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Eirliani Abdul Rahman

Eirliani Abdul Rahman

Firmin Kami Adjahossou

Firmin Kami Adjahossou

Aroub Ziad Khazer Al-Majali

Aroub Ziad Khazer Al-Majali

Dima AlArqan

Dima AlArqan

Marwan Aldobhany

Marwan Aldobhany

Amal Al-Ma'aytah

Amal Al-Ma'aytah

Tarek Alsaleh

Tarek Alsaleh

Pascal Arsène Atangana

Pascal Arsène Atangana

Sibel Atasayi

Sibel Atasayi

Tamer Azzam

Tamer Azzam

Hanina Ben Bernou

Hanina Ben Bernou

Nina Bernarding

Nina Bernarding

Çiğdem Bozdağ

Çiğdem Bozdağ

Johannes Braun

Johannes Braun

Anne-Lorraine Bujon

Anne-Lorraine Bujon

Claudia Gabriela Canales Gallardo

Claudia Gabriela Canales Gallardo

Ney Canani

Ney Canani

Carlos Eduardo Cano

Carlos Eduardo Cano

Marty Castro

Marty Castro

Brisa Ceccon Rocha

Brisa Ceccon Rocha

Egin Ceka

Egin Ceka

Ciara Davies

Ciara Davies

Angelina Davydova

Angelina Davydova

Anna Marie de Vera Balle

Anna Marie de Vera Balle

Bert de Wilde

Bert de Wilde

Seçil Paçacı Elitok

Seçil Paçacı Elitok

Onur Eryüce

Onur Eryüce

Adi Rivka Farjon Israel

Adi Rivka Farjon Israel

Liana Fix

Liana Fix

Kim Fontaíne-Skronski

Kim Fontaíne-Skronski

Nicola Forster

Nicola Forster

Tiberiu Galis

Tiberiu Galis

Laura Gardner

Laura Gardner

Blair Glencorse

Blair Glencorse

Sérgio António Gomes da Silva

Sérgio António Gomes da Silva

Enas Halaiqah

Enas Halaiqah

Dominik Hartmann

Dominik Hartmann

Sebastian Haug

Sebastian Haug

Ahmed Ibraheem

Ahmed Ibraheem

Amarachi Adannaya Igboegwu

Amarachi Adannaya Igboegwu

Chuliepote Isarankura

Chuliepote Isarankura

Rola Jadallah

Rola Jadallah

Peter Japelj

Peter Japelj

Hans-Christian Jasch

Hans-Christian Jasch

Ludwig Jung

Ludwig Jung

Szilvia Kalmár

Szilvia Kalmár

Amel Karboul

Amel Karboul

Matthias Kaufmann

Matthias Kaufmann

Salam Kawakibi

Salam Kawakibi

Daphne Keilmann-Gondhalekar

Daphne Keilmann-Gondhalekar

 Josiane Khoury

Josiane Khoury

Julia Kloiber

Julia Kloiber

János Kóka

János Kóka

 Almut Küppers

Almut Küppers

Mindaugas Lašas

Mindaugas Lašas

Geneviève Lavertu

Geneviève Lavertu

Lina Li

Lina Li

Patrícia Lisa

Patrícia Lisa

Mónica Lisboa

Mónica Lisboa

Ahmad Seyar Maaliji

Ahmad Seyar Maaliji

Davood Maghoul

Davood Maghoul

Mbali Mahlobo

Mbali Mahlobo

Elizabeth Maloba

Elizabeth Maloba

Ioana Manolescu Apolzan

Ioana Manolescu Apolzan

Norbert Mao

Norbert Mao

Joaquin Molina Martinez-Lozano

Joaquin Molina Martinez-Lozano

Alejandro Martinez Peralta

Alejandro Martinez Peralta

Kyle Matthews

Kyle Matthews

Kerstin Meins

Kerstin Meins

Peter Mock

Peter Mock

Henryka Mościcka-Dendys

Henryka Mościcka-Dendys

Lothar Müller

Lothar Müller

Natalya Nepomnyashcha

Natalya Nepomnyashcha

Chi Nguyen

Chi Nguyen

Seth Oppenheim

Seth Oppenheim

Diego Osorio

Diego Osorio

Evrykleia Panagiotou

Evrykleia Panagiotou

Jernej Pikalo

Jernej Pikalo

Jozef Polakovič

Jozef Polakovič

Ivana Petrov (née Ponjavic)

Ivana Petrov (née Ponjavic)

Abdul Baqi Popal

Abdul Baqi Popal

Anna-Maria Praks

Anna-Maria Praks

Jakob Preuss

Jakob Preuss

Jasdeep Randhawa

Jasdeep Randhawa

Jörn Richert

Jörn Richert

Humphrey Rutto

Humphrey Rutto

Mome Saleem

Mome Saleem

Zuhal Salim

Zuhal Salim

Susanne Salz

Susanne Salz

Sabrina Schärf

Sabrina Schärf

Sabrina Schulz

Sabrina Schulz

Luisa Seiler

Luisa Seiler

Ana Patrícia Severino

Ana Patrícia Severino

Quilan Shen

Quilan Shen

Dmytro Shevchenko

Dmytro Shevchenko

Stanislav Shevchenko

Stanislav Shevchenko

Imran Simmins

Imran Simmins

Dr Olga Stelmakh-Drescher

Dr Olga Stelmakh-Drescher

Paula Suárez-Buitrón

Paula Suárez-Buitrón

Satyarupa Shekhar Swain

Satyarupa Shekhar Swain

Almaz Toimatov

Almaz Toimatov

Emre Tunçalp

Emre Tunçalp

Ebru Turhan

Ebru Turhan

 Kata Dorottya Udvarhelyi

Kata Dorottya Udvarhelyi

Vivian Valencia

Vivian Valencia

Krisztina Dóra Varju

Krisztina Dóra Varju

Alida Vracic

Alida Vracic

Andreas Wittmann

Andreas Wittmann

Rong Yang

Rong Yang

Eirliani Abdul Rahman

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.

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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 workactivism and contribution to the Gender Alliance.

Firmin Kami Adjahossou

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.

Aroub Ziad Khazer Al-Majali

Aroub works as a researcher for international political affairs at the Royal Hashemite Court, Jordan, mainly on Syria and Lebanon, in addition to several other Arab files. After finishing her BA in International Relations (Dublin City University, Ireland) she went on to finish her Masters in Middle Eastern Studies (American University Beirut, Lebanon).

Aroub is very keen on following world affairs. MENA, currently undergoing major changes, transitions as well as conflict, is of particular interest to her. Aroub hopes to always continue learning and making use of others’ expertise and experience so she can better understand the world system.

At the same time she tries in any way possible to contribute positively to society and the world at large.

Aroub is very interested in development and conflict resolution.

Dima AlArqan

Dima AlArqan was born in Syria in 1980. She has a Master’s degree in International Cooperation and Development. In 2015 she joined the diplomatic service and is serving in the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a diplomatic attaché. However, she has worked in various areas, always with commitment and in a results-oriented way, and has gathered 13 years of interesting and engaging experience in project management in the field of civil society, social work, democracy and human rights.

She has gained professional experience in learning management and capacity development, through working as a manager for the Belgian Development Agency (BTC), civil society specialist for Catholic Relief Services (CRS), head of mission for the French Workers Sports and Gymnastics Federation (FSGT), programme manager for Health Work Committees and adviser to GIZ. The promotion of dialogue and partnership between citizens, civil society organisations, government and the private sector has always been a central focus of her work. She has a strong personal commitment to marginalised and vulnerable communities, such as people with disabilities, young people and women, often in rural areas. As a woman, she attaches great importance to advocacy for diversity and human rights.

In 2014, Dima took part in the 1st Seminar for Palestinian Diplomats organised by the Federal Foreign Office. She looks forward to working further in inclusive diplomacy, in a proactive, reliable and respectful way. She looks forward, moreover, to the continuous learning that comes with such work.

Marwan Aldobhany

In 2002, he graduated from Sana’a University, political science department. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2003 as a diplomatic attaché. He was awarded his Master’s in International Politics and Security Studies from the Department of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford, UK, in 2005. He served at Yemen Mission in Vienna during 2007-2011. Between 2011 and 2014, he worked at the Minister's Office as assistant for the Europe and Friends of Yemen files. Since 2014, he assumed the position of chief of staff of the Vice Minister's Office in addition to Secretary of National Committee for Refugee Affairs.

Amal Al-Ma'aytah

Amal Al-Ma'aytah is a strong leader yet an ambitious and commited team player. Her strive for excellence led her to pursue the two areas of her interest and graduate top of her class in both her Bachelor of Arts studies in English Language & Journalism and Mass Communication, and her Master’s degree in Diplomatic Studies. Her pursuit of distinction also led her to assume a number of important positions in several major institutions:

She began her career working in communications and dissemination of international humanitarian law at the International Committee of the Red Cross, then moved to work as an international affairs researcher/analyst at the Office of His Majesty King Abdullah II, Regional Communications Manager at Al-Faisaliah Group and currently as the International Affairs and Communications Adviser for the Vice-Chairman of the Jordanian Senate (Upper House of Parliament).

Tarek Alsaleh

“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.

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Learn more about his work in this blog post.

Pascal Arsène Atangana

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.

 

Sibel Atasayi

Ever since the linkage between psychology, politics and civil society has been Sibel’s core interest and a thriving part of both her professional and personal growth. Throughout her studies, she worked for several civil-society organizations (e.g. the Bertelsmann Foundation), non-governmental actors (e.g. Berghof Foundation) and other international organizations (e.g. United Nations) in the areas of civic participation, conflict transformation and mediation.

After her graduation in Political Psychology and International Affairs at Heidelberg and Princeton University, Sibel started her professional career in international affairs with a special focus on peacebuilding, mediation and crisis management (e.g. UNDP). As a political psychologist, she worked as an advisor to the national dialogue and reconciliation process in Lebanon, which helped her to understand the multi-track process of peace practices and trained her to establish peace support infrastructures in post-conflict countries. Since then, Sibel has continuously expanded her regional expertise to Syria, Afghanistan and Turkey (2011-2013). During the last year (2014), Sibel has transfered her capacities in mediation support to the concept of political theater at Berlin’s Maxim Gorki theatre. Responsible for political communication and strategy making, Sibel has gained practical knowledge in tools of political theater to mediate ethno-political conflicts.

Currently, Sibel works as psychotherapist at Humboldt University’s Charité in Berlin. Her expertise lies in the areas of migration, trauma (post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD) and mediation. In this regard, she mainly focuses on mental health issues of incoming refugees.

As a former fellow to the Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs, she engages as active member to the steering committee of the alumni organization nefia e.V. and is thrilled to welcome many alumni to the 3rd GDL.

Tamer Azzam

Tamer graduated from the Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences at Cairo University in 2003. After graduation, Tamer worked for the UNHCR Cairo Office as an Eligibility Assistant for almost a year.

Later on, he joined the Egyptian diplomatic service in 2005, where he first started as a desk officer for Iraq and Jordan. In 2007, he was posted to the Egyptian Embassy in Sudan. In 2010, he was seconded to the Political Secretariat of the Assessment and Evaluation Commission (AEC) – responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between North and South Sudan. He also participated within the AEC in supporting the Post Secession talks between the two countries in Addis Ababa in 2011, led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki. In September 2012, and after a brief stay in Cairo, he took on the post of a Second Secretary/Political Officer at the Egyptian Embassy in Berlin.

In 2013, Tamer took part in the 5th IDP organized by both Federal Foreign Office and BMW Stiftung. His personal hobbies are reading, playing chess and struggling against the German language.

Hanina Ben Bernou

Hanina Ben Bernou serves as an Officer at the Delegation of the European Union to the United Arab Emirates. She began working for the EU in 2010 - first addressing complex, global and emerging security threats.

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.

Nina Bernarding

Nina Bernarding is Project Assistant for the Dialogue, Mediation and Peace Support Structures Programme, at the Berghof Foundation in Berlin.  Previously she was Mercator Fellow on International Affairs working on peacebuilding in East and Central Africa with a particular focus on political dialogue and natural resource management. During her fellowship, she has worked on a peace process in East Africa and has been engaged in promoting a dialogue-conducive environment in Sudan. Previously, she worked with GIZ in Addis Ababa and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York City.

Nina is a member of the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research, analysing conflicts between governments and opposition parties in East Africa. She holds a Master’s degree in Conflict, Security and Development from King’s College London and a Bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science from the University of Heidelberg.

Nina is particularly interested in track II diplomacy and in engaging armed groups in peace processes. In her spare time, she enjoys Victorian novels and considering the concepts of fair trade and critical consumption.

Çiğdem Bozdağ

Çiğdem Bozdağ is an Assistant Professor in the Department of New Media at Kadir Has University. Her current research focuses on intercultural networks in schools through the use of new media technologies.

Bozdağ previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Stiftung Mercator and as an IPC Fellow at the Istanbul Policy Center of Sabanci University, where she carried out a research project on online school networks between Germany and Turkey. Bozdağ completed her PhD at the University of Bremen in January 2013. In her thesis, she analysed the websites of the Moroccan and Turkish diaspora and their role in ethnic community building within an emerging, mediated social space.

From 2008 to 2010, she worked at the same university on the research project Communicative Connectivity of Ethnic Minorities: The Integrative and Segregative Potential of Digital Media for Diasporas. Moreover, she worked on an EU-funded research project entitled ICT and Cultural Diversity: The Potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for the Promotion of Cultural Diversity ın the EU.

She received her Bachelor’s degree from Boğaziçi University in the field of political science and international relations. Her Master’s degree is from the University of Bremen in the field of media culture.

Johannes Braun

Johannes Braun is an experienced manager of international dialogues and cooperation projects between Germany and its global partners such as China, India, Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia.

He is currently based in Berlin and leads the Global Project Quality Infrastructure (www.gpqi.org), which is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. Previously, Johannes served as an advisor for Strategy and Portfolio Development at GIZ’s China Office in Beijing.

Johannes is an alumni of the Mercator Foundation’s 2014 Zukunftsbrücke - Chinese-German Young Professional Campus and is a founding member of the Global Diplomacy Lab (GDL).

Johannes holds an MA in Political Science, Public Law and Economics from the University of Regensburg and an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics.

 

 

Anne-Lorraine Bujon

Anne-Lorraine Bujon is editorial director at the Institut des Hautes Etudes sur la Justice (IHEJ), where she heads the Conventions programme on regulation and global governance, and an Associate research fellow at Ifri, the French Institute for International Relations.

For the last ten years she has worked with non-profit organisations, where it was possible to combine her interests and expertise in American studies, the dynamics of globalisation, and new modes of knowledge-sharing, collaborative study projects, and the dissemination of ideas. She was previously European director of Humanity in Action, a transatlantic exchange programme focused on human and minority rights, programme coordinator at the French Center on the United States at Ifri, and editorial consultant for the policy planning department of the French Foreign Affairs Ministry. She has authored articles on American political and cultural history in various publications, and teaches at Inalco, the French Institute for Oriental Languages and Cultures.

Anne-Lorraine Bujon is a graduate of Ecole Normale Supérieure, where she majored in American literature.

Claudia Gabriela Canales Gallardo

Gabriela is a specialist on environmental management, sustainable development, public policy and international cooperation. She has more than seven years of work experience on climate change, biodiversity conservation, poverty alleviation and peace. Her work has always involved partnership development, fostering rural and indigenous communities’ dialogues, harmonising financial resources and public policies, multi-level governance coordination, facilitating negotiations and capacity building.

Gabriela works as a consultant to the Global Environmental Facility, the World Bank and the Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources on developing sustainable productive landscapes in Mexico. She holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Management from Yale University and a Master’s in Peace Studies from Kyung Hee University. She has worked in local and international projects in coordination with governments and international agencies such as GIZ, KfW, FAO, GEF, AECID, JICA, IFAD and UNDP.

She is an advocate and a vibrant communicator who is passionate about developing innovative and inclusive strategies to achieve a more sustainable and equitable world.

 

Ney Canani

Ney was born and raised in Brazil, in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. At university, he studied languages, literature, economics and political science, among other things.

After a rewarding experience working as an associate professor and completing a Master’s degree in political science, Ney decided to pursue a diplomatic career. As a diplomat, he has had the privilege of serving in Brasília, Berlin and Caracas. He is now back in the Brazilian capital, Brasília, and working in the Department of Human Rights and Social Affairs.

Ney also recently completed a doctorate in philosophy and literature (Freie Universität Berlin). In his free time he enjoys listening to music, reading and travelling with his family.

Carlos Eduardo Cano

Carlos Eduardo Cano is a Honduran citizen and 28 years old. With his undergraduate and later Master’s degree in logistics, industrial organisation and business management, it would be reasonable to assume he would find a job as a manager for a production or logistics company.

However, it has always been more natural for him to deal with people rather than processes. So, when he got the opportunity to work in the Consular Section of the Embassy of Honduras in Berlin, he felt extremely comfortable and knew he was in the right place. Although, he must admit that the skills he has applied there ever since his first day, including critical thinking, ease of communication and negotiation, leadership and the ability to create long-lasting relationships with people of all backgrounds and beliefs, were acquired during his studies.

Marty Castro

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.

 

Brisa Ceccon Rocha

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.

 

 

Egin Ceka

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).

 

Ciara Davies

Ciara is a certified Career & Business Coach and RTT Therapist with expertise in public relations, economic negotiations and cultural diplomacy.

As former British diplomat with over a decade of international experience in business and government negotiations, she brings broad knowledge of intercultural, political, economic and technological developments to her work. Ciara has trained at Ashridge Business School and is a certified member of the QRC federation of coaches and consultants. She has also worked as a graduate mentor and career development coach for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Today, Ciara draws on her wide-ranging experience and personal insight to both enable clients to create careers and businesses that are aligned with their values and bring the highest form of expression to their skills and talents.


 

Angelina Davydova

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. 

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Read more about her thoughts on how to navigate climate change in Russia here. Or read more about her travel experiences here.

Anna Marie de Vera Balle

It could be said that Anna’s first foray into diplomatic life began when she was 17 years old as a Rotary youth exchange student and “ambassadress of goodwill” for the Philippines in Brazil. She again represented her country in the Georgia Rotary Student Program and was granted an MBA scholarship in Georgia, USA.

In 1997, after working in advertising in New York City, she returned to Manila and worked briefly as the marketing officer of the Institute on Church and Social Issues, a Jesuit-based research and advocacy non-governmental organization, before pursuing her law studies. After passing the exam, she worked as a litigation lawyer for three years. In 2006, Anna took and passed the Philippine foreign service exams, and joined the ministry the following year as an acting director in the Office of Legal Affairs. Her first foreign assignment was as third secretary and vice-consul in the Philippine Embassy in Berlin, where she handled political and administrative matters. After four years, she was cross-posted to the Philippine Embassy and Permanent Mission in Vienna, where she dealt with multilateral issues. Anna participated in the German Federal Foreign Office’s 2nd International Diplomats Programme (Berlin, 2010) and the BMW Foundation’s 9th Europe-Asia Young Leaders Forum (London, 2012).

Anna is newly married (her spouse is German and also a lawyer) and is currently on leave from the foreign service to care for her baby daughter full time. She is based in Essen, Germany.

Bert de Wilde

Bert de Wilde is currently working in the European Integration Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands. Previously he worked at the Dutch Embassies in Berlin, Germany, and Accra, Ghana, as well as in the North Africa and Middle East Department of the ministry.

Bert is currently working in the field of European integration, which attracted his interest when he was studying in Berlin (Erasmus) and working in the European Parliament. He is especially interested in outside perceptions of the EU and perceptions of the EU within the Union. Is the EU a model for others and why or why not? Bert hopes to find some answers to these questions through the Global Diplomacy Lab and is looking forward to reflecting on the way we want to cooperate in the 21th century.

Seçil Paçacı Elitok (October 11, 1979 - April 20, 2022)

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 worked as a visiting adjunct professor at CERES (Center for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies) at Michigan State University. She sadly passed away on April 20, 2022.

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Read more about Seçil in her blog article on american higher education. 

Onur Eryüce

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. 

 

Adi Rivka Farjon Israel

Adi Farjon Israel is a diplomat of the State of Israel.

She was recently appointed to the North American division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she leads the Israel - Canada relations desk under her portfolio. From 2014 to 2018 she has been the spokesperson of the Embassy of Israel in Berlin where she gained vast knowledge and experience in German and European media analysis, public relations and profound understanding of current socio-political European affairs. From 2013 to 2014 Adi was posted as First Secretary and Consul in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. From 2011 to 2013 she worked as a desk officer for the International Organisations Department, the Eurasia Department and the Latin America Department.

She started her career as a young professional in the NGO sector, where in her last position she was project manager in the Israel Center for Civil Society. Adi earned a BA in Art and Film History and French Culture from Tel Aviv University. She then continued her education during her graduate studies, earning a MA in 2007 from Tel Aviv University in the field of Culture Research, with a thesis on intercultural trends and integration and acculturation of young immigrants in Germany. For many years she volunteered in Tel-Aviv Rape Crisis Center, mentoring and educating teenagers with the goal of preventing sexual assaults and conducted empowerment workshops for women and girls. Lately Adi became the head of the "Woman in Diplomacy Network" of the Israeli ministry of Foreign Affairs, with responsibility of creating, organizing and conducting meaningful network meetings for Israeli and foreign diplomats posted in Israel.

Adi Farjon Israel is married and is a proud mother to Omer and Dan.

 

Liana Fix

Liana Fix is a doctoral fellow at the Eastern Europe and Eurasia division at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP).

Previously, she was affiliated to the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). In 2012/13, she was a Mercator Fellow in International Affairs, working on European and transatlantic policy toward Russia at the German Foreign Office, the Carnegie Moscow Center and the EU Delegation in Georgia. She also worked as a programme assistant for the Körber Foundation's International Affairs Department in Berlin.

Ms Fix holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science and is chairperson of the "nefia" alumni network of the Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs and the former Robert Bosch Stiftungskolleg.

She plays the piano and is passionate about travelling to the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Kim Fontaíne-Skronski  

Assistant Director at the Montreal Institute of International Studies (IEIM) based at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM), Kim has over 15 years of experience in international relations.

She was political adviser to the Minister of Culture and Communications of Quebec (2003-2007) and worked at the Canadian Embassy in Vienna (1999-2001).

She is currently completing a Ph.D in Political Science. Her research focuses on trade agreements, especially the trade-culture-telecommunication nexus.

A graduate from McGill University, she has presented academic papers in the United States, Spain and Canada and conducted seminars on culture and international relations, as well as on international political economy.

She co-edited a book (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) on the impact of globalisation and new technologies on emerging forms of global governance.

 

Nicola Forster

Nicola Forster is the President of Swiss Society of Common Good (SSCG) and the Co-President of Swiss Green Liberal Party (GLP) in Canton Zurich. Until 2019, he was also the Founding President of the Swiss crowdsourced think tank foraus (Forum Aussenpolitik) and remains 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.

Tiberiu Galis

Tibi Galis has been the Executive Director of AIPR since 2006.

Born and raised in Romania, he obtained a B.A. in Law and Political Science from Babes-Bolyai University, in Cluj-Napoca. He received an M.A. in International Politics and Political Development from the University of Manchester, and obtained a Ph.D. from the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University, with a focus on transitional justice.

Previously, Galis worked as an Associate Researcher for the UK Parliament, helping develop the UK position with regard to the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, and as rapporteur for the Swedish Government at the 2004 Stockholm International Forum on the Prevention of Genocide.

 

Laura Gardner

Laura Gardner is a Counsel with WarnerMedia, where she advises the global WarnerMedia business on data privacy and protection issues.  She previously worked in the US Department of Commerce's Office of the Chief Counsel for International Commerce, where she focused on a variety of international trade issues, including investment, trade in services, and e-commerce and privacy.

Laura was a Bosch Fellow from 2014-15, focusing on international trade policy, including data privacy issues, with work placements at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and at Google Germany.

Prior to her work at the US Department of Commerce, Laura worked at the McDermott Will & Emery law firm.

Laura holds a JD from the University of Virginia, an MA in International Law from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and completed her undergraduate degree in International Studies at the University of Chicago.

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, in her free time Laura enjoys stand-up comedy, theatre and bocce.

 

Blair Glencorse

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.

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Find out more about Blair while listening to this podcast in which he shares his vision about sustainable use of resources.

Sérgio António Gomes da Silva

Sérgio António Gomes da Silva has a degree in law and postgraduate qualifications in public management. He has been a civil servant since 2001. Since 2008, he has held the post of Head of Department of International Relations, Advisory, Conception and Evaluation of Public Policies at the Portuguese Media Public Policies Office.

In 2002 he did a short-term traineeship at the Council of Europe and in 2007, he worked in the German Federal Ministry of the Interior as a fellow of the Robert Bosch Stiftung Bellevue Programme. He has experience as a lecturer in good governance. Additionally, he has many years of experience in collaborating with social and civic organisations. He has held several posts in the Portuguese Association of the Blind and is presently rapporteur of the Group on Citizenship and Participation of the Portuguese think tank Platform for Sustainable Growth.

Enas Halaiqah

Enas is currently working at the Jordan Payments & Clearing Company (JoPACC) as a Senior Knowledge Management and Business Analytics Manager. Previously she worked for the Office of HM Queen Rania of Jordan as Global Outreach Manager, in charge of the Queen’s international engagements and relations.

She holds a MA in Intercultural Communication and European Studies from Hochschule Fulda, Germany. She speaks Arabic, English and German fluently.

Besides her career, she is very interested in the global intercultural discourse and has participated in many courses and workshops, including: Civil Service Development Programme at Sandhurst Academy in the UK in 2015, one-month parliament scholarship at the German Bundestag in 2014 (including a one-week placement in the Office of Foreign Minister Steinmeier) and a two-week Summer School at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin in 2008 themed “Regional Leaders & Global Challenges”. She also represented Jordan at the UN Global Youth Leadership Summit in New York in 2006.

Dominik Hartmann

Dominik Hartmann is a development economist and “knowledge nomad”. His passion is to create interdisciplinary bridges and his fascination for different cultures has driven him to study, research and work in countries as diverse as Germany, Spain, Peru, Brazil, England, the Netherlands, Turkey and the USA.

Dominik’s research explores the complex relations between innovation, structural change and income inequality. He uses network analysis and data visualization tools to reveal the ways individuals are embedded in dynamic economies and how network structures affect their opportunities to be active and creative members of society.

Currently Dominik is a post-doctoral fellow in the Macro Connections Group at the MIT Media Lab (USA) and a research fellow at the University of Hohenheim (Germany). From 2014-2016, he holds a EU Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship.

Sebastian Haug

Sebastian Haug is a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, where his research focuses on the positions and roles of so-called ‘rising powers’ in global development governance.

Prior to moving to Cambridge, Sebastian worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in China and then in Mexico, where he was in charge of UNDP’s South-South cooperation and strategic partnerships portfolios.

As a former Mercator Fellow on International Affairs, Sebastian studied political science and international relations in Paris, St Andrews and Berlin. He holds a Vice-Chancellor’s Award from the University of Cambridge and a Master of Science from the University of Oxford.

 

 

 

Ahmed Ibraheem

Ahmed Ibraheem joined the Egyptian diplomatic corps in 2012. He specialises in economics, regional cooperation, sustainability, energy, climate action and European affairs. His diplomatic career has made him well-versed in intergovernmental work on sustainable development, energy and climate change, not to mention EuroMED relations. He currently works at the European Affairs Department, focusing on various aspects of cooperation with the European Union.

Ahmed started his career as a young professional in the private sector, where he developed skills that continue to stand him in good stead. Through his academic studies, he has become conversant with various policy aspects of energy and environmental protection, particularly economics, policy, law and regulation.

 

Amarachi Adannaya Igboegwu

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.

She is currently working as a Global Induction Trainer at the Norwegian Refugee Council.

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Find out more on her opinion on responsible leadership here.

Chuliepote Isarankura

Chuliepote Isarankura, born in 1974 in Bangkok, received a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts from Thammasat University in Bangkok and a Master’s degree in International Studies from the University of Sydney. She served her country abroad as Second Secretary at the Royal Thai Embassy in Tel Aviv (2000-2004) and First Secretary in Berlin (2006-2010) respectively.

During 2012-2013, she was the Head of the Business Liaison Unit in the Department of International Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand and responsible for organizing business activities for the business delegation accompanying the Prime Minister of Thailand on official trips overseas. During March and September 2014, she was assigned Head of the Khon Kaen Passport Office and in charge of administering passport applications for Thais living in and around the Khon Kaen Province. In addition, she was assisting Khon Kaen Province with external affairs, particularly establishing and strengthening relations with foreign countries and cities. Chuliepote is currently seconded to the Office of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, responsible for coordinating foreign policy issues and their implementation.

Chuliepote enjoys hosting Thai radio programmes like the “Window into the World for Youth” and “Young Ambassadors of Virtue On Air“ on the Saranrom Radio Station together with her colleagues during her free time. She also enjoys taking part in the volunteer work of the Young Ambassador of Virtue Foundation, which is a non-profit organization funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand.

Rola Jadallah

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.

Peter Japelj

Since September 2019 Peter is the Slovenian Ambassador to Albania. Previously he served as an adviser in the office of the State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia, a position he took after finishing his mandate in Brussels, where he was the Slovenian representative to the RELEX working party, which is in charge of the legal, financial and institutional affairs of the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy. His previous postings were to Vienna and Berlin, and he has held various assignments in the Foreign Ministry in Ljubljana.

During his career, he has dealt with, to name a few examples, international treaties, UN agencies in Vienna, secession after the dissolution of former Yugoslavia, minority questions and the fight against terrorism. In 2008, while posted in Germany, he was involved in most activities of the local Slovenian Presidency and the Trio Presidency of the European Council.

In 1997, he attended a four-month programme of the German Federal Foreign Office for diplomats from Central and Eastern Europe, and in 2006, he was a participant in the first generation of the Diplomatenkolleg, which was organized by the German Federal Foreign Office, the German Council on Foreign Relations and the Robert Bosch Foundation.

Peter joined the Slovenian Foreign Ministry in 1996 after finishing his law studies in Ljubljana. His passion is nature and environmental issues, and he loves to ski. Other active interests include art history and drawing.

Hans-Christian Jasch

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, where he led the memorial site until 2020. Currently he is a public administration lawyer for "Spielplatz am Bundesministerium des Inneren".

He has been a Fellow of the Bellevue-Programme of the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Federal President's Office in 2005/2006 and worked in Italy on issues such as migration and dialogue with Islam. Bringing people together and engaging them in dialogue, notably on issues such as transitional justice, dealing with a dictatorial past and looking at issues of identity have been of key-importance during his entire professional career.

Ludwig Jung

Ludwig Jung is currently training to become a career diplomat at the Foreign Service Academy in Berlin.

Previously, he worked for the World Bank’s Development Research Group as part of the Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs. As a Fulbright and DAAD-Fellow at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, he received his Master’s in International Relations. During his graduate studies, he focused on transatlantic security relations and development policy in fragile states. He is particularly interested in how civil society shapes foreign policy agendas.

As part of the Atlantic Council’s Next Generation Project, he co-authored a report on the future of German-American relations.

Ludwig has prior work experience with the German Federal Foreign Office and the German Development Ministry, as well as with the Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution.

Szilvia Kalmár

Szilvia Kalmár has dealt with EU issues throughout her professional life. She is passionate about international cooperation and considers the European project to be unique in the depth of integration reached among sovereign states. This made her keen to find out how integration was achieved. She holds an MA in International Relations from Corvinus University of Budapest. After her studies, she spent a few months as  a trainee in the European Commission, Europe Direct, before becoming a journalist at the Europe-wide information network, EurActiv, where she wrote and edited articles for the Hungarian website.

Her career as a diplomat began in 2010 when she joined the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Her first position was as a member of the editorial team of the official website of the Hungarian EU Presidency. After this, she worked as a member of the EU policy coordination team.

Since 2013 she has been the EU attachée at the Hungarian Embassy in Berlin.

Amel Karboul

Amel Karboul is Secretary-General of the Maghreb Economic Forum (MEF) and Commissioner of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity.

Amel is a social activist, entrepreneur, author and politician.

She holds an honours Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, and a Doctorate in Coaching and Mentoring from Oxford Brookes University, UK.

She has previously held leadership roles in DaimlerChrysler and senior consultant roles at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Visiting professor at DukeCE.

She served as Minister of Tourism in the Tunisian transitional government until February 2015 and was nominated as one of ten leading young African politicians (Jeune Afrique).

She recently published her latest book “Coffin Corner”, which describes a new leadership culture suited to the complexity and dynamics of the 21st century. www.karboul.com

 

Matthias Kaufmann

Matthias joined the German Foreign Service last year and will be posted to the German Embassy in Beijing as Deputy Head of the Press Section in July. Previously, he was a Senior Program Manager at the Mercator Program Center for International Affairs (MPC), an NGO based in Essen, Germany.

Prior, Matthias had been awarded a Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs, during which he worked on EU-China diplomacy at the European External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels and, subsequently, on governance cooperation with China at UNDP in Beijing. He specialised in East Asian Studies, Politics and History at the University of Heidelberg, including semesters abroad in Beijing and Hong Kong, before taking up graduate studies in International Relations at Sciences Po Paris, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Harvard Kennedy School.

In his spare time, he enjoys making music (in particular a cappella ensemble singing) and is passionate about architectural history and urban planning.

 

Salam Kawakibi

Salam is the Deputy Director of Arab Reform Initiative.

He is President of the Initiative for a New Syria, a board member of The Day After association, a Senior Fellow of the Centre for Syrian Studies at the University of St Andrews and a member of the Consultative Council of the Mediterranean Citizens’ Assembly.

He is also a member of the Advisory Committee of the UNU Institute on Globalization, Culture and Mobility, and teaches in the Masters programme on Development and Migration at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

From 2009 to 2011, he was a principal researcher at the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Amsterdam, and he was director of the Institut Français du Proche Orient (IFPO) in Aleppo, Syria, from 2000 to 2006.

He holds a DEA in political sciences from l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Aix-En-Provence, and a DEA in international relations and a BA in economics from the University of Aleppo.

 

Daphne Keilmann-Gondhalekar

Dr Daphne Keilmann-Gondhalekar is a US and a German national with a strong interest in urban environmental issues.

She is an urban planner currently working at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, as Member, International Expert Group on Earth System Preservation (IESP), Institute for Advanced Study and Visiting Scientist, Chair of Urban Water Systems Engineering.

She holds a PhD in Urban Planning from the University of Tokyo, Japan (2007), a Master’s in Architecture and Urban Design from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland (2002) and a Bachelor of Architecture with Honours, from the Mackintosh School of Architecture, University of Glasgow, Scotland (1998).

She has worked as a Postdoctoral Associate at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA, and as a Senior Researcher at the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, Germany.

Josiane Khoury

Josiane Khoury holds a Master of Public Health degree from the American University of Beirut. After working in Lebanon on several projects, including with the Syndicate of Private Hospitals, the Italian Cooperation for Development, and the National AIDS Programme, she joined the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) headquarters in New York in 2005 as a technical analyst, working on HIV prevention.

In 2009, Ms Khoury moved to the Arab States Regional Office as a programme specialist and was relocated to Cairo in 2011 in the midst of the Arab Spring. She coordinated the regional humanitarian response, especially during the Libya crisis and the onset of the Syria crisis, was involved in the Youth Regional Programme and provided close support to UNFPA offices in Libya and Algeria.

Ms Khoury is currently External Relations Officer at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Lebanon Country Office, dealing mainly with the response to the Syria crisis and its impact on Lebanon.

 

 

Julia Kloiber

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.

 

János Kóka

Former Minister of Economics, private investor, IT entrepreneur and manager, Dr Kóka has been CEO and Chairman of Cellum since 2011.

Since graduating from medical school in 1996, he has held various positions both in the public and private sector. Dr Kóka has worked in a number of senior lead positions at various Hungarian and international IT firms.

From 2003 he served as Member of the Board of the European ICT Association based in Brussels, and Chairman of the Hungarian-Indonesian Joint Business Council.

He was appointed Minister of Economics and Transport of Hungary in October 2004 and later reappointed in June 2006. In 2007-2008 he was President of the Liberal Party and parliamentary group leader until 2010.

After leaving politics in 2010, he returned to business as a consultant to reorganise Cellum Group, and was then appointed President and CEO of Cellum Global Corp in 2011.

 

Almut Küppers

Almut Küppers is an educational scientist, language researcher and teaching specialist. She holds a PhD from Goethe-University Frankfurt, and a PGCE from Birmingham University in England. Her home base is Frankfurt University, where she is a full time scholar at the Institute of English and American Studies. She has taught and worked at schools and universities in Germany, the UK, the USA and currently also in Turkey.

From 2005 to 2006 she worked as a Fulbright scholar in New Jersey, USA, and from 2013 to 2014 she was a Mercator-IPC Fellow at Istanbul Policy Center, Sabancı University. Her work involves researching issues of social and educational injustice and institutional discrimination, as well as studying transnational concepts of education with a focus on identity development, multilingualism and intercultural learning in the context of increasing diversity in a world that is rapidly becoming more interconnected.

She is a mother of three and currently based in Istanbul.

Mindaugas Lašas

Mindaugas Lašas is currently posted to the Lithuanian Embassy in Berlin, where he is responsible for political affairs. From 2009-2012, as the Head of the Press Division, he coordinated the public communication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mindaugas entered the diplomatic service in 2003. He worked at the Information and Public Relations Department of the ministry and in 2009 was posted to the Bonn Office of the Lithuanian Embassy in Germany.

Mindaugas has experience in journalism. From 2001-2003, he was a reporter at the Baltic News Service, the biggest news agency in the Baltic States.

He studied at Vilnius University with a special academic interest in transatlantic relations and theories of international relations. After six years, Mindaugas obtained a Master’s degree in International Relations and Political Science.

Mindaugas is a critic of traditional diplomacy and a supporter of modern, stereotype-free approaches. The preconditions are: non-elitism, democratic values, transparency and online presence.

His years in Germany made Mindaugas a lover of German wine and Indie music. He is passionate about basketball, which is a national sport in Lithuania.

Geneviève Lavertu

Geneviève Lavertu is the Senior Director of Medtronic Care Management Services – Canada (MCMS). MCMS is a provider of remote patient monitoring solutions, using digital health enabling technologies and data analytics to improve health.

She was formerly the Senior Director of Legal and Scientific Affairs and Business Development at Medtronic of Canada. Prior to this, Geneviève was General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of ProMetic Life Sciences Inc., and practised law with Stikeman Elliott LLP.

She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Civil Law and Common Law; an MSc. in Politics of the World Economy from LSE (UK); and an International Diploma of Public Administration from France’s ENA.

She is a member of the Board of Directors of MEDTEQ – a Quebec-based industry-led R&D consortium, the Board of CTS – a medical technologies accelerator, and the Industry Advisory Council to the Ontario Brain Institute.

 

Lina Li

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.

Patrícia Lisa

Proven legal assistant for international and EU affairs, engaged in international negotiations for 11 years, worked at public offices and government members in Portugal (justice, transport, economy, foreign affairs) and Spain (transport).

She was head delegate and coordinator of high-level meetings/working parties/seminars, possesses superior communication and logistical skills; experience in project networking (Eurojust/European Judicial Network, Robert Bosch Stiftung/RIBEI) and project management, speaks four languages.

For the last two years, she has been collaborating with a Spanish think-tank which allowed her to combine practical and theoretical perspectives. She was dedicated to the new trends of public diplomacy at multilateral and bilateral levels.

Additionally, she capitalised her cultural and historical roots and coordinates a Latin America network for international studies (44 associates from 14 LAC).

Mónica Lisboa

Mónica Lisboa was born 1971 in Portugal. She studied International Relations and European Studies in Lisbon.

In 1994 she joined the diplomatic service and served in the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs between 1995 and 1998. After being posted to the Embassies of the Portuguese Republic in New Delhi (1998-2000), Bern (2000-2005) and Jakarta (2005-2009), she returned to the Ministry in Portugal. Between 2009 and 2011, Mónica initially served as Head of Division in the European Affairs Department, followed by positions as Head of Division in the Department for Bilateral Relations to the Countries of Central and Western Africa and the Department for Lusophone African Countries.

In 2012 Mónica was posted to Berlin, where she has served as an envoy at the Portuguese Embassy since 2014.

Ahmad Seyar Maaliji

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 Maghoul

Davood graduated from the Faculty of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran in 1993 before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran.

Davood was posted to the Iranian Embassy in Tokyo from 1996 to 2000. He was Poland desk officer in the ministry till 2004. In second terms, Davood was posted to the Iranian Embassy in Belgrade. From 2008 – 2014, he worked in the West Europe Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran.

Davood is PhD student in International Relations: Science and Research Faculty, University of AZAD of Tehran from 2013. In 2014 (March), Davood participated in the 13th Executive Seminar for Diplomats from the Middle East and Northern Africa organised by the German Federal Foreign Office.

Since 2014 (October), he has been serving as Counsellor in the Iranian Embassy in Berlin.

Mbali Mahlobo

Mbali Mahlobo is a policy analyst who is passionate about the development of Africa and more generally the pursuit of a developmental state. She has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and political science. She continued her studies to gain a post-graduate diploma focusing on policy development.  She has worked in public service for a period of seven and half years, mainly focused on integrated planning, policy development and legislative drafting.

Her interests have always lain in the global political economy and regional perspectives on the interface between governments and historical legacies.

In South Africa, there is a continuous struggle for a capable, professional civil service. While significant strides have been made on the complexities of under-skilling and the need to provide training, policy and strategic thinking still pose a significant challenge for the country. It is in this aspect that her interest lies and where she feels the need for global diplomacy to start shaping the ideal effective democratic government system for countries in transition.

Elizabeth Maloba

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.

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Find out more about her engagement here and in this interview. Furthermore, Elizabeth reflected on inclusion here.

Ioana Manolescu Apolzan

Ioana Manolescu Apolzan was born in 1975 in Timisoara, Romania, a multicultural town close to both the Hungarian and the Serb borders. During her four years of study for becoming a journalist, she worked as a programme coordinator for the Soros Foundation in Timisoara and at Transparency International in Bucharest. Thereafter, she studied political science at Bucharest University, where she finished first in her year.

Subsequently, she worked as adviser to the Minister of Culture. Afterwards, she entered the Foreign Affairs Ministry to work as a diplomat at the Permanent Mission to the UNESCO for six years. In Paris, she did a Master’s degree in International Security at SciencesPo. She then spent one year in the European Affairs department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

She has been working as a diplomat at the Romanian Embassy in Berlin since 2013.

Norbert Mao

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. 

 

Joaquin Molina Martinez-Lozano

Joaquin Molina’s professional experience spans the private and public sectors, demonstrating a deep commitment to public service, human rights and Euro-Atlantic values.

He currently works as a Senior Officer in the Crisis Management Policy Section of the Operations Division within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In this role, Joaquin provides advice on international security issues to the Secretary General and the North Atlantic Council. He worked on crisis areas including the Western Balkans, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan. Between 2004 and 2008 Joaquin was involved in negotiations regarding the international status of Kosovo, working closely with United Nations Special Envoy – and later Nobel Peace Prize Laureate – Martti Ahtisaari in preparing the Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosovo Status Settlement. Before assuming his current position, Joaquin worked for NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division and in the Private Office of the Secretary General.

Prior to joining NATO, he was Head of Section for Human Rights and Rule of Law at the Office of the High Representative in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Joaquin worked for the European Parliament and as a private sector consultant in London and Milan. He earned his degree in law from Deusto University in Bilbao, Spain, and also holds a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC.

Alejandro Martinez Peralta

Alejandro has been a career diplomat since 2003, when he started working at the Directorate General for the Asia-Pacific. His first post abroad was at the Embassy of Mexico in China, where his last position was as Head of the Consular Section. In January 2012, he moved to the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the Council of Europe, where he works as Deputy Permanent Observer.

Alejandro holds a Master’s degree in International Law from Mexico. Later he gained a PhD in International and Comparative Law in China. He has participated in several training programmes, such as the 11th International Futures (August 2014), 1st Regional Meeting for Alumni from the Americas and the Caribbean (June 2014), Alumni Meeting on Global Ethics (November 2013), and the 2nd Executive Seminar for Diplomats from Latin America and the Caribbean (2007), offered by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany; the programme Understanding Modern China for Young Latin American Diplomats, developed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China (June 2005); and Korea’s Economic Development and Economic Crisis Management offered by the Korea Development Institute (KDI) (October 2004).

Alejandro speaks Spanish, English, Chinese and French. He loves travelling, reading and practising sports, such as football and swimming.

Kyle Matthews

Kyle Matthews is the Executive 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.

 

 

Kerstin Meins

Kerstin Meins was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Media Studies from Ruhr-Universität Bochum and a Master’s degree in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago, where she focused on International Political Economy and Public Policy.

Her professional experience includes a Carlo Schmid Fellowship with the Office of the Chief Economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London; teaching and coordinator’s responsibilities within the framework of a DAAD-funded social science study course run out of the liaison office of Freie Universität Berlin at Moscow State Institute of International Relations; and most recently building and managing the international network of alumni and partners of the Joachim Herz Stiftung, a non-profit foundation dedicated to the advancement of education, science and research in different subject areas.

Kerstin is currently chairwoman of the board of the CSP Network for International Politics and Cooperation, the alumni society of the Carlo Schmid Program. Among other things, she is interested in the contemporary politics, history and cultures of North America and Eastern Europe, the theory and practice of philanthropy, as well as networks and communication in corporate, political and social contexts.

Peter Mock

He studied Chemistry and Economics at the University of Ulm and began his professional career within the Global Environmental Protection department at Daimler in Stuttgart.

From 2006 to 2009, he worked on his doctoral thesis at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and obtained a PhD in Engineering from the University of Stuttgart in 2010.He then joined the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) in Washington DC and founded the European branch of ICCT in Berlin in 2012. In the period October 2015 to June 2016, he was selected as IPC-Mercator Research Fellow in Istanbul.

His professional focus is on vehicle emissions and strategies for reducing the negative impacts of road transportation on our environment. His interest is mostly on combining technical, economic, social and political aspects and acting as a “translator” between stakeholders coming from different backgrounds.

Henryka Mościcka-Dendys

Henryka Mościcka-Dendys was appointed Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland in charge of European policy, human rights and parliamentary affairs on 16 April 2013. Prior to that, she served as Director of the European Policy Department (from 2012) and Deputy Director of the same department, responsible for institutional affairs and Northern Europe (2011–2012).

She graduated in law and classics at the University of Silesia in Katowice and holds a PhD in International Law from the University of Warsaw.

She joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland in 2002. Her previous postings include Copenhagen, where she was seconded to the office of the CBSS Commissioner for Democratic Development (2003), and Berlin, where she served as 1st Secretary and later as Counsellor at the Polish Embassy, covering EU policies including enlargement and institutional issues (2007–2011).

She is a Member of Board of the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation (since 2011).

Lothar Müller

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 Nepomnyashcha

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.

Chi Nguyen

Chi Nguyen is the Ontario Liberal Party candidate for Spadina Fort-York. Chi will be running in the upcoming provincial election in 2022, with the goal to represent the area where she grew up in the Ontario Legislative Assembly.

Previously, she served as the Managing Director at Parker P. Consulting, a social enterprise consulting firm owned by White Ribbon. White Ribbon is the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls, promote gender equity, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity.

Ms. Nguyen has been recognised for her contributions to improving the lives of women and girls throughout Canada by the Governor General (2004) and the YWCA (1999). These efforts included running a national Young Women Vote campaign, the creation of the McGill Women in House program and co-authoring the “Little Black Book for Girls”.

She serves on the advisory of Jane’s Walk, a global movement of citizen-based walks that connect people with their own stories about their communities.

In her free time, she likes to race streetcars on her bicycle, eat delicious food, run and quilt.

 

Seth Oppenheim

Seth Oppenheim is a Foreign Service Officer with the US Department of Commerce with extensive international law and national security experience with a focus on Europe. Before joining the US Department of Commerce, Seth was a Trial Attorney with the Office of International Affairs, Criminal Division, of the US Department of Justice. As an attorney with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he received the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of US National Security for his role as the FBI representative on an interagency team that successfully negotiated the US-EU Data Protection and Privacy Agreement with the European Commission and the National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citation as part of an interagency team that implemented the 2015 USA Freedom Act. Seth has been an attorney for the US Department of Defense and was also a Foreign Service Officer with the US Department of State.

Prior to joining government, Seth was a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow to Germany where he worked in the Office of the Legal Adviser of the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. Seth has twice been a Fulbright Scholar: first to Austria and then to France where he worked at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris. Seth was also an attorney and law clerk in the Office of the Prosecutor of both the International Criminal Court and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague where he assisted in the prosecution of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

A native of the Detroit area, Seth earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School, both a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Advanced International Studies from the University of Vienna/Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. He is a member of the bar of the State of New York and the US Supreme Court. He speaks French and German.


Diego Osorio

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.

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Read more about Diego in his latest article.

Evrykleia Panagiotou

Evrykleia Panagiotou has served as a diplomat at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic since 2005.

Currently, she is posted to the Embassy of the Hellenic Republic in Doha, Qatar, where she has been Deputy Head of Mission and Consul since September 2014. Evrykleia is looking forward to discussing the challenges of diplomacy in our days in the framework of the forthcoming Global Diplomacy Lab.

Jernej Pikalo

Jernej Pikalo is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Ljubljana and former Minister of Education, Science and Sports of Slovenia.

He was educated at the University of Ljubljana and the University of Warwick (UK) and has authored and co-authored four books and more than twenty peer-reviewed articles.

He has worked across disciplinary boundaries in international teams at the University of Warwick, Bristol University, European Inter-University Centre in Venice, and at the Bifrost University in Iceland.

He has managed and led academic projects financed by the European Union and Council of Europe, mainly on civic education in the global era. He was a chairperson of the Programme Council of RTV Slovenia and member of the board of the Institute of Autism in Ljubljana.

Frequently contributing to Slovene media, he lives in Ljubljana with his wife and two children.

 

Jozef Polakovič

Jozef joined the Slovak Foreign Service in 2005. Currently he is Head of Unit for General Affairs and EU Institutions at the Slovak Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels. Prior to this position, he was Deputy Director of the Department of Analysis and Policy Planning of the Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. Between 2007 and 2012, he worked in the political section of the Embassy of his country in Berlin.

Jozef holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Economics in Bratislava. He has also completed an MA in European Studies at the University of Hamburg and an MA in International Relations at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

Josef participated in the 4th Diplomatenkolleg (Federal Foreign Office, Robert Bosch Foundation and German Council on Foreign Relations) in 2008/2009.

Ivana Petrov (née Ponjavic)

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.

Abdul Baqi Popal

As Director General of the General Directorate of Municipal Affairs (GDMA) of the Independent Directorate of Local Governance of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, he is in charge of the government institution at the central level that oversees, manages and regulates the affairs of all 195 municipalities of Afghanistan, with the exception of the capital.

Before he became Director General of GDMA in 2011, he had worked for UN agencies for 18 years, most recently as Senior Urban National Programme Manager for UN-Habitat.

Among other degrees he holds a postgraduate diploma in Land Management and Informal Settlement Regularisation from the International Institute of Urban Management of the Erasmus University at Rotterdam, Netherlands and - through distance-learning - a doctoral degree in Political Science and International Relations from the Atlantic International University, Hawaii, USA.

Anna-Maria Praks

Anna-Maria Praks holds MA degrees in Law (2002) and European Studies (2008). Since 1999 her focus in professional activities and training courses has been on foreign and security policy.

In Tallinn she worked for the Estonian Ministry of Defence from 2001 to 2006 as Deputy Director of the Department of International Cooperation. From 2006 to 2008 she acted as Advisor on International Affairs to the National Defence Committee of the Estonian Parliament.

Since 2009 Anna-Maria has been living in Berlin, Germany, where she first worked as Security and Defence Policy Counsellor at the Estonian Embassy (2009-2012). From 2013 to autumn 2015 she worked as a research associate at the Institute for Security and Safety in Potsdam. Currently she is engaged in freelance and voluntary activities, among other things working in an emergency shelter for refugees in Berlin.

Jakob Preuss

Jakob Preuss is a documentary filmmaker. His films, shot in Iran, Bosnia, and Ukraine, have been broadcast in over nine countries. His last film, “The Other Chelsea”, about the coal-mining city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, won the Grimme Award in Germany. He is currently working on a film project on Europe’s borderlands and migration policy for German public TV.

In 2013, Jakob and other artists founded the association GehtAuchAnders, which encourages artists to get involved in socio- political matters. In addition to his activities as a filmmaker, Jakob works in the political arena. He coordinated the drafting of the electoral manifesto of Alliance 90/The Greens for the 2014 European elections. He has also worked for the Greens’ parliamentary group in the German Bundestag as an adviser on European Affairs.

His previous employment also includes the NGO, Reporters without Borders, where he served as CIS desk officer with a focus on Russia and Central Asia. He has also observed numerous elections for the OSCE (including elections in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Ukraine) and for the European Union in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Jasdeep Randhawa

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.

Jörn Richert

After working for two years at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Jörn recently joined the Mobility Institute Berlin (mib) as Head of Consulting. With its data-driven consulting approach, mib works with cities and public transport companies to develop sustainable urban mobility visions, to elaborate strategies on how to turn visions into reality, and to support the implementation of related measures.

Jörn has a background in strategic foresight, foreign policy and energy consulting and research. He has worked as an Assistant Professor for Energy Governance at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, as well as for various think tanks such as Stiftung Neue Verantwortung (SNV), Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik – German Institute for International and Security Affairs, and the Future Analysis Branch of the Federal Armed Forces’ Planning Office. Having lived and worked in seven countries, he brings to the table a broad array of international and intercultural experiences. He studied political science, economics, and psychology in Kiel and Madrid and holds a doctorate in sociology and international relations from Bielefeld University.

 

Humphrey Rutto

Humphrey is currently working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Kenya as a Foreign Service Officer I (First Secretary) at the UN and Multilateral Affairs Directorate.

From 2007 to 2013, he lectured on German language and research methodology at the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya’s Centre for Tourism Training and Research, and also worked as a part-time German language lecturer at the Technical University of Kenya.In May and June 2014, he attended the 8th Executive Seminar for Young Diplomats from Africa in Berlin. From 2007 to 2010, he undertook a Master of Arts in International Studies at the University of Nairobi (Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies).

In 2003, he attended an international summer course at the University of Freiburg in Germany. From 1999 to 2003, he studied German Language and Literature at Kenyatta University (School of Education and Human Resource Development).

Mome Saleem

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.

 

Zuhal Salim

Zuhal Salim graduated from the Faculty of International Relations at Kateb University in 2011.

Besides her native language Farsi, she also speaks English, German, and French. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, she worked for a few months at the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) in the Gender Unit as Gender Officer.
In February 2013, she joined the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and, soon after, she took part in the one-year Diplomacy Course organised by the MoFA’s Institute of Diplomacy. During this time, she has participated in several training programmes abroad.

Through these programmes, Zuhal Salim had remarkable networking opportunities and enhanced her advanced understanding of regional and global perceptions of peace and cross-cultural communication.

 

Susanne Salz

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.

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Read more about Susanne in her blog article.

Sabrina Schärf

Sabrina Schärf is an Attachée at the German Foreign Office currently posted in Lissabon.

Previously, Sabrina worked as a business developer for the Spanish energy company Abengoa Solar.

She is an alumna of the Mercator Kolleg for International Affairs and in June 2015 co-founded Polis180, a grassroots think-tank on European and foreign policy.

She has an MSc in Politics and Government of the EU from the London School of Economics and has completed her BA in Political Science in Potsdam and Barcelona.

Sabrina loves Spanish cuisine and swing dance.

Sabrina Schulz

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.

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Read more about Sabrina in her latest blog article.

Luisa Seiler

Luisa recently founded SINGA Germany, an organisation dedicated to developing innovative solutions to refugees’ socio-economic integration. In her most recent position as a Mercator Fellow, she worked with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on forcibly displaced persons’ access to decent labour in host countries. She regards migration of all kinds as a process that questions both traditional structures within states and relations between states, and thus as an impetus for societal and political creativity and innovation. Before receiving the Mercator Fellowship, she was a research associate and policy adviser at the efms (european forum for migration studies), a long-established migration research institute in Germany that aims to help improve migration and integration policy in Germany and Europe via informed discourse on these issues. Over the years, she has gained expertise in a wide array of migration-related fields, not least through her work with refugees in Morocco.

Luisa studied Applied Political Science at the University of Freiburg and the Institut d’Études Politiques d’Aix-en-Provence with a focus on international relations and migration. She firmly believes in, and yet time and again is stunned by, the value of curated intercultural dialogue, which she endeavoured to facilitate during her time at university while working at the Franco-German TV channel ARTE and the Festival du Monde Arabe de Montréal.

During a sabbatical, she withdrew from the turmoil of international politics and directed her curiosity towards a more artisanal venture by learning how to make hats and headdresses. This creative work has become a passion of hers.

Ana Patrícia Severino

Patrícia is currently Cultural Attaché at the Embassy of Portugal in Berlin, responsible for network and cooperation development between the Portuguese and German Ministries of Culture and state cultural institutions. She also develops multilateral cultural cooperation within the framework of the EUNIC cluster in Berlin, a network of European cultural institutes. Prior to this she worked for the Portuguese Ministry of Culture as Project Manager and Head of Division in charge of strategic planning, coordinating industry meetings and the Portuguese presence in international film festivals and markets including Berlin, Cannes, Venice, and Rio de Janeiro.

Before her placement in Berlin, she was appointed Advisor on Film and Media to the Secretary of State for Culture in Portugal. Some years after finishing her degree in modern languages and literature at the University of Cologne, she was seconded as a Bellevue Fellow of the Robert Bosch Stiftung to the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media in Berlin.

Patrícia strongly believes that creative diplomacy and cultural investment are key elements of a structured external relations policy.

 

Quilan Shen

Dr Quilan Shen is a most curious observer of life and the world who wants to make a difference. She holds a Master of Philosophy degree from Fudan University in China and obtained her PhD from the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany.

A famous art critic and writer in China, her latest book, “Taking life at my own pace”, sold 30,000 copies within three months, and was acclaimed one of the “books of the year 2014” by the media. Her art criticism can often be found in both academic journals and in mass media. Her articles have appeared in Art World Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar Art Magazine, BOOK TOWN, Art and Design, Life Magazine, Numéro, Noblesse, Vogue and Art Collection and Design.

Dr Quilan Shen worked as the director of the editorial department of the prominent Art World Magazine (2010-2011) and was later chief arts editor and the director of international projects at Shanghai Insight Media (2012-2013), China South Publishing & Media Group. She has served as an editorial board member of BOOK TOWN Magazine, one of the most prestigious and intellectual magazines in China, since 2014.

 

Dmytro Shevchenko

Dmytro is from Ukraine. Having spent 10 years at the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry and at the embassies in Washington, DC, and in Berlin, he was posted to the Consulate General in Munich in January 2017, where he works on political, interregional and economic issues.

Dmytro was born and raised in Crimea, a region that is central to the current crisis with Russia. His parents and many of his friends still live there, which means that the crisis is not just an issue he deals with at work, but also part of his life.

Dmytro studied law at Dnipropetrovsk National University and Freie Universität Berlin. He was able to attend law school in Germany thanks to a scholarship from the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future”, and this gave him a firm basis for his career as a diplomat.

His hobbies include playing rock music, mountaineering and snow sports.

 

Stanislav Shevchenko

Stanislav Shevchenko was born on 21 April 1980 in the town of Okhtyrka in the Sumy region, into a family of engineers. After finishing secondary school in Vinnytsia in 1997, he enrolled at Vinnytsia State University (Foreign Languages Department) to study English and German. He had always dreamed of becoming a lawyer, and he then entered and successfully graduated from Kyiv National Linguistic University (Department of Law) and the Ukrainian State University of Finance and International Trade (Department of International Trade Law) gaining a Bachelor's degree in Ukrainian law and a Master's degree in international private and public law. Alongside his studies he also worked for the regional state administration in Vinnytsia in the department of European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

In 2007 he participated in a High Level Exchange Programme organised by the Federal Foreign Office. The programme helped the young professional deepen his knowledge in the spheres of European integration and international public law. After working in various law firms, he finally passed the qualification exam for the right to practise law and in 2014 became a licensed lawyer.

"A sound mind in a sound body" is the tenet by which he lives, as he strives to show that sport is part of a healthy lifestyle and helps maintain the body’s physical and mental wellbeing.

Imran Simmins

Imran is a South African diplomat in the process of completing his MA in International Relations and World Order through the University of Leicester online, with a focus on the impact that Technology is having on International Relations. He is currently an official in South Africa's Foreign Ministry, covering issues related to South Africa's position on science and technology in a multilateral organisation such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).

Prior to this, he served as First Secretary (Political) at the Embassy of South Africa in Berlin, Germany, from 2014 to 2017; as Desk Officer for the National Office for Coordination of Peace Missions, as well as on the USA Political Bilateral Desk. His first diplomatic posting were as First Secreatry (Political) at the South African Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe, from June 2007 to July 2011, where he dealt with a range of issues from serving on the secretariat of the South African Mediation Team to dealing with the land issues in Zimbabwe as it affected South Africa.

Throughout his teenage years he took up various leadership positions as a student activist in organisations that stood up against apartheid and any other forms of injustice. To this day, he holds and maintains these values.

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Read more about Imran in this blog article.

Dr Olga Stelmakh-Drescher

Olga is a McGill Postdoctoral Fellow in Space Governance and Research Associate at the George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute.

Prior to that, she worked for the Parliament of Ukraine, the German Aerospace Center, the Ukrainian Space Agency and the European Space Agency. She has been in the space sector for more than ten years, including seven years as a government official (with governmental and parliamentary experience).

An IDEST and ISU alumna, she has worked both nationally and internationally, combining public service with academic work and legal practice. Her main scientific interests lie in the fields of space security, space governance, space diplomacy, international space cooperation and commercial space. In 2013, Olga was honoured with the IAF Emerging Space Leaders recognition award.

She is a member of the International Institute of Space Law and Women in Aerospace Europe.

 

Paula Suárez-Buitrón

Paula has always worked in the intersection between economics, public policy, implementation challenges and technology. She brings a multi-sector perspective, understanding of organizational change and a passion for institutional development and data.

Paula is the delegate of the Government of Ecuador to the World Bank working closely with the Minister of Finance. She is part of the Board of Executive Directors since September 2018. Before joining the Board, Paula worked at the World Bank for nine years on issues related to poverty reduction, inequality, governance and organizational change. Before joining the Bank, Paula was deputy vice-minister and adviser to ministers of Economy, Finance and Energy in Ecuador. In those roles, she designed and implemented fiscal and sector reform.

Paula is an Economist and holds a Master of Public Administration and International Development from Harvard. She has studied in France, Germany, Ecuador and the United States.

 

Satyarupa Shekhar Swain

Satyarupa Shekhar is the coordinator of #breakfreefromplastic movement for Asia Pacific region.

Satyarupa leads the regional effort for developing holistic and inclusive strategies to dramatically reduce plastic production, pollution, and usage. She works with and supports frontline communities and organizations – leaders in their right – working to promote sustainable, effective, and locally-driven initiatives. Her areas of interest are public administration, the role of elected representatives, open data and the use of technology to improve governance. She has been a part of innovative action research projects that take a new look at common urban challenges, including those involving informal waste workers, public toilets and decision making for municipal services.

She has worked with Chennai's city government and a Tamil Nadu state department to improve their data-management practices to plan civic infrastructure better, and has supported the creation of data that has been used by the city government and courts to provide evidence for failures in service provision. Satyarupa is recognised as a commentator on transparency and accountability and (open) data, as well as the role of data intermediaries.

 

Almaz Toimatov

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.

Emre Tunçalp

Emre Tunçalp is a London-based associate at Stroz Friedberg where he advises investors on country-specific risks in emerging markets. Prior to joining Stroz Friedberg, Emre worked at Sidar Global Advisors (SGA), a Washington, DC-based emerging markets research and risk advisory firm.

Emre holds an MA in International Relations and International Economics, with a concentration on energy and environment policy, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC, and a BA in Political and Social Sciences from Sabanci University in Istanbul.

A committed transatlanticist and a firm believer in multilateralism, Emre was part of the Emerging Leaders Working Group established by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen during the 2014 NATO Wales Summit, and is a member of the Atlantic Council and Ecologic Institute's Emerging Leaders in Energy and Environmental Policy (ELEEP) Network. In 2016, he was selected as a Future Energy Leader by the World Energy Council. He is also a member of the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt Responsible Leaders Network and the Eurasia Foundation Young Professionals Network.

Emre is a frequent public commentator on emerging markets, and the energy industry; and made television and print appearances on different media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Reuters, Foreign Policy, and Bloomberg.


 

Ebru Turhan

Dr Ebru Turhan works as Assistant Professor for Political Science and the Vice-Director of the Institute of Social Sciences at the Turkish-German University of Istanbul. She is also the coordinator of the Jean Monnet Module INSITER “Inside the Turkey-EU Relations” co-financed by the European Commission.

During 2013-2014 she was a Mercator-IPC Fellow at the IPC in the thematic area of EU/German-Turkish relations. Her current research interests lie in EU-Turkey affairs, Germany’s European policy, German-Turkish relations and the refugee crisis.

Turhan received a Master’s degree in Contemporary European Studies from the University of Bath and a doctorate degree in Political Science from the University of Cologne. During 2006-2013, Turhan worked at the Berlin Representation of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD), where she held the position of Senior Expert and Project Manager.

Kata Dorottya Udvarhelyi

Kata Dorottya Udvarhelyi works for the Hungarian Foreign Service and is currently assigned to the Political Section of the Hungarian Embassy in Berlin, Germany. Prior to that, she worked as an Exchange Diplomat in the European Department of the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin as well as for the Government Commissioner for the EU Danube Region Strategy in Budapest, among other jobs.

Kata did her Bachelor’s and her Master’s degrees in Germany and studied for some time in the USA as a scholar of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). She completed a post-graduate programme in Foreign Affairs at the Hungarian Károli Gáspár University.

Vivian Valencia

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.

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Read more about Vivian here.

 

 

Krisztina Dóra Varju

Krisztina Dóra Varju currently works at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary as a European foreign policy advisor to the Deputy State Secretary responsible for European and American Affairs. At the beginning of her professional carrier, she worked as a coordination team member for the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2011. Through winning a competitive state scholarship, she went on working on German-Hungarian bilateral relations, spending three months at the Hungarian Embassy in Berlin in 2013.

Moving on, she focused on Central European regional cooperation, acting as a deputy national coordinator during Hungary’s Presidency of the Visegrad Group between 2013 - 2014.

She truly believes in the unity of the European countries and the growing role and potential of regional thinking in a rapidly globalising world.

Alida Vracic

Mercator-IPC Fellow at SWP, Berlin. Since 2007, she also is the director and a co-founder of "Populari", a think-tank based in Sarajevo.

Prior to founding "Populari", she collaborated with the ESI, a think-tank based in Berlin, on projects related to governance issues. She has led Balkan-wide projects at the Human Rights Centre at Sarajevo University and at the Spanish Institutional Programme for institutional cooperation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region. She also worked with the State Court prosecutor’s team (war crimes chamber) and at the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

She earned an MSc in international public policy from the University College London and a BA from the Law School at the University of Sarajevo, along with studying the penal system in Graz, Austria. Finally, she completed an Executive Education programme of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Andreas Wittmann

Andreas is currently Executive Vice President at Photonics.

Previously he served as managing director of a start-up which launched the world’s first car-sharing service based on completely emission-free hydrogen-powered cars.

Andreas has several years of experience in e-mobility and energy storage. Prior to his work at Linde, he was as a senior management consultant with Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, focusing on renewable energy projects.

Andreas holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the Technical University of Munich and a master’s degree in strategy and international business from St. Gallen Business School, as well as an MBA from Nanyang Business School, Singapore.

Andreas has a passion for international relations and is an alumnus of Mercator Foundation’s Chinese-German Young Professional Campus 2014 and of the Bucerius Summer School on Global Governance 2016.

Rong Yang

Rong Yang is Vice President for Finance Business Partners and Strategy Americas at Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc., based in New Jersey.

Before working in industry, he was a diplomat and served as Chief Translator (German) for the President and the Prime Minister of China. Besides a short employment at McKinsey as a consultant, he has been working for the Bayer Group in various functions and countries including China, Germany, Austria, and the United States. Prior to his current role, he was Bayer Pharmaceutical's Country Group Head for Czech Republic and Slovakia, based in Prague. He was in charge of Bayer Pharmaceutical’s research and development, marketing and sales activities in both countries.

Rong is active in various professional associations and advises social enterprises and entrepreneurs interested in healthcare. He holds a Master’s degree in Economics as well as a MBA from Harvard Business School.

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