Speakers

Mr. Mika Aaltola

Director, The Finnish Institute of International Affairs

Mika Aaltola is responsible for the management, development and performance of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. He has worked as the Programme Director of the Global Security research programme since 2011. His areas of expertise are global governance, major power relations, new forms of power politics and Finnish foreign and security policies. Dr Aaltola is a professor (part-time) at the Tallinn University since 2012 and he holds the rank of docent from the University of Tampere. He has been a visiting researcher at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (fall 2013) and at the CERI Sciences Po (fall 2010) and a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota (2006-2008). He obtained his PhD in social sciences from the University of Tampere in 1999.

Mr. Esko Aho

Prime Minister of Finland (1991-1995)
World Leadership Alliance – World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid Member

Esko Aho is Chairman of the Board of Cinia Oy and Adven Group. Since 2016 he has served as a member of the Supervisory Board of Sberbank. In February 2019 he was appointed to the JP Morgan Advisory Council for Europe, Middle East and Africa.  Esko Aho’s other domestic and international activities are coordinated through his private consulting company Verbatum Oy.

Mr. Aho was a Member of the Finnish Parliament for 20 years, from 1983 to 2003. He chaired the Centre Party from 1990 to 2002 and was Prime Minister of Finland 1991 – 1995. Under his leadership, Finland joined the European Union.

After his political career, between 2004 – 2008, Esko Aho served as President of the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. After Sitra in 2009 – 2012 he worked for Nokia Corporation as Executive Vice President.

Esko Aho served as Executive Chairman of the Board at East Office of Finnish Industries 2013 – 2019. At present he is Senior Advisor at East Office. Furthermore he served as elected member of the Executive Board at the International Chamber of Commerce 2013 – 2019.  He acted as Chairman of the Board at ICC Executive Board Policy and Commissions Committee for four years.

Mr. Aho is an invited member of Club de Madrid, an independent organization of former heads of state and government dedicated to strengthening democracy. Throughout his career, Esko Aho has been active in the world of academia. He has been a Resident Fellow and later Senior Fellow at Harvard University.  Esko Aho is Executive in Residence at Aalto University, where he works at the Department of Management Studies at the School of Business. He is a visiting lecturer at PSIA, Paris School of International Affairs. He is a member of the Industrial Advisory Board at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA). Additionally he is a member of the International Advisory Board, NTU Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity, Nanyang Technologia University, Singapore. Esko Aho holds honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Vaasa, Finland, and the University of Alberta, Canada.

Ms. Fatima Askira

Founder/Executive Director of Borno Women Development Initiative

Fatima Askira is the founder of Borno Women Development Initiative; an NGO for women and girls in northern Nigeria especially in Borno state.

Fatima started this initiative when she saw the sufferings women and children fleeing Boko Haram were going through as they arrived to camps with nothing more than the tattered clothes.

Today, Fatima’s charity drive has grown to accommodate and reintegrate women who willingly joined or were forcibly recruited by Boko Haram.

She created this organization on the perspective of building healthy society of strong and focused women, with the conscience of a developed and sustainable community for a better living, by providing long-term workable solutions to backwardness in her communities.

Mr. Ban Ki-Moon

Secretary-General of the United Nations (2007-2016)
World Leadership Alliance – World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid Honorary Member

Ban Ki-moon was the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations. His priorities have been to mobilize world leaders around a set of new global challenges, from climate change and economic upheaval to pandemics and increasing pressures involving food, energy and water. He has sought to be a bridge-builder, to give voice to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, and to strengthen the Organization itself.

Throughout his tenure at the UN, Mr. Ban strove to be a bridge-builder, to give voice to the world’s poorest and the most vulnerable people, and to make the Organization more transparent and effective. He has pressed successfully for action to combat climate change- an effort that culminated in the adoption and rapid entry into force of the landmark Paris Agreement in 2016. Mr. Ban has worked closely with member states of the UN to shape the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to establish UN Women, which has been advancing the Organization’s work for gender equality and women’s empowerment. Mr. Ban has also taken major efforts to strengthen UN peace operations, to protect human rights, to improve humanitarian response, to prevent violent extremism, and to revitalize the disarmament agenda.

At the time of his appointment at the UN, Mr. Ban has been the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea. His 37 years with the Ministry includes postings in New Delhi, Washington D.C., and Vienna, and responsibilities for a variety of portfolios, which includes Foreign Policy Adviser to the President, Chief National Security Adviser to the President, Vice Minister, Deputy Minister for Policy Planning and Director-General for American Affairs. Mr. Ban has also been actively involved in issues relating to inter-Korean relations by serving as Chairman of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization. In April 2018, Mr. Ban has been elected as the Chairman of Boao Forum for Asia. Since January 2018, Mr. Ban, along with former President of Austria Mr. Heinz Fischer, has been inducted as Co-Chairs of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens in Vienna, Austria. Mr. Ban Ki-moon has also been elected as Chairman of IOC Ethics Committee in September 2017. Currently, he is the Distinguished Chair Professor and Honorary Chairman at the Institute of Global Engagement & Empowerment at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. Since February 2018, he has been elected as the President of the Assembly & Chair of the Council of Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).

Ms. Joyce Banda

President of Malawi (2012-1014)
World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid Member

Joyce Banda served as the President of the Republic of Malawi from 2012-2014, the first female to hold this position. Prior to assuming office, President Banda served as a Member of Parliament, Minister of Gender and Child Welfare, Foreign Minister, and Vice President of the Republic of Malawi.

President Banda was named one of the world’s most powerful black women by Forbes in 2013 and 2014, and one of the most 100 influential people in the world by both TIME and Forbes. In 2014, CNN named her one of the most inspirational women in politics. She has won numerous awards for her work on the global stage and was recently named one of Apolitico’s most 100 Influential People in Gender Policy.

She is the Founder of the Joyce Banda Foundation, which she established after receiving the Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger in 1997. The Foundation has served over 1.3 million Malawians. President Banda regularly serves as a panelist and motivational speaker at international conferences and fora, and has spoken at the International Conference on Women in Beijing, the New African Woman Forum, the UNDP High-Level Dialogue on Good Governance, and Women Deliver Conference. She frequently lectures at universities including Harvard Medical School and the Kennedy School of Government, the London School of Economics and Political Science, George Washington University, Kansas State University, New York University among others.

Mr. Carl Bildt

Prime Minister of Sweden (1991-1994)
World Leadership Alliance – World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid Member

Carl Bildt, Former Prime Minister of Sweden 1991-1994 , he returned to government office as Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2014.

As Prime Minister of Sweden from 1991 to 1994, Mr. Bildt led the government that negotiated and signed Sweden’s accession to the European Union, reformed and liberalized the Swedish economy, and modernized its welfare system. After leaving office, he played a key role as a mediator in the Balkan conflict for the European Union and the United Nations. As Foreign Minister, he was an important proponent of the EU’s “Eastern Partnership” and of EU engagement in the Middle East.

His public policy profile and experience is extensive, having served on various boards, including of the Centre for European Reform, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the European Policy Centre, on the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, the European Council on Foreign Relations and as the first non-U.S. member of the Board of Trustees of the RAND Corporation. Mr. Bildt also has a well-established profile in technology circles. He is Chair of the Global Commission on Internet Governance, a former adviser to ICANN, and a high-profile proponent of a global digital marketplace. Mr. Bildt recently co-authored a study with the Atlantic Council entitled “Building a Transatlantic Digital Marketplace.”

Mr. Kjell Magne Bondevik

Prime Minister of Norway (1997-2005)
World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid Member

Kjell Magne Bondevik served as a member of Stortinget (Parliament of Norway) for the County of Møre og Romsdal from 1973-2005, representing the Christian Democratic Party and being a part of the Young Christian Democrats movement.

In 1983, he was appointed as Minister of Church Affairs and Education, where he would serve until 1986. In the meantime, he was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister to Prime Minister Kåre Willoch in 1985, a task that he fulfilled until 1986. He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1989 until 1990. He served as his party’s parliamentary leader from 1981-1983, 1986-1989, 1993-1997, and 2000-2001.

Kjell Magne Bondevik was elected Prime Minister in 1997, in a coalition consisting of the Christian Democratic Party, the Centre Party and the Liberal Party. He was appointed Prime Minister again in October 2001 heading a coalition government between the Christian Democratic Party, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party, and he served until 2005.

After his political career, he founded The Oslo Center in 2006. He is currently the Executive Chairman of the Center. He is also an Honorary Member of The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation. He joined the Club de Madrid in 2005.

Mr. Kai Brand-Jacobsen

President, Romanian Peace Institute (PATRIR); Director, Department of Peace Operations (DPO)

Kai Frithjof Brand-Jacobsen is regarded as one of the leading pioneers, innovators and practitioners in the field of peacebuilding, security and addressing challenging and complex conflicts and crises in the world today. For more than 20 years he has worked across all continents and many of the most challenging war zones and crises at the invitation of the United Nations, governments, international agencies and organizations, and local communities affected by conflict and war. In 2016 he headed the UN-supported Nineveh Paths to Social Cohesion, Coexistence and Peace project in Nineveh, Iraq-KRG, one of the areas worst affected by the ongoing war with ISIS. He has since led engagements to support sub-national mediation and peace processes in Libya, improving early warning and integrated peacebuilding and prevention in Nigeria, and headed a unique engagement by UNAMID to support the government of Sudan on stabilization, peacebuilding and recovery in Darfur. He is a practitioner with extensive experience in mediation and facilitation of peace processes and working on the ground to prevent violent conflicts, end wars, and support reconciliation and healing after violence. He also works as IPDTC’s senior trainer and has provided more than 400 training programmes for governments, UN missions and agencies, and organizations in the field. In 2019 he was awarded the Mahatma Gandhi – Martin Luther King Jr. – Ikeda Lifetime Achievement Award for extraordinary contributions to humanity by Martin Luther King Jr.’s Alma Mater, Morehouse College. His work is one of the subjects of the recent documentary movie In Pursuit of Peace (https://vimeo.com/150351138).

Mr. Ville Brummer

Programme Director, Crisis Management Initiative

Dr. Ville Brummer has been Programme Director at CMI since 2013, and has the overall responsibility for leading the design and implementation of CMI’s programmatic work. Brummer joined CMI in 2008, and led our Research & Development unit during 2010 -2013.

Dr. Brummer has extensive experience in several conflict prevention and resolution processes in Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, the Southern Caucasus, and Central Asia. He has led and advised various international teams and has in-depth knowledge and practical experience on different tasks related to mediation processes, including conflict analysis, process design and facilitation, early engagement with conflict groups, and advisory and support services for several international organizations, governments and NGOs.

Prior to joining CMI, Dr. Brummer worked in academia and in private consultancies. He has published widely in various journals and books, and has lectured on negotiation and decision-making in several universities. He has a doctoral degree from Aalto University in Helsinki.

Amb. Smail Chergui

African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security

H.E. Amb. Smaїl Chergui is an Algerian diplomat, born on 4 September 1956. He was re-elected Commissioner of the African Union Peace and Security Commission after a four-year term. Ambassador Chergui has more than 30 years of experience in the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and more than 20 years in a position of high responsibility. He has extensive experience in the management of pan-African affairs, in particular as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Algeria. In 2008, H.E. Amb. Chergui was appointed as Algerian Ambassador to the Russian Federation, following his tenure as Consul General in Geneva, Switzerland. Between 1997 and 2004, he served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Algeria to Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti, where he played a significant role in negotiating the Algiers Agreement that ended the Eritrean-Ethiopian War. During the same period, he served as the Permanent Representative of Algeria to the Organisation of African Union (OAU), then the African Union (AU), and to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). H.E. Amb. Chergui started his diplomatic career in 1980 with the Algerian Ministry of Foreign affairs after graduation from University. He has worked at the Algerian embassy in Morocco and the Press Department of the Algerian Foreign Affairs ministry before heading the Foreign Minister’s chancellery. 

Ms. Laura Chinchilla

President of Costa Rica (2010-2014)
World Leadership Alliance – World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid Vice President

Laura Chinchilla was elected President of Costa Rica on Feb 7th, 2010, being the first woman in the country to hold such office. She highlighted the promotion of citizen security, the reformation of the criminal procedure codes, laws against drug trafficking and organized crimes, and preventing violence.

One of her most outstanding achievements was the steady decline in crime rates in Costa Rica. She also prompted measures on the promotion of women’s rights, protection of children and environmental sustainability. While in office, she earned two international awards: ‘’Excellence in National Management of the Ocean’’ (2011), and the ‘Award of the Shark Guardian of the year’’ (2013).

Mrs. Chinchilla has also worked as a consultant in Latin America and Africa with various international organizations. Relevant tasks include diagnostics on the justice sector for the Agency for International Development (USAID), coordination of studies and projects on judicial reform for the United Nations Program for Development (UNDP) and assessments and advice on police reform to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). As former President, she is active on global agenda being part of various forums such as the WLA Club de Madrid, the Inter American Dialogue, Concordia Summit, the Latin American Presidential Commission, and has been teaching in Georgetown University, Tecnológico de Monterrey in México, and Universidade de Sao Paolo in Brazil. She has headed several Organization of American State’s Observation Electoral Missions: México 2015, United States 2016, Paraguay 2018 and Brazil 2018. 

Ms. Roxana Cristescu

Director European Affairs, Crisis Management Initiative

Roxana Cristescu is the Head of CMI’s Programme in Eurasia and the Director of EU relations. She leads CMI’s programme activities in the region. Ms Cristescu joined CMI in 2009 and previously worked as Adviser for the Black Sea and Central Asia Programme, with a special focus on CMI’s mediation related activities. Before joining CMI, Cristescu worked in various conflict affected areas including Ethiopia, Sudan, Kosovo (Mitrovica Region), Moldova/Transdniestria, Ukraine and Lebanon.

She holds a BA in Political Sciences from the University of Bucharest, two Master’s Degrees from Florence and Rome University in Mediation and Security Studies. She is currently enrolled for a Master of Science in Mediation Studies at Queens University, Belfast. Cristescu is among others a member of the United Nations Mediation Roster and a member of the UN Women, Central and Southeastern Europe (CSEE) Sub-regional Roster of Experts.

Ms. Helen Clark

Prime Minister of New Zealand (1999-2008)
World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid Member

Helen Clark was Prime Minister of New Zealand for three successive terms from 1999–2008.  She was the first woman to become Prime Minister following a General Election in New Zealand and the second woman to serve as Prime Minister.

Throughout her tenure as Prime Minister and as a Member of Parliament over 27 years, Helen Clark engaged widely in policy development and advocacy across the international affairs, economic, social, environmental, and cultural spheres. She advocated strongly for a comprehensive programme on sustainability for New Zealand and for tackling the challenges of climate change. She was an active leader of her country’s foreign relations, engaging in a wide range of international issues.

In April 2009, Helen Clark became Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. She was the first woman to lead the organisation, and served two terms there. At the same time, she was Chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of all UN funds, programmes, agencies, and departments working on development issues. As Administrator, she led UNDP to be ranked the most transparent global development organisation. She completed her tenure in April 2017.

Helen Clark came to the role of Prime Minister after an extensive parliamentary and ministerial career. Prior to entering the New Zealand Parliament, Helen Clark taught in the Political Studies Department of the University of Auckland, from which she earlier graduated with her BA and MA (Hons) degrees.

Helen continues to speak widely and be a strong voice on sustainable development, climate action, gender equality and women’s leadership, peace and justice, and action on non-communicable diseases and on HIV. She serves on a number of advisory boards and commissions, including in the capacity of Chair of the Advisory Board of UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report. In June 2019, she assumed the Chairpersonship of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

Ms. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer

Member of the UN Standby Mediation Team, and former chief negotiator of the Philippine government for talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front

Miriam Coronel-Ferrer headed the Government of the Philippines panel in the peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that culminated in the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in March 2014.  She led governmental negotiations, consultation, and strategizing processes, and was also responsible for setting up the peace infrastructure and supervising the first two years of implementing the accord.  While on the Standby Team, she has inter alia supported UN engagements in Maldives, Afghanistan, and the ASEAN region.  She has previously been extensively involved in national civil society campaigns, co-leading the initiative to draft the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security that was adopted by the Philippine government in 2010.  She has also joined international CSO-led human rights/peace missions in Nepal, East Timor, Cambodia, the Philippines, Myanmar, and Sudan.  She is a full professor at the University of the Philippines, teaching courses and publishing on comparative governments and politics of Southeast Asia, human rights, peace processes, and democratization.

Mr. Michael Gaffey

Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations in Geneva

Michael Gaffey is the Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

Prior to his appointment to Geneva, Mr. Gaffey had been working at Irish Aid since 2008, first as Deputy Director General of the Development Cooperation Division and then as Director.

From 2002 to 2008, he worked at the Political Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin. He served at the Irish Embassy in Tokyo from 2000 to 2002; at the Irish Embassy in London from 1997 to 2000; at the Irish Embassy in Cairo from 1993 to 1997; and at the Irish Embassy in Baghdad, and then Amman, from 1990 to 1992.

Mr. Richard Gowan

United Nations Director, The International Crisis Group

Richard Gowan in the United Nations Director of the International Crisis Group. He was previously a Consulting Analyst with ICG in 2016 and 2017. He has worked with the European Council on Foreign Relations, New York University Center on International Cooperation and the Foreign Policy Centre (London). He has taught at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and Stanford in New York. He has also worked fot the UN Department of Political Affairs, the UN Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on International Migration, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Rasmussen Global, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Global Affairs Canada. From 2013 to 2019, he wrote a weekly column (“Diplomatic Fallout”) for World Politics Review.

Mr. Nasser Judeh

Senator, Former Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Mr. Nasser Judeh is a member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement, of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation, and one of the five independent eminent persons tasked with the 2020 review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture by the UN Secretary-General.

He was Jordan´s Deputy Prime Minister from 2015 to 2017 and, previous to that, held several cabinet and cabinet-level offices including as Minister of Information (1998 to 1999), Minister for Media and Communication (2007 to 2009), and Official Spokesman of the Government of Jordan for several terms (1998 to 1999, 2005 to 2007 and 2007 to 2009).  From February 2009 to January 2017, Mr. Judeh was Minister of Foreign Affairs, the longest serving Foreign Minister in Jordan’s history having served in that post for almost eight years. Throughout his career in public service, and particularly as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Judeh worked tirelessly and passionately to address the key challenges facing the Middle East region and the world at large at the heart of which has been the pursuit of peace between Palestinians and Israelis. Finding a political solution in war-ravaged Syria and addressing the humanitarian spillover of that crisis, as well as confronting the danger and threat of radicalization, extremism, and global terrorism are the other key challenges Mr. Judeh focused on in his tenure as Foreign Minister. He has advocated and continues to advocate His Majesty King Abdullah’s vision of peace, dialogue, and political solutions for regional and international issues and promoted the true message of Islam as a religion of peace and openness. In addition to his responsibility as a Senator, Mr. Judeh is the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Jordan World Affairs Council and serves on several regional and international boards.

Mr. Pekka Haavisto

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Pekka Haavisto in the Minister for Foreign Affaris of Finland since December 2019. He was a Member of Parliament in 1983–1995 and was returned to Parliament in 2007. In 1995–1999, he served as Minister of Development and the Environment and in 2013–2014 as Minister for International Development. In 1993–1995 and in 2018–2019, he was Party Leader of the Greens in Finland. He has also served several years as a member of the Helsinki City Council. He stood as a candidate in the presidential election in Finland in 2012 and in 2018.

He has gained wide experience of various areas of foreign policy, for example, while chairing the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Task Forces on environmental impacts of war in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Liberia, occupied Palestinian territory and Sudan. He has also worked as the EU Special Representative for Sudan and Darfur, Special Advisor for the UN (ASG) in the Darfur peace process, and Special Representative to the Minister for Foreign Affairs in African crises.

In addition, he has served in several positions of trust, including President of the Board of the European Institute of Peace (EIP) in 2016–2019, Chair of the Board of the Finnish Federation of Settlement Houses in 2014–2019, and Chair of WWF Finland’s Board of Trustees. Haavisto has worked as Editor-in-Chief of several publications, including Vihreä Lanka magazine. Additionally, he has authored many books, the most recent one, Eurooppa raiteilla (Europe on rails), in 2018.

Ms. Tarja Halonen

President of Finland (2000-2011)
World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid Member

Tarja Halonen holds a Law degree from the University of Helsinki (1968). Her professional career started in the national Union of Finnish Students. She started as a lawyer in the Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions in 1970 and joined the Social Democratic party in 1971. In 1974 she was appointed parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister. She was elected to Parliament for the first time in 1979. Halonen’s appointments have been: Minister of Social Affairs and Health in, Minister of Justice, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister responsible for Nordic co-operation. At the Council of Europe, she has served as Deputy-Chair of the Finnish Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly, and later in the Ministerial Committee. She was also a Member of the Committee of Wise Persons of the Council of Europe in 1998–99. She was elected president of Finland in 2000 and was re-elected in 2006. During her presidency, Tarja Halonen has served as co-chair of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization, appointed by the International Labour Organization ILO, and served as the Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders.

In August 2010, she was appointed co-chair of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability. She continues to work closely with the UN and is currently member of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation. She is also alternate co-chair of the Every Woman Every Child Movement’s Steering Group, UN Global Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and UN Drylands Ambassador. She joined the Club de Madrid in 2012, ratified by the XI General Assembly.

Mr. He Yafei

Former Deputy Foreign Minister of China, Former Deputy Director of the Overseas Chinese Affairs of the State Council of China

He Yafei is a former Deputy Foreign Minister of China and former Deputy Director of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council of China. He was born in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, in March 1955. He graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University, and earned a master’s degree at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva. 

As a professional diplomat, he has served in various positions related to foreign affairs. He was appointed Counselor of the Chinese Permanent Mission to the United Nations in 1994, and Deputy Director General of the Department of Arms Control of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1997. In 1998, he was appointed Minister Counselor of China’s Embassy in the United States and was promoted to Minister of the Embassy in 2000. He served as Director General of the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs from 2001 to 2006, and as Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2008. In 2008, he was appointed Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. And in 2010, he assumed the office of Representative and Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the UN office in Geneva, and also served at other international organizations in Switzerland.  Mr. He has rich experiences in diplomatic practices, and in-depth research and studies on the global governance and China’s foreign policy, on which he has published several books. His latest book China and Global Governance was published in March 2019. On the basis of clarifying the concept and mechanism of global governance, he clarifies China’s role in the global governance, and summarizes the concepts and practices of China’s efforts in improving global governance system and innovating the model of global governance mechanism.

Ms. Noeleen Heyzer

Social Scientist and Former United Nations Under-Secretary-General

Noeleen Heyzer is currently a member of the UN Secretary General’s High Level Advisory Board on Mediation. She was an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations (2007-2015) and the first woman to serve as the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific since its founding in 1947. Under her leadership, the commission focused on regional co-operation for a more resilient Asia-Pacific, founded on shared prosperity, social equity, and sustainable development.  She was at the forefront of many innovations including for inclusive socio-economic policies and social protection, sustainable agriculture and urbanization, regional disaster preparedness, energy security and regional connectivity.  She played a key role in the preparation of the ASEAN-UN Comprehensive Partnership Framework and in 2009 was the first UN official invited by the Chair of ASEAN to address the East Asian Summit.

She was the first Executive Director outside of North America to lead the United Nations Development Fund for Women (1994-2007). She was widely recognized for playing a critical role in the Security Council’s adoption and implementation of the landmark Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security. Dr. Heyzer was also the UN SG’s Special Adviser for Timor-Leste, working to support peace-building, state-building, and sustainable development.

Dr. Heyzer has served on numerous boards and advisory committees of international organizations, including the UNDP Human Development Report, the Asian Development Bank’s Eminent Persons Group, Board of Trustees of the National University of Singapore (NUS), member of the Governing Board of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy(NUS), Governing Board  member of Duke-NUS, member of the Kofi Annan Global Commission on Elections and Democracy in the Digital Age. She was a founding member of several international women’s networks and was a jury member of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Innovation Award for Women’s and Girl’s Empowerment, 2010. She was also on the High-level Commonwealth Commission on Respect and Understanding chaired by Nobel Laureate Prof. Amartya Sen.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Upper Hons.) and Master of Science from the University of Singapore, and a Doctorate in Social Sciences from Cambridge University, United Kingdom. She has received numerous international awards for leadership including The Dag Hammarskjöld Medal (2004) given to “a person who has promoted, in action and spirit, the values that inspired Dag Hammarskjöld as Secretary-General of the United Nations and generally in his life: compassion, humanism and commitment to international solidarity and cooperation”. Uppsala, Sweden.

Mr. Fabrizio Hochschild

Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, United Nations

Fabrizio Hochschild who has been serving as Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General since 2017, will support the Secretary-General in coordinating the preparation for the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations in 2020 and related celebrations, through a system-wide process of consultations and reflections on the role of the United Nations in advancing international co-operation and in supporting Member States’ ability to respond to emerging challenges and frontier issues. 

Mr. Hochschild served as Deputy Special Representative for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) in 2016, UN Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Representative of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Colombia from 2013 to 2016, Director of the Field Personnel Division in the United Nations Department of Field Support, New York from 2010 to 2012; and as Chief of Field Operations and Technical Cooperation in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Geneva from 2005 to 2009.

He began his United Nations career in 1988 with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Sudan and served in subsequent postings with UNHCR, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and in peacekeeping.  He was posted in Sudan, Jerusalem, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Geneva, New York, Timor-Leste, Serbia and the United Republic of Tanzania. 

A graduate of the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, he has published studies and articles on leadership, on the protection of civilians, on transitional justice and reconciliation among other topics.

Mr. Itonde A. Kakoma

Director for Global Strategy, CMI

Itonde A. Kakoma is a member of CMI’s Leadership Team and has been appointed as the Director for Global Strategy, a position established to ensure sustainable growth, risk management, and strategy execution. Kakoma joined CMI in 2014, initially serving as Head for Sub-Saharan Africa before being promoted as Programme Director responsible for Africa (Sub-Sahara, Sahel, and North Africa). Prior to CMI, Kakoma was the Assistant Director, Conflict Resolution Program at The Carter Center, managing a portfolio of the Center’s peace initiatives and supporting President Carter’s diplomatic efforts in and between Sudan and South Sudan.

Mr. Kakoma was selected as a 2020 Global Fellow (Executive in Residence) at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP). He has expertise in negotiation and facilitation of high-level peace processes and area specialization in international conflict resolution, global peace and security trends, and inter-cultural communication and dialogue. Kakoma is a member of the Board of Directors for The Fulbright Finland Foundation.

Ms. Hanna Klinge

Acting Executive Director, Crisis Management Initiative

Hanna Klinge serves as Acting Executive Director since January 2020. Prior to this she was the Advisor to Executive Director and the principal lead on strategic partnerships. Ms Klinge joined CMI in January 2018.

Hanna Klinge’s background is in international relations, primarily in managing strategic partnerships, large scale projects and people. Prior to joining CMI Ms Klinge worked as Country Director at the British Council Finland leading its work in Finland. The broad institutional portfolio included several international capacity building programmes, policy dialogue initiatives, and publications. Ms Klinge is experienced in forging strategic partnerships and alliances across public, private and third sectors. She has specialized in social development and innovation, equality and inclusion issues, and social enterprise. Ms Klinge has studied and worked in Greece, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland. She holds an Executive Master in International Negotiation and Policy-Making from Geneva Graduate Institute, and a MA in Cultural Studies and Social Sciences from Helsinki University. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK).

Mr. Ricardo Lagos

President of Chile (2000-2006)
World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid Member

Ricardo Lagos is a Lawyer from University of Chile, with a Phd in Economics from Duke University. During the 80’s he played a predominant role in the process to recover the democracy in Chile. He led the Democratic Alliance and the Independent Committee for Free Elections. He was the founder and first president of the Party for the Democracy.

Prior to becoming president, Mr. Lagos was Minister of Education under Patricio Aylwin’s term, (1990) and Minister of Public Works under Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle’s term (1994). He has also received the Honoris Causa distinction from a large number of prestigious universities in the world, such as the Universidad Autónoma de México, Universidad de Salamanca, amongst many others. He was granted the “Berkeley Medal”, top distinction of the Berkeley University in California.

During 2008 and 2009 Former President Lagos hel the position of President of the Club of Madrid, and was one of the United Nations’ Special Envoy on Climate Change. He currently is President of the Fundación Democracia y Desarrollo in Chile, created after he left the presidential term in 2006.

Mr. Razi Latif

Lab Manager at United Nations Technology and Innovation Lab, Finland

Razi Latif is the Head of Office / Lab Manager UN Technology and Innovation Lab based in Finland.  Prior to his current role Razi worked for the UK’s Department for International Development in humanitarian response, disaster resilience, climate change, conflict & migration. 

His previous experience includes leadership roles for the United Nations in Africa and Asia; the External Action Service of the European Commission (east Africa); and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (London).  Razi has spent 12 years living and working in Africa and 5 years living and working in Asia, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.  He holds degrees from UK universities in Ecology and Marine Biology.  Razi is a dual Pakistani and UK national.

Ms. Susana Malcorra

Dean of the IE School of Global and Public Affairs

Susana Malcorra is the Dean of the IE School of Global and Public Affairs and was previously Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship for the Republic of Argentina back in 2015. After her resignation in July 2017, she served as Minister Advisor to the President until December 2017.

In 2004 joined the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) where she became the chief operating officer. In May 2008, United Nations Secretary-General appointed Ms. Malcorra Under-Secretary-General for the recently created Department of Field Support, where she was charged with providing logistical, communications, personnel, and financial support services to Peacekeeping Operations overseeing a budget of eight billion dollars.

In April 2012, Ms. Malcorra was appointed Chief of Staff to the Secretary-General. Thus, in addition to her long career as an executive, she has invaluable experience in the diplomatic field including a range of activities from handling negotiations with various countries (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Chad, Somalia or Afghanistan, among others) to the approval by the General Assembly of strategic, financial and budgetary matters involving over 9 billion dollars. Among other specific tasks, Ms. Malcorra coordinated the Mission on the Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons and the first Health Mission for Ebola Emergency Response in West Africa.

Ms. Kathryn Nwajiaku-Dahou

Director of Programme – Politics and Governance, Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

Kathryn is the Director of ODI’s Politics and Governance programme. She has been a widely acknowledged expert on conflict, fragility and governance as well as the role of business in fragile situations for 25 years, and has written extensively in these fields. A common thread of her thinking has been the importance of bringing a shrewd political lens to the development endeavour and ensuring that ‘developing country’ contexts are understood and engaged with as ‘complex’ political societies like any other.

Before joining ODI, Kathryn was a senior independent consultant in Paris. She has also worked for the OECD for five years, most recently as Head of Unit and Head of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Secretariat. She co-authored their 2015 States of Fragility report.

Kathryn previously worked for the Irish Government and spent eight years as a researcher and policy advisor for Oxfam and ACORD. As a consultant, Kathryn worked with various bilateral and multilateral institutions, including DfID, Danida and AfDB. 

Kathryn has an MA from the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies, specialising on Africa, and a PhD in Politics and International Relations from Nuffield College, University of Oxford. Kathryn is Chair of the Bayelsa State Oil and Environmental Commissions’ Expert Working Group in Nigeria and is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. 

Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo

President of Nigeria (1976-1979; 1999-2007)
World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid Member

Olusegun Obasanjo became the Nigerian head of state for the first time in February 1976; until then he had been Federal Commissioner for Work and Housing in Murtala’s military government.

 Keeping the chain of command established by Murtala Muhammad in place, Mr. Obasanjo pledged to continue the programme for the restoration of civilian government and to carry forward the reform programme to improve the quality of public service. In October 1977, a Constitutive Assembly was convened in order to draw a new Carta Magna, which was later approved in September 1978. This led to the abolition of the military government, the end of the state of siege which had come about with the arrival of the military regime in 1966, and the legalization of political parties.

Mr. Obasanjo served until October 1, 1979, when he handed power to Shehu Shagari, a democratically elected civilian president, becoming the first leader in Nigerian history to surrender power willingly. In the 1999 elections – the first democratic elections in sixteen years – he decided to run for the presidency as the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party. Mr. Obasanjo won the elections and was later also re-elected in 2003. Olusegun Obasanjo stepped down after the April 2007 elections.

Ms. Roza Otunbayeva

President of the Kyrgyzstan (2010-2011)
World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid Member

Roza Otunbayeva currently heads «The Initiative of Roza Otunbayeva” International Foundation.

She held the role of Deputy Head of Government and Foreign Minister of the Soviet Kyrgyz Republic (1986-1989) before being invited to the Soviet Foreign Ministry as the Secretary General and later as the President of the Soviet National Commission of UNESCO.

In 1991 she has returned (after Moscow) to the newly independent Kyrgyzstan to serve as Vice-Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. She was the first Kyrgyz Ambassador to the United States and Canada (1992-1994), and later to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland (1997-2002).

During 2002-2004 she worked as Deputy Head of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in peacekeeping mission to Georgia before returning to Kyrgyzstan to take an active role in democratic changes of the country. In 2007 she was elected to the Kyrgyz Parliament and led the opposition fraction until April 2010. After Revolution she became a Head of the Interim Government.  From July 2010 to December 2011, Roza Otunbayeva served as President of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Roza Otunbayeva holds a PhD in Philosophy from the Moscow State University.

Ms. Johanna Poutanen

Head of the Women in Peacemaking Programme, Crisis Management Initiative

Johanna Poutanen is Head for Women in Peacemaking at the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI). CMI, founded by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate President Martti Ahtisaari, is one of the world’s leading independent organisations specialising dialogue and mediation. In her current role, Johanna Poutanen leads CMI’s work on strengthening women’s inclusion in peace mediation. This entails both tailored support to women’s participation in specific conflict prevention and conflict resolution processes, as well as enhancing gender-sensitive mediation capacities of key actors in the field globally.

Johanna Poutanen has extensive experience in peace mediation and conflict management, with specialist expertise in women and youth participation in peace processes. Prior to her current role, she served as CMI’s Country Manager for South Sudan based in Juba 2013-2015; leading the country-level support to a high-level dialogue process within the ruling party, alongside cross-track dialogue initiatives with women parliamentarians and national youth leaders. Before joining CMI, she worked to support constructive cross-party dialogue in transition contexts with emphasis on youth and women’s participation. From 2007-2010 she was based in Kathmandu, Nepal, where she facilitated a pioneering dialogue platform among the major parties’ youth and student wings as part of the country’s peace process. She has also worked for a variety of international agencies in the field of peace and security, including the Strategic Planning Unit of the UN Secretary-General in New York and the Finnish Embassy in Nepal; and grassroots dialogue initiatives in e.g. Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Kenya.

Mr. José Manuel Ramos-Horta

President of East Timor (2007-2012)
World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid Member

José Manuel Ramos-Horta studied Public International Law at The Hague Academy of International Law (1983) and at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio where he completed a Master of Arts degree in Peace Studies (1984). He was trained in Human Rights Law at the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg (1983). He completed Post-Graduate courses in American Foreign Policy at Columbia University in New York (1983).

Due to his active involvement in political awareness and advocating independence for the territory, he was deported at the age of 18 to Portuguese East Africa. He returned to Timor in 1971 and, after the 1974 revolution in Portugal, joined with other young Timorese pro-independence activists to found the Social Democratic Association of Timor, later known as the Revolutionary Front of Independent Timor-Leste (FRETILIN). When FRETILIN declared the independence of East Timor in 1975, Ramos-Horta was appointed the minister of external affairs and was instructed to go abroad to seek international recognition and support. He was just 25 years old.

Ramos-Horta left East Timor three days before the invasion by Indonesian troops that led to a 24-year occupation. Few days later, he became the youngest diplomat ever to address the United Nations Security Council, successfully urging the Council to adopt a resolution that recognized the right of the people of Timor-Leste to self-determination and independence.

After the 1999 referendum in which the people of East Timor voted overwhelmingly for independence from Indonesia, Ramos-Horta returned to his homeland for the first time in 24 years. He served as foreign minister under the provisional United Nations administration (2000–2002) and during the first four years of independence (2002-06), and was selected as prime minister after the political and social crisis that led to the resignation of the first government in 2006. In 2007 he was elected president of the Republic, receiving over 70 percent of the votes cast.

Along with Roman Catholic priest Carlos Belo, Ramos-Horta jointly received the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize. Both men also received the Order of Liberty, Grand Cross, from Portugal in 1996.

Amb. Terje Rød-Larsen

President, International Peace Institute (IPI)

Terje Rød-Larsen has been President of the International Peace Institute since January 2005. Mr. Rød-Larsen began his career as an academic, teaching sociology, political science, and philosophy at the Universities of Bergen and Oslo, before establishing the Fafo Institute for Applied Sciences in Oslo in 1981. As Director of Fafo, Mr. Rød-Larsen initiated a research project into the living conditions of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which led to a request by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the government of Israel in 1992 that he established a secret channel for negotiations between the PLO and the government of Israel. The subsequent talks between Israelis and Palestinians, facilitated by Fafo and the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, concluded with the mutual recognition of Israel and the PLO and the Oslo Accords and the signing of the Declaration of Principles at the White House on September 13, 1993.

In 1993, Mr. Rød-Larsen was appointed Ambassador and Special Adviser for the Middle East peace process to the Norwegian Foreign Minister. In mid-1994, he was appointed United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories at the rank of Under-Secretary-General. In 1996, Mr. Rød-Larsen became Norwegian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Planning and Cooperation, before rejoining the United Nations. From 1999 to December 2004, he served as UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, holding the rank of Under-Secretary-General.

In 1999 he was appointed Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General to Lebanon and negotiated with Syria, Lebanon and Israel the Israeli withdrawal from Southern Lebanon and the end of the Israeli occupation. In 2005 he negotiated, on behalf of the UN Secretary-General, the Syrian military withdrawal from Lebanon. Mr. Rød-Larsen is a Commander of the Légion d’Honneur (France) and a Commander of the National Order of the Cedar (Lebanon).

Amb. Martin Sajdik

Former Special Representative of OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine

Martin Sajdik, after graduating from the Theresianum in Vienna in 1967, Martin Sajdik studied law at the University of Vienna (doctorate in 1971) and subsequently international law at the Lomonosov University in Moscow, Russia and international relations at the Johns Hopkins University in Bologna, Italy.

His diplomatic career took Martin Sajdik to Belgrade, Nairobi and Geneva and from 1991 as envoy to the Austrian Embassy in Moscow. In 1997, he was appointed head of the Department for EU Enlargement, External Economic Relations and Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. In 2003 he was appointed head of the economic and integration policy section in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. From 2007 to 2011 he was Austrian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, North Korea and Mongolia, and from 2012 to 2015 Ambassador to the United Nations in New York. From 2015 to 2020, Ambassador Sajdik was the OSCE Ukraine Special Envoy. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Martin Sajdik was also Head of the Moscow Representative Office of Creditanstalt-Bankverein and Managing Director of the Maculan Group.

Mr. Kai Sauer

Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Security Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Ambassador Sauer began his diplomatic career with the Finnish Foreign Ministry in 1995 working as a Desk Officer for Germany, Austria, Switzerland, United States and Canada in the Political Department. In 1997, Sauer transferred to the Economic Department to work as a Desk Officer for Cooperation with Adjacent Areas. In 1998, he worked for the Department for Press and Culture as the Desk Officer for Cultural Cooperation.

Sauer served as the Deputy Head of the Embassy of Finland in Zagreb, Croatia, as the First Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations and as a Senior Adviser to the Special Representative of the Secretary General, Mr. Harri Holkeri in the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). In 2004 Sauer worked as the Head of the Strategic Analysis and Research Unit in UNMIK.

In 2005, Sauer was appointed as the Director of the Unit for the Western Balkans, in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and worked as a Senior Adviser to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, former President of the Republic of Finland, Martti Ahtisaari who led the UN-facilitated Kosovo future status process and the UN Office of the Special Envoy for Kosovo (UNOSEK) in Vienna, Austria.

In 2007 Sauer was appointed Director of the Unit for UN Affairs in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In 2010 Sauer was appointed as the Ambassador of Finland to Indonesia, Timor-Leste and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).

In 2014 Sauer served as the Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations where he served until 2019.

Ms. Jenny Shipley

Prime Minister of New Zealand (1997-1999)
World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid Member

Jenny Shipley is the first female Prime Minister of New Zealand and served in office from 1997 to 1999.

Ms. Shipley got interested in politics originally at the community-level. She was elected to local government (Malvern County) in 1983. In 1987, she won a seat in the National Parliament representing the electorate of Ashburton (now Rakaia). Before 1990, she served as Spokesperson on Social Welfare.

After the 1990 General Election, she became Minister of Social Welfare and Women’s Affairs. In 1993, Shipley was appointed Minister of Health. In this position, she made efforts to reform public healthcare in New Zealand. In 1996, she was appointed Minister of State Services, Transport and State Owned Enterprises. In 1997 Shipley became Prime Minister and Leader of her party (National party, NP) gaining control of the Coalition Government.

When the Coalition broke up in August 1998, Shipley held on to her position as Prime Minister and managed to retain enough seats to keep the NP in power until the end of 1999. During her tenure as Prime Minister, one of her most important acts was to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) annual forum in Auckland in 1999, which attracted some of the world’s top leaders to discuss shared trade and economic issues.

After serving as the Prime Minister, Shipley was the Leader of the Opposition until late from 1999-2001. She retired from politics in 2002. Currently, she is a Director of a number of companies in New Zealand and Asia, speaks all around the world on a diverse range of topics, and runs her own consultancy. She was an Initiator of the Education Forum for East Asia, an annual conference held in Beijing, and is deeply involved in its development. She is a member of the World Women’s Leaders Council.

Mr. Serge Stroobants

Director Europe and MENA Region, Institute for Economics and Peace

Serge Stroobants is Serge Stroobants is the Director of Operations for Europe and the MENA region at the Institute for Economics and Peace.  He is a former staff officer of the Belgian Army with a developed operational experience and an extensive academic background.

He has served at all levels of operational command and also at the strategic level at NATO HQ as the Military Assistant to the Belgian Military Representative to the NATO Military Committee. Most of his assignments were in a multinational environment such as several NATO Forces Headquarters, the French-German Brigade and the Eurocorps. Serge deployed to the Balkans for an aggregated period of more than two years and he also had the opportunity to collect African experience during deployments to Rwanda, Benin and the Cabo Verde Islands. He participated in a NATO Response Force and an EU Battlegroup training, preparation and stand-by phase. Serge has been awarded several national orders decorations, the NATO medal and the Ehrenkreuz der Bundeswehr.

He is now a lecturer at the Royal Military Academy in the department of Conflict Studies/ Chair of World Politics. He is the executive coordinator for the security and defense module for the Advanced Staff Course. He is an assistant-Professor at Vesalius College, Brussels with courses on NATO and the transatlantic approaches to security as well as on Global terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization.

Ms. Aminata Touré

Prime Minister of Senegal (2013-2014
World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid Member

Aminata Touré served as Prime Minister of Senegal between 2013 and until July 2014. She was the second woman to become Prime Minister of Senegal. Previously she served her country has Minister of Justice from 2012 to 2013. Currently, Aminata Touré is the Special Envoy of President Macky Sall for Internal and External Affairs.

Her areas of competence include Economy, Good Governance and Gender. Before launching a political career in Senegal, Aminata Touré worked as Director for the Gender and Human Rights World at the United Nations Population Fund.

Aminata Touré holds a PhD in International Business Administration and Finance from the International School of Management ISM in New York and Paris and a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Dijon Business School (France).

Mr. Danilo Türk

President of Slovenia (2007-2012)
World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid Member

Danilo Türk has had a long and distinguished career focused on minority and human rights. In the mid-1980s, he collaborated with Amnesty International to report on human rights issues in Yugoslavia. Between 1986 and 1992, he served as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Realization of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In 1990, he returned to Slovenia as member of the Constitutional Commission of the Slovenian National Assembly. From 1992 to 2000, he was first the Slovenian Permanent Representative to the United Nations. In 2007 he became the third president of Slovenia (2007-2012). In 2016 he was one of the candidates for the post of the Secretary-General of the UN and he chaired the Global High Level Panel on Water and Peace (2015-2017) which published its report “A Matter of Survival” (2017).

Mr. Alexander Stubb

Prime Minister of Finland (2014-2015)
Chair of Crisis Management Initiative

Alexander Stubb is the Chair of the Crisis Management Initiative and Director of the School of Transnational Governance as of 1 May 2020. He has served as Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Foreign Minister, Trade and Europe Minister of Finland (2008-2016). He was a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2008 and the national parliament (2011-2017). He was the Chairman of the Finnish National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) from 2014 to 2016 and Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) from 2017 to 2020.

Stubb worked as an advisor at the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Helsinki and Brussels and in President Romano Prodi’s team at the European Commission (1995-2004). He was involved in the negotiation of the Treaties of Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon.

Amb. Melanne Verveer

Executive Director, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security

Ambassador Melanne Verveer is the Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. She also serves as the Special Representative on Gender Issues for the OSCE Chairmanship.

Amb. Verveer previously served as the first U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, a position to which she was nominated by President Obama in 2009. She coordinated foreign policy issues and activities relating to the political, economic and social advancement of women, traveling to nearly sixty countries. She worked to ensure that women’s participation and rights are fully integrated into U.S. foreign policy, and she played a leadership role in the Administration’s development of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. President Obama also appointed her to serve as the U.S. Representative to the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

From 2000-2008, she was the Chair and Co-CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international NGO that she co-founded to invest in emerging women leaders. During the Clinton administration, she served as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady. She also led the effort to establish the President’s Interagency Council on Women, and was instrumental in the adoption of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. She is the co-author of Fast Forward: How Women Can Achieve Power and Purpose (2015).

Ambassador Verveer has a B.S. and M.S. from Georgetown University and holds several honorary degrees. In 2013, she was the Humanitas Visiting Professor at the University of Cambridge and in 2017, she was selected to deliver the Tanner Lecture at Clare Hall College, Cambridge. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission, and she serves on the Boards of the National Endowment for Democracy, the Atlantic Council, as well as the World Bank Advisory Council on Gender and Development. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Secretary of State’s Award for Distinguished Service. In 2008, the President of Ukraine awarded her the Order of Princess Olga.

Amb. Tuula Yrjola

Officer-in-Charge/Secretary General, Director of the Conflict Prevention Centre, and Deputy Head of the OSCE Secretariat

Ambassador Tuula Yrjölä is the Director of the OSCE Conflict Prevention Centre (CPC) and Deputy Head of the OSCE Secretariat. She provides analysis and policy advice to the Secretary General and the Chairperson-in-Office, co-ordinating and developing the OSCE’s activities aimed at reducing tensions, responding to conflict situations and providing support in addressing the root causes of conflicts and instability through structural prevention and peace building. Under her direction, the CPC facilitates the work of the OSCE’s 16 field operations.

Before joining the OSCE Secretariat, Tuula was Ambassador for Democratic and Effective Societies at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland in Helsinki. Tuula’s previous experience with the OSCE comes from Tajikistan, where she was Head of the Programme Office in Dushanbe from 2016 to 2018. She has over 30 years of experience in the Finnish diplomatic service and has previously served as Roving Ambassador to Central Asia and Ambassador of Finland to Egypt and Sudan. Other postings include Kyiv and New York. Tuula speaks fluent English with advanced knowledge in Russian, French and Swedish.

Mr. Jonathan Harlander

Project Manager, Peacetech, Crisis Management Initiative

Jonathan Harlander is CMI’s Senior Manager, Peacetech. For six years, Jonathan was the Secretary of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue’s (HD’s) Senior Management Team and a Project Officer in its Mediation Support and Policy Programme. He has contributed to the conceptualisation and organisation of five editions of the Oslo Forum and oversaw the development and release of HD’s publications. Jonathan has worked with the UN’s Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs on the development and release of the Toolkit on digital technologies and mediation. He has also contributed to the launch of the social media project at HD, written on social media codes of conduct and is a founding member of the CyberMediation Network. Jonathan holds a BA in Political Science and Law and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies in Geneva, where he specialised on negotiation and conflict resolution.

Amb. Teemu Turunen

Director of the Centre for Peace Mediation, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Teemu Turunen is the Director of the Centre for Peace Mediation of the  Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Before this assignment, he was the Finnish Ambassador to Argentina. He is a lawyer specialised in international law. He studied at the University of Turku, and continued his studies by doing a Master in Spain in International Law and Sociology of Law, oriented to conflict resolution. With his 42 years, he is the youngest ambassador of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. He has been deployed in Caracas, Damascus, Madrid, and Beijing. From 2009 to 2016, he stayed in Finland to take up consular work as Director of Consular Affairs in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

Mr. Thomas Guerber

Director, DCAF - Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance

Ambassador Thomas Guerber was appointed Director of DCAF – Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance, on 24 November 2015 and took up his function on 1 July 2016. He brings to the position extensive experience in multilateral diplomacy and policy development relating to human security, human rights and sustainable development.

From 2010 to 2013, Ambassador Guerber was Switzerland’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. From 2007 to 2010, he worked as a Counsellor for financial, budgetary and institutional issues at Switzerland’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York. Prior to these assignments, he held various functions within the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs’ Human Security Division, including Head of Section for Peace Policy and Human Security. He entered the Swiss diplomatic service in 1997.

Thomas Guerber holds an LL.M. degree in public international law and international economic law from the University of Berne, a master’s degree in European integration and economics from Institute for European Global Studies (Basel) and a master’s degree in history and literature from the University of Basel. He is married and has two sons.

Ms. Sarah Nouwen

Professor at the European University Institute

Sarah Nouwen is a Professor of International Law at the European University Institute in Florence, where she is also a Co-Director of the Academy of European Law. She is on leave from the University of Cambridge, where she served for several years as Co-Deputy Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, and from Pembroke College. She is currently an Editor-in- Chief of the European Journal of International Law.

Her research interests lie on the intersections of law and politics, war and peace and justice and the rule of law. Building on her experience in diplomacy and peace negotiations, her research focuses on how international law plays out in concrete situations. It combines doctrinal analysis and theory with empirical research and draws on law, politics, and anthropology.
Prior to joining the Cambridge Law Faculty, Sarah worked for the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs in New York, The Hague and Khartoum. In 2010-2011 she served as Senior Legal Advisor to the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel in Sudan, consisting of three former Presidents who played a key role in the negotiations on an independent South Sudan and in seeking resolutions for the conflict in Darfur.

She holds an LLB and LLM (Utrecht University, with specialisations done in at the University of Cape Town and the University of the Western Cape), an MPhil in International Relations (Cantab) and a PhD in Law (Cantab) and is the author of the monograph Complementarity in the Line of Fire: The Catalysing Effect of the International Criminal Court in Uganda and Sudan. Her article `“As You Set out for Ithaka”: Practical, Epistemological, Ethical, and Existential Questions about Socio-Legal Empirical Research in Conflict’ was awarded with the Leiden Journal of International Law Prize.

Ms. Tanja Jääskeläinen

Deputy Director-General of the Political Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Tanja Jääskeläinen, Finnish career diplomat, started as Deputy Director General of the Political Department in October 2018. Previously she has worked as Special Representative, Ambassador to Syrian Crisis 2017-2018. Before that, she served as Head of Mission at the Finnish Embassy in Tunis (2013–2017). Jääskeläinen has also served at the Embassies of Finland in London (2009–2013), Damascus (2001–2003) and Budapest (1996–2000). At the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, she has worked as Senior Diplomatic advisor to two different Foreign Ministers of Finland (2007-2009). She entered the diplomatic service in 1995. Jääskeläinen holds degrees of Master of Social Sciences and Master of Art.