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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). IAU official statutory documents: IAU Consitution & IAU By Laws



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.


Andrew Deeks bio, President and Vice-Chancellor, Murdoch University, Australia

Pam Fredman bio, Former Rector University of Gothenburg, Sweden



  • Sunungurai Dominica Chingarande bio, Vice-Chancellor, Women’s University in Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Jouhaina Gherib bio, President, University of Manouba, Tunisia
  • Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah bio, Vice-Chancellor, University of Abuja, Nigeria


  • Patrick Deane bio, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University, Canada
  • Fernando Leon-Garcia bio, President, CETYS University, Mexico
  • David Quigley bio, Provost and Dean of Faculties, Boston College, US
  • Ignacio Sánchez Díaz bio, President of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Chile

Asia & Pacific

  • Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor bio, Former Vice-Chancellor, University of Malaya, Malaysia
  • Hassan Al-Derham bio, Former President, Qatar University, Qatar
  • Salim Daccache bio, Rector, Saint Joseph University of Beirut, Lebanon
  • Samit Ray bio, Chancellor, Adamas University, India
  • Yoshiaki Terumichi bio, President, Sophia University, Japan


  • Peter Aronsson bio, Vice-Chancellor, Linnaeus University, Sweden
  • Shahin Bayramov bio, Rector, Karabakh University, and Former Rector Mingachevir University, Azerbaijan
  • Henk Kummeling bio, Rector Magnificus, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
  • Miquel Nicolau-Vila bio, Former Rector, Universitat d’Andorra, Andorra
  • Inga Žalėnienė bio, Rector, Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuania


  • Roberto Escalante Semerena bio, Secretary-General, UDUALC (Unión de Universidades de América Latina y el Caribe)
  • Cristina Sarmento bio, Secretary-General, Associação das Universidades de Língua Portuguesa (AULP)

Secretary General



  • Nana Aba Appiah Amfo bio, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana, Ghana
  • Wondwosen Tamrat bio, President, St Mary’s University, Ethiopia


  • David Julien bio, Secretary-General, Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (IOHE)
  • Amr Ezzat Salama bio, Secretary-General, Association of Arab Universities, (AaRU)

  • 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
  • Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, President 2012-2016, Rector, International ‎Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Malaysia

  • 1950-1955: 1st President - Jean Sarrailh, Rector of the University of Paris, France
  • 1955-1960: 2nd President - J. Baugniet, Rector Emeritus of the Universityof Brussels, Belgium
  • 1960-1965: 3rd President - F. Cyril James, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of McGill University, Canada
  • 1965-1970: 4th President - C. K. Zurayk, Professor of History, American University of Beirut and former rector, University of Damascus, Syria
  • 1970-1975: 5th President - V. Merikoski, Professor of law, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • 1975-1980: 6th President - Roger Gaudry, Professor of History, Former rector University of Montreal,Canada
  • 1980-1985: 7th President - Guillermo Soberon, Rector, National Autonomous University of Mexico had to step down in 1982 when he was appointed Minister of Public Health in Mexico. The Vice-Presidents, Dr. Sendov, Former Rector, University of Sofia, Bulgaria
    and Dr. Meyerson, President Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania were acting Presidents until the following elections.
  • 1985-1990: 8th President - Justin Thorens, former rector, University of Geneva, Switzerland
  • 1990-1995: 9th President - Walter Kamba, Vice-Chancellor, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
  • 1995-2000: 10th President - Wataru Mori, Former President of the University of Tokyo, Japan
  • 2000-2004: 11th President - Hans Van Ginkel, Rector of the United Nations University (UNU)
  • 2004-2008: 12th President - Goolam Mohamedbhai, Former Vice-Chancellor, University of Mauritius, Mauritius
  • 2008-2012: 13th President - Juan Ramón De La Fuente, Former Rector, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico
  • 2012-2016: 14th President - Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, Former Rector, University Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
  • 2016-2022: 15th President - Pam Fredman, Former Rector University of Gothenburg, Sweden


- Andrew Deeks, President and Vice-Chancellor, Murdoch University, Australia

- Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor, Former Vice-Chancellor, University of Malaya, Malaysia
- Patrick Deane (Treasurer), Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University, Canada
- Jouhaina Gherib, President, University of Manouba, Tunisia
- Cristina Sarmento, Secretary-General, Associação das Universidades de Língua Portuguesa (AULP)
- Inga Žalėnienė, Rector, Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuania

- Hilligje van’t Land, Secretary General

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