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Speaker Bios 2016

Ahmed Abbadi, Secretary General, Mohamedia League of Oulemas


Ahmed Abaddi is the secretary-general of Rabita Muhammadia of Ulama, which is the council of religious scholars established by His Majesty King Mohammed VI. Previously, he had been appointed by King Mohammed VI as the king’s member of the Human Rights National Council, as well as the king’s member of the Environmental, Social, and Economic Council, and the Human Rights Consultative Council. In 2002, Abaddi was a visiting scholar in residence in Chicago, teaching sociology at DePaul University, and the University of Chicago, becoming the director of Islamic Affairs there in 2004. Previously, he was a professor at Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakech. Abaddi holds a degree in Islamic studies, and completed post-doctoral studies in the history of religions in Paris-Sorbonne University.

Salem Afeworki, Program Director, Value Sustainability

Salem is the program director of Value Sustainability, a leading provider of advisory services in sustainability, climate change, and community engagement. She is responsible for the company’s integrated strategy to deliver customer solutions to meet their sustainability challenges and to operate in a way that advances environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic success. Applying her corporate and consulting experience to her client’s sustainability priorities, she challenges her clients to set increasingly higher targets that grow their business by making a positive difference in the world. Prior to that, Salem has held numerous management and senior consultant roles in engineering and financial services firms, both in the United States and internationally. She began her career with the United Nations, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication and MSc in Environmental Management & Auditing from Universidad de Leon, Spain.

Masood Ahmed, Former Director of the Middle East and Central Asia, International Monetary Fund


Masood Ahmed will become the president of the Center for Global Development as of January 2017. He obtained his graduate and post-graduate degrees in economics from the London School of Economics, where he also served on the economics faculty. Until recently, he was director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department, a position he held from November 2008 to October 2016. Ahmed had also been the director of the External Relations Department in the IMF from May 2006. From 2003-06 Ahmed served as director general for Policy and International Development at the U.K. Government’s Department for International Development (DFID). In 2000-03, Ahmed was deputy director in the IMF’s Policy Development and Review Department. In this role, he served as senior staff focal point for taking forward the IMF’s policy work in support of low income member countries and its relationship with the World Bank and other development agencies.

Caroline Alexis-Thomas, Health Consultant, Trinidad and Tobago


Caroline Alexis-Thomas is an independent health consultant who has worked with the government of Trinidad and Tobago, Food and Agriculture Organization, UN Development Programme, UN Population Fund, Pan American Health Organization, and International Labour Organization in the areas of HIV and AIDS, chronic non-communicable diseases, and sexual and reproductive health. She lectures in the Behavioral Department at the University of West Indies, Trinidad, and the Masters of Health Administration Program at the University of Trinidad and Tobago. Her research interests are in sociology of health, tobacco control, and diabetes management. She is a registered nurse by profession and has previously served as director of the National AIDS Program in Grenada and as policy analyst and hospital administrator at the Ministry of Health. Alexis-Thomas is a Fulbright scholar and has a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of West Indies and master’s in public health.

Youssef Amrani, Head of Mission, Royal Cabinet, Kingdom of Morocco


Prior to his designation in the Cabinet of His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco in October 2013, Youssef Amrani was minister delegate for foreign affairs and cooperation, a post he held since January 2012. In November 2008, he was appointed secretary general at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, a position he held until his election as secretary general of the Mediterranean Union in July 2011. Amrani has also served as an ambassador of Morocco to Colombia, Chile, and Mexico. From 2003 to 2008, he served as ambassador and director general of bilateral relations in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. He was the head of office of the secretary of state for the Arab Maghreb Union from 1989 to 1992. Afterward, he was appointed as consul general in Barcelona. He holds a degree in economics from the University Mohammed V in Rabat and graduated from the Institute of Management in Boston.

Ali Aslan, Broadcaster, Deutsche Welle


Ali Aslan is a seasoned television presenter and journalist. He has worked for global news networks such as CNN, ABC News, Channel News Asia and Deutsche Welle TV, where he hosted the international talk show “Quadriga.” A frequent conference moderator and public speaker, Aslan has also served as a policy and media advisor to the German government, including the Foreign Office. Aslan has been named a Young Leader by the American Council on Germany, the BMW Foundation, The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), the Bertelsmann Foundation, the Munich Security Conference, and the Atlantik-Bruecke. He is the first German recipient of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations International Fellowship and an alumnus of the Koerber Network Foreign Policy. Aslan holds master’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University. He received his bachelor’s degree in international politics from Georgetown University.

Zeinab Badawi, Broadcaster, BBC


Zeinab Badawi has extensive experience working on a range of programs in television and radio. She is one of the best known broadcast journalists working in the field today. In 2009, she was named International TV Personality of the Year by the Association of International Broadcasters. She is the current chair of the Royal African Society, a Queen’s appointment to the Board of the Historic Royal Palaces, a trustee of BBC Media Action (the charitable arm of the BBC), a vice president of the United Nations Association U.K., and a board member of the African Union Foundation. She is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council for Africa. Badawi studied philosphy, politics and economics at Oxford University and she was awarded a master’s degree with distinction on Middle East history and anthropology at SOAS London University. Badawi is a former trustee of the National Portrait Gallery. She has been a board member of the British Council,  the Centre for Contemporary British History, a former Chair of the London-based freedom of speech campaign organization, Article 19, and a board member of the Overseas Development Institute.

Jordi Bacaria, Professor, Autonomous University of Barcelona  


Jordi Bacaria is a professor of applied economics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). He is also director of the journal Foreign Affairs Latinoamérica published in Mexico. He is a member of Euro-Mediterranean Forum of Economic Science Institutes. He has been dean of the Faculty of Economics at the UAB (1986-1988) and director of the Institute for European Studies (1988-1992, 1994-2000) at the UAB. From 2000 to 2009, he coordinated the Doctoral Program in International Relations and European Integration of the UAB. From 2000 to 2013, he has been co-director of the Institute for European Integration Studies in Mexico, an institution funded by the European Commission and the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico. He is the author of over a hundred publications (articles, book chapters and books) on economic integration, Latin America, Mediterranean economy, monetary institutions, and public choice.

Bertrand Badré, CEO, BlueOrange Capital; Visiting Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics


Bertrand Badré is CEO of BlueOrange Capital and visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute. He was managing director for finance and World Bank Group chief financial officer and oversaw the finance and risk management units across the Group. His areas of expertise include banking, capital markets, the World Bank Group, and international and development finance, including regulation and crisis management. His research focuses on developing the “Billions to Trillions” agenda using capital markets, insurance transformation, and infrastructure investment to spur development. Prior to joining the World Bank in 2013, Badré was the group chief financial officer at Société Générale. He also served as the chief financial officer of Crédit Agricole from 2007-11. Badré is a graduate of Ecole Nationale d’Administration and Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. He also studied history at Paris IV University (La Sorbonne), and graduated from Hautes Etudes Commerciales in Paris business school.

Abdelhak Bassou, Senior Fellow, OCP Policy Center


Abdelhak Bassou occupied several offices within the Directorate General of the Moroccan National Security where he was chief of the Borders’ Division from 1978-93. He was the former director of the Royal Institute of Police in 1998. He also served as the chief of regional security (Errachidia 1999-2003, Sidi Kacem 2003-05) and was also head of the Central General Intelligence from 2006-09. Bassou also contributed to the output of several international organizations’ endeavours including the Council of Arab Interior Ministers from 1986-92, where he represented the Directorate General of National Security in several meetings. Bassou holds a master’s degree in political science and international studies from the Faculty of Law, Economics and Social Sciences of Agdal in Rabat.

Marek Belka, Former Prime Minister, Poland


Marek Belka graduated from the University of Łódź with a master’s degree in economics in 1972 and received his Ph.D. in 1978, which was followed by a postdoctoral degree in economics (“habilitation”) in 1986. Associated with the Institute of Economics of the Polish Academy of Sciences since 1986, Belka was a research fellow at the Columbia and Chicago Universities (1978-79, 1985-86), as well as at the London School of Economics (1990). He received the title of professor of economics in 1994. Belka has published over 100 scientific papers devoted primarily to the theory of money and anti-inflation policy in developing countries. He specializes in applied economics and contemporary economic thought. From 1990-96, he worked as a consultant and advisor at the Polish Ministry of Finance, and subsequently at the Polish Ministry of Ownership Transformations and at the Central Planning Office. He became a consultant to the World Bank in 1996.

Guillaume Xavier-Bender, Transatlantic Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States

Guillaume Xavier-Bender is a transatlantic fellow at The German Marshall Fund of the United States in Brussels, where he works on issues related to political economy, economic security, and the transatlantic economy. Xavier-Bender joined GMF in 2010 as a program associate for economic policy, before becoming a program officer coordinating GMF’s activities related to trade, development, and the transatlantic economy in Brussels. Prior to joining GMF, he worked for the French Prime Minister’s Services in Paris. He holds a master’s degree in international economic policy from Sciences Po in Paris, a master’s degree in diplomacy and strategic negotiations from the Université Paris-Sud XI, and a bachelor’s in international law from the Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas. A native of France, Xavier-Bender has also lived in the United States, Austria, and the Czech Republic.

Rafael Benke,  Vice-Chairman Emeritus, CEBRI


Rafael Tiago Juk Benke is vice chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of the Brazilian Center for International Relation. He is a member of the Council of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo and of the Council of Foreign Relations of the Federation of Industries of Rio de Janeiro. He held several senior positions at Vale, including global head of corporate affairs. He served as legal advisor to Brazil’s Foreign Trade Secretary, consultant to the Organization of American States, and international associate at the World Trade Organization. He is also a former member of Royal Dutch Shell’s External Review Committee on Sustainability. Rafael is an attorney and holds a master’s degree in law of international economic relations, and an LLM in international economic law. He was a visiting scholar at Georgetown University and fellow of the Institute of International Economic Law, in Washington, DC.

Amina Benkhadra, Managing Director, ONHYM


Amina Benkhadra’s career began in 1982 at the Office of Research and Mineral Involvement (BRPM), where she held several positions for the feasibility of mining projects and for the portfolio management of more than 30 subsidiaries. In 1994, she was appointed director of mines at the Ministry of Energy and Mines and then Secretary of State for Mining Development. In this capacity, Benkhadra led and supervised the implementation of a new strategy for the development of the mining sector and the drafting of the Moroccan coal mining restructuring plan. She became Director of the BRPM in 1998, then Director General of the National Bureau of Research and Petroleum Operations “ONAREP,” before being appointed director general of ONHYM. She studied civil engineering of mines at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines in Nancy in 1978 and holds a Ph.D. in mining sciences and engineering (ENSM) Paris.

Assia Bensalah Alaoui, Ambassador at Large of His Majesty Mohamed VI, Kingdom Morocco

Bensalah Alaoui_Assia

Assia Bensalah Alaoui is ambassador at large of His Majesty Mohamed VI, the King of Morocco. She also serves as co-president of the OCEMO and the vice-president of the Association of Moroccan–Japanese Friendship. She has worked as professor of international law at the University Mohammed V in Rabat, as co-president of the High Level Advisory Group on the Dialogue between Peoples and Cultures in the Euro–Mediterranean Area, as member of the World Bank’s Council of Advisors for MENA, and as a member of the Board of Trustees of ICARDA. She holds a master’s degree in English studies and a Ph.D. in law from Paris II University.


Pascal Boniface, Director, French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs


Pascal Boniface is the founding director of the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS), based in Paris. He is professor of international relations in the Institut d’Etudes européennes (Institute for European Studies) in the University of Paris-8. Boniface has published or edited more than 50 books dealing with international relations, nuclear deterrence and disarmament, European security, French international policy, sport in the international relations, and also the conflict in the Middle East and its impact in France. Boniface publishes several articles in international and strategic reviews, and is regularly present in national and international media. He is a columnist for La Croix (France), La Vanguardia (Spain), and Al Ittihad (United Arab Emirates). He has been made a Chevalier of the French Award for distinguished services in public and private capacity and Officer of the Legion of Honour.

Mohamed Boussaid, Minister of Economy and Finance, Kingdom of Morocco


H.E Mohammed Boussaid is the Minister of Economy and Finance for Kingdom of Morocco. H.E Boussaid has been a Governor of Arab Monetary Fund since November 2013. He serves as a Governor of The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He serves as a Governor of Islamic Development Bank. He serves as a Director of S.A OCP. He holds an engineering degree from the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées and a master’s of business administration from ENPC’s International School of Business. H.E Boussaid has worked as a consulting engineer at Banque Commerciale du Maroc. He subsequently served as deputy managing director of a chemical production and trading company. Mr. Boussaid was a member of the National Rally of Independents (RNI) and, from 1995 to 1998, held the post of chief of staff of the Minister of Public Works and then chief of staff to the minister of agriculture, equipment, and environment.

Mark Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Civil Aviation, St. Kitts and Nevis


Mark Brantley is currently the minister of foreign affairs and civil aviation in the Federation of St. Kitts-Nevis. Brantley is a lawyer by profession; he has practiced extensively before the High Courts and Court of Appeal. He is a member of the Bar in Anguilla, Grenada, Antigua & Barbuda, and Dominica and holds membership in several international professional associations such as the Commercial Bar Association and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. Brantley graduated from the University of the West Indies – Cave Hill Campus with a bachelor of laws and from the University of Oxford with a bachelor of civil law. He also attended the Norman Manley Law School where he earned his Legal Education Certificate.

Kerry Buck, Ambassador to NATO, Permanent Representation of Canada to NATO


Kerry Buck is Canada’s ambassador and permanent representative to the North Atlantic Council (NATO). Buck joined Canada’s then Department of External Affairs and International Trade in 1991. She most recently served as political director and assistant deputy minister for international security and political affairs from 2011 to 2015. Prior to that, she held assistant deputy minister portfolios for Africa and for Latin America and the Caribbean, and was the head of the Afghanistan Task Force. She has also served in a number of other senior positions at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, including director general for the Middle East and Maghreb, for Afghanistan, and for public diplomacy and federal-provincial affairs, and director for human rights. She was also posted to the Canadian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.

María Fernanda Cañas, Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Embassy of Argentina  


María Fernanda Cañas is an Argentinean diplomat and professor. She is currently ambassador to the United Kingdom. As part of the 1971 Communication Accords between Argentina and The United Kingdom, Cañás worked as an English teacher in Falkland Islands. Until 2013, she worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Culture as an assistant director of the secretary of Falkland Islands Affairs.


Otaviano Canuto, Executive Director, The World Bank Group; Senior Fellow, OCP Policy Center


Otaviano Canuto is a senior fellow at OCP Policy Center and, for a second time, executive director at the Board of the World Bank for Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Philippines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. A former vice president and senior advisor at the World Bank, he has also previously served as an executive director of the IMF and as a vice president of the Inter-American Development Bank. Prior to those positions, he was state secretary for international affairs at the Ministry of Finance in Brazil and a professor of economics at University of São Paulo and ENCAMP.


Jonathan Capehart, Editorial Board Member, The Washington Post


Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jonathan Capehart is a member of The Washington Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog. He is an MSNBC contributor and has served as a substitute anchor on “The Cycle,” “Martin Bashir,” and “Way Too Early.” He also has been a member of the Reporters Roundtable on “ABC News’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” and substitute host on “The Brian Lehrer Show” and “The Leonard Lopate Show” on WNYC. Capehart was the deputy editorial page editor of New York Daily News from 2002 to 2004, and served on that newspaper’s editorial board from 1993 to 2000. In 1999, his 16-month editorial campaign to save the famed Apollo Theatre in Harlem earned him and the board the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing.

Maruxa Cardama, Executive Project Coordinator, Communitas Coalition


Practitioner of sustainable integrated urban and territorial development, Maruxa Cardama’s 14-year career spans strategic policy analysis and advocacy, multi-stakeholder partnerships, and capacity building initiatives with multilateral institutions, national, and subnational governments from both developed and developing countries. A prolific public speaker and analyst, Cardama is founder and coordinator of Communitas, an international, philanthropy-funded, multi-stakeholder project that pioneered knowledge-based advocacy for the inclusion of sustainable urban development in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda with SDG11; and she coordinated a coalition of practitioners around United Nations intergovernmental processes. Cardama also serves as associate fellow at the Tellus Institute, and external cooperation advisor to the Conference of European Peripheral Maritime Regions CPMR. In 2010-12, she ran nrg4SD — an international network of subnational governments — and co-facilitated the engagement of subnational and local authorities in the UN Rio +20 Conference. Cardama holds an LL.B, an LL.M. in European Law, and a master’s degree in management of cooperation projects.

Jorge Castañeda, Global Distinguished Professor of Politics and Latin American and Caribbean Studies, New York University


Jorge Castañeda was foreign minister of Mexico from 2000 to 2003, focusing on U.S.–Mexican relations, joint diplomatic initiatives on the part of Latin American nations, and the promotion of Mexican economic and trade relations globally. He is currently a professor of Politics and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University and a member of the Board of Human Rights Watch. He has published more than 20 books and is a regular columnist for the Mexican daily Milenio, TIME Magazine and Spanish daily El País. Castañeda received undergraduate degrees from Princeton University and Université de Paris-I (Pantheon-Sorbonne), a master’s degree from The École Pratique de Hautes Études, Paris I, and his Ph.D. in economic history from the University of Paris-I.

Philippe Chalmin, Founding Chairman, Cyclope


Philippe Chalmin is professor of Economic History at Paris-Dauphine University where he directs the Masters in International Affairs. He is a graduate of HEC, a holder of the agrégation in history, and holds a Ph.D. in literature. A member of the Council of Economic Analysis appointed by the Prime Minister, he is the founding chairman of Cyclope, the main European research institute on commodity markets which annually publishes the Cyclope report on the economy and global markets. In October 2010, he was appointed chairman of the Observatory on Agricultural and Food Prices and Margins (Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Economy and Finance). He is the author of close to 40 publications, including the most recent The World is Hungry (2009), Le siècle de Jules (2010), Demain, j’ai 60 ans, journal d’un économiste (2011), and Crises 1929, 1974, 2008 Histoire et espérances (2013).

Carolina Chimoy, Broadcaster, Deutsche Welle Latin American


Carolina Chimoy is a political correspondent, news presenter and a host of Quadriga, the international talk show of Germany’s international television network, Deutsche Welle (DW). Chimoy has interviewed head of states from Latin America, ranging from Evo Morales to international figures as Patricia Espinosa. Chimoy is also correspondent of DW in different Latin American countries. She has recently covered the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff as well as the presidential elections in Peru and the current crisis in Venezuela. She also anchors the primetime news program and produces and presents the flagship business show “Business Brief.” Chimoy has served as a policy advisor in the German parliament, consulting the chairman of human rights in topics related to Latin America. She also works as a media trainer for the German Armed Forces in Berlin. Prior to joining DW and parliament, Carolina worked extensively on development policy and on fostering cooperation between Germany and Latin America.

Vasco Cordeiro, President, Government of the Azores


Vasco Alves Cordeiro took office as president of the XII Regional Government of the Azores on November 4, 2016 following the regional elections. He started his political career in 1996 when he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of the Azores and held the position of leader of the parliamentary group of PS/Açores in the VII Legislative Period (2000-03). In 2003 and 2004, he served as Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Fisheries of the VIII Government of the Azores. While in office, he acquired international experience in representing the Azores in several bodies, including the Committee of Regions, Conference Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and the Conference of Presidents of Outermost Regions of Europe. In 2013, Cordeiro was elected, in Paris, during the R20- Regions of Climate Action General Assembly, as vice president of the Assembly of European Regions.

Tulin Daloglu, Columnist, Al-Monitor‘s Turkey Pulse


Tulin Daloglu is a columnist for Al-Monitor‘s Turkey Pulse. She has written extensively for various Turkish and American publications, including The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, The Middle East Times, Foreign Policy, The Daily Star (Lebanon) and the SAIS Turkey Analyst Report. She also had a regular column at The Washington Times for almost four years. In the 2002 general election, Daloglu ran for a seat in the Turkish parliament as a member of the New Turkey Party. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in international relations from Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey and completed an master’s degree in journalism and public affairs at American University in Washington, DC.


Jessica De Alba-Ulloa, Professor, Universidad Anáhuac México 
Jessica de Alba-Ulloa is a researcher and professor in the School of Global Studies at Universidad Anáhuac México, where she started as lecturer in 2004. Currently she is a member of the National Researcher System and an O’Gorman Fellow, ILAS-University of Columbia. Alba-Ulloa is a member of the Anahuac Research Center on International Relations, and the Centre d’Analyse des Différends et leurs Modes de Solution, Faculté Jean Monnet, the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations; the Mexican Association of International Studies. She is chair of the Foreign Policy Committee, the International Studies Association and has been co-editor of the International Organizations of the Compendium Project since 2014. She has taught at the Université de Paris –XI, Faculté Jean Monnet, Centre d’études Diplomatiques et Stratégiques in Paris, and at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico.

Marcus de Freitas, Professor of Law and International Relations, Armando Alvares Penteado Foundation; Senior Fellow, OCP Policy Center


Marcus De Freitas is the director of Obelisk Global Fund, a private sector investment company. He also teaches international law and international relations at The Armando Alvares Penteado Foundation (FAAP), where he was the international relations program coordinator. He has been a visiting professor of the INSEEC Group in Paris and Bordeaux since 2015, where he has taught subjects related global business and BRICS. Since January 2015, De Freitas has been a senior non-resident fellow of the OCP Policy Center in Rabat, Morocco, working particularly on global geopolitics. He received his LL.B. from the University of Sao Paulo, LL.M. from Cornell University and master’s degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies – SAIS.


Thierry de Montbrial, Founder and Executive Chairman, French Institute of International Relations (IFRI)


Thierry de Montbrial is the founder and executive chairman of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), founded in 1979. He is Professor Emeritus at the conservatoire national des arts et métiers. In 2008, he launched the World Policy Conference. He has been a member of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques of the Institut de France since 1992, and is a member of a number of foreign academies including the Russian Academy of Sciences. He serves on the board or advisory board of a number of international companies and institutions. De Montbrial chaired the Department of Economics at the École polytechnique from 1974-92, andwas the first chairman of the Foundation for Strategic Research (1993-2001). He was also entrusted with the creation of the Policy Planning Staff (Centre d’analyse et de prevision) at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and was its first director (1973-79).

Thierry Déau, CEO, Meridiam


Thierry Déau founded Meridiam in 2005 with the support of the Crédit Agricole group. He is currently Meridiam’s chairman and chief executive officer, as well as its main shareholder. Déau graduated from Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées engineering school in Paris and began his career in Malaysia with the construction firm GTM International. He then joined France’s Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations where he held several positions with its engineering subsidiary Egis Projects, moving up from project manager, then director of concession projects, and to his appointment as chief executive officer of Egis in 2001. In addition to being in charge of international operations for the Egis Group executive committee and serving on its risk management committee, Déau was a member and chairman on the boards of several subsidiaries.

Karen Donfried, President, The German Marshall Fund of the United States


Karen Donfried assumed the leadership of The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) in April 2014. Donfried most recently was the special assistant to the president and senior director for European affairs on the National Security Council at the White House. Prior to the White House, Donfried served as the national intelligence officer for Europe on the National Intelligence Council, the intelligence community’s center for strategic thinking. Donfried first joined GMF in 2001 after having served for ten years as a European specialist at the Congressional Research Service. From 2003 to 2005, she was responsible for the Europe portfolio on the U.S. Department of State’s Policy Planning Staff. Her second term of service at GMF was 2005 to 2010, first as senior director of policy programs and then as executive vice president. She has a Ph.D. and MALD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a Magister from the University of Munich, Germany. She holds a bachelor’s degree in government and German from Wesleyan University.

Kimberly Dozier, Contributing Writer, The Daily Beast


Kimberly Dozier is a contributing writer at The Daily Beast and a CNN Global Affairs analyst. Since 1992, she has covered conflicts across the Middle East and Europe and national security policy in Washington, DC as a 17 years award-winning CBS News correspondent and later as AP’s intelligence writer. Dozier covered the war in Iraq for CBS News from 2003, until she was wounded in a car bombing in 2006. Her best-selling 2008 memoir, Breathing the Fire: Fighting to Survive and Get Back to the Fight detailed the aftermath of the car bomb attack in Baghdad that killed her CBS News team and members of the U.S. Army patrol they were embedded with, and her journey to recovery. Proceeds from her paperback and e-book go to charities for the combat-injured, including Fisher House. Dozier holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in foreign affairs.

Eduardo Duhalde, Former President, Argentina


Eduardo Duhalde is a politician, lawyer, and Argentine notary. He has held various political positions in his career, starting as a councilor and later as mayor of his city. He was governor-elect of the Province of Buenos Aires, the most important province of Argentina, and occupied the vice presidency of the nation during the first term of President Menem. His highest political position came when he assumed the position of president of the Argentine Republic. He had a lot of influence in the formation of Mercosur and Unasur, the great projects of integration of the South American countries. Duhalde has written many books on politics and he has a broad perspective of social viewpoints. He is currently the president of the organization M.P.A, Argentine Productive Movement, where he works as a political and research consultant. Duhalde has remained involved in political and educational work.

Karim El Aynaoui, Managing Director, OCP Policy Center 


Karim El Aynaoui is currently managing director of OCP Policy Center, a think tank based in Rabat. He also serves as advisor to the CEO and Chairman of OCP Group, a global leader in the phosphate sector. From 2005-12, he worked at Bank Al-Maghrib, the Central Bank of Morocco. He was the director of economics and international relations, where he provided strategic leadership in defining and supporting monetary policy analysis and strategy. He was also in charge of the Statistical and International Relations Divisions of the Central Bank, led the research division and was a member of the Governor’s Cabinet. Before joining Bank Al-Maghrib, El Aynaoui worked for eight years at the World Bank as an economist. El Aynaoui is a board member of the OCP Foundation, a member of the Strategic Advisory Board of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) and a member of the COP22 Scientific Committee.

Steven Erlanger, London Bureau Chief, The New York Times


Steven Erlanger became the London bureau chief of The New York Times in August 2013, after five years as bureau chief in Paris and, before that, four years as bureau chief in Jerusalem. He has served as Berlin bureau chief, bureau chief for Central Europe and the Balkans based in Prague, and chief diplomatic correspondent based in Washington, DC. From 1991 to 1995, he was posted in Moscow, after being Bangkok bureau chief and Southeast Asia correspondent from 1988 to 1991. A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, he graduated from Harvard College in 1974 and studied Russian at St. Antony’s College, Oxford.

Obiageli Ezekwesili, Co-Founder, Transparency International


Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili is a leading chartered accountant and co-founder of the global anti-corruption group, Transparency International. She is also one of the co-conveners of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign to find the 300 Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram in 2014. She has held several key positions within the Nigerian government including senior special assistant to the President of Nigeria on budget monitoring and price intelligence, Minister of Mineral Resources and Minister for Education. During her time as education minister, she led an extensive and comprehensive reform program, and her blueprint for overhauling the sector is a reference document from which other countries in Africa have borrowed ideas. A former vice-president of the World Bank’s Africa Region, Ezekwesili was recently, a senior advisor on Africa Economic Development Policy at the Open Society Foundations in New York, assisting the Mano River governments with economic policy reforms.

Michael Franken, Vice Admiral, Deputy to the Commander for Military Operations, U.S. Africa Command


Vice Adm. Michael T. Franken graduated from the College of Engineering at the University of Nebraska and from the College of Physics at the Naval Postgraduate School. He attended the Brookings Institute, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI program, the Darden School, and various other executive education courses. Franken’s previous flag assignments include service as the initial director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), special assistant to the director of the Navy Staff, the Joint Staff J5 interim chief of staff, the Department of the Navy chief of legislative affairs, command of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HoA) in Djibouti, Africa, and nearly three years as vice director, Strategy, Plans and Policy (J5) at U.S. Central Command. Franken is the U.S. Africa Command’s deputy for military operations.

Nabila Freidji, CEO, Cash One


Nabila Freijdi is the chief executive officer of Cash One, a Central Bank-regulated financial organization that distributes financial products and services (e.g., money transfer, currency exchange, consumer credit, ATMs). She is the founder and chief executive officer of MediaRep, a media representative firm that specializes in selling advertising time and space. She is also the president of the Money Transfer Section at the APSF (Association Professionnelle des Societes de Financement). Freijdi is a former member of the Global Agenda Council on both Migration and the Future of the Middle East at the World Economic Forum. She is an expert on the Future of the Mediterranean Region at the World Economic Forum. She is also a board member of the Women’s Tribune, a founding member of Sister Cities Africa, and so on.

Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, President, Institut PanAfrican de Strategies


Before assuming the post of minister of state for foreign affairs of Senegal from 2000 to 2009, Cheikh Tidiane Gadio was the director for Africa at SIT in Vermont (International Training School) and coordinator for West Africa of the World Links for Development program (WordLD) at the World Bank in Washington. In 2012, he was among the candidates for the Senegalese presidential election. After he received his master’s degree in sociology and communication at the University Paris VII, Gadio received his DEA in sociology of mass communications at the University René Descartes Sorbonne. He taught for four years at the University of Dakar, during which he obtained his certificate of practical training in communication and program development technologies for audiovisual education in Montreal. He received his Ph.D. in communication and international development at The Ohio State University.

Geraldine Gardner, Director, Urban and Regional Policy Program, The German Marshall Fund of the United States


Geraldine Gardner is the director of GMF’s Urban and Regional Policy (URP) program, where she leads the program’s transatlantic initiatives to convene policymakers and practitioners from U.S. and European cities to explore key issues in the transatlantic urban agenda. Gardner’s expertise lies in the integrated policies and cross-sector partnerships needed to build sustainable and inclusive cities, while increasing the economic competitiveness of city-regions in the global arena. Under her leadership, the five-member URP team actively stewards a transatlantic network of urban leaders in over 25 cities and manages signature initiatives including BUILD, Dialogues for Change, Transatlantic Cities Network, and the URP Policy Fellowship. Prior to joining GMF in 2012, Gardner served in key leadership positions under three different mayors of the District of Columbia. Most notably, she served for five years as the associate director for neighborhood planning in the Washington, DC Office of Planning.

Roberto Gianetti da Fonseca, CEO, Kaduna Consulting Group


Roberto Gianetti da Fonseca is president at the Brasilis Comércio Exterior S.A., Brex Group Ltd., Kaduna Consultoria e Participações, and Mineração São Francisco de Assis. He is also board member of Multigrain S.A. and Search Minerals Inc. (Canada), chairman of LIDE Infrastructure, and president of CEAL — Latin America Business Council — Brazil. He was director and president at the Cotia Trading S.A. (1977-88), former executive secretary of Foreign Trade Council (CAMEX), from 2000-02, council attached to the Presidency of Republic. He was executive director of the Department of Trade and Foreign Affairs (DEREX) at the Federation of Industries of State of Sao Paulo (FIESP) for the period of 2004-13. He was also president at FUNCEX — Fundação Centro de Estudos de Comércio Exterior (2004-09) and president at the Brazilian Export Beef Association (ABIEC) (2008-10). He is author of the book Memórias de um Trader (2002).

Paulo Gomes, President, Paulo Gomes & Partners


After eight years as executive director on the board of the World Bank Group representing 25 African nations, Mr. Gomes launched Constelor Resources in 2006. Constelor is committed to executing a broad range of transactions across Africa, with a special focus on the mining sector. Gomes started his career at the World Bank when he became alternate executive director in 1998. In 2002, he was promoted to the executive directorship and became one of 24 members of the World Bank board tasked with leading strategic and investment activities. In that role, Mr. Gomes has sought to serve the African nations with passion and innovation. He introduced among other ideas, “World Bank Board Africa Day,” the “Action Plan for Africa,” and the “Fund for Competitiveness and Growth.” For 4 years, he also served as Vice President of the Governance Committee tasked with reforming the Bank’s decision making processes. Gomes obtained a Masters degree with Honors in Economic Policy and Management from the Kennedy School of Government.

Jessica Gottsleben, #ILookLikeAPolitician Ambassador, Running Start 

Jessica Gottsleben is the first-ever elected ambassador of Running Start, a nonprofit organization that trains young women to run for elected office. In 2016, Gottsleben was honored at the 10th annual Young Women to Watch Awards in Washington, DC as the national Political Rising Star award recipient. Gottsleben is a 2016 graduate of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University, and a 2014 inductee to the Order of Pegasus, the most prestigious and significant award attainable at the University of Central Florida, from which she holds two bachelor’s degrees with honors in radio and television broadcast journalism and political science, and a leadership studies certificate. She previously served as a UNESCO delegate on climate change, as a multimedia journalist and director, as a fellow on global peace and security, and most recently as a U.S. Congressional fellow on interdisciplinary policy and constitutional law.

Nik Gowing, International Presenter


Nik Gowing was a main presenter for the BBC’s international 24-hour news channel BBC World News from 1996 to 2014. He has presented on “The Hub with Nik Gowing,” “BBC World Debates,” “Dateline London,” plus provided location coverage of major global stories. For 18 years, Gowing worked at ITN where he was bureau chief in Rome and Warsaw, and diplomatic editor for Channel Four News. He has been a member of the councils of Chatham House, the Royal United Services Institute, the Overseas Development Institute, the board of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, and the advisory council at Wilton Park.


Ettore Greco, Director, Istituto Affari Internazionali


Ettore Greco is director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and also heads the transatlantic program of the institute. He worked as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution from January 2006 to July 2007. He taught at the universities of Parma and Bologna. From 2000 to 2006 he worked as correspondent for the Economist Intelligence Unit. From 1993 to 2000 he directed the IAI’s program on Central and Eastern Europe. Also he was deputy director of the IAI from 1997 to 2008. From 2000 to 2006 he was editor of The International Spectator. He is the author of a number of publications on the EU’s institutions and foreign policy, transatlantic relations, and the Balkans. He has been a freelance journalist since 1988.

Mohamed Horani, CEO, Hightech Payment Systems


Mohamed Horani is founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Hightech Payment Systems (HPS). He is the architect of PowerCARD, a multi-channel payment software developed by HPS, and is a pioneer in the global payment industry, leading HPS to become one of the top payment solution vendors within ten years of its inception in 1995. He holds a degree in engineering from the National Institute of Statistics and Applied Economy, Rabat -Morocco (1974). HPS is a leading payment software company providing electronic payment solutions for financial institutions, processors and national switches all around the world. Through its all-in-one platform used by more than 350 issuers, acquirers and national switches, HPS solutions process any card type (credit, debit, prepaid, loyalty, corporate and fuel) via any channel (ATM, POS, internet and mobile) for any kind of merchant. HPS operates in over 85 countries in the 5 continents and counts among its clients several top 100 financial institutions worldwide.

Dana J. Hyde, CEO, Millennium Challenge Corporation


Dana J. Hyde was nominated by President Obama to serve as chief executive officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in September 2013, and she was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in May 2014. As CEO, Hyde oversees a portfolio of roughly $4 billion in economic assistance programs aimed at reducing poverty, spurring growth, and advancing America’s interests around the globe. A former State Department and White House official, Hyde brings more than 20 years of experience in law and public policy to MCC. At MCC, she has directed new agency partnerships in Asia and some of the poorest regions in Africa, elevated MCC’s focus on policy reforms to catalyze private investment, and worked to ensure that American aid dollars are efficiently and effectively reaching those in need. Hyde is a graduate of Georgetown Law School and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Yves Jégourel, Senior Fellow, OCP Policy Center


Yves Jégourel is associate professor in finance at the University of Bordeaux (France), and affiliate professor at Toulouse Business School. Jégourel conducts research in commodity economics and financial risk management. His most recent research examines the link between the volatility of the futures market, exchange rate uncertainty and the export of cereals. He is also the head of a master program focused on banking, finance and international trading both at the University of Bordeaux and at Vietnam National University (Hanoi, Vietnam). Jégourel has authored several books in the field of finance, including a work studying financial derivatives. He holds a BA from Middlesex University and a MsC and PhD from the University of Bordeaux. Jégourel is a former auditor with the Institute of Higher National Defence Studies (IHEDN).

Mats Karlsson, Director, The Swedish Institute of International Affairs


Mats Karlsson is the director of The Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI). Karlsson previously served as vice president of external affairs and United Nations affairs at World Bank and as World Bank country director for Maghreb. Early in his career, Karlsson worked at the Swedish Foreign Ministry as chief economist. He served as foreign policy advisor to Swedish Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson’s Commission on Global Governance, as well as the Swedish state secretary for international development cooperation. He began his career in development when he joined the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency in 1983.


Alan Kasujja, Broadcaster, BBC 


Alan Kasujja is widely regarded as one of Africa’s most prominent journalists. At the moment, he presents “Newsday,” the BBC World Service’s award winning flagship news program. It is considered the biggest program of its kind in the world with tens of millions of listeners across the globe. Kasujja has also reported for the U.K.’s most influential breakfast program, Radio 4’s Today, and for BBC TV. He recently presented a highly acclaimed three part documentary series, My Africa, exploring the social and economic transformation of the continent. Before joining the BBC, Kasujja was the host of Uganda’s leading morning radio program on Capital FM. He also worked in Nairobi and presented the East African version of the TV series Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

Soufiane Khebbaz, Program Assistant, Derb Ghaled Association for Development


Soufiane Khebbaz is a professor with the Ministry of Education and a program assistant with Derb Ghalef Association for Development. Khebbaz worked in the nonprofit community in Casablanca as an office manager and a program coordinator for the past six years. Khebbaz is a graduate of SIT Graduate Institute, a program of World Learning, where he received a master’s degree in intercultural service, leadership, and management. He was a Fulbright teacher assistant and participated in training for intercultural communication at Stanford University, and has recently joined a Ph.D. research program under the theme “The Intersection of Gender and Ethnic Identities in the Moroccan Tourism Industry.” He also participated in the International Visitors Leaders Program funded by the U.S. State Department and the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He is working on several articles and other projects that grapple with urban social change and its connections to larger political struggles and the remaking of material space.

Adnan Kifayat, Co-Chair, U.S. Homeland Security Advisory Committee; Senior Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States


Adnan Kifayat is a senior resident fellow at GMF, where he advises on GMF programs to strengthen leadership development and strategies for engagement in the transatlantic region, as well as GMF’s Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative.  He is also Head of Global Security Ventures for the Gen Next Foundation. Kifayat joined GMF following a 15 year public service career at the White House, State Department, and Treasury Department. Kifayat served as Secretary of State John Kerry’s acting special representative to Muslim communities, creating initiatives to broaden and deepen U.S. diplomatic engagement with Muslim communities worldwide. As senior advisor to the under secretary of state for public diplomacy and inaugural director of the Global Strategic Engagement Center (GSEC), he led initiatives to help advance to use of social media tools by the State Department. Kifayat Co-Chairs the U.S. Homeland Security Advisory Committee’s Countering Violent Extremism Subcommittee.

Katherine Almquist Knopf, Director, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, U.S. Department of Defense


Kate Almquist Knopf is director of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, an academic institution within the U.S. Department of Defense. She has spent most of her career focused on the intersection of security and development in Africa. She held several senior positions at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Knopf has also been a senior advisor for the Crisis Management Initiative, a conflict mediation organization founded by former Finnish President and Nobel Laureate Martti Ahtisaari, and a visiting policy fellow at the Center for Global Development. She was chief of staff for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority and for the Executive Office for Administration and Finance of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She holds an master’s degree in international relations from Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC, and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.

Youssef Kobo Aouriaghel, Communication Adviser for the Secretary of Equal Opportunities, Bianca Debaets

Belgian Communication Adviser working for the Christian Democrats. Former Adviser to the Secretary of Equal Opportunities Bianca Debaets. Former Television producer for Panenka TV. Opinion leader, publicist, author, public speaker and public commentator. he predominantly write about multiculturalism, migration, islam, Middle East and World Affairs. Author of books on multiculturalism in Europe and the Middle East.


Jim Kolbe, Former Member of Congress; Senior Transatlantic Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States


Jim Kolbe advises The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) on trade matters as well as issues of effectiveness of U.S. assistance to foreign countries, on the U.S.–EU relationship, and on migration and its relationship to development. From 1985 to 2007, Kolbe served in the U.S. House of Representatives, as a Republican Congressman for Arizona. He now serves as a senior advisor and strategic consultant to McLarty Associates and is president of JTK Consulting. He currently chairs a task force funded by the Finnish Foreign Ministry looking at private sector investment to assure food sustainability in sub-Saharan Africa. Kolbe was commissioned in the United States Naval Reserves in 1965 and served for more than ten years before retiring as a Lieutenant Commander. Kolbe graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in political science, and from Stanford University with a master’s of business administration and a concentration in economics.

Manjeet Kripalani, Executive Director, Gateway House


Manjeet Kripalani is the co-founder of Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations, and acts as the executive director of the institution. Prior to founding of Gateway House, Kripalani was India Bureau chief of Businessweek magazine. She has been awarded the Gerald Loeb Award, the George Polk Award, Overseas Press Club Award, and Daniel Pearl Award. Kripalani was an Edward R. Murrow press fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. She has served as deputy press secretary to Steve Forbes during his first run as Republican candidate for U.S. president and as press secretary for the Lok Sabha campaign for independent candidate Meera Sanyal in Mumbai. Kripalani. She holds two bachelor’s degrees from Bombay University in law and in English and history, and a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University in New York. She is a member of the Asian advisory board of the International Centre for Journalists and the Overseas Press Club.

Hans Kundnani, Senior Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States


Hans Kundnani is a senior transatlantic fellow with The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) Europe program, based in Berlin. He previously worked as the research director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, where he worked for five years. He is also an associate fellow at the Institute for German Studies at Birmingham University. His research focuses on German and European foreign policy. He is the author of two books, Utopia or Auschwitz. Germany’s 1968 Generation and the Holocaust (2009) and The Paradox of German Power (2014). His articles and papers have been published in journals such as Foreign AffairsThe Washington Quarterly, and Internationale Politik, and newspapers such as The Financial TimesLe Monde, and Die Zeit. Kundnani studied German and philosophy at Oxford University and journalism at Columbia University in New York, where he was a Fulbright scholar.

Christian Leffler, Deputy Secretary General, European External Action Service


Christian Leffler took up his current position as deputy secretary general for economic and global issues in the European External Action Service in September 2015. Early in his career, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in politics and international relations from the LSE. After doctoral studies at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva he joined the Swedish Foreign Service in 1980. Postings to Cairo and Paris were followed by the Political Affairs Department of the Ministry in Stockholm. After participating in the accession negotiations and in establishing the new working structures of the representation in the first year of active Swedish European Union membership, he became the first Swedish “Antici,” responsible under the permanent representative for policy coordination in the work in the Council of Ministers. From the beginning of 2011 to 2015 he was Managing Director for Americas with the European External Action Service.

Benoît Leguet, Managing Director, I4CE – Institute for Climate Economics


Benoît Leguet is the managing director of I4CE – Institute for Climate Economics, a think tank on the economics of the transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy initiated by Caisse des Dépôts and Agence Française de Développement. Since 2002, Leguet has been advising public and private decision-makers on issues related to the transition to a low-carbon economy, including policies and economic tools. He lectures on the economics of climate change in various masters programs. He is also a member of several expert groups, inter alia: the Kyoto Protocol’s Article 6 Supervisory Committee, the Advisory Board on Economic matters to the French Minister for Environment, and the Goodplanet Foundation’s Scientific Committee.Prior to joining the Caisse des Dépôts group, Benoît worked on greenhouse gas emission verification assignments, particularly in the energy sector and on advisory assignments on the economics of climate change, for public and private clients.

Bernardino Leon, European Union Special Representative (EUSR) for the Southern Mediterranean


Bernardino Leon is the European Union special representative (EUSR) for the Southern Mediterranean. In 2008, he was appointed secretary general at the Spanish prime minister’s office, which involves, among other responsibilities, the role as the main foreign policy advisor to the prime minister of Spain. In 2009, he was appointed, keeping his post as secretary general of the presidency, Sherpa for the G20, a forum in which he participated in all the negotiations and summits to date, which has involved holding a very active role in major international economic and financial issues. He has published and translated several books and articles on the Arab Muslim world and its relationship with the West, and has given numerous lectures on these issues.

Ian O. Lesser, Vice President, The German Marshall Fund of the United States


Ian O. Lesser leads The German Marshall Fund of the United States’ (GMF) work on the Mediterranean, Turkish, and wider Atlantic security issues. Prior to joining GMF, Lesser was a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and vice president and director of studies at the Pacific Council on International Policy. Previously, he spent over a decade as a senior analyst and research manager specializing in strategic studies at RAND. From 1994-95, he was a member of the secretary’s policy planning staff at the U.S. Department of State, responsible for Turkey, Southern Europe, North Africa, and the multilateral track of the Middle East peace process.

Jean-David Levitte, Former Ambassador of France to the United States; Senior Policy Advisor, Rock Creek Global Advisors LLC


Ambassador Jean-David Levitte is a member of the Institut de France, a professor at Sciences-Po in Paris, and a distinguished fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington. From 2007 to 2012, Levitte was the senior diplomatic advisor and sherpa of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. From 2000 to 2002, he was the French ambassador to the United Nations, and from 2003 to 2007, he served as ambassador to the United States. Levitte earned a law degree from Sciences-Po (Paris) and is a graduate of the National School of Oriental Languages, where he studied Chinese and Indonesian.


Moubarak Lo, President, Emergence Institute


Moubarak Lo is president of the Emergence Institute, specializing in economic and statistical studies and strategic planning. He is currently special advisor to the prime minister, chief economist of the prime minister and coordinator of the Economic and Social Analysis Unit. Previously, he was deputy director in the Cabinet of Macky Sall, president of the Republic of Senegal. He also served as an economic advisor to Prime Ministers Habib Thiam, Moustapha Niasse, and Mamadou Lamine Loum, as well as the Office of the Minister of Economy and Finance. He is an expert for the UN, the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the African Union, and Economic Community of West African States. Mr. Lo has served as associate lecturer in economic policy at the National School of Administration of Senegal and the University Gaston Berger of St. Louis. He also designed the index of development Economic Emergence Composites.

Carlos Lopes, Professor, University of Cape Town; Visiting Fellow, University of Oxford


Carlos Lopes is a commissioner for the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. He is the former executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) at the UN, where he served at the rank of UN undersecretary general leaving behind a legacy that transformed ECA into an influential think tank in the continent. This crowns a 28 year career in the organization that includes positions such as representative in Zimbabwe and Brazil, director of policy in the UN Development Programme, executive director of the UN Institute for Training and Research, director of the UN Staff College, and political director for Secretary General Kofi Annan. Lopes is acknowledged for his intellectual contribution to Africa’s development agenda through bold thinking and fearless interventions. Lopes holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and a master’s degree from the Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.

Mohamed Loulichki, Former Ambassador to UN; Senior Fellow, OCP Policy Center


Mohamed Loulichki has an extensive experience of 40 years in diplomacy and legal affairs. He assumed inter alia the functions of Head of the Department of Legal Affairs and Treaties in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was also Ambassador of Morocco in Hungary, Bosnia – Herzegovina and Croatia (1995-99), Ambassador Coordinator of the Government of Morocco with MINURSO (1999 – 2001), Ambassador of Morocco to the United Nations in Geneva (2006-08) and New York (2001-03 and 2008-14), as well as President of the Security Council (December 2014). Loulichki has been appointed President of the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the Security Council (2013), President of the working Group on Peace Keeping Operations (2012), Vice-President of the Human Rights Council (2006), Facilitator of the Universal Periodic Review of the said Council (2006 and 2010) and President of the National Committee in charge of the follow up on nuclear matters (2003-06).

Richard Lui, Broadcaster, MSNBC/NBC News


Richard Lui is news anchor for MSNBC and NBC News, reporting on the ground for stories from terror attacks in France to slavery in Africa. Previously he was at CNN Worldwide, where he became the first Asian male in U.S. history to anchor a daily national cable news program. With over 20 years in the tech industry, Lui co-patented and founded a global bank-centric payments carve-out with Citibank. He currently helps a Silicon Valley artificial intelligence firm, and sits on four boards of directors and advisors. Business Insider named Lui one of 21 careers to watch and Twitter Counter ranks him top 1 percent. Lui has received civil rights awards from the National Education Association, Advancing Justice, and AAJA. Lui is a policy fellow at the University of California, Riverside, UN Women Spokesperson, U.S. State Department traveling speaker, and ambassador for several gender equality and human trafficking nongovernmental organizations.

Ade Mabogunje, Center for Design Research, Stanford University


Ade Mabogunje conducts research on the design thinking process with a view to instrumenting measuring the process, and giving feedback to design thinking teams on ways to improve their performance. He works in collaboration with partners in the engineering education, design practice, and investment community as a participant-observer in the practice of building and developing ecosystems that support accelerated and continuous innovation in products and services. Prior to this he was the associate director of the Stanford Center for Design Research (CDR). He was also the lead of the Real-time Venture Design Lab program (ReVeL) in the school of Humanities and Sciences. His industry experience includes engineering positions at the French Oil Company Elf (now Total) and research collaboration with Artificial Intelligence Scientists at NASA Ames. He has publications in the areas of design theory and methodology, knowledge management, emotions in engineering, design protocol analysis, and engineering-design education.

Gabriela Macagni, CEO, Endeavor Argentina


Gabriela Macagni serves as managing director of Endeavor Argentina, a global non-profit organization that supports high-impact entrepreneurs during their scale-up growth phase. Before joining Endeavor, she worked at Citibank for 20 years, where she developed vast experience in investment banking. As a member of the Board of Directors of Citibank Argentina, she was responsible for strategic planning and business development. Macagni graduated from the Technological Institute of Buenos Aires (ITBA) as a chemical engineer, and received post-graduate specialization training in business management at Harvard and Stanford Business School. She is a member of the board of St Andrew’s Scots School and a member of the Graduate Council at ITBA.

Fouad Makhzoumi, Secretary General, National Dialogue Forum, Lebanon


Fouad Makhzoumi received his preliminary and secondary education at the International College in Beirut, and then he obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees in chemical engineering from Michigan Technological University, in the United States. Makhzoumi was appointed a commander of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy in 2013, received the Socrates Oxford Annual Award for 2014 by the European Business Assembly (EBA) in Vienna, and was given an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters by the Lebanese American University, Beirut in 2016. Makhzoumi has been the executive chairman of Future Pipe Industries Group since 2003, and he is also its chief executive officer. He has also been the executive chairman of Future Group Holdings since 1982.

Jack Markell, Governor of Delaware, United States of America


Jack Markell has served as governor of Delaware since 2009. During his tenure, Delaware has gone from one of the lowest-ranking states in terms of job creation to one of the top-ranking. This improvement reflects Markell’s keen focus on improving an economy that was buffeted by the Great Recession. Under his leadership, Delaware has taken major steps to ease regulatory burdens on businesses and to increase investment in repairing and improving the state’s infrastructure while making transportation spending more effective and efficient. Additionally, Markell has led efforts to make better use of state corrections resources and increase the likelihood that ex-offenders will contribute to society rather than reoffend. Markell has been recognized by his fellow governors, having been elected to serve as chair of both the Democratic Governors Association and the National Governors Association. Prior to being elected governor, Markell was elected three times as Delaware’s state treasurer.

Carlos Martínez, Dean, Founder, Instituto International de Estudios Superiores


Carlos Martinez is dean and founder of the Instituto Internacional de Estudios Superiores Campus Nuevo Laredo, a private university in the border between Mexico and the United States that promotes the logistic competitiveness of North America. He holds a Masters in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University and studied Law in the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. He has been Special Adviser to the Mexican Attorney General, international senior adviser to the Mexican Customs Brokers Association and president of Poldesa, a consultancy firm for political affairs for the Western Hemisphere. He is substitute Mexican customs broker and international and national editorialist for El Mañana de Nuevo Laredo. His expertise topics are international politics, North American trade, education and global affairs.

Aziz Mekouar, COP22 Ambassador; Senior Fellow, OCP Policy Center


Aziz Mekouar was the ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United States from June 2002 to September 2011. He then embarked on a new career as an advisor for major Moroccan groups and multinationals. During his tenure as ambassador in Washington, DC, Mekouar oversaw the negotiation and signing of a Free Trade Agreement between Morocco and the United States, and managed the compact between Morocco and the United States’ Millennium Challenge Account. Previously, Mekouar served as the Moroccan ambassador to Italy, Malta, and Albania, and the permanent representative to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Portugal, and Angola. He was the elected chairman of the Council of the FAO from 2001 to 2005.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from the French Lycée Charles Lepierre in Lisbon, Portugal, and graduated from the HEC Graduate Business School in France.

Gastón Melo, Executive President, Espacio de Vinculacion


Gaston Melo has a Ph.D. in social psychology and communication from Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg, France (formed as a social engineer at the Maison Abraham Moles). Produced and directed Cumbre Tajin (1999-2005), a cultural initiative which aims to promote ties among low and high identities (local ethnicities and urban populations). Melo acted as general director for the Universal Cultural Forum of 2007 in Monterrey. As a producer and director, he won cinematographic prizes adapting the works of Mexican writer Juan Rulfo, as well as in television, directing investigative documentaries in ethnography, archeology, and science. He served as vice president in Grupo Televisa until 2001 and has taught sociology and social psychology at the National University of Mexico (UNAM), Universidad Anahuac and Universidad Iberoamercana.   Today, Melo is senior partner and director of Comunicación Sistémica and SILOG (Logistic Information Services).

Nizar Messari, Dean, Al Akhawayn University


Nizar Messari holds a Ph.D. in international studies from The University of Miami. He held different teaching positions in Brazil between 2001-09, mainly at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro where he was associate dean for graduate studies. He also held several consulting positions in Brazil, in particular to the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to the Brazilian Military and to the Brazilian oil company, Petrobras. He is a member of the International Studies Association. He has been widely published in issues related to international relations theory, international security and Middle Eastern politics, including the relationship between Islam and the West.

Jack Miles, Distinguished Professor of English and Religious Studies Emeritus


Jack Miles is a writer whose work on religion, politics, and culture has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and many other publications. His book GOD: A Biography won a Pulitzer Prize in 1996. His book Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God led to his being named a MacArthur Fellow during the years 2003-07. General editor of The Norton Anthology of World Religions, published in 2014 in a two-volume hardcover edition and again in 2015 in a six-volume paperback edition, he is currently completing a new work to be entitled God in the Qur’an. At Atlantic Dialogues, he will speak on why international diplomacy, especially Western diplomacy, has historically been reluctant to speak of religion and whether a new outreach to religious leadership at this late date might offer a new route to international concord.

Juan Montás, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Dominican Republic


Juan Montás is a university professor, intellectual, politician, engineer, and economist.  He is a chemical engineering graduate of the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo (UASD) and holds a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Holds a high specialization in graduate studies in the areas of evaluation and project development, international economics, foreign trade, and international finance from the University Of Barcelona, Spain. Montás is currently the minister of economy, planning and development of the Dominican Republic. He has published several works related to politics, economy, and the electricity sector in the Dominican Republic. In his function as minister of economy, planning and development, he represents the Dominican Republic as governor at the World Bank Board of Governors and as the Alternate Governor at the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).  On August 16, 2016, Mr. Montás was appointed minister of industry and commerce by the re-elected President Danilo Medina Sanchez.

Miguel Angel Moratinos,Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Spain


Miguel Ángel Moratinos has committed his professional and political activity to international relationships and development cooperation. He graduated in Law and Political Sciences at the University Complutense in Madrid, then in Diplomatic Studies at the Spanish Diplomatic School, and entered Spain’s diplomatic service in March 1977.  He began his diplomatic career as the head of the Coordination Section for Eastern Europe between 1977-80. At the end of 1980, he was appointed First Secretary of the Spanish Embassy in Yugoslavia After years of diplomatic activity; he engaged in politics and was elected Member of Parliament for the constituency of Córdoba. In 2004, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation; and in 2012, he joined the Global Dry Land Alliance in Qatar and promoted an international treaty for food security in over 15 countries. From 2012-13 he was member of the high level advisory panel of the president of the 67th UN General Assembly.

Yascha Mounk, Fellow, Harvard University; Fellow, The Transatlantic Academy


Yascha Mounk is a fellow at The Transatlantic Academy, a lecturer on government at Harvard University, and a fellow in the Political Reform Program at New America. Mounk received his bachelor’s degree in history and his master’s degree in political thought from Trinity College, Cambridge, and completed his Ph.D. dissertation at Harvard University’s Government Department. Mounk’s first book, Stranger in My Own Country: A Jewish Family in Modern Germany, was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2014, and his first academic book, The Age of Responsibility: Luck, Choice and the Welfare State, will be published by Harvard University Press in spring 2017. Recently Mounk has been publishing about the crisis of liberal democracy and is now working on his next book, provisionally entitled The People vs. Democracy: How The Clash Between Individual Rights and the Popular Will is Destroying Liberal Democracy.

Asieh Namdar, Broadcaster, CCTV America


Asieh Namdar is an anchor for CCTV America in Washington, DC. She has served as an anchor for CNN International and a senior writer for HLN. Namdar has written and reported on many international stories, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the tsunami disaster in Asia, the disputed 2009 election, and protests in Iran, and typhoon Haiyan as it hit the Philippines in 2013. She has conducted one-on-one interviews with Nobel Peace-Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Jordan’s Queen Rania, Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and best-selling author Azar Nafisi. In 2004, she traveled to Bam in Iran for a humanitarian mission after a deadly earthquake. It was her first trip to her native Iran since she left at the age of 12. Asieh was recognized for her work by numerous Iranian-American organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from University of California at Berkeley.

Kiron Neale, Researcher, University of Oxford; Emerging Leaders 2016


Kiron Neale is a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom working on his PhD that looks at residential solar energy transitions in Small Islands States. His work specifically explores the role of culture in energy transitions away from conventional fossil fuel usage and how this relates to residential solar energy policies and technologies. Prior to his current doctoral studies, Neale completed Oxford’s MSc. in Environmental Change and Management, is a geography and environmental graduate of Trinidad’s University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, and is also a student exchange alumni of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. Professionally, Kiron has some policy experience having worked with the Environmental Policy and Planning Division as well as Multilateral Environmental Agreements Unit of Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, and industrial experience having worked in both ammonia and methanol production.

Antonio Nunes, CEO, Angola Cables


Antonio Nunes has served as the CEO of Angola Cables since the company was established in 2009. Nunes is focused on transforming Angola into one of Africa’s telecommunications hubs. An electrotechnical engineer by profession, Nunes has over 13 years of experience in the telecommunications sector. He was previously with UNITEL, the largest mobile phone Angolan operator, where he had a number of leadership roles in developing the company’s network, including access (2G and 3G), core (monolithic and softswitch) and transmission (microwave and fibre optics), as well as the infrastructure associated with them. He was also involved in the development of UNITEL’s value-added services.

Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President and Farmer, Nigeria


Olusegun Obasanjo, a Nigerian military officer, first came to international prominence in 1975, when he co-engineered the bloodless coup of General Yakubu Gowon, Nigeria’s head of state. The following year, Obasanjo took over as the country’s leader. In 1979, after implementing a wide range of governmental reforms, he stepped down from office and restored civilian rule. At that point, he retired from the military to farm and also become a fellow at the University of Ibadan’s Institute of African Studies, but following two decades of corrupt political leadership, Obasanjo presented himself as a candidate for president, and was elected in March 1999. Since leaving office for a second time in 2007, he has served as special envoy to the United Nations Secretary General on Democratic Republic of Congo and Great Lakes Region (2008-09) and headed a delegation of African Union observers during the most recent election in Zimbabwe (2013).

Sheila Ochugboju, Director, Global Women Inventors and Innovators Network


Sheila Ochugboju works at the intersections of science, art, culture, and development. She currently works with the United Nations Habitat program on the Global State of Urban Youth Report 2015/2016 and with the UNDP Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) program in Nigeria, with a focus on Cross River State. In August 2015, she was appointed the global roving ambassador for the County Government of Kisumu in Transformative Science & Urban Resilience. She was also appointed on the Technical Committee for the 2016 Guangzhou Award for Urban Innovation. In 2016, Ochugboju was honored by the Wings World Quest Foundation, with the Women of Discovery Humanity Award. Ochugboju is a TED Fellow, co-curator of TEDxNairobi, and co-founder of the stock photography website which aims “to tell a different story about Africa.”

Noureddine Omary, Head of Mission, Royal Cabinet 


Noureddine Omary is a head of mission at the Royal Cabinet. Before joining the Royal Cabinet, he was the chairman of the Banques Populaires Groupe. In 1968, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in economic sciences and he pursued advanced studies in political economy. He has worked in many public administrations as a financial expert. He also integrated the customs office between 1996 and 1998 and was appointed chairman of the Banques Populaires Groupes in early 2001. Omary was the general secretary of the ministry of finance.


Elena Panaritis, Member of Parliament, Greece


Elena Panaritis is a member of the Greek Parliament. She is an economist, social entrepreneur, and policy innovator who has worked at the World Bank and has been a member of the Greek Parliament. She is working toward change in crisis-stricken Europe and Greece through her foundation, Thought for Action, that promotes improved governance and institutional, or structural reforms. Panaritis is the author of Prosperity Unbound: Building Property Markets with Trust. She engaged actively in Greek politics regarding public sector reform and reduction of informality. Panaritis, along the lines of “triple-bottom-line” model of social entrepreneurship, founded Panel Group, a specialized advisory group that provides counsel and technical expertise in transforming informality (illiquid real assets).

Leonardo Parraga, Executive Director, The BogorArt Foundation; Emerging Leader 2016


Leonardo Parraga is a Colombian activist who is passionate about community empowerment and social justice. He is the founder and director of the BogotArt Foundation, an organization established with the aim of promoting a more democratic art and cultural scene in the city of Bogotá, Colombia. He holds a BA in Business Management with a minor in Journalism from University of the Andes and has a specialization in entrepreneurship from the University of Maryland. Parraga and his team use art to transform marginalized neighborhoods into cultural hubs. Due to its contribution to social inclusion management in today’s cities, BogotArt was recognized during the UN-Habitat 2014 World Cities Days as an important organization which brings youth perspectives to the spotlight. He is also the co-founder of the Dialogue of the Curious, a global initiative to promote intercultural understanding and communication through the interaction of youth from different countries and life experiences.

Luiz Pereira da Silva, Deputy General Manager, Bank of International Settlements


Luiz Pereira da Silva became deputy general manager of Bank of International Settlements (BIS) on October 1, 2015. Before joining the BIS, Pereira da Silva had been deputy governor of the Central Bank of Brazil since 2010. Prior to that, he worked in various positions for the World Bank in Washington, DC, Tokyo, and Southern Africa. He also served as chief economist for the Brazilian Ministry of Budget and Planning, and as Brazil’s deputy finance minister in charge of international affairs.


J. Peter Pham, Vice President and Director, Africa Center, The Atlantic Council

pham_jpJ. Peter Pham is vice president of the Atlantic Council and director of the Council’s Africa Center. He also currently serves as vice president of the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA) and is editor-in-chief of its peer-reviewed quarterly Journal of the Middle East and Africa. Prior to joining the Atlantic Council in 2011, Pham was a tenured associate professor of justice studies, political science, and Africana studies at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where he was director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs. He is the author of more than 300 essays and reviews and the author, editor, or translator of over a dozen books, including Somalia: Fixing Africa’s Most Failed State (coauthored with Greg Mills and David Kilcullen). In 2015, the Regents of the Smithsonian Institution elected Pham to the Board of the National Museum of African Art, of which he is presently vice chair.

Paulo Portas, Former Deputy Prime Minister, Portugal


Paulo Portas served as Portugal’s minister of foreign affairs (2011-13) and deputy prime minister (2013-15), when he led his party (CDS-PP) to form a coalition government with PSD. He served as minister of defense from 2002-05. He was president of CDS-PP party for sixteen years until 2016, eight of them while in government. Portas taught history of political thought from 1996-99, and founded a university opinion poll center. In 2016 he became president of the International Strategic Council — Mota-Engil Group, with a focus in Africa and Latin America. He is also a member of the international board of Pemex gas (Mexico), and was elected deputy chairman of the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in 2016. Portas is a founding partner of Vinciamo Consulting and author of an international politics TV weekly program.  Portas graduated with a law degree from the Portuguese Catholic University. He is fluent in Portuguese, English, Spanish, French, and Italian.

Adam Posen, President, Peterson Institute for International Economics


Adam Posen is president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.  From 2009-12, during the global financial crisis, he served as an external voting member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, and was a globally recognized advocate of activist macroeconomic policy as response to the crisis. He is the author or editor of six books, and has served as a visiting scholar or consultant to central banks throughout Europe, North America, and East Asia.  He is in his fifth term as an economic advisor to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office.  He received his Ph.D. in political economy from Harvard University, and has been the recipient of fellowships and major research grants from the European Commission, the Ford Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, and the U.S. National Science Foundation.

Tatiana Prazeres, Senior Advisor to the Director General, World Trade Organization


Tatiana Lacerda Prazeres is the senior advisor to the Director General of the World Trade Organization. Her portfolio includes trade negotiations, market access, services, investment, agriculture, trade and environment, and engagement with the private sector. Prior to this appointment, she became the youngest ever secretary of foreign trade of Brazil (vice-ministerial position). She is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on International Trade and Investment. In 2014, she was recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader.


Bouchra Rahmouni, Professor, New York University

Bouchra Rahmouni is an international affiliated professor at New York University in the Risk of Finance Engineering Department. She is also visiting professor at Holy Spirit University in Lebanon. Bouchra is a distinguished professor of geopolitics at Grenoble School of Management in France and an adjunct professor at International Trade and Law Institute of Pusan National University in South Korea. Professor Rahmouni contributed to a book titled Afrique: Terre des nouvelles convoitises, edited by Ellipse in September 2011. She also took part in a book on women entrepreneurship titled Femme et entrepreneur: c’est possible!, published by Pearson in November 2012.

Mamphela Aletta Ramphele, Active Citizen


Mamphela Aletta Ramphele studied medicine at the then University of Natal, has a bachelor of commerce degree, a diploma in tropical hygiene, a diploma in public health and a Ph.D. in social anthropology. She went on to become vice-chancellor of UCT, then one of four managing directors of the World Bank, based in Washington, DC. Ramphele has served as chairperson of Gold Fields, Circle Capital Ventures (Pty) Limited, Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), as a director of Medi-Clinic Corporation Limited and Remgro Limited, and is currently a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. She was founder of the Open Society Foundation for South Africa and the Citizens Movement. In January 2013, Ramphele became the leader of Agang SA, a party for all South Africans which won two seats in the national elections held in May 2014.

Anand Reddi, Manager, Health Systems Strenghtening, Gilead Sciences Inc., Emerging Leaders 2016


Anand Reddi is a global health specialist at Gilead Sciences, Inc., a major multinational biotechnology company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative medicines.  At Gilead, Reddi focuses on catalyzing HIV and viral hepatitis health systems strengthening initiatives as well as innovative health financing for resource limited settings in Africa and Asia. Prior to Gilead, Reddi was a Fulbright Scholar in South Africa.  His Fulbright research demonstrated the benefits of decentralized models of care on antiretroviral treatment outcomes despite the challenges of a healthcare limited setting. Reddi has also been active in U.S. global health policy issues.  In the summer of 2010, his writings and advocacy directly challenged the Obama Administration’s flat lining of global HIV treatment funds resulting in the restoration of $366 million for HIV treatment in Uganda. Reddi is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and he studied medicine at the University of Colorado, School of Medicine.

Julissa Reynoso, Partner, Chadbourne & Parke LLP


Julissa Reynoso is the former U.S. ambassador to Uruguay. She also served as deputy assistant secretary of state for Central American, Caribbean and Cuban affairs in the U.S. Department of State. Prior to joining the Department of State, she practiced at a major international law firm, where she specialized in antitrust law, international commercial arbitration, and international investment arbitration. She has extensive policy and legal experience throughout Latin America, both as a lawyer in private practice and as a senior U.S. diplomat. Reynoso is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations and is affiliated with Columbia University’s School of Law and School of International and Public Affairs.

El Mostafa Rezrazi, Expert in Security; Professor of Crisis Management, St. George’s University 


El Mostafa Rezrazi is a distinguished professor at the school of law of Sapporo Gakuin University and a visiting professor at the University Mohammed V in Rabat. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo and a Ph.D. from the University of Mohammed V. He taught in several universities and research centers in Japan, the United States, the UAE, and Morocco. He served as a visiting professor at Princeton University, a political analyst at the Emirates Center for Strategic Research and Studies in Abu Dhabi, and a deputy director of the Institute of International Relations in Hagoromo. His Majesty the King Mohammed VI decorated him by the Order of Officer of Wissam Al Arch and he received the Prize of North-South Cultural Dialogue. He is the director of the Moroccan Observatory on Extremism and Violence, the president of the Moroccan Association for Asian Studies, and the vice president of the International Research Group For Transregional & Emerging Area Studies.

Tim Ridout, Fellow, Wider Atlantic Program, The German Marshall Fund of the United States

Tim Ridout is a fellow at GMF, where he focuses on political and economic issues in Brazil, in addition to global security challenges such as cybersecurity. Prior to joining GMF, he worked at Institutional Shareholder Services as a corporate governance analyst, primarily studying Brazilian companies. Before that, he was a program manager with the Brazil-U.S. Business Council at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.Ridout regularly contributes to the Huffington Post and his writing has also appeared in the Boston Herald, Christian Science Monitor, Hartford Courant, and Providence Journal. He received his master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 2011, with concentrations in international security studies and U.S. foreign policy. A version of his master’s thesis on peacebuilding in Somaliland was published in the Journal of the Middle East and Africa. While at Fletcher, Ridout was managing editor of The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, and he currently sits on the advisory board.

Clarissa Rios, Researcher, Founder and Director, EKPAPALEK


Andrés Rozental was a career diplomat for over 35 years; he served as Deputy Foreign Minister (1988-94), Ambassador to the U.K. (1995-97), Ambassador to Sweden (1983-88) and Permanent Representative of México to the United Nations in Geneva (1982-83). Since 1994, he has the lifetime rank of Eminent Ambassador of Mexico. He is the founding president of the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations. In 1997 he retired from government and created Rozental & Asociados, an international consultancy providing political and economic advice to Mexican and international companies. He is an independent Board member or advisor to several important multinational enterprises and currently is Chairman of the Board of ArcelorMittal Mexico, is on the Board of HSBC Bank in Mexico and is the senior independent director of Ocean Wilson Holdings (Brazil). He is also senior policy advisor at Chatham House in London, member of the Trilateral Commission, council member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London and sits on the Board of Canada’s Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).

Obajide Rotilu, Senior Cyber Security Consultant, Deloitte Nigeria; Emerging Leader 2016


Obajide Rotilu is a senior consultant at Deloitte Nigeria. He also currently serves on the Deloitte West Africa Strategy team. He is a seasoned management consultant and a subject matter expert in cybersecurity. His daily work includes helping organizations transform their security process, implement cybersecurity strategy and be better vigilant of cyber-attacks. He is an associate of the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium and also a member of ISACA. Rotilu has a B.Eng from the prestigious Covenant University and a Masters’ degree with Distinction from Queen Mary University of London. He is also an Alumni Ambassador for Queen Mary where he mentors and advices incoming students. Rotilu is also a co-founder of the Meet-A-Need-Today Foundation.

Andrés Rozental, Former Deputy Foreign Minister, Mexico


Andrés Rozental was a career diplomat for over 35 years; he served as Deputy Foreign Minister (1988-94), Ambassador to the U.K. (1995-97), Ambassador to Sweden (1983-88) and Permanent Representative of México to the United Nations in Geneva (1982-83). Since 1994, he has the lifetime rank of Eminent Ambassador of Mexico. He is the founding president of the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations. In 1997 he retired from government and created Rozental & Asociados, an international consultancy providing political and economic advice to Mexican and international companies. He is an independent Board member or advisor to several important multinational enterprises and currently is Chairman of the Board of ArcelorMittal Mexico, is on the Board of HSBC Bank in Mexico and is the senior independent director of Ocean Wilson Holdings (Brazil). He is also senior policy advisor at Chatham House in London, member of the Trilateral Commission, council member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London and sits on the Board of Canada’s Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).

Abdullah Saaf, Professor, Mohamed V Rabat University


Abdallah Saaf is a professor of political science at Mohamed V Rabat University, director of the Center for Studies in Social Sciences Research, and founder of the Moroccan Association of Political Science, and director of Abhath Review. Professor Saaf was a member of the commission in charge of revising the Constitution during July 2011, and a member of the Scientific Committee at the Global Forum for Humans rights. He was minister of education from 1998 to 2004. He also manages an annual publication called Strategic Report of Morocco.


Brian Sandoval, Governor of Nevada, United States of America


Brian Sandoval was first elected governor of Nevada in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. His accomplishments include transforming Nevada’s approach to economic development, making Nevada the most veteran-friendly state in the nation, and leading the effort to modernize Nevada’s public education system. During his inaugural legislative session, Sandoval transformed Nevada’s approach to economic development by creating the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. In 2015, Sandoval signed a comprehensive plan to provide additional support to military veterans and their families through educational, employment, and healthcare services. Additionally, an unprecedented investment to reform Nevada’s education system was enacted during the 2015 Legislative Session. Sandoval was chosen to be the 2015 vice chairman of the National Governors Association (NGA) and will serve as the chairman of the NGA in 2018. Prior to his election, he served as United States district judge for the District of Nevada as well as attorney general of Nevada.

Edward Scicluna, Minister of Finance, Malta


Hon. Professor Edward Scicluna is a Member of Parliament and Malta’s minister for finance. During 2013, Scicluna assumed the chairmanship of the European Investment Bank Board of Governors (EIB), and vice-chairmanship of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Prior to March 2013 he served as a member of the European Parliament (MEP), in the capacity of vice-chair of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON), and a member of the European Statistical Advisory Committee (ESAC). He also served as professor and head of the Department of Economics at the University of Malta, chairman of the Malta Financial Services Authority, chairman of the Malta Council of Economic and Social Development, board director of the Central Bank of Malta, and electoral commissioner. Internationally he has carried out consultancy work for the European Commission, UNESCO, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), and the Governments of Albania, Croatia, Libya, and Turkey.

Fatallah Sijilmassi, Secretary General, Union for the Mediterranean


Fathallah Sijilmassi is the secretary general of the Union for the Mediterranean. He specializes in economic international relations, in particular with regard to Euro-Mediterranean issues. He worked as a representative of the Banque Commerciale du Maroc in Milan, and played an active role in the negotiations of free-trade agreements with the European Union, United States, and several Arab and African countries. He has held senior positions within the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including director of multilateral cooperation, director of European affairs, and ambassador to the Barcelona Euro-Mediterranean Process. In 2003, he was appointed ambassador to the European Union and later to France. Sijilmassi was CEO of the Moroccan Investment Development Agency, leading its launch and subsequent growth. He is an officer of the Légion d´honneur and grand officer in the Ordre National du Mérite of the Republic of France. He holds a Ph.D. in economics.

Nisrine Tahri, Founder, X-Large


Nisrine Tahri is the founder X-large, a digital and communication agency based in Technopark Rabat. She is also the founder of an NGO that aims to solve the educational problems in Morocco. After having participated in Enpact’s mentorship program, a German non-profit organization with the aim of strengthening economic relations between young entrepreneurs from the start-up scenes of the Middle East, North Africa and Europe, she is engaged with the organization as the country coordinator of Morocco. Tahri is also part of the startupyourlife initiative, a group of young Moroccan entrepreneurs who aim to enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Morocco.


João Vale de Almeida, Ambassador, European Union Delegation to the United Nations


João Vale de Almeida is a senior European Union diplomat who is currently serving as European Union ambassador to the United Nations. Vale de Almeida previously served as the first EU ambassador to the United States, from 2010-14. In Washington, he was critical to the strengthening of EU–U.S. relations and the launching of negotiations for Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Prior to his appointment in Washington, he served as the director general for external relations at the European Commission. From 2004-09, Vale de Almeida was the head of cabinet for European Commission President José Manuel Barroso. He also acted as the EU sherpa for G8 and G20 Summits from 2005-10. He holds a degree in history from the University of Lisbon and has studied and received training in journalism and management in the United States, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

Alfredo Valladão, Professor, Sciences Po; Senior Fellow, OCP Policy Center


Alfredo Valladão is a professor at the Paris School of International Affairs of the Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) and a Senior Fellow at OCP Policy Center. He is also the president of the advisory board of EUBrasil Association, a member of the board of trustees of the UN Institute for Training and Research, and a senior research associate at the European Union Institute for Security Studies. As a journalist, he is a columnist for Radio France International and contributes regularly to the BBC and CBN (Brazil), as well as being a former diplomatic and defense correspondent for Libération (France). Valladão is the director of the Latin America Research Chair and member of the Scientific Board of the Centre d’Etudes Sociales, Economiques et Managériales of the Institut de Hautes Etudes du Management.

Hubert Védrine, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, France


Former student at the French Institute of Political Sciences (SciencesPo) and at the National School of Public Administration (ENA), Hubert Védrine served successively as a diplomatic advisor, spokesman, and secretary general (chief of staff) under the presidency of François Mitterrand, from 1981 to 1995. He was minister of foreign affairs in the government of the Prime Minister Lionel Jospin under the presidency of Jacques Chirac, from 1997 to 2002. In January 2003, Védrine founded Hubert Védrine Conseil, a public consulting firm specializing in foreign, economic, and geopolitical affairs. He has chaired the François Mitterrand Institute since 2003. Védrine has been appointed as an independent director of LVMH since 2004. He was chosen by Kofi Anan to be one of the twenty international members of the High Level Group of the “Alliance of Civilizations” in 2005 and 2006.

Kurt Volker, Executive Director, The McCain Institute


Ambassador Kurt Volker is a leading expert in U.S. foreign and national security policy with some 30 years of experience in a variety of government, academic, and private sector capacities. He served as U.S. Ambassador to NATO in 2008-09. Ambassador Volker is currently the executive director of The McCain Institute for International Leadership, a part of Arizona State University based in Washington, DC. He is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, a senior advisor at the Atlantic Council, and a trustee of IAU College in Aix-en-Provence, France. He is a consultant to international business, a member of the Board of Directors of Capital Guardian Funds Trust, and had previously served as managing director — international for BGR Group. He has taught transatlantic relations at The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs.

Merel Wackwitz, Government and Regulatory Affairs Executive, IBM


Merel Wackwitz is a government and regulatory affairs executive at IBM Europe, based in Brussels. Prior to this role she worked as a Strategy & Change consultant in IBM’s Global Business Services division. Before joining IBM, Wackwitz worked as an assistant to Vice-President Neelie Kroes, the former Commissioner for the Digital Agenda at the European Commission. Before this she also worked for six months in the Political & Trade department at the EU delegation to Israel. She holds a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Sciences from the University College of Utrecht, and a Master’s degree in European Studies from Kings College London.


John Yearwood, Chairman, International Press Institute


An award-winning multimedia journalist, John Yearwood is executive board chairman of the Austria-based International Press Institute and former world editor of the Miami Herald. The World Desk won numerous awards under his leadership, including two McClatchy Company President’s Awards and the Arthur Ross Award for best coverage of Latin America. Yearwood’s coordination of The Herald’s Haiti earthquake coverage contributed to the newspaper being named a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Yearwood is a regular guest on national and international radio and television news programs, including National Public Radio, Al Jazeera, BBC and China Central Television. A highly gifted public speaker, Yearwood has been sought out by many global organizations, including the American Jewish Committee, the Toronto Global Forum, the Atlantic Dialogues, the Palm Beach Strategic Forum, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, and G8 Youth Leaders. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Connecticut.

William Zartman, Professor Emeritus, SAIS Johns Hopkins University


William Zartman is a Jacob Blaustein Distinguished Professor Emeritus of International Organizations and Conflict Resolution at SAIS and a senior fellow and member of the International Steering Committee of Processes of International Negotiations Program at Clingendael, Netherlands. He is also a member of the International Academic Advisory Council on Mediation of the UN Department of Political Affairs. He is the author and editor of such books as Preventing Deadly Conflict, Arab Spring: Negotiating in the Shadow of the Intifadat, and The Global Power of Talk, Negotiation and Conflict Management. He is former president and founding executive secretary of the Middle East Studies Association founding president of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies, and past president of the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies. He received a Ph.D. from Yale and an honorary doctorate from the Catholic University of Louvain.