Mr. Fadel Abdul Ghany
Chairman of the Syrian Network for Human Rights
Fadel Abdul Ghany in the founder and chairman of the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR). After acquiring his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering project management from Damascus University, Abdul Ghany enrolled in numerous training programs on human rights and international law, where he is currently preparing for his Master’s in International Law. Abdul Ghany authored and co-authored many reports, investigations, and written and verbal presentations on Syria and human riphts situation in Syria. He was also a prominent speaker in numerous international and regional conferences, including at the United Nations General Assembly on multiple occasion where he spoke on accountability through the principle of universal jurisdiction, in addition to speaking on the main podium at the Human Rights Council’s 34th session and giving lectures for a variety of think tanks.Abdul Ghany provided training in the field of human rights work and international humanitarian law for a group of Syrian activists and human rights activists, as well as training a wide range of armed opposition factions on the rules of the customary international law. Further, Abdul Ghany was an advisor on the human rights file in Syria during a number of rounds of Syrian peace talks in Geneva. He also took part in hundreds of text and video interviews with Arabic and international media outlets.
Dr. Noha Aboueldahab
Brookings Doha Center, Visiting Fellow
Dr. Aboueldahab is an expert on transitional justice and human rights in the Arab region. She is the author of “Transitional Justice and the Prosecution of Political Leaders in the Arab Region: A comparative study of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen,” (Hart, 2017), which challenges mainstream transitional justice practice and scholarship using original material from interviews conducted in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen from 2011 to 2017. She is also Vice Chair of the Transitional Justice and Rule of Law Interest Group at the American Society of International Law. Since 2003, she has worked in the fields of international law, human rights and development at various United Nations agencies and NGOs. Dr. Aboueldahab has been regularly interviewed by various media outlets, including Al Jazeera, BBC, and CNN. Government officials and civil society regularly call on her expertise.
Ms. Dareen Abughaida
Presenter, Al Jazeera English
Dareen Abughaida is one of the Principal Anchors at Al Jazeera English. Widely experienced across the international agenda, Dareen hosts Al Jazeera's flagship programs including Newsgrid, The Newshour and Inside Story. She was also instrumental in the network's coverage of the Arab Spring and continues to cover the aftermath. Dareen is also in demand as a moderator and conference host. She has moderated panels and hosted events in the Middle East and around the world. Dareen's portfolio includes voiceover work on long format documentaries and short promos. Educated in Canada, Dareen has also been an anchor for Bloomberg, CNBC and Dubai TV.
Dr. Djimé Adoum
Executive Secretary, Permanent Committee for Drought in the Sahel
Dr Djimé ADOUM has been the Executive Secretary of CILSS since 2013. He possesses more than 25 years of professional experience in international development. Two years after his tenure, he attracted new partners such as the World Bank, the AfDB and the IDB which have invested huge sums of money in pastoralism and irrigation. He has also succeeded in increasing the USAID and EU contributions in financing resilience, food security and climate change adaptation strategies. Prior to becoming Executive Secretary, he was a technical advisor for rural development to the President of Chad and subsequently Minister of Agriculture and irrigation of Chad. He maintains that the development of the Sahel and West Africa must go through the modernization of the production sectors, value chains and processing to generate wealth and employment for the youth and women.
H.E. Berat Albayrak
Minister of Treasury and Finance, Turkey
Berat Albayrak was born in Istanbul on February 21, 1978. He graduated from Istanbul University’s Business Department (English). Following his Master’s degree from New York Pace University’s Lubin School of Business, he received his PhD degree in the field of Banking and Finance with dissertation about “Financing Renewable Energy Resources”. He joined professional business life in 1996. As a top executive, he has undertaken various initiatives in different branches of activity such as economics, energy and finance. Right after having left his career in the private sector, he started writing a column for Turkish Daily Newspaper Sabah and taught Banking and Finance at Marmara University. Mr. Albayrak was elected as the Member of the Parliament for the 25th, 26th and 27th legislative sessions. He had served as the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of the 64th, 65th and 66th Government of the Republic of Turkey, and was appointed as the Finance Minister of the 67th Government. Under the Ministerial position of Mr. Albayrak, Turkey’s medium and long-term energy policies, called “The National Energy and Mine Strategy Paper”, were prepared. Many pioneering energy projects were conducted in these terms, such as putting Turkey’s first FSRU into service, making 1000 MW of the world’s largest wind and solar tender upon domestic manufacture and R&D, inaugurating Turkey’s first drilling vessel, achieving 1 million meters land drilling, declaring the National Boron Strategy.
H.E. Delia Domingo Albert
Philippines Former Foreign Secretary
Ambassador Delia Domingo Albert is the first woman career diplomat to become Secretary (Minister) of Foreign Affairs in Asia. She represented the Philippines in Switzerland, Romania, Hungary, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Commonwealth of Australia. As Chair of the United Nations Security Council in 2004 she introduced the agenda “The Role of Civil Society in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding”. She attended the University of the Philippines, the Institute of International Studies in Geneva, the Diplomatic Institute in Salzburg, Boston University Overseas in Bonn, the J.F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, among others. The Philippine Women’s University conferred on her Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa for building a gender-fair society and was awarded “Most Distinguished Alumna of the University of the Philippines in 2012. For her meritorious and exceptional service to the country she was conferred the Presidential Order of Sikatuna rank of Datu and was given the title of “Bai-A-Rawatun sa Pilimpinas” for assisting Muslim women in their search for peace and development. She received the Knight’s Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit with Star (BundesVerdienstKreuz) from the Federal Republic of Germany and the single award to celebrate 70 years of Philippine- Australia relations in 2016 from the Australian government. Ambassador Albert is a member of the advisory board of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin; and the Global Summit of Women. She is the founding chair of Business and Professional Women Philippines (Makati Chapter) Diwata: Women in Resource Development, ASEAN Society-Philippines and adviser to the Filipina CEOs Circle.
Ambassador Fahad Al-Attiyah
Qatar's Ambassador to Russia
Ambassador Bader Omar Al-Dafa
Executive Director of the Global Dryland Alliance
Ambassador Al Dafa is the Executive Director of the Global Dryland Alliance (GDA), an international organization specialized in food security in dryland countries. Prior to his leadership at GDA, Al Dafa served as Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). Al Dafa has served as Ambassador of Qatar to the United States and amny European countries. He was also the Permanent Observer to the Organization of American States (OAS). Highlights of Al Dafa’s service with NGOs include supervision of programs for building housing for low income families in Africa and participation in landmine-removal programs in the Balkans. He has actively participated in fund-raising programs with various children’s hospitals and women empowerment in Asia and North Africa. He has also been involved in organizing conferences on democracy and free trade and inter-religious dialogue. Ambassador Al Dafa has championed education by helping prominent US universities establish themselves in Doha’s “Education City". Mr. Al Dafa received his master’s degree in international public policy from Johns Hopkins University and his bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Western Michigan University in the United States.
Dr. Hessa Al-Jaber
Chairman of Qatar Satellite Company "Es’hail Sat"
Dr. Al Jaber is a member of the Shura Council (Consultative Assembly). Dr. Hessa was the former and the first-ever Minister of Information and Communication Technology in Qatar. Prior to becoming a minister, Dr. Hessa held the position of Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR) since its inception in 2005. Dr. Al Jaber is also a member of United Nations ITU Broadband Commission for Sustainable development and was a member at the Network of Global Agenda Councils of the World Economic Forum (WEF). Dr. Al Jaber is currently the Chairperson of Qatar Satellite Company (Es'hailSat), Malomatia, Trio Investment and Droobi Health Technology, in addition to being a member of several other boards including; Volkswagen (AG) Supervisory Board in Germany, Qatar University's Board of Regents, Qatar Museums Authority's Board, Silatech Board of Trustees, the Qatar Financial Markets Authority Board, and Qatar National Libaray.
H.E. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi
Minister of State for Energy Affairs, President & CEO of Qatar Petroleum
His Excellency Mr. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi joined Qatar Petroleum in 1986 as a student studying at Pennsylvania State University in the USA, from which he graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineering. He progressed through various petroleum engineering, technical, commercial and supervisory positions, before becoming the Manager of Gas Development responsible for North Field management and development. In 2006, he became the Director of Qatar Petroleum’s Oil & Gas Ventures Directorate, where he oversaw Qatar’s oil and gas fields’ developments as well as exploration activities. In 2014, Mr. Al-Kaabi was appointed as Qatar Petroleum’s President and Chief Executive Officer. On November 4, 2018, His Excellency was appointed Minister of State for Energy Affairs and Cabinet member, and Deputy Chairman of Qatar Petroleum, in addition to his position as President & CEO.
H.E. Mr. Ali bin Ahmed Al-Kuwari
Minister of Commerce and Industry, Qatar
His Excellency Mr Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari was appointed Minister of Commerce and Industry in November 2018. For the previous five years, His Excellency served as the Group Chief Executive Officer of Qatar National Bank, which he joined in 1988. Throughout his tenure at QNB, H.E. held key positions, serving as the bank’s Executive General Manger and Group Chief Business Officer. In addition to assuming several other key posts in Qatar, H.E. Mr Al Kuwari is also Chairman of MasterCard’s Middle East and North Africa Advisory Board, and Chairman of QNB Privee Suisse in Switzerland. H.E. Mr Al Kuwari has a Master’s of Science in Management Information Systems from the Seattle Pacific University, and a Bachelor of Mathematics and Computer Science from Eastern Washington University.
Mr. Khalifa Al Kuwari
General Director, Qatar Fund for Development
H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, QATAR
Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani has been Qatar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs since January 2016. In 2003 he joined the Supreme Council for Family Affairs as an economic researcher and then was successively promoted until he reached the position of Director of Economic Affairs in the period from 2005 to 2009. He was appointed manager for the project supporting and developing small and medium-sized state enterprises at the Ministry of Business and Trade in March 2009, and Secretary of the Personal Representative of the Emir of Qatar for Follow-up Affairs at the Emiri Diwan in June 2010. In 2011 he became Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Aspire – Katara Investment Company. He attained the rank of Under Secretary in 2012. In 2013 he was appointed Assistant Foreign Minister for International Cooperation Affairs In January 2014 he was nominated Assistant Foreign Minister for International Cooperation Affairs.
H.E. Dr. Mutlaq Al-Qahtani
Special Envoy of the Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar for Counterterrorism and Mediation of Conflict Resolution
Ambassador Mutlaq Al Qahtani has held the post of Special Envoy of the Foreign Minister for Counterterrorism and Mediation of Conflict Resolution since 2016. He previously served as the Director of the Department of International Organizations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has also served as the Chief of Cabinet of the Presidency of the 66th Session of the General Assembly from 2011 – 2012, was legal adviser to the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs from 2010 – 2011, and served as the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the United Nations. Dr. Al Qahtani hold extensive expertise in the field of counterterrorism, antimony laundering and countering terror financing, and has taken a leading role to introducing C/PVE initiatives to the region. Dr. Al Qahtani holds a Ph.D. in Public International Law from the University of Glasgow and an LLM from The American University in Washington, D.C. He has written extensively on international law, international courts and tribunals, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, and international organizations laws. In 2015, he was awarded the Ambassador of Peace Award by the Universal Peace Federation.
H.E. Ali Shareef Al-Emadi
Minister of Finance, Qatar
H.E. Ali Shareef Al-Emadi’s experience spans over 20 years in the financial sector. In his current role, he oversees the State's financial and economic policies and activities. H.E. Al-Emadi also holds several board memberships, including serving as Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Economic Affairs and Investment, Chairman of Qatar National Bank Group, President of the Executive Board of Qatar Airways and Vice-Chairman of the National Tourism Council. Prior to his ministerial appointment, he led Qatar National Bank Group to become the largest and most profitable bank in the MENA region, securing one of the highest credit ratings and brand value.
Ms. Hannah Armstrong
Senior Sahel Consultant, International Crisis Group
Ms. Rawaa Augé
Al Jazeera Arabic Presenter
H.E. Ivonne A-Baki
Ambassador of Ecuador to Qatar
Mrs. Baki is Diplomat, peace negotiator, humanist and politician, Secretary of State Yasuní-ITT Initiative, which proposes a new model of sustainable development that protects biodiversity, supports the livelihood and culture of indigenous communities, ensures net avoided emissions of greenhouse gases, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace, President of Andean Parliament, Minister of Foreign Trade, Industry, Regional Integration, Fisheries and Competitiveness, Ambassador to the US, Negotiator for Ecuador-Peru Peace Agreement, Founder of Galapagos Conservancy Foundation, Harvard Art for Peace Foundation, Ambassador of Ecuador to the state of Qatar, Non-Resident Ambassador to Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, Oman and Syria. Mrs. Baki is multifaceted driven by her ideals born in Guayaquil, Ecuador of Lebanese origin, speaks English, French and German in addition to her two mother languages, Spanish and Arabic, holding a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University, a recognized painter who spent 8 years as artist-in-residence at Harvard.
Ms. Katherine Bauer
Blumenstein-Katz Family Fellow, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Katherine Bauer is the Blumenstein-Katz Family fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a former Treasury official who served as the department's financial attaché in Jerusalem and the Gulf. She is also an adjunct associate professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University’s Edmund A Walsh School of Foreign Service. Before leaving Treasury in late 2015, she served several months as senior policy advisor for Iran in the Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes (TFFC). During the two previous years, she served as financial attaché for the Gulf, representing the department in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Her other posts include assistant director of TFFC; financial attaché in Jerusalem, with responsibility for policy, technical assistance, and sanctions matters in the West Bank and Gaza (2009-2011); and senior analyst focused on illicit financial networks (2006-2009). Prior to working at the Treasury, Bauer was a nonproliferation graduate fellow at the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. A graduate of Macalester College, she received her master's degree in Middle East studies and international economics from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Mr. Julien Barnes-Dacey
MENA Programme Director, European Council on Foreign Relations
Julien Barnes-Dacey is Director of the Middle East and North Africa programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). He focuses on European policy towards the Middle East with a particular focus on Syria, where he was based from 2008 to 2011. Julien has worked as a researcher and journalist across the region.
Mr. Yéro Boly
Former Minister of Defense, Burkina Faso
Yero Boly is Burkinabe consultant, former civil administrator, politician and diplomat. He held several senior governmental positions in his country. He began his career in the public administration working at the local and provincial levels as sub-prefect and secretary general, then high commissioner of different provinces. Throughout his career, he held various ministerial positions (Minister of Defence, Minister of Territorial Administration and Security of Burkina Faso, Chief of Staff of the President). He also served as Ambassador of Burkina Faso to Côte d’Ivoire, Libya and most recently Morocco. As of 2015, he has been working as a consultant specializing in issues related to public administration, institutional relations, security and decentralization.
Mr. Peter Bergen
Vice President for Global Studies & Fellows, New America Foundation
Peter Bergen is a Vice President at New America, CNN's National Security Analyst and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University. Bergen is the author or editor of seven books focused on national security. The books have been translated into 21 languages, three of the books were New York Times bestsellers, the Washington Post named four of the books among the best non-fiction books of the year, and documentaries based on the books were nominated for two Emmys and won the Emmy for best documentary. Bergen is a documentary producer who has produced films for CNN, HBO, Discovery and National Geographic and has been nominated for four Emmys. He has held teaching positions at the Kennedy School at Harvard and the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins and has testified 17 times before U.S. Congressional committees about national security issues. He has a degree in Modern History from Oxford.
Mr. Timofei Bordachev
Program Director, Valdai Discussion Club; Director, Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies
Program Director of the Valdai Discussion Club; Director of the Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics. From 2017 - Member of the Scientific Expert Council under the Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission. The author of the textbook on the theory of international relations and 3 other books. Co-author of more than 400 analytical materials for state authorities of the Russian Federation on the internal development of the European Union and Russia-European Union relations, the “turn of Russia to the East”, the development of the Far East and its integration into the economic space of the APR in 2004–2018. As a researcher, he specializes in Russian-European relations, the European Union’s foreign policy, relations between government and business in Europe, European and international security, as well as Eurasian integration and the turn of Russia to the East. Author of scientific papers published in Russia and abroad.
Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP
Minister of State for International Development and Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Alistair Burt is Minister for the Middle East and North Africa at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Minister at the Department for International Development.
Prof. Mely Caballero-Anthony
Professor of International Relations and Head of the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Mely Caballero-Anthony is Professor of International Relations and Head of the Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University,Singapore. SheiscurrentlytheSecretary-GeneraloftheConsortiumonNon-TraditionalSecurity Studies in Asia. From 2013-2017, Prof Anthony was a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters and served at its Chairperson in 2016. She was Director of External Relations at the ASEAN Secretariat from 2011-2012. From 2015-2017, she was Vice President at-large of the Governing Council of the International Studies Association (ISA). Prof. Anthony research interests include regionalism and multilateralism in Asia-Pacific, human security and non-traditional security, conflict prevention and global governance. She has published extensively on a broad range of security issues in Asia-Pacific. Her latest books include: Negotiating Governance on Non-Traditional Security in Southeast Asia and Beyond (New York: Columbia University Press, 2018).
Ms. Richelle Carey
Presenter, Al Jazeera English
Emmy award winning journalist Richelle Carey serves as a presenter with Al Jazeera English based in Qatar. Prior to that, she was a presenter at Al Jazeera America in New York City. She also anchored at HLN/CNN, having joined the network in 2006. While there, she anchored daytime newscasts and hosted "What Matters," weekly segments on HLN that spotlight top issues and concerns facing the African- American community. Carey came to HLN from KMOV in St. Louis, where she anchored "News 4 This Morning." Before St. Louis, Carey also anchored the morning news for KVVU-TV in Las Vegas. Carey has also served as a military reporter in Waco, Texas, at KWTX-TV. She began her career as an associate producer for KPRC-TV in her hometown of Houston. Carey is a graduate of Baylor University with a degree in telecommunications.
Mr. Steve Clemons
Editor at Large, The Atlantic
Steve Clemons is Editor at Large of The Atlantic. Clemons is also a frequent foreign policy and politics contributor to MSNBC and other global networks. Clemons also founded the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, a centrist policy think tank in Washington, DC where he previously served as Executive Vice President. Prior to this, Clemons served as Executive Vice President of the Economic Strategy Institute, was Senior Economic & International Affairs Advisor to U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman, and was the founding Executive Director of the Nixon Center, now re-named the Center for National Interest. Clemons also serves on the International Advisory Board of GLOBSEC and is a member of the World Economic Forum Council on Geopolitical Risk. Clemons is also an Advisory Board Member of the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College. Clemons writes and speaks frequently on consequential national security, politics, and economic policy issues.
Prof. Hamid Dabashi
Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York City
Hamid Dabashi is the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He received a dual Ph.D. in Sociology of Culture and Islamic Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. He wrote his dissertation on Max Weber's theory of charismatic authority with Philip Rieff (1922-2006), the most distinguished Freudian cultural critic of his time. Professor Dabashi has taught and delivered lectures in many North American, European, Arab, and Iranian universities. Professor Dabashi has written eighteen books, edited four, and contributed chapters to many more. He is also the author of over 100 essays, articles and book reviews on subjects ranging from Iranian Studies, medieval and modern Islam, and comparative literature to world cinema and the philosophy of art (trans-aesthetics). His books and articles have been translated into numerous languages, including Japanese, German, French, Spanish, Danish, Russian, Hebrew, Italian, Arabic, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Polish, Turkish, Urdu and Catalan.
Mr. Staffan De Mistura
UN Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations
Staffan de Mistura was appointed as Special Envoy for Syria of the United Nations Secretary-General in July 2014. Prior to this assignment he was notably the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Iraq (2007-2009) and in Afghanistan (2010-2011), and Italy's Deputy Foreign Minister. During a career of over four decades with United Nations agencies, he served in numerous conflict zones, directing complex relief operations, food distributions and vaccination campaigns. In particular he was posted in Sudan, Ethiopia, Albania, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Somalia. He also held senior political and humanitarian assignments in Lebanon and Iraq, and served as Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Programme. Mr. de Mistura is a national of Italy and Sweden. He speaks seven languages.
Mr. Peter Dobbie
Anchor, Al Jazeera English
Dr. Ahmed K. Elmagarmid
Executive Director, Qatar Computing Research Institute
Dr. Elmagarmid is the founding executive director of the Qatar Computing Research Institute. Prior to joining Qatar Foundation in 2010, he served as Chief Scientist in Hewlett-Packard and Professor of Computer Science at Purdue University where he is now an emeritus professor. He serves on various committees and boards such as MEEZA Corporation, Qatar National Library, Qatar Academy, and the Qatar Genome Project. Dr. Elmagarmid served on the Arab Expat Scientist Committee that laid the plans for the research programs at QF and started the three National Research Institutes: QCRI, QBRI and QEERI. Dr. Elmagarmid is a recipient of the NSF Presidential Young Investigator (PYI) award from President Reagan in 1988. He is an IEEE Fellow, an ACM Fellow and an AAAS Fellow. The University of Dayton and Ohio State University have both named him among their distinguished alumni. Dr Elmagarmid received his B.S. in computer science from the University of Dayton (1977) and his M.S. (1981) and Ph.D. (1985) from Ohio State University.
H.E. Kamissa Camara
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Mali
Kamissa Camara has been Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Mali since September 9, 2018, after having been the Diplomatic Advisor to the Malian President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. An expert in African politics with a focus on the Sahel and West Africa, she is the founder of the Sahel Strategy Forum (SSF), a platform that aim to enlighten public opinion on the complexities of governance in the Sahel region, making various voices heard from the ground to the United States. Born and raised in France by Malian parents, Kamissa Camara studied in France, before going on to pursue an international politics career in the United States. For years, African politics, democracy, security and good governance were the essence of her work, reflections and publications. Kamissa Camara helped West countries understand African politics, by building political and intellectual bridges between sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and the United States. Her great contribution helped to enrich the foreign policy of Western countries with African accents. Kamissa Camara holds a Master's degree in International Development Economics from Pierre Mendès France University (Grenoble, France) and a Master's degree in Applied Foreign Languages, International Relations from Denis Diderot University (Paris, France). She also obtained a certificate of studies at the School of International Studies & Politics.
H.E. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu
Foreign Minister, Turkey
Ambassador Phillip Carter III
Consultant, The Mead Hill Group, Former US Ambassador to Ivory Coast
Ambassador Phillip Carter III is an Executive Vice President of Jefferson Waterman International. The former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea, and the former Deputy to the Commander Civil-Military Engagement at the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), Amb. Carter brings to JWI clients 34 years of experience in international security, counter-terrorism, social and health development, business facilitation, human rights and good governance. In addition to his ambassadorial positions, Amb. Carter’s extensive service to the U.S. State Department included diplomatic assignments in Gabon, Madagascar, Malawi, Bangladesh, Canada and Mexico, and tours in Washington as Senior Advisor, Acting Assistant Secretary, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Department’s Africa Bureau. Amb. Carter also served as the Department’s Director for West African Affairs and Deputy Director in the Office for East African Affairs. Earlier in his career, Amb. Carter represented the State Department at the International Monetary Fund for matters related to Africa. In recognition of his outstanding service, Amb. Carter has received several prestigious awards from the U.S., Ivoirian and Malagasy governments. He holds an M.A. in international and development economics from Yale University and a B.A. in economics and history from Drew University. Amb. Carter is a native Spanish and fluent French speaker.
Mr. Miguel Ángel Moratinos Cuyaubé
Future U.N. High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations
Miguel Ángel Moratinos Cuyaubé (Madrid, 1951) has committed his professional and political activity to international relationships and development cooperation. He entered Spain’s diplomatic service in 1977. He was appointed EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process, from 1996 to 2003 and from 2004 until 2010 he was Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain. He is a regular lecturer in several international institutions and forums and since 2011, he teaches at Sciences Po Paris. Member of the Leadership Council of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) he is the president of REDS, the Spanish network for Sustainable development affiliated to SDSN. He has just been appointed by the UN Secretary-General High Representative for the Alliance of Civilization, a mission that he will start on January 2019.
Mr. John Defterios
CNN Business' Emerging Markets Editor and Anchor
John Defterios is CNN Business' Emerging Markets Editor and Anchor. Based in the network's Abu Dhabi bureau since 2011, his reporting focuses on the top business stories from emerging economies, with a specialty in trade, geo-politics and energy.
Mr. Rinaldo Depagne
Senior Adviser Africa & Project Director West Africa, International Crisis Group
Rinaldo Depagne is West Africa Project Director at International Crisis Group, where he coordinates and oversees the research of a group of analysts in seven countries. He was previously the organisation’s Senior Analyst for Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso. Before joining Crisis Group in 2008, Rinaldo worked as a journalist, specialising for the past 25 years in Africa and, in particular, West Africa. He has worked for various French newspapers and international radio stations and TV channels, including the BBC, Deutsche Welle and Canal +. He spent fifteen years of his life in West Africa, living in Benin, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal and traveling in most of the Ecowas countries.
Mr. Claudio Descalzi
CEO of Eni
Claudio Descalzi, CEO of Eni since May 2014. He joined Eni in 1981 as Oil & Gas field petroleum engineer. In 1990 he was appointed Head of Reservoir and operating activities for Italy, then Managing Director of Eni subsidiary in Congo, and Vice Chairman, Managing Director of Eni subsidiary in Nigeria. He held the position of Executive Vice President for Africa, Middle East, China, and EVP for Italy, Africa, Middle East. In 2005 appointed Deputy Chief Operating Officer of Eni Exploration & Production Division, he was Chief Operating Officer of Eni E&P Division from 2008-2014. In 2012 he was the first European in the field of Oil&Gas to receive “Charles F. Rand Memorial Gold Medal 2012” award by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the American Institute of Mining Engineers. He is Visiting Fellow of the University of Oxford. From December 2015 he is member of the Global Board of Advisors of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Prof. Abdelwahab El-Affendi
Dean, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Doha Institute for International Affairs
Professor of Politics, Dean, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. Previously, Head of the Politics and IR Program at DI (2015-2017), and coordinator of the Democracy and Islam Program at the University of Westminster (since 1998). Also worked as diplomat in the Sudanese Foreign Ministry (1990-1997), a London-based journalist, including editor or managing editor of several publications (1982-1990). Also worked as a visiting fellow/professor at the Christian Michelsen Institute (Bergen, Norway), and the Universities of Northwestern (Chicago), Oxford, Cambridge, and the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (Malaysia). Delivered keynote speeches and lectures at most major universities in the US, UK and a number of universities in Asia, Africa and South America.
Prof. Nick Enfield
Director, Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Institute, The University of Sydney
Nick Enfield is Professor of Linguistics and Director of the Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Centre at the University of Sydney. He is head of an interdisciplinary Research Excellence Initiative that investigates the crisis of post-truth discourse, from a range of perspectives, including media and communications, the philosophy of language, the politics and ethics of information, and bias and integrity in scientific research (see https://posttruthinitiative.org/). Nick Enfield is author of many books about language, culture, and the mind, including How We Talk: The Inner Workings of Conversation (2017, Basic Books). He has written many recent articles addressing the nature of the 'truth decay' problem, its relation to language in particular, and the cultural solutions that are needed.
Mr. Saeb Erakat
Chief Palestinian Negotiator
H.E. Maria Fernanda Espinosa
President of the United Nations General Assembly
Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces is president of the 73rd Period of "United Nations General Assembly,” 2018-2019. Ecuadorean politician, diplomat, professor and poet, with more than twenty years of international experience in multilateral issues and international negotiations in areas of peace, security, defense, human rights, biodiversity, climate change, indigenous peoples, gender equality, youth rights, among others. H.E. has a PhD (c) in Environmental Geography from the University of Rutgers, a Master´s degree in Social Sciences and Amazon Studies and a post-graduate degree in Anthropology and Political Science from the Latinamerican Faculty of Social Sciences, FLACSO. Former Minister of Defense, Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility, Heritage and Ambassador to the UN in New York and Geneva. She has published more than 30 academic articles, and several poetry books, as well as, poems in more than 20 anthologies.
Ms. Ghida Fakhry
Current Affairs Presenter, TRT World
Ghida Fakhry is a TRT World Presenter and Host of the global affairs program ‘Bigger than Five’ based in Washington DC. She previously served as a Lead Anchor for Aljazeera English where she presented the network’s main news and current affairs programs, and the award-winning documentary program, Witness. Ghida Fakhry has moderated high-level panel discussions around the world for the UN, the World Bank, and leading NGOs, facilitating debates on global political and economic issues.
Ms. Theresa Fallon
Director, Center for Russia Europe Asia Studies, Belgium
Theresa Fallon is the founder and director of the Centre for Russia Europe Asia Studies in Brussels. She is concurrently a member of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific and a Nonresident Senior Fellow of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Current research is focused on EU-Asia relations, Sino-Russian relations, maritime security, global governance, and China’s Belt & Road Initiative. She has testified numerous times to the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs and Subcommittee on Security and Defense, and has been featured in international media including the BBC, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The New York Times. Previously she was a member of the Strategic Advisors Group for the NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and lived and worked in both Russia and China. She was educated at the University of Chicago, Loyola University and The London School of Economics.
Mr. Alberto M. Fernandez
President, Middle East Broadcasting Networks
Alberto M. Fernandez is President of Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN), which oversees all U.S. funded broadcasting in Arabic. A career foreign service officer for more than three decades, Ambassador Fernandez served as the U.S. State Department’s Coordinator for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications from 2012 to 2015, retiring from the State Department in May 2015. He also served in senior diplomatic positions in the U.S. embassies in Sudan, Afghanistan, Jordan, Syria, Kuwait, and in the State Department’s Bureau of Near East and North African Affairs (NEA). After his retirement from government service, he was Vice-President of MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute (2015 to 2017) in Washington, D.C. and is a member of the board of directors of George Washington University's Center for Cyber and Homeland Security and Non-Resident Fellow in Middle East Politics and Media at TRENDS Research Foundation in Abu Dhabi.
Ms. Henrietta H. Fore
Executive Director, UNICEF
Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga
President of the Club de Madrid and former President of Latvia
Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga is President of the Club de Madrid and former President of Latvia (1999-2007). She was instrumental in achieving membership in the EU and NATO for her country and was Special Envoy on UN reform. She was vice-chair of the Reflection group on the long-term future of Europe, and chaired the High-level group on freedom and pluralism of media in the EU in 2011-12. In 2015 she was a member of two High-level groups on European security and defense. Dr. Vike-Freiberga is a member, board member or patron of 30 international organisations, including the World Leadership Alliance, the Board of Trustees of the Nizami Ganjavi International Centre (Co-chair), and the European Council on Foreign Relations, as well as five Academies. She has published extensively and is much in demand as speaker.
H.E. Sigmar Gabriel
Member of the German Bundestag (Parliament), Former Vice Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs
Sigmar Gabriel has been politically active since 1976. He began his political career in a socialist youth organization and joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) in 1977. Two years later, Gabriel became a member of the Trade Union for Public Services, Transport and Haulage (ÖTV), German Metalworkers' Union IG Metall and the Workers' Welfare Federal Association (AWO). Trained as a high school educator, he assumed various responsibilities in adult education and became a member of Lower Saxony’s parliament over the course of the 1980s. During the subsequent decade, he became a member of the Executive Committee of the Social democrats and held, among other positions, the Chair of the Environmental Committee of Lower Saxony’s parliament. From 1999 to 2003, Gabriel served as Prime Minister of Lower Saxony. In 2005, he was chosen as Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety until 2009. Additional ministerial posts followed: Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy from 2013 until 2017 and Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2017 to 2018. From 2013 until 2018, he served as Vice- Chancellor of Germany. Beyond that, Gabriel was chosen four times as the chairperson of the SPD from 2009 until 2017. Sigmar Gabriel has been elected directly as a member of the German Federal Parliament in 2005, 2009, 2013 and again in 2017 for the district Salzgitter- Wolfenbüttel-Vorharz.
Ms. Hadley Gamble
Hadley Gamble is CNBC's Anchor based in Abu Dhabi. Hadley anchors Capital Connection from CNBC's Middle East Headquarters based within Abu Dhabi Global Markets. The show, broadcast daily, gives you a reading on Asia's markets mid-day and sets you up for the Middle East and European trading day. In addition, Hadley also fronts CNBC's popular documentary franchise, Access: Middle East where she speaks to world leaders, international CEOs and philanthropists. Recent guests include Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir and HRH Princess Reema bin Bandar Al-Saud.
Prof. Stephane Garelli
Professor Emeritus, World Competitiveness at IMD, University of Lausanne
Professor Stephane Garelli - a world authority on competitiveness - has pioneered research and the theory in this field and is Professor Emeritus at IMD (Institute of Management Development) Lausanne, where he has founded the World Competitiveness Center. He is also Professor Emeritus of World Competitiveness at the University of Lausanne. Professor Garelli was, among others, the Managing Director of the World Economic Forum and of the Davos Annual meetings, Chairman of the Board of the Sandoz Financial and Banking Holding, Chairman of the Swiss Newspaper “Le Temps, Member of the board of the Banque Edouard Constant, etc. He is also a member of the International Olympic Committee Commission on Sustainability and Legacy and was a member of the Constitutional Assembly of his local state - Vaud, Switzerland. His latest best-selling books are: "Top Class Competitors - How Nations, Firms, and Individuals Succeed in the New World of Competitiveness" and " Are You a Tiger, a Cat or a Dinosaur?"
Dr. Terri E. Givens
Political Scientist at Givens Consulting
Terri E. Givens is a Political Scientist and consultant to educational technology companies and educational institutions. She was the Provost of Menlo College from July 2015 to June 2018. From the Fall of 2003 until the Spring of 2015 she was a Professor in the Government Department at the University of Texas at Austin where she also served as Vice Provost for International Activities and Undergraduate Curriculum from 2006 to 2009, Director of the Robert S. Strauss Center's European Union Center of Excellence, and Co-Director of the Longhorn Scholars Program. She directed the Center for European Studies and the France-UT Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies from 2004-2006. Her faculty appointments included the LBJ School of Public Affairs, European Studies, she was affiliated with the Center for Women and Gender Studies, Center for African and African-American Studies and was a Fellow in the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Law and Security.
Dr. Meenakshi Gopinath
Founder and Director, WISCOMP
Meenakshi Gopinath is an educationist, Founder and Director of WISCOMP (Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace), an initiative that works to promote the leadership of South Asian women in peace, security and regional cooperation. She is also Principal Emerita of Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi. She was the first woman to serve as member of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) of India. She has served as a member of the University Grants Commission (UGC), India. A member of multi-track peace initiatives in South Asia, Meenakshi’s work and publications focus on the intersection of Gender, Security, conflict, Peacebuilding and Education. Her interests include Buddhist and Gandhian philosophy. She has received several awards for her work on women’s education and empowerment. She is a Fulbright scholar. She serves on the Boards of several national and international Think-Tanks, NGOs and educational institutions.
Mr. Chris Giles
Economics Editor, Financial Times
Chris Giles became economics editor for the Financial Times in October 2004, having previously served as a leader writer. His reporting beat covers global and UK economic affairs and he writes a UK economics column fortnightly. He has won many awards for his journalism. Before joining the FT as economics editor, he was an economics reporter for the BBC, worked for Ofcom, the telecommunications regulator and started his career with seven years as an economist for the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Chris loves numbers.
Mr. Alain Gresh
Publication director, Orient XXI
Born in Cairo (Egypt), in 1948. Master’s Degree of Mathematics (Université Paris VII), 1971. Diploma of Arabic, Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales (1977)PhD on the PLO, Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (1983) Editor of Le Monde diplomatique (1995-2005). Deputy director of Le Monde diplomatique from 2008 to 2013. Director of the newspaper online OrientXXI.info. Books : PLO, The Struggle within, Zed Books, London, 1986. Golfe : Clefs pour une guerre annoncée, Le Monde éditions, Paris, 1990. Un péril islamiste ? Complexe, Bruxelles, 1994. Israël-Palestine, vérités sur un conflit, Fayard, Paris, 2001 and 2002, Hachette, 2004, Fayard 2017). L’Islam, la République et le monde, Fayard, 2004 (Hachette, 2006); translated in Arabic by Saqi Books (2016). De quoi la Palestine est-elle le nom? Les liens qui libèrent, 2011 with an Arabic edition at the Arab center for research & policy studies, Doha. With Hélène Aldeguer, Un chant d’amour. Israël-Palestine, une histoire française, La Découverte, 2017. With Dominique Vidal : An A to Z to the Middle East, Zed, 1990, I. B. Tauris, 2004 ; Palestine 1947, un partage avorté, Complexe, Bruxelles, 1987 ; With Didier Billion, Actualités de l’Etat palestinien, Complexe, Bruxelles, 2000. With Françoise Germain-Robin and Tariq Ramadan, L’Islam en questions, Actes-Sud/Sindbad, 2000 and 2002. His books and articles have been translated in English, Farsi, German, Arabic, Dutch, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Mr. António Guterres
Secretary-General, United Nations
Mr. Simon Henderson
Director, Bernstein Program on Gulf & Energy Policy, Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Simon Henderson is the Baker Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where he directs the Bernstein Program on Gulf and Energy Policy. He is a former journalist with the BBC and the Financial Times.
Mr. Ata Hindi
Research Fellow, International Law, Institute of Law at Birzeit University
Ata Hindi is a Research Fellow in International Law at Birzeit University where he works on the Palestine Yearbook of International Law. He is currently a PhD in Law candidate at Tilburg University and holds an Advanced LLM in Public International Law from Leiden University. He has previously worked with a number of international NGOs focused on international law, especially in Palestine and the Arab World including the Diakonia IHL Resource Center, Coalition for the International Criminal Court, and Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry.
H.E. Monica Juma
Foreign Minister, Kenya
Ms. Elisabeth Kendall
Senior Research Fellow, Arabic and Islamic Studies, Oxford University
Elisabeth Kendall is Senior Research Fellow in Arabic and Islamic Studies at Pembroke College, Oxford University. Her current work examines how militant jihadist ideology spreads locally inside the Middle East. Previously, she held positions at the Universities of Edinburgh and Harvard as well as serving as Director of the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World, a UK government sponsored initiative to build Arabic language-based research expertise. She has presented her work at academic institutions around the world, as well as in the UK Parliament, FCO, GCHQ, Home Office, MOD, SAS, NATO, US State Department, US CentCom, EU Council and to various intelligence audiences. She features regularly in the international media, including BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN and various European national broadcasters. She is the author or (co-)editor of several books, including ReClaiming Islamic Tradition; Twenty-First Century Jihad; Literature, Journalism and the Avant-Garde; and Media Arabic. She is currently writing Rockstars of Jihad
H.E. Hassan Khaire
Prime Minister of Somalia
Hassan Ali Khayre is the current Prime Minister of Somalia. He was appointed on 23 February 2017 by Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and unanimously approved by the Parliament on 1 March 2017. Hassan Ali Khayre was born in Somalia. He graduated from primary and secondary school in Mogadishu. At the onset of the civil war, Khayre moved to Norway where he enrolled at the University of Oslo in 1994. While in university, Khayre was active in the Somali Students Association, according to a friend. After graduating in 1998 with a degree in political science and minor in sociology, Khayre went on to complete his MBA at Edinburgh Business School, the graduate school of business of Heriot-Watt University, in 2001. After graduation, he moved back to Oslo where he began working with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) at their headquarters as a coordinator for their readiness forces. Khaire briefly left the NGO for a few years to pursue business endeavors but in 2006 he returned to the NRC as an area manager. He remained at the NRC for the next 9 years as he worked his way up to County Director and eventually the Regional Director for the Horn of Africa.
H.E. Tarō Kōno
Foreign Minister, Japan
Director-General, Russian Affairs Council
Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC). RIAC member. Graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) and postgraduate studies at the Institute for US and Canadian Studies, USSR Academy of Sciences. Holds a Ph.D. degree in History. Was Deputy Director of the Institute for US and Canadian Studies. Founder and first president of the Moscow Public Science Foundation. Taught Russian foreign policy at the University of Miami (USA), and at the Lewis & Clark College in Portland (University of California). In 2011, was elected Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council non-profit partnership established by order of the President of the Russian Federation. Academic focus: international relations, foreign and domestic policy of Russia and Russian-American relations. Author of over 120 publications dedicated to the analysis of Soviet/Russian-American relations, global security, and the foreign and domestic policy of the USSR and Russia.
Dr. Mikhail Krutikhin
Partner and Analyst, RusEnergy
Dr. Mikhail Krutikhin is a co-founder and leading analyst of RusEnergy, an independent consulting agency based in Moscow, Russia. A graduate of the Institute of Oriental Languages at the Moscow Lomonosov State University, he majored in Iranian philology, but in 1985 obtained a PhD in modern history. Between 1972 and 1992 he worked at the TASS news agency rising to chief of bureau on missions to Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Iran. Since 1993 he has been analyzing opportunities and specifics of investments in the energy industry in the ex-USSR — first with the US-based Russian Petroleum Investor Inc., and then with RusEnergy. He is a permanent member of international think-tanks that deal with a wide array of political and economic issues—noticeable at Carnegie Endowment, RAND Corporation, Financial Services Volunteer Corps, Germany’s SWP and DGAP, and a few other prominent analytical centers.
Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger
Chairman, Munich Security Conference
Ambassador Ischinger has been Chairman of the Munich Security Conference (MSC) since 2008. A German career diplomat, he was State Secretary (Deputy Foreign Minister) from 1998 to 2001. From 2001 to 2006, he was the Federal Republic of Germany's Ambassador to the US, and from 2006 to 2008, to the Court of St James'. He is a Senior Professor at the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, and serves on the boards of numerous companies as well as non-profit-institutions, including Atlantik-Brücke/Berlin, SWP/Berlin, AICGS/Washington D. C., the American Academy/Berlin, and the Atlantic Council of the United States/Washington D.C.
Mr. Mark Lowcock
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations
The Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator (USG/ERC) is responsible for the oversight of all emergencies requiring United Nations humanitarian assistance. He also acts as the central focal point for governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental relief activities. The ERC also leads the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), a unique inter-agency forum for coordination, policy development and decision-making involving the key United Nations and non-United Nations humanitarian partners. The IASC was established in June 1992 in response to resolution 46/182. General Assembly resolution 48/57 affirmed the IASC's role as the primary mechanism for the inter-agency coordination of humanitarian assistance. In a country affected by a disaster or conflict, the ERC may appoint a Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) to ensure response efforts are well organized. The HC works with government, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and affected communities. An OCHA office will be established to support the HC. Mark Lowcock began the role of OCHA's USG/ERC on 1 September 2017. He succeeded Stephen O'Brien.
Mr. Robert Malley
President and CEO of the International Crisis Group
Prior to rejoining Crisis Group, first as Vice President for Policy and since January 2018 as President & CEO, Robert Malley served in the Obama administration as Special Assistant to the President, Senior Adviser to the President for the Counter-ISIL Campaign, and White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf region. He also served as Special Assistant to President Clinton for Arab-Israeli affairs and Director for Near East and South Asian affairs at the National Security Council. Before joining the Obama administration, he was Program Director for Middle East and North Africa at Crisis Group, leading the organisation’s research, analysis, policy prescription and advocacy in and about the region. Robert Malley is a graduate of Yale University, Harvard Law School and Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He is the author of “The Call from Algeria: Third Worldism, Revolution and the Turn to Islam” and, with Hussein Agha, of several articles, including “Camp David: The Tragedy of Errors ,” “The Last Negotiation,” “Three Men in a Boat,” “Hamas – The Perils of Power” and “The Arab Counter-Revolution.” He has published articles in the New York Review of Books, Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Le Monde and several other publications.
Mr. Moussa Mara
Former Prime Minister of Mali
Prime Minister Moussa Mara is 43 years old. He is a chartered accountant by profession. He is associated with the largest firm in the country, which is also present in twenty countries. Mr. Mara started his professional career in 1997, works with the State, large companies, and local authorities. He is a member of the board of the African accountants’ international organization. He has been the general secretary of the Association of Chartered Accountants for five years. In September 2013, He was appointed as Minister of Urban affairs and Town Policies. Due to his proven records of hard work and integrity, he became the youngest prime minister in the history of the country in 2014. He was also Mayor of the Municipality IV, one of the biggest municipalities of Bamako between 2009 and 2013. His competence, expertise, experiences and passion for reading allowed him to write several books. Mr. Mara wrote articles on current issues such as education, terrorism, migration. He participated and co-hosted regional and international (Europe, Asia and America…) meetings on various topics related to security issues, economic governance, and sustainable development. Mr. Mara is very active in civil society associations, he is one of the leaders and contributors to several charities.
Mr. Brett H. McGurk
U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS
Brett McGurk serves as Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS at the U.S. Department of State. McGurk leads a global coalition of 79 members and helps coordinate all aspects of U.S. policy related to the ultimate destruction of ISIS. He was previously Deputy Special Presidential Envoy from September 2014 until November 2015 and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iraq and Iran in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs from August 2013 until his current appointment. In the Obama administration McGurk served as a Senior Advisor in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs with a focus on Iraq and other regional initiatives. During the Bush administration, from 2005 to 2009, McGurk served as Director for Iraq and then as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2008 McGurk served as a lead negotiator and coordinator during bilateral talks with the Iraqi Government on both a long-term Strategic Framework Agreement and a Security Agreement to govern the temporary presence of U.S. forces and the normalization of bilateral relations between Iraq and the United States.
H.E. Teodor-Viorel Meleșcanu
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Romania
Teodor Meleșcanu has been holding office as minister of foreign affairs since January 4th, 2017. This is his third term in office, having previously held this position between 1992 and 1996, and in November 2014. He holds the diplomatic rank of ambassador since 1996. Minister Meleșcanu has an extensive political and administrative experience. He was a three times senator for the Prahova constituency in the Romanian Parliament, re-elected in 2016, and has held numerous high-level positions in the administration. His broad foreign affairs experience also extends to national security matters. He was minister for defence between 2007 and 2008 and has served as State Advisor on defence and security matters in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister in 2015. Between 2012 and 2014 he led the Foreign Intelligence Service of Romania (SIE) as director of the agency. Between 1966 and 1990 he held various diplomatic functions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the Legal and Treaty Directorate. In August 1990 he was appointed undersecretary of state in this ministry. Teodor Meleșcanu is a professor at the doctoral school of the National School of Political Sciences and Public Administration since 2013 and was a professor and doctoral supervisor at the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Bucharest between 1992 and 2013. He has written a substantial number of works and scientific publications dealing with international law and diplomacy. Teodor Meleșcanu graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Bucharest in 1964 and took postgraduate studies in international relations at the University of Bucharest and the International Institute for High International Studies from Geneva. He holds a PhD in social and political science, specializing in international law, from the University of Geneva since 1973. He is deputy chairman of the Association for International Law and International Relations (ADIRI) in Bucharest and a member of the Institute for Political Studies in Bucharest.
Dr. Lu Miao
Co-founder, Vice President and Secretary-General of Center for China and Globalization
Dr. Lu (Mabel) MIAO is the Co-founder, Vice President and Secretary-General of the Center for China and Globalization (CCG), a Beijing-based premier non-governmental Chinese think tank. In ten years under the leadership of Dr. Miao, CCG ranked 92nd of the top think tanks worldwide in the “2017 Global Go To Think Tank Index”, representing the first Chinese independent think tank to break into top 100. Through her unwavering dedication, Dr. Miao helped build a strong foundation for CCG’s research and policy advisory capacities over areas of international migration, global trade and investment relations and global governance. She chairs the organizing committees of the China and Globalization Forum and the China Outbound Forum, CCG’s two annual flagship conferences attended by the nation’s business elites, opinion leaders and senior government officials. She is also a member of the prestigious B20 China Business Council.
Ms. Nadia Murad
2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Nadia Murad, co-recipient of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize is a leading advocate for survivors of genocide and sexual violence. Nadia’s peaceful life was savagely interrupted in 2014 when Daesh attacked her homeland in Sinjar -- with the intention of ethnically cleansing Iraq of all Yazidis. Like many minority groups, the Yazidis, have carried the weight of historical persecution. Women in particular have suffered greatly, as they have been, and continue to be victims of sexual violence. Much of Murad’s advocacy work is focused on meeting with global leaders to raise awareness about Daesh and its genocidal campaign against the Yazidi people. Nadia’s Initiative actively works to persuade governments and other organizations to financially support efforts to rebuild the Yazidi homeland. As Founder & President of Nadia’s Initiative, Murad is dedicated to advocating for women, children, persecuted minorities and victims of sexual violence.
Director, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Full Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences; President of the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences. Visiting Professor, American University in Cairo (1991). Visiting Professor, University of California, Berkeley (2003). Ambassador of Good Will for the U.N. Alliance of Civilizations. Author of about 500 publications – books, chapters and articles in Russian, English, French, Arabic and other languages on the Middle East, Central Asia, the Caucasus, Islam, International Relations, Security Studies, Confl ict Management and Resolution. Member of the Scientific Councils under the Foreign Minister of Russia and under the Security Council of Russia. Member of the Advisory Council of the Valdai Discussion Club. Member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Member of the Academic Board of the Russian Council for Foreign Affairs.
Mr. Oomar Shariff Mulbocus
UK Prevent Counselor, Therapist & Behavioural Interventionist registered by the Home Office UK
Currently working in Prevention & Safeguarding also he’s an Islamic Therapist & Behavioural Interventionist by the Home Office UK. Studied Islamic Theology, Arabic, Psychology & Counselling and Conflict Resolution, and taken part of in an intensive study at the Al- Azhar University in Cairo (Maqaseed Al-Shariah modules). This included CVE and the study of Neo-Khawaareej methods, he is multilingual in French, Arabic. International Trainer at, George Marshal Centre (PTSS- Programme on Terrorism & Security Studies,) European DERAD- Train of trainer at the Italian Carabinieri Italy COESPO, and Faith Mentoring & Counselling (Prison Imam) to work with Foreign fighters with ICITAP- Balkan. Mr. Mulbocus Worked in Prison & Probation as a facilitator & Rehab Coordinator with high Risk offenders included (Terrorism). Part of iDove (Interfaith Dialogue on Violent Extremism). Finally, his own personnel journey and life experience has led him to think deeply in how to Counter and tackle this Ideology and Criminal behaviours.
Dr. Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman
Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore
Dr Maliki has concurrently served as Senior Minister of State for Defence and Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs since October 2015. He has participated in politics since 2001 and held appointments in various ministries, such as the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of National Development. Dr Maliki is the President of the Singapore Armed Forces Reservist Association and Co-Chairman of the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence in the Ministry of Defence. Dr Maliki also holds the appointment of Mayor for the South East District, where he champions interfaith engagement and appreciation through innovative programmes like the Common Senses for Common Spaces Interfaith Forum Series. At the community level, Dr Maliki is Advisor to the Centre for Promoting Alternative to Violence, ADAM Association, and other grassroots organizations.
Mr. Ibrahim Kalin
Special adviser to President Erdogan and the presidential spokesperson
İbrahim Kalin served as Assistant Undersecretary of State and Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister of Turkey before taking up his current post. Dr. Kalin is the founding-director of the SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research based in Ankara, Turkey and served as its director from 2005 to 2009. A graduate of Istanbul University, he received his M.A. from ISTAC, International Islamic University of Malaysia and Ph.D. from George Washington University. As a broadly trained scholar of philosophy and Islamic studies, he has taught courses on Islamic philosophy, comparative philosophy, Islam-West relations and Turkish foreign policy. His field of concentration is Islamic philosophy and Mulla Sadra. His academic and intellectual work focuses on the Islamic intellectual tradition and its relevance for the contemporary world. Dr. Kalin has published widely on Islamic philosophy, relations between Islam and the West and Turkish foreign policy.
Dr. Ann Phillips
Senior Advisor, U.S. Institute of Peace
Dr. Phillips is an expert on system transitions, stabilization and reconstruction in fragile and conflict affected states. She is Senior Advisor to the Civilian-Military Relations Program at the US Institute of Peace and also has conducted workshops with African Union peacekeepers and with US advisors to foreign ministries of defense. Previously, she developed and directed the stabilization and reconstruction program at the George C. Marshall Center in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany; was senior political economist in the Policy Bureau of USAID and senior policy analyst/country team lead in the Office of the Director of Foreign Assistance, US Department of State. Recent publications: “Globalization, Fragmentation and Growing Insecurity: Searching for Answers to 21st Century Challenges,” Nueva Sociedad/271, Argentina, September-October 2017; and “Salvaging UN Peace Operations: What Can Realistically Be Done?” in The UN in the 21st Century: Perspectives and Prospects. Editors: Elena Aoun, et al. Louvain-la-Neve: Presses universitaires de Louvain, 2018.
Ambassador Dr. Latha Reddy
Co-Chair, Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace
Latha Reddy is the former Deputy National Security Adviser of India. In addition to assisting National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon, Ms. Reddy was responsible for cybersecurity and other critical internal and external security issues. She also served as a Commissioner on the Global Commission on Internet Governance. Ms. Reddy served in the Indian Foreign Service from 1975-2011. During her diplomatic career she served in Lisbon, Washington D.C., Kathmandu, Brasilia, Durban, Vienna and Bangkok. She served as Ambassador of India to Portugal (2004-2006) and to Thailand (2007-2009). She was Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi (2010-2011) with overall charge of India’s bilateral and regional relations with Asia. She was then appointed as India’s Deputy National Security Advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office from 2011-2013. Ms. Reddy has extensive experience in foreign policy, and in bilateral, regional and multilateral negotiations. In addition, she has expertise on security and strategic issues and has worked on strategic technology policies, particularly on cyber issues relating to cyber security policy, international cyber cooperation and Internet governance. Ms. Reddy is involved with several organizations and think-tanks, both globally and in India. She is currently, among other positions, serving as a Distinguished Fellow in the EastWest Institute in the US, the Observer Research Foundation in India, and the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Canada.
Ms. Maria Ressa
Executive Editor, Rappler
Maria has been a journalist in Asia for more than 30 years. She was CNN’s bureau chief in Manila then Jakarta and became CNN’s lead investigative reporter focusing on terrorism in Southeast Asia. She authored two books – Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of al-Qaeda’s Newest Center of Operations in Southeast Asia and From Bin Laden to Facebook. In 1987, Maria co-founded independent production company, Probe. In 2005, she managed ABS-CBN News and Current affairs, the largest multi-platform news operation in the Philippines. Her work aimed to redefine journalism by combining traditional broadcast, new media and mobile phone technology for social change. Maria has been honored around the world for her courageous and bold work in fighting disinformation, “fake news” and attempts to silence the free press. This year, she won the prestigious Golden Pen of Freedom Award from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-INFRA), the Knight International Journalism Award of the International Center for Journalists, the Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award of the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Journalist of Courage and Impact Award of East-West Center, and the IX International Press Freedom Award of University of Málaga and UNESCO, among others. The CEO and Executive Editor of Rappler.com, Maria is one of the founders of the 6-year-old company, that is one of the leading online news organizations in the Philippines.
Dr. Michael D. Rich
President and CEO, RAND Corporation
Michael D. Rich is President and Chief Executive Officer of the RAND Corporation, a position he has held since 2011. Mr. Rich was formerly Vice President in charge of RAND’s National Security Research Division and Director of the National Defence Research Institute. Before becoming Vice President, he served at RAND as Deputy Vice President, Director of the Defense Resource Management Program. For many years he chaired the Admissions Committee of the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Rich serves on the governing boards and advisory committees of many policy and service organisations, including the Council for Aid to Education, WISE & Healthy Ageing, the Everychild Foundation, Santa Monica–UCLA Medical Centre and Orthopaedic Hospital, the Dean's Advisory Council of the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the UCLA Foundation. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the California Bar. Michael Rich received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and his J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.
H.E Pablo Campana Saenz
Minister of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment and Fisheries, Ecuador
Born in Quito, Mr. Campana is a well respected 45-year old businessman who holds a Bachellor Degree in Commercial Engineering, with a Major in International Business from Universidad del Pacífico, and an MBA from the IDE Business School. With extensive experience in the business field, he has held positions in different companies within the real state, financial and food sectors. He is currently serving as minister of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment and Fisheries, and is part of the Government led by the President of the Republic of Ecuador: Lenín Moreno. Since the first day of his administration in the public sector, he promotes a renewed international trade policy that seeks to refresh the international image of Ecuador with his major trading partners; as well as strengthening the business relations with the world's main strategic partners. As Minister, he promotes joint work with the private sector, also seeks to promote the country’s investment attraction and strengthen its economy and competitiveness.
Dr. Saran Samir
President, Observer Research Foundation
Dr. Samir Saran is the President of Observer Research Foundation, one of Asia’s most influential think tanks. He writes frequently on India's foreign policy, and issues of global governance, climate change, energy policy, global development architecture, artificial intelligence, cyber security and internet governance. Samir is the author of four books, numerous academic papers, and is featured regularly in Indian and international print and broadcast media. Samir curates the Raisina Dialogue, India’s flagship platform on geopolitics and geo-economics, and chairs CyFy, India’s annual conference on technology, security and society. He is a Commissioner of The Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace, member of the World Economic Forum's South Asia advisory board and Global Future Council on Cybersecurity. Samir is also the Director of the Centre for Peace and Security at the Sardar Patel Police University, Jodhpur, India.
Mr. Paul J. Saunders
Executive Director, Center for National Interest
Paul J. Saunders is Executive Director of the Center for the National Interest and a member of the Center’s Board of Directors. He is the Center’s Chief Operating Officer and directs its U.S.-Russian Relations Program in addition to leading projects on other issues, including energy and climate change. He is also Associate Publisher of the foreign policy magazine The National Interest, published bi-monthly by the Center, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Energy Innovation Reform Project, a non-profit organization developing practical energy policy solutions surrounding technological innovation. Mr. Saunders served in the Bush Administration from 2003 to 2005 as Senior Advisor at the Department of State. He has worked as an observer of Russia and U.S.-Russia relations for twenty-five years.
Ms. Marietje Schaake
Member of the European Parliament
Marietje Schaake is a Dutch politician and has been serving as a Member of the European Parliament since 2009. She is a member of D66, part of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) political group. She is Coordinator on the International Trade committee, where she is the ALDE spokesperson on transatlantic trade and digital trade. Schaake also serves on the committee on Foreign Affairs and the subcommittee on Human Rights. She is the Vice-President of the US Delegation and serves on the Iran Delegation and the Delegation for the Arab peninsula. Furthermore, Schaake is the founder of the European Parliament Intergroup on the Digital Agenda for Europe. In 2017 she was Chief of the European Union Election Observation Mission in Kenya. Since 2014, Schaake is a ‘Young Global Leader’ with the World Economic Forum and she was recently appointed as co-chair of the WEF Global Future Council on Agile Governance. Schaake is a Member of the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity, the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace and chair of the CEPS Taskforce on Software Vulnerability Disclosure in Europe. Furthermore, she is a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and an advisor to the Center for Humane Technology. Schaake was featured by Politico as one of the 28 most influential Europeans in the ‘class of 2017’.
Mr. David Schlesinger
Committee to Protect Journalists, Member, Board of Directors, Former Reuters Editor-in-Chief
David Schlesinger advises on running complex, dispersed global organizations with an emphasis on innovation, China, and media. He's worked with startups, established media companies, hedge funds and PE firms. He is the former Chairman of Thomson Reuters China, appointed to that role after four years as global Editor-in-Chief of Reuters News and member of the Thomson Reuters Markets Executive Committee. Previously, he was Global Managing Editor, Executive Vice President and Editor of the Americas, and Editor-in-Charge of China coverage, in addition to other editorial roles. He is a graduate of Oberlin and Harvard.
H.E. Dr. Yury Sentyurin
Secretary General of the GECF
Yury P. Sentyurin is the Secretary General of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, GECF, a position he assumed on January 1, 2018. Previously, he was State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation; State Secretary, Deputy Minister of Education and Science; Deputy Head of Committee on Energy, Transport and Communications of the State Duma and First Deputy Governor of the Nizhegorodsky Region among others. Dr. Sentyurin was also Co-chair of several intergovernmental Commissions between the Russian Federation and Bolivia, Afghanistan and Congo respectively, and also Chief negotiator on cooperation in gas and oil, with India, Pakistan, Singapore, Brazil, Venezuela, Vietnam, Cuba, Syria, and South Africa. A recipient of several Awards including the Gratitude of the President of the Russian Federation, Dr. Sentyurin who speaks Russian, English, French and Farsi, has a Ph. D. in Political Science, Master’s degree in Law and another Master’s degree in Economics.
Mr. Christian Sewing
Chief Executive Officer, Deutsche Bank AG
Christian Sewing, born in 1970, has been a member of the Management Board since January 1, 2015. He has been Chief Executive Officer since April 2018. He joined Deutsche Bank in 1989. From January until June 2015, he was responsible on the Management Board for Legal, Incident Management Group and Group Audit, and assumed responsibility for Deutsche Bank’s Private & Commercial Bank (including Postbank) between July 2015 and April 2018. He was Head of Group Audit from June 2013 to December 2014, prior to which he held a number of management positions in Risk. From 2012 to 2013, he was Deputy Chief Risk Officer. From 2010 to 2012, he served as the Bank’s Chief Credit Officer. He has worked in Frankfurt, London, Singapore, Tokyo and Toronto. From 2005 until 2007, Christian Sewing was a member of the Management Board of Deutsche Genossenschafts-Hypothekenbank. Before graduating with a diploma from the Bankakademie Bielefeld and Hamburg, Christian Sewing completed a bank apprenticeship at Deutsche Bank in 1989.
Mr. Baraa Shiban
Member of Transitional Justice Working Group at the Yemeni National Dialogue Conference
Baraa Shiban is the Middle East and North Africa Caseworker with the Human Rights Group Reprieve. Prior to his role he was the Yemen Project Coordinator investigating drone strikes in many parts of Yemen. He testified in a US congressional hearing on the effects of counter terrorism measures on local communities in Yemen. Baraa served as a youth representative in Yemen's National Dialogue 2013- 2014, working on the Transitional Justice Working Group. As a member of the National Dialogue he was engaged in negotiations with the Houthi movement prior to the conflict in Yemen. Baraa participated in the Yemeni uprising against Yemeni former president in 2011, by creating a Media Center in Sanaa's Change Square. Baraa is a business administration graduate and has been part of the Yemeni civil society since 2006.
Mr. Ben Smith
Editor-in-Chief, BuzzFeed News
Ben Smith is BuzzFeed’s Editor-in-Chief. Since joining the company in January 2012, Smith has built a newsroom of over 300 reporters and editors, led expansion of over 20 content verticals, and built teams across the world. Under his leadership, BuzzFeed’s coverage has grown to include politics, business, investigative reporting, longform journalism, and entertainment while growing the site’s traffic to over 200M monthly unique visitors. Smith was called "one of the most talented and admired scoop-mongers in the game" by The New Republic, named one of Fast Company’s "Most Creative People in Business," and featured as Fortune’s "40 Under 40" for his work at BuzzFeed. Smith has written for publications including the Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Slate, The New York Post, and The New Republic. He was born and raised in Manhattan, and now lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children.
Dr. Anne Speckhard
Director, International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism
Anne Speckhard, Ph.D., is an adjunct associate professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine and Director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE). She has interviewed over 500 terrorists, their family members and supporters in various parts of the world including Gaza, the West Bank, Chechnya, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, the Balkans, the former Soviet Union and many countries in Europe. She is the author of several books, including Talking to Terrorists and ISIS Defectors: Inside Stories of the Terrorist Caliphate.
Mr. Sean Spicer
Former White House Press Secretary
Before the former White House Press Secretary made his mark as one of the most recognized staffers in the Trump administration, Sean Spicer built a decades-long career in Republican politics, witnessing and shaping the inner workings of Washington, DC, from every vantage point — as a House of Representatives communicator, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative, Chief Strategist of the Republican National Committee, top advisor to presidential campaigns, and of course, White House spokesman. Few in Washington are as well-equipped as Sean to pull back the curtain and dissect what’s really happening in the nation’s capital. Sean is the founder and President of RigWil LLC, a strategic consulting firm that provides insights to C-suite corporate and association executives. He is the author of the New York Times Bestselling book The Briefing, which sheds light on the headline-grabbing Trump administration’s first year as well as the 2016 campaign and his time in Washington.
Mr. Achim Steiner
United Nations Development Program Administrator
Achim Steiner became UNDP Administrator on 19 June 2017 and will serve for a term of four years. The United Nations General Assembly confirmed his nomination on 19 April 2017, following his nomination by Secretary-General António Guterres. Mr. Steiner is also the Vice-Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group, which unites 40 entities of the UN system that work to support sustainable development. Over nearly three decades, Achim Steiner has been a global leader on sustainable development, climate resilience and international cooperation. He has worked tirelessly to champion sustainability, economic growth and equality for the vulnerable, and has been a vocal advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals. Prior to joining UNDP, he was Director of the Oxford Martin School and Professorial Fellow of Balliol College, University of Oxford. Mr Steiner has served across the United Nations system, looking at global challenges from both a humanitarian and a development perspective. He led the United Nations Environment Programme (2006-2016), helping governments invest in clean technologies and renewable energy. He was also Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi. Achim Steiner previously held other notable positions including Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and Secretary General of the World Commission on Dams. Achim Steiner has lived and worked in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and the United States. He graduated in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (MA) from Worcester College, Oxford University and holds an MA from the University of London/School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
Mr. Kabir Taneja
ssociate Fellow, Observer Research Foundation
Kabir Taneja is an Associate Fellow with the Observer Research Foundation's Strategic Studies programme. His research focuses on India’s relations with West Asia, specifically looking at the domestic political dynamics, terrorism, non-state militant actors and the general security paradigm of the region. Kabir has written extensively including in The New York Times, The Hindu, Suddeutsche Zeitung, The Huffington Post, Politico, Quartz, The Wire, among others. Most recently he is the author of the seminal monograph 'The ISIS Phenomenon: South Asia and Beyond'.
Dr. Volker Treier
Vice Chairman of the Federal Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry
Dr. Volker Treier is Deputy Chief Executive Officer, responsible for International and European Economic Affairs, the network of bi-national German Chambers, Delegations and Representations of German Industry and Commerce (AHKs) in 90 countries worldwide.
Dr. Kristian Coates Ulrichsen
Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy & Associate Fellow, Chatham House
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Ph.D., is a Baker Institute fellow for the Middle East. Working across the disciplines of political science, international relations and international political economy, his research examines the changing position of Persian Gulf states in the global order, as well as the emergence of longer-term, nonmilitary challenges to regional security. Previously, he worked as senior Gulf analyst at the Gulf Center for Strategic Studies between 2006 and 2008 and as co-director of the Kuwait Program on Development, Governance and Globalization in the Gulf States at the London School of Economics (LSE) from 2008 until 2013. Coates Ulrichsen has published extensively on the Gulf. His books include “Insecure Gulf: the End of Certainty and the Transition to the Post-Oil Era” (Columbia University Press, 2011) and “Qatar and the Arab Spring” (Oxford University Press, 2014). In addition, he is the author of “The Logistics and Politics of the British Campaigns in the Middle East, 1914-22” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) and “The First World War in the Middle East” (Hurst & Co, 2014). His most recent books include “The Gulf States in International Political Economy” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) and “The United Arab Emirates: Power, Politics, and Policymaking” (Routledge, 2016). Coates Ulrichsen’s articles have appeared in numerous academic journals, including Global Policy and the Journal of Arabian Studies, and he consults regularly on Gulf issues for Oxford Analytica and the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Center. He also writes regularly for the Economist Intelligence Unit, Open Democracy, and Foreign Policy, and authors a monthly column for Gulf Business News and Analysis. Coates Ulrichsen holds a doctorate in history from the University of Cambridge.
Mr. Vladimir Voronkov
Under-Secretary-General of United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism
Mr. Vladimir Voronkov was appointed Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism on 21 June 2017, established by General Assembly resolution 71/291. Mr. Voronkov brings to the position more than 30 years of experience within the Foreign Service of the Russian Federation, working primarily on United Nations affairs, with responsibilities ranging from public diplomacy and social and economic development issues to intergovernmental affairs. Prior to his appointment, he was Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the International Organizations in Vienna. Under his leadership, the Permanent Mission launched several flagship projects with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) and developed successful collaborations with the UNODC Antiterrorist Branch. Mr. Voronkov also served on the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), during which time he led several delegations of the Russian Federation to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. Prior to serving in Vienna, Mr. Voronkov was Director of the Department of European Cooperation (2008-2011), during which time he served as the Head of the Russian Delegation during the Russia-European Union negotiations on the visa-free regime (2010-2011). He started his career with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1989 and has served in various capacities, among them as Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna (2005-2008), Deputy Director of the Personnel Department (2002-2005) and Minister Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission of the Russian Embassy to Poland (2000-2002). Mr. Voronkov holds a PhD from Moscow State University. He has authored various scientific publications on international issues.
Ms. Robin Wright
Writer, The New Yorker
Robin Wright, a USIP-Wilson Center Distinguished Fellow, is one of the country’s foremost authorities on the Middle East, Islamic extremism, Iran, and political and military dynamics in the Muslim world. A highly decorated journalist, she is a longtime writer for The New Yorker, a former diplomatic correspondent for The Washington Post, and has reported from more than 140 countries. Wright has written or edited eight books, including the widely acclaimed “Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion across the Islamic World.” She is a prolific analyst, a fixture on prime-time news programs, and was the recipient of the U.N. Correspondents Gold Medal for international reporting and the National Magazine Award.
H.E. Mohammad Javad Zarif
Foreign Affairs Minister, Iran
Mr. Dmitry Zhdannikov
Thomson Reuters, Editor in Charge, Energy, EMEA
Dmitry Zhdannikov, Editor in charge, Energy, EMEA, Reuters News. Twice Pulitzer prize finalist for Iraq and Libya reporting, Dmitry has been running Reuters' energy coverage across Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the past nine years out of London with particular focus on OPEC policies. Prior to this, Dmitry was chief economic editor for Reuters in Moscow covering energy, equities, forex and bond markets across the former Soviet Union for over a decade.
Dr. Mahjoob Zweiri
Director of Gulf Studies Center, Qatar University
Dr Mahjoob Zweiri is the Director of Gulf Studies Center. He is an Associate Professor in Contemporary History of the Middle East at Qatar University. He was the Head of Humanities Department at Qatar University from 2011-2016. He holds a PhD in the Modern History from Tehran University (2002). Before joining Qatar University in 2010, Dr Zweiri was senior researcher in Middle East Politics and Iran at the Center for Strategic Studies, University of Jordan. He was also a visiting professor to School of Government & International Affairs at Durham University. From March 2003-December 2006 he was a research fellow and then a director of the Centre for Iranian Studies in the Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at Durham University. Dr Zweiri has more than 50 publications in the areas of Iran and Contemporary Middle East. In addition to Arabic, Dr Zweiri is fluent in Farsi and English.