Science Advisory Committee

The role of the Science Advisory Committee (SAC), established by the IIASA Council in 2002, is to ensure that IIASA work continues to meet highest standards in both scientific and policy relevant community.

Professor Jim Hall is the fourth SAC Chair, succeeding Professor Mary Scholes of the Wits University. 

The SAC was established in 2002 by the IIASA Council – the governing body of the Institute with the main task to ensure that IIASA’s work continues to meet highest standards in both scientific merit and policy relevance.

The Science Advisory Committee is an advisory structure constituted of independent, eminent scientists appointed by the IIASA Council with the task of providing scientific guidance and a research assurance function for IIASA. SAC has a dual reporting line. SAC directly reports to the IIASA Deputy Director General for Science and engages with the Director General, and indirectly to the Research and Engagement Committee of Council. 

SAC members are appointed by the Council to 3-year terms (and maximum 6 years), from a list of nominations solicited from  National Member Organizations and the IIASA Executive. Members are selected based on their scientific and policy experience in the areas of IIASA's research, with attention to balance regarding scientific disciplines, world regions, gender, and experience in global science policy activities.  

The Committee meets approximately once per year, or more often if required, and the SAC Chair is invited to attend Council meetings as a permanent guest.

Current SAC members: 

 from January 2020 to 31 December 2022
Professor Dr. Jim HALL
Professor of Climate and Environmental Risks, School of Geography and the Environment Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Engineering Science, Oxford University
Oxford, UK

Member from August 2017 to August 2023
Dr. John R. BIRGE 
The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Chicago, IL, USA

Member from August 2017 to August 2023
Professor Dr. Ruth DEFRIES 
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, Columbia University
New York, NY, USA

Member from January 2022 to December 2024
Dr. Marianne FAY
Director for Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, Latin America and the Caribbean
The World Bank

Member from January 2017 to December 2022
Professor Dr. Bojie FU   
Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Beijing, P.R. China

Member from July 2020 to June 2023
Director, Viable Cities
KTH - Royal Institute of Technology
Stockholm, Sweden

Member from July 2020 to June 2023
Professor Dr. Christoph MEINEL
President and CEO
Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Engineering gGmbH (HPI)
and Dean of the Digital Engineering Faculty of the University of Potsdam 
Potsdam, Germany 

Member from January 2022 to December 2024
Professor Yacob MULUGETTA
Professor of Energy and Development Policy, Department of Science, Technology, Engineering & Public Policy (STEaPP) at the University College London (UCL), UK
Founding Member of the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
London, UK

Member from January 2022 to December 2024
Professor Dr. Taikan OKI 
Special Advisor to the President and Professor, Graduate School of Engineering
The University of Tokyo 
Tokyo, Japan

Member from January 2017 until December 2022
Dr. Youba SOKONA  
The South Centre and the University of Surrey
Geneva, Switzerland

Member from January 2022 to December 2024
Professor Dr. Diana ÜRGE-VORSATZ
Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, Central European University
Vice Chair, Working Group III, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Vienna, Austria

Member from July 2020 to June 2023
Professor Elke U. WEBER
Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment
Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs
Princeton University 
Princeton, NJ, USA

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Last edited: 09 July 2020

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