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Announcement: INASP’s Board shifts to the South – INASP Blog

Announcement: INASP’s Board shifts to the South


We are delighted to announce the appointment of Lizbeth Navas-Aleman as INASP’s new Chair of the Board of Trustees from November 2021, along with the appointment of three new thematic trustees: Judy Omumbo, Eleanor Sarpong, and Mayyada Abu Jaber, whose terms on the INASP board begin this month.

These four new appointees join INASP’ existing board members, Jules Mason, Anne Tutt, Louise Shaxson and Felicity Jones in leading the organisation through our next exciting period of change.

INASP has nearly 30 years’ experience of supporting knowledge systems across 28 countries. But we recognise that important voices remain excluded from the knowledge ecosystem. A key goal of our 2020-2025 strategy is to work with others in a global coalition to ensure that these missing voices are heard. We want to break down barriers, support an equitable knowledge ecosystem, and unleash talent that will contribute to solutions to global challenges.

John Young, INASP’s Executive Director explains:

“Building out from our existing networks in the Global South, we have found a fantastic new chair and hugely experienced thematic trustees who will really help us to realise our vision of being more responsive to the needs of the South, and make the best contribution we can to ensuring that Southern research and knowledge are at the heart of development.”

Dr Lizbeth Navas-Aleman will take her post as chair in November 2021. Lizbeth is a value chain analysis specialist with over 20 years’ experience of working in international development as a practitioner, academic researcher, lecturer and consultant. A Venezuelan who has lived in the UK since 1997, Lizbeth has deep experience of research and research capacity building with developing and emerging country researchers, and high alignment with INASPs values and vision. She comments:

“I am keenly aware of the barriers for Southern students and researchers to exchange and share their contributions to knowledge on an equal footing with the rest of the world. I want to bring that awareness and suggestions for solutions to support INASP in promoting those voices that are usually not heard, particularly (but not limited to) in the Global South.”

The appointment of three new thematic trustees will help us to further our work in three areas of strategic growth – Higher Education (Research and Innovation), Digital Technology and Online Learning, and Gender and Gender-Responsive Pedagogy.

  • Dr Judy Omumbo takes her place on the INASP board as a thematic trustee for Higher Education and Learning. Judy is Kenyan, living in Nairobi and is the Senior Programme Manager for Postdoctoral Programmes, Affiliates and Climate Sciences at the African Academy of Sciences. She has an excellent understanding of the challenges facing early-career researchers and the higher education institutions they work in. She is passionate about equity and about African leadership, but recognises the value of the right kind of support from the North.
  • Eleanor Sarpong is INASP’s new thematic trustee for Digital Technology and Online Learning. A Ghanaian national, Eleanor is Deputy Director and Policy Lead at Alliance for Affordable Internet. She is an expert in the online context in many different parts of the Global South and speaks about the danger of ‘one size fits all’ with using technology and online interventions. Eleanor is passionate about inclusive digital access, gender and development. She strongly advocates for universal broadband access and digital content particularly aimed at advancing women in developing regions.
  • The role of thematic trustee in Gender and Gender Responsive Pedagogy will be taken by Mayyada Abu Jaber. Born and based in Jordan, Mayyada has started and run several NGOs including the World of Letters, which provides women’s leadership and gender inclusive training, and is co-founder of JoWomenonomics (a Think Tank that describes itself as Integral Development Centre for Feminist Policy). She is a visiting Scholar with the Brookings Institute.

INASP’s outgoing chair, Jo Beall, comments:

“I am delighted to welcome Judith, Eleanor and Mayyada to the INASP board, and look forward to handing over to Lizbeth as the new INASP Chair at the end of the year. In my two terms as Chair, I have seen the organisation grow and diversify its approach to supporting stakeholders involved in the production and use of research-based evidence in the Global South. The overwhelmingly positive response to our search for trustees from the Global South reinforces my conviction that INASP’s vision, mission and values remain as relevant today as ever. I look forward to following the next period of change and transition for the organisation.”

Read more about our trustees here.

INASP Board.


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