Eirliani Abdul Rahman is a co-founder of YAKIN (Youth, Adult Survivors & Kin In Need), an NGO working in the field of child rights and child protection issues, and a member of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council.
In September 2015, the #FullStop to #childsexualabuse campaign that Eirliani led on behalf of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi reached 16 million people over six weeks. She won the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Award the same year.
Eirliani edited Kailash Satyarthi’s book Will for Children, a collection of essays on child labour published in 2016. Her own book Survivors: Breaking the Silence on Child Sexual Abuse, a collection of true accounts by survivors, was published by Marshall Cavendish in 2017. It won joint second prize in the 2020 Golden Door Awards. She also contributed a case study to the medical textbook Essentials of Global Health, co-edited by Babulal Sethia, Honorary Fellow and former President of the Royal Society of Medicine, which was published by Elsevier in London in 2018. The book won first prize in the Public Health category at the 2019 British Medical Association book awards.
Eirliani worked in Singapore’s Foreign Service from 2005 to 2015, serving in Berlin as First Secretary (Political) and then in Delhi as Political Counsellor. From June 2015 to November 2017 she was a member of the Advisory Council of the Global Diplomacy Lab. She is a Fellow of the London-based Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.
Eirliani is pursuing a doctorate in public health at Harvard University. She speaks Malay, English, German and Russian.
Read more about Eirliani in her latest blog article. You can also read her articles about her polar expedition and about human trafficking and learn more about her work, activism and contribution to the Gender Alliance.
Raghda Abu-Shahla is a humanitarian worker and activist for a better future with peace, security and democracy in Palestine. She holds a Master’s degree in Regional Studies from the Al-Quds University (Abu Dis). Her work in Gaza with national and international organizations has enriched her understanding of global peace, security and development challenges. She has worked on health management development projects at the office of the Palestinian Health Minister; with UNOPS on implementing security training for commercial crossings with Israel; and with the International Security Team at UNRWA. Currently, Raghda is Assistant to the Director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza.
She is dedicated to gaining a broader understanding of how to effect change towards peace and aspires to involve women in the decision-making processes and political system in Palestine.
Raghda is the Chair of the Board of Directions of Theatre Productions Days; a Leader for Democracy Fellow of Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, USA; a scholar of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Fellow of the International Peace and Security Institute providing mentoring to dozens of Peace Leaders; Fellow of the Asian Forum on Global Governance India; a member of the BMW Foundation’s community of responsible leaders working to promote and achieve the UN sustainable development goals. She has contributed to several of the Wilson Center publications and published a book titled Revolution By Love: Emerging Arab Youth Voices. Raghda is listed as a member of the Bulbula women experts, which is an online directory of the most eloquent female commentators and speakers of the East.
With over 15 years’ experience in programme management and advocacy on governance, peace and reconciliation processes, Firmin Adjahossou has been dedicated to the advancement of social justice through the various non-profit international and research organisations in Africa where he has worked. He is currently working as a Civil Affairs Officer with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), where he is supporting the implementation of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) through peace campaigns, mediation and conflict-resolution mechanisms. Mr Adjahossou’s areas of expertise include development effectiveness, migration and human trafficking, good governance and democratic transition, natural resources, climate change and sustainable development policies.
Until 2019, Mr Adjahossou served as Director of Operations of SOPODIVA Training Centre, a regional language centre with offices in Cotonou, Accra and Bamako, which provides intensive English courses for students and professionals from French-speaking countries throughout Africa.
Mr Adjahossou holds two Master’s degrees in Biochemistry and Environmental Management from the University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin; he graduated from the GIZ Global Leadership Academy in 2015 and is a Head Trainer in Junior Chamber International (JCI). Mr Adjahossou was the Campaign and Advocacy Officer at the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) from 2007 to 2016, where he supported the leadership of SECAM at the regional and international levels on peacebuilding and mediation, development policies, public engagement and political dialogue for the promotion of a just and inclusive society.
Before that, he worked with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA-Benin) as a Phytopathology Consultant and as a volunteer with the Institut des Artisans de Justice et de Paix (IAJP-Benin) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
Over the course of his professional career, Mr Adjahossou has been able to create a network that has allowed him to engage in person with more than 36 countries in Africa and beyond and to liaise with the African Union, the European Union and the United Nations. His ability to deal with people ranging from Heads of State, parliamentarians, civil society leaders and religious leaders to members of the public from various parts of Africa has been thoroughly tested on many occasions, including the African Faith Initiative Programme on Post-2015 Development Agendas that he co-facilitated from 2014 to 2015.
As an active member of the Global Diplomacy Lab (GDL) since 2016, Mr Adjahossou was the host of the GDL Accra Incubator Lab held for the first time in Africa and Ghana from 16 to 19 June 2019.
Netta Ahituv is a senior magazine correspondent at Haaretz newspaper and is the editor of the family section. She is based in Tel Aviv. In 2014 she won the Pratt Prize for journalism in the category of “Extensive and Important Body of Work”. In addition, she has a weekly spot in a TV debate on foreign affairs on the national Israeli channel.
She has an MA in Environmental Philosophy and a BA in Biology and Humanities, both from Tel Aviv University.
She founded a women’s soccer league in Israel, in which women play soccer weekly as a hobby and as an empowering tool. Netta managed to bring 8,600 solar lights to children in Gaza who are off the electricity grid. The project was called Little Suns to Gaza and presented many challenges, especially overcoming obstacles created by the Israeli and Palestinian authorities. Nevertheless, the solar lights passed the border and were handed over to the children. The initiative proved that there is indeed a crack in everything and that's how the light gets in.
Haila Al-Mekaimi is a senior adviser for the Kuwaiti Union for Women's NGOS. She is also Professor of Political Science at Kuwait University, College of Social Sciences and Head of the Euro-Gulf Research Unit at Kuwait University. She received her Ph.D in Political Science from Boston College and her MA in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, where she also earned her diploma in Jewish Studies and the Hebrew language.
From 2013 until 2017 Haila Al-Mekaimi served as Undersecretary for the Ministry of Information. She is a columnist for al-Nahar, daily local newspaper in Kuwait; she also writes for the newspaper al-sharq al-awsat.
Virginie is currently working at the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission. Before that, she served as a diplomat at the Embassy of Luxembourg in Turkey for 6 years until the summer of 2020, covering political issues. These included Turkey's domestic affairs, foreign policy, human rights, Turkey-EU relations and the response to the refugee crisis. She was also involved in the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2015. She has previously worked for the EU Delegation in Turkey and at the Embassy of France in Turkey as an economic analyst. She is involved in the Jean Monnet programme in Turkey.
Virginie Arslan graduated from the Institute of Political Sciences of Strasbourg and from the Sorbonne University in Paris. She is a Fellow of the Stiftung Mercator 2018 “Turkey Europe Future Forum” programme. She was the Turkish women’s triathlon champion in 2016 and 2019 in her age group and regularly participates in ultra-trails, marathons, open water and half-Ironman races.
Julie August is a graphic designer and art curator. She works as a graphic designer for publishing houses and architects, as well as cultural and social projects, and also organises exhibitions. Before moving to Buenos Aires, she lived in Berlin for 15 years. As art director at the small left-wing publishing house Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, she converted part of her home into a project space for contemporary artists.
The 18m gallery led her to other curatorial projects, first in Albania and Serbia, and now in Argentina and Germany. Together with Rachel Kohn, she has been directing the women artists’ network “Frauenmuseum Berlin” for eight years. She studied literature and art history in Munich and graphic design in Leipzig. She has a 24-year-old daughter and is married to the Argentine filmmaker Liliana Furió. In addition to her cultural activities, she sees a profound necessity to participate in social and human rights issues.
Learn more about Julie in this article.
Cecilia Barja Chamas has led political processes and cross-sector alliances in Latin America and the United States for 18 years. In 1999, she co-founded the political party “Movimiento Sin Miedo” and was elected to the office of councillor for La Paz at the age of 23. In 2008, she coordinated Magis Americas in New York, mobilising resources for “Fe y Alegría”, a Jesuit network of 3000 schools in 17 Latin American countries.
From 2010 to 2016, she was a member of Fundación Avina in Colombia, leading cross-sector alliances in six Amazonian countries and the peace process in rural areas of Colombia. Since September 2017, Cecilia has been part of the North Carolina Congress of Latino Organizations, affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), a grassroots network that builds relationships between races and religions on issues of common concern such as housing and education. She has a Master’s in public administration from Harvard Kennedy School.
Read more about her vision of the GDL's communication strategy on our blog.
Graca Bauleth-D’Almeida holds a BSc in Biology from Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania, USA in 1990 and an MSc in Marine, Estuarine and Environmental Sciences from the University of Maryland obtained in 1998.
She joined the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources as a Fisheries Biologist in 1993, progressing to the rank of Principal Fisheries Biologist in 2001, then Chief Fisheries Biologist in 2004 and Deputy Director in 2010. Since 2012 she has been the Director of Resource Management, overseeing the research and management of Namibia’s living marine resources and ensuring the health of the marine environment.
Over the years, she has conducted research on several aspects of the Benguela Current ecosystem as well as on all the commercial resources and has thereby amassed experience in acoustic survey methodology, resource dynamics and behaviour as well as the oceanographic aspects of the system. Graca D’Almeida has also acquired management skills and has a good grasp of good governance principles. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Benguela Current Convention, as the head of the Namibian negotiating team, and and played a key role in the formation of the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology as a Commissioner.
Graca D’Almeida is fluent in five languages, including three international working languages, namely English, Spanish and Portuguese. She has authored and co-authored several scientific publications on the horse mackerel resource in the Benguela Ecosystem.
Anya Margaret Baum is the founder and Managing Director of The Keryx Group (TKG), an advisory body that works with municipalities in the Smart City field. Since October 2015, she has been the strategic consultant for the City of Warsaw’s Virtual Warsaw project, winner of Bloomberg’s Mayors Challenge.
Anya Baum has a strong background in the Smart Cities field, in both standardisation and public policy. In January 2014, Mrs Baum’s firm was the founding member of the first Smart City Working Group at the Polish Committee for Standardization (PKN). In the EU Commission’s first European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC) from 2012 to 2014, Anya Baum was a member of the Roadmap Group and coordinator of the Smart City Strategy working group. She is a graduate of the College of Europe in Bruges and of INSEAD’s social entrepreneurship programme in Singapore.
Read more about Anya in this article.
Shota Bukoshi has been a diplomat at the Embassy of Kosovo in Berlin since 2014. Using her expertise in culture and media, she has developed and executed strategies on establishing and strengthening international relations. She has opened the space within the embassy to cultural events. She plays an active role in Kosovo’s efforts to gain membership in international organisations.
Previously she worked as Kosovo’s programme officer for Pro Helvetia, supporting the local cultural scene. As a cultural manager and consultant for NGOs, she conceptualised and implemented projects, lectures, conferences and workshops with an emphasis on international exchange and capacity building.
Shota is also a prizewinning filmmaker and has produced and directed several short films and documentaries, which use an artistic approach to shed light on social issues.
Rocío Cañas is an International Analyst and Cooperation Officer, currently studying for her second Masters degree on International Cooperation and Management of Public Policies and Development Programmes in Spain with a scholarship from the Carolina Foundation.
Rocío Cañas has worked for seven years in foreign policy, diplomatic relations, development cooperation and human rights. She has experience in both the public sector and non-profit organisations internationally, having worked as an International Relations Officer for Europe for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador, where she was in charge of the diplomatic relations with over 20 countries and the European Union, and as a Cooperation Officer for the National Foundation for Overcoming Poverty (FSP) in Chile, a non-profit organisation that promotes greater degrees of equity and social integration and submits public policys proposals, where she was involved in the design, implementation and management of international cooperation projects in Chile and Latin America.
She has supported Amnesty International by teaching Spanish to migrants in Chile and campaigning for human rights. Rocío Cañas has a Bachelor´s degree in International Relations and a Master´s degree in Management and Public Policy as a scholar of the International Cooperation Agency of Chile. Her main topics of interest include sustainable development, human rights and migration.
In 2004, Theresa Carrington set out to address the issue of extreme poverty. Having grown up in poverty in the Midwest, she drew upon her life experiences to develop innovative approaches to ending poverty.
Today, Theresa and her team have pioneered a formula that sustainably ends poverty. Known as Ten by Three, the formula has been successfully replicated in eight developing nations, reignited more than 80 broken economies throughout three continents and positively impacted the lives of more than 8000 people and 32,000 of their family members.
Here is how the formula works: Theresa and her team buys ten artisan products a month at Prosperity Wages from an artisan for three years. The artisan is required to use part of their earnings to start three businesses. Within three years the artisan’s businesses grow to support them and they graduate from the Ten by Three Program. Theresa’s model is widely recognised, and she has received an honorary doctorate of humanities from Washington University in St. Louis for her pioneering work.
Marty Castro is 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. He is also President and CEO of Casa Central, one of the largest Latino-serving social services agencies in the Midwestern United States.
In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Mr Castro to a six-year term on the United States Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR), also nominating Mr Castro to be 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 three honorary doctorates of Humane Letters from Roosevelt University, DePaul University, and Governor’s State University. He received his Bachelor’s in Political Science from DePaul University and his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Michigan Law School.
Elif Çavuşlu is an EU affairs expert based in Brussels. She currently works as a consultant to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development. Prior to this, she served at the Ministry for European Union Affairs (MEU) of the Republic of Turkey for eight years, where she began her civil service career in 2010. She also worked at the European Parliament as a Pat Cox Fellow and at the European Commission as a National Expert in Professional Training.
As the co-founder and co-director of Roman Medya, she is actively involved in issues concerning human rights, anti-discrimination and Roma rights in Turkish civil society. Ms Çavuşlu holds a BA in Social and Political Science from Sabancı University and an MA in EU Foreign Policy and Security Issues from the University of Warwick, which she attended with a Jean Monnet Scholarship.
Stefan Cibian believes that together we can generate social change and inspire our communities. He is passionate about bringing together global experiences and everyday local activities and does this through his work in research, consulting and volunteering.
Stefan has a background in development, international relations, political science and law and received his MA and a PhD from Central European University. His research focuses on peacebuilding, statehood and development in Africa. He is also involved in civil society activities, focusing on community development and resilience. Stefan is director at Cibian Consulting and co-initiator of the Făgăraş Research Institute. He is a visiting lecturer in international development at Babeş-Bolyai University.
Previously Stefan was an Academy Robert Bosch Fellow at the Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs, Chatham House.
Ahmet Çörekcioğlu works as a civil servant at Zeytinburnu Municipality, Istanbul, where he is responsible for project grant calls such as Erasmus+, EU IPA programmes, Horizon 2020, the Black Sea Basin Cooperation Programme and activities in connection with embassies. His fields of expertise include town-twinning, local government diplomacy and municipal foreign affairs. Previously, he acquired professional skills in project management while working for a consultancy company and was involved in an NGO project on global environment facilities.
Ahmet volunteers in multiple civil society organisations such as the Zeytinburnu Cycling Club Association, the Turkey Photography Foundation and the UPS Club Association. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from Ahmet Çörekcioğlu works as a civil servant at Zeytinburnu Municipality, Istanbul.
Rudrani Dasgupta works with ActionAid India, an international non-profit aiming to eliminate poverty. Having graduated from University College London with a Masters in sociology (childhood and children’s rights) on a full scholarship, she is now a child rights researcher primarily interested in exploring the long-term impact of structural violence on children, especially in education and family.
She is currently coordinating a state-level study examining the impact of domestic violence on children. Recently, she was part of a state-level committee that drafted a school safety policy for the state of West Bengal in India.
Rudrani has been mentoring young people across the geosocial-economic spectrum ever since she spent two years working in a remote Himalayan school for first generation learners. She also takes a personal interest in mentoring young people from non-traditional and non-linear backgrounds.
Elsa Marie D’Silva is the founder and CEO of Red Dot Foundation (Safecity), a platform that crowdsources personal experiences of sexual violence and abuse in public spaces. Since Safecity started in December 2012, it has become the largest crowd map on the issue in India, Kenya, Cameroon and Nepal.
Elsa Marie is an alumna of the US State Department’s Fortune Program, a fellow with Rotary Peace, Aspen New Voices and Vital Voices, and a BMW Foundation Responsible Leader. She is listed as one of BBC Hindi’s 100 Women. Moreover, she has won the Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award launched by Dušan Stojanović (European Angel Investor of the Year 2013) and the SheThePeople’s Digital Woman Award in Social Impact.
Prior to Safecity, she spent 20 years in the aviation industry, where she worked with Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines. In her last role in aviation, she was Vice President Network Planning.
Reham Elgebaly is a co-founder and gender mainstreaming and education consultant at SEDAQ. Holding a master’s degree in child rights from Lund University, Sweden, she is responsible for planning, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reporting on a number of training courses on development and empowerment of marginalised communities.
She is also active in organising various awareness-raising programmes at youth camps and social events, disseminating gender equality principles, fighting violence and providing assistance in evaluating partners’ activities. She carried out field work activities and support campaigns focused on women’s political participation and coordinates voter educational and voter training programmes in Egypt’s poorer and marginalised areas.
Living in a tribal community, she works as a peace builder and mediator mainly in the absence of peace and stability.
A strategist for the social sector and an expert on global change and philanthropy, Cristina Gallegos builds convergence towards people + planet + profit for foundations and businesses, strengthening brands through the power of well-applied purpose. A social entrepreneur, Cristina Gallegos has founded six businesses and has 30 years of experience in the field, 20 of which as an advisor to ultra-high-net-worth families and the non-profits they care about.
She is the CEO of Skylarx, a Triple Bottom Line, Los Angeles-based consulting firm with a presence in Denver, Brussels and Estonia, working to align public, philanthropic, and business efforts to strengthen the global society and the people who make it great. Skylarx works on projects targeting board growth, strategic planning, executive coaching, fundraising strategies, and merging business models with charity models. A lot of Cristina’s work tackles systems overhaul and grand challenges – from digitisation to inequality, the future of work, future of learning, financial sustainability, AI, the environment and democracy.
Julia Jaroschewski is a reporter and founder of Buzzing Cities Lab, a think tank focusing on digital technology and security in informal settlements such as the Favelas in Rio. She works for Die WELT, Spiegel Online, fluter and WIRED, covering mainly foreign politics, organised crime, the war on drugs and security policy. She studied in Portugal, has an MA in political sciences from Berlin and has worked for the UN in New York and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Mozambique.
Julia has attended the Axel Springer Akademie and Columbia School of Journalism. As a fellow of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation and the Besser-Stiftung she reported from Brazil and South Africa, and from Mozambique as a scholar working for Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung. In 2016 she was part of the international journalism programme for South America, working for the Brazilian newspaper O Globo. She has also spent three months in India as a Media Ambassador for the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
Read more about her engagement and how cities can function as future labs for innovative forms of diplomacy. More about her ideas on Women in Crime can be found here. Or read her article on community-led crisis response or on Guinea Bissau.
Edna Martinez is an enthusiastic consultant in sustainable development and public policy.
For over a decade, Edna has worked in designing, developing and implementing public policies focused on sustainability. She has adapted international agendas to the Mexican context, such as sustainable production and consumption, waste management, eco-labelling and, most recently, the 2030 Agenda most commonly known as the Sustainable Development Goals.
Edna worked in the Mexican Ministry of Environmental and Natural Resources for over five years, where her proudest achievements include the development of a National Strategy and a Special Program in Sustainable Production and Consumption. She has collaborated with UNDP and the Office of the Presidency in the design of the Implementation Strategy of the SDGs for Mexico and for FAO in the Foresight of the Agricultural Sector. Edna has also co-written a public policy recommendation for the T20 when chaired by Germany. She also finds great satisfaction in sharing knowledge digitally, in open forums and teaching in universities.
Edna is currently part of a project that is creating an offsite space for co-creation, team building and workshop spaces for international and local organizations. This space, known as Mineralito, is in a tranquil rural area, surrounded by beautiful green landscapes and natural reserves. Knowledge sharing and designing and creating sustainable lifestyles is what inspired Mineralito. This project has turned Edna into an avid researcher of bio-construction in the creation of this magical place, where everything is designed and built with sustainability in mind and shared to be replicated.
Edna was raised in the North of Mexico, growing up both in a rural town and in Monterrey, the second largest city of Mexico. Edna currently lives in Mexico City, but she prefers the loud grandiosity and the noble silence of the natural environment.
Diego is a Senior Policy Advisor for Climate Security & COE at Global Affairs Canada, where he focuses on Security and Defence Relations Division of the Canadian Government as well as the NATO Climate and Security Centre of Excellence.
Previously he worked at the Centre for Rural Development of Canada’s Ministry of Infrastructure and also held the position of Senior Advisor on Climate Security at CGIAR Climate Security. He is a PhD candidate at Utrecht University and a former Canadian diplomat with many years of experience in public administration and international experience covering the UN, NATO, the World Bank, Canadian diplomacy, and private sector ventures.
Diego has worked globally on political and economic matters, climate change-conflict and adaptation policy, as well as institutional and social reconstruction, civil-military coordination, and humanitarian issues. He has deployed to Afghanistan, Colombia, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Indonesia (Banda Aceh), Iraq, Central African Republic, Jordan, Kosovo, Liberia, Pakistan, and Timor Leste, to name some of his multiple field missions.
His previous positions included Senior Peacekeeping Officer and Senior Advisor on Mediation, Negotiation and Peace processes at Global Affairs Canada.
Diego is an Associate Fellow of both the Raoul-Dandurand Chair in Strategic and Diplomatic Studies at the Université de Quebec à Montréal (UQAM) and the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies. He has lectured on a variety of topics such as humanitarian action, governance design, the humanitarian-development nexus, conflict and climate change, post-conflict recovery, at universities in Canada and abroad. Another field he works on is co-creation and human design methodologies. Last but not least he is an Adjunct Professor of Master of Public Policy at Adler University, Canada.
Read more about Diego in his latest article.
Dr Banu Pekol’s work focuses on peacebuilding and conflict transformation in relation to contested cultural heritage. Her work spans cultural heritage research on difficult pasts and projects that develop creative and research-based results, specialising in cultural diplomacy, contested heritage interpretation and management. She has over a decade of experience with different cultures at numerous multicultural heritage sites.
Banu currently works at the Berghof Foundation, on intercultural and interreligious conflict transformation and peace education. She was previously a Historical Dialogue and Accountability fellow at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University.
She is a co-founder of the Association for the Protection of Cultural Heritage (KMKD), which was established in order to respond to the urgent need to protect and preserve cultural heritage at risk. She has worked as a cultural manager at KMKD, where her work included managing creative as well as research–based strategies to preserve heritage, especially of contested heritage sites, and to find concrete ways for communities to embrace and preserve heritage, regardless of the ethnic or religious community that built it.
She was a trainer in the 2020 European Diplomatic Programme, an elected member on the Advisory Council of the Global Diplomacy Lab (2019-2021) and is a BMW Responsible Leader.
Banu Pekol holds a BA from the Courtauld Institute of Art and PhD from Istanbul Technical University. She was a Salzburg Global Seminar Fellow on Conflict Transformation through Culture: Peace-building and the Arts and has been awarded the Association Villard de Honnecourt for the Interdisciplinary Study of Technology, Science, and Art Award; a Hellenic Ministry of Culture Grant; the Otto Gründler Award; and grants from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and Bodossaki Foundation.
Sonja Peteranderl is an editor at Spiegel Online and co-founder of BuzzingCities Lab, a think tank focusing on digitalisation and security/crime in informal settlements. She covers global politics, tech trends, security, justice and organised crime/cyber crime for example the global war on drugs, predictive policing, the digital transformation of drug cartels in Mexico or the European arms trade.
She has previously worked as a senior editor at Wired Germany magazine, and as a freelance foreign correspondent for German media such as Spiegel Online, Wired, Zeit Online, Impulse magazine or Journalist magazine in several Latin American countries, the USA and China.
As a fellow of the American Council on Germany, she is currently investigating the influence and the challenges of algorithmic decision-making systems/predictive policing in the policing and security realm in Germany and the USA. She is also an alumna of the Robert Bosch foundation's “Media Ambassadors China – Germany” programme, Otto-Brenner-Stiftung/Netzwerk Recherche and the foreign journalism programme of the German National Academic Foundation/Besser Foundation and has received several grants for her international investigations.
Sandrine Ramboux is a Belgian national who has been living in Turkey since 2007. For a long part of her life, she worked in senior positions in investment banking in Belgium, the Nordic countries and Turkey.
In 2012, she quit finance and founded C@rma to support the capacity building of Turkish NGOs. In parallel, in 2016, she launched Jana (www.jana-impact.org) to support disadvantaged women (Syrian and Turkish) in setting up their small businesses and building strong peer communities on which they can rely. Within that framework, Sandrine Ramboux conducted a two-year project on the financial inclusion of women and organised a workshop on that topic in Berlin.
In 2019, she added EKIP, a project administered by the World Bank to support 50 women in setting up a cooperative in the food sector in Istanbul. This is a pilot project to test a new model for the economic inclusion of the most vulnerable.
Sandrine Ramboux has been a speaker at TEDX Bruges, the UNDP Social Good Summit, the Istanbul Social Innovation Summit, Turkonfed/UN Women, etc. She is part of the Responsible Leader Network supported by the BMW Foundation and the Bosch Alumni Network as well as a member of the Global Board Ready Women. Sandrine Ramboux has a Master’s degree in Business Engineering from ICHEC (Brussels, B) and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. She also has a Master of Laws in European and International Law (Leyden, Nl). She is the proud mother of 2 lovely twin girls and loves endurance sports like running and swimming.
Marina Rudyak is a publicly engaged China and development cooperation scholar, policy advisor and systemic process and intercultural facilitator. She’s presently a lecturer at Heidelberg University’s Centre for Asian and Transcultural Studies where she is finishing her PhD on Chinese foreign aid. She’s the author of several publications on China’s international development cooperation and the founder of the China Aid Blog where she translates and comments on important Chinese development policy debates. Marina Rudyak is also an internationally sought-after advisor for group processes on sustainable development.
Previously, she was a programme manager with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in Beijing. She studied in Heidelberg University and Shanghai and holds an MA in Chinese Studies and Public Law, and is fluent in Russian, German, Chinese and English.
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.
Trini Saona is a journalist and has been a diplomat with the Chilean Foreign Service since 2010. She is currently posted to the Mission of Chile to the European Union and the Embassy in Belgium and Luxembourg. At the MFA, she previously served at the Embassy of Chile in Mexico, in Santiago, at the Directorate of Strategic Planning and the offices of the Under-Secretary and the Minister, and at ProChile, at the directorate-general for exports promotion.
Between 2015 and 2017, she worked at the Alfredo Zolezzi Foundation, a non-profit organisation set up by Chilean innovator Alfredo Zolezzi, whose innovation model aims to connect advanced science and technology with emerging social and environmental challenges.
In diplomacy, her main interest is in exploring new methodologies and tools in depth to achieve a new understanding of their practical use. She studied for an MBA at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile between 2017 and 2019, with the aim of identifying different frameworks of leadership and strategy applicable to diplomacy.
Trini is an alumna of Training for International Diplomats at Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, and a member of the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Network. She speaks Spanish, English and French, and her main hobby is photography.
Learn more about Trinidad in her latest interview.
Milica is currently working in the Strategic Communication Team for Western Balkans and Turkey at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR).
Up until the end of 2018, she worked as a coordinator for European Integration and International Cooperation in the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit within the Serbian Prime Minister’s cabinet. Her mandate was to strengthen government capacities to develop and implement social inclusion policies based on good European practices. From 2008 until mid-2018, she worked at the Ministry of European Integration dealing with questions relating to fundamental rights, reform of the judiciary, the fight against corruption, migration and freedom of expression. She started her professional career in the national Parliament, working in the Foreign Affairs Committee. In 2017, as a participant of the Fellowship Programme for Young Government Officials from the Western Balkans, she was an exchange civil servant at the Federal Foreign Office working with the Global Diplomacy Lab.
She is a graduate of the Faculty of Philology at the University of Belgrade, the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Diplomatic Academy and the College of Europe, Brugge.
Julia Sattler is Assistant Professor of American Studies at TU Dortmund University, Germany. Following her dissertation, in which she analysed mixed race narratives using the theoretical framework of contextual family therapy, she began exploring the intersections of American studies and urban planning, mostly working with Detroit, MI, and her native Ruhr Valley. She has worked with multiple urban redevelopment projects, and has co-taught a number of classes with urban-planning colleagues from Germany and the US. Following this trajectory, she is now studying the negotiation of radical urban transformation processes in American poetry. Furthermore, she is conducting research for a new book project on female responses to Walt Whitman’s poetry.
Beyond her academic interests, Julia loves theatre, travel, photography and creative writing.
Volkan Sezgin is an economic adviser and senior economic specialist at the US Mission in Turkey. Prior to that, he worked as a senior experts at the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Turkey. In 2014, he was employed by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs as a National Expert in Professional Training (NEPT). Before that, he was an energy expert at the state-owned Turkish Energy Company (BOTAS).
Volkan holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in science and technology policy studies from the Middle East Technical University. He also holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Manchester and a PhD in economics from the University of Rome Tor Vergata. He was a visiting research fellow at the Department of Economics at the University of Cambridge and a Visegrad fellow at the Warsaw-based think tank, the Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW).
Read more about Volkan in his article on re-shaping trade diplomacy.
Gaurav Sharma is currently advisor for Artificial Intelligence (AI) at the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in India and an affiliate to The Future Society. He previously worked as an independent consultant and policy advisor with institutions such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). He is also a facilitator for the “Youth Climate Leaders” (YCL) in South Asia and the founder of the Indo-Swiss Future Leaders Forum (ISFLF).
Gaurav Sharma is a member of the Executive Committee of the Indo-German Young Leaders Forum (IGYLF) for a Responsible Future and was the DAAD – Young Ambassador of India for the year 2018 - 2019. He was the recipient of the German Chancellor Fellowship for year 2015-2016, funded by the Alexander von-Humboldt Foundation, for his year as a Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Asia Division in Berlin. He has also received a Crans Montana Forum Young Leaders award. Gaurav Sharma served as a Programme Manager at India’s top think-tank, the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) and at Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries (RIS), New Delhi. He was the Political Advisor at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, New Delhi, from 2012 to 2015. He worked as an IT Engineer for 7 years in his previous incarnation, with Infosys, Merill Lynch, the Australia and New Zealand Bank (ANZ) and the United Bank of Switzerland (UBS).
Gaurav is one of the members who successfully participated in the Transforming Leadership Lab implemented by the Global Leadership Academy and the Asian Development Bank.
Throughout her career, Carolina Sheinfeld has sought to advance meaningful change from a local to a global level. Working with the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) she has been able to design and implement initiatives that create safe and welcoming learning environments and through these has reached over 1.5 million students and their families. Prior to coming to LACOE, Carolina Sheinfeld managed a highly regarded programme for immigrants in need of humanitarian protection at the largest legal aid firm in the United States, providing legal assistance, case management and community education to asylees and refugees in the Greater Los Angeles area.
Throughout her career, Carolina Sheinfeld has been actively involved in developing and executing strategies to raise the visibility of the agencies that she represents. She has built and strengthens coalitions and advocated extensively to generate systemic change in the area of immigrant and refugee integration. She is a seasoned trainer and presenter and has thrived as convener and event organiser, both through the Refugee Forum and the Asylum Collaborative of Los Angeles.
Carolina Sheinfeld is a Rotary Peace Fellow and a UN Alliance of Civilizations Fellow. In 2017, she joined the Welcoming Communities Transatlantic Exchange network, a group of integration practitioners in the United States and Germany. She has been part of the BMW Responsible Leaders Network since 2015.
Inês Silva is a Portugal-based innovator and the CEO of Aliados, an innovation consulting firm working for a more sustainable and circular world. On the side, Inês Silva fights for gender equality at Portuguese Women in Tech and leads Connect Portugal, a community of highly talented Portuguese young leaders spread around the world.
She is a 2018-19 Marshall Memorial Fellow supported by the German Marshall Fund, an alumna of the Singularity University Graduate Studies Program and she is also actively engaged in networks like the World Economic Forum Global Shapers, the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt/ Responsible Leaders Network and Sandbox Network.
Julia Spinelli is an architect and urbanist who has been working for the Brazilian Government since 2010. She currently serves as an infrastructure analyst at the Ministry of Cities, where she is involved in overseeing and advancing social housing policies at the National Housing Secretariat. Spinelli coordinates and monitors national and international cooperation and partnerships that focus on assessing, developing and improving housing programmes.
She is also involved in international agendas such as the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda. She is interested in sustainability as an integrated and multidisciplinary approach. She holds a BSc and a Master’s degree in architecture from the University of Campinas, Brazil. She is a fellow of the Managing Global Governance Academy, which is run by the German Development Institute and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Dr Vivian Valencia is an interdisciplinary scientist who utilises perspectives and methods from the natural and social sciences to investigate the socio-ecological processes that shape agricultural landscapes and food systems and the consequences for food security, ecosystems and biodiversity. She is currently Assistant Professor at Wageningen University. She earned her PhD from Columbia University in 2015.
Dr Valencia’s research and professional career have been supported by the National Geographic Early Career Grant, PRIME Fellowship of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Marie Curie Programme of the European Commission, Bill and Melinda Gates Millenium Scholarship among others.
Dr Valencia is active in the policy sphere, where she aims to close the gap between science and policy-making. She is a former member of the GDL’s Advisory Council; a BMW Responsible Leader; an alumna of several programmes of the Bosch Foundation; an alumna of the Managing Global Governance Training Programme of the German Development Institute (DIE); and an alumna of the “International Futures” programme of Training for International Diplomats of the German Federal Foreign Office.
Read more about Vivian here.