Leona Lillian Abban
Leona Lillian Abban is Client Relations Manager at MicroEnsure Ghana and has been with the company since 2011. She has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Cape Coast, where she majored in Fisheries and Aquatic Science.
Leona gained in-depth industry knowledge from 2007 at Prime Insurance Company Limited, working in the Finance, Business Development and Underwriting Departments. She then moved on to MicroEnsure in 2011 as an Accounts Executive. In 2014, she rose to the rank of Clients Relations Manager, overseeing relationship management for all corporate clients.
Leona continues to contribute to the Ghanaian insurance industry with her expert knowledge and experience: as a current Associate Member of the Access to Insurance Initiative (A2ii) Incubation Lab, she joins the Ghanaian Insurance Regulator, together with key industry players, to explore ways in which insurance penetration may be deepened in Ghana. She has attended speaking and panellist sessions at the Ghana Insurance Brokers Association’s 2018 Conference, the Pan-African Bancassurance Conference, 2018 and the 13th Consultative Forum – which was jointly organised by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) and the A2ii.
Together with the Country Manager of MicroEnsure, Leona is responsible for sales and the top line growth of the company.
Afifa Adouani Saidane
Afifa Adouani Saidane is preparing the organisational and practical texts of the Journal of Local Communities with a focus on local government and is a member of the committees, charged with the various national programmes for the development of human resources in the civil service.
Currently, she is running a campaign for the legislative elections in order to better serve the country and to reinforce the position of women in parliament and in leadership positions.
Shakeel 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. Furthermore he is head of Zalmi Foundation.
Shakeel 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.
Khaldun Al Saadi is of Yemeni and German descent. He lived in Yemen from 1993 to 1995, as a child during the Civil War. His memories from that time still motivate him to seek reconciliation through dialogue as a means of restoring peace. From 2012 to 2016 he studied Arabic language and culture at the University of Leipzig. He holds a scholarship from the Heinrich Böll Foundation and graduated from King’s College London with an MA in “Conflict Resolution in Divided Societies”.
Since 2013 he has been a member of the Junge Islam Konferenz (Young Islam Conference), the flagship project of Stiftung Mercator in immigration and integration. He currently works as a project coordinator for the Radicalisation Prevention Centre in the Division for Equality and Integration at the Saxon State Ministry of Social Affairs and Consumer Protection.
Read more about Khaldun in his blog article.
Flávia is a demographer and social entrepreneur who works in the field of education for sustainable development. She is passionate about innovative and interactive learning experiences and understanding how this can help to drive social change at the individual and community level. The learning process in itself is what fascinates her. She is interested in identifying and building networks to shape a new positive narrative around global challenges.
From 2011 to 2017, Flávia worked as a researcher and consultant at Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) – one of the top 10 think tanks in the world. She assisted public, business and third sector organisations in Brazil with the development of projects in the areas of sustainable development, social economy, finance, management and public policy. In 2018, Flávia founded ZEBRALAB, a collaborative space for co-creating innovative solutions to tackle complex global challenges by mainstreaming and implementing the 2030 Agenda. In this field, she works as a consultant at National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (INMETRO), volunteers at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora and acts as a facilitator for national and international training courses and conferences.
Flávia graduated in Economic Sciences and holds a PhD in Demography from the Center for Regional Development and Planning at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. During her PhD studies, she joined the ESRC Centre for Population Change at the University of Southampton, UK, as a visiting PhD researcher. She is also a fellow of Managing Global Governance (MGG Academy), an initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), implemented by the German Development Institute (DIE).
Get to know her opinion on how ownership of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can be increased in this interview.
“I give a little here, I give a little there and I keep a little for myself.”
A half-Syrian, half-German entrepreneur, Tarek Alsaleh has won lots of international awards and acclaim. He also changed the law in Syria to set up his own sports projects across the Middle East and beyond. Uniquely, the projects he started are now locally owned, creating new jobs and fostering youth leadership. Tarek’s projects have helped over 100,000 refugees, abused women and children with cancer and put the art form capoeira created by slaves in Brazil on the global humanitarian map.
Tarek has now set his sights on even greater goals – he wants to change the aid system and abolish the middlemen through innovation and tech so that local people receive more of the funding.
Learn more about his work in this blog post.
Allen Sophia Asiimwe
Allen Sophia Asiimwe is an Ugandan advocate and policy leader with over 20 years’ experience as a development advisor and practitioner. She is passionate about shaping Africa’s narrative on governance, trade, and regional integration and development issues. She has designed and managed programmes for government agencies, private sector, civil society and donors across the African region.
Allen is the Chief Technical Officer at TradeMark East Africa, charged with driving the technical and strategic direction of the organisation, now operational across 12 countries of East and Southern Africa. The goal is to increase trade through reducing cost and time of doing business, whilst also expanding capabilities for export growth and development in the region.
She is also the co-founder of the Girls For Girls Global Mentoring Initiative that seeks to Empower girls and young women to lead in changing their circumstances and their communities. The initiative is now running in 13 countries and seeks to reach 10,000 mentors and one million mentees by 2025.
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. In 2016 he participated in the professional short course at the Vienna Centre for Disarmament and Nuclear Non-Proliferation.
He enjoys reading autobiographies, watching and playing soccer, and travelling.
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.
Roman Baiduk was born on 10 March 1981 and from the age of five lived in Dnipropetrovsk, USSR (now Dnipro in Ukraine). After leaving grammar school in 1998 with a golden medal, Roman graduated magna cum laude as a Master of Law at Dnipro National University in 2003. Roman practised for several years.
In 2016 Roman won a full scholarship for a Master’s degree programme at the College of Europe and graduated as an M.A. in European Interdisciplinary Studies in 2017.
Roman became a state official as Head of the Department of Legal Affairs and International Cooperation of the Academy of Patrol Police in Kyiv in November 2017. He actively participates in civic life as a member of the Professional Government Association (an association of the Ukrainian alumni of western universities who returned to Ukraine and joined their efforts in order to facilitate democratic reforms).
Roman's main academic interests are democracy studies, security studies, history and IR (especially of CEE). He has written several academic papers and participated in conferences. His personal hobbies are hiking, swimming and reading science fiction.
Florian Bankoley was born in Germany but spent his early years in Togo, West Africa, before returning to Germany at the age of eight. Ever since he has enjoyed immersing himself in different cultures and societies, enriching his perception and understanding of the world.
His studies and later work assignments have taken him to different European countries such as France, the UK and Sweden, and across the oceans to the USA, India, China and Indonesia.
After graduating from the ESCP Europe with a Master’s degree in Management, he joined Robert Bosch where he has held a range of positions. He is now head of IT for the automotive business area of Bosch, the largest domain in the group responsible for half of total revenue. In his spare time he loves to spend time with his family, and if time permits to read and exercise.
Gunnar Berkemeier has been working at the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations in New York since October 2017, focusing on UN peace operations.
Previously, he worked as speechwriter in the Minister’s Office and in the Cabinet and Parliament Affairs Division of the Federal Foreign Office, at the German Embassy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN in Geneva. He has also worked for the United Nations Development Programme and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Hanina Ben Bernou began working for the EU in 2010 - first addressing complex, global and emerging security threats. Since 2013, she is 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 of 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, and her time living and working in Kenya, Somalia, Belgium, France, Spain, and Algeria.
Hélène de Bock
Born in Switzerland to Belgian diplomat parents, Hélène de Bock spent her childhood zigzagging across a number of countries experiencing historic changes: the former USSR (Moscow, 1982-1985), the US (NY 1985-1989), Germany (1989-1992) and Belgium (Brussels 1992-2006).
Trained as an economist, she spent her early professional life working in the field of Consultancy (Accounting, Compliance and Risk Management for PricewaterhouseCoopers) and Project Management (DePost), which enabled her to gain in-depth experience in governance, financial, IT, operational and other dynamics inherent to business processes and decision-making.
After passing the Belgian Diplomatic Exam in 2006, she started her career in public service working in the political section at the Belgian Embassies in New Delhi and London, as well as the European Delegation in New Delhi, continuing to develop an expertise in foreign and defence policy issues. At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Brussels, Hélène has worked for the Press and Communications Office and the Office of the European Correspondent. She was Deputy Director for Human Rights and Democracy during her last stint in Brussels, from 2013 to 2018.
On a personal level, Hélène de Bock is passionate about literature, politics, music and visual arts (photography in particular). She is married and has three children.
Max Bouchet is a research analyst at the Brookings Institution, affiliated with the Metropolitan Policy Programme and the Global Economy & Development Programme. He conducts research on building stronger and more inclusive city-region economies. He also stewards the SDG Leadership Cities network to help local leaders implement the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Over 2018-2019, Max Bouchet combined his analysis on global cities with a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship (Global Governance Futures 2030). Connecting with scholars, diplomats, business and community leaders from countries of the Global South and North, he researched the role of cities in addressing global challenges. Previously, Max was chief analyst of Conway, Inc., an Atlanta-based economic consultancy firm.
He graduated from the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po, France) with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Public Affairs. Max Bouchet is fluent in English, French, Spanish, and conversant in Mandarin Chinese after studying at Fudan University in Shanghai.
Read more about his vision on city-to-city diplomacy here.
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.
Daniel studied in Freiburg and in Santiago/Chile and received scholarships from the German Academic Scholarship Foundation and the DAAD. In 2007, he obtained a Master of Arts degree at the University of Freiburg. The same year he was accepted by the Postgraduate Programme in International Affairs of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation and the Robert Bosch Foundation. He completed internships at the Federal Foreign Office, the OSCE, and the Int. Crisis Group.
In 2008, Daniel obtained a research fellowship at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik. In 2010, he started his career at GIZ. Since 2015, he has headed the GIZ Global Partnership on Drug Policies and Development, supervising a team in Bangkok, Bogotá and Berlin. Currently, Daniel is also a lecturer at the Freie Universität Berlin.
Daniel is married and has two children. Beyond family, he enjoys the opera and classical music, as well as gardening.
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.
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).
Born and raised in Venezuela, Seemi Choudry is the child of Pakistani immigrants. In the late 1990s, at the age of six, she moved with her family to Chicago. In 2010, she graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish.
Seemi Chourdry is a growth-focused thought leader with expertise spanning international relations, services coordination, programme design, innovative initiatives, strategic planning, project management, human rights activism, partnership cultivation, community outreach, and client relations. In 2016, she was appointed to the role of Director of the Office of New Americans for the City of Chicago where she worked on public policy and programmes directly impacting Chicago’s foreign-born community.
Seemi Choudry is currently a Robert Bosch Fellow focusing on Social Integration and Migration. During her Fellowship with the Robert Bosch Stiftung, she is analysing and researching best practices across European municipalities and civic society to enhance and integrate Europe’s migrant community.
Rodolfo Cordova Alcarez
Rodolfo Cordova Alcarez is the Regional Ambassador for the GLAC in the Americas, where he has been harnessing the interest of its members to create a community that advances change on a set of issues in the region.
He successfully participated at the Migration Laboratory, where he drove the work on the topic of narratives on migrants & refugees. Rodolfo Cordova Alcarez serves as Vice-President of Impacto Social Metropolitan Group – an agency that uses strategic communication to foster social change and for the past 15 years he has passionately worked on actively promoting and defending the rights of vulnerable people. He has worked in the Americas and Europe for international agencies, not for profit organisations and academia promoting human rights.
Rodolfo Cordova Alcarez has been involved in several multi-stakeholder processes relating to global development, including the SDGs and the Global Forum on Migration & Development.
Marian Cramers is the Director of Development at The Democratic Society (Demsoc), a European NGO that works for more and better democracy through citizen participation in change management projects. Current projects include the Climate KIC Deep Demonstrations, urban regeneration in Sicily, and Populism and Civic Engagement (PaCE). Demsoc has also developed a focus on digital democratic spaces, through thought leadership, training and facilitation. Marian is based in Brussels, and supports the Demsoc presences in Milan, Edinburgh, Manchester and Berlin.
Marian Cramers is an MA graduate in Political Science, and in Business Economics. She has worked at London-based technology companies for seven years, specialising in consulting and partnerships around social media insights and digital transformation. This has included work with the NHS, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, NATO and a range of corporate clients, as well as an EMEA and APAC network of partners. She is also an active member of the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Network, a former board member of the Lewisham Refugee and Migrant network, and the producer of ‘The Hidden’, a documentary on hidden homelessness in Germany and the UK.
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.
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.
Christoph Erber is a policy analyst with more than three years of professional experience on both sides of the Atlantic. He currently is chief of staff to the director at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). Previously, he worked at the Munich Security Conference (MSC).
Over the years, he has obtained a strong background in project management and digital communications, having worked for the Federal Foreign Office in South Africa and Azerbaijan. Christoph Erber completed his graduate studies at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Bologna and Washington, DC, specialising in European and Eurasian Studies as well as in Strategic Studies.
Previously, he completed his undergraduate degree in economics and political science at the Free University of Bolzano.
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.
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.
Bettina Gardner is an international trade professional with expertise in international exchange programme planning and execution. Bettina Gardner has planned numerous international exchanges for the City of Atlanta under Mayor Kasim Reed. She has organised C-level missions abroad to events such as the Smart City Expo Barcelona, the FinTech Mission to London and the World Cities Summit Singapore.
She served on the Atlanta steering committee for the Global Cities Initiative and as the liaison for route recruitment for the world’s busiest airport, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Additional global exchange experience includes work for the Mandela Washington Fellowship at Clark Atlanta University, the Georgia Department of Agriculture, trade mission planning, and programmes for numerous global business schools and MBA programmes. She is a 2017 Bosch Fellow.
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.
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.
Find out more about Blair while listening to this podcast in which he shares his vision about sustainable use of resources.
Born in Slovenia 40 years ago, Peter Grk is currently serving as Secretary General of the Bled Strategic Forum and National Coordinator for the Western Balkans at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia. With 16 years of experience in the diplomatic service, Peter Grk has held posts in Ankara, Copenhagen and Brussels. During Slovenia’s EU Presidency (2008), he served as Chair of the Committee for Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management (CIVCOM).
He was also posted to New York (2011) as Political Coordinator at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Slovenia to the UN and served as an advisor in the Cabinet of the Foreign Minister of Slovenia (2009 to 2011) and as Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister of Slovenia (2013 to 2014).
Peter Grk likes to read, play basketball and discover the world with his family.
Read more about his work here.
Sezen Gücüş-Tidim works in the humanitarian aid sector with Syrian refugees in Turkey and IDPs in northern Syria. She obtained her MA in political science from the University of Warsaw, Poland, and was an exchange student in the European studies MA programme at Trinity College Dublin.
She received her undergraduate degree in political science and public administration from Middle East Technical University (Ankara). Her fields of interest are nationalism, ethnic conflict, discrimination, Turkish politics and Western European politics.
Mehmet Emre Gür
Emre Gür is a managing partner of Barem Consultancy, Country Representative for the Centre International de Formation Européenne (CIFE), Director of Alumni Relations at the CIFE European Institute and Secretary General of the Turkey Europe Foundation. His main interests reflect the multidisciplinary context he has been working in at the crossroads of academia, civil society and the private sector: civil society, democracy and politics in the EU and Turkey, social development projects, youth and women’s policies as well as food and agriculture policies.
Emre Gür has worked for various institutions including civil society organisations, universities and international organisations, mainly in fields related to social policies and as a consultant and trainer for project management. Emre has co-authored a book on Best Practices of Youth Participation and has written articles on contemporary Turkey. He graduated from Marmara University and CIFE/ European Institute in Nice, with a specialisation on the Evolution of EU’s Aid Policy and Contributions to the Millennium Development Goals.
Mona Hammami is a Senior Director at the Office of Strategic Affairs, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court. Her role includes analysis of social and economic developments globally and locally and the drafting of publications and white papers to influence policy making. She also manages a large portfolio of philanthropic initiatives around global health. Prior to joining the Crown Prince Court she worked at Booz and Company as part of the public sector practice team focusing on a wide range of public policy issues including social and labour policies and macroeconomic policy, among other areas. She has also worked as an economist with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). Mona Hammami has authored and co-authored several papers including an IMF paper on the determinants of Public Private Partnerships. She has published three major books: “Looking Ahead: The 50 Trends that Matter”; “Looking Ahead: The Global Sustainable Agenda” and “The Giving World: How maximising three financial forces could revolutionise global development”.
Mona Hammami holds a PhD in Development Studies from the University of Oxford and a Master’s degree in Public Administration in International Development from Harvard Kennedy School. She is a recipient of both the H.R.H. Princess Banderi Al-Faisal Public Service Fellowship and the Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Tuwaijri International Public Service Fellowship. She is a WEF Young Global Leader and a member of the WEF Development Finance Global Future Council.
Dr Julia Harrer works as Desk Officer at the German Federal Foreign Office. In her PhD dissertation, she focused on state capacities in the context of disaster risk and undertook a study on Haiti and the Dominican Republic. She holds a Master’s degree in International and European Politics and Economics, and a Bachelor's degree in Media/Communication and French Philology.
Previous employers include the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of Maldives to the United Nations, the Körber Foundation and various German and international media outlets. As chairwoman of the “nefia” alumni network of the Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs and the former Robert Bosch Stiftungskolleg, Julia Harrer is dedicated to connecting alumni in an international context.
Simon Hartmann is a researcher and political consultant on counterterrorism. He is currently working on a North-Rhine-Westphalian parliamentary committee of inquiry scrutinising the 2016 Berlin truck attack.
Simon Hartmann has several years of experience in security policy. Having witnessed the failed coup attempt in Turkey 2016, he became keen to gain expertise in this field. As Carlo Schmid Fellow in the European Commission, he became an adherent of international collaboration for accurate counter terrorism measures.
Simon Hartmann holds a Master’s degree in European Studies from the Ruhr University Bochum and a Bachelor’s degree in History and Politics from the Albert Ludwig University Freiburg. He is passionate about internationalist and liberal thought as an alumnus of the Mercator Foundation and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.
Ms Amarachi Adannaya Igboegwu is an Equity and Empathy Consultant with vast international training and coaching experience. Her primary goal is to empower both private and public institutions with a view to enhancing and building their human capacity by improving communication lines and promoting belongingness.
Her doctoral research study connects critical self-reflection and self-knowledge to the conscious teaching of elements that are necessary for dealing with structural racism. She has pioneered pre-service teacher training courses on the topic of conscious teaching, led workshops and given talks on the importance of critical self-reflection and the impact of implicit bias in daily life.
Find out more on her opinion on responsible leadership here.
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.
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.
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.
Hope Kasedde is a human resource professional and a social entrepreneur. She is the Executive Director of the Kampala Open Spaces Initiative, a non-governmental organisation aiming to restore and defend public spaces for well-being. She started the organisation to help create green jobs for young people, including those with a very basic education, and to protect nature. Hope wants to mentor young women and encourage them to do more and be more for their communities.
Previously, Hope worked as a researcher at ACODE - Uganda’s number one public policy think tank, as a Human Resource Associate, and at the National Social Security Fund. Hope is committed to leadership development, environmental protection, the empowerment of women, girls’ education, and human rights law and children’s affairs. Hope is a champion of change and believes that collaboration and diplomacy are at the heart of solutions to the problems engulfing humanity.
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.
Benon Kayemba was born on 9 October 1977 in Uganda, raised by a single rural based mother up to the age of 14 years. From thereon, he took charge of raising his own school fees through working during holidays from senior 1 up to senior 4. He obtained a scholarship from the Conerstone Development organisation (American NGO) for poor bright students and pursued Advanced level education where he excelled nationwide and was admitted to Makerere University - then the only public university in Uganda as a government sponsorship student.
Benon Kayemba has a Bachelor’s Degree (Tourism & Geography), a post graduate diploma in Diplomacy and a Master’s degree in Public Administration. He joined the Ugandan Foreign Service in 2002 and has risen through the ranks to Second Secretary (2006), First Secretary (2011) and Counsellor (2015). He has served in the Ugandan mission in Addis Ababa (2006-2010), with responsibility for Integration & Partnerships, in Kinshasha (2012-2016), as deputy head in charge of economic affairs, and is currently in Algiers (2018 -2022) as deputy head on the newly created mission. At home, Benon Kayemba worked as Desk Officer for Europe (2002-2013), Desk Office for the African Union (2004-2006), Special Assistant to the CEO of Foreign Affairs (2011-2012) and Deputy Head of the newly created Department of Regional Peace and Security which deals with regional and continental issues in Africa.
Ankit Khanal is a Political Affairs Officer at the United Nations Department of Political Affairs (UNDPA) in New York. Prior to joining UNDPA, he worked as a Human Rights Officer at Community Solutions Initiative - Nepal. He has more than five years of experience with international organisations, INGOs and NGOs, including the United Nations, the Carter Center and the European Union at national and international level, focusing on promoting human rights, peacebuilding, women’s empowerment, good governance and violence prevention.
Ankit has experience in engaging a wide range of stakeholders from the grassroots level up to national level and has in-depth knowledge of Nepal and South Asia. Ankit holds a MA in International Relations from the University of Northampton, UK.
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.
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.
Patrick Luna is a Brazilian diplomat, currently posted as Second Secretary to the Embassy of Brazil in Nairobi (Kenya), where he acts as Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and to the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).
From August 2014 to February 2019, he was posted to the Permanent Mission of Brazil to the United Nations in New York, where he covered issues related to international law, protection of civilians, international criminal accountability and counter-terrorism.
Patrick Luna holds a Bachelor's degree in Law (University of São Paulo, 2008) and graduated from the Brazilian Diplomatic Academy (Instituto Rio Branco) in 2010. He was a participant of the 36th IDL (2012). He is fluent in English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and was born in São Paulo (Brazil) on 2 December 1983.
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.
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.
Elizabeth has twenty years’ experience in addressing complex challenges. She works in cross-sectoral, trans-professional, multi-stakeholder settings, providing support in problem solving and decision making processes and facilitating learning and the exchange of ideas and information. She has extensive experience in international cooperation, development cooperation, and private sector development.
Elizabeth is active in cross-cultural groups, from grassroots level to global platforms, assisting in the professional development of leaders and the formation of, teams, policies, strategies, plans, and business models that contribute to addressing development challenges. She brings skills in capacity building, knowledge management, facilitation, conflict resolution and management, as well as experience as an entrepreneur gained through a wide variety of assignments. She lives in Nairobi, works across the world, and speaks English, Swahili, German and French.
Nurana Mammadova is an international trainer in the topics of Project Management, Political and Citizenship Education, Peacebuilding and Conflict Management, she is a member of Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg and SALTO EECA trainers' pools. Since 2014, she joined the coordination team of the national youth program in Azerbaijan called "Time for Development" and in 2018 she was elected as a board member of the MitOst Association and became a sparring partner for Impact Hub Almaty. She also works as a country mentor for the EU4Youth Coordination and Support project implemented by Ernst & Young.
Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s Degree in International Economic Relations and a Master’s degree in Diplomacy from Centre International de Formation Européenne, Bilgi University, Institut für Europäische Politik, and intensive master course in human rights from the University of Oslo.
Up-to-date, Nurana has trained thousands of young people and mentored dozens of social projects around Euroasia and North Africa.
In 2019, Nurana was listed among 15 global peacebuilder/changemaker female leaders by the University of Denver and the US Institute of Peace.
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.
Since 2010, he is president of the Democratic Party of Uganda. 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.
Simon Masaba specializes in investigative reporting and is part of the crime team at New Vision newspaper, a subsidiary of Vision Group. He is an enthusiastic reporter with over ten years’ experience in journalism.
He is one of the few reporters focusing specifically on urban violence, human trafficking, terrorist financing, money laundering, the trade in illegal drugs, and other security threats. He has also manages major CSO initiatives, led regional campaigns addressing violence against women and children and built civil society capacities in the region.
His well-researched pieces, have prompted the government of Uganda to increase its efforts to investigate prosecute and convict people engaging in illegal activity. He also provides training focusing on how to bring about a crime-free society.
Alongside his work as a journalist, Simon is also currently undertaking a course in Peace and Security Studies.
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.
Prof Dr Colette Mazzucelli, MALD, EdM, PhD, is Senior Vice President (Academia), Global Listening Centre, and has since 2004 been a Graduate Faculty member at NYU New York. She is Lead Editor with James Felton Keith of the Anthem Press Ethics of Personal Data Collection Series. Colette teaches International Relations (Conflict Resolution/Europe), reaching students on six continents through her design of technology-mediated seminars for LIU Global as well as Pioneer Academics.
She is a 2018 recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award for 20+ years of excellence demonstrating service to society in one's chosen profession.
Colette enjoys sports, appreciates travel, cuisine, and architecture, shares a large ranch-style house in Regency at Monroe, Monroe Township, New Jersey, with her 89-year parents, Silvio and Adeline, and loves making a home for her 1-year adopted orange tabby, Ginevra “Cuddles” Pario.
Find out more about her engagement in the Gender Alliance here.
Juan Carlos Mendoza is a dedicated professional in international relations and development cooperation, mainly in connection with sustainable development issues.
He worked in the private sector from 2003 to 2010 before joining the Ministry of Energy in Mexico. In 2013, Juan Carlos was invited to conduct research at the UNEP Risø Centre in Denmark to contribute to energy poverty studies in urban and peri-urban areas, and later in 2014 he joined the MGG (Managing Global Governance) programme hosted by the German Development Institute and GIZ in Bonn, took part in the International Futures programme and completed a professional stay at the office of the UN’s international initiative Sustainable Energy for All in Vienna. He has conducted research into social and unequal distribution of resources as a cause of inequality.
His main interests are urban governance and policies, resource-based inequality and cities as global actors.
Max Middeke is a policy advisor and project manager who specialises in peace and security, multilateral institutions and international development cooperation. He currently works with GIZ in Bonn, where he provides technical support to the German Government for its cooperation with international organisations such as the OECD, the World Bank and the UNDP.
Previously, Max worked for various political institutions in East Africa, North America, South East Asia and Europe, including the UN DPKO, the UNDP, the ILO, the Federal Foreign Office, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs and the Africa Peace and Security Programme at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS).
Max holds a degree in political science and has studied in Berlin, Istanbul and Pau.
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.
Fabrice is a leadership, education policy and social innovation enthusiast, with exceptional communication and advocacy skills who believes in making a difference and in the power of groups of people to find solutions to the most pressing issues in their communities through collaboration and innovation. He works as a country representative for ASHOKA in the DR Congo, coordinates the Robert Bosch Alumni Network in East Africa and has joined the Training for International Diplomats programme.
Prior to this, he ran for parliament in the Congo. He has six years of professional experience working with youth and women in the Congo and the great Lakes region, mostly in protecting youth through education with RET International, empowering women and youth in leadership and entrepreneurship with the Africa Youth Leadership Forum. He is currently a consultant for International Alert in youth leadership development.
Fabrice has founded One Best Corporate, a consulting company, and Lift up Africa, a venture that seeks to champion leaders for change across Africa.
Dilshad Muhammad is a researcher from Syria with a master’s degree in political science and international relations. He has expertise in nationalism and ethnic minorities studies. He worked as an Istanbul-based freelance journalist specialised in Turkish affairs. Dilshad Muhammad was also a guest researcher on global governance at the German Development Institute (DIE) in Bonn.
He is currently a research fellow at the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute and PhD candidate at the University of Freiburg with a scholarship from the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.
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 1990’s Kyiv, prior to moving to Bavaria after primary 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.
She gained professional experience as Project Manager for the German-Russian Young Leaders Conference and Operations Coordinator for eHealth Africa, an NGO that improves public healthcare in West Africa. From 2014 to 2016, she served as Deputy Chairperson and Head of Events of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), working on the association’s strategy and strengthening its internal and external networks.
In 2016, she founded the non-profit enterprise Netzwerk Chancen, which provides support to young adults from underprivileged families, helping them to climb the social ladder. Netzwerk Chancen is also active as 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.
David Patrician is a freelance journalist and moderator.
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 producing and hosting some special reports for WDR, Radio Bremen, RTL Nord, 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 dozens of international conferences, including for example the Water Act Summit in Paris prior to COP 21.
Ariela Peralta is an Uruguayan J.D. and completed an LL.M Master of Laws as an H. Humphrey Fellow. She has been committed in the rule of law and the promotion of equal rights since she was a young lawyer in Uruguay in 1980s - 90s. She has served as the Director of the Civil & Political Rights Department of the SERPAJ in Uruguay and as a National Consultant on HR & Legislative Policy, and has held numerous other posts.
In 2006 she became the Deputy Director of the CEJIL in D.C., litigating emblematic cases before the Inter-American System. She left CEJIL to serve on the first Board of Directors of the NHRI, elected by the Uruguayan Congress. Ariela Peralta was nominated by the Uruguayan Executive Branch as the candidate to serve as judge at the ICC. Currently she is a consultant for the OAS. She has been appointed by the Uruguayan Executive Branch to be the next Executive Director of the Instituto de Políticas Públicas en Derechos Humanos, Mercosur.
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.
Ivana is an experienced professional with more than a decade of work in the field of international projects, public administration, and civil society. She was engaged with the Global Diplomacy Lab, both as freelance project manager and an elected advisory council member.
She worked for the Government of the Republic of Serbia as Communications Officer to the Head of the Negotiating Team for the Accession of Serbia to the European Union. Prior to that, she was Public Relations and Project Manager at the European Movement in Serbia. She also led the media team of the international conference Belgrade Security Forum.
Ivana is a graduate of the Hertie School of Governance, Executive Master of Public Administration programme in Berlin, the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Belgrade with focus on international relations, and the Diplomatic Academy of Serbia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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 is an international lawyer and policy specialist with more than ten years of work experience in five continents. She currently works for the United Nations Climate Change agency on adaptation and the project on Resilience Frontiers.
She has worked for UN-Habitat as Project Manager for Local Authorities on SDG Goal 11, the Urban Legislation Advisor and the New Urban Agenda Partnership Advisor in Kenya and Thailand.
Jasdeep has consulted on transboundary waters and interlinks with fragility, migration and climate change (for the World Bank, Oxfam, the Government of India, the German Development Institute and the German Federal Environment Ministry); on water security (OECD, Harvard); on global governance reforms and cities (Bosch); sanitation contracts (Gates); justice and federal reforms (the Government of India) and constitutional design (Nepal). She has clerked at the Supreme Court of India and the High Court of Hong Kong, and taught courses in law and public policy in India, New Zealand, Kenya and the United States.
Jasdeep has been selected for various leadership fellowships and made policy recommendations in global forums on governance trends (migration, the Syrian conflict, transitional justice, digital technology, social entrepreneurship, climate change and human rights), including the G20 Forum; at COP23; as a BMW Foundation World Responsible Leader; a Robert Bosch Fellow; a Global Diplomacy Lab member; Federal Foreign Office Training for International Diplomats; UNLEASH; the Global Media Forum and the Brandt Conference.
She has a strong publishing record and interdisciplinary skillset including negotiation and mediation, policy analysis, public international law, human rights, leadership theory, SDGs, foresight analysis and systems design.
A recipient of several international scholarships, she has a Master’s in Law from Yale, a Bachelor’s in Civil Law from Oxford, a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy, and a JD from GLC Mumbai.
Jörg was born in Münster and studied at the local art academy. From early on he was interested in the ideas of the artist Joseph Beuys and the introduction of the concept of social sculpture. In 1988 he moved to Berlin to study art and cultural management. He began to exhibit and to work for several art institutes. In 1999, he began working with organizations and business schools transferring creative principles to the world of organizations. Later he attended an education program on systemic consultancy.
Recently, he was trained in positive psychology, which is now a cornerstone of his work. In his art projects he reflects on the human condition. Jörg loves to combine intensive reflecting on art with coaching sessions, focussing especially on personal growth, writes articles and teach on creative leadership. He is married, a father of two children and loves to sail.
You can learn more about Jörg and his creative approaches to social and political challenges in his newest blog article.
Since 2003 Hatem has worked in the cultural field in Egypt and on the international scene. He has implemented several projects as a project manager, curator, trainer, and theatre director. He holds a BA in theatre studies and has followed a programme in cultural management with the Goethe-Institut.
After participating in Tandem Shaml 2012/2013 (supported by the Robert Bosch Foundation), Hatem joined the Tandem team in Berlin in February 2014. He was the project manager for the Tandem Shaml programme, then for the Tandem Europe programme with cultural operators from different countries, focusing on the collaboration process. He contributed to the programme content through mentorship and offered support for the participants.
At the moment, Hatem is working with the Tandem team as a programme adviser. He offers support with methods, concepts, developing new Tandem programmes and advocacy.
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 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.
Sebastián Schonfeld is the Institutional Director of the ESMA Memory Site Museum. He is a cultural manager, producer and musician. He studied arts at the University of Buenos Aires and has built a career in the field of culture and social communication both in the private and public sector. His specialisations include the design and implementation of public policy for cultural sector development as well as strategic communication. He has taught at the University of Palermo. In recent years, he has held the position of PR Manager for the state-run telecommunications company ARSAT and has worked as Secretary of Cultural Management at Argentina’s Ministry of Culture.
Sabrina Schulz is the Executive Director of SDSN (Sustainable Development Solutions Network) Germany. She is an expert on climate, energy and biodiversity issues, climate diplomacy, and sustainable finance & economy. Sabrina also works as a lecturer, moderator and facilitator. In addition, she is the Chairwoman of the Board of econnext, a holding investing in sustainable and impact-oriented start-ups.
Between 2018 and 2020 Sabrina served as Head of the Berlin office at KfW, Germany’s national promotional and international development bank where she represented the interests of KfW Group in the political arena. Previously, from 2012 to 2018, she was the Director of the Berlin office at E3G‑Third Generation Environmentalism, an international non-profit climate and energy think tank. Before that, 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 and energy to the British High Commission in Canada and led a project on climate security.
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 volunteers as a Policy Fellow at 'Das Progressive Zentrum' in Berlin.
Dr Eleonora Tafuro Ambrosetti is a research fellow at the Russia, Caucasus and Central Asia Centre at ISPI. Prior to that, she was a Marie Curie Fellow based at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey, where she completed her PhD.
She had research stays at the Saint Petersburg State University and at the London headquarters of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). Eleonora Tafuro Ambrosetti worked as a junior researcher at the Brussels office of the Foundation for International Relations and Foreign Dialogue (FRIDE) and as a research assistant at the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB).
She holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Salento, an MA in European Studies from the University of Roma Tre, and an MRes in International Relations from the Barcelona Institute of International Studies (IBEI).
Her areas of interest include Russian foreign policy and soft power, EU-Russia and Russia-Turkey relations, and EU neighbourhood policies (especially with Eastern neighbours). Eleonora Tafuro Ambrosetti is a member of the WIIS (Women in International Security), an international network dedicated to increasing the influence of women in the field of foreign and defence policy. In addition to her native Italian, she speaks English, Spanish and French fluently and she has a working knowledge of Turkish and Russian.
Passionate about international relations and diplomacy, Tristan terryn specialised in EU-Latin American relations, with a strong focus on regional integration and trade relations, before participating in the Belgian Foreign Service exam. Fluent in 6 languages he is convinced of the invaluable contribution different forms of cultural and political exchange bring to the table in addressing and solving challenges ranging from armed conflict to urban planning. Now in his third year as a Belgian diplomat in Germany, Tristan terryn has participated actively in diplomatic exchange programmes, studying cross-border cooperation, conflict mediation and has engaged with other partners in the reputed Diplomaten Kolleg.
A creative thinker, not afraid of thinking outside the box, unconventional in tackling problems, Tristan terryn is nevertheless well versed in bridging cultural divides to propose innovative solutions. Besides a vast understanding of Latin American and Caribbean affairs, he also has an understanding of the challenges facing large areas of the African continent and the Pacific region, while coupling this to policy-making in the European Union.
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.
Pilar Vilaplana graduated in law from the University of Seville (Spain) in 2000 and obtained a Master’s in evaluation of public policies and programmes. After passing a national competitive examination in 2004, she became a civil servant, joining the High Body of Civil Administrators of the State. She has worked at ministries such as Foreign Affairs, Culture, Justice and Health Social Services and Equality.
In 2011/2012, Pilar became a fellow of the Bellevue Programme and moved to Berlin to work for the German Government, at the Secretary of State for Culture and the Media. She is currently serving as Senior Advisor in charge of International Relations of the Government Office against Gender-based violence.
Besides her career in public administration, she is an art lover with training in theatre arts and photography and has worked as a professional actress in several plays in Spain and abroad.
Annegret Warth is an educational scientist focusing on international comparative youth and youth welfare research. As a Mercator-IPC fellow she is inquiring the status of networks between local civil society and municipalities in Turkey, with a specific focus on youth work and policy. In her doctoral thesis, she is exploring heterogeneous manifestations of the youth phase in Turkey. Prior to that, she worked as a project leader of the German national network “Research and Practice in Dialogue” fostering innovation in youth exchange and as a research and teaching fellow at the Goethe University of Frankfurt.
Since 2010, Annegret has been active at the intersection of research and practice in the field of youth work and youth exchange with a focus on Turkey. She is active as a consultant for stakeholders of youth exchange including the German-Turkish Youth Bridge, the International Youth Service of the Federal Republic of Germany (IJAB), and Stiftung Mercator. From 2008 to 2010 she worked as a youth worker and project coordinator at the Centre for Civil Society Studies at Istanbul Bilgi University.
Born and raised close to Munich in Germany, Stefan entered higher education after a commercial-technical apprenticeship via the second educational pathway. He studied industrial engineering at both the Technical University in Ingolstadt, Germany and the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, USA.
What runs like a continuous thread through all his professional activities so far is the topic of mobility: Stefan started his professional career within the automotive industry in the area of vehicle engineering at Magna Steyr in Austria. He moved from road to air transportation and joined the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company EADS, today Airbus. Various assignments and missions in Toulouse, Munich and Marseille have clearly shaped his passion for aviation. During this period he earned an MBA from the Graduate School of Business of the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
As a next step, Stefan took the opportunity to explore the rail sector and joined Bombardier Transportation as Head of Strategy, Business Development and Corporate Secretary based in Berlin, Germany. Only recently, Stefan returned to Airbus and joined its smallest but most fascinating division, Helicopters. He is in charge of governmental helicopter programmes, including major cooperation projects and partnerships with US companies.
He likes travelling, sports (skiing, tennis) and enjoys music and reading books. Stefan is married and has two children.