Executive committee

Office Bearers


Alberto Martinelli, President
Alberto Martinelli has a PhD in Sociology from the University of California in Berkeley. He is currently Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Sociology at the University of Milan. From 1991 to 2001 he served as Dean of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences from 1987 to 1999 and chaired the University Committee for International Scientific Cooperation. He is President of the Evaluation Committee of the University of Padua.



Elisa Reis, Vice President for Scientific Planning and Review

Elisa Reis, Vice President for Scientific Planning and Review of ISSC, is a lifelong member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC) and of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). Former president of the Brazilian Association for the Social Sciences (ANPOCS), she is professor of political sociology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Her major research interests are social inequality, political change, and new patterns of interaction between state, market and civil society. She is currently member of the steering committee of the International Panel on Social Progress (www.ipsp.org). The author of more than one hundred articles published in Brazil and elsewhere, she has held visiting professorships at the University of California San Diego, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, and Columbia University. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from MIT.


Saths Cooper Picture ISSC

Saths Cooper, Vice President for Information and Communications Outreach
Saths Cooper obtained his PhD in Clinical/Community Psychology from Boston University as a Fulbright scholar in 1989.

A close associate of the late Steve Biko, he has played a key role in the anti-Apartheid struggle, the advent of democracy in South Africa (SA), the unification and ascendancy of psychology and youth and community reconstruction and development during and after Apartheid. He was banned and house-arrested in 1973 and jailed for nine years (spending over five years in Robbin Island in the same cell-block as former President Mandela) and was declared a ‘victim of gross human rights violations’ by SA’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1998. He has been the recipient of many citations and awards (including the inaugural IUPsyS Achievement Against the Odds Award), has been relied on by foreign and SA agencies, institutions and leaders to advise and inform them on socio-economic-political developments, and has facilitated foreign and local investment and development in Southern Africa.

He chaired the statutory Professional Board for Psychology at the Health Professions Council of South Africa, was Vice-President of the latter (the first non-medical/dental professional to assume such office) and chairs the SA ICSU Board at the National Research Foundation, which oversees SA’s involvement in ICSU-related scientific learned societies.

The last Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Durban-Westville, he works in the health, education and training sectors.

In 2012, Saths Cooper received his profession’s equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize when the International Union of Psychological Science’s ‘Achievement Against the Odds Award’ recognized his contributions to psychology by overcoming extreme personal hardship in an ongoing pursuit of social justice and human rights for all. The British Psychological Society will confered an Honorary Fellowship upon him in 2013, and the American Psychological Association also honored him at its convention this August for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology



Michel Sabourin, Treasurer

Michel Sabourin is Professor Emeritus of psychology at the University of Montreal, where he has worked since the 1970s. As a clinical researcher and applied social psychologist, his research interests first dealt with credibility assessment in a cross-cultural context, then with the effects of media coverage on the victims of crime, and more recently, with querulous paranoia and the problems associated with vexatious litigation.

Professor Sabourin has twice been elected President of the Quebec College of Psychologists; between 1989 and 1991 he was also elected President of the Canadian Psychological Association. Previously, from 1983 to 1987, he was Executive Secretary for Canada and the USA of the Interamerican Society of Psychology.  From 1988 to 1992, he was Editor of the International Journal of Psychology and from 1992 to 2016, during 6 consecutive mandates, he was appointed and reappointed Treasurer of the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS).  He has also been elected to the ICSU Committee on the Use of Data for Science and Technology (CODATA) in several different roles. Professor Sabourin was elected as an Ordinary Member of the ISSC Executive Committee in 2008, and in 2010, he became the first elected Treasurer (this position having replaced the previous post of Vice-President - Finance). He chaired the Steering Committee of the 2013 World Social Science Forum (WSSF).

Professor Sabourin is the recipient of numerous and prestigious national and international awards, including the 2006 Distinguished Psychologist Award of the American Psychological Association Division of International Psychology, the first Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology in 2000, and the 2006 CPA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology as a Profession. He is the author or co-author of more than 75 published scientific contributions (books, book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals) in different areas of the discipline of psychology.

Ordinary Members


Ruth Fincher
Professor Ruth Fincher is a leader in the field of feminist geography and urban geography. She is Foundation Professor of Geography at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

With research and teaching interests in the urban outcomes of immigration and multiculturalism, diversity and difference in cities, gender issues, inequality and locational disadvantage, Professor Fincher is widely published internationally and has supervised many PhD students. Her writings include the books Planning and Diversity in the City: Redistribution, Recognition and Encounter, co-authored with Kurt Iveson (Palgrave Macmillan, London. 2008). Creating Unequal Futures Rethinking Inequality, Poverty and Disadvantage (Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 2001) co-edited with Peter Saunders, Australian Poverty: Then and Now (Melbourne University Press, 1998) co-edited with John Nieuwenhuysen, and Cities of Difference (Guilford Press, New York, 1998) co-edited with Jane Jacobs. International journals in which she has published recently include Social and Cultural Geography, Geoforum, Urban Studies and Geographical Research.

Professor Fincher was President of the University of Melbourne’s Academic Board in 2013 and 2014 and Pro Vice Chancellor from 2011 to 2014. In 2008 she led the establishment of the first of the University of Melbourne’s interdisciplinary, research institutes, the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI) as its Interim Director. Prior to that, Ruth Fincher was Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning (2003-2006) and Professor of Urban Planning (1997-2006), also at the University of Melbourne. She was Director of the Australian Centre at the University of Melbourne in the mid 1990s, and held positions as Assistant Professor of Geography at McGill University (Canada), and McMaster University (Canada) in the 1980s. In the early 1990s, she wo
rked as a Research Manager in the Federal Government’s Bureau of Immigration Research.

She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, a Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Australian Geographers, and in January 2014 was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).


Li Hanlin
Prof. Li Hanlin is currently Director General in the National Institute of Social Development, The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). He obtained his PhD in Sociology from the Bielefeld University in Germany in 1984 and became a Professor in Sociology in 1988 at the Institute of Sociology, CASS, where he served as Deputy Director General (2003-2006). He was actively involved in the organization of the First and Second Asia Pacific Regional Conference of Sociology (1993, 1996) as a Member of its Steering Committee, and also in the organization of the Asia Pacific Sociological Association where he eventually served as a Member of its Executive Committee (1997-2002). He served as Board member for the Journal “The Chinese Social Sciences” (2008-) and Vice Chairman of the Scientific Board of the Swiss Academy of Development, 1996-2002, and has been a Member of the Executive Committee of the International Social Sciences Council (ISSC) since 2008. He has also been a Visiting Professor at the Science Center for Social Research in Berlin, the State University of New York, Bielefeld University, and Queensland University.



Gudmund Hernes
Gudmund Hernes obtained his PhD in sociology at Johns Hopkins University in 1971. He became a professor at the University of Bergen in 1971, and later at the University of Oslo. He has been a Fellow at The Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford (1974-75) and Visiting Professor at Harvard University in 1986 and 1990. Gudmund Hernes was Norway’s Minister of Education and Research 1990-95, and Minister of Health 1995-97. From 1999-2005 he was the Director of UNESCO’s International Institute of Educational Planning in Paris, and UNESCO’s Coordinator on HIV/AIDS. Gudmund Hernes has written and edited many specialized books, reports and, articles; has been on the editorial board of several international specialist journals and, is a member of several professional societies and academies. He has been a regular contributor and columnist in several newspapers in his country.




Thomas Reuter

Thomas Reuter

Prof Thomas Reuter is a Future Fellow at the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute. After obtaining his PhD from the Australian National University in 1997, he taught at Heidelberg University, held post-doctoral and Australia Research Council Queen Elizabeth II Fellowships at Melbourne, and a Research Fellowship at Monash University. He was President of the Australian Anthropological Association (2002-2005) and chair of the World Council of Anthropological Associations (2008-2012). He is Senior Vice-President of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. His research in Indonesia and East Timor has focused on social movements, religion, political elites, food security and globalisation.



Yasuhiko Saito
Prof Saito’s main fields of work are demography and gerontology in general, and health expectancy and aging and health in particular. He has been involved in activities of a research network on health expectancy called REVES over the last 25 years. He is interested in studying both substantial and methodological issues on health expectancy. In recent years, he has been conducting longitudinal survey in Japan, and using longitudinal studies in Asia for his research activities. His current work includes “A cross-national comparison of hypertension among elderly in Japan and Singapore,” “Active life expectancy by sex and SES in Singapore.”



Amaryllis Torres


Renee van Kessel Hagesteijn

Renee van Kessel-Hagesteijn

Dr Renee R. van Kessel Hagesteijn obtained a PhD in anthropology at Leiden University (1985). Her research focuses on political dynamics, mainly in Southeast Asia. She is an active participant in the Committee for Theoretical Anthropology of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. She is Director of Social Sciences at the Netherlands Research Council (NWO) and Director of Science for WOTRO Global Development . Her expertise is setting up and co-funding multilateral, multidisciplinary research programmes and networks, both within Europe as well as beyond. For the ISSC she participated in CoDATE (Committee for Developing and Transition Economies) and in the steering committee for Transformative Cornerstones of Social Science Research for Global Change.




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Mathieu Denis, Executive Director