Meet the Governing Board

This page presents the current members of the EIT Governing Board. It lists each member’s biography, as well as their declaration of interests and confidentiality undertaking. In the case of newly appointed Governing Board members, such declarations of interest or confidentiality undertakings ahave not yet been prepared, and will be added at the earliest opportunity.


Chair of the EIT Governing Board

Gioia GHEZZI

Current position: Chair of Group Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane

Born in Italy, Gioia obtained a degree in theoretical physics from the University of Milan and later an MBA at London Business School. She is Member of the EIT Governing Board and Executive Committee and also holds a number of non-executive and institutional roles, including Chair of the RGI Group (Corsair Capital), Board Member and Chair of the Nomination Committee of Atlantia (Edizione Holding), Member of the Scientific Committee of Confindustria (IT), Vice-President Smart City & Sustainability of Assolombarda (IT). She was previously Chair of the Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group in Rome between 2014 and 2018.

She brings extensive experience and her career includes roles such as CEO of International Group Risk Solutions for the Zurich Insurance Group in 2013 to 2016; Chief Operating Officer for Willis Group in 2012 to 2013; over 11 years with McKinsey & Company as Partner in their London office as well as various positions at Academic Press in London and IBM Research in Rome and Milan.

Term of office: 2020-2022 (Chair) and 2018-2020 (Member of the EIT Governing Board)

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence

Declaration of Interests on the evaluation of the (2020) KIC's Business Plans


Romana JORDAN

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

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence

Declaration of Interests on the evaluation of the (2020) KIC's Business Plans


Laima KAUSPADIENE

Current position: CEO, Sunrise Valley Science and Technology Park

Laima Kauspadiene is an entrepreneurship, innovation ecosystem, knowledge and technology transfer expert. In 2000, she obtained a degree in electronics and automation, and later an MBA in industrial engineering and management.

For eight years she served as the head of the Business Science Cooperation Division in the Ministry of Economy, where she was responsible for knowledge-driven innovation ecosystem creation, entrepreneurship, tech transfer policies, and clusterisation. Earlier, she obtained experience in nourishing the investment environment at regional level, and in the marketing and branding of cities and regions. Currently, she is the CEO of Sunrise Valley Science and Technology Park, one of the main actors in the biggest knowledge triangle in the Baltic region.

During her professional career she has been appointed to the boards of R&D and innovation at national level, and often serves as a board or jury member on project evaluation committees, steering committees and start-up pitch battles.

Term of office: 2018 -2022

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence

Declaration of Interests on the evaluation of the (2020) KIC's Business Plans


Martina Larkin

Current position: Head of Europe and Eurasia at the World Economic Forum

Martina is a Member of the Executive Committee and Head of Europe and Eurasia at the World Economic Forum, overseeing the strategic engagement of and collaboration with top leaders from government, business, academia and civil society. Martina provides thought leadership on regional issues, designing initiatives, projects and programmes for regional agenda, such as the Strategic Dialogue on the Western Balkans, Transatlantic Dialogue, EU-China dialogue and Digital Europe. Between 2011 and 2015, she was Senior Director and Head of Global Knowledge Networks, where she developed and consolidated two of the Forum’s flagship initiatives. From 2004 to 2008, she held positions at the Global Health Initiative (GHI), The Forum of Young Global Leaders, and the Network of Global Agenda Councils. Prior to that, she worked in Switzerland at La Roche & Co Banquiers and Nestle Suisse Ltd., as well at Lazar & Company in the USA.

She has participated in the Select Executive Education Programmes for senior executives at the World Economic Forum in Harvard University, USA and INSEAD, France since 2008. She holds an MBA from the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris, was a Yale World Fellow in 2011, and has lectured on Strategic Networks and the Future of Europe. She holds several board and community leadership roles, such as the Advisory Board, Circulo de Empresarios in Spain, the European Council on Foreign Relations, the Scientific Council of IDEA Foundation in Luxembourg, and the Executive Board of Digital Switzerland. Between 2010 and 2012, she was Strategic Adviser to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague.


Agnès PAILLARD

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

Annual Declaration of Interests and Independence

Declaration of Interests on the evaluation of the (2020) KIC's Business Plans


Paul Rübig

Current position: Board Member of the Austrian Industry Committee at the Austrian Chamber of Commerce

From 1996 until 2019, Paul was a Member of the European Parliament, following four years as a Member of the Upper Austria Regional Assembly and the National Parliament of Austria. Among his roles were Chair and Vice-Chair of STOA – Scientific Technology Options Assessment, Vice-Chair in committees including EPP SME Circle, European Parliament Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development, and the Delegation for Relations with the Korean Peninsula. He has held member and substitute member roles of several other committees. Between 2009 and 2018, he acted as the president of the Pan-European Working Group in the European Parliament of the EPP Group. Since 2010, he has been a Board Member of the Austrian Industry Committee at the Austrian Chamber of Commerce.

Prior to his political career, he performed executive activities at Rübig Group between 1972 and 1996, having worked in several Foundations, including Foundation of Rübig Distribution, Foundation of Uniha Water, and Probig GmbH. He studied Business administration, marketing and production engineering at the University of Linz, and obtained a Doctorate in licensing marketing at the University of Linz. He produced several publications between 1979 and 2013 with German and Austrian publishers, including Linde Verlag, Trauner Verlag and Signum Verlag. He holds numerous awards and distinctions, including the Silver Medal of Honour of the European Parliament and Gold Medal of Honour of the Upper Austrian SME-Union.


Nektarios Tavernarakis

Current position: Chairman of the Greek National Life Sciences Council

Since 2016, Nektarios has been the Chairman of the FORTH Board of Directors. He was a Founder and Director of the BioInformatics Graduate Programme at the University of Crete Medical School. Between 2013-2016, he acted as director of IMBB-FORTH, where from 2008 he has been a professor. Since 2010, he has taught at the University of Crete Medical School. In 2019, he was an Elected Member of the German National Academy of Sciences and Elected Corresponding Member of the Academy of Athens. In 2018, he obtained membership of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, and since 1995 has continuously received national and international awards and distinctions. 

Currently, Nektarios is a Member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council and Chairman of the Greek National Life Sciences Council, among numerous other scientific services. He has also served on several grant/fellowship evaluation panels and committees, has evaluated proposals for more than 55 different funding organisations, served on the editorial boards of several scientific journals, and is a Member of the National Scientific Advisory Council of American Federation for Aging Research. He has also coordinated and managed a large number of  competitive international, European and National research grants.

Nektarios holds a BSc from Aristotle University and a PhD of University of Crete.


Attila Vegh

Current position: Executive Partner at Fidelity International’s Eight Roads

Currently, Attila is Executive Partner at Fidelity International’s Eight Roads, overseeing its principled investments in healthcare. In addition, he advises Blackstone, CVC, Advent, EQT and McKinsey & Co as Operating Partner and Senior Advisor.

He has more than 20 years of leadership experience as CEO and Chairman at Europe’s largest hospital groups. His executive career includes CEO of Capio AB, one of Europe’s largest hospital chains with 200+ hospitals and clinics in five countries. He was Group CEO of Penta Hospitals International, Europe’s fastest-growing multi-national hospital group, where he led leading university teaching hospitals and academic medical centres in London, Cambridge and Manchester, and the largest and most successful turnarounds in the UK’s healthcare system. As independent Chairman/Director, he has been leading the Boards of five Private Equity owned multi-national digital and healthcare companies.

Prior to his executive career, he worked in McKinsey’s healthcare practice, transforming blue-chip global companies in over 15 countries. He is a trained clinician with experience as a doctor and academic researcher, holding a PhD in Molecular Cancer Research from Sorbonne University (Paris), an MSc in Health Management from Imperial College (London), and trained as a Medical Doctor at Humboldt University (Berlin) and the University of New York.


European Commission Observer

Viviane Hoffmann

Deputy Director-General for 'Education, Youth, Sport and Culture', European Commission

Viviane Hoffmann is Deputy Director-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture in the European Commission, since 2018.

From  2014 to 2018, she worked as Director in the Commission's Directorate-General for Communication.

She previously was Deputy Head of Cabinet of former Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding (Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship). She was also
Mrs Reding's Deputy Head of Cabinet during her mandates as European Commissioner for Information Society and Media (2004-2010) and for Education and Culture (1999-2004).

In 1997-1999, Viviane Hoffmann worked as assistant to the Director-General for Health and Consumer Protection in the European Commission. In 1996-1997, she was an assistant to the Secretary-General of the European Commission, after having worked in the Commission's Secretariat-General since 1988.

Viviane Hoffmann studied political science and international relations at the "Université Libre de Bruxelles".Viviane Hoffmann speaks Luxembourgish, French, German and English.