Welcome to our new Governing Board members

Welcome to 3 new EIT Governing Board members

The European Commission has today appointed three new members to the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).


The new members are:

  • Gioia Ghezzi (Italy)
  • Romana Jordan (Slovenia)
  • Agnès Paillard (France)

Peter Olesen, Chairman of the EIT Governing Board, said: ‘I am delighted to welcome the newly appointed members of the EIT Governing Board. They bring a diverse set of strengths and experience in the field of innovation to the Board. I am convinced they will contribute to the EIT’s work in the years to come and the EIT Community looks forward to their insights to support us in increasing Europe’s ability to innovate.’

The Governing Board is the EIT’s principal governing body, entrusted with steering the activities of the EIT for the selection, designation and evaluation of the Innovation Communities, and for all other strategic decisions. The three new members will commence their mandate on 1 July 2018.

The new Governing Board members were selected for their strong backgrounds in business and innovation and will be a positive addition to the EIT Governing Board and the entire EIT Community.

For more information:


Born in Italy, Gioia Ghezzi obtained a degree in theoretical physics at the University of Milan and later an MBA at London Business School. She has been Chair of Group Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, based in Rome, Italy, since 2015 after being appointed as member of the Board in 2014. 

She was previously CEO of International Group Risk Solutions for the Zurich Insurance Group, based in Zurich, Switzerland; served as Chief Operating Officer for Willis Group based in London, UK, spent over 11 years with McKinsey & Company as Partner in their London Office and held various positions at Academic Press in London and IBM Research in Rome and Milan.

She also holds other current appointments such as Member of the General Council, Confindustria, Italy, Vice President for Sustainable Development and Smart Cities, Assolombarda, Italy, Member of the Executive Board, Assonime, Italy, Member of the Board of Group Humanitas S.p.A., Italy, Member of the Trilateral Commission.


Dr Romana Jordan is the advisor to the director of Jožef Stefan Institute. She holds a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Currently, she is chair of the Administrative Board of Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators; member of the Management Board of the Financial Fund for Decommissioning of the Nuclear Power Plant Krško and member of the Steering Committee at the Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia. She worked for 14 years as a researcher at the Reactor Engineering Division of the Jožef Stefan Institute.

For 10 years, she served as a Member of the European Parliament holding various positions and responsibilities. She was vice-chair of the Committee on Development; EPP coordinator in the Temporary Committee on Climate Change and deputy EPP coordinator in the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. She was also vice-president of the European Energy Forum and member of the Editorial Board of the Parliament Magazine. In 2007, she received the MEP of the Year Award in the field of energy.


Ms Paillard graduated from the Ecole Supérieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielle de Paris. Thanks to her diverse experience, she is recognised for her participation in what is known as the knowledge triangle: business, education and research.

She served as Member of Airbus R&T direction (Vice-President) and CEO of Voltair, subsidiary of Airbus Group in charge of the development of an electric aircraft. She  served as President of the competitiveness cluster AEROSPACE VALLEY from 2011 to 2017 representing Airbus Group.

She has been President of the Board of INPI ( Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle) since 2013; Member of the Board of CNRS (Centre National de la Recheche Scientifique) since 2013 and Member of the Board of INRIA (Institut National de la Recherche en Informatique et Automatique) since 2015.

She was previously Deputy General Manager in charge of economic development, research and technology transfer at Aquitaine Regional Council; Managing Director and co-founder of Serma Technologies, an SME born from the spin-off of IBM laboratory for qualification of components; Manufacturing Engineering Manager in the IBM electronics factory in Corbeil Essonnes, then in the purchasing department in charge of the qualification of electronic component suppliers.

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