International Association of Universities
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Governance Structure

The International Association of Universities is a membership organization. It is governed by its members who are represented or elect their representatives to three different decision-making bodies. The two main categories of members who hold decision making power are the institutional members (universities & other higher education institutions) and organizational members (association of universities).



The General Conference is the highest decision-making body of the association. It is composed of all IAU institutional and organizational members. The General Conference meets every four years.

The General Conference decides on the main strategic goals of the association, approves its four year plans, any policy statements or positions elaborated. It elects the President and members of the Administrative Board.

Elected for a 4-year non-renewable term, the IAU President is elected from among members of the Administrative Board by the General Conference. He/She chairs the Administrative Board and the Executive Committee.

All the member of the Administrative Board are elected for a four-year term. In addition to the President, the Board comprises 20 members (18 heads of member institutions & 2 heads of member organizations). It also comprises two ex-officio members (Immediate Past President & the Secretary General). Deputy members are also elected for each region and each category of members. A balanced geographic and gender representation are taken into consideration.

The Administrative Board meets annually, ensures that decisions of the General Conference are implemented and guides the work of the IAU Secretariat. Some of its work is carried out through specific committees and working groups.

The Executive Committee is composed of the President and four Vice-Presidents (representing each region of the world). It meets twice a year. The vice-presidents are designated by the President from among the Administrative Board members and their nomination is approved by the Administrative Board. The IAU Secretary General serves as secretary to the Executive Committee.

The Committee acts on behalf of the Administrative Board between meetings. It guides the Association’s action agenda. It provides support to the President of the Association by preparing the meetings of the Administrative Board.

Administrative Board 2016-2020

IAU President
Pam FREDMAN, Former rector, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Immediate Past President
Dzulkifli ABDUL RAZAK, Former Vice-Chancellor Universiti Sains Malaysia and Former Vice-Chancellor, Albukhary International University, Malaysia

Full Board Members

  • Abdul Ganiyu AMBALI, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Nigeria (IAU Vice-President)
  • Ebenezer Oduro OWUSU, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana, Ghana
  • Paul ZELEZA, Vice-Chancellor, United States International University-Africa, Kenya


  • Stephen FREEDMAN, Provost, Fordham University, USA
  • Marta Losada FALK, President, Antonio Nariño University, Colombia
  • Salvador VEGA Y LEON, Former Rector, Autonomous Metropolitan University, Mexico

Asia & Pacific

  • Salim DACCACHE s.j, Rector, University of St Joseph Beirut, Lebanon
  • Etsuko KATSU, Former Vice-President International, Meiji University, Japan
  • Carmen LAMAGNA, Vice-Chancellor, American International University, Bangladesh
  • Pornchai MONGKHONVANIT, President, Siam University, Thailand (IAU Vice-President)
  • Mahmoud NILI AHMADABDI, President, University of Tehran, Iran
  • Ranbir SINGH, Vice-Chancellor, National Law University, India


  • Andrew DEEKS, President, University College Dublin, Ireland
  • Maria de Fatima MARINHO, Vice-Rector for Cooperation and Culture, University of Porto, Portugal
  • Remus PRICOPIE, Rector, National University of Political and Administrative Studies, Romania (IAU Vice-President)
  • Daniel Hernandez RUIPEREZ, Rector, University of Salamanca, Spain
  • Godehard RUPPERT, President, Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg, Germany
  • Inga ŽALĖNIENĖ, Vice-Rector for Education and Research, Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuania


  • Molly CORBETT BROAD, President, ACE (American Council on Education), USA
  • Roberto ESCALANTE SEMERENA, Secretary-General, UDUAL (Unión de Universidades de América Latina y el Caribe), Mexico (IAU Vice-President)


  • Hilligje van’t Land, Executive Director, International Universities Bureau

Deputy Members

  • Mirta MARTIN, Former President, Fort Hays State University, USA
  • Pierre-André PIERRE, Rector, University Notre Dame d’Haiti, Haiti

Asia & Pacific

  • Mosleh DUHOKY, President, University of Duhok, Iraq
  • Hasan Sohaib MURAD, Rector, University of Management and Technology, Pakistan
  • Mohammad Reza POURMOHAMMADI, Chancellor, The University of Tabriz, Iran


  • Constantinos CHRISTOFIDES, Rector, University of Cyprus, Cyprus
  • Henrik DAM, Rector, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
  • Oleg SMESHKO, Rector, Saint-Petersburg University of Management Technologies and Economics, Russian Federation

  • Sultan ABU ORABI, Secretary-General, Association of Arab Universities, Jordan
  • Zoltan DUBÉCZI, Secretary-General, MRK (Hungarian Rectors Conference), Hungary

Honorary Presidents

  • Guillermo SOBERON, President 1980-1985, Former Rector, National Autonomous University of Mexico
  • Blagovest SENDOV, Acting President 1984, Former Rector, University of Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Justin THORENS, President 1985-1990, Former Rector, Université de Genève, Switzerland
  • Hans VAN GINKEL, President 2000-2004, Former Rector, Utrecht University, Netherlands; Former Rector, United Nations University, Japan
  • Goolam MOHAMEDBHAI, President 2004-2008, Former Secretary-General, Association of African Universities (AAU), Ghana
  • Juan Ramón DE LA FUENTE, President 2008-2012, Former Rector, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico

Executive committee 2016-2020

Pam FREDMAN, Former Rector, University of Gothenburg, Sweden


  • Abdul Ganiyu AMBALI, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Nigeria
  • Pornchai MONGKHONVANIT, President, Siam University, Thailand (First VP)
  • Remus PRICOPIE, Rector, National University of Political and Administrative Studies, Romania (Treasurer)
  • Roberto ESCALANTE SEMERENA, Secretary-General, UDUAL (Unión de Universidades de América Latina y el Caribe), Mexico


  • Hilligje van’t Land, Secretary General

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