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:

Solomon Tessema (Chair)

Dr. Solomon Tessema is a past Director General of the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute and Vice president of the executive committee of the International Astronomical Union.

Diana Worrall

Prof Diana Worrall is Emeritus Professor, School of Physics at the University of Bristol. She is the Assistant General Secretary of the International Astronomical Union.

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 

Daya Reddy

Prof Daya Reddy holds the South African Research Chair in Computational Mechanics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He held the position of inaugural president of the International Science Council from 2018-2021.

Delia Marshall

Prof Delia Marshall is a professor in the Department of Physics at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. Her research interest is in undergraduate physics education and higher education studies. 

Mmantsae Moche Diale

Prof Mmantsae Moche Diale is Professor of Physics and holds the South African Research Chair (SARCHI) chair on Clean and Green Energy at the Department of Physics, University of Pretoria. She serves as an expert on several national and international committees, boards and initiatives for renewable energy solutions and related matters in climate change.

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.

PAST OAD steering committee MEMBERS:

  • Claude Carignan

    Prof. Claude Carignan is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Astronomy of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, an Emeritus Professor at the Université de Montréal, Canada, and an Adjunct Professor at the Université de Ouagadougou, in Burkina Faso. He has also been very involved in the development of astronomy in Burkina Faso and in the setting up of the African Astronomical Society.

  • Megan Donahue

    Prof. Megan Donahue is a professor of physics and astrophysics at Michigan State University, and was President of the American Astronomical Society from 2018-20. She is a a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Physical Society.

  • George Miley

    Prof. George Miley is professor of astronomy at Leiden University. He founded the UNAWE Universe Awareness program. As Vice President of the IAU, he was an architect of the IAU strategic plan, “Astronomy for Development 2010 – 2020”. He was knighted in 2011 in recognition of his services in developing astronomy as a tool for education and development. 

  • Khotso Mokhele

    Dr Khotso Mokhele is the founder President of the South African National Research Foundation and also the founder President of the Academy of Science of South Africa. He has served as Special Advisor to the South African Minister of science and Technology. His service to science, technology and innovation was recognized through the bestowal of the Legion of Honour Chevalier by the President of France (2000) and the Science Diplomacy Award by the Minister of Science and Technology in South Africa (2015) 

  • Kaz Sekiguchi

    Prof. Kazuhiro Sekiguchi is associate professor at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. He has served on the Steering Committee of IAU Division C Education, Outreach and Heritage.

  • Patricia Whitelock

    Prof. Patricia Whitelock is an astronomer at the South African Astronomical Observatory of which she as previously the director. She helped to establish the National Astrophysics and Space Science Program in South Africa and one of the key drivers behind the successful bid by South Africa to host the OAD.

  • Katrien Kolenberg

    Prof. Katrien Kolenberg is professor of Astrophysics at the University of Antwerp and the Free University of Brussels and STE(A)M coordinator at KU Leuven. In her work she unites artistic expression and science such as the Astrosounds project.. 

  • Teresa Lago

    Prof. Teresa Lago is an astronomer from Portugal. She founded the Centre for Astrophysics of the University of Porto and created the first astronomy degree program in Portugal. She was the General Secretary of the IAU from 2018-21.

  • Ted Williams

    Prof. Ted Williams was the director of the South African Astronomical Observatory from 2013-17. He served on the OAD Steering Committee in an ex-officio capacity.

  • 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.

  • Renée C. Kraan-Korteweg

    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. She serves as a Vice president of the executive committee of the International Astronomical Union.