The OAD Steering Committee exercises general oversight of the activities of the OAD and its staff. It comprises 3 members nominated by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and 3 members nominated by the National Research Foundation (NRF).  The Chair of the OAD Steering Committee alternates between a nominee of the IAU and a nominee of NRF.

The current OAD steering committee consists of:

Renée C. Kraan-Korteweg (Chair)

Prof Renée C. Kraan-Korteweg is the head of the department of astronomy and founder and co-director of the Astrophysics, Cosmology and Gravity Centre at the University of Cape Town. In recognition of her “outstanding contribution to building South Africa’s scientific and research knowledge base in advancing the field of astronomy”, she received the Minister’s Special Award in 2018. She serves as a Vice president of the executive committee of the International Astronomical Union.


Saalih Allie

Prof Saalih Allie is an associate professor in physics education research at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He is also co-director of the National Astrophysics and Space Science programme.


Ajit Kembhavi

Prof Ajit Kembhavi is Professor Emeritus at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, India, of which he was also a founder member. He is a Vice president of the executive committee of the International Astronomical Union.


Ian Robson

Prof Ian Robson is based at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, UK. He is the Past Assistant General Secretary of Executive Committee of the IAU.


José Miguel Rodriguez Espinosa

José Miguel Rodriguez Espinosa is based at the Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucía, Spain. He is the Assistant General Secretary of Executive Committee of the IAU.


Bernie Fanaroff

Dr. Bernie Fanaroff, of the “Fanaroff-Riley classification”, is an astronomer who has served as the Deputy Director-General in The Office of former President Nelson Mandela and the Project Director of South Africa’s Square Kilometre Array (SKA) bid. He has been awarded the Order of Mapungubwe, one of the highest honours in the country, for his contributions to radio astronomy, and for the pivotal role he played as an activist, trade unionist, and public servant.


Daniela Lazzaro

Dr. Daniela Lazzaro is an astronomer at the Observatorio Nacional. She is a Vice-President of the IAU Executive Committee and Organizing Committee Member of the Executive Committee Working group on Women in Astronomy 


Petri Vaisanen

Prof Petri Vaisanen is the Director of the South African Astronomical Observatory, which hosts the IAU OAD. He is an ex-officio member of the Steering Committee.


Previous members of the OAD Steering Committee included:

  • Claude Carignan
  • Megan Donahue
  • George Miley
  • Khotso Mokhele
  • Kaz Sekiguchi
  • Patricia Whitelock
  • Katrien Kolenberg
  • Teresa Lago
  • Ted Williams