Election of a new ASCOLA Board – Thank you, Michal Gal!

The General Assembly of ASCOLA has elected a new board and a new executive committee in its meeting in Athens on 30 June 2023. After seven years in office, professor Michal Gal of Haifa University stepped down as president. Rupprecht Podszun of the University of Düsseldorf who had been the Vice President since 2019 was elected as her successor. He will run ASCOLA with a team: Vice Presidents are Peter Picht (Zurich, VP for finances), Thomas Cheng (Hong Kong), Magali Eben (Glasgow), Giorgio Monti (Tilburg) and Wendy Ng (Melbourne).

The Assembly thanked Michal Gal for her hard work and her dedication to ASCOLA. During her presidency – professor Gal was elected in Leiden in 2016 – membership of ASCOLA nearly tripled to now 630 members. Michal Gal led ASCOLA with passion. Members gave her standing ovations.

With the new Executive Committee ASCOLA wishes to broaden its reach internationally and consolidate the organisation. Professor Podszun promised that the new team will try to keep the standards of excellence in research but also preserve the community feeling that is so characteristic of the ASCOLA group.

The Assembly also elected a new Board, the larger body that carries the responsibility. The current members were re-elected and new members added that represent the wider geographic range: Zeynep Ayata (Turkey), Mor Bakhoum (Senegal), Magali Eben (UK), Juan David Gutierrez (Colombia), Vikas Kathuria (India), Wendy Ng (Australia), Jasminka Pecotic Kaufman (Croatia) and Masako Wakui (Japan) were elected to the Board. Also, it was decided that the respective organiser of the conference is co-opted as a member of the board.

Three ASCOLA members were appointed Directors for special projects: Fabiana Di Porto (Director for Best Junior Paper Award), Viktoria Robertson (Director for Scholarships) and Jurgita Malinauskaite (Director for Mentoring).

With the new governance structure and people ASCOLA looks well-equipped to manage the next steps in its new decade: In Athens, members celebrated 20 years of ASCOLA. The organisation was founded in Munich in 2003. Former President Paul Nihoul (now a judge at the European Court) shared thoughts in a speech on the occasion.

Michal Gal, ASCOLA President 2016-2023, giving her closing remarks at the Athens #ASCOLA2023 conference.
The new ASCOLA Executive Committee: Rupprecht Podszun, Thomas Cheng, Magali Eben, Giorgio Monti, Wendy Ng, Peter Picht.


Michal Gal (President 2016-2023) and Rupprecht Podszun (President as of 2023), pictured here at the seaside during the ASCOLA dinner at Sounion, Greece.
Former ASCOLA President Paul Nihoul shared thoughts on 20 years of ASCOLA.