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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Brisa has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in International Relations from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), as well as a specialisation in Global Governance from the German Development Institute (DIE).
In the past ten years, she has collaborated with various institutions of civil society, academia and international development cooperation on projects related to such topics as strengthening civil society organisations, good governance, migration and NGOs diplomacy. 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 and academic articles about fair trade, migration, NGOs diplomacy and multi-stakeholder dialogues.
She currently works as an independent consultant designing and carrying out external evaluations of civil society and public institutions projects, as well as facilitating and systematising meetings and multi-stakeholder dialogue processes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ahmad Maaliji is a public administration and development cooperation professional with 13 years’ experience in public administration reform, institutional development and international experience covering the EU, NATO and regional cooperation.
Ahmad has worked in the Foreign Service of Afghanistan in various capacities including Counselor at the Mission of Afghanistan in Brussels; and Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Programs. He has also worked for international organizations like British Council and the Asia Foundation, mainly involved in public administration and institutional development.
Ahmad holds a Master Degree in Social Sciences from Vrije University Brussels, and he is also a graduate of the Diplomatic Academy of Afghanistan. Ahmad is interested in track II diplomacy and strengthening the role of civil society organizations in state policy making.
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.
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.
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 19 years of experience in fragile states, public administration and conflict and peace operations covering the UN, NATO, the World Bank, Canadian diplomacy and private sector ventures.
Diego has worked on fragility, social innovation, complex systems, institutional/social reconstruction, civil-military coordination and humanitarian issues in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jordan, Timor Leste, Colombia, Pakistan, Indonesia (Banda Aceh), Liberia, Iraq and many other countries. He has also served as Senior Peacekeeping Officer at Global Affairs Canada.
He is an advisor to the Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue, an associate fellow of both the Raoul-Dandurand Chair in Strategic and Diplomatic Studies at the Université du Québec à Montréal and the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, and a lecturer/researcher in humanitarian action, reconciliation/mediation, post-conflict recovery and urban conflict at universities in Canada and abroad.
Ivana Ponjavic serves as Elected Advisory Council Member of the Global Diplomacy Lab. She worked as Communications Officer of the Head of the Negotiating team for accession of Serbia to the European Union from 2013 until 2016. Prior to that, she worked as Public Relations and Project Manager at the European Movement in Serbia in the period 2007 - 2013. 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 Hertie School of Governance (Executive Master of Public Administration) in Berlin, of the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade and of the Diplomatic Academy at Serbia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
She is a member of the Global Diplomacy Lab, BMW Foundation HQ Responsible Leaders Network, Robert Bosch Foundation Alumni Network, European Fund for the Balkans Alumni Network, and Bucerius Governance Network.
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 currently works as a Water Resources Management Specialist at the World Bank, Washington DC.
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.
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 working as Advisor on multi-stakeholder-partnerships 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.
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.
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.
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.
Since January 2005, he previously served as Desk Officer for the National Office for Coordination of Peace Missions, as well as on the USA Political Bilateral Desk.
He served his first diplomatic posting 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.
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.
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.