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Board of Trustees

The Cyprus Institute is being developed under the institutional umbrella of the Cyprus Research and Educational Foundation (CREF), which is governed by an internationally acclaimed Board of Trustees. The Board is chaired by Professor Dan-Olof Riska and includes world-renowned academics, current and former Presidents of the Republic of Cyprus, regional and international political, civic and business leaders. The Board is advised and aided by an international body of distinguished academics, the Scientific Advisory Council (SAC). The SAC is chaired by Professor Edouard Brézin.


Mr. Nicos Anastasiades (Honorary Chair)
President of the Republic of Cyprus

H.E. Mr Nicos Anastasiades is the seventh President of the Republic of Cyprus. From 1981 until his election to the Presidency on February 2013, he served as member of the House of Representatives. He was also elected as Vice President of the House of Representatives for the years 1996-2001. President Anastasiades is a lawyer by profession. He graduated in law from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and completed postgraduate studies in shipping law at the University College London

Nicos Anastasiades
Professor Dan-Olof Riska - Chair of the Board
Finnish Society of Science and Letters

Dan-Olof Riska is an Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Helsinki and treasurer and past president of the Finnish Society of Science and Letters. He served as Vice President of the CERN Council as well as Director of the Helsinki Institute of Physics. His research experience covers a wide field of theoretical and applied physics, including geophysics. He is a fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, the Finnish Society of Science and Letters, the Finnish Academy of Technical Sciences, the Finnish Academy of Science, as well as of the American Physical Society. He has served as vice president of the European Academies Science Advisory Council and on scientific advisory committees in several countries and the editorial boards of several scientific journals.

D O Riska 2

Prof. Ruth Arnon
Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Former President, The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities

Ruth Arnon, a prominent immunologist, is the President of the Israeli Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the Paul Ehrlich Professor of Immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Her scientific research has focused on the development of advanced vaccines, cancer research and parasitic diseases. She jointly developed Copaxone, a drug prescribed for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Prof. Michael Cates
Theoretical physicist, holder of the Lucasian Professorship of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.

Michael Cates was previously Professor of Natural Philosophy and Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Edinburgh. He is renowned for his work over the past thirty years on an extremely broad range of problems in soft matter, from the dynamics of `living polymers’ and polymer brushes to the nature of the glass transition, at which a previously liquid-like material locks into an amorphous solid structure. His work has been recognised by many major awards, including the Dirac Medal and Prize of the Institute of Physics, the Pierre Gille de Gennes Lecture Prize of the European Physical Journal and the Weissenberg Award of the European Society of Rheology.

Mike cates
Dr Günay Çerkez
Electrical Engineer and Businessman
Former President of T/C Chamber of Commerce

Günay Çerkez graduated from Brunel University. He was the President of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and is currently an active member of the Chamber. He was the founder member and first Chairman of Turkish Cypriot Education Trust 1994-2004, founder member and first Chairman of Turkish Cypriot Engineer’s Association England 1985-1987, member of the Turkish Cypriot Businessman Association.

gunay cerkez
Mr. George Georghiou
Permanent Secretary, Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development of the Republic of Cyprus

George Georghiou is the Permanent Secretary of the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development (DG EPCD) since March 2010. Mr. Georghiou has served in various posts in DG EPCD with experience in areas such as macroeconomic policy, regional development, environment, external international relations and management of EU funds. He was the Secretary to the Council of Ministers (2009-2013). He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation.. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Cyprus Airways and the Human Resource Development Authority.

Giorgos Georgiou
Prof. Anastasios Giannitsis
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
Former Minister of Interior, Greece

Tassos Giannitsis is Professor Emeritus of the University of Athens. He served as Chief Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister of Greece (1994-2000) and served different terms as Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, a Foreign Affairs Minister and Minister of the Interior. He was Professor of Development and International Economics, University of Athens, Chairman of the Hellenic Petroleum. He is author of numerous scientific publications on industrial issues, innovation policy, European integration, international competitiveness, foreign investment and on Greek economic policy issues

Anastasios Giannitsis
Prof. Ioli Kalavrezou
Harvard University, USA

Ioli Kalavrezou is the Dumbarton Oaks Professor of Early Christian and Byzantine Art History at Harvard University. She has held professorships at UCLA and the University of Munich. Her research and publications focus on the arts of the empire of Byzantium.

Dr. Symeon Kassianides
Founder, Chairman and CEO, Hyperion Systems Engineering, Cyprus

Symeon Kassianides is the founder, CEO and Chairman of the Hyperion Systems Engineering Group. He has over 20 years of experience in project execution and management of technology in the process and manufacturing industries. Dr. Kassianides has served as Director on the governance Boards of several private companies and public organizations including the Cyprus Stock Exchange and the University of Cyprus.

Mr. Kyriakos Kokkinos
Executive Director & Partner, IBM Europe

Kyriacos Kokkinos is an IBM Executive Director & Partner, IBM Europe, with 30 years of experience in the Information Technology Sector. He leads European Team for Cognitive Solutions in Communications Sector. Throughout his career he served in several managerial and executive positions across different European geographies. He is distinguished for his entrepreneurial, leadership and consultative qualities and competencies.

His professional domain is Digital Transformation projects and cognitive Computing (artificial intelligence). His key disciplines include: Strategic Thought Leadership, strong business acumen, innovation and knowledge creation consultant, trusted business advisor at board level. He is member of IBM’s Research Institute IBV (Institute for Business Value)

Kiriakos Kokkinos
Dr. Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus

Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and as Minister of Communications and Works of the Republic of Cyprus. She has served as Ambassador of Cyprus to the US and as Ambassador to Brazil, Lebanon, Jordan and Sweden. She was also accredited to the World Bank, the IMF, ICAO and the Organization of American States.

EratoKozakouMarkoulli 1
Dr. Anastasios Paul Leventis
Director of the Leventis Group international Companies, Chairman of the A G Leventis Foundation.

As well as his business interests, A P Leventis has been involved in international activities which encourage sustainable models of development and, in this capacity, he is: a Founder Trustee of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation; Honorary Vice-President of BirdLife International; a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society; for seven years, a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture; a Trustee of the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest Trust; a Board Member of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative. He holds honorary Doctorates from the University of Jos and the Agricultural University of Abeokuta, both in Nigeria.

Anastasios Leventis
Prof. Ghislain de Marsily
Emeritus Professor, Sorbonne University, France

Ghislain de Marsily, emeritus Professor at Sorbonne University (Paris VI), France, is member of the French Academy of Sciences, Academy of Technologies, Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Engineering, and member of the Academia Europaea. He graduated as a mining engineer, taught Hydrology at the Paris School of Mines, and Applied Geology at University Paris VI. His research interests include groundwater resources and protection, waste disposal, global water resources and sustainable development.

Ghislain De Marsily
Prof. Wajih Owais
Senator in the Jordanian Senate

Wajih Owais served as Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, as Minister of Education and President of the Jordan University of Science and Technology. He was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the King Abdullah University Hospital 9/2003- 2/2011, Vice President of the Jordan University of Science and Technology, 1998-2003 and Dean of the Faculty of Science at Yarmouk University.Prof. Owais was awarded the "Commemorative Medal" by Czech University of Agriculture Prague, a "Sculpture of Honor" by Czech University of Agriculture Prague in May, 2005, and an honorary degree "Doctor of Science" from New York Institute of Technology in 2005.

Prof Wajih Owais
Mrs Egly Pantelakis
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Culture (MOEC)

Egly Pantelakis previously served as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment. She also served as National Coordinator (at a technocratic level) for the promotion of the Lisbon Strategy.

Mrs Egly Pantelakis2
Prof. Costas N. Papanicolas
President, The Cyprus Institute

Costas N. Papanicolas, the President of CyI, is a nuclear physicist with over 35 years of experience as a researcher, an educator and a scientific administrator in the University of Illinois and the University of Athens. He directed the Institute of Accelerating Systems and Applications of Greece and the Physics Laboratory of the University of Athens. He chaired the Accreditation Council for Tertiary Education of the Republic of Cyprus and served the National Advisory Board on Science and Technology of the Hellenic Republic. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and member of the European Academy of Sciences (Academia Europaea).

Costas Papanikolas
Dr. Andreas Pittas (Chair, Executive Committee)
Founder and Chairman, Medochemie, Cyprus
Former Chair, Cyprus Employers and Industrialists Federation

Andreas Pittas trained as a medical doctor in Austria. He is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Medochemie Ltd. He is a member of a number of scientific committees and organizations overseas, such as the British Association of Pharmaceutical Physicians and he has been Vice-Pesident of the European Generic Medicines Association (Brussels). He served as the Chairman of the Employers’ and Industrialists’ Federation for many years. He served as member of the Board of Directors of the Human Resource Development Authority of Cyprus, the Bank of Cyprus and the Cyprus Development Bank.

Dr Janez Potočnik
Former EU Commissioner for Environment

Janez Potočnik was the Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development, Ljubljana.  He was the head of the Negotiating Team for Accession of Slovenia to the EU. He also served as Director of Government Office for European Affairs, Minister Councilor at the Office of the Prime Minister and Minister responsible for European Affairs.
He was the Commissioner responsible for Enlargement and was then the Commissioner responsible for Science and Research. From 2010 to 2014 Dr Potočnik served as Commissioner for Environment.

Janez Potočnik, Strasbourg Diliff

Prof. Didier Roux
Vice-President, Research and Development and Innovation, Group Saint-Gobain, France

Didier Roux is the Vice President of Research & Development and Innovation of the Saint-Gobain Group in France. He is a member of the French Academy of Sciences and has been awarded many prizes and distinctions including the Grand Prix IBM materials, the Grand Prix of the French Academy of Sciences Mergier Bourdeix and the Silver Medal of CNRS.

Roux Didier
Prof. Harold Varmus
Professor at Cornell University
Nobel Laureate in Medicine

Harold Varmus is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, and is involved with several initiatives to promote science and health in developing countries. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1989 jointly with J. Michael Bishop "for their discovery of the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes". He is the former Director of the National Institutes of Health. Prof. Vermus is involved with several initiatives to promote science and health in developing countries.

Prof Harold Varmus
Mrs. Androulla Vassiliou
Former European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth and Former Commissioner for Health

Mrs. Androulla Vassiliou served as European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth and as Commissioner for Health. She was twice elected to the Cypriot House of Representatives and she was active in the field of international affairs and human rights as President of the UN Association of Cyprus and of the World Federation of UN Associations. She currently chairs the Board of Trustees of the Bank of Cyprus Oncology Center.

Androulla Vassiliou
Mr. Sotirios Zackheos
Executive Director, RCB Bank Ltd, Cyprus
Former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cyprus

Sotirios Zackheos serves as the Executive Director of the Russian Commercial Bank in Cyprus. He served as a Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as an Ambassador of Cyprus in China and as Permanent Representative of Cyprus in the UN. He has been honored by the Greek Republic with the Grand Cross of the Order of the Phoenix and also honored by the Slovenian Republic with the Golden Order for Services in the Diplomatic and International Field.

gender equality