Early- and mid-career researchers from over 40 countries have gathered in Pattaya, Thailand for the Global Young Academy’s (GYA) Annual General Meeting and conference. To represent and lead them through the upcoming year, GYA members elected Tolu Oni and Connie Nshemereirwe as their new Co-Chairs.

Connie Nshemereirwe (Uganda)
Science and Policy Facilitator
Following 15 years as an academic, Connie now acts at the interface between academia and policy, helping scientists better engage with the world of policy making, as well as helping policy makers become better able to access and evaluate available evidence for policy making. She is a member of the steering committee of the Africa Science Leadership Programme and also of the Uganda National Young Academy.
Tolu Oni (UK)
Public health scientist + epidemiologist
Tolu is researching disease and well-being in the context of urbanisation. She leads the Research Initiative for Cities Health and Equity (RICHE), and her research focuses on understanding health transition, and the epidemiology of the interaction between common chronic conditions and the unplanned urban environment. Her research is grounded in the conviction that policy and science need to go hand-in-hand to find solutions to our most pressing questions.

Elections were also held for the Executive Committee (EC), the GYA’s leadership team. Meet the members of the Executive Committee 2018/19:

Anina Rich (Australia)Newly elected
Cognitive Neuroscience
Associate Professor Anina Rich is Director of the Perception in Action Research Centre (PARC) at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Her research explores the way the human brain selects, integrates, and responds to incoming information to allow us to perceive and interact with our complex environment.
Abdalhadi Alijla (Sweden) – Newly elected
Palestinian + Swedish academic and writer
Abdalhadi is an associate researcher at Varieties of Democracy Institute at Gothenburg University, Sweden, and the Regional Manager of the Gulf. He is also the Director of the Institute for Middle East Studies, Canada (IMESC). In 2010, he was a visiting researcher at ICCROM in Rome, Italy. He was also selected as a junior scientist at the 30th Alternative Nobel Prize.
Adewale Adewuyi (Nigeria) – Newly elected
Industrial Chemistry
Adewale holds BSc (Chemistry), MSc and PhD in Industrial Chemistry from the University of Ibadan. Over the years, his research activities has been on the industrial applications of underutilised seeds and seed oils which cuts across primary health service, synthesis of surfactants, biofuel, oleochemicals and their use in environment, medicine and food.
Xuan Bach Tran (Vietnam) – Newly elected
Health economist + decision analytic modeling
He is an associate professor and vice head of the Health Economics Department at Hanoi Medical University, and adjunct associate professor at Johns Hopkins University. His research interests primarily focus on applying decision analytic modeling to inform the development and evaluation of health technologies and policies.
Koen Vermeir (France) – Newly elected
History and Philosophy of Science
Koen is an Associate Research Professor (CR1) at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). After graduate studies in theoretical physics, in philosophy and in history of science, in Leuven, Utrecht and Cambridge, he has held research positions at the Fund of Scientific Research-Flanders, the Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science, Harvard University, and Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies.
Laura Fierce (USA)Re-elected
Atmospheric Sciences
Laura is a NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Environmental and Climate Sciences at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Her research focuses on developing new frameworks for simulating atmospheric aerosols in climate and air quality models. Aerosols affect the Earth’s radiative balance and, hence, climate, by scattering and absorbing solar radiation, by altering the lifetime and radiative properties of clouds, and by decreasing the reflectivity of ice and snow.
Shaheen Motala-Timol (Mauritius) – Newly elected
Chemistry + Quality assurance in Higher Education
Shaheen is a chemistry trained higher education professional and quality assurance practitioner. She earned her PhD in Chemistry from the University of Mauritius in 2006 and was research active in her field for several years. Her doctoral thesis focused on the synthesis and characterization of novel biodegradable (co)polymers, mainly polylactones, and her postdoctoral work was on the design and synthesis of nano-sized water soluble polypeptides with micellar properties in solution.
Rothsophal Nguon (Cambodia)Newly elected
Gender Studies (Female Entrepreneurship and social development)

Rothsophal’s special research interest lies in gender equality and female
entrepreneurship in Cambodia. This is inspired by both academic
pursuits and personal experiences. Providing practical implications
through her research, she is currently dealing with questions of social
welfare and gender equity, aiming to improve quality and equality in
primary education.
Yoko Shimpuku (Japan)Newly elected
Midwifery researcher + Africanist
Yoko is committed to reducing maternal and neonatal mortality in resource-poor settings, especially in Africa, working closely with the World Health Organization. Based on her research on childbirth experiences and cultural understanding of Tanzanian women, she has developed educational materials for pregnant women and families.