The Global Young Academy’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and International Conference of Young Scientists “Trust in Young Scientists” successfully concluded on 4 June, and included the election of new leadership.

To represent and lead them through the upcoming year, GYA members elected leaders hailing from Africa, Asia and Europe to the Executive Committee (EC), which is comprised of eleven members, of which two are Co-Chairs.

As Co-Chairs for the upcoming year, members chose Roula Inglesi-Lotz (University of Pretoria, South Africa) and Michael Saliba (University of Stuttgart, Germany).  Michael served as a Co-Chair last year.

Further EC members are as follows: Michael Backes (University of Namibia, Namibia); Derya Baran (KAUST, Saudi Arabia); Cristina Blanco Sío-López (University of Pittsburgh / Ca’ Foscari University of Venice);  Lahcen El Youssfi (Khenifra Superior School of Technology, Sultan Moulay Slimane University, Morocco); Mohamed Elhadidy (Zewail City of Science and Technology, Egypt); Encieh Erfani (IASBS, Iran); Anna Harris (Maastricht University, The Netherlands); Abhijit Majumder (Indian Institute of Technology, India): and Prosper Ngabonziza (Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, Germany). Mohamed and Lahcen were both re-elected.

Looking at the year ahead, Co-Chair Roula Inglesi-Lotz states that, “In a world that the voices for diversity, social justice and equal opportunities get louder, the Global Young Academy is here to serve as a platform for young scientists around the world to express their own voice. If nothing else, the Covid pandemic has taught us that connectivity, collaboration and sharing are key to sustainable growth and development. Scientists internationally face challenges not only with regards to their own research but a general mistrust by the public – we at GYA work hard to challenge these biases because we believe in the benefit of the synergies among policymakers, scientists and communities.”

Co-Chair Michael Saliba adds that, “The GYA brings people from all disciplines and walks of life together. It is now an established voice within the scientific and science advice community. We will strive to make this voice heard even more in the coming year and look forward to working together with everyone.”

The Co-Chairs’ biographies are available below, while the EC members’ biographies are available on the GYA website here.

Roula is a professor in the Department of Economics in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the University of Pretoria (UP), South Africa. She completed her undergraduate studies in 2006 at the University of Macedonia, Greece, and continued with her postgraduate studies at the University of Pretoria, South Africa in 2008. Funded by the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) of the Department of Energy, she completed her doctoral thesis in 2011. She has published more than 70 academic papers in peer-reviewed local and international academic journals. Based on publications over the last 10 years, REPEC/IDEAS has ranked her third economist in the country. She has also developed the curriculum and currently teaches the first course on Energy and Environmental Economics in the Department of Economics, UP with main focus on the interlinkages between energy, the environment and the macroeconomy. She is the founding President of the South AFrican Association for Energy Economics (SAAEE) and the Vice President for Regional Affairs of the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE).  She is a fellow of the Africa Science Leadership Programme in Future Africa and she was also awarded the Women in Sciene award by the South African Department of Science and Technology in 2017.

Michael (@miliba01) is a full professor and Director of the Institute for Photovoltaics (ipv) at Stuttgart University (@SalibaLab) with a dual appointment as Head of the Helmholtz Young Investigator Group FRONTRUNNER at the Research Center Jülich, Germany. Previously, he was a professor at TU Darmstadt, a Group Leader at the University of Fribourg, and a Marie Curie Fellow at EPFL. He completed his PhD in 2014 at Oxford University. His research focuses on a deeper understanding and improvement of optoelectronic properties of emerging solar cell technologies with an emphasis on perovskites for a sustainable energy future. He is a leading scientist in his field with over 100 publications in the topics of plasmonics, lasers, LEDs, and perovskite semiconductors. Michael is also an upcoming board member of the German Junge Akademie. In 2016, he received the Young Scientist Award of the German University Association. In 2017, the MIT Technology Review named him one of the World’s “35 Innovators Under 35”. In 2020, he was awarded the Heinz Maier Leibnitz Prize by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and selected as Young Scientist of the World Economic Forum.

More information, including this year’s conference programme, is available on our conference website: