The current OWSD Executive Board was elected in June-July 2021 in an online election. The Executive Board consists of a President, four Vice Presidents, four Regional Members, and the immediate past President; there is one Vice President and one Regional Member from each of the four OWSD regions.
JENNIFER A. THOMSON (South Africa)
Jennifer Thomson is Emeritus Professor in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Cape Town, her alma mater where she completed her BSc in Zoology. She also has an MA in Genetics from Cambridge and a PhD in Microbiology from Rhodes University. She was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School. She lectured in the Department of Genetics at Wits before founding and directing the Laboratory for Molecular and Cell Biology for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. She then became Professor and Head of the Department of Microbiology at the University of Cape Town, a post she held for 12 years. Her main research interests have been the development of maize resistant to the African endemic maize streak virus and tolerant to drought. Other positions held include the Deputy Dean of Science at UCT, a former chair and member of the South African Genetic Engineering Committee, co-founder and former chair of SA Women in Science and Engineering, Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa and former Vice-President of the SA Academy of Science. She was the founding Chair of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and Vice-Chair of the board of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agribiotech Applications (ISAAA). She became President of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World in 2016 and was awarded the International Prize for the Protection of Human Rights by the Accademia dei Lincei of Italy in 2019. She is a regular writer and international speaker on the subject of genetically modified organisms, especially crops and foods derived from them. Her books, Genes for Africa, Seeds for the Future and Food for Africa are geared towards the layperson Her most recent book is GM Crops and the Global Divide. For a full list of her publications, see here.
Prof. Olubukola Oluranti Babalola is an NRF rated, internationally published scientist. A product of the premier university of Nigeria & a graduate of the North-West University (NWU) Business School, South Africa. Her dissertation was on Women in STEM leadership. Olubukola obtained Ph.D. in Microbiology with the Visiting Research Fellowship of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) & the Postgraduate Training Fellowships of OWSD. Olubukola, an OWSD alumnus, has been an active member of OWSD since 2000 & has the acquisition of organizational memory of OWSD. She is firmly committed to improving the quality and diversity of OWSD's professional community that is welcoming, inclusive, diverse & equitable for all researchers, academia & industry. Olubukola had two postdoctoral experiences from standard laboratories. First, at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, through the Feinberg Graduate School & the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) fellowship. The second postdoctoral exposure was at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. She has decades of research experience in rhizosphere metagenomics. Her research support came through grants from the National Research Foundation (NRF) & through the universities. Her research brought her to the limelight for selection as a Research Director at NWU. Olubukola is the incumbent Vice President of OWSD (Africa region) and, without reservation leading, as the head & Principal Investigator, a Microbial Biotechnology Research team. Her laboratory is a mini United Nations, with students from within and outside Africa, making a substantial contribution to Science, her original research motivation. Olubukola belongs to the editorial board for BMC Microbiology (Elsevier) & Biochemistry & Biophysics Reports (Elsevier). Her passion for capacity building has produced 21 PhDs, 20 MScs, & numerous Honors. She is a prolific author with >200 journal articles. In 2018, she delivered her professorial inaugural lecture. She has over 53 certificates in her professional interest areas from the University of California (USA), University of Mauritius, NWU, & Bradford University (UK), to mention a few. She is an AAAS-TWAS Science diplomacy alumnus, a fellow of TWAS and ASSAF. Her wealth of international experience spans the Americas, Asia, Europe, & Oceania. She enjoys international collaborations, research grants, gender lens applications & many awards, including being proclaimed the finalist, GenderInSite 2020.
HUDA BASALEEM (Yemen)
Prof. Dr. Huda Basaleem serves as the Secretary General of Yemeni Woman Association for Science and Technology for Development, and currently is the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Postgraduate Studies and Full Professor in the Department of Community Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, at Aden University, as well as Director of the Aden Cancer Registry and Research Center. She is a member of the Administrative Board of Women Center for Research and Training and Bioethics Center for Sciences (Aden University).
FORTUNATE FARIRAI (Zimbabwe)
Fortunate Farirai is an experienced engineering professional in the field of renewable energy. She holds a PhD in Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa (Wits) and is a registered professional engineer with the Engineering Council of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers. She is also an associate member of the Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences. She holds an MSc in Renewable Energy Engineering from the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) and a BSc (Hon) in Chemical Technology from the Midlands State University, both in Zimbabwe.
SHYMAA ENANY (Egypt)
Dr. Shymaa Enany is an associate professor of Microbiology, Suez Canal University, Egypt. She received her PhD from School of Medical Sciences, Niigata University, Japan. Her postdoc was in USA and Japan. She was the first Arab scientist applying microbial proteomic techniques helping in revealing good markers for microbes spreading in the community.
She received many awards for her scientific contributions. Recently, she awarded the most prestigious award in Egypt; the state encouragement prize for women in the field of health and pharmaceutical sciences, 2019. Also, she was awarded The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) Young Arab Scientist Prize 2018 for Scientific Achievement in Medical Sciences. This year, she was selected as a member in the Global Young Academy (GYA). She is an alumna of Egyptian Young Academy of Science, an evaluator on Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, a reviewer in International Exhibition of Innovation, and an affiliate of The World Academy of Sciences. Dr. Shymaa is also one of scientific committee of World Forum for Women in Science, a selected young leader in Science and Technology in Society (STS) forum and World Science Forum (WSF), a member in the global Open Science Group, and a collaborator in Global Burden of Disease.
She is one of Egyptian Microbiology National Committee working for achieving sustainable development goals for a better future. She was appointed as an Egyptian ambassador in Next Einstein Forum (NEF), which showcase the global contribution and potential of scientists from Africa that enabling Africa to get onto the global scientific stage, and she is a selected member in COVID-19 Diagnostics group in Africa and the co-chair of the COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition platform (Immunology, Virology and Diagnostics Working Group) in low- and middle-income countries. Latterly, she is selected as an African science leadership program fellow.
Asia & Pacific
HASIN ANUPAMA AZHARI (Bangladesh)
Professor Dr. Hasin Anupama Azhari is former Chairman of the Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Gono Bishwabidyalay (GB, University) and former Dean, Physical and Mathematical Sciences, GB. She has academic experience of more than 15 years of the academic field and got many clinical training in radiation oncology and diagnostic radiology from India, Germany, Italy. Currently she is the CEO, South Asia centre for Medical Physics and Cancer Research (SCMPCR), Secretary- General Asia–Oceania Federation of Organizations for Medical Physics, (AFOMP); and Founder President, Bangladesh Medical Physics Society (BMPS).
FANG XIN (China)
Prof. Fang Xin served as President of OWSD from 2010-2016. As immediate Past President, she is now a member of the OWSD Executive Board 2016-2020.
F. Xin has a distinguished career in the field of science and technology policy and is noted for her achievements in technological innovation, and the institutional reform of science and technology (S&T) in China. She is currently a research professor and President of School of Policy and Management of University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). F. Xin majored in machinery engineering and then obtained her Master's in optical engineering from the Beijing Institute of Technology. She received her PhD from the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University, China, and was a visiting scholar at the Department of Management Science at George Washington University in the USA. F. Xin has written a dozen monographs, some 80 research papers and translated many articles. In 2010 Prof Fang’s scientific excellence and contributions to research in the developing world were rewarded when she became a TWAS Fellow.
As a scientific administrator, F. Xin has served as section chief of policy research and director of the CAS Institute of Policy & Management. She has also been a member of the International S&T Policy Research Council, President of the China Association for S&T Policy Research, Professor of the Management School of CAS and chief-editor of the journal Studies in the Science of Science. She is a member of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) and a member of the Seventh National Committee of the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST). She is now Chair of China Committee for OWSD.
F. Xin was awarded the title of 'Outstanding Woman Leader' from the CPC Committee at the Government Department in 2002, awarded a Prize for CAS Young Scientists in 2001, and the first prize for S&T Progress from the Ministry of Education in 2000.
KAISER JAMIL (India)
Kaiser Jamil served as President of OWSD from 2005-2010, and was Vice President for Asia & the Pacific from 1999-2005. She has been a member of OWSD since 1990 and founded the OWSD Indian National Chapter.
K. Jamil is presently dean and honorary professor for the Centre of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Studies (JNIAS) in Hyderabad, India and has established a Biotechnology, Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics Centre there. She has previously worked in four distinguished scientific institutions: the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) and the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) both in Hyderabad, and at the University of Sydney (Australia) and the University of Paris (France). During her career as an active researcher and head of the Biology and Biotechnology division of IICT, K. Jamil established multidisciplinary research in biology. She has guided over 25 PhD students and over 100 MSc and graduate students for project work. She has published more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals of repute.
K. Jamil graduated and received her Masters in Biology from Osmania University in Hyderabad and joined IICT as a research fellow in 1965, completing her PhD in 1971, when she joined CCMB, working on the biochemistry of mammalian reproduction. She then moved to IICT as head of the Biology division. She was awarded Emeritus Scientist until 2005 and then continued her research at the Genetics Department of Mahavir Hospital and Research Center. She established the cytogenetics and genetic toxicology lab and became research director of the Indo-American Cancer Research Institute (2006-2008) establishing a cancer biology lab and stem cells lab. Her current research is on cancer biomarkers.
K. Jamil has patented her work on cancer prognosis ‘Possible Outcomes in Multi-Factored Diseases’ and has several other patents from IICT. Prof Jamil is a life member and fellow of several academies and scientific associations in which she holds executive positions. She was one of the top twenty scientists of the country to be honoured with the award of “Modern Medicare” for her work on cancer research in the area of pharmacogenomics and has been a task force member and advisor on various governmental committees. Most recently she received the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Pentagram Research Centre in 2012 . She is on the Editorial board of 3 prestigious journals.
MOHAMED HASSAN (Sudan)
Mohamed H. A. Hassan is Special Advisor to OWSD and was a founding member of the study group that met in 1987 to discuss the possibility of setting up an organization dedicated to the needs of women in science in developing countries.
M. Hassan is President of TWAS, the World Academy of Sciences, co-chair of the global network of science academies (IAP) , and chairman of the Council of the United Nations University (UNU). He also serves on a number of Boards of international organizations worldwide, including START - the global change SysTem for Analysis, Research and Training, based in Washington, USA, the Board of Trustees of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt; the Council of Science and Technology in Society Forum in Japan; the Board of the International Science Programme in Sweden; the Board of the Science Initiative Group, USA; and the International Advisory Board of the Centre for International Development in Germany.
After obtaining his DPhil in Mathematics from the University of Oxford M. Hassan returned to Sudan as Lecturer at the University of Khartoum, and later became Professor and Dean of the School of Mathematical Sciences. He has many publications in theoretical plasma physics and fusion Energy; and in wind erosion, dust and sand transport in dry lands. He has also published several articles on science and technology in the developing world.
M. Hassan was founding executive director of TWAS, president of the African Academy of Sciences and chairman, Honorary Presidential Advisory Council for Science and Technology in Nigeria. Among his honours: Comendator, Grand Cross, and National Order of Scientific Merit, Brazil; and Officer, Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
M. Hassan is a member of several merit-based academies of science, including TWAS, the African Academy of Sciences; and the Islamic World Academy of Sciences; as well as the national science academies of Belgium, Columbia, Cuba, Lebanon, Pakistan and South Africa.
Previous OWSD Executive Board members
2016-2021 (click here for full bios)
Jennifer Thomson (South Africa)
Olubukola Oluranti Babalola (Nigeria)
Atya Kapley (India)
Latin America & the Caribbean:
Jana Rodríguez Hertz (Uruguay)
Esi Awuah (Ghana)
Asia & the Pacific
Hasin Anupama Azhari (Bangladesh)
Fang Xin (China)
Dolly Ahbor Ighoroje (Nigeria)
Farida Shah (Malaysia)
Latin America & the Caribbean:
Mayra de la Torre (Mexico)
Esi Awuah (Ghana)
Asia & the Pacific
Sudha Nair (India)
Latin America & the Caribbean
Miriam Diaz (Venezuela)
Lydia P. Makhubu (Swaziland)
Grace Alele Williams (Nigeria)
Kaiser Jamil (India)
Farkhonda Hassan (Egypt)
Lilliam Alvarez Diaz (Cuba)
Christiana Nso Mbi (Cameroon)
Hilweh A. Malhas
Elsa Ruth Quiroga Onostre de Olivo (Bolivia)
Lydia P. Makhubu (Swaziland)