SKAO Council

The SKAO Council (the Council) is the governing body of the SKAO. The Council held their first meeting in February 2021, shortly after the entry-into-force of the SKA Observatory as an intergovernmental organisation on 15 January 2021.
The Council represents the SKAO Member States, with Member Voting Representatives and their Advisors attending meetings.
Council Photo
Hybrid SKAO Council meeting at SKAO HQ, March 2022

Governance

The Council is responsible for “the overall strategic and scientific direction of the SKAO, its good governance, and the attainment of its purposes”.  The Council’s authority is set out in its Convention, and how it must behave is described in the Rules of Procedure.

The Council is supported by two committees:

  1. Finance Committee – to ensure “sound financial management, efficiency, transparency and accountability”.  The Finance Committee has three sub-committees.
  2. Science and Engineering Advisory Committee – which is made up of representatives who “act as individual experts and do not represent any Members’ views” to advise on a wide range of scientific matters including construction, technology, and engineering.

Membership

The Council Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson are independent, and do not represent any country.  Each Member may propose a voting representative and an advisor.

SKAO Council Chairperson: Dr Catherine Cesarsky

SKAO Council Vice-Chairperson:  Mr Daan du Toit

Members

 Representatives

Country

Member since:

Ms Janean Richards (voting)

Dr Douglas Bock

Australia

2021

Ms Zhao Jing (voting)

Dr Wang Qi'an

China 2021

Prof. Marco Tavani (voting)  

Italy

2021

Ms Judith Vermeer (voting)

Dr Jessica Dempsey

Netherlands

2021

Mr Ricardo Conde (voting)

Mr Luis Serina

Portugal

2021

Dr Phil Mjwara (voting)

Dr Rob Adam

South Africa

2021

Mr Kevin Reymond (voting)

Prof. Jean-Paul Kneib

Switzerland

 

2022

Dr David Rawlins (voting)

Prof. Mark Thomson

United Kingdom

2021

Observers

The Council also allows Observer representatives from countries or institutions who have either (a) signed an Accession Agreement and are moving towards their full membership, or (b) signed a Cooperation Agreements to provide resources, or (c) who are discussing their potential membership with the SKAO. 

These are (June 2022): the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada, the Republic of France, the Federal Republic of Germany, the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) of India, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI), Spain and Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden).

Rules and Regulations

The Council must follow:

  1. The Council Convention: which explains the high-level scope of the project, its purpose, definitions, membership rights, and how the SKAO is governed.  It also outlines the SKAO’s Financial Protocols, and what has been agreed by the Members about what ‘Privileges are allowed. 
  2. The Council Rules of Procedure:  these state the composition of the Council, rules relating to conduct and attendance, and how meetings work e.g. voting and subsidiary committees.
  3. The Council Schedule of Delegation:  which confirms what authority can (or not) be delegated - who can approve what e.g. the Council must approve the SKAO budget.
Last modified on 27 July 2022