management imgThe COPERNICUS Alliance was established and is run by members, for its members. It is registered as an NGO non-for-profit organisation under German law. The CA is self-financed and uses its funds to achieve its mission. It also seeks external funding for projects and activities.

The network is coordinated by a Leadership Team and supported by an Advisory Board and a Network Manager. The Leadership Team and Advisory Board members are volunteering positions. The President is elected every second year by the CA members and the Advisory Board. The Executive Director is elected for a period of four years.



Leadership Team


  • Dr. Anne Zimmermann, University of Bern    President | 2019 - 2020   

Anne Zimmermann

Anne Zimmermann is a senior research scientist at the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, and Head of CDE’s Education for Sustainable Development cluster. She holds a doctorate in English languages and literatures, with a focus on post-colonial studies. She joined CDE in 1999 and has focused on issues related to integrating sustainable development into research and teaching ever since. Currently, she is a member of a small team that is supporting the Vice-Rectorate Quality’s efforts to mainstream sustainable development in teaching at all faculties. She is also involved in researching and publishing on transformative learning and science for sustainable development, and is a member of the SAGUF’s Working Group on Education for Sustainable Development. She has long-term experience of teaching inter- and transdisciplinary research skills in a North-South context and is committed to supporting young researchers' skills through offering scientific writing courses. She also coordinated efforts to support young women’s careers as well as mainstream gender in research in the 12-year NCCR North-South programme. 

  • Dr. Ingrid Mulà, University of Girona    Executive Director | 2019 - 2022       currently on maternity leave  

MulaIngrid Mulà is research and knowledge transfer manager at the Institute of Educational Research (IRE) at University of Girona. She holds a doctorate in Sustainability from the University of Gloucestershire, with a focus on social learning and institutional change for sustainable development in higher education. She joined the IRE in November 2017 with the specific role of supporting researchers' projects and outputs especially in the area of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Her research trajectory has always focused on researching and bringing about change for sustainability at the university level. During her time in the UK, Ingrid coordinated the COPERNICUS Alliance secretariat (2012-14) and took a pivotal role in writing, and coordinating the “University Educators for Sustainable Development (UE4SD)” which involved 53 universities in 33 countries. In addition to this, she coordinated a United Nations University Regional Centre of Expertise in ESD (UNU RCE Severn) and actively participated in the RCE global network.  

  • Mario Diethart, University of Graz    Network Manager  

DiethartMario Diethart holds a master in Environmental System Sciences with focus on geography from the University of Graz. He is working in the field of ESD as part of the Regional Centre of Expertise Graz-Styria. He was involved in various EU research projects focusing on innovative teaching and learning (e-learning, international, intergenerational settings) and more recently on city planning and participatory methods in mobility projects. Before assuming the role as Network Manager in the COPERNICUS Alliance he served as Finance Administrator of the network.  

  • University of Girona    Network Coordinating Institution  


Advisory Board

The Advisory Board is elected every four years by the CA members and consists of:

  • Prof Matthias Barth, Professor for Education for Sustainable Development, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany
  • Prof Anna Maria Geli, Professor at the University of Girona (UoG), Former Rector of UoG and President of CADEP-CRUE (2005-13), Spain
  • Prof Hans van Ginkel, Former Under Secretary General of United Nations, Rector of the United Nations University and Rector of Utrecht University, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Mr Dario Piselli, Law student at the University of Siena and Founder of Greening USiena, Italy
  • Prof Alessandra Viviani, Deputy Director, Department of Political and International Sciences, Associate Professor of International Human Rights Protection, former Vice Rector for International Relations (2010 -2016), University of Siena, Italy

  • Prof Doris Wastl-Walter, Professor of Human Geography and former Vice-Rector for Quality (2011-2017), University of Bern, Switzerland