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 dr. Martin Paul

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 January 2018, is Professor dr. Martin Paul, President of Maastricht University. 

Professor Martin Paul is President of Maastricht University (UM) since 2011. After finishing medical school at the University of Heidelberg he has worked as an academic at Harvard University, University of Heidelberg, Freie Universität Berlin and Charité University Medical Centre Berlin. Next to his distinguished career as a researcher (with more than 300 publications) and educator, Professor Paul has become active in academic management.

He was Dean of the Medical Faculty of the Freie Universität, and from 2004 to 2008 Dean and Vice President of the Executive Board of the Medical Faculty of the Charité Medical Centre. From 2008 to 2011, he has served as Dean of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences at UM and Vice President of Maastricht University Medical Centre +.

In addition, Professor Paul has worked actively to improve academic management and leadership on the international level. In this context, he has served as Chair of DEAN, a European Network of deans and academic managers and has been a board member of the European Centre for Strategic Management of Universities. He also has been on the board of the Association of Academic Health Centers and served as chair of its International Steering Group. Currently, he is member of the board of the Dutch Association of Research Universities and is an elected member of the Netherlands Academy for Technology and Innovation. Furthermore, Professor Paul has been elected as vice-president of the Young European Research Universities Network (YERUN). As of June 2016, he has been appointed as a member of the National Science Council of Austria and as a honorary fellow of the Free University Brussels. Professor Paul has been elected chairman of the Partnership Board of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) as of January 2018. Apart from these roles he serves on several advisory and supervisory boards in the Netherlands, Europe and beyond.

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 led and managed by the Executive Director and a part-time consultant team, which is responsible for the operations, communications and strategy implementation of the network and reports to the Partnership Board.  Company secretarial and financial management services are provided by specialists from the University of Leeds, which is the registered office of the WUN Company.

  • Executive Director:  Professor John Hearn
  • General Manager:  Dr Mike Hasenmueller
  • Research Development Manager:  Associate Professor Grace Liu PhD
  • Program Manager: Ms Marije Nieuwenhuis
  • Company Secretary: Ms Helena Smith, University of Leeds
  • Coordinator Chair:  Dr Susan Jim, University of Bristol
  • Financial Services:  Mr Marcin Sanocki, University of Leeds

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 dr Martin Paul, President, Maastricht University

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 Joseph Sung, Former Vice-Chancellor, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (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
  • Professor Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • 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 Robert Clark, Provost and Senior VP for Research, 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 Sandra Almeida, President, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Professor Andrew Deeks, President, University College Dublin
  • 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 Annelin Eriksen, Vice-Rector for Global 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 Aziz Saliba, 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 
  • Professor Dolores O'Riordan, Vice-President for Global Engagement, University College Dublin

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:

Email:   mhasenmueller@wun.ac.uk

WUN Company Office: Room 11.23, EC Stoner Building, The University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK