IIASA is governed by a Council comprised of one permanent representative from each National Member Organization. Regulations concerning the institute’s objectives, conditions of membership, internal structure, and the roles and responsibilities of the Council and management are outlined in the institutional Charter and the delegation of authority framework of Council, Council Committees and IIASA Management.

National Member Organizations

Each IIASA member country designates a National Member Organization (NMO) to represent the nation’s scholarly community, and act as a bridge between their research and policy communities and the institute. There are three types of NMOs namely, national  academies, national/government research funding agencies, and autonomous organizations or committees. Each member country fulfills two main roles, which it enacts through its NMO. The first of these involves the governance of the institute through its  representative Council member for IIASA, while the second requires the NMO to act as a link between IIASA and national stakeholders and research communities.

IIASA National Member Organizations (NMOs) and Council members

On 31 December 2020, IIASA had 24 member countries (two observers and one prospective member) represented by the following NMOs:

AUSTRIA The Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW)
Council Member: Professor Dr. Christian Köberl

BRAZIL The Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES)
Council Member: Professor Heloisa Candia Hollnagel

CHINA National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)
Council Member: Professor Dr. Xincheng Xie

EGYPT Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT)
Council Member: Professor Dr. Mahmoud M. Sakr

FINLAND The Finnish Committee for IIASA
Council Member: Dr. Lea Kauppi

GERMANY Association for the Advancement of IIASA
Council Member: Professor Dr. Helga Weisz

INDIA Technology Information, Forecasting, and Assessment Council (TIFAC)
Council Member: Dr. Pradeep Srivastava

INDONESIA Indonesian National Committee for IIASA
Council Member: Professor Dr. Kuntoro Mangkusubroto

IRAN Iran National Science Foundation (INSF)
Council Member: Professor Dr. Eaman Eftekhary

ISRAEL The Israel Committee for IIASA
Council Member: Professor Dr. Moti Herskowitz

JAPAN The Japan Committee for IIASA
Council Member: Professor Dr. Kazu Takemoto

JORDAN (prospective member) The Royal Scientific Society (RSS) of Jordan
Council Member: Dr. Amna Jrrar

KOREA, REPUBLIC OF National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)
Council Member: Dr. Kil-Choo Moon

MALAYSIA (observer) Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM)
Council Member: Professor Datuk Dr. Asma Ismail

MEXICO (observer) Mexican National Committee for IIASA
Council Member: Dra. Maria Elena Alvarez-Buylla Roces

NORWAY The Research Council of Norway (RCN)
Council Member: Dr. Kirsten Broch Mathisen

RUSSIA The Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS)
Council Member: Academician Professor Vladislav Panchenko

SLOVAKIA Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport
Council Member: Ms. Anna Jurikova

SOUTH AFRICA National Research Foundation (NRF)
Council Member: Dr. Dorsamy (Gansen) Pillay

SWEDEN The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS)
Council Member: Dr. Ingrid Petersson

UKRAINE The National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NASU)
Council Member: Academician Professor Dr. Anatoly G. Zagorodny

UNITED KINGDOM United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI)
Council Member: Dr. Sarah Webb

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA The National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
Council Member: Professor Dr. Michael Clegg

VIETNAM Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST)
Council Member: Professor Dr. Ninh Khac Ban

The IIASA Council

As the governing body of the institute, the IIASA Council is composed of one permanent representative from each NMO. The Council meets twice a year, in June and November. The Charter, the Council delegation of authority, and Council resolutions, document the role of Council, as well as its processes and decisions.

The Council is responsible for governance oversight, approval of the institute budget, approving strategies and governing principles, areas for IIASA research, as well as ensuring that IIASA activities are in line with institutional objectives, the provisions of the Charter, and the interests of NMOs.

The Council elects a chair and two vice chairs who act as officers of the Council. Michael Clegg (United States) has been the Council chair since September 2017. Lea Kauppi (Finland) has been the Council vice chair since January 2019 and Gansen Pillay (South Africa) has been the Council vice chair since January 2018.

The Council appoints the director general, the deputy director general for science, and the chief operations officer who, as the chief executive officers of the institute, are responsible for implementing the research program and managing the day-to-day operations. Council appointed Christiane Pohn-Hufnagl as the chief operations officer who joined the IIASA executive team on 1 July 2020.

During 2020, the IIASA Council exercised its oversight responsibilities through a committee structure comprising of an Executive Committee; a Finance, Risk, and Audit Committee; a Membership Committee; and a Research and Engagement Committee. In addition, an external Science Advisory Committee (SAC) and external auditors provided specialized input to Council.

IIASA would like to thank the following Council members who left the Council in 2020 for the invaluable service and advice: Professor Mauro Rabelo, Professor Sir Duncan Wingham, Dr. Enrique de Alba, and Academician Professor Anatoly Zagorodny.

Council Committee Membership

On 31 December 2020, the Council Committee membership was as follows:

Council Executive Committee
Michael Clegg (Council Chair)
Lea Kauppi (Council Vice Chair)
Gansen Pillay (Council Vice Chair)
Ingrid Petersson
Kirsten Broch Mathisen
Helga Weisz
Christian Köberl (ex-officio as host country representative)
Kil-Choo Moon (rotating member for 2020)

Council Finance, Risk and Audit Committee
Ingrid Petersson (Chair)
Kazu Takemoto (Vice Chair)
Christian Köberl
Vladislav Panchenko

Council Membership Committee
Helga Weisz (Chair)
Lea Kauppi (Interim Vice Chair)
Ninh Khac Ban
Kuntoro Mangkusubroto
Anatoly Zagorodny

Council Research and Engagement Committee
Kirsten Broch Mathisen (Chair)
Eaman Eftekhary (Vice Chair)
Kil-Choo Moon
Moti Herskowitz
Maria Elena Alvarez-Buylla Roces
Heloisa Candia Hollnagel
Mahmoud Sakr
Sarah Webb
Xincheng Xie

IIASA Research Program Directors 2020

In 2020, IIASA completed the 2011-2020 strategic plan, Research for a Changing World. The Institute would like to recognize and acknowledge the research achievements and policy impact that the nine research programs accomplished during this period. In 2020, the research programs were under the leadership of:

  • Dr Markus Amann, Program Director, Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases Program.
  • Dr Steffen Fritz and Dr Petr Havlik, Acting Program Directors, Ecosystem Services and Management Program.
  • Professor Dr Arnulf Grübler and Dr Shonali Pachauri, Acting Program Directors, Transitions to New Technologies Program.
  • Professor Dr Wolfgang Lutz, Program Director, World Population Program.
  • Dr Reinhard Mechler, Acting Program Director, Risk and Resilience Program.
  • Dr Keywan Riahi, Program Director, Energy Program.
  • Dr Elena Rovenskaya, Program Director, Advanced Systems Analysis Program and Acting Program Director, Evolution and Ecology Program.
  • Dr Yoshi Wada, Program Director, Water Program.

Membership of IIASA

The IIASA Charter stipulates that membership of the institute is open to one professional institution from any country as long as it represents the relevant scholarly community of that country, subscribes to the IIASA Charter, and meets the financial obligations of membership. The IIASA Council votes on each country’s application to join the institute and on whether to discontinue a country’s membership. In March 2020, India and Slovakia rejoined IIASA, and in June 2020, Council welcomed Jordan as a prospective member. Further, Council decided to change the Mexican NMO membership status to observer in November 2020.

Science Advisory Committee (SAC)

Another component of research oversight is the Science Advisory Committee (SAC). The SAC, established by the IIASA Council in 2002, is an advisory structure consisting of independent, eminent scientists appointed by the IIASA Council with the task of providing scientific guidance and a research assurance function for IIASA. In 2020, the SAC continued to provide independent, expert advice to the Council and IIASA to ensure that the institute’s work continues to meet the highest scientific standards and remains relevant to policymakers.

IIASA would like to thank the following SAC members who left SAC in 2020 for the invaluable service and advice: Professor Dr. Mirjam De Bruijn, Professor Nils Petter Gleditsch, Professor Roberto Schaeffer, Professor Dr. Igor Sheremet, Professor Dr. Karen Helen Wiltshire.

Science Advisory Committee (SAC)

On 31 December 2020, the SAC membership was as follows:

Professor Dr. Jim Hall – Chair
The Environmental Change Institute,
Oxford University
Oxford, UK

Dr. John R. Birge
The University of Chicago Booth
School of Business
Chicago, IL, USA

Professor Dr. Ruth Defries
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology
Columbia University
New York, NY, USA

Professor Dr. Bojie Fu
Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Beijing, P.R. China

Dr. Olga Kordas
KTH – Royal Institute of Technology
Stockholm, Sweden

Professor Dr. Christoph Meinel
Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Engineering and
Digital Engineering Faculty
Potsdam University
Potsdam, Germany

Professor Dr. Mari Elka Pangestu
The World Bank, USA

Professor Dr. Silvia Elena Giorguli Saucedo
El Colegio de México
Mexico City, Mexico

Dr. Youba Sokona
The South Centre and the University of Surrey
Geneva, Switzerland

Professor Elke U. Weber
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ, USA

IIASA management

The most notable change at the IIASA executive level was the appointment of Christiane Pohn-Hufnagl as the chief operations officer (COO) by the IIASA Council. Pohn-Hufnagl joined the IIASA executive team on 1 July 2020, commencing her five-year appointment and replacing Jan Marco Müller. Pohn-Hufnagl is responsible for the overall coordination of IIASA services including finance, human resources, information technology, and facilities management, ensuring that IIASA researchers are supported by an environment that facilitates the delivery of world-class research.

The following management changes at program and department level were made in 2020:

  • Reinhard Mechler and Thomas Schinko were appointed as acting Risk and Resilience Program director and deputy program director respectively, on 1 January 2020, replacing JoAnne Linnerooth-Bayer.
  • Raya Muttarak became the World Population Program deputy director on 1 January 2020, replacing Sergey Scherbov.
  • Colin Adair replaced Monica Manchanda as the acting Finance and Grants Department head (previously Finance and Sponsored Research) on 1 January. The Office of Sponsored Research within the Finance and Grants Department was renamed to Grants Management.
  • Fabian Wagner was appointed as Capacity Development and Academic Training dean on 1 February 2020.
  • Shonali Pachauri assumed the role of acting Transitions to New Technologies Program director on 1 March 2020, replacing Arnulf Grübler.
  • Petr Havlik was appointed as acting Ecosystems Services and Management Program director on 1 April 2020, replacing Steffen Fritz.
  • In addition to her appointment as the IIASA COO, Pohn-Hufnagl assumed the function of acting Human Resources Department head replacing Tanja Lassnig who was appointed legal counselor to the COO on 6 July 2020.
  • Thomas Stemerdink commenced his appointment as head of the Facilities Management Department (previously Technical Infrastructure) in July 2020, replacing Andreas Stigler.
  • The External Relations, Communications, and Library Department was renamed as the Department of Communications and External Relations. The Library became a separate unit called Library and Knowledge Resources reporting directly to the deputy director general for science.

IIASA research structure from 2021

The old IIASA program structure came to an end in 2020 and the new program structure, which is aligned with the new IIASA strategy, commenced in January 2021. The new program structure comprises the following programs: Advancing Systems Analysis; Biodiversity and Natural Resources; Economic Frontiers; Energy, Climate, and Environment; Population and Just Societies; and Strategic Initiatives. In this regard, several notable research leadership appointments that took efffect on 1 January 2021 were made. To support the program directors in providing research oversight and facilitating the functioning of the programs, IIASA also appointed research group leaders within each program.

The following appointments officially commenced on 1 January 2021:

  • Advanced Systems Analysis Program Director, and Acting Evolution and Ecology Program Director, Elena Rovenskaya, was appointed as the new Advancing Systems Analysis Program Director. The following research group leaders were appointed in this program:
      • Cooperation and Transformative Governance: Nadejda Komendantova
      • Exploratory Modeling of Human-natural Systems: Sebastian Poledna (Acting)
      • Novel Data Ecosystems for Sustainability: Ian McCallum
      • Systemic Risk and Resilience: Reinhard Mechler
  • Water Program Director, Yoshihide Wada, was appointed as Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program Director. The following research group leaders were appointed in this program:
      • Agriculture, Forestry, and Ecosystem Services: Florian Kraxner
      • Biodiversity, Ecology, and Conservation: Piero Visconti
      • Integrated Biosphere Futures: Petr Havlík
      • Water Security: Taher Kahil
  • Michael Kuhn was appointed as Economic Frontiers Program Director.
  • Energy Program Director, Keywan Riahi, was appointed as Energy, Climate, and Environment Program Director. The following research group leaders were appointed in this program:
      • Integrated Assessment and Climate Change: Volker Krey
      • Pollution Management: Zbigniew Klimont
      • ustainable Service Systems: Bas van Ruijven
      • Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions: Shonali Pachauri
  • World Population Program Deputy Director, Raya Muttarak, was appointed as the Population and Just Societies Program Director. The following research group leaders were appointed in this program:
      • Equity and Justice: Thomas Schinko (Acting)
      • Migration and Sustainable Development: Raya Muttarak (Acting)
      • Multidimensional Demographic Modeling: Samir K.C.
      • Social Cohesion, Health, and Wellbeing: Wolfgang Lutz (Acting)
  • Ecosystems Services and Management Program Deputy Director, Steffen Fritz, was appointed as Strategic Initiatives Program Director.



In addition to the above, the following changes were made to the IIASA internal committee structure:

  • The Directorate was converted into the IIASA Executive Committee (IEC) as the final decision-making body at the institute. It is tasked by the IIASA Council with providing an enabling environment for executing the mandate and strategic intent of IIASA as an international research institution, as well as to implement all Council and Council Executive Committee decisions and report on them as required. It is also mandated to provide an appropriate structure for the organization to fulfill its mission. The Members of the IEC are the director general (DG), the deputy director general for science, the chief operations officer, the head of the Department of Communications and External Relations, the Council secretary, and the DG executive assistant (secretary).
  • The Internal Research Committee was converted into the Science Leadership Committee (SLC) to ensure and progress the ability of IIASA to achieve scientific excellence, relevance, and global/NMO impact. The committee advises the IIASA executive on all matters related to IIASA scientific operations. Members of the SLC comprise: the deputy director general for science (DDGS) (chair), the director general (ex officio), all program directors, head of the Library and Knowledge Resources Unit, the dean of the Capacity Development and Training Unit, the head of the Communications and External Relations Department, the DDGS executive assistant (secretary), as well as two members elected by the research staff for a two-year tenure.
  • The Management Board was converted into the IIASA Forum to facilitate consultation and improve internal communication among all major stakeholders of the Institute: the director general (chair), the deputy director general for science, the chief operations officer, program directors, research group leaders, department heads, unit heads, managers, the Council secretary, Process, Quality and Sustainability manager, data protection officer, the DG executive assistant (secretary), as well as the Works Council (observer).
  • The Department Head Committee was converted into the Operations Committee. It advises the IIASA Executive on all matters related to the institute’s non-scientific operations. Members of the Operations Committee are the chief operations officer (chair), the director general (ex officio), the heads of the Human Resources, Finance and Grants, Information and Communication Technologies, and Facilities Management departments, the Process, Quality, and Sustainability manager, the data protection officer, the communications manager (observer), the legal counselor to the COO, and the COO executive assistant (secretary).