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The Global Diplomacy Lab is launching its first official podcast! Hosted by GDL member Khaldun Al Saadi, the GDL Coffee Break Podcast seeks to get an inside look at the perspectives on global challenges and the work routines of the wonderful guests Khaldun will be interviewing each episode, which will range from experts to activists, young diplomats and more. To dive into these exciting topics, don’t forget to have a look at the show notes for the episodes, which include material referenced in the interviews.

First up: fellow GDL member Hélène de Bock and Khaldun chat about sustainability. Grab up a cup of coffee and enjoy the conversation! Listen in on Spotify, Apple Podcast or by downloading the episode here.

Further Podcasts

COP26 Podcast with GDL member Sabrina Schulz
GDL member Sabrina Schulz talks about her experience hosting a session at COP26 .

Khaldun Al Saadi

Khaldun Al Saadi is of Yemeni and German descent. He lived in Yemen from 1993 to 1995, as a child during the Civil War. His memories from that time still motivate him to seek reconciliation through dialogue as a means of restoring peace. From 2012 to 2016 he studied Arabic language and culture at the University of Leipzig. He holds a scholarship from the Heinrich Böll Foundation and graduated from King’s College London with an MA in “Conflict Resolution in Divided Societies”.

Since 2013 he has been a member of the Junge Islam Konferenz (Young Islam Conference), the flagship project of Stiftung Mercator in immigration and integration. He currently works as a project coordinator for the Radicalisation Prevention Centre in the Division for Equality and Integration at the Saxon State Ministry of Social Affairs and Consumer Protection.


Read more about Khaldun in his blog article

Khaldun is also the host of the GDL Coffee Break podcast. Every three weeks, he guests a member and talks to them about their profession, inspirations and urgent global issues, to name just a few topics. The podcast is available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Summaries of the episodes are also posted on the blog


Hélène de Bock
Born in Switzerland to Belgian diplomat parents, Hélène de Bock spent her childhood zigzagging across a number of countries experiencing historic changes: the former USSR (Moscow, 1982-1985), the US (NY 1985-1989), Germany (1989-1992) and Belgium (Brussels 1992-2006).

Trained as an economist, she spent her early professional life working in the field of Consultancy (Accounting, Compliance and Risk Management for PricewaterhouseCoopers) and Project Management (DePost), which enabled her to gain in-depth experience in governance, financial, IT, operational and other dynamics inherent to business processes and decision-making.

After passing the Belgian Diplomatic Exam in 2006, she started her career in public service working in the political section at the Belgian Embassies in New Delhi and London, as well as the European Delegation in New Delhi, continuing to develop an expertise in foreign and defence policy issues. At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Brussels, Hélène has worked for the Press and Communications Office and the Office of the European Correspondent. She was Deputy Director for Human Rights and Democracy during her last stint in Brussels, from 2013 to 2018.

On a personal level, Hélène de Bock is passionate about literature, politics, music and visual arts (photography in particular). She is married and has three children.

Hélène also chatted with GDL Coffee Break podcast host Khaldun Al Saadi about sustainability. The episode can be downloaded here.

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