Sign up

Bulgarian politician and diplomat Irina Bokova becomes Patron of the ISC

The International Science Council is proud to announce Irina Bokova as its latest Patron.

Irina Bokova is Co-Chair of the Council’s Global Commission on Science Missions for Sustainability, which is tasked with co-designing and mobilizing support for mission-oriented science as part of a decade of Global Sustainability Action. In addition, she has been assisting the ISC President, Peter Gluckman, as ISC builds its relationships with the multilateral system. Irina Bokova was Director-General of UNESCO from 2009–2017, during which time UNESCO worked with the International Science Council’s predecessor organizations on a number of joint initiatives.

As part of the ISC Forum of Patrons, Irina Bokova will advise the ISC and help to build recognition of the Council’s work within and beyond the world of science. She joins ISC Patrons Vinton G. Cerf, internet pioneer; Mary Robinson, former President of the Republic of Ireland, and Ismail Serageldin, Founder of the Library of Alexandria, to advocate for the global voice for science.

“I am honoured and excited to become a Patron of the ISC and to support its mission as the global voice for science,” said Bokova. “Science should be universally accessible, and its benefits universally shared. As a Co-Chair of the ISC High Level Global Commission on Science Missions for Sustainability, I believe it is important to focus on the major qualitative and quantitative step-change needed in how science is designed, conducted, and funded to support critical societal transformations towards a more sustainable future.”

Irina Bokova, ISC Patron and Co-Chair of the Global Commission for Mission Science for Sustainability

During her political and diplomatic career Bokova served two terms as a member of the Bulgarian parliament and as the personal representative of Bulgaria’s President to the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (2005–2009). In 2009 she became the Director-General of UNESCO, serving two terms and retiring in 2017. As Director-General, Bokova was actively engaged in the adoption of UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, particularly Goal 4 on “Inclusive and equitable quality education and life-long learning for all”, promoting the critical role of science for development, gender equality, the protection of the world’s cultural heritage.

In addition to her roles with the ISC, Bokova is a member a number of boards including the Ban Ki Moon Centre for Global Citizens, the Leadership Councils of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Concordia Leadership Council, New York. She is also a lecturer at the Paris School of International Affairs at SciencesPo, a member of the board of the World Humanitarian Forum London, and a member of the Board of Governors of the UN University of Peace, Costa Rica.

“Irina Bokova brings to the role of ISC Patron, a commitment to assist, an enthusiasm for actionable knowledge, and a wealth of experience as a diplomat and politician. She has a deep understanding of the complexities of receiving scientific advice and translating that advice into evidence-informed policy. As former Director-General of UNESCO, Irina has long been a champion of the sciences and international scientific cooperation. We are honoured and delighted to announce her as a Patron of the ISC.”

Peter Gluckman, ISC President and chair of the Forum of Patrons.

The International Science Council is the only international non-governmental organization bringing together the natural and social sciences which works at the global level to catalyse and convene scientific expertise, advice and influence on major issues of concern to both science and society. It comprises most of the world’s scientific academies and international disciplinary bodies from across the natural and social sciences. The ISC sponsors many international research programmes, scientific committees and affiliated bodies, and co-chairs the Scientific and Technological Community Major Group at the United Nations.

Irina Bokova recently participated in a number of events organized by the ISC and its partners at the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF2022), including a session entitled Tales of five inspiring women navigating today’s life-career minefield! and a panel on Giving and Taking Scientific Advice.

Watch Giving and Taking Scientific Advice courtesy of the Euroscience Open Forum, Leiden #ESOF2022

Skip to content