WUN Governance

WUN is a not-for-profit organisation with prudent governance measures in place to ensure the effective and efficient delivery of its high quality programmes and activities. 

Chair - Professor Joseph J.Y. Sung, SBS, JP

The Chair of the WUN Partnership Board is elected from among the Presidents of the member universities of WUN and serves a two-year term. The current Chair, appointed in April 2016, is Professor Joseph J.Y. Sung, President of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Professor Joseph J.Y. Sung received his medical degree (MB BS) from The University of Hong Kong in 1983, and was conferred PhD in biomedical sciences by the University of Calgary in 1992 and MD by The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) in 1997. As a renowned scientist in gastroenterology, Professor Sung’s research interests include intestinal bleeding, Helicobacter Pylori, peptic ulcer, hepatitis B, colorectal cancer, and other cancers related to the digestive system. Professor Sung and his team proved the relationship between H. Pylori and peptic ulcer diseases. They were first in demonstrating that a course of antibiotics lasting a week can cure H. Pylori infection and successfully treat peptic ulcers and minimize their relapse. At the same time, he and his research team pioneered the use of endoscopic treatment for ulcer bleeding to reduce the need for operative surgery. These research results have a major impact on and have changed the practice of gastroenterology worldwide. Professor Sung is a renowned researcher in gastroenterology and hepatology. He led a group of experts from 15 Asia-Pacific countries to launch colorectal cancer screening research in 2004, and has laid down clear guidelines and promoted colorectal screenings in the region. Professor Sung was honoured by the Prevent Cancer Foundation of the United States with the Laurel Award in 2008. In 2009, his seminal lectures on peptic ulcer bleeding won him the Marshall and Warren Lecture Award. In the same year, he was also awarded the Endoscopy Award of the German Society of Gastroenterology. In 2013, he received the Master of the World Gastroenterology Organization (WGO) Award from the World Gastroenterology Organization & WGO Foundation. His contributions to the advancement of medical sciences and academic development have won him wide numerous local and regional awards, and the more recent ones are the Hong Kong Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award (HKSAR Government, 2014), First-Class, Technological Advancement Award of the Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Awards (The Ministry of Education, PRC, 2013).

Executive Director - Professor John Hearn

Professor John Hearn is Executive Director of the Worldwide Universities Network since 2009. 

He is Professor of Reproductive Physiology in the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Sydney since 2004; and Chairman of the Australia Africa Universities Network since 2011. He was Vice President (Academic and International) of the University of Sydney 2004-13; Vice President (Research) of the Australian National University (2001-4); and Director, ANU Research School of Biological Sciences (1998-2001).

A reproductive and developmental physiologist, with 220 research publications and six edited books in human and animal fertility, stem cell biology and biotechnology, his research now is on the science and ethics of stem cell and regenerative medicine, and on reform in international higher education. He teaches first year human biology and advanced physiology. He holds the Scientific Medal of the Zoological Society of London; the Osman-Hill medal of the Primate Society of Great Britain; and the Australian Centenary Medal “for outstanding service to science and to the Australian Government as a scientific adviser”.

Born in India, raised in England and Kenya, he graduated BSc (1st honours Science), MSc (Developmental Biology) and DSc (h.c) from University College Dublin; and PhD (Reproductive Physiology) from the Australian National University (ANU). He served as a researcher, educator and director of national and international programs, for 6-7 years each, at the Universities of Edinburgh, London UCL, Wisconsin-Madison, the ANU and Sydney; and as a Senior Scientific Adviser to the World Health Organisation and the World Wildlife Fund. In conjunction with these appointments, he was Director of Science of the Zoological Society of London 1980-87; Deputy Secretary of the Agricultural and Food Research Council of the UK 1987-90; and Director of the Wisconsin National Primate Research Centre 1990-96. He was elected President of the International Primatological Society (1984-8) and of the Society for Reproductive Biology (2001-4). A committed international citizen, he directed research and capacity development programs in Kenya, Brazil, China, Thailand and India. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors; and Chairman of Hearn International Pty Ltd (higher education and research networks).


WUN is managed by a Secretariat, which is responsible for the operations, communications and strategy implementation of the network. Company secretarial and financial management services are provided by specialists from the University of Leeds.

General Manager:  Dr Mike Hasenmueller

Program Manager (China):  Associate Professor Grace Liu PhD

Program Manager: Ms Marije Nieuwenhuis

Company Secretary: Ms Helena Smith

Partnership Board

The Partnership Board sets the strategic direction and vision of the network and its culture, values and membership. It provides entrepreneurial leadership of the WUN company within a framework of prudent and effective controls that enables risk to be assessed and managed.

The Board comprises the Presidents, Vice-Chancellors or Rectors of the member universities and the WUN Executive Director. Collectively, the Board has considerable international influence and ensures that WUN is recognised as a leading global higher education network.

Chair: Professor Joseph Sung, President, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Steering Group

  • Professor John Hearn, WUN Executive Director
  • Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Leeds
  • Professor Dawn Freshwater, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Western Australia
  • Professor Peter Mbithi, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Nairobi
  • Professor Dr Martin Paul, President, Maastricht University (Vice-Chair)
  • Dr David Turpin, President, The University of Alberta
  • Professor Katherine Newman, Provost & Senior Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, The University of Massachusetts Amherst (Alt. Dir. for Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy)


  • Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Ghana
  • Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Bristol
  • Sir Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Sheffield
  • Professor Stuart McCutcheon, Vice-Chancellor, The Univeristy of Auckland
  • Professor Koen Lamberts, Vice-Chancellor, The University of York
  • Professor Peter Lennie, Provost, The University of Rochester (Alt. Dir. for President Joel Seligman)
  • Professor Dag Rune Olsen, Rector, The University of Bergen
  • Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Southampton
  • Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Sydney
  • Professor Wu Zhaohui, President, Zhejiang University
  • Professor Liu Wei, President, Renmin University of China 
  • Dr Max Price, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Cape Town
  • Professor Huey-Jen Jenny Su, President, National Cheng Kung University
  • Professor Jaime Arturo Ramirez, President, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Professor Stuart McCutcheon, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Auckland
  • Dr David Garza, Rector, Tecnológico de Monterrey

Academic Advisory Group

The Academic Advisory Group is responsible for overseeing the academic portfolio of the network and advising the Partnership Board on strategic direction. It is made up senior university officials, usually at the level of Vice-President or Deputy Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for the research or internationalisation priorities of the member universities. It is the task of this group to draw the threads from individual member universities together so as to nurture high impact communities tackling issues of global importance.

Chair: Professor David Hogg, Former Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research & Innovation, The University of Leeds

Steering Group

  • Professor Fanny Cheung, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Professor Robyn Owens, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), The University of Western Australia
  • Professor Francis Dodoo, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research, Innovation & Development), The University of Ghana
  • Professor Tom van Veen, Dean of Internationalization of Education, Maastricht University
  • Ms Britta Baron, Vice-Provost (International), The University of Alberta
  • Associate Professor Martina Nieswandt Associate Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement),  The University of Massachusetts Amherst


  • Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, The University of Bristol
  • Professor Lisa Roberts, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, The University of Leeds
  • Dr Jane Gatewood, Associate Provost for Global Engagement, The University of Rochester
  • Professor Kathy Belov, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement), The University of Sydney
  • Professor Anne Christine Johannessen, Vice-Rector for International Relations, The University of Bergen
  • Professor Jim Metson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), The University of Auckland
  • Professor Deborah Smith, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, The University of York
  • Professor Peter Smith, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International), The University of Southampton
  • Professor Yonghua Song, Executive Vice President for International Relations, Zhejiang University
  • Professor Dave Petley, Vice-President for Research and Innovation, The University of Sheffield
  • Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Internationalisation), The University of Cape Town
  • Professor Wang Liming, Vice President, Renmin University of China 
  • Professor Fabio Alves, Dean of International Affairs, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Professor Tung-yang Chen, Vice President, National Cheng Kung University
  • Professor Lucy Irungu, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, The University of Nairobi
  • Dr. José Manuel Paez, Vice-Rector of International Affairs, Tecnológico de Monterrey 

Coordinators Group

Each WUN member university appoints an administrator to manage the implementation of WUN programs on campus and to serve as the main contact point for network initiatives. This group shares information on collaborative opportunities and develops WUN’s research programs. Your local WUN Coordinator should be your first point of contact for information on WUN. Contact details for your WUN Coordinator can be found on the WUN member pages

Chair: Dr Susan Jim, The University of Bristol


Contact Us

For more information on WUN, contact the WUN General Manager,  Mike Hasenmueller:

Telephone: +61 2 9036 7219
Email:  mhasenmueller@wun.ac.uk
WUN Headquarters Office: Room 11.23, EC Stoner Building, The University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK