Main Speakers

The World Universities Forum will feature plenary sessions by some of the world's leading thinkers and innovators in the field, as well as numerous parallel presentations, by researchers and practitioners.

Garden Conversations

Main Speakers will make formal 30-minute presentations in the plenary sessions. They will also participate in 60-minute Garden Conversations - unstructured sessions that allow delegates a chance to meet the speakers and talk with them informally about the issues arising from their presentation.

Please return to this page for regular updates.

The Speakers

  • Dato' Abdul Razak Dzulkifli

    Dato' Abdul Razak Dzulkifli is the Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia. Appointed: 1st December 2000. Currently: He is a member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Policies and Management, since 1995 – present, and a member of the WHO Scientific Advisory Committee on Tobacco Product Regulation, between 2000 and 2002. Currently he is the Chairman, Malaysian Examination Council; a member of the National Higher Education Council of Malaysia; Board Member, Open University of Malaysia; Chairman Malaysian VC Council and a member of the Committee on Higher Education Policy in Malaysia, and Deputy Board member of the International Association of Universities (IAU).







  • Souad Halila

  • Souad Halila will be speaking on the changing position of intellectuals in the Muslim world. Souad Halila has a PhD in History from the University of Southern California. She majored in American history & international relations, and minored in US literature. Her PhD thesis focused on the intellectual development and diplomatic career of African American Ralph J. Bunche. She taught English and Literature for eleven years at King Saud University in Saudi Arabia. From 1999 to the present, she has been teaching US and GB history and culture at the University of Tunis and Sousse, Tunisia. She lectured extensively in the USA, Saudi Arabia, Spain, France, and Tunisia on contemporary issues related to the US, France, the Middle East, and North Africa. In September 2006, she spent 4 weeks at Wilson College, Pennsylvania as a senior Fulbright Visiting Specialist.

    She has a broad interest in environmental issues and green philosophy but her research focuses primarily on US intellectual, political, social, cultural, and religious history, particularly social and political movements, race relations, African American history, Arab American history, and multiculturalism. She initiated several courses related to these topics at her university. Recently and since 9/11, she has focused her research on Islamic issues and the Occident.




  • Linda Katehi

    Linda Katehi is the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. She holds a joint appointment with the Program of Gender and Women Studies at the University of Illinois.

    As a faculty member, Professor Katehi has focused her research on the development and characterization of three-dimensional integration and packaging of high-frequency circuits with particular emphasis on MEMS devices, high-Q passives and embedded filters. She pioneered the development of on-wafer packaging for high-density, high-frequency monolithic Si-based circuit and antenna architectures that lead to low-cost, high-performance integrated circuits for radar, satellite, and wireless applications. Her work in this area has led to numerous national and international technical awards and to distinctions as an Educator. Professor Katehi holds 13 U.S. patents and has authored more 500 papers published in refereed journals and symposia proceedings.

    Professor Katehi is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of AAAS and a Fellow of IEEE. She serves on many scientific committees including the Nominations Committee for the National Medal of Technology, the Board of AAAS, the Kauffman National Panel for Entrepreneurship, the NSF Advisory Committee to the Engineering, the NRC Telecommunications Board, the NRC Army Research Lab Advisory Committee on Sensors and Electronics Division, the NSF Advisory Committee to CISE, the NASA Aeronautics Technical Advisory Committee (ARAC), and the DoD Advisory Group on Electron Devices.

    Professor Katehi earned her PhD in Electrical Engineering from UCLA in 1984. From 1984 to 2002 she was a faculty member of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 1998 to 2002. From 2002 until 2006 she served as the Dean of Engineering and as faculty member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University.




  • Fazal Rizvi

  • Fazal Rizvi is a Professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois, where he directs its global studies in education program. Previously he held academic and administrative appointment at a number of universities in Australia, including as Pro Vice Chancellor (International) at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and as the founding Director of the Monash Center for Research in International Education. From 1993 to 2000, Professor Rizvi edited Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, and in 1996 was the President of the Australian Association for Research in Education. He has published widely on globalization, educational and cultural policy, student mobility and the internationalization of higher education, and is currently researching issues facing Indian higher education. He has served on a number of government committees, and is currently an international panel member on UK’s Research Assessment Exercise (RAE2008).





  • Teresa A. Sullivan

  • Teresa A. Sullivan is the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from James Madison College at Michigan State University in 1970 and her doctorate in sociology from the University of Chicago in 1975. At the University of Texas at Austin, Sullivan was a Professor of Sociology and Professor and Cox & Smith Inc. Faculty Fellow in Law and served in many administrative positions including director of the Women's Studies Program and chair of the Department of Sociology. In 1995, she was named vice president and dean of the Graduate School. During her tenure, the school introduced new programs in neuroscience, biomedical engineering, and the commercialization of science and technology. It also was consistently among the leaders in production of Hispanic and African American doctorate degrees, despite changes required by the Hopwood decision. In 2000, the Graduate School was given the Award for Innovation in Graduate Education by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.

    In 2002, Sullivan was named Executive Vice Chancellor for academic affairs of the University of Texas System, serving as the chief academic officer for the system and overseeing its nine academic campuses. Her accomplishments include developing new tuition-setting procedures, following deregulation of tuition by the Texas legislature; reviewing and nurturing research across the system, with a 7.7 percent increase in system research expenditures during her tenure; developing significant, innovative collaborations between academic campuses and health system campuses; and implementing a system-wide, coordinated planning process involving the system office and the individual academic campuses.

    A specialist in the demographic aspects of economic status, Sullivan has authored or co-authored six books, including "The Social Organization of Work" (2002), which is now in its third edition and is considered by many the leading textbook on the sociology of work. She has carried out groundbreaking research on consumer debt and bankruptcy, and her work in that field has been recognized with the Silver Gavel Award of the American Bar Association. Sullivan has received three major teaching awards at Texas for her undergraduate teaching, and she regularly teaches a first-year undergraduate course titled "Credit Cards, Debt, and American Society."





  • Pavel Zgaga


  • Pavel Zgaga is Professor at the Faculty of Education at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His teaching and research is focused on the philosophy of education, educational policy and in particular on higher education.

    He was Dean of the Faculty of Education (2001-2004), and is currently Director of the Centre for Education Policy Studies (CEPS). CEPS is active in education policy studies at the national and European level; it is also a coordinating institution of the South-East European Educational Cooperation Network.

    During the 1990s, Dr. Zgaga was State Secretary for Higher Education (1992-1999), Minister of Education and Sports (1999-2000), and head of a working group on “Education, Training and Youth” during EU accession negotiations (1998-1999). After his return to academe, he has engaged in the Bologna process, serving as general rapporteur (2001-2003), as a member of the Board of the Bologna Follow-up Group (2004-2005) and as the rapporteur of the BFUG Working Group on External Dimension of the Bologna Process (2006-2007).