Advisory Board

​The GYA Advisory Board (AB) exists to provide advice to the GYA Executive Committee (EC) and the GYA Office relating to the development, activities, public promotion and general operations of the GYA. AB members are eminent members of the global scientific, scholarly or research communities, and have demonstrated a passion for supporting the development of early-career researchers and scholars. They represent diverse disciplines, career backgrounds and nationalities. The AB can have up to nine members; they are selected for a three-year term, which might be renewed once for a second term. The GYA Advisory Board meets with the GYA at least once per year, usually at the GYA Annual General Meeting or virtually.

Members of the GYA Advisory Board

Patricia Obo-Nai (Ghana)

Patricia Obo-Nai is the first Ghanaian female CEO of Vodafone Ghana. Prior to her appointment, she served in other directorship roles, including Chief Technology Director. She has 22 years of experience in Information Technology and Telecommunications, and is a member of the Ghana Institution of Engineers and of the Executive Women Network. Mrs Obo-Nai has received several awards, including the Best Female Technologist Award at the annual Ghana Telecom Awards in June 2012, and was selected as one of the 100 most inspiring women leaders at Vodafone in the year 2018.


Image: © WIPO 2014
Prof Dr Yuko Harayama (Japan)

Yuko Harayama is an Executive Director at Riken.

Prior to this, she was an Executive Member of the Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (CSTI) at the Cabinet Office. Furthermore, she spent two years at the OECD as the Deputy Director of the Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry (STI), and ten years at the Graduate School of Engineering of Tohoku University as a Professor of Science and Technology Policy.

Image: © AAS 2015
Prof Dr Kevin Marsh (Kenya)

Kevin Marsh is a Professor of Tropical Medicine at the Nuffield Department of Medicine. He has a broad research interest in child health in the tropics, with a particular focus in the immune epidemiology of malaria. From 1989 to 2014 he directed the KEMRI Wellcome Programme in Kenya.

Professor Marsh has furthermore taken a particular interest in the development of Science in Africa. He is currently seconded for 50% of his time as senior adviser to the African Academy of Sciences. He is chair of the WHO Malaria policy advisory committee (MPAC) and a member of many global health advisory groups.

 Dr Narong Sirilertworakul (Thailand)

Narong Sirilertworakul is the President of the National Science and Technology Development Agency in Thailand. For the last twenty-five years, Dr Sirilertworakul has been engaged in driving science and technology for a better future of Thailand.

In doing so, he has been and is key in supporting GYA’s activities in Thailand and Southeast Asia. He obtained his Ph.D. in manufacturing engineering from the University of Birmingham, UK and completed a Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program and a Director Certification Program from the Thai Institute of Directors.


@Humbolt Foundation / David Ausserhofer
Dr Ulrike Albrecht (Germany)

Science manager and historian, Ulrike Albrecht, is the former head of the Department for Strategic Planning and External Relations at the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Bonn, Germany. She earned graduate degrees in History and English and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Göttingen. Since July 2001, she has been the head of the Department for Strategic Planning and External Relations at the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. As such, she was also in charge of public relations, cooperation with national and international funding agencies and research organisations. Dr Albrecht was the vice chair of the American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and used to be the chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of Heidelberg. In 2017 she joined the Council of the Leibniz University in Hanover.

Linda Nordling (South Africa)

Sweden-born Linda Nordling, who started her journey as a journalist in the UK before moving to South Africa, specialises in African science policy, education and development. She was the founding editor of Research Africa and writes for SciDev.Net, Nature, The Times Higher Education, The Guardian and many others. She also functions as an adviser in science communication (mainly Africa, and African-related health topics).

Prof Luiz Davidovich (Brazil)

Luiz Davidovich, President of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, received his doctorate degree in 1976 at the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, in the area of Quantum Optics. After successful years of researching in his field, he joined the Institute of Physics of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in July 1994 as full Professor. As of April 2015, he holds 14 master’s and 21 doctoral degrees, and has published more than one hundred articles in magazines and books of international circulation. In recent years, he has worked in the area of quantum information, having been the coordinator of the Millennium Institute of Quantum Information from December 2001 to April 2006. He was Secretary General of the 4th. National Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation, held in 2010. His current interests include the characterization of entanglement and its dynamics, proposed devices for quantum computing, effects of systems interaction with the environment, and quantum metrology.

Her Royal Highness Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan (Jordan)

HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan is the President of the Royal Scientific Society (RSS) and the Chair of the Board of Trustees of Princess Sumaya University for Technology (PSUT).

Through her portfolio of initiatives, Princess Sumaya is actively involved in institutional building to support the development of Jordan’s greatest source of wealth, its human capital, and supporting the use of science for peace and prosperity across Jordan and the wider region. Building on their long history and tradition of achievement, HRH Princess Sumaya began working on transforming the Royal Scientific Society, the Princess Sumaya University for Technology and the Higher Council for Science and Technology, and the Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship into the ‘El Hassan Science City’ (EHSC), Jordan’s first science park. Her Royal Highness continues the tradition of institutional building started by her father in order to place science and technology in the service of humanity under the motto of “Science for Peace”.

Princess Sumaya is an avid archaeologist and follows, on behalf of her father HRH Prince El Hassan, and in her own right, the work of the British Institute in Amman for Archaeological Research and the Council for British Research in the Levant.

Former Advisory Board members

Bruce_Alberts by Snek01
Image: Tom Kochel, 2012, CC-BY-2.5
Prof Dr Bruce Alberts (USA)

Bruce Alberts, a prominent biochemist with a strong commitment to the improvement of science and education, was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Barack Obama in 2014.

He served as Editor-in-Chief of Science (2009-2013) and as one of the first three United States Science Envoys (2009-2011). Now he is the Chancellor’s Leadership Chair in Biochemistry and Biophysics for Science and Education at the University of California, San Francisco, to which he returned after serving two six-year terms as the president of the National Academy of Sciences.

Advisory Board member until 2018.

Image: Florian Wiencek / GYA, 2015
Prof Dr Howard Alper (Canada)

Howard Alper is a distinguished University Professor at the University of Ottawa. The basic research Alper has been pursuing encompasses organic and inorganic chemistry, with potential applications in the pharmaceutical, petrochemical and commodity chemical industries.

He has served as Chair of the Government of Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Council, as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Council of Canadian Academies, on the Science Advisory Committee of the WEF and was IAP Co-Chair (2007-2013).

Advisory Board member until 2018.

Mohamed H. A. Hassan
Image: © IAP 2010
Prof Dr Mohamed Hassan (Sudan)

Mohamed Hassan is a mathematician and Dean of the School of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Khartoum. He has published articles in various fields, mostly applying mathematics in the physical sciences.

He is President of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) which he served before as its Founding Executive Director 1983-2011. Hassan is also a former Co-Chair of the IAP (InterAcademy Partnership) as well as former President of the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC). He is also a past President of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS).

Advisory Board member until 2018.

Image: © M Ivanova, 2016
Prof Dr Maria Ivanova (Bulgaria)

Maria Ivanova is Associate Professor of Global Governance and Director of the Center for Governance and Sustainability at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy & Global Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston. Professor Ivanova is a Senior Policy Advisor and was a Partner of Ecologic Institute Berlin. Her work focuses on global environmental governance, the performance of international organisations, in particular the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the role of the United States in international environmental affairs.

She was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and a Board member of the UN University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS). In 2015, she was awarded an Andrew Carnegie fellowship.

Advisory Board member until 2019.

Image: © AAvHFs, 2010
Prof Dr Helmut Schwarz (Germany)

Helmut Schwarz is a highly decorated German organic chemist. He has been a professor of chemistry at the Technische Universität Berlin since 1978.

Professor Schwarz is a former President of the Humboldt Foundation (AvH) (2008-2018) and a Board member of the Leopoldina since 2010 and served in numerous leading positions of important science organizations, including as Vice-President of the German Research Foundation (DFG) (2001-2007) and as Vice-President of the BBAW (1998-2003).

Advisory Board member until 2018.