Dr. Larry Johnson

President and CEO, EdFutures, USA

Dr. Larry Johnson is an acknowledged expert on the long-term trends and patterns in all things digital, to include social media, mobile technologies, networks and the cloud, and much more. He has devoted the bulk of his formal career to understanding and articulating the arc of digital technology, via research, reports, books, papers, and for more than a decade as an acclaimed and globally in-demand public speaker.

Over his career, he has produced dozens of significant publications, including six books, six book chapters, 14 peer-reviewed journal articles, and 41 major technical reports. In 2008, he was asked to provide Congressional Testimony about his research into the uses of virtual environments. His work led to invitations to give more than 125 keynote addresses at prestigious national and international conferences and forums all over the world.

Johnson’s educational background includes an MBA in Finance, a Ph.D. in Education, and a postdoc at Harvard University. Among many other recognitions, Dr. Johnson has been honored as a Distinguished Graduate by the University of Texas at Austin and in 2015 was named as one of the Top 50 Education Influencers globally.

Prof. Ahmed Bawa

Chief Executive Officer, Universities South Africa, South Africa

Ahmed Bawa is the CEO of Universities South Africa. Until 2016, he was Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Durban University of Technology. He also served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Durban Centre of the University of Natal (later to be the University of KwaZulu-Natal).

At the City University of New York, he was faculty member in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Hunter College and a member of the doctoral faculty at the Graduate Center. He was appointed Associate Provost for Curriculum Development. He holds a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Durham University in the UK.

As the Program Officer for Higher Education in Africa with the Ford Foundation he led the Foundation’s African Higher Education Initiative. In this portfolio he worked in South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt and Palestine.
He serves on a number of advisory boards such as the South African Institute of Distance Education, the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research of South Africa and the Higher Education Support Programme of the Open Society Foundation.

Dr. Robin Mann

CEO, Best Practice Competition, New Zealand

Dr Robin Mann is Head of the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research, Massey University, New Zealand, Chairman of the Global Benchmarking Network, Board Member New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation, Co-Founder of Limited – a best practice website resource, Founder of the International Best Practice Competition and Organisation-Wide Innovation Award, and Founder of the TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking Methodology. The TRADE methodology is used to help organisations identify and implement best practices. It most recently became the cornerstone of the Dubai Government Excellence Program’s “Dubai We Learn” initiative with 35 benchmarking projects undertaken since 2015. Robin serves as a Business Excellence/Productivity Advisor to many countries (recently supporting Bangladesh, Pakistan and Mongolia on their capability building programs for raising productivity and serving as a technical coordinator for the Abu Dhabi Government Excellence Award and Mohammed bin Rashid Government Excellence Award). In addition, Robin is currently overseeing a research project involving 30 countries to understand how the design and deployment of business excellence initiatives impact on nation building. Robin has extensive experience in organisational assessments and assessing best practices and so is delighted to serve on the Assessment Committee of the International Award of Excellence in Higher Education.

Prof. Maurits Van Rooijen

Group Rector & Chief Academic Officer, Global University Systems UK and Rector& President University of Europe, Germany

Professor Maurits van Rooijen is Group Rector and Chief Academic Officer of Global University Systems (GUS). In addition to this role, on 1st September 2019, Professor van Rooijen was appointed as Rector of the University of Europe for Applied Sciences. He is also Chairman of IBAT College Dublin and GISMA Germany. He studied and lectured at Utrecht University before joining the Erasmus University Rotterdam. In 1993 he moved to the University of Westminster, London from which he retired as Executive Vice President when he took up the position of Rector Magnificus and CEO of the Dutch ‘corporate leadership’ university, Nyenrode. In 2012 he joined forces with the entrepreneur Aaron Etingen and Global University Systems was created.

Professor van Rooijen has held visiting and honorary appointments at universities globally in his academic field (sustainable urbanisation) and has published widely on international education and university management. He is actively involved in various international organisations. He is the former President of the Compostela Group of Universities (2008-2016) and is the long serving co-chairman of the World Association for Co-operative and work Integrated learning. He holds various international awards including the Constance Meldrum prize for Vision and Leadership (EAIE 2012) and the Emblema Ouro or Golden Insignia of the Universidad Santiago de Compostela (2014).

Prof. Jan Sadlak

Former President, IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence, France

Prof. Dr. Jan Sadlak is internationally recognized and highly cited academic and expert in education, in particular higher education and science as well as international relations in the context of policy development, regulations and practices related to quality assurance, governance and management at the system and institutional level, international governmental organizations.

In the past 30 years he has been involved in senior-level policy advice to international governmental organizations such as UNESCO, The World Bank, OECD, the Council of Europe, the European Commission, and non-governmental organizations, governments and higher education institutions in a number of countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and Arab Region. He has an extensive record of being a member of the governing boards, scientific councils, accreditation and review panels of various academic bodies and organizations. He was directly involved in the policy formation at the global and regional level such as the Bologna Process [in the years 2000-2009].

From October 1999 to July 2009, he was Director of UNESCO-European Centre for Higher Education (UNESCO-CEPES) and Representative of UNESCO in Romania. Prior to this position, he was Chief of Section for Higher Education Policy at UNESCO, Paris [1992 – 1999]. In the period September 2009 – January 2011, he was Professor and Vice-Rector at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities (SWPS) in Warsaw, Poland.

He is a founding President of IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence [October 2009 - April 2018].
Jan Sadlak was awarded several high-level national and academic distinctions, among them eight honorary professorship and doctorates (Doctor honoris causa) from leading universities in Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan. He is Member Correspondent of the European Academy of Arts, Sciences and Humanities – Academia Europensis, France, Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, USA, and Honorary Member of the National Academy of Sciences of Kazakhstan.

He holds PhD in Educational Administration and Comparative Education from the SUNY/ University of Buffalo, USA, and MA in Economics from the University of Economics in Wrocław, Poland.

Prof. Mairéad Browne

Consultant & Emeritus Professor, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

Emeritus Professor Mairéad Browne has been active as an independent quality assurance consultant since 2000, building on a 25-year career as an academic leader initially at University of College Dublin in Ireland and later at The University of Sydney and University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). She was the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at UTS from 1991 to 1996 and the Dean of the University Graduate School from 1997 until commencing as a freelance consultant in 2001.

Professor Browne has been the chair, panel member or coordinator for many reviews, audits and accreditation activities conducted by quality assurance agencies and government entities in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Ireland, Hong Kong, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, United Arab Emirates and New Zealand.

Professor Browne was an auditor with the Australian Universities Quality Agency and subsequently joined the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) Register of Experts. She continues to work with a range of Australian universities on a variety of consultancy projects and has conducted many reviews of academic and corporate governance for universities (and private providers) as part of their preparations for institutional re-registration by TEQSA, the Australian regulator.

Professor Browne has strong connections with post-secondary education in Hong Kong. She was the Audit Coordinator for five audits in the first cycle of the Quality Assurance Council quality audits from 2009 to 2011. She has chaired many accreditation exercises on behalf of the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications as well as provided consultancy services to the Council. In 2020-2021, she was the lead consultant in a quality assurance research project for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government Education Bureau and the Committee on Self-financing Post-secondary Education.