Meet the Governing Board
This page presents the current members of the EIT Governing Board. It lists each member’s biography, as well as his or her declaration of interests and confidentiality undertaking.
Chairman of the EIT Governing Board
Dirk Jan VAN DEN BERG
Current position: Chair of the Sanquin Board
Dirk Jan van den Berg is Dutch and holds an MSc in Econometrics. He also completed ENA (Paris) in the Cycle Etranger.
He has a diverse set of experiences, in terms of working environment as well as challenges on substance. For the last three decades, he has worked at the highest levels of the corporate world, international relations, academia and government. This leadership and executive experience has centred across all three major zones of contemporary global power (Europe, the United States and China), allowing him to cultivate an exceptional global network of contacts. During his career, he built up extensive experience in operational monitoring, corporate public affairs, future technologies and product development and their impact on business strategies of companies.
He has led large and complex organisations, for instance the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation (MFA) in the Netherlands, where he held several positions, including permanent Secretary, Trade Policy director, chief economist and deputy director general of Foreign Economic Relations. He was also president of Delft University of Technology (DUT) and in his current position as the chair of the Sanquin Board, his activities cover the full spectrum of CEO responsibilities
In these roles he acquired a full and hands-on leadership style covering varying aspects, including strategy development, the design and implementation of planning and evaluation cycles - internal control, complex (de-)mergers and acquisitions, HR management, ICT policies, detailed budget management and (internal) communications and public affairs.
Term of office: 2016-2020
Members of the EIT Governing Board Executive Committee
Current position: Director of Biocenter Finland
Marja Makarow has been Director of Biocenter Finland since July 2016. She is the former Vice-President of the Academy of Finland - the Finnish Research Council (2012-2016) and Chair of the board of NordForsk, the platform for cross-border research collaboration between the Nordic countries. She served as Chief Executive of the European Science Foundation in France between 2008 and 2011, and as Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation of the University of Helsinki between 2003 and 2007. Ms Makarow is Professor of Applied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Ms Makarow advised the EU Commissioner of Research and Innovation in the European Research Area Board on Horizon 2020, and the Finnish Government in the Prime Minister’s Research and Innovation Council on development of the Finnish research system and the university renovation between 2008 and 2011. She was Vice Chair of the board of the then newly established Aalto University between 2008 and 2012. She has steered research assessment exercises of several universities and research institutes, and evaluated the performance of research funding agencies and EU programmes such as Eurostars and the Joint Research Institute. She was Panel Chair for the European Research Council ERC until 2012. She has been an Appointed Member of the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) since 2012, and Vice Chair of the Advisory Group of the EU’s Future and Emerging Technologies program FET since 2014. Ms Makarow has chaired, from 2015, the board of Technology Academy Finland that awards one of the world’s most prestigious innovation prizes, the Millennium Technology Prize.
Term of office: 2012-2020
Ana S. Trbović
Current position: Full Professor at FEFA, Belgrade and COO of Grid Singularity GmbH
Dr Ana S. Trbovich is an academic, a policy advisor, civic activist and an entrepreneur. As Full Professor at FEFA, a leading business school in Belgrade, she teaches and researches Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness, Strategic and Public Administration Management, Good Governance and European Integration. She is Partner at EuroBalkan Advisors (EBA) and consults for private and international organisations including the EU and the World Bank. She is co-founder of Grid Singularity energy blockchain technology venture and co-founder of Intersection, action-tank promoting science in the Western Balkans. Actively engaged in Serbia’s economic reforms, both as a nonpolitical high government official and an external advisor, she is proud to have been the first official to coordinate Serbia’s EU accession process. She holds a PhD from the Fletcher School (Tufts and Harvard University) and Master Degrees from the Fletcher School and Harvard Kennedy School. She is the author of “A Legal Geography of Yugoslavia’s Disintegration” (Oxford University Press) and other publications on good governance and competitiveness policy.
Term of Office: 2016-2020
EIT Governing Board members
Current position: Chair of Group Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane
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.
Term of office: 2018-2022
Current position: Advisor to the director of Jožef Stefan Institute
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.
Term of office: 2018-2022
Current position: Co-CEO and board member, Videoton Holding
Peter Lakatos is Hungarian and was born in Budapest in 1961. He graduated from the Technical University of Budapest as an electrical engineer in 1983 and went on to perform scientific work as a Ph.D. student in computer science on "Man-Machine Interaction".
He began his professional career at Műszertechnika Zrt. in 1986, and was a Member of the Board of Müszertechnika Zrt. from 1991 till 2013. In 1991, he joined Videoton Holding Zrt as a shareholder, where he is today a co-CEO and a member of the Board of Directors. Since 2007, he has been the joint owner and honorary president of Bravogroup Holding. Founded in 1992, Bravogroup Holding is one of the largest info communicational enterprises in Hungary. From 1999, the corporation has worked under the holding structure, representing the company on the business market through separate firms.
Together with his wife, Peter established and operates a charity website (ad6kap6) that has been online since 2008.
Peter is also the Vice President of MGYOSZ (Confederation of Hungarian Employers and Industrialists), which is a member federation of BUSINESSEUROPE. Here, his objective is to increase the number of successful Hungarian companies on the world market. Peter was selected as a Global Leader for tomorrow in 1995 by the World Economic Forum, and received the civilian Hungarian Order of Merit in 2015.
Term of office: 2016-2020
Rolf P. NAGEL
Current position: Managing Partner, Munich Venture Partners
Dr Rolf P. Nagel is German and was born in 1965. He holds a Ph.D. in Business Economics from the University of Cologne and a Master’s Degree (Diplom-Kfm.) from the WHU Koblenz, Germany. While completing his Ph.D., he was awarded a research scholarship at the MIT Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, USA.
Dr Nagel is Managing Partner of Munich Venture Partners, which he co-founded in 2004. Munich Venture Partners is a leading high-technology, research-to-business-transfer venture fund investing in innovative start-up companies in the European Union, with a focus on IT and Energy-Clean Tech. Munich Venture Partners has secured financial commitments from a wide range of institutional, private and philanthropic investors in the EU and the USA.
Currently, Dr Nagel is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Novihum Technologies GmbH, a Director of Shopwell, and an Observer of Harvest Power and Kebony, in addition to serving as Managing Partner of Munich Venture Partners.
Prior to founding Munich Venture Partners, he was an Investment Manager and Partner of SVM Star Ventures Management from 1994 to 2004 in the Munich office. He managed international investments in IT (e.g. Ciena, RF Micro Devices), energy (e.g. Capstone) and medical companies (e.g. Medigene), many of which were successfully taken public.
Term of office: 2016-2020
Björn O. NILSSON
Current position: President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA)
Professor Björn O. Nilsson is Swedish and is the President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA). He has a doctorate degree in biochemistry from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm. Professor Nilsson has served in a number of management and executive roles in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, mainly within the Pharmacia group of companies. These leading roles include CEO, President and Vice President.
Professor Nilsson was also, for four years, Chairman of the Swedish Biotechnology Industry Organisation (SwedenBIO). Today, he serves on the boards of a number of companies, including Chairman of the Board of the public biotechnology company Biolnvent International AB. Professor Nilsson is also a board or committee member of a number of governmental and non-governmental organisations in areas such as science, education and innovation.
Term of office: 2016-2020
Current position: President of the Board of Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle
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.
Term of office: 2018-2022
Current position: President & Provost of Trinity College Dublin
Patrick Prendergast is the President of Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin. Trinity is Ireland’s highest-ranked and oldest university, founded in 1592, and is a member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU). Under his leadership Trinity has developed a Global Relations Strategy which has doubled international student enrolments and student mobility, has engaged with industry through a new Innovation & Entrepreneurship Strategy, and has restructured the university's administration into three divisions, including a significant focus on commercial revenue generation through the Commercial Revenue Unit (CRU). Projects under development include the new Trinity School of Business co-located with an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub ‘Tangent’, the development of E3: the Engineering, Energy, and the Environment Institute, and the planning of a new Technology Campus at Grand Canal Dock. In September 2016 a “Provost's Council” consisting of alumni and benefactors of the university was created to advice the Provost on how to advance Trinity's position in the world by financing new projects and initiatives. Prior to his appointment as President in 2011, he was Professor of Bioengineering.
Term of office: 2012-2020
European Commission Observer
Director-General for 'Education, Youth, Sport and Culture', European Commission
Themis Christophidou is a European public servant who became Director-General for education, youth, sport and culture of the European Commission, in March 2018.
She is a civil engineer with 32 years of experience in private and public sector management.
She joined the European Commission in 2001. Having held various positions in the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban policy, she worked as Deputy Head of Cabinet of Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for education, culture, multilingualism, youth and sport in 2010-2011. From 2011 to 2014, Themis Christophidou worked as Head of Cabinet of Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for maritime affairs and fisheries, and from 2014 to 2018, she was Head of Cabinet of Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management.
Themis Christophidou is an alumna of the civil engineering school of the Athens Polytechnic Metsovio, specialised in transport infrastructure and urban transport. Born in Famagusta, Cyprus, she is trilingual Greek, French, English.