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Shepreneurs: Leadership Challenges and Strategies

Shepreneurs: Leadership Challenges and Strategies

07 Aug 2020


Date: Friday, 07 August 2020 

Topic: Shepreneurs: Leadership Challenges and Strategies 

Time: 11:00 am – 12.30 pm 


It is a matter of great pride for us that eminent Vice Chancellors & senior most academicians from New Zealand, Russia, South Africa & Ukraine have given their consent to participate in this session being moderated by the undersigned. 

  • Professor Jan Thomas, Vice Chancellor, Massey University, New Zealand 
  • Prof. Mamokgethi Phakeng, Vice Chancellor, University of Cape Town, South Africa 
  • Dr. Victoria V. Panova Vice-President for International Relations of the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), Russia 
  • Prof. Olha Ilyash, Vice-Rector for Research and International Activity,
    International University of Finance, Ukraine 

    Registration Link:  

Brief profile of the panellists is given below for ready reference: 

PROFESSOR JAN THOMAS commenced as Vice Chancellor of Massey University in January 2017.  
From 2012 Jan served as Vice-Chancellor and President at the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.  Prior to that, she held various senior executive positions at Murdoch University and the University of Notre Dame Australia from 2003.
Professor Thomas has a PhD in Veterinary Science from Murdoch University and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute for Company Directors. She has received numerous awards for her leadership in education.
Professor Thomas currently holds the position of Chair for the Managing Council of the Association of Commonwealth Universities based in London and is a member of the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Council. 


Mamokgethi Phakeng (formerly Setati) began her term of office as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town on 1 July 2018, where she had been serving as Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Internationalisation since January 2017. Previous to this appointment she served as Vice Principal for Research and Innovation at the University of South Africa (Unisa) for five years, after serving three years as Executive Dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at the same university. She holds a PhD in Mathematics Education from the University of the Witwatersrand and is a highly regarded B1 NRF-rated scientist with over 80 research papers and five edited volumes published.  She has been invited to deliver over 40 keynote/plenary talks at international conferences, and as a visiting professor in universities around the world (in Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, India, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Senegal, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and USA). She has won numerous awards for her research and community work, including the Order of the Baobab (Silver) conferred on her by the President of South Africa in April 2016. In August 2014 CEO magazine named her the most influential woman academic in Africa and in August 2016 she was awarded the prestigious Businesswoman of the Year Award in the education category. In July 2019 the University of Bristol conferred on her an Honorary Doctorate in Science in recognition of her leadership role in mathematics education in South Africa. 


  1. VICTORIA V. PANOVAis the Vice-President for International Relations of the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU). For the period of March 2016 – March 2017 she held the post of the Dean of the Oriental Studies Institute of the FEFU. Prior to that she occupied the position of the Associate Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of International Relations and Foreign Policy at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University MFA Russia). She also serves as Chief Strategy Planning Advisor for National Committee on BRICS Research, Russia. She holds a PhD in history of IR from MGIMO-University. Her research focuses on the club governance (G8/G7, G20, BRICS), military-political and energy security, sustainable development as well as global governance.  

Since 2003 she acted as Regional Director for Russia of the G8 Research Group based at the University of Toronto (Canada). She was member of the National Working Group of the Advisory Council of the Civil G8 project, led by Ella A. Pamfilova in 2005-2007; part of the Common European Security project initiated by High Commissioner J.Solana in 2009. She is member of the governing board of the Russian International Studies Association.  

Dr. Panova publishes in variety of national and international journals, including International Affairs Forum (Routledge), E-IR, International Trends, New and Newest History, Observer, OECD Bulletin (HSE-SU magazine) etc. She’s also a regular contributor to the G8/G20 Newsdesk publication series, as well as Ashgate Global Governance and Global Finance Series. She was visiting fellow (and life member) at University of Cambridge, London School of Economics and Political Sciences,BRICS Policy Center, PUC-Rio. Dr. Panova is also an alumna of the Asian Forum on Global Governance organized by ORF (India) and Bucerius School/Zeit Stiftung (Germany). 

PROF. OLHA ILYASH, Vice-Rector for Research and International Activity, International University of Finance, Ukraine 

  • Member of the Sectіon “Economіcs” of the Expert Councіl of the Mіnіstry of Educatіon and Scіence of Ukraіne. 
  • Head of the Sectіon “Economіc Transіtіons; Demographіc Changes and Wellbeіng of Socіety” of the Expert Councіl of the Mіnіstry of Educatіon and Scіence of Ukraіne (2016-2019) 
  • Expert of Horіzon 2020 іn the Expert area “Educatіon, Audіo-Vіsual and Culture Executіve Agency programmes COSME” 
  • Member of the European Assocіatіon of Labour Economіsts (Maastrіcht, Netherland)  
  • Chaіrman of the Non-Governmental Organіzatіon “Academіc Space” 
  • Vіsіtіng professor іn the Unіversіty of Economy іn Bydgoszcz (Poland), 
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