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Transition Task Force


As agreed on 24 October 2016, the TTF will include the Presidents and two additional members of the ISSC Executive Committee and two of the ICSU Executive Board. The TTF will also include representatives of the members of each organization. The group will therefore comprise up to 14 members, including:

  • The Presidents of ISSC and ICSU, namely:

Alberto Martinelli (ISSC), and

Gordon McBean (ICSU)

  • Two additional members of the Executive bodies of each organization, namely:

Jinghai Li (ICSU Vice-President),

David Black (ICSU Secretary General),

Saths Cooper (ISSC Vice-President), and

Renee van Kessel (ISSC Executive Committee member)

  • Up to eight representatives of ICSU and ISSC members, namely:

Two representatives of ISSC national member organizations,

Two representatives of ISSC scientific unions/associations,

Two representatives of ICSU national member organizations, and

Two representatives of ICSU scientific unions

The work of the TTF, which will be co-chaired by the ISSC and ICSU Presidents, will be facilitated by Khotso Mokhele, previous ICSU Vice-President for Scientific Planning and Review, and previous member of the ISSC Committee for Developing and Transition Economies.

Member representatives on the TTF will be selected based on a call for nominations from members. ICSU member representatives will be appointed by the ICSU Executive Board and ISSC member representatives by the ISSC Executive Committee in consultation with the respective secretariats. The Executives will seek to ensure regional, gender and disciplinary balance and to appoint individuals with:

  • in-depth knowledge and understanding of ISSC and/or ICSU,
  • relevant expertise in the governance and management of international scientific bodies, and
  • a strong interest in developing innovative and effective organizational models for a new, merged organization (covering issues of governance, management, administration and finances).

The TTF may engage additional expertise as required (e.g. legal and change management expertise), and/or establish sub-groups to undertake specific tasks within the TTF’s terms of reference. It will draw on the insights of relevant members of the ICSU and ISSC secretariats.

Terms of Reference

a).    Deliverables

The TTF will be responsible for developing:

  • Proposed new statutes and rules of procedure for a merged organization and, as necessary, recommendations for transition measures towards their implementation. This work covers, amongst other aspects, the issues of:
    • membership composition, structure and dues, and
    • governance arrangements
  • A recommended new secretariat structure, including proposed management and human resource arrangements
  • A detailed financial analysis, including proposed multi-year budgets for a merged organization
  • A set of recommendations regarding the legal and practical procedures and timelines for accomplishing a merger, including location and hosting arrangements

The outputs listed above will draw on the agreed recommendations of the Draft Planning Framework discussed during the 24 October 2016 meeting of ICSU and ISSC members. They will also need to take into consideration the outcomes of the strategy development work to be undertaken by the SWG, as outlined in Section B below.

b).    Timeline and work flow

The TTF will submit its proposals and recommendations to the ISSC and ICSU Executives for approval by June 2017; this work will subsequently be submitted to members of both organizations in July 2017. In further planning the work of the TTF attention will be paid to creating possibilities for membership feedback on draft proposals and recommendations.

The TTF will meet at least once, and possibly twice, before the end of June 2017. It will also be expected to work via teleconferences and email correspondence.

The work of the TTF will be supported by a dedicated team of staff from the ISSC and ICSU Secretariats, including the Executive Directors of both organizations.

Governance arrangements and work methods

In view of the commitments made by the leadership of ICSU and ISSC in Oslo, the TTF and SWG will be requested to work in a transparent and inclusive manner, recognising that the success of the transition planning process will depend on strong accountability, including effective communication with and engagement of the members of ISSC and ICSU.

A Conflict of Interest policy to be agreed between ICSU and ISSC shall apply to the work of both the TTF and the SWG.

Both the TTF and SWG will report to the ICSU and ISSC Executives who will assume responsibility for approving and submitting draft and final versions of TTF and SWG outputs to ISSC and ICSU members, and receiving their feedback.

As already indicated, the TTF will be co-chaired by the ISSC and ICSU Presidents. The work of the TTF will be facilitated by Khotso Mokhele, previous ICSU Vice-President for Scientific Planning and Review, and previous member of the ISSC Committee for Developing and Transition Economies. The SWG will be co-chaired by Jinghai Li (ICSU Vice-President) and Saths Cooper (ISSC Vice-President).

Teams comprising members of the ICSU and ISSC Secretariats and led by the Executive Directors of both organizations will support the overall transition planning process. Four teams will be established for this purpose:

  • A Transition Task Force (TTF) Support Team
  • A Strategy Working Group (SWG) Support Team
  • A Transition Communications Team
  • A General Assembly 2017 Team
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