Main Secretariat

The main ICSU Secretariat is based in Paris (17 staff in 2016) and ensures the day-to-day planning and operations under the guidance of the elected Executive Board. ICSU has three Regional Offices—serving Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean—with their own secretariat that is staffed locally.


Heide Hackmann

Executive Director

Dr. Heide Hackmann is the Executive Director of the International Council for Science, following eight years as Executive Director of the International Social Science Council. Heide holds a M.Phil in contemporary social theory from the University of Cambridge, UK, and a PhD in science and technology studies from the University of Twente in the Netherlands. She has worked as a science policy maker, researcher and consultant in the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom and South Africa. Before moving into the world of the international councils, Heide worked as Head of the Department of International Relations and Quality Assessment of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her career in science policy dates back to the early 1990s when she worked at the Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa. Heide holds membership of several international advisory committees and boards, including the Scientific Advisory Board of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany and the Board of the Stockholm Resilience Centre in Sweden. She co-chairs the UN’s 10-member group supporting the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) on the Sustainable Development Goals, and is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Councils.

Charles Erkelens

Operations Director

Charles holds Master’s degrees in History and in Law, both from the University of Leiden, the Netherlands as well as an MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management. Before joining the International Council for Science, Charles has been a consultant in the field of Social Impact and Impact Measurement, set up and led an academic centre at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam on strategic philanthropy and has been Editorial Director of the Humanities department at academic publishing house Springer.

Lucilla Spini

Head of Science Programmes

Lucilla, a biological anthropologist with expertise in international science coordination, joined ICSU as Head of Science Programmes in 2015. Before joining ICSU, she has worked on science/policy bridging, global environmental change, sustainable development and capacity building for a number of organizations including UNESCO, UNU, and FAO. Lucilla holds a B.A. in anthropology from New York University, as well as an M.Sc. in human biology and D.Phil. in biological anthropology, both from the University of Oxford. She is an Old Member of Linacre College (Oxford) and a Giorgio Ruffolo Research Fellow in the Sustainability Science Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Clare Thirlway

Head of Human Resources

Clare joined ICSU in 2009. She has a degree in History (Bristol University, UK) and an MBA in International Business (European School of Management – EAP/ESCP, Paris). After obtaining her MBA, she worked in HR consulting. Before joining ICSU, she spent 7 years at SHL France (Saville & Holdsworth), advising clients on hiring, promotion and staff development decisions, using objective assessment and development tools.  She has also worked as a trainer and as an arts administrator.

Denise Young

Head of Communications

Denise Young joined ICSU in 2012 as Communications Manager. She has worked as a public relations consultant for the non-profit sector, a press officer at UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, and prior to that was a journalist with Reuters.

Environment and Sustainable Development

Katsia Paulavets

Science Officer

Katsia joined ICSU in 2012 as a coordinator of the project that aims to strengthen the involvement of developing countries in setting and implementing the research agenda for global sustainability. Before joining ICSU, she worked for UNEP’s Division of Technology, Industry and Economics on building institutional capacities on emergency preparedness and chemical accident prevention, both at national and local levels. Prior to that, Katsia worked as a project coordinator at Lund University in Sweden, mostly for the capacity building programme “Energy for Sustainable Development”, designed for energy professionals in developing countries. Katsia holds degrees in environmental engineering, management and policy.

Anne-Sophie Stevance

Science Officer

Within ICSU, Anne-Sophie is managing international science-policy activities related to the Sustainable Developments Goals, the post-2015 framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the new climate agreement. Within these processes, Anne-Sophie coordinates inputs from the international scientific community and supports stronger interface between scientists and policy-makers. Anne-Sophie has also worked on the design and implementation of Future Earth, a new strategic framework for global Earth system research. She holds a Master degree in political sciences, specialising in sustainable development policies. Anne-Sophie worked previously as an environmental project officer in a research consultancy and helped integrate engineering and scientific knowledge into local environmental policies. She also has experience in stakeholders’ management at local and European levels to support sustainability initiatives.

Scientific Planning and Special Projects

Maureen Brennan

Administrative Officer

Maureen is originally from Dublin, Ireland. She has been working with ICSU since May 1986 as an Administrative Officer involved in, inter alia, membership and back-stopping several scientific committees by organising meetings and following yearly budgets for each Committee. Maureen was attracted to ICSU because of its vast global membership and its multi-interdisciplinary activities. Some pare time activities outside ICSU are collecting school books for schools in Benin and Uganda and visiting these schools.

Health and Urbanisation

Charles Ebikeme

Science Officer

Charles, a former biomedical scientist, joins ICSU from the International Social Science Council at UNESCO where he worked on a range of different activities including an HIV/AIDS initiative, early career capacity building projects and coordinating the Future Earth Young Scientists Networking Conferences. As a scientist he has worked on drug development for some of the world’s most neglected diseases. Charles has a background in infectious diseases with a masters from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and a PhD from the University of Glasgow. He is also a commentator, writer, and blogger of global health issues with work featured in the Guardian and Huffington Post among others.

Communications and Information Technology

Yun-Kang Ahn

IT Officer

After working as an IT consultant, Yun-Kang joined ICSU in 2012. After training in mathematics and physics, he holds degrees in computer science and applied science to music. These led him to a PhD in computational musicology, which were completed during his work experience with other research topics like image processing or video compression and streaming.

Johannes Mengel

Communications Officer/Web Editor

Johannes joined ICSU in November 2012 as Communications Officer/Web Editor. He runs ICSU’s social media channels and website. He also coordinates the design and production of ICSU’s print publications. He holds a degree in Communication Design from the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg and a Master’s degree in History of Art from the University of Cambridge. Before joining ICSU he has worked with DPA and Spiegel Online in Germany.

Administration and Finances

Alexandra Guennec

Payroll and HR Administration Officer

Alexandra joined ICSU in late 2013 as Payroll and HR Administration Officer. She holds a degree in Human Resources. Before joining ICSU, she practiced her profession in working for several chartered accountants.

Eric Leparmentier

General Services

Eric is in charge of general day-to-day maintenance and security at ICSU, as well as of supplies and equipment.

Natacha de Marchi


Natacha manages ICSU’s financial matters. She joined ICSU in 1997, after holding several positions in an oil company (BP), in a leading marketing information company (AC NIELSEN) and in Chartered accountant (INFODIT).

Arno de Marchi

Accounts/Administrative Assistant

Arno had just finished his fourth year of studying comparative literature, when one day he woke up and realized that he needed to help save the world. Soon thereafter, he joined ICSU, where he assists Natacha and the whole staff with administrative tasks.

Nora Papp

Administrative Officer

Nora joined ICSU in January 2014 as an administrative officer to help coordinate preparations for the 31st ICSU General Assembly. She also assists with activities related to Science for Policy. Before joining ICSU, she worked for OECD’s Green Growth and Sustainable Development project.  Nora holds a Master’s degree in Economic Sciences.

Miia Ylöstalo-Joubert

Administrative Officer

Miia rejoined ICSU in June 2017 from the Future Earth Secretariat where she was responsible for administration of the Paris Hub and coordinated aspects of the programme on the global level. She was a member of the Future Earth interim Secretariat which was hosted by ICSU. Miia provides support to ICSU management, programmes and initiatives. She holds a MSc in Health Sciences and has experience in international project administration and in event and meeting coordination.

Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science (CFRS)

Roger Ridley

Executive Secretary (on secondment by and based at the Royal Society of New Zealand)

Roger took up the position of Executive Secretary to the Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the Conduct of Science in July 2016. Roger’s day job is at the Royal Society of New Zealand leading a team that prepares and publishes advice to government and the public on important matters, and working with the research community to identify and encourage best practice in the research community. Roger has a research background in atmospheric sciences and numerical modelling followed by various senior roles in the public sector covering economics, science, policy, investment and innovation. Roger holds a B.Sc. (Hons 1st Class) in Physics from Otago University and a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Monash University.