Members of Strategy Working Group and Transition Task Force appointed to develop frameworks for possible ICSU-ISSC merger

The International Council for Science (ICSU) and International Social Science Council (ISSC) announced today the full list of members of the Strategy Working Group (SWG) and Transition Task Force (TTF) that will develop modalities for a possible merger of the two councils.

Following an in-principle vote in favour of a merger by members of ISSC and ICSU at a joint meeting in October 2016, the two organizations’ members mandated the TTF to develop a proposed structure  and governance arrangements for the future organization resulting from a possible merger. ICSU and ISSC members further agreed to develop the SWG in order to prepare a high-level strategy for the new organization.

Transition Task Force

The TTF will develop detailed plans for a possible merger, including with regard to statutes, finances, operations and secretariat structure. The TTF will meet twice before the end of June 2017, and will also be expected to work via teleconferences and email correspondence.

The TTF comprises 15 members including the Presidents of both ISSC and ICSU, namely Alberto Martinelli (ISSC), and Gordon McBean (ICSU); and two additional members of the Executive bodies of each organization (Jinghai Li (ICSU), David Black (ICSU), Saths Cooper (ISSC), Renee van Kessel (ISSC)). Khotso Mokhele, a former ICSU Vice-President for Scientific Planning and Review, and former member of the ISSC Committee for Developing and Transition Economies, will act as Facilitator of the group. It will meet for the first time in early February 2017. The members selected from nominations are:


Name / GenderCountry / Representing
Augusta Maria Paci / F

Bruce Overmier / M

Junji Koizumi / M

LS Shashidhara / M

Robin Peace / F

Wesley Shrum /M

Chin-Chun Yi / F

Ahmet Nuri Yurdusev / M

Marie-Lise Chanin / F
Italy / ICSU National Member

USA / ICSU National Member

Japan / ICSU Union (also an ISSC Association)

India / ICSU National Member

New Zealand / ISSC Member Organization

USA / ISSC Association (also ICSU assoc member)

China: Taipei / ISSC Association (also ICSU member)

Turkey / ISSC Member Organization

France / ICSU National Member

Strategy Working Group

The SWG has been tasked to develop a draft high-level strategy for the new organization. The SWG, which will work in parallel to the TTF, comprises 9 members and will be co-chaired by Jinghai Li (ICSU Vice-President) and Saths Cooper (ISSC Vice-President), who will both also sit on the Transition Task Force (TTF). This linkage between the two groups is designed to ensure that strategy and governance work of the transition planning process is closely connected and mutually reinforcing. The SWG will meet for three days at the end of January 2017 and again towards the end of May, as well as working via teleconferences and email correspondence.

The members selected for the SWG from members’ nominations are:


Name / GenderCountry / Representing
Paul Cannon / M

Benedikt Loewe / M

Peter Agre / M

Melody Brown Burkins / F

Chinedum “Peace” Babalola / F

Paul Boyle / M

Sergio Adorno / M

Evangelia Tastsoglou / F

Peter Haugan / M
UK / ICSU Union

Germany / ICSU Union

USA / ICSU National Member

USA / ICSU National Member

Nigeria / ICSU National Member

UK / ISSC Member Organizsation

Brazil / ISSC Member Organizsation

Canada / ISSC Association (also an ICSU member)

Norway / ISSC Institution

The full list of members of the SWG and TTF including their biographies is available here for the SWG, here for the TTF.

The selection for these two groups was made by the Executive bodies of ICSU and ISSC, based on the criteria set out in the Terms of Reference. Members had been invited to submit their nominations for the two groups in late 2016. For more details and statistics on the nominations that were made, see below.

Mandate and timeline

The SWG will prepare a first draft strategy based on input from the secretariats and a workshop with additional experts. This draft strategy will be finalized following a consultation process with the Executives and Members of the two organizations. The final draft strategy will be submitted to Members in July 2017 for approval at the joint ICSU-ISSC meeting in Taipei in October. If a merger is approved in Taipei, this document will become the strategy of the new organization.

The TTF will submit its proposals and recommendations to the ISSC and ICSU Executives for approval by June 2017; this work will subsequently be submitted to members of both organizations in July 2017. In further planning the work of the TTF attention will be paid to creating possibilities for membership feedback on draft proposals and recommendations. If a merger is approved in Taipei, this document will guide the establishment of new structures and statutes for the new organization.

Details of nominations made

SSC and ICSU received a total of 39 nominations for the two groups, 23 for the SWG and 16 for the TTF. ICSU Members nominated a total of 25 people, while ISSC Members nominated 11. 3 nominations were made by organizations adhering to both ICSU and ISSC.

Of the nominees,

  • 29 were male, 10 were female
  • The average age (mean) was 63,6; the median age was 64
  • 12 nominees were from Europe, 9 from Asia, 8 from North America, 5 from Africa, 3 from South America, 2 from Oceania.

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