Our Team

2023 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, where she works with partners around the world to establish collaborations that advance inclusive research and health – supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. She also serves as Program Director for Elsevier’s corporate responsibility partnerships, especially focusing on sustainability and Inclusion & Diversity spaces. Additionally, Domiziana is the Co-Chair of the Eligibility team of Research4Life (www.research4life.org) , a UN-publisher partnership to bridge access gaps for researchers and doctors in the Global South – and she is actively involved in marketing and fundraising initiatives for the partnership.

Maha Rhannam

Corporate Responsibility Manager

Maha Rhannam works as a coordinator for the Elsevier Foundation, supporting the Foundation's partnerships and activities, as well as promoting 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 his role as Elsevier Foundation treasurer, Michal Jablonka supports the funding of non-profit organizations around the world. Michal is a business controller at Elsevier, serving as a bridge between various teams and stakeholders, facilitating communication and aiding in the decision-making process. He also plays a pivotal role in forecasting, providing insights to drive strategic initiatives. Michal obtained master’s degrees in finance and management from the Warsaw School of Economics and the University of Glasgow.

Kenneth R. Thompson II

Legal Council

Kenneth R. Thompson II was appointed as RELX Corporate General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer on October 1, 2011. In his role, he has global responsibility for the intellectual property, privacy, governance, compliance, procurement, real estate, treasury and U.S. securities law functions for RELX. 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.