Eirliani Abdul Rahman is co-founder of YAKIN (Youth, Adult Survivors & Kin In Need), an NGO working in the field of child rights and child protection issues, and a member of Twitter’s Safety & Trust Council. She is also Senior Assistant Director at the Singapore National Council of Social Service and has been seconded to head Operations and Programmes at Caregivers Alliance, a non-profit organisation that helps caregivers of those with mental health issues in Singapore.
In September 2015, the #FullStop to #childsexualabuse campaign that Eirliani led on behalf of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi reached 16 million people over six weeks. She won the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Award the same year.
Eirliani edited Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s book Will for Children, a collection of essays on child labour published in 2016. Her book on true accounts by survivors of child sexual abuse Survivors: Breaking the Silence on Child Sexual Abuse was published by Marshall Cavendish in 2017. It won joint second prize in the 2020 Golden Door Awards.
She also contributed a case study to the medical textbook Essentials of Global Health, co-edited by Babulal Sethia, Past President and Global Health Lead of the Royal Society of Medicine, which was published by Elsevier in London in 2018. The book won first prize in the Public Health category at the 2019 British Medical Association book awards.
Eirliani was in the Singapore Foreign Service from 2005 to 2015, serving in Berlin as First Secretary (Political) and then in Delhi as Political Counsellor. From June 2015 to November 2017, she was a member of the Advisory Council of the Global Diplomacy Lab. She is a Fellow of the London-based Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.
Eirliani lives in Singapore. She speaks Malay, English, German and Russian.
Read more about Eirliani in her latest blog article. You can also read her articles about her polar expedition, about human trafficking, the injustice of the Brexit for the British Youth and learn more about her work, activism and contribution to the Gender Alliance.
Aroub works as a researcher for 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.
At the same time she tries in any way possible to contribute positively to society and the world at large.
Aroub is very interested in development and conflict resolution.
Çiğdem Bozdağ is an Assistant Professor in the Department of New Media at 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 Stiftung 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 PhD 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 Bachelor’s degree from Boğaziçi University in the field of political science and international relations. Her Master’s degree is from the University of Bremen in the field of media culture.
Johannes Braun is an experienced manager of international dialogues and cooperation projects between Germany and its global partners such as China, India, Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia.
He is currently based in Berlin and leads the Global Project Quality Infrastructure (www.gpqi.org), which is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. Previously, Johannes served as an advisor for Strategy and Portfolio Development at GIZ’s China Office in Beijing.
Johannes is an alumni of the Mercator Foundation’s 2014 Zukunftsbrücke - Chinese-German Young Professional Campus and is a founding member of the Global Diplomacy Lab (GDL).
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.
Brisa has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in International Relations from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and undertook a specialization in Global Governance at the German Development Institute (DIE).
In the past twelve years, she has collaborated with various international organisations, NGO’s and academic institutions on topics such as food security, migration, the strengthening of civil society, and international cooperation for development. In addition, she has participated as a civil society delegate in various forums and high-level meetings held within the framework of the United Nations and other international organisations.
Brisa has also written various opinion pieces and academic articles relating to fair trade, migration, NGOs, diplomacy and multi-stakeholder dialogues.
She currently works at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) office in Cuba, coordinating the development of the Food Sovereignty and Nutrition Education Plan.
Angelina Davydova is an environmental journalist from Saint Petersburg, Russia, and regularly contributes to Russian and international media, including the Kommersant, the Thomson Reuters Foundation, and Science magazine. She specializes in economic and political aspects of global and Russian climate policy, and has been covering the UN climate negotiations since 2008.
She teaches at the Saint Petersburg State University School of Journalism and the Saint Petersburg National research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics. She is also Director of the Office of Environmental Information in Saint Petersburg (a non-profit organization focusing on developing environmental journalism in Russia and neighbouring countries and promoting international cooperation in the environmental and climate fields).
She was a Reuters Foundation Fellow at Oxford University in 2006 and was a participant of the Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) at UC Berkeley in 2012. In 2018-2019, she was a Humphrey Fellow at UC-Davis.
Read more about her thoughts on how to navigate climate change in Russia here.
Adi Farjon Israel is a diplomat of the State of Israel.
She was recently appointed to the North American division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she leads the Israel - Canada relations desk under her portfolio. From 2014 to 2018 she has been the spokesperson of the Embassy of Israel in Berlin where she gained vast knowledge and experience in German and European media analysis, public relations and profound understanding of current socio-political European affairs. From 2013 to 2014 Adi was posted as First Secretary and Consul in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. From 2011 to 2013 she worked as a desk officer for the International Organisations Department, the Eurasia Department and the Latin America Department.
She started her career as a young professional in the NGO sector, where in her last position she was project manager in the Israel Center for Civil Society. Adi earned a BA in Art and Film History and French Culture from Tel Aviv University. She then continued her education during her graduate studies, earning a MA in 2007 from Tel Aviv University in the field of Culture Research, with a thesis on intercultural trends and integration and acculturation of young immigrants in Germany. For many years she volunteered in Tel-Aviv Rape Crisis Center, mentoring and educating teenagers with the goal of preventing sexual assaults and conducted empowerment workshops for women and girls. Lately Adi became the head of the "Woman in Diplomacy Network" of the Israeli ministry of Foreign Affairs, with responsibility of creating, organizing and conducting meaningful network meetings for Israeli and foreign diplomats posted in Israel.
Adi Farjon Israel is married and is a proud mother to Omer and Dan.
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.
Sérgio António Gomes da Silva has a degree in law and postgraduate qualifications in public management. He has been a civil servant since 2001. Since 2008, he has held 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 at the Council of Europe and in 2007, he worked in the German Federal Ministry of the Interior as a fellow of the Robert Bosch Stiftung Bellevue Programme. He has experience as a lecturer in good governance. Additionally, 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.
Ahmed Ibraheem joined the Egyptian diplomatic corps in 2012. He specialises in economics, regional cooperation, sustainability, energy, climate action and European affairs. His diplomatic career has made him well-versed in intergovernmental work on sustainable development, energy and climate change, not to mention EuroMED relations. He currently works at the European Affairs Department, focusing on various aspects of cooperation with the European Union.
Ahmed started his career as a young professional in the private sector, where he developed skills that continue to stand him in good stead. Through his academic studies, he has become conversant with various policy aspects of energy and environmental protection, particularly economics, policy, law and regulation.
Nnaemeka Chidiebere Ikegwuonu is a farmer, innovator, leading social entrepreneur, and Executive Director of The Smallholders Foundation, a social development organisation based in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria. The organisation uses educational radio programmes 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. He received his Master’s degree in Development and Cooperation from the Institute for Advanced Studies at 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, and was listed as one of the 100 Most Creative People in the World by Fast Company USA. Moreover, he is a winner of the German Government’s Green Talent Awards 2011 and a Laureate of the Niigata International Food Prize, Japan. Nnameka is a Laureate of the prestigious Yara Prize for Green Revolution in Africa.
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.
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.
Josiane Khoury holds a Master of Public Health degree 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.
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.
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.
Diego Osorio is the Head of Resource Mobilisation Partnerships at CCAFS-CGIAR. He is a PhD Candidate at Utrecht University and former Canadian diplomat. He has 23 years of public administration and international experience covering the UN, NATO, World Bank, Canadian diplomacy and private sector ventures.
Diego has worked globally in the fields of political diplomacy, economic cooperation, climate change and adaption policy, as well as institutional/social reconstruction, civil-military coordination and humanitarian assistance. His numerous field missions have taken him across the world, to countries including Afghanistan, Colombia, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Indonesia (Banda Aceh), Iraq, the Central African Republic, Jordan, Kosovo, Liberia, Pakistan, and Timor Leste.
He previously served as Senior Peacekeeping Officer (2006) and as Senior Advisor on Mediation, Negotiation and Peace Processes (2019) at Global Affairs Canada. He is also an Associate Fellow of both the Raoul-Dandurand Chair in Strategic and Diplomatic Studies at the Université de Quebec à Montreal (UQAM) and the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies. Diego has lectured on humanitarian action, governance design, the humanitarian-development nexus, reconciliation and mediation, post-conflict recovery, political economy, complexity and economic geography, and urban conflict at universities in Canada and abroad. He also works on co-creation and human design methodologies.
After working for two years at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Jörn recently joined the Mobility Institute Berlin (mib) as Head of Consulting. With its data-driven consulting approach, mib works with cities and public transport companies to develop sustainable urban mobility visions, to elaborate strategies on how to turn visions into reality, and to support the implementation of related measures.
Jörn has a background in strategic foresight, foreign policy and energy consulting and research. He has worked as an Assistant Professor for Energy Governance at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, as well as for various think tanks such as Stiftung Neue Verantwortung (SNV), Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik – German Institute for International and Security Affairs, and the Future Analysis Branch of the Federal Armed Forces’ Planning Office. Having lived and worked in seven countries, he brings to the table a broad array of international and intercultural experiences. He studied political science, economics, and psychology in Kiel and Madrid and holds a doctorate in sociology and international relations from Bielefeld University.
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.
Susanne Salz’s key areas of expertise and interest are sustainable development and global governance. She is heading a project on multi-stakeholder-partnerships to implement the 2030 Agenda at GIZ.
Previously, Susanne started the United Actors, an innovative start-up in the global governance scene, worked at the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Action Campaign, at the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the OECD and UN Volunteers. In 2012, Susanne managed the involvement of local governments in the UN Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development on behalf of ICLEI.
In her free time Susanne enjoys rowing and competes in 100km rowing races on the Rhine.
Read more about Susanne in her blog article.
Sabrina Schulz is Head of Government Relations at KfW, the German national promotional and development bank. While she is responsible for the full range of the bank’s activities, her main focus is on the role the financial sector can play in the transition to a low-carbon economy and the implementation of the SDGs.
Before joining KfW in 2018, climate and energy think tank, for six years, 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 holds an MA in Public Policy and Management from the University of Potsdam, for which she also studied at the University of Konstanz and the Université catholique de Louvain, as well as an MA in International Politics and a PhD from the University of Wales at Aberystwyth in the United Kingdom. She is an environmentalist, an internationalist and a yogini and works as a Policy Fellow at ‘Das Progressive Zentrum’ in Berlin.
Patrícia is currently Cultural Attaché at the Embassy of Portugal in Berlin, responsible for 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 was 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 at the University of Cologne, she was seconded as a Bellevue Fellow of the Robert Bosch Stiftung to the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media in Berlin.
Patrícia strongly believes that creative diplomacy and cultural investment are key elements of a structured external relations policy.
Dr Qilan Shen is a most curious observer of life and the world who wants 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 arts editor 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.
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 is a South African diplomat in the process of completing his MA in International Relations and World Order through the University of Leicester online, with a focus on the impact that Technology is having on International Relations. He is currently an official in South Africa's Foreign Ministry, covering issues related to South Africa's position on science and technology in a multilateral organisation such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).
Prior to this, he served as First Secretary (Political) at the Embassy of South Africa in Berlin, Germany, from 2014 to 2017; as Desk Officer for the National Office for Coordination of Peace Missions, as well as on the USA Political Bilateral Desk. His first diplomatic posting were as First Secreatry (Political) 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 issues 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 up against apartheid and any other forms of injustice. To this day, he holds and maintains these values.
Read more about Imran in this blog article.
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.
Dr Vivian Valencia is an interdisciplinary scientist who utilises perspectives and methods from the natural and social sciences to investigate the socio-ecological processes that shape agricultural landscapes and food systems and the consequences for food security, ecosystems and biodiversity. She is currently Assistant Professor at Wageningen University. She earned her PhD from Columbia University in 2015.
Dr Valencia’s research and professional career have been supported by the National Geographic Early Career Grant, PRIME Fellowship of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Marie Curie Programme of the European Commission, Bill and Melinda Gates Millenium Scholarship among others.
Dr Valencia is active in the policy sphere, where she aims to close the gap between science and policy-making. She is a former member of the GDL’s Advisory Council; a BMW Responsible Leader; an alumna of several programmes of the Bosch Foundation; an alumna of the Managing Global Governance Training Programme of the German Development Institute (DIE); and an alumna of the “International Futures” programme of Training for International Diplomats of the German Federal Foreign Office.
Read more about Vivian here.
Rong Yang is Vice President for Finance Business Partners 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 the 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.