Eirliani Abdul Rahman is co-founder of YAKIN (Youth, Adult survivors & Kin In Need), an NGO working on child rights and child protection issues, and a member of Twitter’s Safety & Trust Council. She is also Director at the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation.
In 2015, she led a successful campaign of the NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan entitled #FullStop to #childsexualabuse in India. Eirliani served in the Singapore Foreign Service and was posted to Delhi as Political Counsellor. Prior to that, she was in Berlin as First Secretary (Political). Before becoming a diplomat, she was a development consultant in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where she worked with Harvard Business School’s Prof Michael Potter on the Kazakhstan Competitiveness Programme.
Eirliani won the 2015 BMW Foundation Responsible Young Leaders Award and is an Asian Forum on Global Governance Fellow. She writes for the Huffington Post and the India Today Group’s “DailyO” on issues concerning child online safety and child sexual abuse. She was featured in the book Majulah! 50 Years of the Malay/Muslim Community in Singapore. Eirliani edited Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s book Will for Children, a collection of essays on child labour.
An avid rock climber, Eirliani trains in Colorado and Singapore. She speaks English, German, Malay and Russian.
Hailu Aderie is an enthusiastic and dedicated professional with extensive experience across various areas of leadership. He can demonstrate expertise in managing organisations, mobilising the surrounding community and motivating others to achieve targets. Moreover, he is a proactive individual with a rational thinking and principle-centred approach to managing challenges. He performs effectively even under intense pressure in the working environment.
He has skills in coordinating and cooperating with others in teams, values as regards communicating easily and negotiating for win-win situations, and is a flexible and open-minded person. Hailu has served at various levels in 12 government institutions. He served as People’s Representative in Oromia National Regional State for two terms of five years each (from 2006 to 2015).
He has received numerous awards, certificates and letters of gratitude for his socio-political activities.
Since 2007, he has been providing expert advice to the leadership of the Catholic Church in Africa (SECAM) at regional and international level on peacebuilding and mediation, development policy, public engagement and political dialogue for the promotion of a just and inclusive society.
He assisted with the setting-up and coordination of SECAM Working Groups on Migration and Development; Climate Change and Natural Resources; Reconciliation and Peace Building; HIV/AIDS; Governance and Democratic Transitions.
Mr Firmin facilitated and moderated dozens of workshops, conferences, fora and training sessions on various social and political issues.
With the knowledge and skills gained, he was able to create a network which allows him to physically intervene in 38 countries in Africa and beyond and to engage with the African Union, the European Union and the United Nations.
Mr Shakil Ahmad is a scholar working on global diplomacy, global governance, climate change negotiations and track II diplomacy. He teaches at the Foreign Services Academy of Pakistan, where his focuses include digital diplomacy, negotiation skills and conflict transformation. He is also coordinator for the Imagine a New South Asia network of leading think tanks and civil society organisations, which works to mitigate conflicts and pave the way for cooperation.
Shakil also served on the board of the Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA) and has been a member of a government delegation for climate change negotiation at the UNFCCC for the last seven years. Moreover, he works closely with the Foreign Relations and Defense committees in the parliament, and has also established a number of parliamentarian forums such as the Council for Women Parliamentarians and the Non-Muslim Parliamentarians’ Caucus, etc.
Dima AlArqan was born in Syria in 1980. She has a Master’s degree in International Cooperation and Development. In 2015 she joined the diplomatic service and is serving in the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a diplomatic attaché. However, she has worked in various areas, always with commitment and in a results-oriented way, and has gathered 13 years of interesting and engaging experience in project management in the field of civil society, social work, democracy and human rights.
She has gained professional experience in learning management and capacity development, through working as a manager for the Belgian Development Agency (BTC), civil society specialist for Catholic Relief Services (CRS), head of mission for the French Workers Sports and Gymnastics Federation (FSGT), programme manager for Health Work Committees and adviser to GIZ. The promotion of dialogue and partnership between citizens, civil society organisations, government and the private sector has always been a central focus of her work. She has a strong personal commitment to marginalised and vulnerable communities, such as people with disabilities, young people and women, often in rural areas. As a woman, she attaches great importance to advocacy for diversity and human rights.
In 2014, Dima took part in the 1st Seminar for Palestinian Diplomats organised by the Federal Foreign Office. She looks forward to working further in inclusive diplomacy, in a proactive, reliable and respectful way. She looks forward, moreover, to the continuous learning that comes with such work.
In 2002, he graduated from Sana’a University, political science department. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2003 as a diplomatic attaché. He was awarded his Master’s in International Politics and Security Studies from the Department of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford, UK, in 2005. He served at Yemen Mission in Vienna during 2007-2011. Between 2011 and 2014, he worked at the Minister's Office as assistant for the Europe and Friends of Yemen files. Since 2014, he assumed the position of chief of staff of the Vice Minister's Office in addition to Secretary of National Committee for Refugee Affairs.
Amal Al-Ma'aytah is a strong leader yet an ambitious and commited team player. Her strive for excellence led her to pursue the two areas of her interest and graduate top of her class in both her Bachelor of Arts studies in English Language & Journalism and Mass Communication, and her Master’s degree in Diplomatic Studies. Her pursuit of distinction also led her to assume a number of important positions in several major institutions:
She began her career working in communications and dissemination of international humanitarian law at the International Committee of the Red Cross, then moved to work as an international affairs researcher/analyst at the Office of His Majesty King Abdullah II, Regional Communications Manager at Al-Faisaliah Group and currently as the International Affairs and Communications Adviser for the Vice-Chairman of the Jordanian Senate (Upper House of Parliament).
Tarek Alsaleh, half German and half Syrian, has had a life-long passion for sport.
He studied sport science at the University of Cologne and went on to run his own gym in Cologne, Germany, established a real estate agency in Damascus, Syria, and set up two successful and innovative sports and play NGOs. Tarek’s work has been recognised by the BMW Foundation Award for Responsible Leaders 2015, the Anna Lindh Euro-Med Dialogue Award 2015 and Beyond Sport in partnership with UNICEF for Sport for Conflict Resolution 2013 and 2015.
Tarek has always been fascinated by the transformative power of play and its ability to overcome difference.
He is the founder of Capoeira4Refugees a project that uses the sport and art-form of capoeira to provide psychosocial support to vulnerable refugees. Since 2007, Tarek’s capoeira programmes have reached over 50,000 vulnerable children and adolescents in Syria, the Palestinian territories, Jordan and is now scaling.
Mohammed Ammash was born to a middle income family in Iraq. He received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Baghdad in 1995.
From the date of his graduation until 1997 he worked for the public sector in his field of study, installing and maintaining central air-conditioning systems. For two years from 1997, he worked in the academic field at the University of Baghdad. While working in academia he started working part time in the private sector, firstly in IT and later in power generation. This continued until 2006 when he became commissar responsible for importing and marketing air conditioner units, electric equipment and power generation sets for the local market and the public sector. In 2006, he rejoined the public sector, working for the Vice President of Iraq as Chief of Staff. In 2007, he moved to the Iraqi Presidency as the Chief of Staff to the Presidency. Since 2009, he has been a senior counsellor and Chief of Staff. From 2007 to 2009 he studied for his M.A. in Strategic Planning at the National Security College of National Defence.
In 2013, he won a Hubert Humphrey fellowship in the United States of America to study public policy analysis and public administration at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.
Houssem Aoudi is a Tunisian entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in media, civic engagement and social innovation.
Houssem is the co-founder and CEO of Cogite Coworking Space, the country’s first coworking community. Cogite is home to a vibrant mix of entrepreneurs, artists, activists and young professionals, and has taken a leading role in cultivating an entrepreneurship community across the country.
Houssem is also founder and CEO of Wasabi, a media and communications company that specialises in creating platforms for community-building and open expression.
In 2014, Houssem was appointed Director of the Media Center for the Independent High Authority for Elections (ISIE). Moreover, Houssem co-founded and curates TEDxCarthage, the country’s first and largest TEDx event.
Pascal Atangana was born in 1979. After his BA in German Studies, he attended the International Relations Institute of Cameroon, where he obtained a postgraduate diploma in international relations.
He joined the Ministry of External Relations in 2007, focusing on the Francophonie Department. After three years, he was appointed assistant research officer in the Diplomats’ Careers Management Unit (the Permanent Secretariat).
In 2012, he was awarded an Indian scholarship and obtained an international advanced diploma in human resource planning and development. He took part in the two-month training for German-speaking diplomats in Berlin in 2014. He recently participated in the professional short course at the Vienna Centre for Disarmament and Nuclear Non-Proliferation (3–7 October 2016).
He enjoys reading autobiographies, watching and playing soccer, and travelling.
Ever since the linkage between psychology, politics and civil society has been Sibel’s core interest and a thriving part of both her professional and personal growth. Throughout her studies, she worked for several civil-society organizations (e.g. the Bertelsmann Foundation), non-governmental actors (e.g. Berghof Foundation) and other international organizations (e.g. United Nations) in the areas of civic participation, conflict transformation and mediation.
After her graduation in Political Psychology and International Affairs at Heidelberg and Princeton University, Sibel started her professional career in international affairs with a special focus on peacebuilding, mediation and crisis management (e.g. UNDP). As a political psychologist, she worked as an advisor to the national dialogue and reconciliation process in Lebanon, which helped her to understand the multi-track process of peace practices and trained her to establish peace support infrastructures in post-conflict countries. Since then, Sibel has continuously expanded her regional expertise to Syria, Afghanistan and Turkey (2011-2013). During the last year (2014), Sibel has transfered her capacities in mediation support to the concept of political theater at Berlin’s Maxim Gorki theatre. Responsible for political communication and strategy making, Sibel has gained practical knowledge in tools of political theater to mediate ethno-political conflicts.
Currently, Sibel works as psychotherapist at Humboldt University’s Charité in Berlin. Her expertise lies in the areas of migration, trauma (post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD) and mediation. In this regard, she mainly focuses on mental health issues of incoming refugees.
As a former fellow to the Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs, she engages as active member to the steering committee of the alumni organization nefia e.V. and is thrilled to welcome many alumni to the 3rd GDL.
Tamer graduated from the Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences at Cairo University in 2003. After graduation, Tamer worked for the UNHCR Cairo Office as an Eligibility Assistant for almost a year.
Later on, he joined the Egyptian diplomatic service in 2005, where he first started as a desk officer for Iraq and Jordan. In 2007, he was posted to the Egyptian Embassy in Sudan. In 2010, he was seconded to the Political Secretariat of the Assessment and Evaluation Commission (AEC) – responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between North and South Sudan. He also participated within the AEC in supporting the Post Secession talks between the two countries in Addis Ababa in 2011, led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki. In September 2012, and after a brief stay in Cairo, he took on the post of a Second Secretary/Political Officer at the Egyptian Embassy in Berlin.
In 2013, Tamer took part in the 5th IDP organized by both Federal Foreign Office and BMW Stiftung. His personal hobbies are reading, playing chess and struggling against the German language.
Hanina Ben Bernou joined the EU in 2010 - first addressing complex, global and emerging security threats and since 2013 working on crisis response and crisis preparedness in the highly dynamic environment of Somalia.
Through her previous work experience in the energy and water sector, she has had the opportunity to deepen her understanding in a wide range of topics including renewable energies, supplies, management and private sector participation.
She has a wide interest and practice area including crisis management, development cooperation, diplomacy, energy, human resources, IT, management, radicalisation, security, security-development nexus, stabilisation and water.
Hanina is a cosmopolitan migrant due to her German-Algerian origins, her French-German education as well as her time living and working in Kenya, Somalia, Belgium, France, Spain and Algeria.
Nina Bernarding is Project Assistant for the Dialogue, Mediation and Peace Support Structures Programme, at the Berghof Foundation in Berlin. Previously she was Mercator Fellow on International Affairs working on peacebuilding in East and Central Africa with a particular focus on political dialogue and natural resource management. During her fellowship, she has worked on a peace process in East Africa and has been engaged in promoting a dialogue-conducive environment in Sudan. Previously, she worked with GIZ in Addis Ababa and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York City.
Nina is a member of the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research, analysing conflicts between governments and opposition parties in East Africa. She holds a Master’s degree in Conflict, Security and Development from King’s College London and a Bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science from the University of Heidelberg.
Nina is particularly interested in track II diplomacy and in engaging armed groups in peace processes. In her spare time, she enjoys Victorian novels and considering the concepts of fair trade and critical consumption.
Çiğdem Bozdağ is an Assistant Professor in the Department of New Media at the Kadir Has University. Her current research focuses on intercultural networks in schools through the use of new media technologies.
Bozdağ previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Mercator and as an IPC fellow at the Istanbul Policy Center of Sabanci University where she carried out a research project on online school networks between Germany and Turkey. Bozdağ completed her Ph.D. at the University of Bremen in January 2013. In her thesis, she analysed the websites of the Moroccan and Turkish diaspora and their role in ethnic community building within an emerging, mediated social space. From 2008 to 2010, she worked at the same university on the research project Communicative Connectivity of Ethnic Minorities: The Integrative and Segregative Potential of Digital Media for Diasporas. Moreover, she worked on an EU-funded research project entitled ICT and Cultural Diversity: The Potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for the Promotion of Cultural Diversity ın the EU.
She received her M.A. degree in the field of media culture from the University of Bremen. Her Bachelor’s degree is from Boğaziçi University in the field of political science and international relations.
Johannes Braun is Project Director of the Sino-German Quality Infrastructure (QI) Project based in Beijing. The QI Project supports the ongoing bilateral political dialogue on issues of product safety, technical barriers to trade and market access. It serves as an innovative platform for a government-to-government regulatory dialogue, which also integrates enterprises, industry associations and think tanks in concrete cooperation activities on topics of mutual interest.
The QI Project is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). GIZ is a federally owned organisation that supports the German Federal Government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development and operates in 130 countries. In China, GIZ is currently implementing more than 30 cooperation projects with Chinese partners on behalf of the German Government and the EU.
Previously, Johannes served as team leader for Strategy and Portfolio Development at the China Office in Beijing with expertise in the management of project-based international cooperation, international relations and development policy. Johannes joined GIZ as a participant in its graduate fast-track programme, with postings to cooperation projects in China and at the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the World Bank. Through several internships and volunteering activities, he acquired a broad insight into development challenges in Africa and Latin America as well as into foreign, economic and development policy-making institutions and processes.
Johannes holds an MA in Political Science, Public Law and Economics from the University of Regensburg and an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics.
Anne-Lorraine Bujon is editorial director at the Institut des Hautes Etudes sur la Justice (IHEJ), where she heads the Conventions programme on regulation and global governance, and an Associate research fellow at Ifri, the French Institute for International Relations.
For the last ten years she has worked with non-profit organisations, where it was possible to combine her interests and expertise in American studies, the dynamics of globalisation, and new modes of knowledge-sharing, collaborative study projects, and the dissemination of ideas. She was previously European director of Humanity in Action, a transatlantic exchange programme focused on human and minority rights, programme coordinator at the French Center on the United States at Ifri, and editorial consultant for the policy planning department of the French Foreign Affairs Ministry. She has authored articles on American political and cultural history in various publications, and teaches at Inalco, the French Institute for Oriental Languages and Cultures.
Anne-Lorraine Bujon is a graduate of Ecole Normale Supérieure, where she majored in American literature.
Gabriela is a specialist on environmental management, sustainable development, public policy and international cooperation. She has more than seven years of work experience on climate change, biodiversity conservation, poverty alleviation and peace. Her work has always involved partnership development, fostering rural and indigenous communities’ dialogues, harmonising financial resources and public policies, multi-level governance coordination, facilitating negotiations and capacity building.
Gabriela works as a consultant to the Global Environmental Facility, the World Bank and the Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources on developing sustainable productive landscapes in Mexico. She holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Management from Yale University and a Master’s in Peace Studies from Kyung Hee University. She has worked in local and international projects in coordination with governments and international agencies such as GIZ, KfW, FAO, GEF, AECID, JICA, IFAD and UNDP.
She is an advocate and a vibrant communicator who is passionate about developing innovative and inclusive strategies to achieve a more sustainable and equitable world.
Ney was born and raised in Brazil, in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. At university, he studied languages, literature, economics and political science, among other things.
After a rewarding experience working as an associate professor and completing a Master’s degree in political science, Ney decided to pursue a diplomatic career. As a diplomat, he has had the privilege of serving in Brasília, Berlin and Caracas. He is now back in the Brazilian capital, Brasília, and working in the Department of Human Rights and Social Affairs.
Ney also recently completed a doctorate in philosophy and literature (Freie Universität Berlin). In his free time he enjoys listening to music, reading and travelling with his family.
Carlos Eduardo Cano is a Honduran citizen and 28 years old. With his undergraduate and later Master’s degree in Logistics, Industrial Organisation and Business Management, it would be reasonable to assume he would find a job as a manager for a production or logistics company.
However, it has always been more natural for him to deal with people rather than processes. So, when he got the opportunity to work in the Consular Section of the Embassy of Honduras in Berlin, he felt extremely comfortable and knew he was in the right place. Although, he must admit that the skills he applied there since his first day were acquired with the aforementioned studies including critical thinking, ease of communication and negotiation, leadership and the ability to create long-lasting relationships with people of all backgrounds and beliefs.
Innovator. Humanitarian. Unlikely change agent. Theresa Carrington is changing the world, having discovered the tipping point from poverty to prosperity, one beautiful basket at a time. What started as her dream to create a sustainable solution to reduce poverty in developing countries evolved into The Blessing Basket Project®. For 12 years the organisation has been quietly discovering and perfecting unique approaches to sustainable poverty reduction, which Theresa is now ready to share with the world. In the process, she has helped to create sustainable prosperity for more than 10,000 people in the last decade.
Theresa Carrington, founder and CEO of the Blessing Basket Project®, recognised that the key to helping people emerge from impoverishment to financial independence is igniting their entrepreneurial spirit by providing them with a launching pad. This is how the world changes.
Mr Marty Castro is the President and CEO of Castro Synergies, LLC, which provides strategic consulting services to persons and organisations seeking to have a positive social impact on diverse communities.
In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Mr Castro to a six-year term on the United States Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) and nominated Mr Castro as the first Latino Chairperson in the history of the USCCR. Mr Castro has received numerous awards and accolades for his community service, including the Ohtli Award, the Mexican government’s highest honour presented to those outside of Mexico for service to the Mexican diaspora.
Mr Castro is the recipient of honorary doctorates in Humane Letters from Roosevelt University and DePaul University. He received his Bachelor’s in Political Science from DePaul University and his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Michigan Law School.
He is an Albanian political scientist and former diplomat. He studied political sciences, history and philosophy at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster, Germany, graduating in 2005 with an M.A. in International Relations with a thesis on “The future status of Kosovo. Actors, positions, options”.
Since then, Egin's research and teaching experience has included a Herder Scholarship at the Alfred-Toepfer-Foundation (2005), a Robert-Bosch-Fellowship at the IWM in Vienna (2007), research and teaching positions at the University of Vienna (2008, 2009, 2015, 2016), and participation in the Transformation Thinkers Conference in Berlin (2008).
His expertise lies in topics such as transitional justice, political parties, the state-church relationship and media literacy with special focus on South Eastern Europe.
Egin has also worked as an Albanian diplomat in Vienna (2008-2013).
For the past four years Ms Davies has served as EU/Economic attaché at the British Embassy in Berlin, where she was recently promoted to team leader.
She has worked with the German Government to promote economic growth in the EU by integrating the markets for goods and services.
She has taken a keen interest in the role of digital technology in driving the future of economic growth, e.g. Industrie 4.0, Big Data and the possibility of reshoring production.
Ms Davies is an alumna of the 9th Diplomatenkolleg (Robert Bosch Stiftung).
Her previous public service experience includes a variety of roles at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, where she worked on trade and investment policy, further education and economic relations with China.
Born in 1978 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. MA in Economics from the Saint Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance. More than 10 years’ professional experience of working with Russian and international media. Reuters Foundation fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Oxford University (2006). Participant in the Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) at the University of California, Berkeley (2012). Since 2006 – project manager with the German-Russian Exchange, since 2011 – director of the German-Russian Office of Environmental Information. Since 2008 – observer of the UN climate negotiation process (UNFCCC). Teaches at the Faculty of Journalism, Saint Petersburg State University.
Interests: global environmental and climate policy, sustainable development, the green economy, civil society organizations and initiatives, trends in global and new media.
It could be said that Anna’s first foray into diplomatic life began when she was 17 years old as a Rotary youth exchange student and “ambassadress of goodwill” for the Philippines in Brazil. She again represented her country in the Georgia Rotary Student Program and was granted an MBA scholarship in Georgia, USA.
In 1997, after working in advertising in New York City, she returned to Manila and worked briefly as the marketing officer of the Institute on Church and Social Issues, a Jesuit-based research and advocacy non-governmental organization, before pursuing her law studies. After passing the exam, she worked as a litigation lawyer for three years. In 2006, Anna took and passed the Philippine foreign service exams, and joined the ministry the following year as an acting director in the Office of Legal Affairs. Her first foreign assignment was as third secretary and vice-consul in the Philippine Embassy in Berlin, where she handled political and administrative matters. After four years, she was cross-posted to the Philippine Embassy and Permanent Mission in Vienna, where she dealt with multilateral issues. Anna participated in the German Federal Foreign Office’s 2nd International Diplomats Programme (Berlin, 2010) and the BMW Foundation’s 9th Europe-Asia Young Leaders Forum (London, 2012).
Anna is newly married (her spouse is German and also a lawyer) and is currently on leave from the foreign service to care for her baby daughter full time. She is based in Essen, Germany.
Bert de Wilde is currently working in the European Integration Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands. Previously he worked at the Dutch Embassies in Berlin, Germany, and Accra, Ghana, as well as in the North Africa and Middle East Department of the ministry.
Bert is currently working in the field of European integration, which attracted his interest when he was studying in Berlin (Erasmus) and working in the European Parliament. He is especially interested in outside perceptions of the EU and perceptions of the EU within the Union. Is the EU a model for others and why or why not? Bert hopes to find some answers to these questions through the Global Diplomacy Lab and is looking forward to reflecting on the way we want to cooperate in the 21th century.
Elsa Marie D’Silva is the founder and managing director of Red Dot Foundation (Safecity), a platform that crowdsources personal experiences of sexual violence and abuse in public spaces. Since Safecity started in December 2012, it has become the largest crowd map on the issue in India, Kenya, Cameroon and Nepal.
Elsa Marie is an alumna of the US State Department’s Fortune Program, a fellow with Rotary Peace, Aspen New Voices and Vital Voices, and a BMW Foundation Responsible Leader. She is listed as one of BBC Hindi’s 100 Women and has won the Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award by Dušan Stojanović (European Angel Investor of the Year 2013) and the Digital Woman Award in Social Impact by SheThePeople.
Prior to Safecity, she spent 20 years in the aviation industry, where she worked with Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines. In her last role in aviation, she was Vice President Network Planning.
Seçil Paçacı Elitok received her PhD in Economics from the University of Utah (USA) in 2008. From 2009 to 2011, she worked for the Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI) as a Marie Curie Fellow as part of the EU Marie Curie Research Training Network TOM (Transnationality of Migrants).
From 2012 to 2013, she worked as a Mercator-IPC Fellow at Istanbul Policy Center (IPC), Sabancı University, on a research project entitled “The Role of Migration in EU/German-Turkish Relations”. She taught a course on the politics of migration at Sabancı University and worked as a consultant to the World Bank on international mobility research projects.
Her main research interests are international migration, with a specific focus on migration from and to Turkey, as well as high-skilled migration, return migration and remittances.
She obtained her associate professorship in March 2016.
Dr Elitok is currently working as a visiting adjunct professor at CERES (Center for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies) at Michigan State University.
Reham Elgebaly is a co-founder and gender mainstreaming and education consultant at SEDAQ. Holding a master’s degree in child rights from Lund University, Sweden, she is responsible for planning, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reporting on a number of training courses on development and empowerment of marginalised communities.
She is also active in organising various awareness-raising programmes at youth camps and social events, disseminating gender equality principles, fighting violence and providing assistance in evaluating partners’ activities. She carried out field work activities and support campaigns focused on women’s political participation and coordinates voter educational and voter training programmes in Egypt’s poorer and marginalised areas.
Living in a tribal community, she works as a peace builder and mediator mainly in the absence of peace and stability.
Onur Eryüce has worked to strengthen political and cultural ties between Turkey and the European Union in defiance of a challenging political environment.
In 2011, he played a pivotal role in the foundation of the Association of Social Democratic Municipalities (SODEM), which was set up to foster strategic partnerships among Turkish municipal leaders and their European counterparts, thus bolstering the position of Turkish municipalities in the EU accession process. Under Onur’s management, the organisation has grown to 130 member municipalities, representing more than 15 million people, and has successfully contributed to EU-Turkey collaboration on issues at the municipal level.
He is responsible for setting up and furthering political, social, cultural and economic dialogue between the member municipalities and their European and international counterparts.
Ms Farjon Israel is a diplomat of the State of Israel.
She studied art and film history, French culture and culture research for an MA at Tel Aviv University from 2002 to 2007.
She started her career in the NGO sector, where in her last position she was project manager in the Israel Center for Civil Society.
Ms Farjon Israel joined the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2011. From 2011 to 2013 she worked as a desk officer for the International Organisations Department, the Eurasia Department and the Latin America Department.
Before coming to Berlin, Ms Farjon Israel was posted as First Secretary and Consul in Santo Domingo. Since 2014 she has been the spokesperson of the Embassy of Israel in Berlin.
She is married and a mother to Omer.
Assistant Director at the Montreal Institute of International Studies (IEIM) based at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM), Kim has over 15 years of experience in international relations.
She was political adviser to the Minister of Culture and Communications of Quebec (2003-2007) and worked at the Canadian Embassy in Vienna (1999-2001).
She is currently completing a Ph.D in Political Science. Her research focuses on trade agreements, especially the trade-culture-telecommunication nexus.
A graduate from McGill University, she has presented academic papers in the United States, Spain and Canada and conducted seminars on culture and international relations, as well as on international political economy.
She recently co-edited a book (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) on the impact of globalisation and new technologies on emerging forms of global governance.
Liana Fix is a doctoral fellow at the Eastern Europe and Eurasia division at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP).
Previously, she was affiliated to the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). In 2012/13, she was a Mercator Fellow in International Affairs, working on European and transatlantic policy toward Russia at the German Foreign Office, the Carnegie Moscow Center and the EU Delegation in Georgia. She also worked as a programme assistant for the Körber Foundation's International Affairs Department in Berlin.
Ms Fix holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science and is chairperson of the "nefia" alumni network of the Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs and the former Robert Bosch Stiftungskolleg.
She plays the piano and is passionate about travelling to the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
Nicola Forster is the Founding President of the Swiss crowdsourced think tank foraus (Forum Aussenpolitik) as well as a social entrepreneur and public sector innovator. He is a co-founder of the political movement Operation Libero, the German grass-roots think tank Polis180, several foraus spinoffs around the globe, the staatslabor as well as the Global Diplomacy Lab. With his innovation consultancy crstl.io, Nicola advises different foundations, international think tanks and foreign ministries on creative formats and strategic innovation. He is the Founding Curator of the Global Shapers Bern Hub (World Economic Forum) and sits on the boards of the WEF Open Forum Davos, Fondation Science et Cité (as Vice President), Law and Economics Club as well as Foundation Jean Monnet pour l’Europe. Nicola is a Swiss Ashoka Fellow and Mercator Fellow. He has been ranked among the top 99 foreign policy leaders under 33 by The Diplomatic Courier. Nicola regularly contributes to Swiss and international media and is a frequent keynote speaker, panelist and moderator (e.g. with the Open Situation Rooms design thinking format).
Nicola holds a degree in law (lic.iur./MLaw) and has studied in Zurich, Montpellier and Lausanne. He is currently based in New York, Berlin and Switzerland and has lived in a wide range of countries, including Ethiopia, Russia, Australia and Belgium.
A born storyteller and creative problem solver, Chris was raised near Syracuse University in New York, where he later earned his MBA. He has over 15 years of experience in creative professional services and nearly ten in digital marketing and strategic communications, with experience spanning across creative agencies, start-ups and the foundation/NGO space. In that time, he has led engagements with clients such as the ONE Campaign, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, Case Foundation, Marriott, Rosetta Stone and Brooks Brothers.
Chris serves on the board of The New American Leaders Project, which is leading a national movement for inclusive democracy by empowering first- and second-generation Americans to progress from the community to the capital. He is also a board member of the Self-Portrait Project, is the national (US) Chapter Head of the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Network, and is a Charter Member of the Transatlantic Core Group.
Chris and his partner Jennifer Herrera live in Fairfax County, Virginia, with their two daughters.
Tibi Galis has been the Executive Director of AIPR since 2006.
Born and raised in Romania, he obtained a B.A. in Law and Political Science from Babes-Bolyai University, in Cluj-Napoca. He received an M.A. in International Politics and Political Development from the University of Manchester, and obtained a Ph.D. from the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University, with a focus on transitional justice.
Previously, Galis worked as an Associate Researcher for the UK Parliament, helping develop the UK position with regard to the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, and as rapporteur for the Swedish Government at the 2004 Stockholm International Forum on the Prevention of Genocide.
Laura Gardner is a Senior Attorney with the US Department of Commerce's Chief Counsel for International Commerce, where she focuses on a variety of international investment-related issues as well as trade in services (including e-commerce and privacy).
Laura was a Bosch Fellow from 2014-15, focusing on international trade policy, including data privacy issues, with work placements at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and at Google Germany.
Prior to her work at the US Department of Commerce, Laura worked at the McDermott Will & Emery law firm.
Laura holds a J.D. from the University of Virginia, an MA in International Law from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and completed her undergraduate degree in International Studies at the University of Chicago.
Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, in her free time Laura enjoys stand-up comedy, theatre and bocce.
Gordana Gavrilović has been working as an advisor at the Serbian Deputy Prime Minister’s office since 2015. Her work focuses on gender equality issues and external communication.
In 2014, she worked as a project coordinator at the Podgorica (Montenegro) office of Serbia’s oldest cultural-scientific institution, Matica Srpska. In 2013, she was an associate at the Serbian Chamber of Commerce in Croatia. From 2008 to 2012, she worked at the Office of the President of Serbia as an expert associate of the Advisor to the President.
She started her career in 2006 at the People’s Office of the President of the Republic. From 2006 to 2013, she was a coordinator at the humanitarian organisation, Our Serbia, which runs projects that help to look after children who lost one or both parents during the wars in former Yugoslavia. As a participant of the Fellowship Programme for Young Government Officials from the Western Balkans, Gordana was an exchange civil servant of the Training for International Diplomats programme at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin in 2016, supporting the Global Diplomacy Lab for three months.
She is a graduate of the Faculty of Psychology, University of Belgrade, and of the Diplomatic Academy at Serbia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Kuros Ghaffari is a press officer at the U.S. Department of State, responsible for outreach to traditional and digital media outlets. He previously worked in the department's public diplomacy bureau, where he produced interactive content to communicate U.S. policies to a global audience.
Kuros began his career at the German Marshall Fund of the United States in Washington. He then moved to Berlin as a fellow of the Robert Bosch Foundation, with placements at the Alfred Herrhausen Society and the German Foreign Office. Having fallen in love with German culture and cuisine, he continued to work in Berlin as a communications consultant for a number of years.
Kuros holds a master's degree in international affairs from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University and a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Blair Glencorse is Founder and Executive Director of the Accountability Lab, an incubator for creative, youth-driven ideas for accountability and transparency around the world.
Blair is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Anti-Corruption and Transparency.
Previously, Blair was a Social Impact Fellow at the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania, an advisor to the now President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, and worked for the World Bank on issues of governance and development.
He is an Echoing Green Fellow and winner of the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Award, the World Technology Award and the D-Prize.
Sérgio António Gomes da Silva has a degree in Law and postgraduate studies in Public Management. He has been a civil servant since 2001. Since 2008 he holds the post of Head of Department of International Relations, Advisory, Conception and Evaluation of Public Policies at the Portuguese Media Public Policies Office.
In 2002 he did a short-term traineeship in the Council of Europe and in 2007 he worked in the German Federal Ministry of the Interior as a fellow of Bellevue Programme of the Robert Bosch Stiftung. He has experience as a lecturer in good governance. He has many years of experience in collaborating with social and civic organisations. He has held several posts in the Portuguese Association of the Blind and is presently rapporteur of the Group on Citizenship and Participation of the Portuguese think tank Platform for sustainable Growth.
She has been working in the Office of HM Queen Rania of Jordan for 9 years. She is Global Outreach Manager, in charge of the Queen’s international engagements and relations.
She holds a MA in Intercultural Communication and European Studies from Hochschule Fulda, Germany. She speaks Arabic, English and German fluently.
Besides her career, she is very interested in the global intercultural discourse and has participated in many courses and workshops, including: Civil Service Development Programme at Sandhurst Academy in the UK in 2015, one-month parliament scholarship at the German Bundestag in 2014 (including a one-week placement in the Office of Foreign Minister Steinmeier) and a two-week Summer School at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin in 2008 themed “Regional Leaders & Global Challenges”. She also represented Jordan at the UN Global Youth Leadership Summit in New York in 2006.
Dominik Hartmann is a development economist and “knowledge nomad”. His passion is to create interdisciplinary bridges and his fascination for different cultures has driven him to study, research and work in countries as diverse as Germany, Spain, Peru, Brazil, England, the Netherlands, Turkey and the USA.
Dominik’s research explores the complex relations between innovation, structural change and income inequality. He uses network analysis and data visualization tools to reveal the ways individuals are embedded in dynamic economies and how network structures affect their opportunities to be active and creative members of society.
Currently Dominik is a post-doctoral fellow in the Macro Connections Group at the MIT Media Lab (USA) and a research fellow at the University of Hohenheim (Germany). From 2014-2016, he holds a EU Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship.
Sebastian Haug is a PhD Candidate at the University of Cambridge where his research focuses on the positions and roles of so-called ‘rising powers’ in global development governance.
Prior to moving to Cambridge, Sebastian worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in China and then in Mexico where he was in charge of UNDP’s South-South cooperation and strategic partnerships portfolios.
A former Mercator Fellow on International Affairs, Sebastian studied political science and international relations in Paris, St Andrews and Berlin. He holds a Vice-Chancellor’s Award from the University of Cambridge and a Master of Science from the University of Oxford.
Ahmed is a diplomat at the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He graduated from the American University in Cairo in 2006 with a BA in Economics. After starting his career in marketing and corporate banking, he joined the diplomatic corps in 2012. He was first assigned to the Multilateral Economic Affairs Department at the ministry, where he gained hands-on experience in economic and global energy affairs, which familiarised him with diplomatic practice in international organisations such as the GECF and IRENA.
After two years as a desk officer responsible for regional economic relations and international energy affairs, Ahmed went on sabbatical to undertake a Master’s degree in Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment at University College London (UCL), which provided him with in-depth knowledge of the political economy of energy policy, energy economics, environmental economics, energy-environment-economic modelling and European energy and environmental policy and law. Ahmed has produced many reports and studies on international energy markets and politics utilising composite indicators to evaluate energy policy.
As you may have guessed, Ahmed has a keen interest in global energy and environmental affairs, in addition to international politics and economic diplomacy.
Ms Amarachi Adannaya Igboegwu is a learning strategist whose interests include behaviour change communication, lifelong learning and responsive classroom methodologies.
An expert trainer, Ms Igboegwu has coordinated national training programmes as a Master Trainer for the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo under the World Bank funded Performance Based Financing project to strengthen health systems.
Motivated by the role education plays in society, Ms Igboegwu will be commencing her doctoral studies this autumn (2015) at the Faculty of Behaviour and Cultural Studies at Heidelberg University to research the impact of the Responsive Classroom Approach on learning and social skills outcomes among minority-predominant elementary schools in Germany.
He is a farmer, innovator, leading social entrepreneur and Executive Director of The Smallholders Foundation, a social development organization based in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria. The organization uses educational radio programs and field practical demonstrations to inform, educate and improve the livelihoods of poor rural smallholder farmers.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and International Studies from Imo State University, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria and a Masters in Development and Cooperation from the Institute for Advanced Studies, The University of Pavia, Italy. He is an Ashoka Fellow, Laureate of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, Nigeria’s Young Person of the Year – 2011, was listed as 100 Most Creative People in the World by Fast Company USA. He is a Winner of the German Government’s Green Talent Awards 2011 and a Laureate of the Niigata International Food Prize, Japan. He is a Laureate of the prestigious Yara Prize for Green Revolution in Africa.
Chuliepote Isarankura, born in 1974 in Bangkok, received a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts from Thammasat University in Bangkok and a Master’s degree in International Studies from the University of Sydney. She served her country abroad as Second Secretary at the Royal Thai Embassy in Tel Aviv (2000-2004) and First Secretary in Berlin (2006-2010) respectively.
During 2012-2013, she was the Head of the Business Liaison Unit in the Department of International Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand and responsible for organizing business activities for the business delegation accompanying the Prime Minister of Thailand on official trips overseas. During March and September 2014, she was assigned Head of the Khon Kaen Passport Office and in charge of administering passport applications for Thais living in and around the Khon Kaen Province. In addition, she was assisting Khon Kaen Province with external affairs, particularly establishing and strengthening relations with foreign countries and cities. Chuliepote is currently seconded to the Office of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, responsible for coordinating foreign policy issues and their implementation.
Chuliepote enjoys hosting Thai radio programmes like the “Window into the World for Youth” and “Young Ambassadors of Virtue On Air“ on the Saranrom Radio Station together with her colleagues during her free time. She also enjoys taking part in the volunteer work of the Young Ambassador of Virtue Foundation, which is a non-profit organization funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand.
She is an assistant professor for biology. She worked on the role of human papillomavirus and Chlamydia trachomatics infections for cervical abnormalities in the West Bank, as well as on the distribution of B virus among high-risk groups. She was involved in a vaccination programme in northern Palestine.
In October 2012, she became an elected member of the municipality and vice mayor of Jenin. She participated in the Global Leadership Academy’s Passion and Politics Lab which was very helpful when it comes to dealing with different opinions and emotional discussions. During the Lab, she started a change project called ‘Societal Accountability’.
She also worked on three education projects. She is a manager for Deep Democracy Institute at Oregon, three-year programme process-oriented Leadership (2007 till now).
She held administrative positions at the Arab American University in Jenin as vice president of planning and development and head of biology department.
Since October 2014, Peter Japelj has been an adviser in the office of the State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia. He took this position after finishing his mandate in Brussels, where he was the Slovenian representative to the RELEX working party, which is in charge of the legal, financial and institutional affairs of the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy. His previous postings were to Vienna and Berlin, and he has held various assignments in the Foreign Ministry in Ljubljana.
During his career, he has dealt with, to name a few examples, international treaties, UN agencies in Vienna, secession after the dissolution of former Yugoslavia, minority questions and the fight against terrorism. In 2008, while posted in Germany, he was involved in most activities of the local Slovenian Presidency and the Trio Presidency of the European Council.
In 1997, he attended a four-month programme of the German Federal Foreign Office for diplomats from Central and Eastern Europe, and in 2006, he was a participant in the first generation of the Diplomatenkolleg, which was organized by the German Federal Foreign Office, the German Council on Foreign Relations and the Robert Bosch Foundation.
Peter joined the Slovenian Foreign Ministry in 1996 after finishing his law studies in Ljubljana. His passion is nature and environmental issues, and he loves to ski. Other active interests include art history and drawing.
Dr Hans-Christian Jasch is a lawyer and legal historian by training. He worked in the Federal Ministry of the Interior and for the European Commission in the field of preventing radicalisation and terrorism before being appointed as the new Director of the Berlin Holocaust Memorial House of the Wannsee Conference in May 2014.
He has been a Fellow of the Bellevue-Programme of the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Federal President's Office in 2005/2006 and worked in Italy on issues such as migration and dialogue with Islam. Bringing people together and engaging them in dialogue, notably on issues such as transitional justice, dealing with a dictatorial past and looking at issues of identity have been of key-importance during his entire professional career.
Ludwig Jung is currently training to become a career diplomat at the Foreign Service Academy in Berlin.
Previously, he worked for the World Bank’s Development Research Group as part of the Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs. As a Fulbright and DAAD-Fellow at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, he received his Master’s in International Relations. During his graduate studies, he focused on transatlantic security relations and development policy in fragile states. He is particularly interested in how civil society shapes foreign policy agendas.
As part of the Atlantic Council’s Next Generation Project, he co-authored a report on the future of German-American relations.
Ludwig has prior work experience with the German Federal Foreign Office and the German Development Ministry, as well as with the Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution.
Szilvia Kalmár has dealt with EU issues throughout her professional life. She is passionate about international cooperation and considers the European project to be unique in the depth of integration reached among sovereign states. This made her keen to find out how integration was achieved. She holds an MA in International Relations from Corvinus University of Budapest. After her studies, she spent a few months as a trainee in the European Commission, Europe Direct, before becoming a journalist at the Europe-wide information network, EurActiv, where she wrote and edited articles for the Hungarian website.
Her career as a diplomat began in 2010 when she joined the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Her first position was as a member of the editorial team of the official website of the Hungarian EU Presidency. After this, she worked as a member of the EU policy coordination team.
Since 2013 she has been the EU attachée at the Hungarian Embassy in Berlin.
Dr Amel Karboul is Secretary-General of the Maghreb Economic Forum (MEF) and Commissioner of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity.
Amel is a social activist, entrepreneur, author and politician.
She holds an honours Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, and a Doctorate in Coaching and Mentoring from Oxford Brookes University, UK.
She has previously held leadership roles in DaimlerChrysler and senior consultant roles at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Visiting professor at DukeCE.
She served as Minister of Tourism in the Tunisian transitional government until February 2015 and was nominated as one of ten leading young African politicians (Jeune Afrique).
She recently published her latest book “Coffin Corner”, which describes a new leadership culture suited to the complexity and dynamics of the 21st century. www.karboul.com
Matthias joined the German Foreign Service last year and will be posted to the German Embassy in Beijing as Deputy Head of the Press Section in July. Previously, he was a Senior Program Manager at the Mercator Program Center for International Affairs (MPC), an NGO based in Essen, Germany.
Prior, Matthias had been awarded a Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs, during which he worked on EU-China diplomacy at the European External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels and, subsequently, on governance cooperation with China at UNDP in Beijing. He specialised in East Asian Studies, Politics and History at the University of Heidelberg, including semesters abroad in Beijing and Hong Kong, before taking up graduate studies in International Relations at Sciences Po Paris, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Harvard Kennedy School.
In his spare time, he enjoys making music (in particular a cappella ensemble singing) and is passionate about architectural history and urban planning.
Salam is the Deputy Director of Arab Reform Initiative (www.arab-reform.net).
He is President of the Initiative for a New Syria, a board member of The Day After association, a Senior Fellow of the Centre for Syrian Studies at the University of St Andrews and a member of the Consultative Council of the Mediterranean Citizens’ Assembly.
He is also a member of the Advisory Committee of the UNU Institute on Globalization, Culture and Mobility, and teaches in the Masters programme on Development and Migration at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.
From 2009 to 2011, he was a principal researcher at the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Amsterdam, and he was director of the Institut Français du Proche Orient (IFPO) in Aleppo, Syria, from 2000 to 2006.
He holds a DEA in political sciences from l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Aix-En-Provence, and a DEA in international relations and a BA in economics from the University of Aleppo.
Dr Daphne Keilmann-Gondhalekar is a US and a German national with a strong interest in urban environmental issues.
She is an urban planner currently working at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, as Member, International Expert Group on Earth System Preservation (IESP), Institute for Advanced Study and Visiting Scientist, Chair of Urban Water Systems Engineering.
She holds a PhD in Urban Planning from the University of Tokyo, Japan (2007), a Master’s in Architecture and Urban Design from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland (2002) and a Bachelor of Architecture with Honours, from the Mackintosh School of Architecture, University of Glasgow, Scotland (1998).
She has worked as a Postdoctoral Associate at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA, and as a Senior Researcher at the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, Germany.
Aroub works as a researcher in the international political affairs at the Royal Hashemite Court, Jordan, mainly on Syria and Lebanon, in addition to several other Arab files. After finishing her BA in International Relations (Dublin City University, Ireland) she went on to finish her Masters in Middle Eastern Studies (American University Beirut, Lebanon).
Aroub is very keen on following world affairs. MENA, currently undergoing major changes, transitions as well as conflict, is of particular interest to her. Aroub hopes to always continue learning and making use of others’ expertise and experience so she can better understand the world system, but also tries in any way possible to contribute positively to society and the world at large. In addition, Aroub is very interested in development and conflict resolution.
Josiane Khoury holds a Master of Public Health from the American University of Beirut. After working in Lebanon on several projects including with the Syndicate of Private Hospitals, the Italian Cooperation for Development, and the National AIDS Programme, she joined the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) headquarters in New York in 2005 as a Technical Analyst, working on HIV prevention.
In 2009, Ms Khoury moved to the Arab States Regional Office as a Programme Specialist and was relocated to Cairo in 2011 in the midst of the Arab Spring. She coordinated the regional humanitarian response, especially during the Libya crisis and the onset of the Syria crisis, was involved in the Youth Regional Programme and provided close support to UNFPA offices in Libya and Algeria.
Ms Khoury is currently External Relations Officer at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Lebanon Country Office, dealing mainly with the response to the Syria crisis and its impact on Lebanon.
Gharanai Khwakhuzhi is a Foreign Service Officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, currently serving as First Secretary at the Embassy and Mission of Afghanistan to Belgium, the European Union and NATO, dealing with political and EU affairs.
Gharanai was born in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 1984. After graduating from high school, he started university in Islamabad, Pakistan, and obtained his BSc (Hon.) in information technology in 2009. In 2013, he was awarded a postgraduate degree in political science and diplomacy.
Prior to his current appointment, he served as the deputy director general for media relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. His interests include history, sports, photography and travelling.
Julia is an activist who is passionate about growing open communities.
She works as a project lead for the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany and as a consultant for The Engine Room. Julia has been running multiple community projects that foster the reuse of open data. Code for Germany, her latest project in collaboration with Code for America, is a civic tech community with 25 labs and more than 350 members across Germany.
Julia leads open data projects in close collaboration with companies and governments alike. In 2015, she co-organised the international Code for All Summit in New York, a two-day conference that brought together leading experts and practitioners in civic tech. Earlier this year she kicked off a prototype fund for civic tech projects in collaboration with Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Former Minister of Economics, private investor, IT entrepreneur and manager, Dr Kóka has been CEO and Chairman of Cellum since 2011.
Since graduating from medical school in 1996, he has held various positions both in the public and private sector. Dr Kóka has worked in a number of senior lead positions at various Hungarian and international IT firms.
From 2003 he served as Member of the Board of the European ICT Association based in Brussels, and Chairman of the Hungarian-Indonesian Joint Business Council.
He was appointed Minister of Economics and Transport of Hungary in October 2004 and later reappointed in June 2006. In 2007-2008 he was President of the Liberal Party and parliamentary group leader until 2010.
After leaving politics in 2010, he returned to business as a consultant to reorganise Cellum Group, and was then appointed President and CEO of Cellum Global Corp in 2011.
Almut Küppers is an educational scientist, language researcher and teaching specialist. She holds a PhD from Goethe-University Frankfurt, and a PGCE from Birmingham University in England. Her home base is Frankfurt University, where she is a full time scholar at the Institute of English and American Studies. She has taught and worked at schools and universities in Germany, the UK, the USA and currently also in Turkey.
From 2005 to 2006 she worked as a Fulbright scholar in New Jersey, USA, and from 2013 to 2014 she was a Mercator-IPC Fellow at Istanbul Policy Center, Sabancı University. Her work involves researching issues of social and educational injustice and institutional discrimination, as well as studying transnational concepts of education with a focus on identity development, multilingualism and intercultural learning in the context of increasing diversity in a world that is rapidly becoming more interconnected.
She is a mother of three and currently based in Istanbul.
Mindaugas Lašas is currently posted to the Lithuanian Embassy in Berlin, where he is responsible for political affairs. From 2009-2012, as the Head of the Press Division, he coordinated the public communication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mindaugas entered the diplomatic service in 2003. He worked at the Information and Public Relations Department of the ministry and in 2009 was posted to the Bonn Office of the Lithuanian Embassy in Germany.
Mindaugas has experience in journalism. From 2001-2003, he was a reporter at the Baltic News Service, the biggest news agency in the Baltic States.
He studied at Vilnius University with a special academic interest in transatlantic relations and theories of international relations. After six years, Mindaugas obtained a Master’s degree in International Relations and Political Science.
Mindaugas is a critic of traditional diplomacy and a supporter of modern, stereotype-free approaches. The preconditions are: non-elitism, democratic values, transparency and online presence.
His years in Germany made Mindaugas a lover of German wine and Indie music. He is passionate about basketball, which is a national sport in Lithuania.
Geneviève Lavertu is the Senior Director of Medtronic Care Management Services – Canada (MCMS). MCMS is a provider of remote patient monitoring solutions, using digital health enabling technologies and data analytics to improve health.
She was formerly the Senior Director of Legal and Scientific Affairs and Business Development at Medtronic of Canada. Prior to this, Geneviève was General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of ProMetic Life Sciences Inc., and practised law with Stikeman Elliott LLP.
She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Civil Law and Common Law; an MSc. in Politics of the World Economy from LSE (UK); and an International Diploma of Public Administration from France’s ENA.
She is a member of the Board of Directors of MEDTEQ – a Quebec-based industry-led R&D consortium, the Board of CTS – a medical technologies accelerator, and the Industry Advisory Council to the Ontario Brain Institute.
Lina Li is a project manager at adelphi consult GmbH. From July 2014 to September 2015, she was a German Chancellor Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, hosted by Germanwatch, conducting research into Germany’s new climate diplomacy.
She holds a master’s degree ín International Politics from Peking University and worked for Ecofys (a European sustainable energy consultancy) and Greenovation Hub (a Chinese environmental NGO) prior to her fellowship. She has helped to organise and promote joint participation on the part of Chinese NGOs in international climate and sustainability processes.
With a great number of publications in the past seven years, she has a wealth of experience of projects and analysis in the fields of international climate negotiations, energy and climate policies, the carbon market and low-carbon cities.
Proven legal assistant for international and EU affairs, engaged in international negotiations for 11 years, worked at public offices and government members in Portugal (justice, transport, economy, foreign affairs) and Spain (transport).
She was head delegate and coordinator of high-level meetings/working parties/seminars, possesses superior communication and logistical skills; experience in project networking (Eurojust/European Judicial Network, Robert Bosch Stiftung/RIBEI) and project management, speaks four languages.
For the last two years, she has been collaborating with a Spanish think-tank which allowed her to combine practical and theoretical perspectives.She was dedicated to the new trends of public diplomacy at multilateral and bilateral levels.
Additionally, she capitalised her cultural and historical roots and coordinates a Latin America network for international studies (44 associates from 14 LAC).
Mónica Lisboa was born 1971 in Portugal. She studied International Relations and European Studies in Lisbon.
In 1994 she joined the diplomatic service and served in the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs between 1995 and 1998. After being posted to the Embassies of the Portuguese Republic in New Delhi (1998-2000), Bern (2000-2005) and Jakarta (2005-2009), she returned to the Ministry in Portugal. Between 2009 and 2011, Mónica initially served as Head of Division in the European Affairs Department, followed by positions as Head of Division in the Department for Bilateral Relations to the Countries of Central and Western Africa and the Department for Lusophone African Countries. In 2012 Mónica was posted to Berlin, where she has served as an envoy at the Portuguese Embassy since 2014.
Ahmad Seyar Maaliji works at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (IRoA) as a Foreign Service Officer (currently Political Counsellor) at the Mission of IRoA to the EU in Brussels. Prior to this, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Programmes at the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He has a strong background in institutional development, human resources management, capacity development and public policy. Ahmad holds a Master of Science in European Integration and Development from Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Institute for European Studies).
In 2011, he attended the 10th Executive seminar for Young Diplomats from Afghanistan in Berlin. Before joining the Foreign Service, he worked with several international organisations such as the British Council, World Bank and the Asia Foundation.
Davood graduated from the Faculty of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran in 1993 before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran.
Davood was posted to the Iranian Embassy in Tokyo from 1996 to 2000. He was Poland desk officer in the ministry till 2004. In second terms, Davood was posted to the Iranian Embassy in Belgrade. From 2008 – 2014, he worked in the West Europe Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran.
Davood is PhD student in International Relations: Science and Research Faculty, University of AZAD of Tehran from 2013. In 2014 (March), Davood participated in the 13th Executive Seminar for Diplomats from the Middle East and Northern Africa organised by the German Federal Foreign Office.
Since 2014 (October), he has been serving as Counsellor in the Iranian Embassy in Berlin.
Mbali Mahlobo is a policy analyst who is passionate about the development of Africa and more generally the pursuit of a developmental state. She has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and political science. She continued her studies to gain a post-graduate diploma focusing on policy development. She has worked in public service for a period of seven and half years, mainly focused on integrated planning, policy development and legislative drafting.
Her interests have always lain in the global political economy and regional perspectives on the interface between governments and historical legacies.
In South Africa, there is a continuous struggle for a capable, professional civil service. While significant strides have been made on the complexities of under-skilling and the need to provide training, policy and strategic thinking still pose a significant challenge for the country. It is in this aspect that her interest lies and where she feels the need for global diplomacy to start shaping the ideal effective democratic government system for countries in transition.
Swati Malik is a Young Professional based in the African Development Bank’s General Counsel and Legal Services Department where she provides legal advice on the administration and operations of the Bank and the African Development Fund. Simultaneously, she is a Commonwealth Scholar at the University of Oxford where she is enrolled in a graduate programme in law.
Previously she served as Legal Officer at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan. Born and raised in New Delhi, Swati studied law and business at the London School of Economics and at Symbiosis Law School, and was admitted to the bar in India in 2010.
Her interests include public international law, in particular human rights, and public health. Swati is an alumna of the Global Governance Futures (2025) programme through which she studied global arms control.
Elizabeth Maloba has worked as an organisational change and business growth facilitator since 2002, and has extensive experience in capacity building, knowledge management, facilitation and conflict resolution.
She works to provide support to organisations to enable them to achieve their objectives by supporting them in making decisions, solving problems, exchanging ideas and information, and learning. She has considerable entrepreneurship experience, having started her own business and invested in a couple of small businesses over the years. This experience allows her to combine entrepreneurial and management skills where needed. She also provides training on entrepreneurship and leadership.
She is currently studying for her master’s degree in organisational development. She lives in Nairobi and has worked in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Somalia and Benin. Her personal interests are travelling and reading.
She was born in 1975 in Timisoara, Romania, a multicultural town close to both the Hungarian and the Serb border. She passed her university entrance examination at the local German high school. She then studied for four years to become a journalist. During her studies, she worked as a programme coordinator for the Soros Foundation in Timisoara and then at Transparency International in Bucharest. Thereafter, she studied political science at Bucharest University, where she finished first in her year.
Subsequently, she worked as the adviser of the Minister of Culture, afterwards she entered the Foreign Affairs Ministry to work as a diplomat at the Permanent Mission to UNESCO for six years. In Paris, she did a Master’s in international security at Sciences Po. She then spent one year in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in the European Affairs department.
She has been working as a diplomat at the Romanian Embassy in Berlin since 2013.
Born in 1967, Norbert Mao is a lawyer and politician. After leaving law school, he established the first ever legal aid project in war-torn northern Uganda. Thereafter, he was elected to the National Parliament of Uganda where he served from 1996 until he retired in 2006 to go and head the Gulu Local Government to spearhead peace efforts and the rehabilitation of the area recovering from war.
In Parliament, Norbert Mao championed peace, land rights, anti-corruption efforts and oversight of international financial institutions. From 2006-8, he spearheaded peace efforts with the LRA as part of the community initiative.
In 2011, he ran for President of Uganda as flag-bearer of the Democratic Party coming third in a field of eight and winning three of the seven districts won by the opposition.
Norbert Mao is a commentator who features in various local and international media.
He is married.
Joaquin Molina’s professional experience spans the private and public sectors, demonstrating a deep commitment to public service, human rights and Euro-Atlantic values.
He currently works as a Senior Officer in the Crisis Management Policy Section of the Operations Division within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In this role, Joaquin provides advice on international security issues to the Secretary General and the North Atlantic Council. He worked on crisis areas including the Western Balkans, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan. Between 2004 and 2008 Joaquin was involved in negotiations regarding the international status of Kosovo, working closely with United Nations Special Envoy – and later Nobel Peace Prize Laureate – Martti Ahtisaari in preparing the Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosovo Status Settlement. Before assuming his current position, Joaquin worked for NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division and in the Private Office of the Secretary General.
Prior to joining NATO, he was Head of Section for Human Rights and Rule of Law at the Office of the High Representative in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Joaquin worked for the European Parliament and as a private sector consultant in London and Milan. He earned his degree in law from Deusto University in Bilbao, Spain, and also holds a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC.
Alejandro has been a career diplomat since 2003, when he started working at the Directorate General for the Asia-Pacific. His first post abroad was at the Embassy of Mexico in China, where his last position was as Head of the Consular Section. In January 2012, he moved to the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the Council of Europe, where he works as Deputy Permanent Observer.
Alejandro holds a Master’s degree in International Law from Mexico. Later he gained a PhD in International and Comparative Law in China. He has participated in several training programmes, such as the 11th International Futures (August 2014), 1st Regional Meeting for Alumni from the Americas and the Caribbean (June 2014), Alumni Meeting on Global Ethics (November 2013), and the 2nd Executive Seminar for Diplomats from Latin America and the Caribbean (2007), offered by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany; the programme Understanding Modern China for Young Latin American Diplomats, developed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China (June 2005); and Korea’s Economic Development and Economic Crisis Management offered by the Korea Development Institute (KDI) (October 2004).
Alejandro speaks Spanish, English, Chinese and French. He loves travelling, reading and practising sports, such as football and swimming.
Edna Martínez is an enthusiastic consultant living in Mexico City. Her expertise is in sustainable production and consumption.
Currently, she is an individual consultant for the United Nations Development Programme for the project, Development of the Implementation Strategy of the Sustainable Development Goals in Mexico, which seeks to define, design and develop a proposed strategy for implementing the SDGs with the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation and the Office of the Presidency.
Previously, she was Director of Sustainable Production and Consumption at the Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. She was responsible for the development and implementation of the National Strategy for Sustainable Production and Consumption that led to the Special Programme in Sustainable Production and Consumption 2014–2018.
Kyle Matthews is the Senior Deputy Director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia University and a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. His work focuses on human rights, international security, the Responsibility to Protect, global threats, and social media and technology.
He recently founded the Digital Mass Atrocity Prevention Lab and the Raoul Wallenberg Legacy of Leadership project.
In 2011, he joined the New Leaders program at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.
He is a member of the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations and the Federal Idea, a think tank devoted to federalism.
Colette Mazzucelli is a graduate faculty member of the Department of International Relations at the Graduate School of Arts and Science at New York University (NYU). She has two decades of experience in technology-mediated learning.
Professor Mazzucelli is a recipient of the NYU Excellence in Teaching Award 2013. Three of her courses have been profiled by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in Foreign Affairs and the CFR Educators Bulletin. She is the author and/or editor of five books and numerous journal articles on European integration and transatlantic security. Her biography appears in Marquis Who’s Who in the World. Professor Mazzucelli’s courses on conflict resolution and radicalisation and religion represent NYU in the State Department / Facebook initiative, Peer 2 Peer (P2P).
She enjoys sports, appreciates travel, cuisine, and architecture, and loves making a home for her 12-year old adopted orange tabby, Samson Ferenc.
Kerstin Meins was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Media Studies from Ruhr-Universität Bochum and a Master’s degree in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago, where she focused on International Political Economy and Public Policy.
Her professional experience includes a Carlo Schmid Fellowship with the Office of the Chief Economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London; teaching and coordinator’s responsibilities within the framework of a DAAD-funded social science study course run out of the liaison office of Freie Universität Berlin at Moscow State Institute of International Relations; and most recently building and managing the international network of alumni and partners of the Joachim Herz Stiftung, a non-profit foundation dedicated to the advancement of education, science and research in different subject areas.
Kerstin is currently chairwoman of the board of the CSP Network for International Politics and Cooperation, the alumni society of the Carlo Schmid Program. Among other things, she is interested in the contemporary politics, history and cultures of North America and Eastern Europe, the theory and practice of philanthropy, as well as networks and communication in corporate, political and social contexts.
Sonia Mezzour holds a master’s degree in mechanical and process engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ), followed by a master’s thesis at Harvard Medical School.She is fluent in Arabic, English, German, French and Spanish.
Currently Secretary General of one of the 39 strategic agencies of the Kingdom of Morocco leading 150 HC, Vice Chairperson of the UNECE PPP Bureau and Vice President of one of the municipalities in the capital, she is a keynote speaker at several high-level conferences such as Thinkers and Doers, WEF, CGLU, UN Palais des Nations and IMA.
He studied Chemistry and Economics at the University of Ulm and began his professional career within the Global Environmental Protection department at Daimler in Stuttgart.
From 2006 to 2009, he worked on his doctoral thesis at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and obtained a PhD in Engineering from the University of Stuttgart in 2010.He then joined the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) in Washington DC and founded the European branch of ICCT in Berlin in 2012. In the period October 2015 to June 2016, he was selected as IPC-Mercator Research Fellow in Istanbul.
His professional focus is on vehicle emissions and strategies for reducing the negative impacts of road transportation on our environment. His interest is mostly on combining technical, economic, social and political aspects and acting as a “translator” between stakeholders coming from different backgrounds.
Henryka Mościcka-Dendys was appointed Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland in charge of European policy, human rights and parliamentary affairs on 16 April 2013. Prior to that, she served as Director of the European Policy Department (from 2012) and Deputy Director of the same department, responsible for institutional affairs and Northern Europe (2011–2012).
She graduated in law and classics at the University of Silesia in Katowice and holds a PhD in International Law from the University of Warsaw.
She joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland in 2002. Her previous postings include Copenhagen, where she was seconded to the office of the CBSS Commissioner for Democratic Development (2003), and Berlin, where she served as 1st Secretary and later as Counsellor at the Polish Embassy, covering EU policies including enlargement and institutional issues (2007–2011).
She is a Member of Board of the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation (since 2011).
Patrick Mpedzisi is an organisational development consultant with over 15 years’ experience in the NGO sector in Africa. During this time he opened various processes for CSOs in Africa to engage in regional processes. He has managed major CSO initiatives, led regional campaigns and built civil society capacities across the continent. He now focuses on building NGOs’ capacities to be more effective in their sustainability and resource mobilisation.
A lawyer by profession, he also founded Mitupo.org, a platform for restoring, preserving and celebrating African culture and identity and promoting ownership of the evolution of culture. Prior to that, he coordinated the African Democracy Forum, was project coordinator at Southern Africa Trust and led the African Youth Parliament, among other roles. He also co-authored a paper on South African foreign policy and regional integration.
Dilshad Muhammad is a researcher from Syria with a master’s degree in political science and international relations. He has expertise in nationalism and minority politics. He worked as an Istanbul-based freelance journalist specialised in Turkish affairs and frequently appeared on the Deutsche Welle television channel.
Most recently, Dilshad Muhammad was a guest researcher on global governance at the German Development Institute (DIE) in Bonn. He was also a participant in the Managing Global Governance Academy at the same institute. He is currently researching sustainable peacebuilding and the global governance of forced migration.
Lothar Müller works as a political adviser on foreign and European policy for the CSU group in the German parliament. Before that, he worked for the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces, dealing inter alia with policy issues and representing the office at international conferences. Prior positions included working for the German Ministry of Defence, taking part in a European Twinning Project (intellectual property rights) in Poland, working for the UNODC/Terrorism Prevention Branch in Vienna and being a member of the European Police Mission Proxima in FYR of Macedonia.
Lothar studied law, political science and art history and holds a doctorate in law from the University of Vienna and a Master’s in European Governance from the ENA and the Humboldt University.
Key interests: foreign policy, European cooperation, institution-building.
Natalya was born and spent her childhood in the 1990's Kiev, prior to moving to Bavaria after elementary school. She received a degree as a state-certified interpreter for English and earned a Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of Central Lancashire in Northwestern UK.
She gained professional experience as Project Manager for the German-Russian Young Leaders Conference. As one of her current projects, she supports eHealth Africa as Admin Manager in Berlin, helping the NGO improve public healthcare in West Africa.
Natalya also acts as Deputy Chairwoman of the Young German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), working on the association's strategy as well as strengthening the internal and external network.
In 2016, she founded the non-profit enterprise Netzwerk Chancen, an advocacy platform that fights for equal opportunities for children and teenagers from low-income households in Germany.
Ms. Chi Nguyen is the Managing Director at Parker P. Consulting, a social enterprise consulting firm owned by White Ribbon. White Ribbon is the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls, promote gender equity, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity.
Ms. Nguyen has been recognised for her contributions to improving the lives of women and girls throughout Canada by the Governor General (2004) and the YWCA (1999). These efforts included running a national Young Women Vote campaign, the creation of the McGill Women in House program and co-authoring the “Little Black Book for Girls”.
She serves on the advisory of Jane’s Walk, a global movement of citizen-based walks that connect people with their own stories about their communities.
In her free time, she likes to race streetcars on her bicycle, eat delicious food, run and quilt.
Khac Giang Nguyen is currently a senior political researcher and Head of the Socio-political Unit at the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research.He obtained a BA in international economics and an MA in media and globalisation from Aarhus University (Denmark) and City University London (UK).
His main research interests are Vietnamese affairs, ASEAN and democratisation in Asia. Giang is also a popular columnist on Vietnamese newspapers, including VnExpress and Vietnamnet. He is also a contributor to the policy blog East Asia Forum.
Seth Oppenheim has more than ten years of public international law, international criminal law, and national security experience with a focus on Europe, including as a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin and as a Fulbright Scholar to both Austria and to UNESCO in Paris.
In addition, Seth was an attorney at the International Criminal Court and was a Law Clerk at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia where he assisted in the prosecution of Slobodan Milosevic. Seth has extensive U.S. government experience, including at the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation; he is currently a Trial Attorney with the Office of International Affairs at the Department of Justice.
Seth is a graduate of the University of Michigan, the University of Michigan Law School, and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.
Diego is an International advisor and Consultant with 18 years of experience in public administration and international experience covering the UN, NATO, World Bank, Canadian diplomacy and private sector ventures.
Diego has worked on institutional/social reconstruction, civil-military coordination and humanitarian issues in Central African Republic, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jordan, Timor Leste, Colombia, Pakistan, Indonesia (Banda Aceh), Liberia and Iraq. He also served as Senior Peacekeeping Officer at DFAIT.
He is an Associate Fellow of the Raoul-Dandurand Chair in Strategic and Diplomatic Studies at Université de Quebec a Montreal, the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies and Lecturer in Humanitarian Action, Reconciliation/Mediation, Post-Conflict recovery and urban conflict in universities in Canada and abroad.
Education: 2009 MC/MPA Harvard KSG; 2001 U.Bern/Fribourg/Neuchatel. Master in Trade Law and Economics; 1996, McGill University, BA Political Science/History.
Evrykleia Panagiotou has served as a diplomat at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic since 2005. Currently, she is posted to the Embassy of the Hellenic Republic in Doha, Qatar, where she has been Deputy Head of Mission and Consul since September 2014. Evrykleia is looking forward to discussing the challenges of diplomacy in our days in the framework of the forthcoming Global Diplomacy Lab.
David Patrician is a freelance journalist.
In 2006, he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship and came to Germany on a journalist exchange. Some of his assignments included being embedded with the German Bundeswehr in Afghanistan, as well as hosting some special reports for WDR, Radio Bremen, Deutsche Welle, Newsweek and Delta Radio (a weekly radio show entirely in German).
Prior to this, he was a radio and news producer for the Voice of America in Washington, DC. David graduated from the University of Maryland with a double degree in government and politics, and did some of his master’s degree at Georgetown University.
In addition, he has also moderated several international conferences, including the Water Act Summit in Paris prior to COP 21.
Banu Pekol is a founding member of the Association for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, where she continues to work as a consultant for architectural conservation projects of non-Muslim heritage in Turkey. She worked as an assistant professor of architectural history and conservation at Özyeğin University, Istanbul, and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at the Istanbul Technical University and the Netherlands Institute in Turkey.
She won the Salzburg Global Seminar Fellowship on Conflict Transformation through Culture: Peace-building and the Arts; the Association Villard de Honnecourt for the Interdisciplinary Study of Technology, Science, and Art Award; a Hellenic Ministry of Culture Grant; the Otto Gründler Award; and grants from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and Bodossaki Foundation.
She has worked as an advisor and specialist on EU and US-funded projects and continues other activist projects.
Jennifer Pernau works as executive assistant to the CEO at Dr. Arend Oetker Holding in Berlin.
After her studies in Germany, New Zealand and Italy, she did a PhD with a focus on different social and religious systems and their impact on the development of democracy and the understanding of human rights.
At the German Commission for UNESCO she deepened her interest in the current cultural scene, education and media politics.As head of the division for cultural programmes at the Goethe-Institut Rome, she planned programmes with ministries, embassies, universities and local cultural and educational institutions.
As a strong believer in multilateralism, Jennifer is a member of Young DGAP (German Council on Foreign Relations), an alumna of the Turkey Europe Future Forum 2015, and was selected as moderator of Bürgerwerkstatt Außenpolitik 2016 by the Federal Foreign Office and Stiftung Mercator.
Dr Jernej Pikalo is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Ljubljana and former Minister of Education, Science and Sports of Slovenia.
He was educated at the University of Ljubljana and the University of Warwick (UK) and has authored and co-authored four books and more than twenty peer-reviewed articles.
He has worked across disciplinary boundaries in international teams at the University of Warwick, Bristol University, European Inter-University Centre in Venice, and at the Bifrost University in Iceland.
He has managed and led academic projects financed by the European Union and Council of Europe, mainly on civic education in the global era. He was a chairperson of the Programme Council of RTV Slovenia and member of the board of the Institute of Autism in Ljubljana.
Frequently contributing to Slovene media, he lives in Ljubljana with his wife and two children.
Jozef joined the Slovak Foreign Service in 2005. Currently he is Head of Unit for General Affairs and EU Institutions at the Slovak Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels. Prior to this position, he was Deputy Director of the Department of Analysis and Policy Planning of the Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. Between 2007 and 2012, he worked in the political section of the Embassy of his country in Berlin.
Jozef holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Economics in Bratislava. He has also completed an MA in European Studies at the University of Hamburg and an MA in International Relations at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
Josef participated in the 4th Diplomatenkolleg (Federal Foreign Office, Robert Bosch Foundation and German Council on Foreign Relations) in 2008/2009.
Ivana Ponjavic studies Executive Master of Public Administration at Hertie School of Governance in Berlin since September 2016. She has been Communications Officer of the Head of the Negotiating team for accession of Serbia to the European Union since 2013.
From 2007 until 2013, she worked as Public Relations and Project Manager at the European Movement in Serbia. She led the media team of the international conference Belgrade Security Forum from 2010 to 2013.
As a participant of the “Fellowship Programme for Young Government Officials from Western Balkans”, organised by the European Fund for the Balkans, she was an exchange civil servant of the Training for International Diplomats department at the German Federal Foreign Office in 2015.
She is a graduate of the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade and of the Diplomatic Academy at Serbia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As Director General of the General Directorate of Municipal Affairs (GDMA) of the Independent Directorate of Local Governance of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, he is in charge of the government institution at the central level that oversees, manages and regulates the affairs of all 195 municipalities of Afghanistan, with the exception of the capital.
Before he became Director General of GDMA in 2011, he had worked for UN agencies for 18 years, most recently as Senior Urban National Programme Manager for UN-Habitat.
Among other degrees he holds a postgraduate diploma in Land Management and Informal Settlement Regularisation from the International Institute of Urban Management of the Erasmus University at Rotterdam, Netherlands and - through distance-learning - a doctoral degree in Political Science and International Relations from the Atlantic International University, Hawaii, USA.
Anna-Maria Praks holds MA degrees in Law (2002) and European Studies (2008). Since 1999 her focus in professional activities and training courses has been on foreign and security policy.
In Tallinn she worked for the Estonian Ministry of Defence from 2001 to 2006 as Deputy Director of the Department of International Cooperation. From 2006 to 2008 she acted as Advisor on International Affairs to the National Defence Committee of the Estonian Parliament.
Since 2009 Anna-Maria has been living in Berlin, Germany, where she first worked as Security and Defence Policy Counsellor at the Estonian Embassy (2009-2012). From 2013 to autumn 2015 she worked as a research associate at the Institute for Security and Safety in Potsdam. Currently she is engaged in freelance and voluntary activities, among other things working in an emergency shelter for refugees in Berlin.
Jakob Preuss is a documentary filmmaker. His films, shot in Iran, Bosnia, and Ukraine, have been broadcast in over nine countries. His last film, “The Other Chelsea”, about the coal-mining city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, won the Grimme Award in Germany. He is currently working on a film project on Europe’s borderlands and migration policy for German public TV.
In 2013, Jakob and other artists founded the association GehtAuchAnders, which encourages artists to get involved in socio- political matters. In addition to his activities as a filmmaker, Jakob works in the political arena. He coordinated the drafting of the electoral manifesto of Alliance 90/The Greens for the 2014 European elections. He has also worked for the Greens’ parliamentary group in the German Bundestag as an adviser on European Affairs.
His previous employment also includes the NGO, Reporters without Borders, where he served as CIS desk officer with a focus on Russia and Central Asia. He has also observed numerous elections for the OSCE (including elections in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Ukraine) and for the European Union in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Jasdeep Randhawa is an international development and legal consultant with more than eight years of work experience spanning five continents. She has worked for UN-Habitat as the Programme Manager for Local Authorities, the Urban Legislation Advisor and the Regional Partnerships Advisor for Implementation of the New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs). She has consulted for the OECD, the Governments of India, New Zealand and Australia, the World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on access to water security and sanitation services.
She is passionate about tapping into the huge potential amongst young social entrepreneurs in India to localise the implementation of the SDGs, particularly in the fields of water, climate change, urbanisation, innovation and skills development.
Jasdeep has been selected to represent India at the G20 Youth Forum, and as a fellow of the Global Diplomacy Lab, the BMW Foundation, the Global Governance Futures programme and Global Table and has presented policy recommendations on global governance issues pertaining to climate change, the refugee crisis, water security, digital technology and building trust in post-conflict societies.
Jasdeep has also served as a law clerk to a senior judge in the Supreme Court of India and as a judicial marshal in the High Court of Hong Kong. Jasdeep has taught courses in law and public policy in India, New Zealand, Kenya and the United States.
A recipient of several international scholarships and awards, Jasdeep holds a Master’s in Law from Yale, a Bachelor’s in Civil Law from the University of Oxford, a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a law degree from Government Law College, Mumbai.
Jasdeep is a travel junkie, having made her way to 47 countries, and an amateur photographer.
Dr Jörn Richert is a political scientist and policy advisor.
His areas of expertise include new foreign policy strategy, foresight methods and global energy governance. He is Assistant Professor for Energy Governance at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and works as a project leader on energy transition foreign policy at Stiftung Neue Verantwortung, a Berlin-based Think Tank.
Previously, he worked as a future analyst for the Future Analysis Branch of the German Armed Forces’ Planning Office as well as for Think Tanks in Istanbul, Berlin (SWP), and Copenhagen.
He studied political science, economics, and psychology in Kiel and Madrid and holds a doctorate degree in Sociology/International Relations from Bielefeld University.
Bastian Richter is a United Nations staff member with in-depth expertise in leading complex inter-agency planning processes, as well as analysis and lessons learning initiatives.
In his current job at the UNDP, he manages the implementation of the UN-wide Programme Criticality Framework, an essential element of the UN’s security risk management system in countries affected by conflict.
In the previous six years, Bastian also worked for the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, for UNICEF HQ and the Somalia Country Office, as well as for the UN Political Office for Somalia.
As a Mercator Fellow on International Affairs in 2010-11, Bastian explored the interplay of conflict and humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa. He has a Master’s degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics (LSE). He enjoys reading about contemporary history and is a keen distance runner.
Brisa earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in International Relations at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México (UNAM) and attended a professional training program on Managing Global Governance at the German Development Institute (DIE).
She has collaborated with various civil society organizations and academic institutions, developing projects related to such topics as migration, good governance, international development cooperation and citizen´s diplomacy, and she has attended various international conferences and UN high-level meetings as a civil society delegate.
She currently works for GIZ in Mexico, as Technical Coordinator of the Strengthening Civil Society Initiative.
Humphrey is currently working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Kenya as a Foreign Service Officer I (First Secretary) at the UN and Multilateral Affairs Directorate.
From 2007 to 2013, he lectured on German language and research methodology at the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya’s Centre for Tourism Training and Research, and also worked as a part-time German language lecturer at the Technical University of Kenya.
In May and June 2014, he attended the 8th Executive Seminar for Young Diplomats from Africa in Berlin. From 2007 to 2010, he undertook a Master of Arts in International Studies at the University of Nairobi (Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies).
In 2003, he attended an international summer course at the University of Freiburg in Germany. From 1999 to 2003, he studied German Language and Literature at Kenyatta University (School of Education and Human Resource Development).
Mome Saleem has a strong background in global governance, peace and security, gender, diplomacy and training for conflict resolution through dialogue.
She has a keen insight into the needs of developing countries and is a well-versed and proficient public speaker in the languages of Urdu, English and Punjabi.
She has conducted training sessions on peacebuilding, transformation, conflict resolution and gender mainstreaming and media content analysis on peace and gender.
Mome Saleem is a Programme Coordinator at Heinrich Böll Foundation Islamabad, Pakistan. Before, she has worked at the think-tank “Sustainable Development Policy Institute” in Islamabad.
Her research interest focused on human security and gender as a cross-cutting theme. Mome has produced research publications on subjects with relevance to Pakistan.
She is coordinator of the Council for Women Parliamentarians.
She graduated from the Faculty of International Relations at Kateb University in 2011.
Farsi is her native language, but she also speaks English, German and French.
Prior to joining the Foreign Service, she worked for a few months at the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) in the Gender Unit as Gender Officer.
In February 2013, she joined the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and, soon thereafter, she took part in the one year Diplomacy Course organised by the Institute of Diplomacy within the MoFA.
During this period of time, she has participated in several training programmes abroad, most recently in Berlin. These training programmes provided a remarkable opportunity for networking and career development and gave a better understanding of regional and global perception of peace and cross-cultural communication.
She loves reading, travelling, music and sport.
Susanne Salz is the Founder of the United Actors. Previously, she worked as a Project Manager at the “Think and Do Tank” Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP) and as Head of the Secretary General’s Office at ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability. In that role Susanne managed the involvement of local governments in the UN Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development.
She has also worked at the UN Volunteers and the OECD.
Susanne holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics as well as a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Sussex, including an exchange year at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris.
Susanne loves to row and competes in 100 km rowing races on the Rhine.
Trini Saona is a journalist and diplomat of the Foreign Service of Chile, currently specialising in innovation diplomacy by actively working at the Alfredo Zolezzi Foundation, a non-profit organisation set up by Chilean innovator Alfredo Zolezzi, whose proprietary innovation model aims to connect advanced science and technology with emerging social and environmental challenges.
Between 2013 and 2015, she served at the Chilean Embassy in Mexico, where she was responsible for economic affairs, the Pacific Alliance and the Ibero-American Conference. Prior to that, she worked in the office of the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, studying issues involved in landlocked countries and access to the sea for two years.
She speaks Spanish, English and French. She tries to spend as much time as possible hiking the Andes along with her Nikon D810. To stay in shape she loves to train, jog and swim in the capital of Santiago.
Sabrina Schärf is currently completing her professional training course for the policy branch of the German Foreign Office.
Previously, Sabrina worked as a business developer for the Spanish energy company Abengoa Solar.
She is an alumna of the Mercator Kolleg for International Affairs and in June 2015 co-founded Polis180, a grassroots think-tank on European and foreign policy.
She has an MSc in Politics and Government of the EU from the London School of Economics and has completed her BA in Political Science in Potsdam and Barcelona.
Sabrina loves Spanish cuisine and swing dance.
Sabrina Schulz is the Managing Director of the Berlin office of E3G – Third Generation Environmentalism, a global not-for-profit think tank, which was rated the fifth most influential environmental think tank in the world in 2016. Both an environmentalist and an internationalist at heart, she is an expert on European and international climate and energy policy. Her current work focuses on how the global transition to a low-carbon economy can be managed in an equitable and economically sound manner.
Before joining E3G in 2012, Sabrina worked in various policy capacities for think tanks and consultancies in Germany, the UK, the US and Canada. From 2009 to 2011, she was a policy advisor on climate change and energy to the British High Commission in Canada.
Sabrina is also a member of the board of Greenpeace Germany and a policy fellow at Das Progressive Zentrum in Berlin.
Sabrina holds an MA in Public Policy and Management from the University of Potsdam, for which she also studied at the University of Konstanz and Université catholique de Louvain, as well an MA in International Politics and a PhD from the University of Wales at Aberystwyth in the United Kingdom.
Luisa recently founded SINGA Germany, an organisation dedicated to developing innovative solutions to refugees’ socio-economic integration. In her most recent position as a Mercator Fellow, she worked with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on forcibly displaced persons’ access to decent labour in host countries. She regards migration of all kinds as a process that questions both traditional structures within states and relations between states, and thus as an impetus for societal and political creativity and innovation. Before receiving the Mercator Fellowship, she was a research associate and policy adviser at the efms (european forum for migration studies), a long-established migration research institute in Germany that aims to help improve migration and integration policy in Germany and Europe via informed discourse on these issues. Over the years, she has gained expertise in a wide array of migration-related fields, not least through her work with refugees in Morocco.
Luisa studied Applied Political Science at the University of Freiburg and the Institut d’Études Politiques d’Aix-en-Provence with a focus on international relations and migration. She firmly believes in, and yet time and again is stunned by, the value of curated intercultural dialogue, which she endeavoured to facilitate during her time at university while working at the Franco-German TV channel ARTE and the Festival du Monde Arabe de Montréal.
During a sabbatical, she withdrew from the turmoil of international politics and directed her curiosity towards a more artisanal venture by learning how to make hats and headdresses. This creative work has become a passion of hers.
Patrícia is currently Cultural-Attaché at the Embassy of Portugal in Berlin, responsible for the network and cooperation development between the Portuguese and German Ministries of Culture and state cultural institutions. She also develops multilateral cultural cooperation within the framework of the EUNIC cluster in Berlin, a network of European cultural institutes.Prior to this she worked for the Portuguese Ministry of Culture as Project Manager and Head of Division in charge of strategic planning, coordinating industry meetings and the Portuguese presence in international film festivals and markets including Berlin, Cannes, Venice and Rio de Janeiro.
Before her placement in Berlin she had been appointed Advisor on Film and Media to the Secretary of State for Culture in Portugal. Some years after finishing her degree in Modern Languages and Literature in the University of Cologne, as an Erasmus student, she was seconded to the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media in Berlin, as a Bellevue Fellow of the Robert Bosch Foundation.
Patrícia strongly believes that creative diplomacy and cultural investment are key elements of a structured external relations policy.
Dr Quilan Shen is a most curious observer of life and the world who intends to make a difference. She holds a Master of Philosophy degree from Fudan University in China and obtained her PhD from the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany.
A famous art critic and writer in China, her latest book “Taking life at my own pace” sold 30,000 copies within three months, and was acclaimed one of the “books of the year 2014” by the media. Her art criticism can often be found in both academic journals and in mass media. Her articles have appeared in Art World Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar Art Magazine, BOOK TOWN, Art and Design, Life Magazine, Numéro, Noblesse, Vogue and Art Collection and Design.
Dr Shen Qilan worked as the director of the editorial department of the prominent Art World magazine (2010-2011) and was later chief editor of arts and the director of international projects at Shanghai Insight Media (2012-2013), China South Publishing & Media Group. She has served as an editorial board member of BOOK TOWN Magazine, one of the most prestigious and intellectual magazines in China, since 2014.
Dmytro is from Ukraine. Having spent 10 years at the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry and at the embassies in Washington, DC, and in Berlin, he was posted to the Consulate General in Munich in January 2017, where he works on political, interregional and economic issues.
Dmytro was born and raised in Crimea, a region that is central to the current crisis with Russia. His parents and many of his friends still live there, which means that the crisis is not just an issue he deals with at work, but also part of his life.
Dmytro studied law at Dnipropetrovsk National University and Freie Universität Berlin. He was able to attend law school in Germany thanks to a scholarship from the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future”, and this gave him a firm basis for his career as a diplomat.
His hobbies include playing rock music, mountaineering and snow sports.
Stanislav Shevchenko was born on 21 April 1980 in the town of Okhtyrka in the Sumy region, into a family of engineers. After finishing secondary school in Vinnytsia in 1997, he enrolled at Vinnytsia State University (Foreign Languages Department) to study English and German. He had always dreamed of becoming a lawyer, and he then entered and successfully graduated from Kyiv National Linguistic University (Department of Law) and the Ukrainian State University of Finance and International Trade (Department of International Trade Law) gaining a Bachelor's degree in Ukrainian law and a Master's degree in international private and public law. Alongside his studies he also worked for the regional state administration in Vinnytsia in the department of European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
In 2007 he participated in a High Level Exchange Programme organised by the Federal Foreign Office. The programme helped the young professional deepen his knowledge in the spheres of European integration and international public law. After working in various law firms, he finally passed the qualification exam for the right to practise law and in 2014 became a licensed lawyer. "A sound mind in a sound body" is the tenet by which he lives, as he strives to show that sport is part of a healthy lifestyle and helps maintain the body’s physical and mental wellbeing.
Imran Simmins is currently the First Secretary Political at the Embassy of South Africa in Berlin, Germany.
Serving as a South African diplomat from January 2005 on, he previously held desks in South Africa's Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)'s National Office for Coordination of Peace Missions as well as on the USA Political Bilateral Desk.
He served his first diplomatic posting as First Political Secretary at the South African Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe from June 2007 to July 2011, where he dealt with a range of issues from serving on the secretariat of the South African Mediation Team to dealing with the land issue in Zimbabwe as it affected South Africa.
Throughout his teenage years he took up various leadership positions as a student activist in organisations that stood against apartheid and any other forms of injustice. Values which he still holds and maintains to date.
Satyarupa Shekhar heads the Government Outreach and Advisory Group at CAG.
Satyarupa works to overcome challenges to access to basic services posed by a lack of data and information, while improving transparency and accountability. Her areas of interest are public administration, the role of elected representatives, open data and the use of technology to improve governance. She has been a part of innovative action research projects that take a new look at common urban challenges, including those involving informal waste workers, public toilets and decision making for municipal services.
She has worked with Chennai's city government and a Tamil Nadu state department to improve their data-management practices to plan civic infrastructure better, and has supported the creation of data that has been used by the city government and courts to provide evidence for failures in service provision. Satyarupa is recognised as a commentator on transparency and accountability and (open) data, as well as the role of data intermediaries.
Olga is a McGill Postdoctoral Fellow in Space Governance and Research Associate at the George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute.
Prior to that, she worked for the Parliament of Ukraine, the German Aerospace Center, the Ukrainian Space Agency and the European Space Agency. She has been in the space sector for more than ten years, including seven years as a government official (with governmental and parliamentary experience).
An IDEST and ISU alumna, she has worked both nationally and internationally, combining public service with academic work and legal practice. Her main scientific interests lie in the fields of space security, space governance, space diplomacy, international space cooperation and commercial space. In 2013, Olga was honoured with the IAF Emerging Space Leaders recognition award.
She is a member of the International Institute of Space Law and Women in Aerospace Europe.
Paula is a former undersecretary and adviser to the ministers of economic affairs, finance and energy in Ecuador. She now works at the President’s Office in the World Bank, where she tracks and helps accelerate progress in key institutional and executive priorities.
With a background in economics, Paula has always been involved in designing and implementing public policy with the support of the international community.
As a government official, she participated in the creation of the biggest social programme in her country, restructured public debt, coordinated a dialogue for fiscal reforms, changed the hydrocarbons law; and jumpstarted a public financial management system based on south-to-south exchanges. Her expertise is in service delivery, performance and institutions.
Paula holds a Master’s degree from the Harvard Kennedy School and has lived and studied in France, Germany, Ecuador and the United States.
Vesna Teršelič is the founder and director of the Croatia-based organisation Documenta – Centre for Dealing with the Past. The central aim of her work is to establish factual truth about the war and to play a role in shifting the discussion from the level of dispute over facts towards a dialogue on interpretations, as well as to support survivors and advocate acknowledgment of the suffering of victims of war crimes. In doing so, she is continuing her earlier work as Director of the Centre for Peace Studies, Zagreb, and as founder and coordinator of the Anti-War Campaign in Croatia.
Since 1985, she has focused on organising for social change by advocating environmental protection, affirming women’s rights and promoting human rights. As one of the initiators of RECOM, a non-political regional coalition of civil society organisations and individuals working to establish a fact-finding commission into the Yugoslav wars, she has been campaigning for years to establish the facts about war crimes and human rights violations committed in former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 2001.
She was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 1998 for her efforts in building peace and affirming the right to truth, justice and remembrance in post-Yugoslav countries, after having been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997.
Almaz was born in Bishkek in 1971.
He studied foreign languages, specializing in German and English, and graduated from Kyrgyz State University. As a scholar of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), he studied for one semester at Humboldt University in Berlin.
From 1996 to 2013, he worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, serving in five different departments. He had to deal with CIS, the Diplomatic Service and the Shanghai Organization for Cooperation. During that time he was posted to Vienna (2000-2004) as Deputy Head of the Kyrgyz Delegation to the OSCE and served as Minister-Counsellor at the Kyrgyz Embassy in Berlin (2011-2013).
In 2014, he ended his diplomatic career and started his own business in the field of medical tourism.
Almaz speaks Kyrgyz, Russian, German, English and French. He is interested in philosophy, religion, football, snowboarding and chess.
Cana Tülüs has been working at Istanbul Policy Centre (IPC) since January 2012.Before joining IPC, she worked at Tohum Autism Foundation for 18 months as a projects assistant and deputy projects specialist.
She obtained her master’s degree in European studies from Sabancı University (Turkey). She received her undergraduate degree in political science and international relations from Boğaziçi University (Turkey) in 2009. During her BA, she did internships at Cumhuriyet newspaper, NTV and the Turkish National Assembly for short periods.
She is a student of the political science PhD programme at Istanbul Bilgi University. She writes for Beğenmeyen Okumasin literature blog and is a mentor at BUMED. She is a Turkey Europe Future Forum 2015 fellow and a first-year EU Communication Volunteer of the Turkish Ministry for EU Affairs.
Emre Tunçalp is a London-based associate at Stroz Friedberg where he advises investors on country-specific risks in emerging markets. Prior to joining Stroz Friedberg, Emre worked at Sidar Global Advisors (SGA), a Washington, DC-based emerging markets research and risk advisory firm.
Emre holds an MA in International Relations and International Economics, with a concentration on energy and environment policy, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC, and a BA in Political and Social Sciences from Sabanci University in Istanbul.
A committed transatlanticist and a firm believer in multilateralism, Emre was part of the Emerging Leaders Working Group established by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen during the 2014 NATO Wales Summit, and is a member of the Atlantic Council and Ecologic Institute's Emerging Leaders in Energy and Environmental Policy (ELEEP) Network. In 2016, he was selected as a Future Energy Leader by the World Energy Council. He is also a member of the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt Responsible Leaders Network and the Eurasia Foundation Young Professionals Network.
Emre is a frequent public commentator on emerging markets, and the energy industry; and made television and print appearances on different media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Reuters, Foreign Policy, and Bloomberg.
Dr Ebru Turhan works as Assistant Professor for Political Science and the Vice-Director of the Institute of Social Sciences at the Turkish-German University of Istanbul. She is also the coordinator of the Jean Monnet Module INSITER “Inside the Turkey-EU Relations” co-financed by the European Commission.
During 2013-2014 she was a Mercator-IPC Fellow at the IPC in the thematic area of EU/German-Turkish relations. Her current research interests lie in EU-Turkey affairs, Germany’s European policy, German-Turkish relations and the refugee crisis.
Turhan received a Master’s degree in Contemporary European Studies from the University of Bath and a doctorate degree in Political Science from the University of Cologne. During 2006-2013, Turhan worked at the Berlin Representation of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD), where she held the position of Senior Expert and Project Manager.
Kata Dorottya Udvarhelyi works for the Hungarian Foreign Service and is currently assigned to the Political Section of the Hungarian Embassy in Berlin, Germany. Prior to that, she worked as an Exchange Diplomat in the European Department of the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin as well as for the Government Commissioner for the EU Danube Region Strategy in Budapest, among other jobs.
Kata did her Bachelor’s and her Master’s degrees in Germany and studied for some time in the USA as a scholar of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). She completed a post-graduate programme in Foreign Affairs at the Hungarian Károli Gáspár University.
Vivian is a Research Fellow in Agroecology and Food System Sustainability at the University of Michigan. Her current work investigates relationships between policy, agricultural practices and socioecological resilience of food systems for the family farming sector in Brazil.
In 2015, Vivian received her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Columbia University in the City of New York where she investigated the environmental sustainability of shade-grown coffee.
As part of her doctoral work, she lived in remote rural communities in Mexico where she learned first-hand about the challenges encountered by farming communities in making a livelihood while facing external pressures to conserve natural areas.
Vivian obtained a Master’s in Health Science from Johns Hopkins University in 2007, as well as a BS in Biology and a BA in French from University of Florida in 2006.
Krisztina Dóra Varju currently works at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary as a European foreign policy advisor to the Deputy State Secretary responsible for European and American Affairs. At the beginning of her professional carrier, she worked as a coordination team member for the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2011. Through winning a competitive state scholarship, she went on working on German-Hungarian bilateral relations, spending three months at the Hungarian Embassy in Berlin in 2013.
Moving on, she focused on Central European regional cooperation, acting as a deputy national coordinator during Hungary’s Presidency of the Visegrad Group between 2013 - 2014.
She truly believes in the unity of the European countries and the growing role and potential of regional thinking in a rapidly globalising world.
Mercator-IPC Fellow at SWP, Berlin. Since 2007, she also is the director and a co-founder of "Populari", a think-tank based in Sarajevo.
Prior to founding "Populari", she collaborated with the ESI, a think-tank based in Berlin, on projects related to governance issues. She has led Balkan-wide projects at the Human Rights Centre at Sarajevo University and at the Spanish Institutional Programme for institutional cooperation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region. She also worked with the State Court prosecutor’s team (war crimes chamber) and at the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
She earned an MSc in international public policy from the University College London and a BA from the Law School at the University of Sarajevo, along with studying the penal system in Graz, Austria. Finally, she completed an Executive Education programme of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Andreas is the managing director of a start-up owned by The Linde Group. This summer, the company launched the world’s first car-sharing service based on completely emission-free hydrogen-powered cars.
Andreas has several years of experience in e-mobility and energy storage. Prior to his work at Linde, he was as a senior management consultant with Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, focusing on renewable energy projects.
Andreas holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the Technical University of Munich and a master’s degree in strategy and international business from St. Gallen Business School, as well as an MBA from Nanyang Business School, Singapore.
Andreas has a passion for international relations and is an alumnus of Mercator Foundation’s Chinese-German Young Professional Campus 2014 and of the Bucerius Summer School on Global Governance 2016.
Liane Wörner of Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU) received her LLM from the University of Wisconsin Law School and her doctorate from JLU. From 2008 to 2014, she conducted a project on the entrenchment of criminal law within societies, comparing German and Turkish laws, which involved the criminal law Institutes of JLU, Istanbul Kültür University and Istanbul State University and was financed by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
Dr Wörner received fellowships from the ZEIT-Stiftung and the German National Academic Foundation. She was a Margarete Bieber fellow from 2010 to 2011 and a Robert Bosch Fast Track Fellow from 2013 to 2015. She is a member of the AIDP, the IFCCLGE and the EAK+.
Her research includes European, international and medical criminal law. She is currently working on conflicts in the protection of life in criminal law (post-doctorate) and on mutual recognition as regards enforcing the European Arrest Warrant (German Research Foundation project).
Rong Yang is Vice President for Finance BP and Strategy Americas at Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc., based in New Jersey.
Before working in industry, he was a diplomat and served as Chief Translator (German) for the President and the Prime Minister of China. Besides a short employment at McKinsey as a consultant, he has been working for the Bayer Group in various functions and countries including China, Germany, Austria and United States. Prior to his current role, he was Bayer Pharmaceutical's Country Group Head for Czech Republic and Slovakia, based in Prague. He was in charge of Bayer Pharmaceutical’s research and development, marketing and sales activities in both countries.
Rong is active in various professional associations and advises social enterprises and entrepreneurs interested in healthcare. He holds a Master’s degree in Economics as well as a MBA from Harvard Business School.