Biographies (Heads of Delegation)


Yanghee CHOI Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning of Korea

Minister Choi Yanghee currently heads the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, and will serve as Chair of the 2015 OECD Ministerial Meeting.

Minister Choi began his career as Senior Research Engineer at the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI). Entering academia, he took up a position as Assistant Professor at Seoul National University, eventually becoming Professor of Computer Science and Engineering in 1991.

Minister Choi is a full member of the National Academy of Engineering of Korea and the Korean Academy of Science and Technology. His career has taken him to key positions throughout the world of academia, as the first Dean of the Graduate School of Convergence Science & Technology at Seoul National University, and as President of the Advanced Institute of Convergence Technology.

His strong background in science and technology has been a key asset for Minister Choi's career in public service, in which he first served as a member of the President's Council on Informatization Strategies before being appointed as Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning in 2014.



Torbjørn RØE ISAKSEN - Minister of Research and Education of Norway


Torbjørn Røe Isaksen is Minister of Research and Education of Norway, a position which he has held since 2013, and has been a member of the Storting (the Norwegian Parliament) since 2009. He has a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Oslo, and has worked as an editor and journalist. He is a member of the Conservative Party, and led the party’s youth organisation from 2004 to 2008. Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, born in 1978, is married and has one daughter.



Carmen VELA OLMO - State Secretary for Research, Development and Innovation of Spain


Carmen Vela is the Spanish State Secretary for Research, Development and Innovation, a position which she has held since January 2012. She was previously Managing Director at INGENASA, a biotechnology company based in Madrid specialising in animal health. A biochemist with more than 30 years’ experience in immunology, virology and related fields, Carmen Vela has authored numerous publications and patent applications granted in the EU and the US. Among other responsibilities, she has been a member of the Advisory Group of PEOPLE (7th European Frame Program) and the External Advisory Committee of EUREKA, and was President of the Spanish Society for Biotechnology and of the Spanish Association of Women Scientists & Technologists.



The Hon Karen ANDREWS MP - Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Science of Australia


The Hon Karen Andrews MP is Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Science and Federal Member for McPherson. A member of the Liberal National Party, Karen brings her experience in engineering, industrial relations and running her own business to her governmental positions.

Karen is a strong advocate for the Australian scientific community and a co-founder of the Parliamentary Friends of Science group, which promotes closer engagement between the scientific community and political representatives.

Karen is passionate about encouraging the study of Maths and Science in schools and promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics professions. As a member of the Women in Engineering Alumni Network at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), she promotes study in these crucial fields.

Before entering Parliament, Karen and her husband established and ran their own human resources and industrial relations consultancy with a strong client base throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Karen's career success also includes heading up the Industrial Relations Branch of the Victorian Department of Health and Community Services, where she was responsible for negotiating with public sector employees including nurses, ambulance offices, doctors and community service workers.

Karen graduated as a mechanical engineer in 1983 and holds a graduate diploma in Industrial Relations. Karen is married with three children.



Harald MAHRER - State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy of Austria


Dr. Harald Mahrer was born in Vienna in 1973, and is married. He studied Business Administration at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. There he acted as Chairman of the Austrian National Union of Students. From 1997 to 2000, he was Research Assistant at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, and holds a doctoral degree in Social and Economic Sciences.

From 2000 to 2014, he was the Managing Director of various companies: legend consulting GmbH, Pleon Public Relations GmbH, cumclave Management Consulting GmbH, and HM Tauern Holding Beteiligungs-gesellschaft m.b.H. He has been State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy since September 2014.

From 1999 to 2000, he was Press Spokesman and Project Manager of the government initiative “GO-ON Österreich ans Internet”. From 2003 to 2005, he was a member of the E-Government Board of the Austrian Federal Government. From 2004 to 2013 he acted as a Co-Director of the Metis Institute for Economic and Political Research.



H.E. Michelle d’Auray - Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the OECD


Ms. d’Auray has broad and varied experience in government, with over 10 years as a Deputy Minister. Prior to her appointment as Canada’s Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the OECD, Ms. d’Auray was the Deputy Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, from 2012 to 2015. This department is the Government of Canada’s principal procurement and real estate and asset management organisation, including military procurement and the responsibility for the government’s Defence Procurement Strategy, which she developed and implemented.

From 2009 to 2012, she served as the first woman Secretary to the Treasury Board, where she was responsible for the Government’s overall expenditure management system, and oversaw the one-year comprehensive expenditure review for the Government of Canada which led to savings of over CAD 6 billion in operations. Ms. d’Auray was the first Chief Human Resources Officer for the Government of Canada, establishing the Office and role in 2009. From 2007 to 2009, she was the first woman Deputy Minister at Fisheries and Oceans Canada; and from 2004-2007, she was President of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Québec.

Ms. d’Auray started her professional career as the head of Canada’s then-largest advocacy organisation for cultural industries and the arts, from 1985 to 1989. She started her career in the Government of Canada’s public service in 1990 at the National Film Board of Canada as Director of Corporate Affairs, Distribution and Communications.

From 1994 to 1996, she headed the Privy Council of Canada’s Intergovernmental Communications Secretariat, and from 1996 to 1997 was Director General of Communications for Industry Canada. In 1998, she headed the Government of Canada’s Task Force on Electronic Commerce at Industry Canada, and was responsible for the organisation in Canada of the 1998 OECD Ministerial Conference on Electronic Commerce. This was followed by positions at Canadian Heritage as Assistant Deputy Minister of Strategic Management (1999 to 2000), and at Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat as the Government’s Chief Information Officer (2000 to 2004), where she headed the Government of Canada’s on-line initiative that made Canada a world leader in electronic service delivery.

Ms. d’Auray was appointed Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Canada to the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, in Paris, on 21 January 2015. 



Francisco BRIEVA RODRIGUEZ - President of the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT) of Chile


Francisco Brieva Rodriguez’s initial training was as electrical engineer at the University of Chile, after which he took a PhD in Physics at the University of Oxford (in 1978), specialising in nuclear theory. He has a long, distinguished academic and teaching career at a variety of universities in Chile and internationally, notably at the University of Chile, where he taught as Professor from 1988 on, and was Dean of the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Mathematics from 2002 to 2014.

Highlights of his time at the University of Chile include the construction of new Faculty building "Beauchef 851"; the "Engineering 2030" project supported by the Chilean Economic Development Agency (CORFO) to help train the next generation of researchers; an increase of undergraduate and postgraduate students; and strengthening of the Faculty staff. His research career includes a large number of papers and citations in prestigious publications in his field. His scientific work has been supported by CONICYT, through the National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development (FONDECYT), and other sources of public funding.

Dr. Brieva has been a member of the Chilean Academy of Sciences since 1993 and, in 1997, he was honoured as a Fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). He has also served as the Director of the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission.



Arnošt MARKS - Deputy Vice Prime Minister for Research, Development and Inovation of the Czech Republic


Arnošt Marks is Deputy Vice Prime Minister for Research, Development and Innovation of the Czech Republic.

Arnošt Marks is a graduate of the Faculty of Science of Charles University in Prague and the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Cambridge. After finishing his Ph.D at the University of Cambridge, Arnošt Marks came back to Prague and worked successively for Price Waterhouse Coopers, the Technology Centre of the Academy of Sciences, the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC), Deloitte, the Ministry for Regional Development, and the European Commission. Between 2007 and 2013, he also worked as a freelance consultant in the area of strategic planning for public and private institutions and in the field of EU affairs. He gives lectures at several universities.



Jürgen LIGI - Minister of Education and Research of the Republic of Estonia


Jürgen Ligi has been Minister of Education and Research of the Republic of Estonia since 9 April 2015. He has belonged to the Estonian Reform Party since 1994.

From 2014–2015, Jürgen Ligi was a member of the 12th Riigikogu (Estonian Parliament).

From 2009–2014, he served as Minister of Finance of the Republic of Estonia.

From 2007–2009, he was a member of the 11th Riigikogu.

From 2005-2007, he served as the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Estonia.

From 1995–2005, he was a member of the 8th, 9th, and 10th Riigikogu.

Jürgen Ligi has been Head of Kuressaare Branch of the EVEA Pank, Economic Advisor and Business Consultant to Kaarma Rural Municipality Government, Head of the Kuressaare Regional Office of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chief Specialist of Saaremaa Agro-industrial Association, and Economist of the Planning Institute of the National Planning Committee.

Born on 16 July 1959 in Tartu, Jürgen Ligi graduated from Tartu 2nd Gymnasium, and studied Geography and Foreign Economics at the University of Tartu. He is also a graduate of the Estonian Business School.



Petri PELTONEN - Head of the Enterprise and Innovation Department of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy of Finland


Director General Petri Peltonen (born in 1962) is Head of the Enterprise and Innovation Department of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy of Finland. In this capacity, he is responsible for Finland’s national enterprise, industrial and innovation policies under the leadership of the Minister of Economic Affairs.

As Director General, Petri Peltonen oversees the operations of the State of Finland’s key business, innovation and export promotion organisations: the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, Tekes; the Technical Research Centre of Finland, VTT; the SME financing and export credit company, Finnvera; the Finnish industry investment company, Tesi; the export, tourism and FDI promotion organisation, Finpro; as well as the Geological Survey of Finland, GTK.

Petri Peltonen is also a member of a number of national and European policy-making bodies such as the Research and Innovation Council of Finland, the Board of the Finnish Innovation Fund (Sitra), the European Research Area Committee (ERAC), and the Board of the Nordic Investment Bank. He also acts as the European Commission’s SME Envoy for Finland.

Prior to taking up his current position in 2008, Petri Peltonen headed the Technology Department of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

From 1996 to 2006, he worked at the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes), most recently as Executive Director and member of the management team.

From 1987 until 1996, he held several technology development positions at the European Space Agency (ESA) in the Netherlands, and in the electronics industry in Finland.

Petri Peltonen has an M.Sc.(1987) and Lic.Tech. (1990) from Tampere University of Technology. He is a guest member of the Finnish Academy of Technical Sciences (2009).



Georg SCHÜTTE - State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany


Dr. Georg Schütte has been State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) since December 2009.

Prior to this, he had been Secretary General of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn since 2004, an organisation which enables foreign scientists and scholars to spend research periods in Germany.

From 2001 to 2003, he worked as Executive Director of the German-American Fulbright Commission in Berlin and, in this capacity, he was able to contribute to academic exchange and a better understanding between Germans and Americans. During this period, he was also a member of the EU Commission's expert group on "Benchmarking Human Resources".

From 1998 to 2001, Georg Schütte was Head of the Strategy Department at the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. After working as a research assistant at the Foundation for some time, he joined the junior academic staff at the University of Siegen and had teaching assignments at various universities including the universities of Lüneburg, Mannheim and Dortmund between 1995 and 1998.

Georg Schütte was a fellow of the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes and a grantee of the German-American Fulbright Commission. Between 1984 and 1989, he studied journalism at the University of Dortmund and "Television and Radio" at the City University of New York. He subsequently worked on his doctoral thesis at Siegen University until 1994 under the DFG SFB 240 special research programme on screen media and was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University in 1992.

Georg Schütte is a member of the Founding Supervisory Board of the Berlin Institute of Health, of the Supervisory Board of the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research, of the Supervisory Board of the "Germany Trade & Invest" foreign trade and inward investment agency, of the Board of Trustees of the Volkswagen Foundation, of the Board of Trustees of the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU), of the Board of the Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History in Rome, of the Council of the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik and of the Board of the German Fulbright Alumni Association. From 2008 to the end of 2009, he was a member of the university councils in Bonn and in Siegen (chairperson in 2009).

Georg Schütte was born in Rheine on 26 October 1962. He is married and has two children.



Evi SACHINI - Director of the National Documentation Centre of Greece


Dr. Evi Sachini is Director of the National Documentation Centre (EKT) of Greece, member of the Board of Directors of the National Hellenic Research Foundation, and member of the Board of Directors of the Greek Network for Research and Technology.

In her 18 years at EKT, she has substantially contributed to the cultivation of the Greek knowledge ecosystem, leading a number of important digital content initiatives to enhance scholarly communication, the exploitation of results and the improvement of entrepreneurial skills of science institutes. Examples include the development of the Open Access and Open Science initiatives.

She is a leading Greek expert in the strategic development of research e-infrastructures and the creation of value chains for excellent science and cultural content and data. She is a strong supporter of the science of science policy in Greece and has been responsible for the establishment of reliable nation-wide metrics for R&D and innovation to help produce evidence-based policies.

As a national expert and representative to the European Commission, she has advised on issues of R&D and innovation, management and exploitation of knowledge capital. She has published a series of reports relating to areas of research policy, development and innovation.



József PÁLINKÁS - President of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office of Hungary


József Pálinkás is President of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office of Hungary. He was born in 1952, obtained PhD in Physics, and became Professor of Atomic Physics. He is author or coauthor of more than 600 scientific publications, with over 10 000 citations. He is also an Ordinary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) and of Academia Europaea.

In addition to previous appointments (Senior Scientist, Research Professor, and Director of the Institute for Nuclear Physics (ATOMKI) of the MTA, Research Fellow in the USA and Sweden, Director of the Institute of Physics at the University of Debrecen (UD), President of the UD), he has served as Minister of Education (2001-2002), Member of Parliament (2006-2008), and as President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (2008-2014).

His past and present international commitments include presidency of the World Science Forum (2008-2014), vice-presidency of the European Academies of Science Advisory Council (2011-), and membership of the Science Europe Governing Board (2012-2014).

Upon completing his mandate as Government Commissioner for Research, Development, and Innovation, he was appointed President of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office of Hungary on 1 January 2015.



Krzysztof Ignacy MAJKA - Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the Republic of Korea


Born in Gdansk in 1949, Dr. Krzysztof Ignacy Majka obtained a Master’s Degree in Engineering from Gdansk University of Technology (Faculty of Machine Construction) in 1973. After gaining a scholarship from the Technical University of Technology at Koszalin, he then became a member of its research staff.

From 1979 until 1982, he occupied a junior research position at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore (India) under a Polish-Indian Cultural and Scientific Exchange Programme. His stay culminated in the completion of his Doctoral Degree in Technical Science.

In 1987, he received an award from the Minister of Science and Education of Poland for his outstanding research achievements. In particular, he published approximately 60 scientific papers in Poland and abroad, and holds various patents.

In 1993, Krzysztof Ignacy Majka was appointed Consul and Head of the Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Mumbai (India).

As a Senator of the 4th Term Senate of the Republic of Poland from 1997 to 2001, he was Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and European Integration Committee, Deputy Chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee of the Republic of Poland – European Union – and Member of Environment Protection Committee. Between 2000 and 2001, he was a member of the Reflective Group to the President of the Republic of Poland.

From 11 December 2001 to 15 May 2008, Krzysztof Ignacy Majka was Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to India, concurrently accredited to the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. From 15 September 2008 to 10 January 2011, he was Deputy Director of the Asia and Pacific Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Warsaw (Poland).

In April 2014, he was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctoris of Laws, Honoris Causa in appreciation of his devotion to science, culture, politics and economics, as well as the friendly relations he developed between Poland and the Republic of Korea.

He has also been honoured with, inter alia, the Excellence Award instituted by the Indian Chamber of Commerce; an award for Services Rendered to the Promotion of UN Ideals, Peace and International Cooperation; the appreciation award from the International Council of Sikhs; the Honorary Citizenship of Baltimore.



Mats JOHNSSON - Senior Advisor and Deputy Head of Unit for National Research Policy at the Ministry of Education and Research of Sweden


Mats Johnsson is Senior Advisor and Deputy Head of Unit for National Research Policy at the Swedish Ministry of Education and Research. His main responsibilities are on general strategy and analysis, government bills to Parliament as well as policies for natural sciences, engineering and research infrastructure. In international affairs, he is responsible for India, the Americas and bilateral agreements with countries in Europe.

After receiving a Degree in Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics, followed by a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Lund 1986, he took up a research career in Physical Chemistry at University of New York at Buffalo. He then served as Research Instructor at the School of Oral Biology and Biomaterials at the State University of New York.

Following this, he worked at The Swedish Research Council for Natural Sciences and at private research foundations. Since 2000, he has been at the Swedish Ministry of Education and Research in different functions. Presently, he is working with government policies and long-term planning in research.


Mauro DELL’AMBROGIO - State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation of Switzerland


Dr. Mauro Dell'Ambrogio is State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation of Switzerland, a post which he took up in January 2013.

Holder of a Doctorate in Law from the University of Zurich, he held a number of public offices in the Canton of Ticino from 1979 to 1999 after passing his Bar exam: Judge, Chief of the Cantonal Police, Secretary-General for Education and Culture, Project Manager for the creation of the University of Lugano (USI), and Secretary-General of the USI.

After four years heading up a group of private clinics, Mauro Dell'Ambrogio was made Director of the University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) in 2003. He has been Mayor of Giubiasco, a member of the Ticino Cantonal Parliament and Chairman of the Ticino Electricity Works.

From 2008 to 2012, he was State Secretary for Education and Research.



Agnes ESTIBALS - Deputy Director for Knowledge and Innovation Economics, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)


Dr. Agnes Estibals is Deputy Director for Knowledge and Innovation Economics at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), which is responsible for the UK Science Budget, including the funding for science through the UK’s Research Councils, and for all innovation policy instruments, notably Innovate UK.

Since 2010, she has been leading the development of economic frameworks and strategies in the fields of science, technology and innovation, such as "Innovation and Research Strategy" (with Dr Keith Smith, December 2011). and more recently "Our Plan for Growth: Science and Innovation" (December 2014).

She was previously a Senior Economic Advisor in HM Treasury, with responsibilities for the economics of growth and productivity. This included overseeing the production of key publications for fiscal events and responses to the financial crisis. She also advised on the fiscal and macroeconomic framework, especially tax forecasts and analysis to support the policy partnership between HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs, and on the European System of Accounts for the Office for National Statistics.



THAVRAK Tuon - Secretary of State of the Ministry of Planning of the Royal Government of Cambodia


Thavrak Tuon has been Secretary of State of the Ministry of Planning (MoP) of the Royal Government of Cambodia since 2013.

As such, his key areas of responsibility include (1) the five-year socio-economic development planning process (National Strategic Development Plan) and Public Investment Programme, (2) the process of addressing changing demographic dynamics within the framework of population and development, and (3) the process of promoting science and technology policies and strategies for sustainable development, as Deputy Chair of the newly-established National Science and Technology Council.

Secretary of State Thavrak has been a member of the Supreme National Economic Council, the advisory body of the Prime Minister of Cambodia since 2009. He has an academic background in economic development and a long-standing engagement and experience in socio-economic development planning, having joined the MoP in 1988.



Yaneth GIHA TOVAR - General Director of the Department of Science, Technology and Innovation of Colombia


Yaneth Giha Tovar is General Director of Colciencias, the Colombian Department of Science, Technology and Innovation. Yaneth Giha graduated in Economics from Los Andes University (Bogotá). She also holds a specialisation in Conflict Resolution and a Masters in Political Studies from the Pontifical Xavierian University (Bogotá), as well as a Masters in War Studies from King’s College (London).

Yaneth Giha has 18 years' professional experience, mainly in the public sector. She began her career in Colombia's National Planning Department, where she worked first as Justice and Security Advisor, and then as Deputy Director for Defence and Security.

Since then, Yaneth Giha has held a number of other positions in the Ministry of Defence. Between 2006 and 2009, she occupied the post of Planning and Budget Director, and created the first Science, Technology and Innovation of that Ministry. She returned to the Ministry in 2010 as Deputy Minister for Strategy and Planning, and then as Deputy Minister for the Social and Entrepreneurial Group Defence and Welfare.

Yaneth Giha has also held other positions in the public and private sectors, notably as Advisor for the Vice-Ministry of Primary Education; Posconflict Director for the foundation “Ideas para la Paz” ("Ideas in favour of Peace") and Innovation Director for the Bogota Chamber Commerce.

Ms. Giha has been General Director of Colciencias (Colombian Department of Science, Technology and Innovation) since 20 August 2014.


Marcelo JENKINS - Minister of Science, Technology and Telecommunications of Costa Rica


Marcelo Jenkins holds a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from the University of Delaware. Since 1986, and prior to his appointment as Minister, Mr. Jenkins worked as a researcher and academic specialist for the University of Costa Rica (UCR), notably at the School of Computing and Informatics.

In particular, Minister Jenkins directed the Masters Program in Computer and Information Technologies. He was also Director of the Society of Information and Knowledge Program (PROSIC), and of the Center for Research in Information and Communication Technologies (CITIC). Additionally, he served as the Director of the School of Computer Science and Informatics.

Minister Jenkins has widespread experience at the national and international level in defining business strategies for information technology; re-engineering business processes using information technology; quality assurance; and the implementation of standards for software development. In addition, he has experience in training staff on software quality, in the evaluation of new information technologies, and in the planning and management of information technology projects and software engineering processes.

As Minister of Science, Technology and Telecommunications, Mr Jenkins is responsible for the implementation of the National Science and Technology Programs, and chairs the National System of Science and Technology.


  • National Science and Technology Award, 1997
  • Computer Merit Award, 2006
  • Researcher of the Year Award, 2013


Mārīte SEILE - Minister for Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia


Mārīte Seile is Minister for Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia, an office which she has held since October 2014. She is responsible for education and training, youth, sport, science, and State language policy.

Mārīte Seile holds an Honours diploma in Mathematics for Higher Education, as well as a Master's Degree in Mathematics from the University of Latvia, and a Master's Degree in Training Systems Design from the University of Twente in the Netherlands.

Her previous experience includes the position of Director of the foundation “Mission Possible”, which aims to ensure quality education and raise the attractiveness of the teacher's profession, as well as that of Personnel and Business Process Director in the private sector.

Ms. Seile also has experience in the non-governmental sector (non-profit organisation “School Support Centre” – part of The Soros Foundation, Latvia), and has worked as a teacher of Mathematics and Deputy Head of a Secondary School in Preiļi, Latvia.



Marius SKARUPSKAS - Vice-Minister of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania


Marius Skarupskas (born on 26 September 1981) is the Vice-Minister of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania.

Marius Skarupsas took up this position on 9 January 2013. He is responsible for the areas of industry and trade, innovation, improvement of business environment and EU structural support. He is one of the Leaders of the EU Smart Specialisation Strategy Process Coordination Group, and has experience in financial planning and analysis as well as public administration. Marius Skarupskas has also worked in the field of media, and given lectures on change management at Vilnius University.

Marius Skarupskas was elected to Vilnius City Municipal Council in 2015.

The Vice-Minister speaks Lithuanian (native), English and Russian. He holds a Masters Degree in Communication and Information from Vilnius University.



Gordon McBEAN - President of the International Council for Science (ICSU)


Professor Gordon McBean (CM, OOnt, PhD, FRSC) is President of the International Council for Science; Co-Chair of the Governing Council for Future Earth: Research for Global Sustainability; and Professor at Western University, London, Canada. He is also a member of the Governing Council of the Science and Technology in Society Forum, and led the Scientific-Technological Major Group negotiations of the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction.

From 1994 to 2000, he was Assistant Deputy Minister in Environment Canada, with responsibilities for Climate, Weather and Air Quality Sciences and Services. He was also Ministers’ Adviser for the Kyoto Protocol, and later, Adviser to Prime Minister Martin for the 2005 Climate negotiations. He was a member of the World Meteorological Organization Executive Council (1994-2000), and of the UNESCO High Level Panel on Science and Technology for Development.

In 2008, he was appointed Member of the Order of Canada for “leadership in national and international scientific organizations”. He is also a Member of the Order of Ontario and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. As a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), he shared in the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.


Nuria SIMO VILA - General Manager and Chief Information Officer of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) 


Nuria Simo became General Manager and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on 1 May 2014.

Before joining the Bank, Nuria worked on global entreprise resource planning (ERP) implementations, infrastructure consolidations and organisational transformations for 15 years at Cargill Inc. in Spain, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Nuria then went on to hold the post of CIO of the Flavours and Fragances Business Unit of ICI (Netherlands) for 5 years, where she consolidated and globalised the IT function, implemented SAP software solutions, and renovated the infrastructure. Following ICI, she became corporate CIO of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space company (EADS), based in Germany, where she stayed for 3 years, leading the first phase of the Shared Services initiative.

In January 2009, Nuria joined Frieslandcampina, the world's third largest dairy company, as leader of the IT function after the merger. Here she created a single, global IT function, launched a major ERP and business intelligence (BI) programme, and renovated and consolidated infrastructures.

At the end of 2011, Nuria went back to Spain to take up a position as CIO of Campofrio Food Group (a European processed meat company), where she delivered an ERP and Business Intelligence programme to implement a single template in 6 countries whilst, at the same time, consolidating the IT function across 6 countries into one global IT team.


Roland SCHNEIDER - Senior Policy Advisor at the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD


Roland Schneider is currently Senior Policy Advisor at the Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC) to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris. As an international trade union organisation with members in all OECD countries, TUAC is the interface for labour unions with the OECD. It has consultative status with the OECD and its various committees.

Subsequent to an apprenticeship as a toolmaker, Mr. Schneider completed studies in mechanical engineering as well as in political science and economics. At the start of his professional career, he conducted research focusing on technology assessment at the Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI) of the German Confederation of Trade Unions (DGB) in Düsseldorf, Germany.

At TUAC, he is in charge of innovation, employment and labour market policy issues as well as on education and training issues. He has published intensively on issues regarding research and development, innovation, technological change, technology assessment as well as on labour market and employment policy.