team are responsible for developing a coherent corporate strategy to promote Oxford’s international relations, global profile and international competitiveness. The Team’s portfolio is broad and includes such issues as Oxford’s approach to:

  • international student recruitment and funding
  • integration of international academic staff and students
  • international educational experiences for all students
  • international collaborations (research and education)
  • promoting deeper engagement with key countries/regions

Prior to joining Oxford, Loren was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company for seven years. As a member of the London, Boston, Delhi, New York and Los Angeles offices, he served clients in health care, including health systems and pharmaceutical companies, and in secondary and higher education. He also worked for United States President Barack Obama’s transition team and for the California State Senate. He holds a law degree (J.D.) with distinction from Stanford University, a Master’s in Public Affairs (MPA) from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and a B.A. in Ethics, Politics & Economics, magna cum laude, from Yale University.

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Ms Nina Tomlin joined the office in September 2011. Her areas of responsibility within the team include the regions of Africa, Europe and Latin America, the thematic areas of international staff recruitment and international experiences for students, as well as communications strategy.

Prior to joining Oxford, Nina was Deputy Director of the Ditchley Foundation, which promotes international understanding through the convening of high-level roundtable conferences on issues of international public policy, for over four years. She has also worked in the office of Amnesty International's Secretary General, the UK Home Office and the Electoral Commission, and for the Chairman of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee. Nina holds a degree in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge (Trinity Hall) and a Masters in International Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.


The University of Tokyo

Professor Kiichi Fujiwara is a professor of International Politics at the University of Tokyo, teaching courses on international relations and international conflict at the Faculty of Law, Graduate Schools of Law and Politics, and the Graduate School of Public Policy.

A graduate of the University of Tokyo (B.A. and M.A.), Professor Fujiwara studied as a Fulbright student at Yale University before he returned to Japan to the Institute of Social Science (ISS) of the University of Tokyo. He first joined the faculty at Chiba University and then returned to ISS for seven years before moving into his present position. He has held positions at the University of the Philippines, Johns Hopkins University, and was selected as a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center at Washington D.C.

Professor Fujiwara is known for his writings on international affairs, including Remembering the War (2001), A Democratic Empire (2002), Is There Really a Just War? (2003), Peace for Realists (2004) (winner of the Ishibashi Tanzan award, 2005), International Politics (2007), War Unleashed (2007), and Conditions of War (2013). Professor Fujiwara is a regular commentator on international affairs and Japanese foreign policy on Japanese TV networks such as NHK and TBS, along with the BBC World Service, CNN and NPR. He is also a film critic with two published works, America in Film (2006) and That’s a Movie! (2012).

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Yale University

Mr. Don Filer is Executive Director of the Office of International Affairs. He was appointed to his present position in December 2004. Previously, he was responsible for the managing support for the Yale Corporation, the Visitor Center and the Office of Licensing Programs. Prior to moving to Yale, Mr. Filer served in a number of capacities at Connecticut College from 1991 to 2000, including Vice President for Community and Public Affairs, Secretary of the College and Acting Vice President for Development. He worked for former U.S. Representative Bruce A. Morrison of New Haven from 1985 to 1991.

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