Executive Board

  • Ludovic Thilly (Chair)


    Ludovic Thilly is Full Professor at the University of Poitiers. Since 2012, he is Executive Vice-Rector in charge of European Networks. Member of the Executive Board of the Coimbra Group since 2015, he was elected Chair in June 2017 and re-elected in June 2020 for four years.

    Ludovic Thilly is a Physicist and works on the deformation mechanisms of (nano-)materials. He has co-authored 70+ publications in international peer-reviewed journals (incl. 4 book chapters) and given 50+ invited lectures at international conferences and institutions.

    Professor Thilly is Coordinator of the EC2U European University Alliance and coordinates the informal group of the 24 newly selected Alliances.

  • Cláudia Cavadas (Vice-Chair)


    Cláudia Cavadas is Director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research and Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Coimbra. She recently served as the University’s Vice-Rector for Research (2019- 2023). Member of the Executive Board since 2019, she was elected Vice-Chair in June 2021.

    Cláudia Cavadas works on the field of aging and neuroendocrinology and is co-author of around 70 publications in international peer-reviewed journals. She was the elected President of the Portuguese Society of Pharmacology.


  • Beatrix Busse


    Beatrix Busse (born 1973 in Haren) is Professor of English Linguistics and the Vice-Rector for Student Affairs and Teaching at the University of Cologne. From 2011 to 2019 she held the Chair of English Linguistics at Heidelberg University where she was appointed as Vice-Rector for Teaching and Student Affairs twice, from 2013 to 2019. Busse has a broad range of research interests that include stylistics, corpus linguistics, history of English and historical pragmatics, sociolinguistics, language in urban space with a focus on Brooklyn, New York, and transfer linguistics.

    Busse is part of the steering committee and the person responsible on behalf of the University of Cologne for EUniWell –the European University for Well-Being.

  • Daniel Donoghue


    Daniel Donoghue is Professor in the Department of Geography, Co-director of Durham University Institute for Data Science at Durham University. He recently served as University Dean for Internationalisation and as Deputy Head of Faculty in the Faculty of Social Sciences & Health. He has published over 100 articles and books and pursued research in the field of deforestation and forest degradation, land use change and archaeology. In 2009 he shared the Talbert Abrams and the ERDAS awards for the best paper in remote sensing from ASPRS, and in 2012 was awarded the President’s Prize by the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society.

  • Dorota Malec


    Dorota Malec is the Jagiellonian University Vice-Rector for International Relations, a lawyer, professor of jurisprudence, and former Vice-Dean of the JU Faculty of Law and Administration (2008-2016) and JU Vice-Rector for University Development (2016-2020). She chairs the JU Department of Administrative History and Thought and JU Source Text Publishing Unit. She is a member of the International Affairs Committee of the Conference of Rectors in Poland, and former Disciplinary Spokesperson of the General Council of Higher Education. She teaches and publishes in legal history, history of administration, law codification and is the author and co-author of about 160 publications.

  • Coco Norén


    Coco Norén is Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Uppsala University and Professor of French. She is the former Dean of the Faculty of Languages (2014-2020). After receiving her PhD in 1999, she was a Pro Futura Fellow at the Swedish Collegium of Advanced Studies (2002-2008) and an Academy Research Fellow at the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities (2008-2013). In 2015 she was elected a member of the Research Leads Group in the Matariki Network (2015-2020) and she chairs Uppsala University’s Steering Committee for ENLIGHT, a European University Alliance, since 2021. Her field of research is argumentation, text linguistics and polyphony in modern French, in particular European parliamentary discourse and spoken practices. She joined the Executive Board in June 2021.

  • Lenka Rovná


    Lenka Rovná is a Jean Monnet Chair Ad Personam and three times the bearer of Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in European Studies at Charles University. She served as a  Vice-Rector at  Charles University for European Affairs from 2014 – 2022. Currently she is a Rector’s Board Member and Rector’s Representative in 4EU+. Lenka Rovná is a Professor at the Department of European Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences. She is publishing and teaching in the field of European Politics and British History and Politics. She is a member of the Executive Board of Coimbra Group, member of the Academic Council of Europaeum, and a member of Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions’ Advisory Group at the EC. In 2002-3 she served as an Alternate to the Czech Government’s Representative in the Convention preparing European Constitution, the basis for Lisbon Treaty.

  • Elmer Sterken


    Elmer Sterken is a Professor of Monetary Economics at Groningen University. He is the former Interim Director at the Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut in Rome (2019-2020) and Rector Magnificus at the University of Groningen (2011-2019). Previously, Prof. Sterken has been the Director of the Dutch Network of Graduate Studies in Business Economics, Board Member of the Energy Delta Institute, and of the Dutch Association of Universities. His Ph.D. in Economics and Master in Econometrics (cum laude) are the basis of his research, focused on monetary policy and transmission, business cycle fluctuations, corporate investment and sports statistics.

  • Luca Verzichelli (Treasurer)


    Luca Verzichelli is a Full Professor of Political Science at the University of Siena. He completed his PhD in Political Science at the University of Florence and was Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Siena and Assistant Professor at the University of Bologna. He has spent several periods as a Visiting Fellow in international research institutions.

    At the University of Siena he has covered several offices including that of Dean of the Faculty of Political Sciences (2009 to 2012), member of the Administrative board (2013-2016), Vice-Rector for International Affairs (2016-2022) and deputy Rector. He is currently Chair of the Italian Political Science Association. Member of the Coimbra Group Executive Board since 2017, he has been elected Treasurer in June 2018.


  • Efrem Yildiz Sadak


    Efrem Yildiz Sadak is a Full Professor at the Faculty of Philology, Department of Hebrew and Aramaic Studies, of the University of Salamanca. He is specialised in Aramaic history, language and literature. He is a member of the Commission of the Degree in Hebrew and Aramaic Studies. He is a committee member of several scientific journals, the (co-)author of books and articles in journals on Aramaic language, literature, history and culture of the Aramaic-speaking peoples. Prof Yildiz served as Vice-Rector for International Relations at the University of Salamanca from 2017 to 2022.

Rectors’ Advisory Group

  • Daniela Mapelli (Honorary President)


    Daniela Mapelli has been the Rector of the University of Padua since October 2021. She graduated in Experimental Psychology from the University of Padua before obtaining her PhD in the same discipline from the University of Trieste. She spent two years (1993 to 1995) at Carnegie Mellon University in the Department of Psychology’s Cognitive Neuroscience Lab. Between 1997 and 2003 she held post-doc positions in the Department of General Psychology and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of Medicine of the University of Padua.

    In 2003, she became a university researcher. In 2010, she became an Associate Professor and in 2016, she obtained a Full Professorship position at the University of Padua where she teaches Neuropsychology and Neuropsychological Rehabilitation. She has held several management positions at the University of Padua, including Vice-Rector of Teaching (2015-2021) and President of the University Presidium for Quality and Teaching Accreditations (2015-2021). She is a member of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, the Herbert Simon Society, the Italian Association of Psychology, and the Italian Society of Neuropsychology.

  • Axel Freimuth


    Axel Freimuth has been the Rector of the University of Cologne since April 2005.

    After his doctorate and subsequent postdoctoral lecture qualification (Habilitation) in physics in Cologne, he became professor at the University of Karlsruhe in 1996.

    In 1998, he accepted the Chair for Experimental Solid-State Physics at the University of Cologne. From 1999 to 2000, he was managing director of the Institute of Physics II, and from 2000 to 2002, head of the Department of Physics. Following a research stay in 2002 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, he was Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences from 2003 to 2005. Since 2007, Professor Freimuth has served as chair of the advisory board of the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (Cologne) and as a member of the advisory boards of the Max Planck Institutes for the Study of Societies (Cologne), Radio Astronomy (Bonn), Biology of Ageing (Cologne) and Metabolism Research (Cologne).

    From 2008 to 2010, Professor Freimuth chaired the Rectors’ Conference of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (LRK).    In February 2018, Professor Freimuth was awarded an honorary doctorate from Tbilisi State University.

  • Pilar Aranda Ramírez


    Dr Pilar Aranda Ramírez is a full professor of Physiology at the University of Granada. She has been Rector of the University of Granada since June 2015 and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Health Sciences Technology Park of Granada. She was the Vice-President of the Spanish Rectors’ Conference from November 2017 to May 2019.

  • Toomas Asser


    Toomas Asser is the Rector of the University of Tartu since 2018, Professor of Neurosurgery and member of  Estonian Academy of Sciences. He studied Medicine in Tartu State University and completed his PhD in medicine in Moscow N. Burdenko Institute of Neurosurgery. In 1979 he began his career in Tartu State University in Neurosurgery and Neurology Clinic. In 1988 he stayed 1 year in Tohoku University in Japan as a research fellow. In 1995 he was elected a professor of neurosurgery at the University of Tartu and later served as a Head of Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery (1996–2018) and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine  (2000–2009).

    Asser is a member of the National Research & Development Council since 2018; member of Training Committee (2003–2018) and Vice President (2011–2015) of European Association of Neurosurgical Societies ; member (1990–) and President (2006–2009, 2014–2018) of Baltic Neurosurgical Association; member of Estonian Society of Neurologists and Neurosurgeons (1989 −) and member of the Estonian Movement Disorders Society.

  • Jukka Kola


    Jukka Kola is the Rector of the University of Turku and the Chairman of the national Forum for International Affairs in Higher Education and Research of Finland. He previously held the posts of Rector (2013-2018), Vice-Rector (2010-2013) and Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry (2004-2009) at the University of Helsinki where he started his career as Professor in the 1990s. His academic field is Agricultural Economics and Policy.

    Jukka Kola has also served as a trustee in several international associations, including the Executive Committees and the Board of Directors of e.g. the European Association of Agricultural Economists (EAAE), the International Food and Agribusiness Association (IFAMA), for which he still acts as a Counsellor, and the League of the European Research Universities (LERU) where he was a member of the Board of Directors and the Rectors’ Assembly.

  • Margareth Hagen


    Margareth Hagen has been the Rector of the University of Bergen since January 2021. As the elected pro-rector of the institution between 2017 and 2021, she was overseeing research ethics, PhD Programs, and the university’s research engagement. She chaired the university’s research committee which advises the University Board on research policy and long-term strategic research issues. In the period 2013-2017 Hagen held the position as the elected Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities. She has served as Head of Research at the Department of Foreign Languages. Hagen has also chaired the University’s Committee for Equal Opportunities.

    A board member of the European Alliance for Social Sciences and Humanities, Hagen also chairs the Nordic/Baltic advisory Board of Academia Europaea’s Bergen knowledge Hub. She is board member of SNL (Encyclopedia of Norway) and member of the scientific committee of the journal Critica Letteraria. Margareth Hagen is Professor of Italian Literature. Her research has focused on the relationship between poetics, literature, and history in 16th century Italy. In recent years, she has worked particularly on issues at the intersection between the humanities and the natural sciences.

Administrative & Financial Committee

  • Markus Gelhoet (Chair)


    Markus Gelhoet heads the Department of Finances and Control at the University of Göttingen. Since 2014, he is member of the Administrative and Financial Committee. He act as Chair since 2017.

    Markus Gelhoet graduated in Business Administration with a focus on Information Systems. After his PhD in 2009, he joined the University of Göttingen and served in different positions in financial and research administration.

Working Groups

Coordination by EB members Support from policy officer at CG Office

Coimbra Group Office

See the composition of the Office here

General Assemblies History

Statutes (French only)

Foundation Charter 1987