Meg Benke

Meg Benke, Ph.D., is a professor at Empire State College in the United States in adult learning and emerging technologies. Dr. Benke has had an extensive administrative career at Empire State College, serving as dean of the Center for Distance Learning, vice provost, provost and acting president.


Stavros P Xanthopoylos

Founder and CEO of SPX Consulting, specialized in Educational Solutions and Business Model Design, Author and Guest Professor at FGV-IDE – Executive Educational Unit at FGV. Former Vice-Dean FGV-IDE, Dean FGV Online – DE Unit of FGV. Xanthopoylos has been involved with open, distance, flexible and corporate education for 22 years, as an author, coordinator and lecturer.

He is the International Director of the Brazilian Distance Education Association (ABED), and was the Vice President until 2015. He has been involved in research and implementation of OER practices in Brazil and Internationally. He is a member of the executive committee and project advisor in the ROER4D (Research for OER in the Developing World) and the OEC-MIT Board.

He has been invited to speak and debate in Open, Distance and Flexible Education in conferences, such as ICDE, EDEN, BETT, Educa Berlin, IMS Global LIA, besides judging for the IMS Learning Impact Awards since 2011. He is an author of chapters and articles, in KM, DE and OER. He has been interviewed and consulted as a specialist in the field of OER´s and DE by the media, government agencies and the public administration. He is in the Specialist Committee for NMC Horizon Report in Brazil. In 2014, he was appointed as the National Chancellor for Education by the Brazilian Honors to Merit Academy and elected as an Academic, holding the Social Science Seat, at the Latin American Human Science Academy, in 2016.
Xanthopoylos´s work in DE and OER´s has been recognized both nationally and internationally, under FGV Online and individually, with dozens of awards both in the academia and in the corporate world. Outstanding his three elections as one of the ten Educational Personalities of Brazil, earning him the right to be listed in the Role of Honor of Great Educators.

Xanthopoylos holds a PhD in Business Administration from FGV-EAESP, his postgraduate and graduation degrees were both obtained in Production Engineering at The Polytechnic School at the University of São Paulo. He has worked as a consultant for both the private and public sectors, conducting projects in quality, operational effectiveness, knowledge and educational management, since 1984.


Tian Belawati

Professor Tian Belawati is a seasoned academician, researcher, as well as a practitioner in the field of open and distance learning (ODL) and is a Former President of ICDE. 

She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Adult Education (University of British Columbia, Canada, a Master of Education in Management of Distance Education (Simon Fraser University, Canada.), and a Bachelor degree in Agriculture. She started her career in academic life in 1985 as an editor for the learning materials published by Universitas Terbuka (UT), Indonesia. UT is one of the mega universities in the world providing quality higher education through open and distance education for Indonesians residing across the archipelago and those living overseas. Being among one of the promising young staff at UT, she was offered to further her study.

After completion of both her Masters and Doctoral degree, she returned to UT and was given the responsibility to lead the Center for Indonesian Studies in 1996. She was then entrusted with a larger responsibility as the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs from 2001 to 2009. It was during her two terms as Vice Rector that UT was introduced to many innovations and good practices in the use of new technology for the delivery of ODL through the utilization of new and appropriate technology, such as online tutorials, open educational resources (OERs), online examination, digital library, integrated information system for learning materials development, and other ICT-based initiatives in teaching, learning and academic administration.

After a successful two terms as Vice rector, Professor Belawati was then appointed as the Rector of UT and is currently serving her second term of office. As Rector, she has taken decisive actions to mobilize effort in partnerships with stakeholders to improve the quality of ODL, develop greater public confidence in ODL, and establish collaborative effort with international as well as regional ODL institutions and associations. She is extensively involved in various joint initiatives with other ODL players and organizations in her capacity as both ODL researcher and top administrator.

Her professional achievements have also led her appointments within the ODL community, first as Secretary General (2007-2009) and then President (2009-2010) of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU). Her leadership was further acknowledged at the global level through her appointment as a member of the Election Committee, the Executive Committee, and as the President of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) from 2012 until 2015. After the ICDE Presidency, Prof. Belawati was asked to join the ICDE Board of Trustees starting in 2017.

Her academic reputation in ODL has been recognized through various awards, namely GTP-Bappenas Awards for independent research; World Bank Awards, the Young Academic Program of Indonesian, the Directorate General for Higher Education (YAP-DGHE) for independent research;YAP-DGHE Awards for international publication; IDRC-PanAsia Organization Award for both independent and collaborative research; and Fullbright Award for senior independent research. The latest awards she received were for her life time contributions in the field of education, the AAOU Meritorious Service Award in 2012 and the Distinguished Individual Promoter of the ODL from the African Council for Distance Education (ACDE) in June 2014.




Board of Trustees Vice Chair: Jan-Atle Toska

Jan-Atle Toska has broad experience from international organisations and other forms of international collaboration, such as European Union projects. He has also been a member of various advisory boards and committees in Norwegian higher education.

Jan Atle Toska was born in 1955 in Bergen, Norway. He studied Humanities (History and Linguistics) at The University of Bergen, where he received a Cand.Phil. degree in 1984. He also has a Master of Public Administration from Copenhagen Business School.

Toska has spent his whole career at different levels of the Norwegian higher education sector. He was a research fellow at The University of Oslo from 1986-88, and worked as an advisor in The Ministry of Education (Department of Higher Education) from 1989-1995. From 1995-2007 he was the director of Norwegian agencies for Open and Distance Learning in Higher Education. From 2007 Toska has been the Director of Academic Affairs at the institution of higher education that today is Nord University, a nine-campus university in the counties of Nordland and Trondelag.


Chair of the Board of Trustees: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Helmut Hoyer

Between 1999 and 2005, Helmut Hoyer was Vice President of ICDE and from 2005 to 2008 Acting President of ICDE. He has been the Program Chair of the 19th ICDE World Conference 1999 in Vienna (Austria) as well as of the 20th World Conference in Düsseldorf (Germany), both with more than 1200 delegates from nearly 90 countries all over the world.

His main task during this time as Acting President of ICDE was the development of the new constitution, which is the framework for ICDE as a modern member-driven and worldwide acting organization.

Since the 1st January 2017, he is the Chair of the ICDE Board of Trustees (BoT).

Helmut Hoyer was born in 1950 in Germany. He studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Karlsruhe and acquired his doctorate in electrical engineering at FernUniversität in Hagen in 1984. After a 3 years research period at the Institute of Robotics Research of the University of Dortmund, where he headed the group 'Robot Control and Multi-Robots Systems', he returned to FernUniversität as a Full Professor and Head of the Chair of Control Systems Engineering. His research activities focus on robotics and assistive technologies for elderly people and people with disabilities.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Helmut Hoyer was first elected Rector of FernUniversität in Hagen in 1997. Since he was re-elected three times and went out of the rector office to retirement in February 2016. Prior to taking this responsibility, he fulfilled university managing roles as Dean of the Faculty of Computer and Electrical Engineering of FernUniversität and as Vice Rector for Planning and Finance.

Between 2001 and 2002 he was Chairman of the Rectors’ Conference of North Rhine-Westphalia. 2002 he became a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology and 2004 – 2006 he was Academic Director of Centre for eCompetence at Universities in NRW (CeC). From 2007 to 2011 he was a member at the University Council of the University of Bamberg. Currently, he is member of the Scientific Boards of Fraunhofer Technology Academy and of Stiftung Universitaere Fernstudien Schweiz (Switzerland).

He was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz (German Federal Cross of Merit) by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2005.