A graduate of École Normale Supérieure (ENS) and École Nationale d’Administration (ENA), Renaud Girard is a professor of strategic studies at Sciences Po (Paris Institute of Political Studies). He is also a renowned international reporter for Le Figaro newspaper since 1984. As a war correspondent, he has covered the main conflicts of the last 35 years, in Africa, Asia, the Balkans and the Middle-East. He is a laureate of the Louis Hachette Prize and the Bayeux Prize for War Correspondents. Since 2013, he has been a lead international columnist at Le Figaro, regularly contributing to the Tuesday edition.
Rachel Rizzo is an adjunct fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) in Washington, DC, working within the Transatlantic Security Program. She is currently based in Berlin, Germany for the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship where she is focusing on the intersection of technology and security. Rachel has co-authored numerous CNAS reports including More Than Burden Sharing: Five Objectives for the 2018 NATO Summit, Defining Moment: the Future of the Transatlantic Security Relationship, and Transatlantic Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific: Recommendations for the Next U.S. Administration. She is a frequent commentator on European security and US foreign policy, and has provided analysis for The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, the LA Times, The Atlantic, Politico, Foreign Policy, Vox, and The Daily Beast, among others. Rachel received her M.A. in Security Policy Studies from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs where she focused on Defense Analysis and Homeland Security Policy. She graduated from the University of Utah with a B.A. in Finance and began her career as an analyst with Goldman Sachs & Co.
On June 4 2019, the United Nations General Assembly elected the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations as President of the 74th session. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande has had an outstanding career as a scholar and diplomat. He started his academic career at Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Nigeria, rising from Graduate Assistant in 1980 to full Professor in 1998, to Vice-Chancellor, in 2004. Between 2000 and 2004, Professor Muhammad-Bande served as Director-General of Le Centre Africain de Formation et de Recherche Administratives pour le Développement (CAFRAD), in Tangiers, Morocco. From 2010 to 2016, he held the position of Director-General of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies. As Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (2018-2019), he served as Vice-President of the 71st session of the General Assembly and was active in several forums, including the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C34), the Advisory Board of the United Nations Counter- Terrorism Centre, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Group. Professor Muhammad-Bande was an assessor for the National Merit Award and most notably was named Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic, one of Nigeria’s highest national honours.
Sami Zeidan is an award-winning journalist who has anchored, reported and executive produced with some of the biggest names in television. Prior to joining Al Jazeera English, Sami presented a number of shows broadcast on CNBC Arabia, CNBC Europe and CNBC Asia. He also presented and wrote news shows when with CNN International in the USA. Over the years Sami has reported from many a seat of power including the United Nations, the White House and The European Commission, as well as from conflict zones ranging from the Korean Peninsula to the different hotspots in the Middle East. As a news anchor and talk show host, Sami has interviewed a number of world leaders, from the legendary Nelson Mandela to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, among many other notable figures. Sami has also taught broadcast journalism courses at the prestigious University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism, the first school of journalism in the world.
H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, born on 21 June 1960, was elected as the African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson on 30 January 2017 and assumed office in March 2017. A constitutional lawyer by profession, Chairperson Faki has occupied senior governmental positions in a career that has spanned over 30 years and includes tenure as foreign minister and Prime Minister in his native country Chad. At the continental level and during his tenure as Foreign Minister of Chad, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat chaired the United Nations Security Council for the month of December 2015. He also chaired the Peace and Security Council of the AU in September 2013 and steered the Nairobi Extraordinary Summit on the fight against Terrorism. He also served as chairman of the AU Executive Council. Chairperson Faki has a formidable global reputation as a peace broker in Africa in a career that has placed a central focus on peace and security issues in Africa. As Chairperson of the Commission, Chairperson Faki is the Chief Executive Officer, legal representative and Chief Accounting Officer. He is directly responsible to the Executive Council for the discharge of his duties.
His Excellency Dr. Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah was appointed Minister of State for Defense Affairs in January 2016 and Deputy Prime Minister in November 2017. From 1987 to 1995, His Excellency was a fighter pilot in the Qatar Emiri Air Force. In 1995, he established the Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah Firm for Legal Consultations and Services, where he practiced law until 2008. In 2003, His Excellency was appointed President of the National Committee for Human Rights. In 2008, His Excellency held the post of Minister of State for International Cooperation; and in 2009, he was appointed the Acting Minister of Business and Commerce. In 2009, His Excellency became the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Qatar’s Stock Exchange. Between 2009 and 2012, he was the Vice-Chairman of Qatar Financial Centre Authority, and between 2009 and 2013, he was the Vice-Chairman of the Supreme Council for Information Technology and Communications. In 2011, His Excellency was appointed Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and a Member of the Council of Ministers. From 2013 to 2016, HE Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah was Minister of Foreign Affairs. His Excellency has a BA in Aviation Studies from King Faisal Air Academy, a BA in Law from Beirut Arab University, an MA in Public Law from Cairo University and a PhD in Law from Cairo University.
Marjorie is Head of Innovation Partnerships and the Digital Society at Chatham House. Prior to Chatham House, Marjorie was a senior strategist at Purpose where she developed various campaigns related to digital inclusion, climate change and migration for the public and the private sectors. She also worked as an associate director and global leadership fellow at the World Economic Forum in Geneva and New York where she led the organisation's digital innovation projects and managed the Technology Pioneer Programme. Marjorie received an MA in Comparative and International Studies from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) as well as an MA in Political and Social Sciences from the Université of Lausanne. She also advises the Democracy Club, a non-partisan organisation committed to improving democracy through digitalisation and transparency.
Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili is Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) since 1 January 2018 after being elected by the 22nd Session of UNWTO General Assembly. He was Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to the Kingdom of Spain, the Principality of Andorra, the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria and the Kingdom of Morocco and Permanent Representative of Georgia to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) up to December 2017. Between 2009 and 2010, he was Minister of Economic Development of Georgia.As a Minister of Economic Development of Georgia, Mr Pololikashvili was responsible for overseeing the country’s long-term fiscal growth strategies, advancing foreign trade and investment policy initiatives as well as for promoting the development of the tourism, infrastructure and transportation sectors. He was instrumental in launching an innovative policy for the development of tourism in Georgia, prioritizing the sphere on both the government and private sector agendas. During Mr Pololikashvili’s tenure as Minister of Economic Development, through key policy reforms, marketing activities, improvement of infrastructure and visa liberalization initiatives, Georgia nearly doubled the number of international tourist arrivals. Those reforms paved the way for sustainable tourism practices in Georgia and poverty alleviation initiatives, placing Georgia among the top tourism destinations in the region.
Achim Steiner is the Administrator of UNDP. Over nearly three decades, Achim Steiner has been a global leader on sustainable development, climate resilience and international cooperation, working 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. He was also the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (2006-2016), the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi, Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and Secretary General of the World Commission on Dams.
Professor Jacek Czaputowicz graduated from the Warsaw Central School of Planning and Statistics. He received his Ph.D. in political science at the Polish Academy of Sciences and his habilitation in humanities at the University of Warsaw. He completed various postgraduate studies at foreign universities. In the 1970s and 1980s he was a member of the democratic opposition, for which he was interned in 1981 and imprisoned in 1986. He joined the MFA in 1990. He was Deputy Director and then Director of the Consular and Emigration Department in 1990-1992. In 1998-2006 he was Deputy Head of the Civil Service. In 2006-2008 he was in charge of the Department of Strategy and Foreign Policy Planning at the MFA. In 2008-2012 he headed the National School of Public Administration. In 2017 he was at the helm of the MFA’s Diplomatic Academy. He took charge of legal and treaty affairs as MFA undersecretary of state in September 2017. In January 2018 he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland. Minister Czaputowicz wrote over 100 articles and academic monographs. He is a researcher at the Institute of European Studies at the Faculty of Political Science and International Studies of Warsaw University.
Ms. Karen Smith was appointed as Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect on 7 January 2019. Currently a lecturer in International Relations at the Institute for History at Leiden University, Netherlands, and an honorary research associate at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, Ms. Smith has a research focus on non-Western contributions to international relations theory, as well as on regional and emerging powers, South Africa’s foreign policy, and the changing global order. She was previously an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Studies at the University of Cape Town (2011-2017) and taught at the universities of Stellenbosch (2000-2010) and Western Cape (2003-2004), both in South Africa. Between 2006 and 2007, she served as Secretary-General of the United Nations Association of South Africa. Ms. Smith holds a doctorate in International Relations from Stellenbosch University (2005) and serves on the editorial boards of the journals Review of International Studies, Foreign Policy Analysis, Rising Powers Quarterly, and Journal of African Union Studies, among others. She teaches short courses at Stellenbosch University, as part of the University of Cape Town-London School of Economics July school, and as a visiting professor at Sciences Po, Paris. A South African citizen, Ms. Smith has also lived in Austria, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science and a Master in International Studies from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North Africa Division, oversees the work of the division in 19 countries, with staff located in 10 countries. She has led dozens of advocacy and investigative missions throughout the region, focusing on issues of armed conflict, accountability, legal reform, migrant workers, and political rights. She has published widely on human rights issues in the Middle East in international and regional media, including The New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Los Angeles Times, and CNN. She appears regularly on Al-Jazeera, BBC, NPR, and CNN. Before joining Human Rights Watch, Whitson worked in New York for Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard Law School. Whitson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She speaks Armenian and Arabic.
As Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker is one of the most recognisable figures in the global aviation industry. His vision and commitment enabled the ground-breaking development of Qatar Airways from a small regional carrier into one of the world’s leading, most highly-respected global airlines in just 20 years. In August 2017, H.E. Mr. Al Baker was announced as the Chairman of the Board of Governors (BoG) of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which came into effect in June 2018. In November 2017, he was named ‘Aviation Executive of the Year’ by the CAPA Centre for Aviation in recognition of his global influence and visionary approach to the airline industry. H.E. Mr. Al Baker is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO) and is a Non-Executive Director of Heathrow Airport Holdings (HAH). In June 2015, the then President of the Republic of France, Francois Hollande, presented H.E. Mr. Al Baker with the Legion of Honour in recognition of his leadership in the aviation industry. In 2019 H.E. Mr. Al Baker was appointed Secretary-General of Qatar’s National Tourism Council (NTC).
Peggy Lynn Hicks Since January 2016, Peggy Hicks has served as director of the Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division at the UN's human rights office. From 2005 to 2015, she was global advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, where she was responsible for coordinating Human Rights Watch's advocacy team and providing direction to its advocacy worldwide. Ms. Hicks previously served as director of the Office of Returns and Communities in the UN mission in Kosovo and as Deputy High Representative for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has also worked as the Director of Programs for the International Human Rights Law Group (now Global Rights), clinical professor of human rights and refugee law at the University of Minnesota Law School, and as an expert consultant for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Ms. Hicks is a graduate of Columbia Law School and the University of Michigan.
Ambassador Melanne Verveer is the Director of the Georgetown University Institute for Women, Peace and Security. The Institute documents the crucial role women play in peace-building and security through cutting-edge research. She also serves as the Special Representative on Gender Issues for the Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). President Obama nominated Verveer to be the first ever US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues. In that role, she led efforts to fully integrate a gender perspective and women’s participation into US foreign policy. She was also appointed US Representative to the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Earlier, Verveer was Chair and Co-CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international NGO she co-founded to invest in emerging women leaders. Prior to that, she served as Assistant to US President Bill Clinton and Chief of Staff to the First Lady Hillary Clinton. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. She serves on the boards of policy organizations and NGOs. Verveer is an Honorary Fellow at Clare Hall College in Cambridge and holds a BS and MS from Georgetown University as well as several honorary degrees. She is the co-author of the bestseller, “Fast Forward: How Women Can Achieve Power and Purpose.” She has received numerous awards, including the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award.
Nicholas Rasmussen is Acting Executive Director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership in Washington, D.C. Rasmussen is a national security professional with over twenty-seven years in U.S. government service, including in senior counterterrorism posts at the White House and in the U.S. Intelligence Community from 2001 to 2017. He concluded his government career as Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), leading more than 1,000 professionals from across the Intelligence Community, federal government, and federal contractor workforce. Rasmussen served in senior posts across three administrations, including as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Counterterrorism at the National Security Council staff under Presidents Bush and Obama before being appointed Director of NCTC by President Obama and continuing his tenure at the request of President Trump’s administration. From 1991-2001, he served in policy positions at the Department of State, focused on the Middle East. He holds appointments as Distinguished Professor of Practice at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University; as Visiting Professor of Practice at the School of Law, University of Texas at Austin; as Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the National Security College of Australia National University; and as Non-Resident Fellow at the Reiss Center on Law and Security at NYU School of Law. Rasmussen holds a B.A. degree from Wesleyan University and an M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.
Dr. Khalid Koser is founding Executive Director of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, a public-private partnership dedicated to preventing violent extremism. In its first three years GCERF has reached over two million people in communities at risk. An academic by training, Khalid is Professor of Conflict, Peace and Security at the University of Maastricht, as well as non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution, Chatham House, and the Lowy Institute. As a global advocate for migrants and refugees, Khalid chairs the WEF Global Future Council on Migration, edits the Journal of Refugee Studies, and was appointed MBE for services to asylum seekers and refugees. He chairs the Board of Trustees for the sustainable development charity Raleigh International.
Peter is Co-founder and Chairman of Global Counsel, a regulatory, political risk and public policy advisory business based in London, Brussels and Singapore. He is a former European Trade Commissioner and British First Secretary of State. As Trade Commissioner between 2004 and 2008, he negotiated trade agreements with many countries and led European negotiations in the WTO Doha World Trade Round. Prior to this, he held a number of Cabinet posts under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown including Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Northern Ireland Secretary and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. He was Member of Parliament for Hartlepool in the UK from 1992 until 2004 and Director of Campaigns and Communications for the Labour party between 1985 and 1990. As well as Chairman of Global Counsel, Peter is a Senior Adviser to Lazard. He is President of the German-British Forum, the UK’s primary bilateral forum for promoting dialogue on German-British business, social and political issues and President of the Great Britain China Centre. Peter is Chairman of the Design Museum in London and Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University.
Irene Khan is Director-General of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO). The first woman to hold this office, she was elected by Member Parties on November 17, 2011 and took up her position formally on January 1, 2012. An international thought leader on human rights, gender and social justice issues, Irene Khan was Secretary General of Amnesty International from 2001 - 2009. Prior to that, she worked for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for 21 years at headquarters and in various field operations. She was Visiting Professor at the State University of New York Law School (Buffalo) in 2011. Ms. Khan sits on the boards of several international human rights and development organizations. She is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and prestigious awards, including the City of Sydney Peace Prize in 2006 for her work to end violence against women and girls. Her book, The Unheard Truth: Poverty and Human Rights, has been translated into seven languages. Born in Bangladesh, Irene Khan studied law at the University of Manchester and Harvard Law School.
Tidjane Thiam has served as Chief Executive Officer of Credit Suisse Group AG since 2015. Positive restructuring at Credit Suisse was recognized with the Euromoney ‘Banker of the Year’ Award for Excellence in 2018, and his tenure as Group Chief Executive of Prudential plc from 2009 to 2015 saw the firm’s market capitalization treble to more than USD 60 billion. Prior, he held a variety of leadership roles at Aviva and spent a decade with McKinsey where he was a partner. In the 1990s, he returned to Cote d’Ivoire to serve as a Cabinet Secretary, CEO of the National Bureau for Technical Studies and Development, and country representative to the World Bank/IMF. Tidjane is a member of the Group of Thirty (G30), serves as advisor to the Monetary Authority Singapore and as a member of the International Olympic Committee. He was awarded the Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour in 2011. He was recognised as Global Leader for Tomorrow by WEF in 1997 and included in the WEF’s world ‘dream cabinet’ in 1999. He is a graduate of the École Polytechnique and the École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris, and holds an MBA with distinction from Insead.
Andrew Swiger earned a Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineering from the Colorado School of Mines, prior to joining the company in 1978. Mr. Swiger initially progressed through upstream assignments around the world before moving to the downstream in 1996, serving as general manager of the Singapore refinery. In 1999, he returned to upstream as president of Mobil Oil Canada, prior to being appointed corporate production advisor in Irving, Texas. In 2001, Mr. Swiger was appointed vice president for Africa, and in 2003 vice president for the Europe/Caspian/Russia region. Mr. Swiger was named executive vice president of ExxonMobil Production Company in 2004. He became president of ExxonMobil Gas & Power Marketing in 2006, a position he held until election as senior vice president of the corporation and member of the Management Committee in 2009. He was appointed as Principal Financial Officer for the corporation in 2013. Mr. Swiger is a director of the United Negro College Fund and the Board of Governors for the Colorado School of Mines Foundation. He serves on the Executive Board for the Circle Ten Council, Boy Scouts of America and as a member of the Center for Strategic and International Studies Advisory Board.
Randa Slim is a senior fellow and director of the Program on Conflict Resolution and Track II Dialogues at the Middle East Institute in Washington DC, and is a non-resident fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). She works and publishes on regional and international issues of the Middle East with an emphasis on Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. A former vice president of the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue, Slim has also been a senior program advisor at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a guest scholar at the United States Institute of Peace, and a program officer at the Kettering Foundation. She was a member of the US-Russia mediator team in the Inter-Tajik Dialogue (1992-2000) and worked on conflict management activities in Tajikistan and the Ferghana Valley (2000-2006). Since 2002, Slim has developed a number of dialogue and peace-building projects in the Middle East the Iraqi National Reconciliation Initiative (2006-2009), the Middle East Dialogue (2012- ongoing). and the US-Russia Middle East Taskforce (2016- ongoing). Slim has also worked on the UN-mediated negotiations in Yemen as a consultant with the office of the UN Special Envoy.
Leslie A. Pal is Founding Dean of the College of Public Policy at Hamad bin Khalifa University, Doha Qatar, and Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. He is the author, co-author or editor of over thirty books, the most recent of which are Global Governance and Muslim Organizations (2019), Policy Transfer: Micro-Dynamics and Macro-Effects (2017), and Policy Making in a Transformative State: The Case of Qatar (2016). The sixth edition of Beyond Policy Analysis: Public Issue Management in Turbulent Times is due out in 2020. He has published over ninety articles and book chapters in a wide variety of areas of public policy and administration, information technology, European integration, international human rights, and international public management reform. He has also served as a consultant to the World Bank and the OECD, as well as several other international organizations.
Naïma Moutchou (born on November 4, 1980) is a French politician, member of La République en Marche (the political party founded by the President Emmanuel Macron). Before running for National Assembly, Naïma Moutchou was a lawyer for ten years at the Paris Bar, specializing in press law (defamation, image, and reputation) within the firm CCB AVOCATS founded by the former President of the Bar of Paris, Christian Charrière-Bournazel. She also volunteered as a pro bono lawyer for the International League against Racism and anti-Semitism, and took on many cases related to racial discrimination. On June 18, 2017, Naïma Moutchou was elected to the French National Assembly, and became a member of the Constitutional Acts, Legislation and General Administration Committee. Following her election, she was appointed Whip and given the tasks of ensuring party discipline and acting as a go-between for members of the National Assembly and the government. She oversees major bills related to justice, internal security and digital economy. After that, Naïma Moutchou was designated first vice-president of the majority group of the National Assembly. Especially, she has positioned herself on various subjects such as the fight against fake news, legal aid, and culture with a mission on philanthropy.
A serial entrepreneur and one of the first female CEOs in her home country, Afghanistan. As CEO of Digital Citizens Fund, Bright Citizen (coffee and tea) and EdyEdy, Roya’s work is focused on digital literacy to bridge the gap between education and the job markets. Digital Citizens Fund has 15,000 graduates from its 13 digital classrooms and has incubated ten female startups. Roya is currently in development with the Afgan government to build STEM schools in Afghanistan to unlock new opportunities for the inclusion of female entrepreneurs in hard to reach places using airspace and blockchain technology. Roya is also the champion and coach of the world renowned Afghan Girls Robotics Team, the Afghan Dreamers, who are inspiring a nation to see the potential of girls differently. Roya was named as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in 2013, and received the 2014 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award, The Advancement of Gender Equality through Education Award, Young Leader of World Economic Forum, Wonder Women 2018, 2019 Education Award Winner, the prestigious Presidential Leadership Scholarship , D.Sc. Honorary Doctor of Science of Engineering from McMaster University and is a founding Leader of The NewNow, a group of rising global leaders tackling global challenges.
Jeffrey Feltman is the John C. Whitehead Visiting Fellow in International Diplomacy at the Brookings Institution and a Senior Fellow at the UN Foundation. He is also a senior adviser to Kissinger Associates, a member of the Board of Advisers to the Dialogue Advisory Group, a Senior Advisor to the European Institute of Peace, and a member of the Board of Governors of the Middle East Institute. From July 2012 until April 2018, Mr. Feltman served as United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs. Frequently briefing the Security Council, Mr. Feltman was the chief foreign policy advisor to the Secretary-General and traveled extensively. He oversaw UN mediation and conflict prevention work and provided guidance to UN Special Representatives and Envoys heading UN political missions. Before joining the UN, Mr. Feltman was a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, focused largely on the Middle East and North Africa. From 2009 until 2012, Mr. Feltman was the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. Prior to his 2004-2008 tenure as U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon, he served in Erbil, Baghdad, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Tunis, Amman, Budapest, and Port-au-Prince.
Anca DRAGU is a Romanian economist with experience in monetary and economic policy gathered in top level national and international institutions, such as National Bank of Romania, Ministry of Finance, International Monetary Fund and the European Commission. She served as Minister of Finance from November 2015 to January 2017. In 2019, Anca Dragu became deputy general director and board member of the energy company EON Romania. She is also associate professor teaching Macroeconomics and Experience Economy and she is author of many research papers, articles and interviews. Anca DRAGU holds a PhD, master and bachelor degrees in economics and finance from Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, National School for Political and Administrative Studies, and George Washington University.
CEO of Eni since May 2014. He has spent his whole career in Eni, joining the company 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 and 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. He is Member of the General Council and of the Advisory Board of Confindustria, Member of the National Petroleum Council and Director of Fondazione Teatro alla Scala. In July 2018 he has joined the mothers2mothersUK Board of Trustees.
Carl Bildt has served as both Prime Minister (1991-1994) and Foreign Minister (2006-2014) of Sweden. He has served in international functions with the EU and UN, primarily related to the conflicts in the Balkans. He was Co-Chairman of the Dayton peace talks on Bosnia and become the first High Representative in the country. Later, he was the Special Envoy of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to the region. After stepping down as leader of the Moderate Party of Sweden in 1999 and leaving Parliament in 2000 he was also engaged in corporate boards in Sweden and the US as well as different international think-tanks. Returning as Foreign Minister of Sweden in 2006, he come to be seen as one of the most prominent and vocal of European foreign ministers during those years. He was one of the initiators of EU:s Eastern Partnership, and pushed the EU forward also on issues of the Middle East. Currently he is Co-Chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations, contributing columnist to Washington Post as well as monthly columnist for Project Syndicate. He recently chaired the Global Commission on Internet Governance. He serves as one of the Senior Advisors to the Wallenberg Foundations in Sweden and is on the Board of Trustees of the RAND Corporation in the US.
Dr. Mondher Ben Ayed earned a PhD in Computer Engineering from the University of Rochester in 1990, an MS in Electrical Engineering in 1986, and a BS in Electrical Engeneering in 1985 from the same University. He was assistant professor in the department of computer science at the "Faculté des Sciences de Tunis" from 1990 till 1991. He also had many professional positions during his career. He is currently President and CEO of TMI, and ORADIST two major IT companies in Tunisia. Dr. Ben Ayed has been very active in the civil society and has held many key positions. He was President of the Tunisian-American Chamber of Commerce (TACC) from 2007-2009. Mr Ben Ayed is currently Member of the board of the Tunisian American Friendship Association (TAFA), and has been elected in 2014 as member of the board of AMIDEAST. Dr Ben Ayed served as first advisor to the first democratically elected prime minister of Tunisia, Hamadi Jebali, from December 2011 untill February 2013. His responsibilities covered international relations, security, investment and private sector development. Mr. Ben Ayed is born in Sfax 08/22/1962, married and father of two daughters.
H.E. Ambassador Ahmed Isse Awad Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation The Federal Republic of Somalia Ambassador Ahmed Isse Awad is the current Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation of The Federal Republic of Somalia since January 4, 2018. He served as Somalia’s Ambassador to the United States from September 2015 to January 2018. Ambassador Awad had the honour of reopening the Somali Embassy in Washington, D.C., after it has been closed for twenty-four years. He demonstrated solid leadership as Somalia was regaining her place in the International arena. Before his post in Washington, D.C., Ambassador Awad worked in peace building for two UN Peacekeeping missions in Sudan from 2006-2015. There he promoted conflict resolution, peace, reconciliation & trust building, good governance and role of civil society in the peace process. Prior to joining the UN, Ambassador Awad had participated as a resource person in the Somali Reconciliation Conference in Arta in Djibouti in 2000 and the Somalia National Reconciliation Conference in Kenya from 2002 to 2004. He also served as the Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister for The Transitional National Government of Somalia (TNG) from 2001-2004.
Rafat Ali Al-Akhali is currently the global engagement lead for the Reducing State Fragilities initiative at the International Growth Centre, University of Oxford. Rafat previously managed the LSE-Oxford Commission on State Fragility, Growth and Development, and was head of secretariat of the Pathways for Prosperity Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development. Rafat previously served as Minister of Youth and Sports in the Government of Yemen, and prior to that was leading the policy reforms team at the Executive Bureau for Acceleration of Aid Absorption and Support for Policy Reforms. Rafat earned his second master's degree in public policy (MPP) at the Blavatnik School of Government. His first master's degree was in business administration (MBA) from Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC), Montréal, Canada. In addition to his professional career, Rafat has been active in the field of youth development and youth political inclusion since 2004. He is the co-founder and chairman of Resonate! Yemen, a leading non-profit foundation that specialises in the field of engaging youth in public policy in Yemen. In 2015, Rafat was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
In his current role as Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, Mr. Hochschild is coordinating the preparation for the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations in 2020 and related celebrations, through a system-wide process of consultations and reflections on the role of the United Nations in advancing international co-operation and in supporting Member States’ ability to respond to emerging challenges and frontier issues. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Hochschild served as Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (2017-2019). Mr. Hochschild also served as Deputy Special Representative for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) in 2016, UN Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Representative of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Colombia from 2013 to 2016, Director of the Field Personnel Division in the United Nations Department of Field Support, New York from 2010 to 2012; and as Chief of Field Operations and Technical Cooperation in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Geneva from 2005 to 2009. He began his United Nations career in 1988 with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Sudan and served in subsequent postings with UNHCR, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and in peacekeeping. He was posted in Sudan, Jerusalem, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Geneva, New York, Timor-Leste, Serbia and the United Republic of Tanzania. A graduate of the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, he has published studies and articles on leadership, on the protection of civilians, on transitional justice and reconciliation among other topics. Born in the United Kingdom in 1963, Mr. Hochschild is married and has three children.
Anas El Gomati is the founder and current Director General of the Tripoli-based Sadeq Institute, the first public policy think tank in Libya's history established in August 2011. Anas is also the research director for the security & governance programme at the institute. He has held several positions in the region and Europe, as a visiting fellow at the Carnegie Middle East Centre in Beirut, Lebanon and visiting lecturer at the NATO defence college in Rome, Italy. He is a frequent commentator on Libya & the MENA region on Al Jazeera, BBC, France 24, Sky News. He is most recently the author of 'Libya’s revolution undone - The conversation will not be televised” from the edited volume, 'a divided gulf, anatomy of a crisis' (2019).
Emma Sky is Director of Yale World Fellows and a Senior Fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute, where she teaches Middle East politics and Global Affairs. She is the author of the highly acclaimed The Unravelling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq (2015) and In a Time of Monsters: Travelling in a Middle East in Revolt (2019). Emma served as advisor to the Commanding General of US Forces in Iraq from 2007-2010; as advisor to the Commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in 2006; as advisor to the US Security Co-ordinator for the Middle East Peace Process in 2005; and as Governorate Co-ordinator of Kirkuk for the Coalition Provisional Authority, 2003-2004. Prior to that, Emma worked in the Palestinian territories for a decade, managing projects to develop Palestinian institutions; and to promote co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians.
Yalda Hakim Founder Yalda Hakim is an award winning foreign correspondent and currently anchors the flagship programme ‘Impact with Yalda Hakim’ on BBC World News. In addition to her presenting duties, Yalda continues to deliver hard hitting journalism not only for the Our World strand, but also across BBC News in both television and radio. Yalda has reported extensively on the rise and fall of the so called Islamic State in Iraq. She has travelled to the world’s youngest nation South Sudan which has been embroiled in a brutal civil war. She reported that more than 4 million people were on the brink of famine in the devastated country. She has also highlighted the plight of people in the secretive state of Eritrea, reported from Turkey following the failed coup attempt, covered the aftermath of the earthquake in Nepal, kidnappings by drug cartel’s in Mexico and jihadism in Sweden. She has investigated and reported on people-trafficking and torture of Ethiopian migrants in Yemen and following the Bangladesh garment factory collapse uncovered workers still being put at risk in unsafe premises.
Mark Barton is one of the best-known anchors in global business television news. Mark was was one of five journalists who founded Bloomberg Television's European operations in London in the mid-1990s. Over the next two decades he went on to play an integral role in establishing Bloomberg TV as a global financial and business news network, broadcast in almost half a billion homes in over 70 countries. Mark anchored all of Bloomberg Television's prime-time programs over a 23-year career, breaking and analysing the biggest global business, financial market and geopolitical events of the past two decades, including six UK general elections, six US elections, the global financial crisis and Brexit. He also conducted over 20,000 interviews with world leaders, finance ministers, central bankers and chief executives, including Bill Gates, Shimon Peres and Jean-Claude Trichet. Mark left Bloomberg Television in August 2018 to embark on a new career as a moderator, media trainer and communications & public relations specialist. He moderates panels on business, financial markets, politics, sport & social issues, and gives coaching sessions to elevate presentation & broadcast interview skills.
Jacob Mchangama is the founder and executive director of Justitia, a think tank in Copenhagen focusing on human rights, and a visiting fellow at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education in Washington. In 2018 he was a visiting scholar at Columbia’s Global Freedom of Expression Center and in 2016 he was selected as a European Marshall Memorial Fellow. Jacob Mchangama has lectured on international human rights law at the University of Copenhagen and is a member of the Danish government´s independent expert commission on freedom of expression. He has commented extensively on free speech and human rights in outlets including the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy. Jacob has also published in academic and peer-reviewed journals, including Human Rights Quarterly, American Journal of Political Science and Amnesty International’s Strategic Studies. Jacob is the writer and host of the podcast “Clear and Present Danger: A History of Free Speech” covering the history of free speech from Ancient Athens to AI www.freespeechhistory.com. Jacob Mchangama has won several awards for his work on freedom of speech and human rights including Politiken´s Debat Prize (2019).
Mr Miroslav Lajčák has dedicated his professional life to diplomacy, representing both the Slovak Republic and the international community. Most recently, Mr. Lajčák served as President of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly. Mr. Lajčák is currently in his fourth mandate as Minister of Foreign and European Affairs. He was first appointed in 2009, again in 2012 (including as Deputy Prime Minister), in 2016 and finally in 2018. From 2010 to 2012, Mr. Lajčák served in the European External Action Service as Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia. From 2007 to 2009, Mr. Lajčák served as High Representative of the International Community and Special Representative of the EU in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2006 Mr. Lajčák negotiated, organized and supervised the referendum on the independence of Montenegro on behalf of the EU. As a Slovak diplomat since 1988 Mr. Lajčák held various posts, including Ambassador to Japan, Executive Assistant to the UNSG’s Special Envoy for the Balkans, Head of cabinet of the Foreign Minister and Prime Minister and Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and to Albania. Mr. Lajčák is a graduate of the Moscow State Institute for International Relations and has a law degree from the Comenius University in Bratislava.
Ban Ki-moon was the UN Secretary-General from 2007-2016, succeeding the late Kofi Annan. He mobilised world leaders around a new set of challenges and sought to give voice to the world’s poorest and vulnerable people. He put Sustainable Development Goals, climate change, and equality for girls and women at the top of the UN agenda; creating UN Women and securing the Paris Agreement. He is a former South-Korean Foreign Minister and diplomat. He is the Chair of the Global Green Growth Institute, Chairman of the Boao Forum for Asia, and Co-Chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens. Ban Ki-moon joined The Elders in June 2017 and has served as the organisation’s Deputy Chair, alongside Graça Machel, since November 2018. He has continued to be a strong advocate for urgent and bold action on climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals. In December 2017 he joined an Elders’ delegation to Paris to meet President Macron, and in June 2019 he addressed a formal session of the UN Security Council on conflict resolution.
Issam Abousleiman is the Regional Director for the GCC Countries based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Mr. Abousleiman, a Lebanese national, joined the Bank in 1989. His most recent assignment was Country Manager for Colombia in the Latin America and Caribbean Region. Having started his career at the World Bank in the Loans Department, he has, since then, held various positions across the institution, including Head of Financial Advisory and Banking at the World Bank Treasury and Principal Investment Officer in the Banking & Debt Management Department. His regional expertise includes Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East regions. Mr. Abousleiman is a graduate of the Harvard University Executive Management program and holds an MBA in Finance and Investment from George Washington University, as well as an MBA in Management from the American University of Beirut. He is a certified Financial Analyst (CFA).
Ketan is the CEO and the founder of Greater Pacific Capital, an investment firm focused on India and its links to international markets, that invests in technology, healthcare and financials and services. Previously a Managing Director in the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs. Ketan founded and led the Strategic Group at Goldman Sachs. Based in London and New York, he also covered Asia, including India and China, developing and providing strategic advice to the firm’s corporate, investing and government clients internationally across multiple industries. Ketan’s work included focus on geopolitics and the nature of world power and security and also on the transformational impact of new technologies, media and communications on industry order and value and the impact on major corporations. Formerly, Ketan was a partner at KPMG, where he founded and led their Strategy Consulting and Business Transformation Practice. This unit developed strategies to transform the value of companies and then leveraged the firm’s international capabilities to implement large scale projects. He is the author of ‘The Master Strategist’ (Random House, 2005). He has written and spoken extensively on the rise and fall of civilizations and in particular on the intersection of geopolitics, conflict, economics and social change.
Dr. Kalibata leads AGRA’s efforts with public and private partners to drive a food secure and prosperous Africa through sustainable agricultural growth that improves the productivity and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers. Prior to joining AGRA, Dr. Kalibata was Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI), where she drove programs that moved her country from a food insecure to a food secure status and became a reference point for other countries that sought to deliver agriculture transformation. She sits on various boards, councils and commissions including; the Global Commission on Adaptation, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, the Global Panel for Agriculture & Food Systems for Nutrition, the Global Agriculture & Food Security Program (GAFSP), the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum, the Malabo-Montpellier Panel, among others. Dr. Kalibata was awarded the Yara Prize, now the Africa Food Prize, in 2012; an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Liège, an Honorary Doctorate from MacGill University, Canada and the National Academy of Sciences’ Public Welfare Medal. She holds a doctorate in Entomology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
René Trabelsi has been appointed Minister of Tourism and Handicrafts in the Tunisian government since November 2018. Born on 14 December 1962 in Djerba, René Trabelsi is a Tunisian businessman and politician. He was the Vice President of the Tunisian Hotel Federation (FTH). His appointment as minister was welcomed by Tunisian actors, professionals and specialists in tourism, who appreciated the arrival of a professional in the sector. René Trabelsi is one of the great figures of the Tunisian Jewish community. A tourism professional, he is also a member of the organizing committee of the Ghriba Pilgrimage in Djerba. Very active in the Tunisian Jewish community, René is the eldest son of Pérez Trabelsi, chairman of the Jewish Ghriba Committee. Having finished high school in Djerba, René Trabelsi studied management in France where he started his professional life to excel in the business sector, management and especially tourism and traveling.
Senior Fellow, Chairman of the Academic Committee, Director of the Center for Foreign Policy Studies at China Foundation for International and Strategic Studies. Senior Advisor, the Pangoal Institution. He earned his master degree in Modern Chinese History from Central Party School of the Chinese Communist Party. From late 1970s to late 1980s as a drillmaster he served in the PLA Military Collage and as a research fellow in the Institute of Strategic Studies of PLA National Defense University. In the early 1990s he was the Deputy Defense Attache at the Chinese Embassy in UK. Since 1992, he has worked in the CFISS in charge of organizing and coordinating academic and policy researches. His main research interests are Sino-US relations, Sino-Japan relations, Asia-Pacific security, security crisis management and China’s foreign policy. He has authored or co-authored lots of research publications including papers, reports and books.
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.
Susan Stigant is the director of Africa Programs at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) where she oversees programming in South Sudan, Nigeria, Sudan, CAR, DRC, Tanzania and Kenya and with the African Union. Susan’s thematic focus is on the design and implementation of inclusive constitutional reform and national dialogue processes. She has and continues to advise government officials and civil society actors on inclusive processes in Sudan, South Sudan, Libya, Somalia and elsewhere. Susan also serves as co-chair of USIP's national dialogue working group. Prior to joining USIP, she managed constitutional development, citizen engagement and election observation programs with the National Democratic Institute (NDI). From 2005-2011, she served as program director with NDI in South Sudan, where she supported the implementation of the peace agreement. She also worked with the Forum of Federations on comparative federalism and with the research unit of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament in South Africa.
Imam Omar Suleiman is a world renowned scholar and theologically driven activist for human rights. He is the Founder and President of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research and a professor of Islamic Studies at Southern Methodist University. He’s also Co-Chair Emeritus of Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square, a multi-faith coalition of clergy for peace and justice. He frequently writes for CNN, USA Today, The Guardian, Huffpo, and The Dallas Morning News amongst others. The Yaqeen Institute, which he founded, is a think-tank dedicated to tackling some of the most difficult conversations surrounding Islam, while inspiring contribution through positive Muslim identity formation. It has brought together intellectuals, scholars, and academics of various backgrounds to inspire meaningful change about how Islam is discussed and lived in even the most challenging spaces. Through his work at Yaqeen and elsewhere, Imam Omar has been at the forefront of Islamic contributions in media, academic, and policy spaces worldwide. He has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre of Jordan, been recognized by CNN as one of the 25 most influential Muslims in America, and included amongst the Fredrick Douglass 200 most influential Americans whose modern day work embody the legacy of the great abolitionist.
Mary serves as Vice President Strategic Initiatives to the President of the company. She is a lawyer and communications specialist by training. At Microsoft she has been Deputy General Counsel leading the legal support for the company’s product development and engineering teams, particularly activities associated with mergers & acquisitions, antitrust regulation and competition, intellectual property and privacy. Most recently, she led Microsoft Philanthropies, a team of 100 professionals focused on providing access to technology and education to people and nonprofits around the world. Mary joined Microsoft as the company’s Microsoft’s first female attorney.
A Graduate of Ecole Polytechnique and Chief Engineer of the French Corps des Mines, Patrick Pouyanné held various positions in the French Industry Ministry and in ministerial offices from 1989 to 1996, including Environment and Industry Technical Advisor to the Prime minister (E. Balladur) from 1993 to 1995 and Chief of Staff to the information technology and space minister (F. Fillon) from 1995 to 1996. He joined Total in January 1997, as Chief administrative Officer of Total E&P Angola and became Group Representative in Qatar in 1999. In August 2002, he was named Senior Vice President, Finance, Economics and Information Systems in Exploration & Production, then Senior Vice President, Strategy, Business Development and R&D in Exploration & Production in 2006. In January 2012, Patrick Pouyanné was appointed President, Refining & Chemicals and member of the Executive Committee. On October 22, 2014, the board of directors of Total appointed him Chief Executive Officer and President of the Executive Committee. On May 29, 2015, he was elected as Member of the board of directors of Total. On December 16th, 2015, Total’s board of directors appointed Patrick Pouyanné as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Total. Patrick Pouyanné is a Knight of the Legion of Honor. He is member of the Board of Cap Gemini.
Amy Pope advises individual and corporate clients in their most sensitive, complex, and high-profile matters wherever across the globe they might arise. As a seasoned courtroom lawyer and former high-ranking national security official, Amy is a skilled tactician and strategist who is able to navigate the complex interplay of the legal system, the private sector, the media, political leadership, and the court of public opinion. As the U.S. Deputy Homeland Security Advisor to President Barack Obama, Amy led personnel from across the federal government in such high-profile challenges as managing cyber attacks, terrorist threats, natural disasters, violent extremism, border security threats, and disease outbreaks. She worked with the President and his Advisors, Cabinet Members, national media reporters, and CEOs of Fortune 100 companies. She held the highest-level security clearance, led meetings in the White House Situation Room, navigated the most difficult and multi-dimensional issues, and brokered public-private partnerships and agreements. Prior to joining President Obama's While House leadership, Amy served in several positions at the U.S. Department of Justice and in the U.S. Senate.
Alina Polyakova is the founding director of the Project on Global Democracy and Emerging Technology and a fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution. She is also adjunct professor of European studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University. Her work examines Russian political warfare, European populism, digital authoritarianism, and the implications of emerging technologies to democracies. Polyakova's book, "The Dark Side of European Integration" (2015) analyzed the rise of far-right political parties in Europe. Previously, she served as director of research and senior fellow for Europe and Eurasia at the Atlantic Council, professor of sociology at the University of Bern, and Fulbright Fellow. She serves on the board of the Free Russia Foundation and has held numerous fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the National Science Foundation, and the Swiss National Science Foundation, among others. Polyakova holds a master’s and doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor's in economics and sociology with highest honors from Emory University.
Cristian Pirvulescu is General Manager and founding partner of ENEVO Group, a power and automation specialized company. After five years of activity, the company was involved in major projects on 4 continents, working with some of the biggest utilities and technology producers in the world. He carefully put together over the years young engineers and ambitious individuals who grew into a multidisciplinary team able to implement a wide range of projects in the fields of power generation, transmission and distribution, oil & gas and other industries both in Romania and abroad. Prior to starting ENEVO, he held the position of Business Development Manager of Romelectro, the most important Romanian EPC Contractor. Cristian managed highly complex projects such as greenfield thermal power plants, modernization and rehabilitation projects for hydro and thermal power plants, as well as development of electricity transmission infrastructures and renewables. Between 2014 and 2017 he was a member of the Supervisory Board of Transelectrica SA (Romania’s Transmission System Operator). Cristian is a founding member of EESTEC LC Bucharest (academic students’ organization within Politechnica University of Bucharest), Aspen Institute Fellow – Young Leaders Program 2009 and Member of the European League for Economic Cooperation (ELEC).
Terry Martin is a Berlin-based broadcaster with decades of experience in international news. Formerly an anchor with CNN International, Terry is now Senior Anchor with DW News, Germany’s global service. He also provides communications support to cross-border research initiatives. As a broadcaster Terry has provided live coverage of G8 summits, UN climate conferences, natural disasters and key elections, interviewing countless political and business leaders. He has hosted scores of TV discussion programs and moderated major conferences for clients such as the European Commission and the OSCE. Terry is a frequent host at the Global Media Forum. His background as a radio journalist includes work for American public radio, CBC and CBS Network News. As a business journalist Terry spent much of the 1990s reporting from Germany for the popular business show Marketplace. During that period he also served as the main host of DW’s weekly business program Made in Germany with field assignments in Europe and Asia. Throughout the following decade he wrote a bimonthly newsletter on foreign investment for Germany’s FDI agency. Born in Canada, Terry studied English and philosophy at universities in the US (B.A. Elon College, Masters studies Wake Forest University) before moving to Berlin in 1990. www.terrymartin.eu
Jim Loi is Partner & COO at The Asia Group, a Washington, D.C. based strategic and capital advisory firm. Mr. Loi retired in 2017 as a Senior Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State. He served in the Obama Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian & Pacific Affairs and was Director for East Asian Affairs at the National Security Council (NSC). In the Bush Administration, he was NSC Director for East Asian Affairs and USTR Director for China & Japan Trade. He was also a visiting fellow at the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic & International Studies. Abroad Jim held a range of trade, political, and security related policy and leadership positions at U.S. embassies in Singapore, Beijing, Pretoria, and Bucharest. Jim is a former commander in the U.S. Navy who served as a surface warfare officer in the Pacific Fleet, an assistant naval attaché in Europe, and on the Navy Staff – Pentagon (N52). He is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm. He received a BA in international relations from Cornell University.
Michael Liu is a lawyer and civil society leader from China. In 2012, he founded the Chinese Initiative on International Law (“CIIL”), an NGO dedicated to raising Chinese law students’ and lawyers’ awareness of and participation in international law and justice issues. In 2016, CIIL launched Rainbow Law School, a project for legal advocacy capacity and community building for the next generation of Chinese lawyers focusing on LGBT rights advocacy. In 2016, CIIL also worked with a first-tier public foundation in China to incubate the Common Future Fund (“CFF“), a first-of-its-kind project in China that provides relief and economic opportunity to Syrian refugees. CIIL has offices in Beijing, The Hague, and Beirut, and has been granted a consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Previously, Mr. Liu was a victims’ counsel at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and worked at the International Criminal Court, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and Fangda Partners, a private law firm. As a visiting scholar at the Center, Mr. Liu will research LGBT rights issues and prepare to hold the next session of Rainbow Law School at Yale Law School in the spring of 2020.
William (Bill) Law is the editor of Arab Digest. An award-winning journalist, he reported extensively from the Middle East and North Africa for the BBC over a fifteen year period. In addition to numerous radio documentaries and articles, his films have focussed on the Arab Spring and its aftermath in the Middle East and North Africa. He has also reported from West and Central Africa, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. Before leaving the BBC in 2014, Mr Law was the corporation’s Gulf analyst. In addition to Arab Digest, he runs TheGulfMatters.com providing analysis and journalism focusing on the Gulf states and the wider Middle East. He is a regular contributor to Middle East Eye, Gulfhsp, Gulf State Analytics, Al Jazeera, Sky News, Al Araby, BBC and Monocle Radio. He tweets @BillLaw49
Dr. Joris Larik is Assistant Professor at Leiden University in the Netherlands and Non-resident Fellow at the Stimson Center. His expertise is in the areas of EU external relations, international law, and global governance reform. His work has been acknowledged with several awards, including NATO’s “Manfred Wörner Essay Award” and the “Mauro Cappelletti Prize for the Best Thesis in Comparative Law” from the European University Institute. Dr. Larik’s publications include "Foreign Policy Objectives in European Constitutional Law" (Oxford University Press 2016), "ASEAN’s External Agreements" (Cambridge University Press 2015), and "Just Security in an Undergoverned World" (Oxford University Press 2018). He has worked on various policy-oriented research projects, including as Secretary of the Expert Group on Interstate Use of Force and Humanitarian Intervention, appointed by the Foreign Minister of the Netherlands in July 2019, and on the core report team for the 2015 Albright-Gambari Report "Confronting the Crisis of Global Governance". Dr. Larik makes regular media appearances, including for the BBC World Service, CBC News, China Central Television, The Guardian, The Hill, Radio New Zealand, Volkskrant, and Xinhua.
Helen Lackner is a visiting fellow at the European Council for Foreign Relations. She is the author of Yemen in Crisis: Autocracy, Neo-Liberalism and the Disintegration of a State (Saqi Books 2017) published in the US by Verso in 2019. An Arabic translation is forthcoming. She is the editor of the annual Journal of the British-Yemeni Society. She edited Why Yemen Matters: A Society in Transition (Saqi Books 2014) and other books and has contributed chapters to many other books on Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula. She is a regular contributor to Open Democracy, Arab Digest and Oxford Analytica, She also speaks on the Yemen crisis in many public events, including in the UK House of Commons. Her earlier career as a rural development consultant took her to more than 30 countries in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe where she worked on a wide range of rural projects. In recent years, she has recycled to focus on in-depth analytic work and writing. She now mainly writes about the crisis in Yemen, a country with which she has been involved since the early 1970s and where she lived for more than 15 years between the 1970s and 2010s.
Holds a Bachelor degree from Baghdad University (1976) and a Ph.D from the University of Wales (1982). His extensive involvement in Iraq's diaspora politics and organizations included Arab Organization for Human Rights, the Iraq Foundation, and the INC. As an Iraq expert, he participated in numerous international conferences and appeared on major media networks. He worked for Al-Khoei Foundation (London) for nearly a decade and was a senior director at the National Endowment for Democracy (DC) for nearly two decade. In 2005, he was a senior adviser to the Iraqi PM and a government spokesman. In 2018, he helped develop the government program. Currently he is an adviser to PM working on multiple portfolios including expanding opportunities for youth employment.
Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC). 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.
Merissa Khurma is project manager of the Middle East Special Initiatives at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. She is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Leadership development. Merissa has led projects in a range of development projects in the Middle East that focused on economic development, the Syrian refugee crisis, education, youth, gender development, and governance. Additionally, Khurma served as director of the Office of Jordan’s Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein (2010- 2013) and as press attaché and director of the Information Bureau at the Embassy of Jordan in Washington, D.C. (2003-2010). Khurma has a master of public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, a master of science in international security and foreign policy from Georgetown University, and a bachelor of art in political science from McGill University. She is also a leadership development practitioner with a focus on Adaptive Leadership, Public Narrative & Community Organizing. Merissa speaks Arabic and French.
Head of Research at the Global Challenges Foundation and Research Fellow at Lund University School of Economics and Management. PhD in Philosophy, has done research in political philosophy, evolutionary game theory and the theory of rational choice. Currently, the main research focus has been climate policy, and the possibility of decoupling economic growth from climate impact. Has been Chair of the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society, a member of the Council for Peace and Security at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and a board member of the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, as well as columnist and opinion editor at the newspaper Sydsvenskan.
Alina Inayeh has been one of the leading civic activists in her country, Romania, following 1989. For almost two decades she worked with, assisted and trained civic organizations in Romania, and later on in Central and Eastern Europe and former Soviet Union. As an active practitioner in the field of international development and democratization she ran the Freedom House office in Ukraine in 2004 and the NDI office in Russia between 2000-03, with a focus on civic education and political processes. Alina joined GMF in 2007 as the director of the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation, a project dedicated to strengthening cooperation and fostering development in the Black Sea region. Inayeh received her bachelor's degree in geology from the University of Bucharest and a master's in public policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. She is fluent in English and Russian in addition to her native Romanian.
Jane Harman, the Director, President, and CEO of the Wilson Center, is an internationally recognized authority on U.S. and global security issues, foreign relations and lawmaking. A native of Los Angeles and a public-school graduate, she went on to become a nine-term member of Congress, serving decades on the major security committees in the House of Representatives. Drawing upon a career that has included service as President Carter’s Secretary of the Cabinet and hundreds of diplomatic missions to foreign countries, Harman holds posts on nearly a dozen governmental and non-governmental advisory boards and commissions.
Daniel Gros is Director of the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) since 2000. In 2020 he holds a Fulbright fellowship and is a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley. In the past Daniel worked at the IMF, collaborated with the European Commission as economic adviser to the Delors Committee that developed plans for the EMU. He has been member of high-level advisory bodies to the French and Belgian governments and was provided advice to numerous central banks and governments, including Greece, the UK and the US, at the highest political level. Daniel is currently also an adviser to the European Parliament and a member of the Advisory Scientific Council (ASC) of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB). Daniel holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago. He has published extensively on international economic affairs, including on issues related monetary and fiscal policy, exchange rates, banking as well as climate change. He is the author of several books and editor of Economie Internationale and International Finance. He has taught at several leading European Universities and contributes a globally syndicated column on European economic issues to Project Syndicate.
Arancha González, an expert in international trade issues with 20 years of experience, serves as Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC), the joint development agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organisation, since September 2013. Ms. González, a Spanish national, has extensive knowledge about international trade and economics, coupled with broad experience in trade and development matters in the public and private sectors, as well as in management at multilateral organizations. Before joining ITC, Ms. González served as Chief of Staff to World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy from 2005 to 2013. Ms. González holds a degree in law from the University of Navarra and a postgraduate degree in European Law from the University of Carlos III, Madrid. She co-chairs the World Economic Forum (WEF) Agenda Council on the Future of Trade and Investment.
Chris Giles is a columnist at the Financial Times and has been its Economics Editor since 2004. Based in London he has a particular focus on trends in the world economy and in the UK. Previously at the Financial Times, he was the economics editorial writer. He won the prestigious Wincott Award for journalism in 2014 and the British Journalism Award’s business journalist of the year prize in the 2012. He has also won the Royal Statistical Society prize for excellence in journalism in both 2008 and 2012. Before joining the FT in 2000, Chris was an economics correspondent at the BBC. He started his career in research, spending seven years as an economist for the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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. Hadley speaks to world leaders, international CEOs and philanthropists. Hadley has profiled some of the biggest names in business including the man behind the world's tallest tower, Emaar Chairman Mohammed Alabbar, bitcoin brothers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss and the only Western investor to hold a telecom license in North Korea, billionaire Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris. Hadley regularly reports for CNBC from the World Economic Forum in Davos, moderating panels on topics ranging from the geostrategic outlook for the Middle East to the future of education and infrastructure. Hadley is also a passionate advocate for women in the workplace and their advancement across the Arab world. She moderated the first ever women's business forum in Saudi Arabia and provided exclusive content to CNBC as the Kingdom lifted its decades-old driving ban. An experienced journalist, Hadley has also worked for ABC News and Fox News in Washington, DC producing news programmes and covering national and international political events, including the 2008 Presidential Debates, Election Night 2008 and the Inauguration of US President Barack Obama.
Ibrahim A. Gambari, a scholar-diplomat, is the Founder/Chairman of the Board of Directors of Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development, a non- governmental think-tank on research, policy studies, advocacy and training on the nexus between conflict prevention and resolution, democratization and development in Africa. He has had an illustrious career, spanning academia, government and international diplomacy, culminating with his appointment as the first United Nations Under-Secretary General and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Africa (1999-2005). He was the Chairman of the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid (1990-1994) and on Peace-keeping Operations (1990-1999). He was Head of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs (2005-2007) and also operated as UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Cyprus, Zimbabwe and Myanmar and Special Representative in Angola. Earlier, he was Minister of External affairs (1984-1985) and subsequently Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations (1990-1999).Professor Gambari also served as Joint AU/UN Special Representative in Darfur and Head of UNAMID (2010-2012). He is currently a Chairperson of the Panel of Eminent Persons of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). Professor Gambari attended the Provincial (now Government) Secondary School, Ilorin before proceeding to the Floreat Collegium Kings College, Lagos. He received his B.SC (Econs) degrees from the London School of Economics (1968) and his MA and PHD in Political Science/International Relations (1970, 1974) from Columbia University, USA. He has taught at Universities in the United States, Nigeria and Singapore and has to his credit the authorship of a number of books. He has received several academic and national honours, including the “Commander of Federal Republic of Nigeria” (CFR), and the “Order of the Champion of the Oliver R. Tambo” (OCORT) of South Africa. He is the Pioneer Chancellor of the Kwara State University (KWASU), Ilorin, Nigeria, as well as the current Pro-chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of Bayero University, Kano (BUK). He is married with children and grandchildren.
Dmitriy Frolovskiy, political analyst and consultant. He is a contributor to the Carnegie Moscow Center, European Union Institute for Security Studies, Middle East Institute and many other. He is currently a private consultant on policy and strategy in the Middle East with Russian official and private entities. He has also written extensively about Russia’s foreign policy toward the GCC.
Jason Fritz is a senior research analyst and project manager with the Brookings Foreign Policy program’s Security and Strategy team. Jason’s research focuses on state fragility, political violence, and the politics of policing. He is also a lecturer at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Advanced Governmental Studies and a senior editor at War on the Rocks. He holds a Ph.D. and M.S. from American University and a B.S. from the United States Military Academy.
Ghida Fakhry is a broadcast tv journalist with 25 years experience in international news. She currently hosts ‘Bigger than Five’, TRT World’s flagship political program from Washington DC. She is also the Moderator of the newly-relaunched Doha Debates focusing on global issues. Previously, Ghida Fakhry was an anchor for Aljazeera English. She presented the network’s Newshour and the award-winning program Witness. Throughout her career, she has reported extensively from the United Nations, conducting in-depth interviews with Heads of State and Government and other senior international officials. Ghida Fakhry moderates high-level panels around the world for the UN and its specialized agencies, the World Bank, the World Economic Forum and leading NGOs, facilitating debates on international affairs, human rights, women’s empowerment, climate change and other issues. She has also been a Contributor to the Huffington Post. Ghida Fakhry holds an MA degree in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and an MA degree in International Relations from Boston University. She is fluent in English, French and Arabic and is conversational in Spanish.
Feminist. Peacenik. Writer. Obsessed with all things Women, Peace and Security. Sahana Dharmapuri is the Director of the Our Secure Future program at the One Earth Future Foundation. From 2006-2016 she was an independent gender advisor on gender, peace, and security issues to USAID, NATO, The Swedish Armed Forces, the United States Institute for Peace, International Peace Institute, and other international development organizations. Ms. Dharmapuri was a writer-in-residence at the Carey Institute for Global Good (Winter 2016) where she completed her first book, Women, Peace & Security: 10 Things You Should Know. She was appointed a Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (2011-2013) and was an Investing in Women in Development Fellow at the United States Agency for International Development (2003-2005). Ms. Dharmapuri has published widely on women, peace and security issues including by The Hill, CNN online, Christian Science Monitor, The Harvard Women's Journal, Hedaya and The Center for Global Counter-Terrorism, Women’s E-News, Human Rights Quarterly, The Global Responsibility to Protect Journal, The Global Observatory, and The Alliance for Peacebuilding Online Journal.
Marta Dassù is Senior Advisor for European Affairs at The Aspen Institute. She was Italy’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from November 2011 to February 2014. She is a Board Member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and a Member of the scientific committee of the LUISS School of Government. She is also Vice President of the Centre for American Studies in Rome. She writes for the Italian Daily La Stampa.
Zoe Darme is leading the global outreach efforts in support of Facebook's oversight board. Prior to joining Facebook, she served in various policy and program capacities with the United Nations' Department of Peacekeeping Operations. As part of the UN's peace and security efforts in West Africa and the Great Lakes region, Zoe focused on building the rule of law; managing disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programs for ex-combatants; engaging in security sector reform; and supporting the clearance of mines and other explosive hazards. While Director of Strategic Initiatives at John Jay College for Criminal Justice, Zoe led teams conducting research and providing technical assistance on homicides and gang violence. Previously, she served with the U.S. Department of Justice, where she focused on police and justice system reform. Zoe earned her M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD) and her B.A. from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL). Zoe was also a nominee for the 2011 Service to America Medal.
Dr. Bello Lawal Danbatta was appointed the Secretary-General of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) effective 29 January 2018. Dr. Danbatta, previously the Director of the Centre of Consultancy and Executive Programmes at INCEIF, has over 25 years combined experience in the private, academia, as well as in the financial services regulation and supervision sectors across Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He is a Member of the Accounting and Auditing Board of Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), and has chaired various working groups for the issuance of financial accounting standards for Islamic financial institutions. He has also been involved in the development and drafting of standards, guidelines and frameworks for capital adequacy, accounting, as well as supervision and regulation of Islamic finance for various countries. Dr. Danbatta holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Banking and Finance from the International Islamic University Malaysia, and an MBA in Corporate Finance.
Mohamed Damak is a Senior Director within the Financial Services at S&P Global Ratings. He covers financial institutions in the Middle East and Africa region. Mohamed is also the Global Head of Islamic Finance within S&P Global Ratings, leading a global team of Islamic Finance analysts. Before re-joining S&P Global Ratings, Mohamed worked as a Principal Credit Risk Officer for the African Development Bank in Tunis. From 2006 to 2010, Mohamed worked for S&P Global Ratings covering conventional and Islamic financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa region. Mohamed holds a PhD in Finance and Master in “Money, Banking and Finance” from University of Paris 2, Pantheon Assas and a Master degree in Financial Institutions Management from Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Tunis.
Professor Yuwen Li specializes on Chinese Law and international investment law. She is the founder and Director of the Erasmus China Law Centre at the Law School of Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Professor Li holds a BA in Chinese Law from Peking University and a PhD in International Law from Utrecht University, the Netherlands. Since 1985 she has studied and worked in the Netherlands. She has broad academic interest in Chinese law and the relationship between domestic law and international legal order. Her recent books include: The Judicial System and Reform in Post-Mao China: Stumbling towards Justice (UK: Ashgate 2014); Administrative Litigation Systems in Greater China and Europe (ed.) (UK: Ashgate 2014); China, The EU and International Investment Law: Reforming Investor-State Dispute Settlement (eds.) (UK: Routledge 2019). She has acted as co-director of numerous legal collaborative projects on training Chinese judges, public prosecutors, lawyers and NPO practitioners. Professor Li is supervisor for a number of PhD candidates who conduct comparative legal studies in the field of investment law, company law, criminal law, environmental law and arbitration law.
Mr. Bossert is the Chief Strategy Officer at Trinity Cyber, Inc., a disruptive technology company fundamentally redefining commercial cybersecurity. He’s the National Security Analyst for ABC News, and a respected risk management expert. Tom was homeland security advisor to two U.S. Presidents, serving as the Nation’s chief risk officer and senior most advisor on cybersecurity, homeland security, counterterrorism, and global health security policy, managing a range of domestic and transnational security issues and consequence management operations. Tom is a senior executive with extensive experience in operational and strategic management roles. He founded and led a management consulting business that supported commercial clients as they assessed and managed multifaceted, complex risk structures and compliance requirements. Tom was born and raised in Quakertown, PA. He is a Senior Fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the U.S. Atlantic Council. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and his law degree from The George Washington University Law School. Tom was an Engalitcheff Scholar on Comparative Political and Economic Systems at Georgetown University and guest lectures at the Naval Post Graduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security.
Ruth Margolies Beitler is a Professor of Comparative Politics in the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy, West Point, where she serves as course director for Middle East Politics and Cultural and Political Anthropology. She has been the director of the Conflict and Human Security Studies Program (CHSS) since its inception in 2006. She is author of four books: Women and the Military: Global Lives in Focus, published by ABC-CLIO (forthcoming); Women’s Roles in the Middle East and North Africa (coauthored) published by Greenwood Press, 2010; The Fight for Legitimacy: Democracy vs. Terrorism (coauthored) published by Praeger in 2006; and The Path to Mass Rebellion: An Analysis of Two Intifadas published by Lexington Press in 2004. She is the author of numerous book chapters and articles. A graduate of Cornell University with a BA in Near Eastern Studies, Dr. Beitler holds a Master of Arts of Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, where she also received her Ph.D. in International Relations/Middle East Politics. She has appeared as a guest commentator on the CBS morning news and MSNBC.
Becky Anderson is one of CNN International's highest profile anchors. She hosts Connect the World with Becky Anderson and is based at CNN's Abu Dhabi bureau, where she also serves as Managing Editor. She provides CNN’s global audience with a regional perspective on the emerging politico-economic trends in the Gulf, the key geo-political rivalries shaping the region and the crises stemming from years of political instability. Becky has conducted one-on-one interviews with leaders including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir, Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and leading humanitarians such as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Becky has spent much of her time travelling across the Middle East at an extraordinary time of upheaval and change. Becky and the team were the first team to broadcast from Riyadh after the ban on women driving were lifted. She has broadcast special shows bringing a range of interviews, reports and packages to CNN International viewers around the globe. She is as comfortable sitting with global leaders for exclusive interviews as she is anchoring special editions of her show from a superyacht anchored in Yas Marina for the pinnacle of the F1 season.
Ms. Sabah Ismail Al Haidoos holds the role of Chief Executive Officer of Silatech to support and activate the Arab youth linking functions and to support job creation, whether through employment and vocational training programs through microfinance partnerships. Ms. Sabah co-led the Education Reform Initiative in Qatar that included leading and managing a culture of change in the educational community. She has held multiple leadership positions in the education field, most recently an advisor for the Vice President office of the Supreme Council of Education between 2012-2014. Prior to that she served as the Director of the Education Institute at Qatar’s Supreme Education Council between 2004- 2012, where she presided over many leading national education initiatives, and made positive contributions toward change the culture of education. In addition, she has served as a member in many national councils and committees including a member of the Board of Trustees of Qatar University, member of the Aljazeera Children’s Channel Board of Directors, Board member of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, member of the Committee for National Statistics, and a member of the committee for the National Strategy for the Education and Training Sector. Ms. Sabah Al Haidoos holds a Master of Public Policy in Islam from College of Islamic Studies at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, and a Bachelor's degree of Education and Science (specializing in Mathematics and Physics) from Qatar University, as well as advanced school administration degree from James Madison University, Virginia, USA.
Dr. Al-Jaber is a member at the Shura Council (Consultative Assembly), which is the legislative body of the State of Qatar. Dr. Al Jaber is the Chairperson of Qatar Satellite Company (Es’hailSat), and Malomatia (The leading provider of Information Technology Services & Solutions in Qatar). In addition Dr. Aljaber is member of several boards including; Volkswagen (AG) Supervisory Board in Germany, Qatar University’s Board of Regents, Qatar Museums Board of Trustee, Silatech Board of Trustees, Qatar National Library Board of Trustee, and American School Board of Trustee . She is a member of United Nations ITU Broadband Commission for Sustainable development and Co-Chair of Broadband Working Group on Disinformation and Hate Speech. She is leading Trioinvestment, an investment company that invests in innovative technology that addresses some of the most pressing health problems in MENA region. Dr. Hessa was the former 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). During her tenure, Dr. Al Jaber led the liberalization of Qatar's telecommunications market, ushering in an era of choice and competition, she spearheaded the modernization of Qatar’s ICT infrastructure, including founding Qatar National Broadband Network, Eshailsat, and Malomatia. Dr. Hessa has led numerous initiatives to make Qatar a more inclusive society through ICT with the creation of the Qatar Assistive Technology Center (MADA), empowering people with disabilities in Qatar, and was instrumental in the streamlining of processes to make the Government more transparent and accessible with the e-Government initiatives. Dr. Hessa holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Kuwait University, and a Master's Degree and Ph.D. in Computer Science from George Washington University, Washington, DC.
Dr. Khalid Al-Ali is a leader, entrepreneur, deep tech visionary, speaker and TV personality. He brings deep expertise to various roles, having spent much of his career in Silicon Valley. He co-founded Silicon Valley Space Business Roundtable and Senseta, specializing in mission-critical big data fusion, AI and drone-powered technologies. He is a permanent member of the jury in the TV show “Stars of Science” and Senior Advisor and Member of the Zubara Leadership Council at Qatar-America Institute. He appears in symposia and global media outlets including CNN, Discovery, and Al Jazeera. He was Executive Director at NASA’s UARC. He was principal investigator, project lead, and program visionary at NASA’s Ames Research Center. He was Director of Research at Carnegie Mellon University-Silicon Valley and founded its Innovations Lab. He was advisor to the Board of Directors at Qatar Foundation, CEO of Qatar Science and Technology Park, founding member of Qatar’s National Information Technology and Communication Committee and Steering Committee of the Information Technology and Communication Project. He is the principal inventor of worldwide patented technologies. He holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering-University of California at Berkeley and dual B.S. degrees in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering-University of Colorado at Boulder.
Professor Li Xiaoyun is Honorary Dean of China Institute for South-South Cooperation in Agriculture (CISSICA) and Chair Professor in Development Studies at China Agricultural University.
He is Chair of the Network of Southern Think Tanks (NeST), also Chair of China International Development Research Network （CIDRN）. He has been senior advisors for many institutions, including Trustee of Chinese Agriculture Economics Society, Deputy General Secretary of the China Women's Studies Society, member of Advisory Committee of the State Council Leading Group Office for Poverty Alleviation and Development, and member of advisory committee for All Women’s Federation in China, the member of the advisory committee of the One in Africa, and was member of advisory committee for ESRC/DFID in UK, and member of advisory board of Rising Power Initiative IDS/DFID.
His work covers development intervention, gender and development, poverty reduction, climate change, international development aid, China’s foreign aid, China and Africa, Africa’s agricultural development. He was awarded as the China’s philanthropic Thinker 2015, and China’s Social Responsibility Award 2016. He received the national honor of China Poverty Reduction Award 2017.
Shirley Scott is Professor of International Law and International Relations and Head of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales, Canberra. Professor Scott is President of the Asian Society of International Law and chair of the organising committee for the Eighth Biennial Conference of the Society, to be held in Canberra in 2021. Professor Scott has published 10 books, including a leading textbook on the politics of international law: International Law in World Politics (Lynne Rienner, 3rd ed. 2017), International Law, United States Power. The US Quest for Legal Security (CUP 2012), and with co-editor Charlotte Ku, Climate Change and the UN Security Council (Edward Elgar, 2018). Professor Scott has published over 50 articles in leading journals of both International Law and International Relations and is a former Chair of the International Law Section of the International Studies Association.
Peter Micek is General Counsel at Access Now, and Adjunct Professor at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. Access Now is an international organization that defends and extends the digital rights of users at risk around the world, and runs the RightsCon Summit Series. Peter Micek leads global legal operations at Access Now, managing risk to the Digital Security Helpline, RightsCon events, and other programmatic and operational arms. Peter also contributes to the Access Now monitoring and advocacy campaigns on spyware, internet shutdowns, and digital identity programs. As a lecturer at Columbia Univ. on internet governance, Peter explores the structures, actors, and processes that create govern the internet and public policy in the digital age. Peter also sits on the Advisory Board of the Univ. of Oklahoma College of Law’s Center for International Business and Human Rights, and formerly the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the Future of Cybersecurity.
George Hay is an associate editor in the London office of Reuters Breakingviews, covering energy and commodities, the Middle East and financial policy. He was Breakingviews’ principal columnist covering the European banking system during the global financial crisis, after which he was appointed European Financial Editor. His work has been recognised at the UK Business Journalist of the Year awards.
Mr. Nickolay Mladenov of Bulgaria was appointed by the UN Secretary-General as his Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and his Personal Representative to the Palestine Liberation Organisation and the Palestinian Authority in February 2015. In this capacity, Mr. Mladenov is also the Envoy of the Secretary-General to the Quartet.
Mr. Mladenov brings with him extensive experience in public service and international affairs. In his last posting, he served as Special Representative for Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). He served as Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria from 2010 to 2013 and Minister of Defence of Bulgaria from 2009 to 2010.
Previously, he was a Member of the European Parliament from 2007 to 2009 and a Member of the Parliament of Bulgaria from 2001 to 2005. Mr. Mladenov held several positions in the intergovernmental and non-governmental sectors, including at the World Bank and the European Institute in Sofia.
Mr. Mladenov earned a Master of Arts in War Studies at King’s College London, in the United Kingdom, and both a Master’s and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations at the University of National and World Economy of Sofia, in Bulgaria.
He is married with two daughters.
Wang Dong is Deputy Director of the Office for Humanities and Social Sciences, Peking University. He also holds appointments as Associate Professor at School of International Studies and Executive Director of the Institute for China-U.S. People to People Exchange at Peking University. He also sits on the advisory committees of several prestigious academic institutions and think tanks.
Wang Dong received his bachelor from Peking University and Ph.D. from UCLA. Dr. Wang has written extensively on international relations and China’s foreign policy. His articles appear in Diplomatic History, The New York Times as well as other top academic and news outlets. Author of a new book Re-globalization: When China Meets the World Again (in Chinese, 2018) (in English, with Routledge, forthcoming). He has served as Chinese speaker/delegate for preeminent international fora such as World Economic Forum, Munich Security Conference, and Shangri-La Dialogue.
Dr. Wang has received many awards and was named a “Munich Young Leader” in 2016. He was selected by the inaugural program of “Preeminent Young Scientists” of Beijing in 2018 (ranked No. 1 in humanities and social sciences).
His highly acclaimed book The 21st Century Public Manager (2017) has received positive accolades from the US to India, Korea, Russia, Australia, China, and the Netherlands. It is being translated in Arabic, Chinese and Mongolian. The book is used across the globe in leadership development programs and administrative reforms.
Zeger manages an active portfolio of over 70 consulting assignments on a variety of public leadership issues. Clients include: United Nations Development Program, World Economic Forum, Toyota Asia-Pacific, VISA, Central Bank of the Philippines (BSP), Executive Council of the Dubai Government, Civil Service Development Institute Taiwan, Malaysia Anti-Corruption Academy, Monetary Authority Singapore, Indian Economic Service, Hungary National Bank.
Farida Abbas Khalaf is one of more than 6500 Yazidi survivors of ISIS enslavement and genocide. She was born in Kocho village near Sinjar in northern Iraq. She was a high school student when ISIS attacked her village, killing men and taking women and children hostages.
Farida lost her father and her older brother. She was taken into captivity with her mother and her other brothers. Her mother escaped after 9 months in captivity. Farida was held in captivity for four months where was subjected to unimaginable suffering including physical and mental abuse.
Since her escape, Farida has been an effective part of Yazda organization global advocacy campaign to bring ISIS militants to justice, raise awareness and bring international attention to the Genocide.
So far, Farida has spoken in UK, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Portugal, Lebanon, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, Lebanon, Iraq, Denmark, Belgium, Bahrain, Brazil and South Korea. Farida published her book, The Girls Who Beat ISIS, which has been published in more than 14 languages.
Farida is the winner of Polish Foreign Minister’s Pro Dignitate Humana Prize 2017 and the 2017 Marsh Award for peacemaking and peacekeeping by Wilton Park.
He is Chairman of the Board of Sulzer AG, Switzerland, and Board member of Telefonica S.A., Spain, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Group AG, Switzerland.
Founding Partner of Medical Technology Venture Partners, USA, Senior Advisor to
Bain Capital Private Equity, LP, USA and Non-Executive Director Doha Venture Capital LLC, Qatar.
He is Member Emeritus of the Advisory Board of the Economic Development Board of Singapore, Member of the International Advisory Council of Bocconi University and Member of the Advisory Board of Tsinghua University’s School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Beijing.
Former President and CEO of Siemens AG and previously President of Global Human Health and Member of the Executive Board of Merck & Co., Inc., CEO of GE Healthcare Bio-Sciences and member of GE’s Corporate Executive Council, COO and member of the Board of Amersham Plc., senior leadership positions in Aventis and Hoechst.
Ambassador Nicola Clase currently serves as Coordinator for Migration and Refugee Issues at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Nicola Clase served as the Swedish Ambassador to the UK for six years. She has presented two documentaries for the BBC World Service: The Swedish Ambassador’s Guide to Britain and The Swedish Ambassador’s Guide to Eurovision. Nicola Clase held the position as State Secretary for foreign and EU affairs in the Prime Minister’s Office from 2006-2008. As State Secretary for Foreign and EU affairs she served as the Prime Minister’s Sherpa on EU affairs. From 1991 through 1999 and from 2002 through October 2004 Nicola Clase served in the Swedish Foreign Ministry and had postings in London and Copenhagen. She served as chief foreign policy adviser to the leader of the Moderate Party 2000-2002 and 2004-2006. Nicola Clase served as a fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (WCFIA) at Harvard University 1999-2000 and as an associate at Harvard University 2008 - 2009.
Quah uses this to recast analysis of global power shifts, the rise of the east, regional order, and models of global power relations.
Quah is a member of the Spence-Stiglitz Commission on Global Economic Transformation. He is the author of “The Global Economy’s Shifting Centre of Gravity”. Quah gave the third LSE-NUS lecture in 2013, and TEDx talks in 2016, 2014, and 2012. Quah was previously Assistant Professor of Economics at MIT, and then Professor of Economics and International Development, and Director of the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre at LSE. He had also served as LSE’s Head of Department for Economics, and Council Member on Malaysia’s National Economic Advisory Council.
Quah studied at Princeton, Minnesota, and Harvard.
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 Cyber security. Samir is also the Director of the Centre for Peace and Security at the Sardar Patel Police University, Jodhpur, India.
Dr. Kent Davis-Packard is Founder and Executive Director of Women Forward International. Most recently, she founded the SAIS Women Lead Practicum Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She is Features Editor for the Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism journal based at the London School of Economics and a member of the Advisory Board of Kallion, an organization that elevates leadership through the humanities. Previously she was co-Executive Director of Women's Learning Partnership, and a Council on Foreign Relations Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Guest Scholar at the American University in Cairo. As a Presidential Management Fellow, Dr. Davis-Packard played a key role in launching the State Department’s Women in Public Service Project. She also managed the Egypt Desk's human rights portfolio and served as a Political Officer in Syria and Department of Defense Desk Officer for Iraq. Dr. Davis-Packard received her Ph.D. in Middle East studies and master's degree in conflict management and economics from Johns Hopkins SAIS; a master's degree in French and romance philology from Columbia University; a comparative literature Maitrise, Lettres Modernes, from the University of Paris 8; and a BA in English and comparative literature summa cum laude from Cornell University.
Professor Surya P. Subedi, QC, DCL, OBE, obtained his DPhil in Law from the University of Oxford with a prize in 1993. He is Professor of International Law at the University of Leeds. He also teaches as a visiting professor on the Master's programme in international human rights law at the University of Oxford and practices law as a Barrister out of Three Stone Chambers, Lincoln’s Inn, London. He was the UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Cambodia for six years between 2009 and 2015. He has held high level national and international positions with responsibilities for policy formulation and advice. He has published eight books and more than 60 scholarly articles in all major areas of international law in leading international law journals. He has advised a number of governments on international legal matters and acted as a counsel and as an expert witness in cases before higher courts in England and before the International Court of Justice.
Sarah Kreps is a Professor of Government, Adjunct Professor of Law, and Faculty Fellow in the Milstein Program in Technology and Humanity at the Cornell Tech Campus in New York City. She has written five books, including the forthcoming book, Social Media and International Politics (Cambridge University Press). Other books include Taxing Wars: The American Way of War Finance and the Decline of Democracy (2018), Drones: What Everyone Needs to Know (2016), Drone Warfare (2014) and Coalitions of Convenience: United States Military Interventions after the Cold War (Oxford 2011). Her work has also appeared in top political science journals such as the American Political Science Review, World Politics, and International Security, and policy outlets such as Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy. She previously served as an active duty officer in the United States Air Force and is a life member in the Council on Foreign Relations.
Paddy McGuinness advises businesses on crisis, resilience, technology and geo-political issues. He is a Senior Adviser for Brunswick Group and has advisory roles with Glasswall Solutions, C5 Capital, and PoolReinsurance. From 2014 to 2018, Paddy was the UK’s Deputy National Security Advisor for Intelligence, Security and Resilience advising two successive Prime Ministers on the UK’s National Risk Assessment, crisis response and coordination, Cyber strategies and programmes, Counter Terrorism and Hostile State Activities covering Critical National Infrastructure and issues with inward investment. A career Foreign Service officer Paddy has led on Counter Terrorism, aspects of Cyber, the Middle East, Iran, Counter Proliferation and Africa. He served overseas in Yemen, UAE Egypt and Italy. Paddy was part of the Oxford Commission on Technology and Elections. He is Chair of Trustees at St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney.
Claudia Gazzini is the International Crisis Group's senior analyst for Libya. She has covered this role since 2012. Between October 2017 and March 2018 she also served as policy advisor to Ghassan Salamé, Special Representative and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). She researches and produces reports on security, politics and economic governance of Libya, including its oil sector. She travels regularly throughout Libya and engages with the multiple sides of the Libya conflict. Prior to joining Crisis Group, Claudia worked for the Associated Press in Rome and for Reuters in Jakarta. She was Max Weber fellow at the European University Institute in Fiesole (Florence) and visiting fellow at the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University (IL). She did her post-graduate studies in Middle Eastern History at Princeton University and Oxford University.
Susi Dennison is a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations and the director of ECFR's European Power programme. Her topics of focus include human rights, rule of law and justice issues, and the EU's response to the 2015 refugee crisis. At ECFR, Dennison leads the European Power programme, which focuses on the strategy, politics and governance of European foreign policy at this challenging moment for the international liberal order. She previously led ECFR’s foreign policy scorecard project for five years and worked with the MENA programme on North Africa. Before joining ECFR in 2010, Dennison worked for Amnesty International, where she focused on human rights protection and strengthening EU ties with Africa, Asia, and the Americas. She began her career in HM Treasury in the United Kingdom. There she held a range of positions, including with the EU Co-ordination and Strategy team during the Convention on the Future of Europe, where she advised on prison, probation and migration policy in the run-up to the 2004 wave of accession to the EU. Dennison has also advised on enterprise in disadvantaged regions and served in the Private Office of the Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
Sanam Vakil is the deputy head of the Middle East North Africa Programme, where she leads the Future Dynamics in the Gulf project and the Iran Forum. Sanam’s research focuses regional security, Gulf domestic developments and on future trends in Iran’s domestic and foreign policy. She is also the James Anderson professorial lecturer in the Middle East Studies department at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS Europe) in Bologna, Italy.
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. Prior to BuzzFeed, Smith was senior political writer for Politico from 2007 to 2011. Before Politico, he wrote a column and a blog for the New York Daily News, started New York’s first political blog, The Politicker, for the New York Observer, as well as the political site, Room Eight, after working as City Hall Bureau Chief for the New York Sun and as a stringer for the Wall Street Journal in Latvia. Smith has written for publications including the Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Slate, The New York Post, and The New Republic.
Dipayan Ghosh is Co-Director of the Digital Platforms & Democracy Project and Shorenstein Fellow at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he works on digital privacy, artificial intelligence, and civil rights. He is also Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, where he teaches on the economics of internet monopolization. Ghosh previously worked on global privacy and public policy issues at Facebook, where he led strategic efforts to address privacy and security. Prior, Ghosh was a technology and economic policy advisor in the Obama White House. He served across the Office of Science & Technology Policy and the National Economic Council, where he worked on issues concerning big data’s impact on consumer privacy and the digital economy. He has also served as a fellow at New America, the Washington, D.C.-based public policy think tank. Ghosh is the author of the forthcoming Terms of Disservice (Brookings Institution). He received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering & computer science at Cornell University and completed postdoctoral study in the same field at the University of California, Berkeley.
HRH Princess Dana Firas is a global advocate for heritage protection and preservation as a foundation for development, responsible tourism, political identity and participation. Her Royal Highness currently serves as President of the Petra National Trust (PNT), Jordan's oldest national nongovernmental organization in the field of heritage protection and preservation. Her Royal Highness was designated a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in June 2017 by the UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, in recognition of her outstanding commitment to heritage protection and preservation as pillars for sustainable development, and her contribution to responsible tourism and community participation. Her Royal Highness holds a BA degree from Boston University in economics and international relations. She also holds an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science and an MPA from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government focused on sustainable development and environmental policy, where she was a Fulbright Scholar.
Deema Bibi is the CEO of INJAZ, a Jordanian non-profit organization established in 2001 with a mission to inspire and prepare youth to become productive members of the society and accelerate the development of the national economy. Over the past 14 years, Bibi elevated the work scope of INJAZ through strategic plans to ensure high-impact, continuous growth and sustainability. Bibi’s insight and directives enabled INJAZ to develop and introduce a wide array of relevant programs promoting Financial Literacy, Work Readiness, and Business and Social Entrepreneurship. Bibi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Digital Electronics and MBA, and has 28 years of diverse experience, including working in the private sector, the UN, the public and the social sectors. She is recognized both locally and internationally.
Yichen ZHANG is the Chairman and CEO of CITIC Capital Holdings Limited. He founded CITIC Capital in 2002 and has led all phases of the firm’s development since then. Under his leadership, CITIC Capital has led a number of landmark deals, investing in some of China’s leading companies.
He concurrently serves as the Board Chairman of McDonald's China, Harbin Pharmaceutical, and Universal Medical, and he also sits on the boards of Sina Corporation, AsiaInfo, SF Express, the Russia-China Investment Fund, and Cityneon. Mr. Zhang is also a leader in political, economic and social communities. He is a member National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a board member of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Executive Committee member and former chairman of the China Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA),among other positions. Mr. Zhang holds a degree in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Mr. Børge Brende is the President of the World Economic Forum. Previously he served as the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs 2013-17. He has also served as the Cabinet Minister of Trade and Industry and before that as Minister of the Environment. He was a longstanding member of the Norwegian parliament and deputy mayor in his home town of Trondheim. Brende has also been the Chair of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development and also been the Vice-Chair of the China Council for International Environment and Development. He has also previously held the position of Managing Director of the World Economic Forum as well as having been a Member of the Board of Statoil (Equinor). Brende also served as the Secretary General of the Norwegian Red Cross. Currently he serves as a member of Harvard International Negotiation Program, Core Advisory Council and on the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Meetings. As Foreign Minister Brende normalised relations between Norway and China and was together with the Cuban FM the guarantor of the Colombian peace process. During Brende’s tenure as FM Norway doubled foreign assistance for education and humanitarian assistance.
Mr. Murat Emirdag received his MBA from Columbia Business School in New York and holds degrees in Chemical engineering and Mechanical engineering from Bosphorus University in Istanbul. He is fluent in English, German and Turkish. He is CEO of Hepsiburada, the largest e-commerce platform in Turkey and its surrounding region. Before taking over the CEO role at HepsiBurada, where he had been serving as board member, he founded M-Factory Ventures LLC, a strategic advisory and investment firm in the US. Prior to that, Mr. Emirdag held a variety of executive and management roles at leading tech companies such as Instacart (San Francisco), Zynga (San Francisco) and Microsoft (Seattle) over the years. Previously, he also spent time at the Boston Consulting Group in New York and worked at Unilever where he managed different consumer brands in Turkey. He also served on several executive and advisory boards as well as NGOs both in the US and Turkey including Turkish Philanthropy Funds, La Colombe Coffee Roasters, Crescenta Biosciences, The Whole Coffee Company, Borusan Holding, Hepsiburada and World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council.
Ambassador Christian Buck is currently the Director Middle East and North Africa and Deputy Director-General Political Affairs at the German Foreign Office in Berlin. He previously served as German Ambassador to Libya, as Deputy Head of Mission in Abu Dhabi and Kabul, as head of the German Government’s Crisis Center and deputy head of the AFPAK Taskforce, and in various other posts in Bonn, Berlin, Brussels, Kunduz and Tokyo. He holds a PhD in Political Science (Humboldt University Berlin) and MA degrees in International Relations (Niigata, Japan) and Economics (Basel, Switzerland).
Jonathan Tepperman is the Editor-in-Chief of Foreign Policy magazine and the author of "The Fix: How Nations Survive and Thrive in a World in Decline. Tepperman has worked as a speechwriter and a foreign correspondent. Before joining Foreign Policy he was the Managing Editor of Foreign Affairs. Before that, he was deputy editor of the international edition of Newsweek.Tepperman has written for a long list of publications, including Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Newsweek, and others. He has interviewed more than a dozen world leaders, including Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, Japan’s Shinzo Abe, Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Mexico’s Enrique Peña Nieto, Indonesia’s Joko Widodo, and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame.He is the coeditor of the books "The U.S. vs. al Qaeda" (2011), "Iran and the Bomb" (2012), and "The Clash of Ideas" (2012).He has a BA in English from Yale, an MA in law from Oxford, and an LLM in law from New York University. He is vice chairman of the Halifax International Security Forum, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a fellow of the New York Institute of Humanities.
Dr. Elie Abouaoun is the director of Middle East and North Africa Programs, based in USIP's Regional Hub in Tunis, Tunisia. Dr. Abouaoun joined USIP after serving as the executive director of the Arab Human Rights Fund. Prior to this, he was the acting country director and program manager of the Danish Refugee Council in Iraq. Elie spent time working as the program coordinator for Ockenden International – Iraq, and before this, within the Lebanese NGO Arcenciel, he was the director of external relations.Dr. Abouaoun served as a senior trainer and consultant for various international organizations since 1996, including the Council of Europe since 2000. In 2001, he was appointed a member of the Reference Group, established by the Directorate of Education-Council of Europe, to supervise the drafting of COMPASS, a manual for human rights education. He later supervised the manual's adaptation and translation into Arabic to be distributed throughout the Arab region in 2003.Dr. Abouaoun is a visiting lecturer at Notre Dame University-Lebanon and Saint Joseph University-Lebanon on the subjects of human rights, civil society, advocacy and citizenship. He regularly contributes to publications throughout the MENA region and the United States, while serving on the board of directors for several regional organizations. Dr. Abouaoun holds a Master of Business Administration and Management and is a Doctor of Dental Surgery.
Dr. Stefanie Babst has been a member of NATO’s International Staff since 1998. She is currently the Head of the Strategic Analysis Capability for the NATO Secretary General and for the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee. In this capacity, she is responsible for preparing strategic foresight assessments on potential upcoming crisis situations in geographical and functional areas of relevance and concern to NATO, as well as on their implications for the Alliance. Prior to joining SAC in 2012, she occupied various posts in NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division, including that of NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy.She began her career in 1991 as Assistant Professor for International Security Policy at the Institute of Political Science/Christian-Albrechts-University in Kiel, Germany, moving on to become Professor of Russian and East European Studies at the Federal Armed Forces Command & General Staff College in Hamburg.Stefanie is an internationally renowned publisher and speaker of international security issues. She is a member of a number of policy groups and security networks, including Women in International Security (WIIS) and the World Economic Forum. In recognition of her professional achievements, she also received several awards.
Sharmila is Chief Executive of Wilton Park, a forum for global dialogue, convening meetings in the UK and around the world on issues such as global health, security, prosperity, the environment and international justice.Her career spans medical research, business, technology and the media. A biomedical scientist by background, she was Chair of the Human Tissue Authority, regulating live organ donation and the use of tissue in research and Director of External Affairs for the UK’s Medical Research Council.Earlier roles include Chief Executive of the Association of Medical Research Charities, and Chief Operating Officer of BBC Future Media and Technology where she managed the launch of iPlayer. She was also Deputy Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the organisation that regulates assisted reproductive medicine in the UK and advises on embryo research and related bio-ethics issues.Sharmila studied Medicine at the University of Oxford and was a World Fellow at Yale University specialising in innovation and practical cases in bio-ethics.
Joe Cerrell is Managing Director for Global Policy and Advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He oversees the Foundation’s relationships with countries in Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East that are the largest international donors to overseas development. His team also supports the Foundation’s partnerships with corporations, foundations and other non-governmental organizations within these countries to support increased engagement and progress on global health and agriculture. Prior to joining the Gates Foundation in 2001, he served in senior roles in U.S. government and strategy consulting, including in the Clinton White House under former Vice President Al Gore and at APCO Worldwide. Cerrell currently serves on the board of directors for the ONE Campaign. He is based in the Gates Foundation’s Europe and Middle East Office in London.
Sam Daws has spent over 30 years in UN-related roles including as Deputy Director (United Nations) in the UK Cabinet Office, supporting the Prime Minister’s role as Co-Chair of the UN Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and as Senior Principal Research Analyst in the Multilateral Policy Directorate of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. From 2000 to 2003 he served as First Officer in the Executive Office of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York. He subsequently served as Executive Director of UNA-UK, as Senior Advisor and UK Representative to the UN Foundation, and as a Visiting Fellow in International Law at Cambridge University. He currently directs the Project on UN Governance and Reform at Oxford University, and concurrently serves as Special Advisor to the Rector of the United Nations University. His international policy consultancy, 3D Strategy, trains diplomats in multilateral negotiation and helps governments and foundations navigate the politics and processes of the UN, on issues ranging from Security Council elections to climate change policy. He has written or edited fourteen books on the UN including The Oxford Handbook on the United Nations, and appears frequently on Al Jazeera, the BBC and CNN as a media commentator.
Ambassador Ischinger has been Chairman of the Munich Security Conference (MSC) since 2008 and teaches at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, where he is the Director of the Center for International Security Policy (CISP). He advises the private sector, governments, and international organizations on strategic issues. He has published widely on foreign, security and defense policy issues.Ambassador Ischinger had a distinguished diplomatic career. From 2006 to 2008, he was the Federal Republic of Germany's Ambassador in London and from 2001 to 2006 in Washington, DC. He served as Deputy Foreign Minister (State Secretary) of Germany from 1998 to 2001, and as Political Director of the Foreign Ministry from 1995 to 1998.In 2007, he represented the European Union in the Troika negotiations on the future of Kosovo. In 2014, he served as the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-In-Office in the Ukraine crisis. In 2015, he chaired the OSCE “Eminent Persons Panel on European Security”, mandated to offer recommendations on how to build a more resilient European security architecture. From 2008 to 2014, he was also Global Head of Government Relations at Allianz SE, Munich.Wolfgang Ischinger studied law at the universities of Bonn and Geneva and obtained his law degree in 1972. He did graduate and postgraduate work at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and at Harvard Law School, Cambridge/USA. He is a member of the Trilateral Commission and the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and serves on a number of non-profit boards and advisory councils, including the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), the American Academy Berlin, the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS), and Atlantik-Brücke. He is also a member of the Supervisory Board of Hensoldt GmbH and of the International Advisory Council of Investcorp, London.
Ronit Avni is a tech and media entrepreneur and Peabody award-winning producer. Twice named a "DC Power Woman in Tech,” she is founder and CEO of Localized, a Career tech platform that connects university students and recent graduates in emerging markets with global businesses—drawing on diaspora networks to serve as virtual career community at scale. Previously, Ronit founded and led the media organization Just Vision. Her work has won dozens of prizes--including the Puma Creative Impact Award—and was featured in nearly every major news outlet and viewed by millions of people on TV, online, in top film festivals from Tribeca to the Berlinale and in influential settings from TED to the UN. Named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in 2009, a 2018 Halcyon Fellow and a Trailblazer Award recipient from the National Council for Research on Women, Ronit sits on the jury of the Global Teacher Prize and the 100&Change Competition. Born in Montreal, she began her career at WITNESS.org, and now serves on the WITNESS Advisory Council.
Danilo Türk (1952) is emeritus professor of international law at the University in Ljubljana, Slovenia, a diplomat and politician. Much of his work was devoted to human rights. In 1984 -1992 he was member of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, a UN body of independent experts. In that capacity he served, in 1986-1992, as the UN Special Rapporteur on the realization of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In 1985 he drafted the UN Declaration on the right to Development (UN GA res. 41/128). In 1996-1997 he served as member of the UN Human Rights Committee, established by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In 1990-1991 he took part in the drafting of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia by preparing the draft chapter related to human rights and fundamental freedoms. From 1992 to 2000, Mr. Türk was the first Slovene Permanent Representative to the UN in New York and represented Slovenia on the UN Security Council in 1998 -1999. In 2000 he was invited by Mr. Kofi Annan, the then Secretary–General of the UN, to serve as UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs (2000 – 20005). He participated in the preparation of the reform proposals of 2005 which included establishing of the UN Human Right Council.In 2007 he was elected President of the Republic of Slovenia from 2007 to 2012. In 2010 he established his Foundation “Let Them Dream”, assisting medical rehabilitation of children, victims of armed conflicts in Gaza.In 2013 he became member of the World Leadership Alliance - Club de Madrid, an organization of more than 110 former, democratically elected presidents and prime ministers. On 20 October 2019 he was elected President of this organization for the term 2020-2023.
Steve Clemons is Editor at Large of The Hill, America's most read political media publication. Clemons is also host of the weekly Al Jazeera show on American politics and global issues, The Bottom Line. Previously, Clemons served as Editor at Large of The Atlantic and has been a long time politics and economic issues contributor to MSNBC. He is proprietor of the popular political blog, The Washington Note. He also founded and serves as Senior Fellow of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation 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 Senator Jeff Bingaman, and was the founding Executive Director of the Nixon Center, now re-named the Center for National Interest. Clemons serves on the advisory boards of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College and of the Eastern European national security think tank, GLOBSEC.