Executive Board

Our Executive Board is made up of 12 individuals who are all committed to and passionate about building a strong Commonwealth Chemistry community that champions the chemical sciences and its contribution to society.

Established in February 2020, the Board includes the President, six appointed members and five elected members. Each board member serves a term of three years (other than in the starting phase where the terms are staggered to avoid major changes to the Executive Board in a single year).

Vicki Gardiner Australia Illustration of Australian flag

Dr Vicki Gardiner is Canberra Territory Manager for the Australian Computer Society. She is a Chartered Chemist with experience in education, business development, organisational excellence, research and development and stakeholder engagement. Vicki is the immediate Past President of the Royal Australian Chemistry Institute (RACI) and a board director of the ARRB Group, Australia’s national transport research organisation. She has held senior management positions in academia, government, SME and industry not-for-profits. 

Vicki is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) and Companion and Engineering Executive of Engineers Australia. In 2012, Vicki was appointed the RACI National Convenor for the 2011 International Year of Chemistry in recognition of her contribution to the promotion of science.

Over the past 20 years, Vicki has designed and managed government funded research, capital and skills development projects worth over $1 million. She has two patents and has published over 40 articles in international peer reviewed journals, industry and general interest publications. She is also a public commentator on public policy.

Vicki outlines her vision for Commonwealth Chemistry.

Neil Coville South Africa Illustration of South African flag

Neil Coville obtained his B.Sc. (Hons) and M.Sc. degrees at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, before proceeding to McGill University, Montreal in 1968 where he obtained his PhD degree (1973). After post-doctoral work at Harvard University he returned to Wits in 1976. He worked his way through the ranks in the School of Chemistry, from lecturer to Chair of Inorganic Chemistry before becoming an Emeritus Professor.

He is a member of two DSI-NRF Centres of Excellence (Catalysis; Strong Materials) and maintains an active research group. His research work is focussed on carbon chemistry – synthesis and applications – and this has led to many studies on the shaping and doping of carbons.  The applications include the use of the carbons as catalysts supports (e.g. in Fischer-Tropsch catalysis) and for use in sensors and solar cells.

Neil’s vision for Commonwealth Chemistry:

“The UN Sustainable Development Goals have laid down the future problems/directions that face the world and my vision would be to promote the role of  the chemical sciences, through Commonwealth Chemistry, in addressing these goals.”

Photo of Professor Neil Coville


Genevieve Adukpo Ghana Illustration of Ghana flag

Dr. Genevieve Etornam Adukpo is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry, School of Physical Sciences, University of Cape Coast (UCC). She holds a PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from Universät Bremen, Germany, and MPhil and BSc degrees in Chemistry (Natural Product) and a Diploma in Science Education, all from the University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana. Her areas of research include isolation and characterization of bioactive natural products, chemical analysis of foods and preparative organic synthesis.
Dr. Adukpo was the immediate acting Head of the Department of Chemistry, UCC. She was also the Director at the Centre for Gender Research, Advocacy and Documentation (CEGRAD), UCC. She has keen interest in Gender-Science, Technology & ICT and has been coordinating and facilitating gender related activities. Through her involvement at CEGRAD, Dr Adukpo has organised and promoted lots of gender activities like Gender Awareness and Gender Analysis workshops, harnessing Girls’ Potential in Science Education, Sexual Harassment Training, among others. She is also involved in promoting and empowering women and girls in STEM and lifelong education.
Dr. Adukpo has been a Local Trainer in Ghana for PACN-Royal Society Chemistry – GC-MS Training since 2016. She is also the campus Co-ordinator for the Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), UCC, and a past President for the Ghana Science Association, Cape Coast Branch.
Dr. Adukpo belongs to the following professional bodies: Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), Pan African Chemistry Network (PACN), Graduate Women International (GWI), Western Africa Network of Natural Products Research Scientists (WANNPRES), Organization for Women in Science for Developing Countries (OWSD), Ghana Chemical Society (GCS), Ghana Science Association (GSA), Ghana Association of University Women (GAUW) under Graduate Women International (GWI)

Genevieve’s vision for Commonwealth Chemistry:

“That Commonwealth Chemistry will facilitate and equip the developing world in the area of chemical education.”

Photo of Dr Genevieve Adukpo

Michael Forde Trinidad and Tobago Illustration of Trinidad and Tobago flag

Dr Michael Forde obtained his MChem at the University of Edinburgh in 2008 and a PhD in heterogeneous catalysis at Cardiff University in 2012. He currently holds a senior lectureship in chemistry at the University of the West Indies St Augustine Campus and administers the final year speciality courses in industrial chemistry, green chemistry, and science. 

Michael’s academic research lies at the frontiers of materials design for green catalysis with research projects covering green methane partial oxidation, zeolite and nanomaterials synthesis and photocatalytic upgrading of biomass. He is also involved in several outreach initiatives and projects ranging from end-of-life tyre recycling to community-based greenhouse crop cultivation. 

Outside of academia, Michael runs a cosmetic and personal care manufacturing business and is Director of the Divine Temple of Light in Trinidad and Tobago.

Michael’s vision for Commonwealth Chemistry:

“That Commonwealth Chemistry will create opportunities for excellent science and organic global partnerships among the family of Commonwealth chemists.”

Peter Mallon South Africa Illustration of South Africa flag

Professor Peter Mallon has served as Executive Head of the Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science at Stellenbosch University since 2014. He joined Stellenbosch University in 2002 after spending time at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, in the USA, first as a postdoctoral research associate and then as a visiting assistant professor of chemistry. He currently serves as President of the South African Chemical Institute (SACI) and is a member of the IUPAC Polymer Division and a member of the Subcommittee on Polymer Terminology.

Peter’s research interests lie in the investigation of the structure-property relationship in complex polymer materials including semi-crystalline polymers, multiphase copolymers, nano-structured polymers and nano-filled polymer composites. 

In April 2010, Peter received the International Material Science Researcher Award at POLYCHAR 18 in Siegen, Germany. 

Peter’s vision for Commonwealth Chemistry: 

“To harness the collective knowledge, wisdom and experience of all chemists within the Commonwealth to promote chemistry for the benefit of all.”

Sarah Masters New Zealand Illustration of New Zealand flag

Associate Professor Sarah Masters is a structural chemist in the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. 

Educated at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, she moved to New Zealand in 2011. Her research focuses on the determination of molecular structure in the gas phase and computational approaches to supporting gas phase experimental data interpretation. She is a passionate teacher of many aspects of chemistry, from ‘what is in an atom and how do we know?’, to advanced methods to analyse molecular materials. 

Sarah is Past President of the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry.

Sarah’s vision for Commonwealth Chemistry: 
“A connected Commonwealth Chemistry community that supports each other through resources and knowledge to undertake vital research towards supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

Deborah Nicoll-Griffith Canada Illustration of Canadian flag

Dr Nicoll-Griffith studied biochemistry, natural product synthetic organic chemistry and bioanalytical chemistry during her academic years at Bishop’s University, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Toronto. 

After her postdoctoral fellowships, she entered the pharmaceutical industry where she worked as a researcher and senior director for over 25 years. She contributed to the discovery of numerous drug candidates and marketed therapies for asthma, pain and infectious diseases, including HIV. 

Deborah served as President of the Canadian Society for Chemistry (2018-2020) and is proud to represent Canada on the Executive Board of Commonwealth Chemistry.

Deborah’s vision for Commonwealth Chemistry: 

“In order for human societies to be successful and thrive, they need trading partners. The Commonwealth has always been rich in trade and I see Commonwealth Chemistry as a means through which we can share our research ideas, collaborate, and enrich each other through meaningful partnerships that bring benefit to all members of our respective societies.”

Head shot of Deborah Nicoll-Griffith

Naumih Noah Kenya Illustration of Kenyan flag

Naumih Noah is an Associate Professor of Analytical/Bioanalytical Chemistry in the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at the United States International University-Africa in Kenya. She holds a PhD in Analytical/Bioanalytical Chemistry from the State University of New York at Binghamton, USA, a Masters of Analytical Chemistry from the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan, and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. She has a passion for teaching, research, and mentoring students. She is also passionate about inclusivity and diversity for all in research and community work. Her research focuses on the development and validation of biosensors for the detection of infectious diseases and the integration of nanotechnology in health care in developing countries.

She is a member of the Kenya Chemical Society (KCS), the Organizing Secretary of the KCS Nairobi Chapter and a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC). 

Naumih’s vision for Commonwealth Chemistry: 

“That Commonwealth Chemistry will create excellent opportunities for partnerships and collaborations in science research supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, as well as supporting equality and diversity in the chemical sciences across Commonwealth countries.”

Photo of Dr Naumih Noah

Sourav Pal India Illustration of Indian flag

Professor Sourav Pal is Director of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata. He was formerly the Director of the CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune, where he worked for almost 33 years, and was instrumental in setting up its Electronic Structure Theory Group. 

A distinguished theoretical chemist, Sourav has contributed to methodological and conceptual developments on many-body electronic structure theory, the area of density-based chemical reactivity, and catalytic and hydrogen storage materials using computational material science.

Sourav has served as President of the Chemical Research Society of India. Currently, he is Chairman of Chemical Division Council of Bureau of Indian Standards. He was a Council member of the Indian National Science Academy (2017 – 2020). Sourav sits on the Editorial Advisory Board of The Journal of Physical Chemistry and has published more than 280 papers in international peer reviewed journals. He is also author of Mathematics in Chemistry

His awards include the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in Chemical Sciences (2000) and the SASTRA-CNR Rao Award in Chemistry & Materials Science (2014). 

Sourav’s vision for Commonwealth Chemistry: 

“To promote chemical science for the good of the people and bring equality across Commonwealth countries with gender neutrality.”

Head shot of Sourav Pal

Ale Palermo UK Illustration of British flag

Ale is a chemical engineer with a PhD in materials science. Her independent career began as an Assistant Professor in Argentina, before joining Cambridge University under a Royal Society Visiting Fellowship. She has published over 50 scientific papers in the field of heterogeneous catalysis.

Her previous roles at the RSC have included managing international work in India and Latin America and the setting up and leading the Pan Africa Chemistry Network. She led the Future of the Chemical Sciences initiative to guide the development of the RSC long-term strategy. 

Ale’s RSC I&D work has resulted in several influential data led, strategic policy reports aimed at driving change towards an inclusive chemistry culture, many of which have had global reach. . Her work has been recognized twice by the Public Relations and Communications Associations in 2019 and 2020.  Ale worked to launch the RSC Bullying and Harassment support line and grant schemes that focus on accessibility and career development.  She launched the LGBT+Toolkit and works with partners to support chemistry students and graduates from minoritised racial and ethnic backgrounds to pursue careers in chemistry, and a national mentoring programme for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students in year 12. Her most recent work focuses on Socio Economic Inclusion and the launch of a grant scheme to fund research looking at attrition and retention of LGBT+ people within STEM in the UK and the USA.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a life fellow of the Chemical Research Society of India, a member of IUPAC and an honorary Fellow of the Chemical Society of Ethiopia.

Ale’s vision for Commonwealth Chemistry: 

“I believe Commonwealth Chemistry will be a forum for chemists with shared values to work together to support the development of chemistry and chemists in every Commonwealth nation.”

Photo of Ale Palermo in front of shelves of books

Priyani Paranagama Sri Lanka Illustration of Sri Lanka flag

Professor Paranagama is Chair of Chemistry at the University of Kelaniya, and Director of the Institute of Indigenous Medicine, University of Colombo. 

Priyani obtained her MPhil and PhD in bioorganic chemistry from University of Kelaniya in 1990 and the University of Glasgow in 1994 respectively. She has published over 54 research papers, 120 communications, written or edited 11 books and successfully supervised over 21 postgraduate students. 

During 2019/2020 she served as President of the Institute of Chemistry Ceylon. She is a Chartered Chemist (CChem) and her awards include the Dr C L de Silva Gold medal (2015) and the Professor M U S Sultanbawa gold medal (2008). 

Priyani’s research interests are the isolation and characterisation of natural products, analysis of spices and essential oils, value addition of natural products and toxicity of trace metals.

Priyani’s vision for Commonwealth Chemistry: 

“To implement and strengthen the UN Sustainable Development Goals to ensure prosperity for all.

Datuk Ting-Kueh Soon Malaysia Illustration of Malaysia flag

Datuk ChM Dr Soon Ting-Kueh is very active in promoting the advancement of chemistry in Malaysia, Asia and the rest of the world. He has served on the IKM Council since 1988, and has held many positions, including acting as Chairman of the Chemical Education Section since 1988 and President from 2007 to 2014 and again since 2018. With his involvement, IKM has organised many international conferences and meetings such as the 7th Asian Chemical Congress (7ACC) in 2007, the 10th Asian Conference on Analytical Sciences (ASIANALYSIS X) in 2009, the IUPAC International Conference on Chemical Research Applied to World Needs (CHEMRAWN XIX) in 2011 and the 24th IUPAC International Conference in Chemistry Education (ICCE) in Kuching, Malaysia in 2016. IKM is also actively involved in advancing the chemistry profession in Malaysia.

Dr Soon is also very active in the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies (FACS), including holding the positions of President (2007–2009) and Treasurer (2016–2020). In the last few years, he has been especially active in promoting collaborations among FACS member societies, organising joint meetings in Malaysia, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

In 2012, Datuk Dr Soon was conferred a Honorary Doctorate by the Kazan National Research Technological University, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia and in 2013, he was admitted as an Honorary Fellow of the Singapore National Institute of Chemistry. For his contribution to the advancement of chemistry in Asia and the Pacific, Datuk Dr Soon Ting-Kueh was awarded the 2015 FACS Citation Award. Datuk Dr Soon was elected as a Member of the Executive Board of Commonwealth Chemistry in May 2022.

Ting-Kueh’s vision for Commonwealth Chemistry:

“Due to the diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds in the Commonwealth, Commonwealth Chemistry must practice diversity, equity and inclusiveness in the implementation of its programmes.”

Photo of Professor Datuk Soon Ting-Kueh

Sandeep Verma India Illustration of Indian flag

Professor Sandeep Verma is a Professor at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, affiliated with the Department of Chemistry, Center for Nanoscience, Mehta Center for Engineering in Medicine, and Center for Environmental Science and Engineering. He is currently the Professor In-Charge (Head) of the Gangwal School of Medical Sciences and Technology, IIT Kanpur. Sandeep’s research interests include chemical neuroscience, small molecule-stem cell modulation, and new antibiotics. With more than 220 publications and several patents till date, his work has been recognized by the Distinguished Alumnus Award of Banaras Hindu University, Society for Materials Chemistry Gold Medal, J C Bose Fellowship, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, and Department of Atomic Energy Outstanding Investigator Award, to name a few.

Sandeep is an elected Fellow of Indian National Science Academy, Indian Academy of Sciences, and National Academy of Sciences, India; Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering; and Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry (UK). He is an Associate Editor of Chemical Communications (Royal Society of Chemistry, UK) and serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of ChemBioChem (Wiley). He is also Director of his new start-up, Stablin Biosciences, focused on production and formulation strategies of thermostable therapeutic proteins.

Sandeep’s vision for Commonwealth Chemistry:

“To be the leading voice in the world in supporting inclusion and diversity in chemical science education and translational research for societal good”.