The Future Earth Governing Council is the elected, operational decision-making structure working on behalf of the Assembly. It oversees the strategic and scientific direction of Future Earth and supports timely decision processes to advance Future Earth’s agenda, strategies, activities and structures.
The Governing Council is composed of 17 voting members representing the Future Earth Community: the Global Research Networks, the National and Regional Structures, and the Global Secretariat Hubs (Boards of Directors and Funders). In addition, the Governing Council has dedicated seats for representatives from low and middle-income countries as well as early career professionals.
The Future Earth Assembly and Governing Council Terms of Reference are available here.
Governing Council Co-Chairs
Professor, University of Helsinki, Finland, Linköping University, Sweden, Western Norway Research Institute, Norway
Early Career Researchers
Researcher, Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS), Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon
Gaby Langendijk is a researcher with a profound interest in climate change, and specifically its impact on urban areas. Currently Gaby is working at the Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS), an institute of Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon. She has knowledge on climate and weather extremes, their impacts, and how to increase resilience through integrated, co-developed services, particularly focused on climate impacts and risks in urban areas. Previously Gaby worked at the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Joint Planning Staff in Geneva, Switzerland, co-sponsored and hosted by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). After completing a Bachelor's degree in Earth Science at the University of Amsterdam, Gaby obtained her Master's degree in Climate Studies at the Wageningen University and Research Center (WUR) in the Netherlands. She conducted her master thesis research at the ETH in Zurich, studying climate change impacts on ecosystem services in a mountainous region. Through the Early Career Researchers Network of Networks (ECR NoN) and the Young Earth System Scientists (YESS) community, Gaby Langendijk has been active within Future Earth, and continuously aimed to provide an early career voice within the sustainability community.
Post-doctoral Researcher, Institute of Systems Sciences Innovation and Sustainability Research, University of Graz
Arijit Paul is a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Systems Sciences Innovation and Sustainability Research at the University of Graz and an Associate Editor at the International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management. Arijit completed his Ph.D. in 2018 from the University of Graz, Austria. Work from his Ph.D. research has been published in the high-impact interdisciplinary Journal of Cleaner Production. Arijit has an interdisciplinary research focus. He is interested in combining insights from ethics, psychology, sociology, and organizational theories in understanding how to enable a rapid and successful post-fossil transition in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) intensive industries. He regularly reviews for reputed disciplinary and interdisciplinary journals of his field, including, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Cleaner Production, Business and Society, and Technovation. Since 2015, Arijit has been engaged with the Early Career Researchers Network of Network (ECR-NoN) and elected to its Executive Committee for the 2020-21 term. Arijit is deeply committed to the cause of giving Early Career Researchers a voice in shaping the national and international agenda at the science-policy interface of sustainable development.
Lecturer, Autonomous University of Baja California Sur
Giovanni Ávila-Flores (Gio) obtained his bachelor's degree in Marine Biology at the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur (UABCS), Mexico. Later, he did his master's studies in Environment and Resource Management at the Free University of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Later in 2019, he did a research stay in the "Mangrove Ecology" Working Group of the Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Research in Bremen, Germany. In 2021, he obtained a Ph.D. in Marine and Coastal Sciences from UABCS by presenting a thesis about a comprehensive assessment of mangroves in Baja California Sur, Mexico. On the other hand, he is a member of various global scientific organizations such as the "Ecosystem Services Partnership" and the "Society of Wetland Scientists." He has also held executive positions within some international networks as "Young Ecosystem Services Specialists" (YESS) in the period 2020-2021 and "Early Career Researcher Network of Networks" (ECR NoN) as Chair of the Membership Committee in the period 2022-2023. Also, he has earned national and international prizes and recognitions, highlighting a Certificate of Honor from the UNDP Equatorial Initiative for outstanding volunteer service in 2016 and a Distinction as a Member of the National System of Researchers by the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico in 2022. Finally, last year he began to participate in Future Earth as a member of the Assembly General in the ECR group.
Global Research Networks (GRP or KAN)
Research Scientist, Institute of Ocean Sciences/Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Lisa is a climate geochemist at the Institute of Ocean Sciences, the west-coast oceanographic research laboratory of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. She is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Environment and Geography, at the University of Manitoba. She served on the scientific steering committee of the Surface Ocean-Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS) for 11 years, including 3 years as chair. She is currently a member of: the steering committee of the Biogeochemical Exchange Processes at Sea-Ice Interfaces (BEPSII) research community; the Canadian National Committee for the Scientific Committee of Oceanographic Research (CNC-SCOR); and the International Commission for Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution (iCACGP). She is also an associate editor for Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. Before her arrival in Canada, she worked as an oceanographer in Norway, at the University of Bergen and the Institute of Marine Research. She completed her education in the United States, with a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a B.S. in Chemistry from Humboldt State University. Her fundamental research interests lie in the roles the oceans play in planetary evolution and global change, and her particular expertise lies in how the presence of sea ice impacts air-sea exchange and carbon dioxide sequestration in the polar oceans.
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Tunisia Polytechnic School, University of Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia
Faten Attig-Bahar is a Postdoctoral researcher Associate at the University of Carthage, Tunisia Polytechnic School. She is also an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow for the International Climate Protection Program hosted at the University of Rostock, Germany (2019/2020). Besides, she was a visiting researcher at the University of Oldenburg, For Wind Research Center for nine months between 2016 and 2017. Faten has rich expertise in Renewable energy technologies and implementation, Renewable energy project valuation and financing options, Climate finance, Renewable energy in emerging markets and Energy Efficiency. Faten is serving on several continental committees and is holding several responsible positions in various African and international NGOs including: The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Research Board on Weather, Climate, Water and the Environment, and Future Earth: 1) Steering committee member of the Future Earth Water-Energy-Food Nexus Knowledge-Action-Network, 2) North Africa coordinator of the Future Earth African community, 3) Future Earth Implementation Team member 4) Chair of Future Earth Review Committee for the global secretariat hubs and 5) Future Earth Assembly. She is also an Executive Committee member of the Young Earth System Scientists and the Vice President for North Africa for African Youth Union for Change (AYU4C), an organization focusing on young leaders in Africa and the mission is to support voluntary work and networking activities to promote young professionals in Africa. Faten led many initiatives for young researchers and scientists and co-hosted several (online) seminars and workshops. Faten was also a reviewer of the IPCC report SOD-WGI-AR6 and SOD-WGII-AR6 and supported the work of ECR group review of the IPCC report organized by APECS, MRI, PAGES ECN, PYRN and YESS. On the other hand, Faten is an author and has published 19 books for children in Arabic language. She has received several awards as an outstanding youth author in Tunisia.
Professor, University of Helsinki, Finland, Linköping University, Sweden, Western Norway Research Institute, Norway
Sirkku Juhola is professor of urban environmental policy in University of Helsinki, and a guest professor at Linköping University, Sweden and at Western Norway Research Institute, Norway. She holds degrees from the University of East Anglia and University of Sussex in international relations and development. She has worked at the United Nations University in Tokyo and at universities in Sweden and Finland. Her area of expertise is environmental policy and governance, in cities and urban areas in particular. She has been interested in the interface of environmental change and social change and how to govern that change. She has worked with both qualitative and quantitative methods and both in global North and South. Currently, she leads the multidisciplinary Urban Environmental Policy (@UEP_group) research group at the University of Helsinki. The UEP Group consists of postdoctoral researchers and PhD students in projects that focus on, among other topics, urban sustainability, climate risks assessments and governance. She is a contributing author in the IPCC 6th Assessment Report and a lead author in Third Assessment Report on Climate Change and Cities, UCCRN. She is also a member of the Finnish Climate Change Panel that advices the Finnish Government on climate policy with specific focus on adaptation policy. In terms of Future Earth, Sirkku has been involved in the Scientific Steering Committee of iLEAPS and the Development Team of Knowledge Action Network on Emergent Risks and Extreme Events.
Regional, National, Subnational Committees / Structures / Entities
Prof. Stephanie Burton, Professor, University of Pretoria
Professor Stephanie Burton is Professor in Biochemistry, and a Professor at Future Africa at the University of Pretoria (UP), as well as the immediate past Vice-Principal for Research and Postgraduate Education at UP, having served in that role from 2011 to 2020. Professor Burton is the President and a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa (RSSA), Vice-President of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), a Research Fellow for Universities South Africa (USAf), and the Chairperson of the Future Earth Regional Office for Southern Africa (FEROSA). She holds an MSc in Organic Chemistry (1990) and a PhD in Biochemistry (1994) from Rhodes University. Her academic career started in Biochemistry and Biotechnology at Rhodes University, and then as Professor in Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town. She served as Director of Postgraduate Studies and Director of the Biocatalysis and Technical Biology Group at Cape Peninsula University of Technology before her appointment to the UP Executive. Her research interests are in sustainability, applied biochemistry and biotechnology, and she has published widely and supervised numerous postgraduate students. Professor Burton has a strong interest in research ethics and integrity, and recently has given numerous colloquia in this topical area. She is recognised for her leadership and expertise in research strategy, research management, and performance, postgraduate training, innovation activities, open science and science communication initiatives, and internationalisation programmes. She is currently coordinating national projects on mentoring and capacity development for early career academics, on behalf of USAf. She serves on several national and international bodies related to research and doctoral training.
Hanna K. Lappalainen
Dr. Docent, PanEurasian Experiment Program, Secretary General, Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR) at the University of Helsinki, FI
Hanna K. Lappalainen, PhD, Docent, Pan-Eurasian Experiment (PEEX) Program Secretary General at the University of Helsinki, Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR) (FI) and the coordinator of the of the Atmosphere and Climate Competence Center (ACCC) Impact Program. She is the lead editor of the PEEX Science Plan and has a long-term experience of coordinating large-scale research projects. She has received NASA Goddar Team Award EOS-AURA satellite OMI-Team in 2005 and an International Eurasian Academy of Sciences, IEAS, Silver medal in 2015. Lappalainen is a representative of Finland in the Sustainable SAON Data working group, a national delegate of ISAC - The International Science Initiative in the Russian Arctic (ISIRA), Co-chair of the of the Artic - GEOSS – High Mountain – Gold Regions HiMAC (2020-), Academy Member of IEAS (nomination date 02.Dec.2016), Co-Leader together with Academician M. Kulmala of the Universities of Arctic network “Arctic-boreal Hub” and a SIOS Editorial Board and the member of SIOS Data WG. She obtained her PhD. from theUniversity of Helsinki, Finland and has been engaged in analysis of the atmospheric biogenic volatile organic compounds and plant phenology. H index 15 (ISI Web of Science May 2021), 32 papers, 1002 citations Orcid ID 0000-0003-3221-2318
Special Advisor to the President, Professor, The University of Tokyo
Prof. Oki received his Ph.D in Civil Engineering at The University of Tokyo in 1993. Prof. Oki's most important and wide-reaching work has been in demonstrating the connections between the hydrologic cycle, renewable water resources, the global economy, and sustainability culminating in his 2006 paper in Science. Prof. Oki has demonstrated the tight nexus among local hydrologic sustainability, climate, and macroscale socioeconomic pressures. As a citizen of an island nation highly dependent on the import of natural resources and foodstuffs, he has demonstrated clearly how the international exchange of "virtual water", that needed to produce agricultural and other commodities traded on the global market, can exacerbate vulnerabilities in water-poor regions. Early in his career Prof. Oki developed a global river routing dataset for climate applications, Total Runoff Integrating Pathways (TRIP), which continues to be widely used around the world to study large-scale hydrology and the water cycle. It is a part of many climate models including those used in assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC). He was one of the coordinating lead authors for Chapter 3 “Freshwater Resources” of the IPCC WGII AR5, and a review editor for Chapter 8 “Poverty, Livelihoods and Sustainable Development” of IPCC WGII AR6. He has been the recipient of numerous awards such as the Biwako Prize for Ecology in 2011, and the Japan Academy Medal in 2008. He is the first Japanese AGU Fellow in its Hydrology Section with quotes "For interdisciplinary research and leadership bridging hydrology, climate, and sustainability through numerical modeling and scientific analysis." He became a full member of the Club of Rome and the Science Council of Japan in October 2020, and he won the 2021 International Hydrology Prize (Dooge medal).
Experts from Low and Middle Income Countries
Assistant Professor, Shah and Anchor Kutchhi Engineering College, Mumbai, India
Dr.(Mrs) Kalpana Chaudhari is an engineer by training. She has pursued the Ph.D. in Engineering and Technology from RTM Nagpur University, India and Post Graduate Diploma in Urban and Housing Studies from Institute for Urban and Housing Studies, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Her research work includes interdisciplinary subjects on digital governance, information and communication technologies and its application for socio-economic and sustainable development and how they are empowering both, decision makers and the communities to play a proactive role in managing Ocean and Marine systems, global climate change, Disaster risk and resilience, disaster mitigation. She is Vice President of Institute for Sustainable Development and Research, ISDR, India, an organization having consultative status with United Nations Economic and Social Council, UN-ECOSOC, UN-Habitat, UN-Environment, UNFCCC, UN-CBD, UNCTAD, UN-IPBES. She is working as Assistant Professor at Shah and Anchor Kutchhi Engineering College affiliated to University of Mumbai. She has 25 years experience in academic, research and training in ICT and its applications for sustainable development. She has organized and participated in several programs on million development goals (MDGs) and sustainable development goals (SDGs). Dr. Kalpana is Member of International Development Peer Review College, The Research Council, UK (RCUK), Global Challenge Research Fund, UK. She is member of AGU Global Engagement Committee. She is Lead Author and Reviewer for the EC-DRMKC flagship report on "Science for Disaster Risk Management 2020–Acting today, Protecting tomorrow" of Disaster Risk Management knowledge Center, DG Joint Research Centre, European Commission (EC). She is member of UN-Environment-Scientific Advisory Committee on the Assessment on Marine Litter and Micro plastics, Nairobi, Kenya. She is Focal Point for Major Groups for UNFCCC. She is Development Team member of the Ocean Knowledge-Action-Network (Ocean KAN) and Knowledge-Action-Network on Extreme Events and Emergent Risks (Risk KAN) of the Future Earth.
Researcher/Professor, National Scientific and Technological Research Council (CONICET), and National University of Córdoba (Argentina)
I am a biologist based at the Multidisciplinary Institute of Plant Biology (IMBIV) in Córdoba, Argentina. There I conduct my research focused on the relationships between functional diversity of plant communities and ecosystem services provision, under different land use scenarios. I participate in different international thematic networks on ecological research, and also in interdisciplinary research projects, particularly in Latin America, carried out by the DiverSus Nucleus. I have participated in Future Earth as a member of the Development Team of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, a Knowledge-Action Network of people and organizations working to address nexus challenges. I was also a Science Officer (Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean) of ecoSERVICES, a FutureEarth global research Project. I am a Professor at the graduate level in the National University of Córdoba, and at the posgraduate level in the National Universitiesof Córdoba and Catamarca (Argentina).
Director General, Water and Land Resource Center (WLRC), Addis Ababa University
Dr. Gete is currently Director General of Water and Land Resource Centre, Addis Ababa University (AAU) and Regional Representative Horn of Africa (HOA) for Center for Development and Environment of University of Bern, Switzerland. He is Fellow of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences, Member of the Scientific Steering Committee of Global Land Programme, and Member of the International Resource Panel of UNEP (2013-2019), now scientific collaborator. He has over 30 years of professional experience from assignments in natural resources management and rural development in Ethiopia and Sub-Saharan Africa on both action research and innovative development works. His current research focusses on landscape transformation, hydro-sedimentology and sustainable landscape management. He developed the concept of Learning Watershed (Landscape) approach to demonstrate innovations for upscaling and out-scaling and successfully implemented them on a pilot-basis. He developed the concept of an inbuilt exit strategy and a guideline to ensure sustainability of investments on natural resources. He has also solid experience on leadership in leading national and international programs and organizations, such as: 04/2011 – todate Director General, Water and Land Resource Centre, Addis Ababa University (AAU) 04/2011 – todate Regional Representative Horn of Africa (HOA) for CDE of University of Bern, Switzerland 06/2006 - 08/2010 African Coordinator of the RUL Theme of the Global Mountain Programme (GMP) of the CGIAR Centers, Addis Ababa 09/2000 – 10/2004 The founder and Director General of Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute (ARARI), Bahir Dar Ethiopia
Global Secretariat Hubs Boards and Funders
Program Director for International Activities Institution: US National Science Foundation
Maria Uhle currently serves as the Program Director for International Activities in the Directorate for Geosciences at the National Science Foundation, where she develops mechanisms and agreements to foster international collaboration for global environmental change research through the Belmont Forum, the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) and Future Earth. She is Co-Chair of the Belmont Forum, Chair of US Future Earth Board and Chair of the Executive Council of the IAI. She works with other US federal agencies through the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) where she is the National Science Foundation’s Principal to the Sub-committee on Global Change Research and co-Chair of the International Activities, Interagency Working Group of USGCRP. Prior to her appointment at NSF, she served as an International Affairs Officer in the Office of International and Academic Affairs (OIAA) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), where she developed programs to foster research collaboration with NIST’s international partners from countries in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. Prior to working at NIST, she served as Program Director for the National Academy of Sciences Polar Research Board and the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate. She directed several committees that addressed topics relevant to the Arctic and Antarctic, and focused on reanalysis of historical climate data, and climate projections based on emission scenarios. Before joining the NAS, Dr. Uhle served on the faculty at the University of Tennessee in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Her background includes degrees in environmental science and geology, and her research focused on investigating the fate of organic matter and contaminants in atmospheric, surface water and soil environments from urban areas and the polar deserts of Antarctica.
August Röhss Chair Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg
Deliang Chen is a meteorologist by training and a renowned climate researcher. His research includes Earth System Science and global environmental change, climate dynamics and modeling, and atmospheric circulation. He focuses on recent and future regional climate changes and their impacts on water, ecosystem, environment, and agriculture. Currently, he mainly works with climate and environmental changes over the Third Pole (Tibetan Plateau) region and its surrounding, with a focus on the water cycle. Deliang is an elected Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg, the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, as well as a Foreign Member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He has served on numerous international and national committees and boards, as well as advised various governmental, intergovernmental, and international non-governmental bodies including funding agencies. Previous appointments include Director of the Gothenburg Atmospheric Science Center and Executive Director of International Council for Science (ICSU). Recent examples include Chair of the Nomination Committee of the Stockholm Water Prize; Board member of The Future Earth Sweden Foundation; Chair of the Earth Science Division of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences; and member of the International Scientific Advisory Board of Stockholm Resilience Centre as well as Bolin Centre’s External Science Advisory Group. He also acts as a Coordinating Lead Author in Working Group I of the IPCC’s sixth assessment report and serves as an editor for several international scientific journals. Recently, he was listed in the @Reuters Hot List of top climate scientists in the world and awarded the H. M. The King's Medal in the 8th size with the Order of the Seraphim ribbon for outstanding contributions to Swedish and international climate research.
Project Manager "Atmospheric Sciences-Climate", French Ministry Of Higher Education, Research And Innovation (MESRI)
Jean-Marie Flaud currently works part time as Project manager “Atmospheric Sciences-Climate” at the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MESRI) where is in charge of the French Research Infrastructures for environment. He is also the Chair of the Strategic Working Group Environment of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). Prior to being appointed at MESRI he was the director of three different CNRS laboratories and chaired various scientific programs. On the other hand, as far as research is concerned J.-M. Flaud’s interests are both in molecular physics and high resolution molecular spectroscopy, and in atmospheric physics. In particular: -he developed new models which account for the various ro-vibrational resonances effecting the energy levels and line intensities and studied large amplitude motions in floppy molecules, -he is contributing to the atmospheric databases (HITRAN, MIPAS,…), -He has been a member of the Science Advisory Groups of the satellite experiments MIPAS (Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding) and SCHIAMACHY (Scanning Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartographY). Dr. J.-M. Flaud who has presented more than 70 invited talks in international conferences and who is the author of over 320 publications in international refereed journals and of two books on molecular properties and line parameters of water and ozone is a member of the European Academy of Sciences (EURASC)
Vice President, Science Council of Japan; Professor at the Institute for Future Initiatives, The University of Tokyo
Yukari Takamura serves as Vice President since October 2020. She is Professor at the Institute for Future Initiatives, The University of Tokyo. After receiving Master of Laws (Public International Law) from Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, she was appointed Associate Professor at Shizuoka University. Before joining the University of Tokyo in 2018, she worked as Professor at Ryukoku University, Kyoto, and Professor at Nagoya University, Japan. She also studied at Graduate School of University of Paris II (Panthéon-Assas), France and was Visiting Researcher at University of London, U.K. Specializing international law and environmental law, her research focuses on legal and governance issues relating to multilateral environmental agreements as well as climate and energy laws and policies. She is member of the Editorial Board of Journal Sustainability Science and of the Editorial Advisory Board of Journal Climate Policy. She is member of Board of Directors of Japanese Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies as well as member of Board of Executive Directors of Japanese Society for Environmental Law and Policy Studies. She serves as member of governmental advisory bodies, among others, Central Environmental Council as President, and Procurement Price Calculation Committee for Feed-in Tariff Scheme for Renewable Energy as chair. She is member of Advisory Group on Climate Change and Sustainable Development of ADB. She received Environmental Conservation Merit's Minister of the Environment Award in 2018.