Our Team

EF Board 2019

2019 Elsevier Foundation Board Meeting.

On a day to day basis, the Elsevier Foundation is run by a small core team. In addition to supporting our annual programmatic funding, Elsevier offers in kind support through office space, design and media outreach, as well as additional volunteer support as needed from throughout the company.

Ylann Schemm

Executive Director

As the Elsevier Foundation’s Director, Ylann Schemm drives inclusive health and research partnerships to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals building research capacity in developing countries and tackling health inequities. She has been an integral part of the Foundation’s growth since joining as a Program Officer in 2008. In addition, Ylann is Elsevier’s Vice President of Corporate Responsibility, building on two decades of corporate relations and responsibility roles which focus on gender, ‘sound science’ and sustainability collaborations. Since 2015, she has served as the Co-Chair of Elsevier’s Gender Equity Taskforce which shapes Elsevier’s contributions to inclusive research from gender balance in editorial boards to sex and gender analysis in Research. From June 2020- June 2022, Ylann was also served as the Chair of Research4Life’s Executive Council, a UN-publisher partnership to bridge access gaps for researchers and doctors in developing countries.
Prior to joining Elsevier in 2005, Ylann held various roles in publishing and the non-profit sector, representing the European Platform for Dutch Education at the European Commission. She started her career as a writer and researcher for Time Life Books and holds an MA in Film & Television Studies from the University of Amsterdam and a BA, magna cum laude in English from Amherst College in Massachusetts. Ylann is both American and Dutch and based in Amsterdam.

Domiziana Francescon

Partnerships Director

Domiziana Francescon serves as the Elsevier Foundation’s Partnerships Director and is a strong supporter of the company’s Corporate Responsibility program. She also works as Program Director for Elsevier’s externally focused partnerships, especially in sustainability and Inclusion & Diversity spaces. Additionally, Domiziana is the Co-Chair of the Communications team of Research4Life, a UN-publisher partnership to bridge access gaps for researchers and doctors in developing countries. Domiziana obtained a master’s degree in Book and Digital Media Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands, with a specialization in Publishing Studies.

Maha Rhannam


Maha Rhannam works as a coordinator for the Elsevier Foundation, supporting in that the Foundation's partnerships and activities, as well as promoting the its activities online. Maha obtained a master’s degree in International Development Studies from the University of Amsterdam. Prior to that, she served as a sustainability analyst for Vigeo-Eiris, a CSR rating agency. She also has extensive experience in research, having worked as a research assistant on various projects related to education and gender-based violence in sub-Saharan Africa. She grew up in Morocco and is based in Amsterdam.

Rebecca Clear

Communications Director

Rebecca joins Elsevier from the global conservation charity, the World Wide Fund for Nature, where since 2017, she has served as the Head of Media Relations for WWF International, leading on a range of proactive communications projects and issue management. Prior to this, she spent two years with WWF-UK working on business media and corporate stewardship communications. Rebecca brings a wealth of experience gathered over many years in the non-profit sector, as well as private and social enterprise, and from earlier in her career at the BBC.

Maria Markova


In her role as the Elsevier Foundation treasurer, Maria supports the funding of non-profit organisations around the world. Maria is a Finance Director based in Amsterdam, leading Indirect Cost Center of Excellence team. Before this she worked in other Elsevier finance teams, covering sales, revenues and costs, focusing on specific business units and looking at total Elsevier. Prior to joining Elsevier, Maria was a management consultant with PwC in London. She acquired her MBA degree at Oxford University and is a Chartered Management Accountant.

Kenneth R. Thompson II

Legal Council

Kenneth R. Thompson II was appointed as RELX Group General Counsel on October 1, 2011. In his role, he has global responsibility for the intellectual property, privacy, governance, compliance and securities law functions for RELX Group. Prior to serving in this capacity, Mr. Thompson served as the Executive Vice President and Global Chief Legal Officer for LexisNexis, an operating division of RELX Group.