Prof. Romain Murenzi serves as the executive director of TWAS, The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries, based in Trieste, Italy. He directs a secretariat that administers some 500 PhD and postdoctoral fellowships per year for scientists from developing countries, plus USD$1.7 million in research grants for individuals and research groups in developing countries. Murenzi also plays a key role in global science diplomacy and science policy initiatives. Murenzi joined TWAS in April 2011. Before that, he served eight years as Rwanda’s Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Scientific Research, and from March 2006 to July 2009 as Minister in the President’s Office in Charge of Science, Technology, and Scientific Research, with responsibilities including Information and Communications Technology. In 2009 he was a senior scholar at the Center for Science, Technology and Sustainable Development at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); he served as director from 2010-2011. He also was visiting professor at the University of Maryland.
Murenzi was born in Rwanda in 1959 and raised in Burundi. He graduated from the National University of Burundi in 1982. He received his master’s degree (1986) in physics and his PhD (1990) from Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. He was a physics professor at Clark Atlanta University (USA) from 1993 to 2001, serving as physics department chair from 1999 to 2001. In 2013 he earned a Master of Law degree in Information Technology and Telecommunication from the University of Strathclyde (UK). His major areas of research include multidimensional continuous wavelet transforms to quantum mechanics, image and video processing, and science and technology policy.
Murenzi was elected a fellow of TWAS in 2005 and a fellow of the African Academy of Sciences in 2012. He serves on the board of directors for the Global Research Council (GRC), on the board of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International and on the Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solution Network (SDSN). In November 2014 he has been appointed by the UN Secretary-General as the Chair of the High-level Panel of Technology Bank and Science, Technology and Innovation Supporting Mechanism for the Least Developed Countries.