AGYA offers its members the opportunity to actively engage in the life of the academy and to run and represent AGYA in a bottom-up approach. Once a year, at the AGYA’s General Assembly, all members present elect their Steering Committee to manage internal matters and to strategically strengthen the AGYA network in the year ahead. The Steering Committee always consists of three Arab and three German AGYA members. After a lively process of nominations and voting at the General Assembly in Beirut, Anis Ben Amor (Literature, Tunisia), Luise Fischer (International Economics, Human & Historical Geography, Germany), Ahmed N. Hegazy (Medicine, Gastroenterology, Germany), Lilia Makhloufi (Architecture, Urban Planning, Algeria), Lena-Maria Möller (Law, Middle East Studies, Germany) and Maha Nasr (Pharmacy, Egypt) were elected to serve on the Steering Committee for 2020.
One Arab and one German member of the Steering Committee were nominated to serve as co-presidents. Newly elected Arab Co-President Anis Ben Amor explains ‘Lena and I have already served for the AGYA Steering Committee last year. As newly elected Co-Presidents, we will use the gained knowledge and experience to further develop and strengthen the academy’. ‘I feel really honored to have the trust of my fellow AGYA members’, adds German Co-President Lena-Maria Möller. ‘I've only been an AGYA member for one year. It is very rewarding to see that my fellow colleagues appreciate my work by re-electing me to the Steering Committee.’
In its term, the Steering Committee members have put themselves on the agenda to focus on the quality management of AGYA research projects, inclusion and diversity as well as internal communication processes. ‘For the first time, a person with disabilities has been elected AGYA member. This is why the topic of equal access and inclusion has become even more relevant to us’, explains Möller the set-up of a new task force.
In addition to regular AGYA activities, the Co-Presidents and Steering Committee members represent AGYA at international conferences and actively engage in exchange with leading academic institutions in the Arab world and Germany. In a fact-finding mission to Saudi Arabia in November 2019, members of the new Steering Committee already discussed with partners in the region how to strengthen the network and to realize cooperation strategies.