Valentino Cavalli

Chairman of the Board of  Trustees

Valentino Cavalli is chair of the board since the start of the Vietsch Foundation in 2014.  He is an experienced leader in IT, computer networking technologies and policies, project management and acquisition. His management skills include strategy and policy development, business and administration. He has an extensive network of relations with partners internationally.

Valentino graduated in philosophy from the University of Urbino in Italy in 1987. With interests in logic programming and Artificial Intelligence, he followed post-graduation studies after which, in 1989, he started working as software analyst and project manager for Omega Generation, an IT start-up.

Valentino moved to the Netherlands in 1999, where he worked for the Trans European Research and Education Networking Association (TERENA, later GÉANT). He was hired by Karel Vietsch initially as Project Development Officer. After a few years working on Research and Development projects he became Chief Technical Officer and later succeeded Karel as general manager of the Association, a function he retained until he left the organisation in 2016. Valentino has served as Open Science officer at LIBER the European Association of Research Libraries and as Strategy and Innovation Officer at

Sergi Figuerola

Member of the Board of Trustees

   Sergi Figuerola serves as the Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at
i2CAT since May 2013. He holds an MSc and a PhD in Telecommunication
Engineering from the Theory and Signal Communications department of the
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). Additionally, Dr. Figuerola
completed the Program for Management Development (PDG-2019) at IESE Business
School and obtained a Master's degree in Project Management from La Salle
(Universitat Ramon Llull - URL).

He also holds positions as a Board Member of the Spanish Digital
Association, AMETIC, and the Catalan Telecom association,
Within i2CAT, he provides leadership to various strategic transversal roles
and oversees the nine R&D areas. Over the past two decades, Dr. Figuerola
has fulfilled pivotal roles in research projects, having served as Project
Coordinator three times, such as in the 5GCity 5GPPP H2020 project, and
Technical Manager in the FP7 GEYSERS project among others. He has
participated in more than 50 peer reviewed scientific papers, acted as TPC
from different conferences (i.e. OFC), ICT projects reviewer, chair of
working groups and speaker and moderator in several conferences . His
primary research interests lie in the domains of 5G/6G, Next Generation
Internet, New Space, and Open Innovation.

Jean-Claude Guédon

Member of  the Board of  Trustees

Jean-Claude Guédon is a retired professor from the Université de Montréal. He received his Ph. D. in
history of science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1974. He taught at the Université de
Montréal from 1973 until his retirement in December 2017, first in the Institut d’histoire et de sociopolitique
des sciences, and later in Littérature comparée. He was a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins
University (1975), Université Louis-Pasteur (Strasbourg, 1983), École des Chartes (Paris, 2001),
Université Lyon-II (2003), University of São Paulo in 2008, University of Amsterdam in 2010 and the
Politecnico of Turin in 2011.

The distinctions he received include being one of the three laureates of the Charles-Hélou international
prize for francophonie in 1996. He was named « Joseph Leiter NLM/MLA Lecturer » for the 100-year
anniversary of the MLA (1998), Fleck Fellow at the Banff Centre for the Arts (2002 and 2003). He
chaired the Advisory Board of the Canadian library consortium CNSLP (now known as CRKN). He
received the award for outstanding achievement, Computing in the Arts and Humanities, from the
Society for the Digital Humanities in 2005. In 2001 and early 2002, he participated to the meeting and
the drafting of the Budapest Open Access Initiative. He was a member of the Information Sub-Board of
the Open Society Foundations between 2002 and 2006. Between 2006 and 2009, he acted as vice-
President for the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and the Social Sciences. He began acting as
expert for the European Commission in 2008. Since 2011, he has been a trustee of the Nexa Center
(Internet and Society) of the Politecnico in Turin. Between 2017 and 2019, he was Chair and
(ultimately) rapporteur of Expert Group on the Future of Scholarly Communication and Publishing
systems for the European Commission. In 2021, he was awarded a doctorate honoris causa from the
Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (Mendoza, Argentina). He joined the Board of the Vietsch Foundation
as member at large in December 2023.

In 1991, he started an electronic scholarly journal, Surfaces, the first in Canada, that was published
until 2000, and is still accessible on the site of Érudit (

His publications include three books and about 140 other publications, most of which of a scholarly


Victor Reijs

Member of the  Board of  Trustees

Victor Reijs retired in 2021 and has a long track record working for KPN Telecom Research, SURFnet, HEAnet and SIDN. He was involved in many networking technologies and services from earlier alternatives for IPv6 to  development and operation of X.25, IP, ATM, optical links and point-to-point services. He was instrumental to national and international developments on Network as a Service (NaaS/SDN) and clouds in the Netherlands and Ireland, and in GÉANT. He contributed to study and development of alternative protocols, such as SCION, RINA and NDN as part of the 2STiC (Security, Stability and Transparency in inter-network Communication) program of SIDN.

Victor studied electrical engineering (BEng, 1977) at Avans University, microwave technology at University Twente (MSc, 1983) and cultural astronomy at University of Wales TSD (MA CAA, 2015). In 2022 he successfully passed the traditional wind miller exam.

Pekka Kähkipuro

Member of the Board of   Trustees

Pekka Kähkipuro is Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Tampere University, Finland.

Prior to joining Tampere, Pekka was CIO at Brunel University UK 2016-2021, Director of IT at Aalto University in Finland 2010-2015 and, before that, he held various senior roles in the private sector including Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks in 2005-2010. Pekka obtained his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Helsinki in 2000. He has been Board member of the European University Information Systems (EUNIS) organization on two occasions and the President of EUNIS in 2015. He has also been board member and Chairman of the Board in several private sector companies.

Kathleen Shearer

Member of  the Board of  Trustees

Kathleen Shearer is the Executive Director of COAR (Confederation of Open Access Repositories), an international association of repository initiatives with a membership of over 150 institutions worldwide from over 40 countries on all 5 continents. COAR’s aim is to enhance the visibility and application of research outputs through a global network of open access repositories based on international collaboration and interoperability.

Kathleen Shearer has been working in the area of open access, open science, scholarly communications, and research data management for over 20 years. She has been the Executive Director of COAR since 2013, and participates in numerous other organizations in Canada and internationally. She is an active member of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) and other initiatives related to open science. Most recently in April 2020, Shearer published a paper with colleagues on the need for bibliodiversity in open scholarly communications called Fostering Bibliodiversity in Scholarly Communications: A Call for Action. Shearer is also a Research Associate with the Canadian Association of Research Libraries and was instrumental in launching the Portage Initiative in Canada, a national research data management network.

Antoinette Vietsch

Treasurer of the Board of  Trustees

Antoinette Vietsch is owner and director of AVI research and consultancy since 2010.

Antoinette graduated in 1983 from Delft University of Technology as an architect. She got her PhD at Eindhoven University of Technology in 1987. She worked for Eindhoven University of Technology, Medical Architecture Research Unit in London, National Board for Health Institutes (Bouwcollege) and Twynstra Gudde consultancy in the Netherlands. She also was a member of the Council for mail and telecommunication (Raad van Advies voor Post en Telecommunicatie) in the Netherlands (1991-1996). From 2002 to 2010 she was a Member of the Dutch Parliament.

John Dyer

Secretary of the Board of Trustees

John Dyer has worked in the field of networking for the Research and Education community since 1986. During this time he worked for the Joint Network Team, UKERNA and JANET the UK research and education network.

In 1999 he moved to the Trans-European Research & Education Networking Association (TERENA) where he held the posts of Chief Technical Officer and Business & Technology Strategist based in Amsterdam. John remained with the organisation after it was subsumed into the GÉANT Association until he left the organisation at the end of March 2016.

John studied Physical Sciences at Oxford Polytechnic (now Oxford Brookes University) where he was awarded a BSc with First Class Honours. His Final Year Project was in the area of Nuclear Science with a particular emphasis on automation of data capture and handling techniques.

He successfully completed a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) during 2001