Advisory Board

The role of the Advisory Board is to advise the Strategic Board on the strategic direction, implementation, and external profile of EUTOPIA.

Cathy Ashton

After many years’ experience embracing the public, private and NGO sectors (including roles at the Social Work Training Council and Business in the Community), Cathy Ashton was appointed to the House of Lords in 1999.

The ministerial career that followed saw Ashton first take up a role in the then Department of Education in 2001, where she served as Minister with responsibilities for all education to age 11 plus children with special educational needs, and as sole Minister in the House of Lords responsible for all education legislation. Ashton joined the Department of Constitutional Affairs/Justice in 2004 as Minister with responsibilities for family courts, development of the Supreme Court, human rights and equality legislation. From 2007-8, she served as Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Queen’s Privy Council. During that time, she took the Lisbon Treaty through the House of Lords.

In 2008, Ashton was appointed Trade Commissioner for the European Union. This led to her then being appointed High Representative for Foreign Policy and First Vice President of the European Commission. Over the following five years, she tackled some of the world’s most difficult issues, operating at the very highest level. Her achievements over this period earned her widespread praise and a host of awards and honours from around the globe, including being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Ashton was appointed Chancellor of the University of Warwick in January 2017.

Lieve Van den Brande

Lieve has been visiting lecturer at the College of Europe, ULB, Hoger Instituut Voor Sociale Readaptatiewetenschappen (Higher Institute of Social Re-adaptation sciences), pedagogical tutor and course developer for the Open University Heerlen, is an active member of editorial research journals and boards and evaluator of multiple research projects and surveys.

Van den Brande was Principal Administrator at the DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission, working in digital and entrepreneurial skills and competencies. She has been working for more than 25 years at the EC - in DG Information Society around ‘Telematics for Education and Training’; DG Research around social sciences research, DG Education and Culture around ‘ICT and education’ and ‘Opening up education’ and most recently DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion working on digital literacy and competences.

Lieve has been visiting lecturer at the College of Europe, ULB, Hoger Instituut Voor Sociale Readaptatiewetenschappen (Higher Institute of Social Re-adaptation sciences), pedagogical tutor and course developer for the Open University Heerlen, is an active member of editorial research journals and boards and evaluator of multiple research projects and surveys.

Milan Brglez

Milan Brglez is a political scientist with a master’s degree in International Law and a PhD in International Relations, where he specializes in the Theory of International Relations. After his PhD, Brglez became an Assistant Professor in International Relations at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, lecturing different courses, including Diplomatic and Consular Relations, Theory of International Relations, Selected Issues of International Law, Selected Issues of Diplomatic Law, European Protection of Human Rights etc.

In 2008, he took the position of Head of the Department for International Relations at the faculty. He was also a member of numerous committees at the faculty and university level, as well as the president of the Slovenian Political Science Association. From 2011 to 2014, he served as the Vice-president of the Red Cross of Slovenia.

In July 2014, Brglez was elected in early elections to the National Assembly. Some weeks later, he was appointed to be the Speaker of the National Assembly. During his first term as a deputy, Brglez chaired the Constitutional Committee and was a member of the Committee of Foreign Affairs. In 2018, he was re-elected to the National Assembly and served as a deputy in the Committee of European Affairs and Committee on Educations, Science and Sport.

In 2019, he was a candidate for the elections to the European Parliament. He was elected by preferential votes and started his term as a member of the European Parliament in July 2019. Since, he has been a member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, and a substitute member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, and the Delegation for relations with the People’s Republic of China.

Jean-Claude Burgelman

Jean-Claude Burgelman is a professor of Open Science Policies and Practices at the Free University of Brussels (Faculty of Social Science and Solvay Business School). He retired on 1-3-2020 from the EC as Open Access Envoy of the European Commission DG RTD. Until 1-8-2019, he was the head of Unit Open Science at DG RTD, and his team developed the EC’s policies on open science, the science cloud, open data and access.

He joined the European Commission in 1999 as a Visiting Scientist in the Joint Research Centre (the Institute of Prospective Technological Studies - IPTS), where he became Head of the Information Society Unit in 2005. In January 2008, he moved to the Bureau of European Policy Advisers (attached to the president of the EC) as an adviser for innovation policy. Since 1-10-2008, he joined DG RTD as an advisor and then Head of Unit in charge of top-level advisory boards like the European Research and Innovation Area Board, the Innovation for Growth Group and the European Forum for Forward-Looking Activities.

Until 2000 he was full professor of communication technology policy at the Free University of Brussels, as well as director of the Centre for Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunication. He was involved in science and technology assessment. He has been visiting professor at the University of Antwerp, the European College of Bruges and the University of South Africa and sits on several academic journals. He chaired the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Innovation and was a member of its Science Advisory Committee.

Pam Fredman

Pam Fredman is the President of the International Association of Universities (IAU). Fredman served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Gothenburg from 2006 until 2017. She is a Professor of Neurochemistry and has held several leading positions within the University, for example as Dean of the faculty of medicine at the University of Gothenburg – the Sahlgrenska Academy.

Over the years, Fredman has been active in a large number of scientific and scholarly contexts. She has been Chair of the European Society of Neurochemistry and is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, IVA. Fredman has also been Chairman of the Principals Council of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

As Chairman of SUHF, Fredman was also a member of the EUA Council as well as the EUA Research Policy Working Group, acting on behalf of the EUA in research policy work within the EU. She is also on the Nordic University Association Board. From 2013, she was First Vice President for the International Association of Universities.

From 2007 to 2014, Fredman was the Chairman of the Association of Swedish Higher Education (SUHF) and thereby actively involved in political issues concerning research and education.

John Higgins

John Higgins CBE has been the public face of the digital sector in Europe since November 2011 and speaks regularly on platforms and at conferences throughout Europe and beyond. He was Director-General of DIGITALEUROPE, the association for the digital technology industry in Europe, until 2017, following nine years leading its UK member association, TechUK. In 2017 John became Chair of the Global Digital Foundation, a platform for dialogue between policymakers, stakeholders and scholars in support of evidence-based policy for the digital society..

In 1995 Higgins was appointed CEO of the Rocket Networks, a California based dot.com that provided the world’s first online recording studios. He returned to the UK in 1998 and became Director General of the Computing Services and Software Association, one of Tech UK’s predecessors. John was President of the European Commission’s Strategic Policy Forum on Digital Entrepreneurship and a Board member of the European Internet Foundation. John’s other committee chair roles have included the cross-industry association council of the Confederation of British Industry, the UK business association, a government/industry space committee and the global policy action committee of the World IT Services Association, WITSA. He was board member of e-skills, the UK’s digital sector skills council and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. John was presented with two personal awards for outstanding contributions; first to the association sector in 2004 and then to the IT industry in 2008. He was appointed him a CBE in 2005 for his services to the UK IT industry.

Higgins served as an external member of the governing Council of the University of Warwick for 12 years until 2015 and was Chair of its Audit Committee. He also led a governance review for the University, and chaired Warwick’s European Advisory Board since its inception in 2016 until 2019.

Lluis Jofre

Lluís Jofre holds a degree in Telecommunications and is a professor at the Barcelona School of Telecommunications Engineering (ETSETB) at the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC)

Jofre is attached to the Department of Signal Theory and Communications at UPC, where he is also the Rector’s delegate for the EU’s recently awarded Knowledge and Innovation Community in Urban Mobility (Coordinated by the City of Barcelona) and is a researcher with the Antennas and Wireless Systems Laboratory (ANTENNALAB). From 1989 to 1994, he was the director of the Telecommunication Engineering School (UPC) and from 1994 to 2000 was the UPC Vice-Rector for academic planning.

In recent years, he directed the Telefónica-UPC Enterprise Chair before interrupting his tenure to assume other responsibilities linked to university and research policy, first as the Government of Catalonia’s Director-General for Universities, and then as Secretary for Universities and Research. He previously headed the Strategic Plan for the Information Society in Catalonia, was the director of the Catalan Foundation for Research and led EnginyCAT, a programme aimed at promoting engineering studies in Catalonia.

Grace Neville

Grace Neville is an Emeritus Professor in the French Department, University College Cork and Adjunct Professor of French at University College Dublin, having retired from UCC in 2012 after a career of 35 years. In 2008 she was appointed as UCC’s first Vice President for Teaching and Learning, a position she held until 2012.

Neville has been involved in Teaching and Learning initiatives since the early 1980s, from the UCC Teaching Development Unit to more recent initiatives inspired by the Teaching and Learning Scholarship at Harvard and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. She served for many years on the board of directors of the Glucksman Gallery and was Chair of Cork University Press publishing committee.

Neville was also Director of NAIRTL (National Academy for Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning) as well as overseeing the operation of UCC’s Centre for Adult Continuing Education. In France, Neville is an invited member of the international jury of the IDEX/ I-SITE initiative (a major part of the French government’s Investissements d’avenir programme at the ANR). From 2014-19, she was Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee of Sorbonne-Universités, Paris (a multi-institution cluster that includes Paris-Sorbonne Universi. Sheand is an invited member of the International Scientific Advisory Board of le CRI (Centre de Recherche Interdisciplinaire, Paris).

In 2012, she was appointed Chair of a national initiative on innovative teaching in French higher education, and in 2015 was appointed Chair of an initiative on innovative technology in French higher education. Both of these initiatives are part of the French government’s Investissements d’avenir programme. Neville was awarded the highest distinction bestowed by the French state, the Légion d’Honneur as well as the Palmes Académiques, and is an invited member of the Irish Board of the Légion d’Honneur (French Embassy, Dublin), as well as Vice-President of AMOPA Irlande (the Irish branch of l’Association des Membres de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (French Embassy, Dublin).

Mark Pleško

Born in 1961, Mark Pleško is a world-renowned expert for nuclear accelerators and particle cancer therapy. He is the founder and managing director of Cosylab, a spin-off, which he has grown to 200+ employees, present on 3 continents. He is President of the Engineering Academy of Slovenia, President of the Management Board of the J. Stefan Institute, Vice-president of the Science and Technology Council of the Government of Slovenia, member of Programme Councils at Faculties for Mathematics & Physics and Computer Science at the University of Ljubljana, and member (and Work Package Leader) of the EU-Japan Business Round Table. He is an angel investor in 15+ startups.

He received the Award of the European Physics Society 2001, was nominated for Slovenian Entrepreneur of 2014, received the Award of the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce for exceptional business and entrepreneurial achievements 2018 and received the Alumni of the Year 2018 Award of IEDC. BSc, MSc and PhD in elementary particle physics at University of Ljubljana in 1983, 1985 and 1987, respectively; received an MBA at IEDC Bled in 1996.

Eduard Vallory

Eduard Vallory is a social analyst and an expert in change management focused on the enhancement of education. He is the president of the UNESCO Center of Catalonia, and Director of the program for education change ‘Escola Nova 21’. He also directs a university program for the professional development of teachers entrusted by the Government of Catalonia. He is Board member of The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST) and of the Institute of the Humanities of Barcelona.

Vallory holds a PhD in Political and Social Sciences (UPF) with a dissertation on ‘Global Citizenship Education’. He also holds an MA in Social Sciences (The University of Chicago), an AMP (IESE Business School), and BA in Philosophy and Journalism (UB/UPF).

He has been Director of the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, Visiting Scholar at New York University, Research Fellow of Fitzwilliam College at the University of Cambridge, and he served as Head of Cabinet for the Ministry for Universities and Research of the Government of Catalonia. Former member of the Scout movement, which he has researched, he has published World Scouting: Educating for Global Citizenship (Palgrave MacMillan, 2012). He has been columnist for some Catalan newspapers.