Organization - Executive Committee

President: Belinda Tynan

Professor Belinda Tynan is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Vice-President  at RMIT University, Australia. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education (DVC(E)) is accountable to the Vice-Chancellor for the academic performance of the University. The DVC(E) has responsibility for the quality and overall design of academic programs, student administration and services, academic performance (including promotion); updating of teaching pedagogy, delivery mechanisms and learning resources; and student access, including the Ngarara Willim Centre. As a member of the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive, the DVC(E) contributes to RMIT strategic planning, in particular education and student services planning. 

Asha Singh Kanwar

President & Chief Executive Officer, Commonwealth of Learning. Executive Committee member 2016-2019.

Professor Asha Singh Kanwar became President and Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) on 1 June 2012. She has served COL for 12 years, first as an Education Specialist – Higher Education and Policy and then as its Vice President for six years.

Before joining COL, Professor Kanwar was a consultant in open and distance learning at UNESCO’s Regional Office for Education in Africa (BREDA) in Dakar, Senegal. She has over 30 years of experience in teaching, research and administration.


Neil Fassina

President, Athabasca University. Executive Committee member 2018 - 2021. 
Dr. Neil Fassina started as the President of Athabasca University (AU) in October 2016. Neil joined AU from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) where he served as the Provost and Vice President Academic and the Dean of the JR Shaw School of Business and the School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts. In prior roles, Dr. Fassina was a Tenured Associate Professor and Department Head in the Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba.

Ansary Ahmed

President/CEO, Asia e University. Executive Committee member 2018 – 2021. 

Prof Dato Ansary obtained his PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. He first started his career as a tutor in University of Malaya rose to Professor and held several administrative posts. At the national level, he has been actively involved as Steering committee member of National Bio-technology Group and was the the Project Leader, Senior Vice President and co-founder of Open University of Malaysia. He worked as Special Science Officer at Malaysian Industry Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) the Science Advisor Office, Prime Minister’s Department. And served as member of several national task forces in science, technology and education and is presently National Chairman for e learning. He is also a member of Academic Committees of IBBM as well as Razak School of Government.


Hazel Rymer

Pro Vice Chancellor (Learning and Teaching Innovation), The Open University of UK. Executive Committee member 2018 - 2021. 

I am currently Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching Innovation) of the Open University – a university with over 170,000 students across the UK and internationally. Prior to this I was Dean and Director of Studies, Faculty of Science – a faculty which teaches over 20,000 students. I have held a senior leadership position since 2003, when I entered Academic Management as the faculty’s Associate Dean. In my recent roles, I have successfully introduced policy changes and delivered academic leadership in teaching and learning, quality assurance and enhancement and widening participation. These policy and management roles have been undertaken alongside my teaching and research. Retaining academic ‘currency’ alongside the policy roles is important in my view.


Tolly.S.A. Mbwette

Professor of Environmental Engineering at The College of Engineering and Technology at The University of Dares Salaam as well as a Professor of Environmental Science and Technology at The Open University of Tanzania (OUT,) . Executive Committee member 2018 – 2019.

Prof. Tolly.S.A. Mbwette is a Professor of Environmental Engineering at The College of Engineering and Technology at The University of Dar es Salaam as well as a Professor of Environmental Science and Technology at The Open University of Tanzania (OUT,) where he concluded his two terms of five years each as Vice Chancellor in April 2015. He has previously been an Honorary COL Advisor and a UNESCO COL Professor on ODL. He is currently The President of The Pan African University Council as well as The Chairman of The African Network for Internationalisation of Education (ANIE). He is a former President of The African Council on Distance Education (ACDE) and Chair of The Governing Board of IUCEA. He has served on the Boards of The Association of Commonwealth Universities and The AAU Governing Board.