[After achieving distinction and global influence as the founding executive director of TWAS, Mohamed Hassan has been elected to serve as president of the Academy, with his four-year term beginning 1 January 2019. He issued the following statement on 28 November 2018, after his election at the 28th TWAS General Meeting and 14th General Conference in Trieste, Italy.]
I am greatly honoured and privileged to be given the opportunity to serve TWAS in a new and more challenging capacity.
I am grateful to the Nomination Committee appointed by the TWAS Council and the Academy's membership for the faith and confidence you have placed in me and I hope to live up to your expectations – and maybe exceed them a little bit.
TWAS is fortunate to have been served by five truly outstanding presidents before me. Each one of them made remarkable contributions to advance the mission and goals of the Academy for advancing science and engineering for sustainable development in the South.
My predecessor, Professor Bai Chunli of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), served TWAS with dedication, distinction and effectiveness. During his six years in office, TWAS achieved substantial expansion in its membership and programmes, including the establishment of CAS-TWAS Centers of Excellence for research collaboration and training.
In addition, using his influence and diplomatic skills, Professor Bai successfully managed to double the contribution of the Chinese Government to the TWAS Endowment Fund, making China the largest contributor to the fund. He also helped to create a partnership between TWAS and Lenovo, the world computing leader, to establish our Academy's most prestigious award, the TWAS-Lenovo Science Prize. Lenovo also has provided funding for the TWAS Young Affiliates Network (TYAN).
I would also like to acknowledge the outstanding contributions made by our outgoing Secretary General, Professor Ajay Sood of India, president of the Indian National Science Academy. Professor Sood worked diligently and closely with TWAS President and Executive Director to ensure the proper implementation of the Academy’s Strategic Objectives, and that excellence is maintained in all activities, especially in the selection of new members and the awarding of prizes and medals.
I wish to congratulate the new Council members and, on their behalf, thank the outgoing members for their valuable contributions to the Academy.
I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Council and with TWAS Executive Director Romain Murenzi to further promote the strategic objectives and programmes of the Academy.