iau2106 — Press Release

The four IAU Officers 2021–2024
27 August 2021
The XXXI General Assembly Business Sessions Draw to a Close

The XXXI General Assembly Business Sessions of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) ended today. The virtual meetings this week included pre-business The IAU Today sessions, with talks by international prizewinners, IAU PhD Prize winners, and leaders of IAU Offices and Executive Committee Working Groups. The scientific sessions of the XXXI General Assembly will take place in Busan in August 2022.

At the General Assembly Business Sessions, the IAU welcomed Botswana as a new National Member, and Bolivia, Ecuador, and Iraq as Observers. The General Assembly also approved 11 Honorary Members, 281 new Individual Members, and 191 new Junior Members. The fraction of females is 35% among Junior Members, and 21% overall for IAU Members. This is an increase of 3% as compared with 2018.

The budget and accounts for 2018–2021 were presented. The budget for the next triennium was presented and approved, along with a change to the Bye-laws regarding the timing of budget submissions. The new members of the Finance Committee and the Special Nominating Committee were approved. Division Presidents and Vice Presidents were also formally announced.

The four IAU Officers approved for the next triennium are:

  • President: Debra Meloy Elmegreen
  • General Secretary: José Miguel Rodriguez Espinosa
  • President-elect: Willy Benz
  • Assistant General Secretary: Diana Worrall

Three new Vice Presidents join the Executive Committee: Hyesung Kang, Solomon Tessema and Ilya Usoskin. They will serve along with second-term VPs Laura Ferrarese, Daniela Lazzaro and Junichi Watanabe.

In her welcome address, President Debra Elmegreen said, “We are extremely grateful to outgoing President Ewine van Dishoeck and outgoing General Secretary Teresa Lago for their exemplary leadership. As we begin to emerge from the unprecedented 1.5 years of global devastation on many fronts, we have opportunities to strengthen the IAU and its work. Some of our new initiatives focus on education, training, Dark and Quiet Skies, and Climate and Climate Change. Underlying all our efforts is our desire to have an inclusive, welcoming astronomical community that unites us. Of course the core of the IAU is our scientific meetings, where we share our discoveries and ideas about the Universe. I hope to see many of you in Busan for the XXXI General Assembly in 2022!

Four new Resolutions were presented at the General Assembly:

  1. Resolution B1 in support of the protection of geodetic radio astronomy against radio frequency interference.
  2. Resolution B2 on the improvement of the Earth’s rotation theories and models.
  3. Resolution B3 on the Gaia Celestial Reference Frame.
  4. Resolution B4 on the use of a standard photometric system in ultraviolet (UV) astronomy.

Voting for the resolutions takes place between 26 August and 10 September 2021, after which the results will be announced.

Outgoing President Ewine van Dishoeck concluded, “This has been an unusual, and an unusually busy, triennium in many ways: starting to implement the new Strategic Plan, celebrating 100 years of the IAU worldwide just before the pandemic hit, and subsequently addressing major challenges while being far apart. I want to thank the entire IAU family for their huge efforts to bring the dream of ‘Astronomy for All’ a step closer to reality.

More information

The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 12 000 active professional astronomers from more than 100 countries worldwide. Its mission is to promote and safeguard astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomers.



Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Press Officer
Cell: +1 520 461 0433
Email: lars.christensen@noirlab.edu


The four IAU Officers 2021–2024
Debra Elmegreen
Jose Miguel Rodriguez Espinosa, IAU General Secretary
Willy Benz, IAU President Elect
Diana Worrall, IAU Assistant General Secretary