Executive Board

Advocating the association’s values, mission and vision

The WAITRO Executive Board constitutes the President, two Vice-Presidents, and five Regional Representatives from Asia and the Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Europe. Elected by the General Assembly for a term of two years, Executive Board members are serving WAITRO voluntarily to govern the association’s activities. WAITRO Executive Board Meetings are held twice a year. During those meetings, Executive Board Members approve the financial statements and endorse the work programs and budget plans for the upcoming period.

Quick links to each Board member


HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan is a leading advocate for science as a catalyst for change. She is a dedicated science enabler in the Arab World, where so many challenges urgently need science-based solutions. The Princess has worked for more than a decade to help foster an environment in which home-grown solutions may be found for pressing issues facing Jordan and the region.

HRH is President of the Royal Scientific Society (RSS), Chair of the Princess Sumaya University for Technology (PSUT), and Vice-Chair of the Jordan Museum. In June 2017, the Director-General of UNESCO appointed HRH as UNESCO Special Envoy for Science for Peace.


Her Royal Highness
Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan


Dr. Rubén Cruz is the Director of Laboratories at CIDET. He has served WAITRO as Regional Focal Point for Latin America and the Caribbean from 2013-2014 as well as Regional Representative from 2015-2018.

Rubén has been actively engaged in WAITRO strategic activities and spreading the word about the Association in his region and beyond. Throughout his diverse career in researching, teaching and management, Rubén has put his focus on the planning, management, monitoring and the regulation of energy markets as well as the use of science, technology and innovation to create shared prosperity. Now he is working in the development of innovations in conformity assessment services.

In his role as Vice-President since 2019, Rubén is committed to strengthening WAITRO through collaboration, collective action and joint engagement and he supports decisively the work of the current Secretariat in evolving the value and sustainability model of WAITRO in order to enable extensively action-oriented partnerships among more members and new strategic partners to build a more inclusive world.


Dr. Rubén Dario Cruz Rodríguez


David Tveit is Executive Vice President at the Danish Technological Institute (DTI). He is responsible for the Institute direction and strategy, international relations and government liaison plus DTI’s participation in major research and development programs.

David has been a board member of WAITRO since 2012 and is now Second Vice-President. Before being appointed as the Second Vice President, David was the Regional Representative for Europe.

He has been actively involved in many WAITRO projects and is currently the DTI representative in an international Benchmark Study, which since 2013 has gathered statistics annually and meets to discuss best practice for RTOs.


David Tveit


Dr Mapitso N Molefe is the Executive Manager responsible for the Advanced Agriculture and Food Cluster and provides oversight to the Next Generation Health Cluster at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa.

She is passionate about building science, engineering and technology capabilities and hopes to use her experience attained from public and private sector to advance the goals of WAITRO, with particular focus on strengthening relations between African RTOs and improving collaboration and synergies within the RTO’s Global Innovation Family.


Dr Mapitso Molefe


Dirk Saseta Krieg was elected as Regional Representative for Europe in February 2019. He is dedicated to implementing WAITRO’s mission and achieving the association’s objectives in order to accomplish WAITRO’s vision.

Dirk is also member of the Executive Board of Leitat acting as the General Manager of Promotion and Management. He has been with Leitat since 2009 as Project Manager in the environmental technologies and renewal energies sector. In 2013 he was named Director for international affairs and is responsible for, international-and-national operations related to public fund rising, private sales and project management activities at Leitat. Additionally, he is Leitat’s acting representative in the European Association of RTOs (EARTO).

Dirk has completed a broad variety courses in ISO quality and environmental audits and in project management. He has been professor, lecturer and speaker in many courses and programs in Project management and EU proposal writing. With his 13 year experience working in public and private RTOs, both in Europe and the USA as project manager, Dirk uses his diverse experience to promote and strengthen WAITRO in his region and beyond.


Dirk Saseta Krieg


Dr. Randall Loaiza is the WAITRO Regional Representative for the Latin American and Carribean region. He currently serves as the Director at CeNAT (Centro Nacional de Alta Tecnología) in Costa Rica.

He is commited towards strengthening the presence of WAITRO in his region and help fulfil the association’s objectives.


Dr. Randall Loaiza


Dr. Emad Mohamed M. Ewais was newly elected to represent the Middle East and North Africa on the WAITRO Executive Board for 2021 and 2022. Currently, he is the president of the Central Metallurgical Research and Development Institute (CMRDI) in Cairo. He is also as the Secretary-General of the Association of Materials Science and Nanotechnology, established by the Federation of Arab Scientific Research Councils.

He has always been leading for several national and international projects funded from various government agencies and industrial cooperation. He raises the slogan “There is no need to waste time as long as society does not benefit from scientific research”. He believes that scientific research, technology and innovation are the way to achieve rapprochement and stability between peoples and their well-being, eradicate poverty and establishing principles of peace.


Dr Emad Ewais


Theresia Ningsi Astuti was elected as the new Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific in September 2021. For more than 20 years, she worked at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), and she has experience of about 7 years in technology transfer and business innovation. By organization integration, she has a new role as a Coordinator of Research and Innovation Infrastructure Partnership Development at the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN). She has responsibility for business development, partnership development, facilitating the research infrastructure, creating cross-institutional relations, joint events, research collaboration both nationally and internationally. In addition, she has taken part in international organizations as a focal point and other international cooperation projects.

With her experience, Theresia would like to implement in a more extensive scope through WAITRO by strengthening the relationship among the RTOs, industries, start-ups, SMEs, communities, and matching research supply with research consumers to turbo-charge the growth of technology transfer by integrating Asia and the Pacific better into the rest of the world for the benefit of all.

Theresia is passionate to serve at WAITRO by strengthening the innovation ecosystem and promoting WAITRO as the Global Innovation Family to the world. “All nations become one family. That is WAITRO.”

Theresia Ningsi Astuti

Theresia Ningsi Astuti


Dr. Eckart Bierdümpel 
Dr. Eckart Bierdümpel  Secretary General 
WAITRO Secretariat

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