His All-Holiness, BARTHOLOMEW, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch is the 270th successor of the 2,000 year-old local Christian Church founded by St. Andrew the Apostle. As a citizen of Turkey, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s personal experience provides him a unique perspective on the continuing dialogue among the Christian, Islamic and Jewish worlds.
He works to advance reconciliation among Catholic, Muslim and Orthodox communities, such as in former Yugoslavia, and is supportive of peace building measures to defuse global conflict in the region. As Archbishop of Constantinople and New Rome, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew occupies the First Throne of the Orthodox Christian Church and presides in a fraternal spirit among all the Orthodox Primates. The Ecumenical Patriarch has the historical and theological responsibility to initiate and coordinate actions among the Churches of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Russia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Cyprus, Greece, Poland, Albania, The Czech Land and Slovakia, Finland, Estonia, and numerous archdioceses in the old and new worlds. This includes the convening of councils or meetings, facilitating inter-church and inter-faith dialogues and serving as the primary expresser of Church unity as a whole. As Ecumenical Patriarch he transcends every national and ethnic group on a global level and today is the spiritual leader of approximately 250 million faithful world-wide. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s roles as the primary spiritual leader of the Orthodox Christian world and a transnational figure of global significance continue to become more vital each day. He co-sponsored the Peace and Tolerance Conferences in Istanbul (1994 and 2006) bringing together Christians, Muslims and Jews. Most noted are his efforts in environmental awareness, which have earned him the title “Green Patriarch”. He has organized environmental educational seminars in co-sponsorship with His Royal Highness Prince Philip, and international, scientific environmental symposia on Patmos (1995) and around the Black Sea (1997), along the Danube River (1999), on the Adriatic Sea (2002), in the Baltic Sea (2003), on the Amazon River (2006), in the Arctic 2007), and on the Mississippi River (2009). These endeavours, together with his inspiring efforts on behalf of religious freedom and human rights, rank Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew among the world’s foremost apostles of love, peace and reconciliation for humanity, a reason for which he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by the U.S. Congress.
Her Royal Highness Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan
President, The Royal Scientific Society
Her Royal Highness Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan is President of the Royal Scientific Society (RSS) and Chair of the Board of Trustees of Princess Sumaya University for Technology (PSUT).
The Princess is the Chair of the World Science Forum 2017, which will be held in Jordan, she is also Director and Chair of the National Campaign for Public Awareness of the Drivers of Change, a Jordanian initiative to outline and debate the factors that are driving change in the Kingdom and President of the Board of Governors of the UN ESCWA Technology Center. She is an advocate of science and technology as a catalyst for change in the Arab World, through education, research and innovation. The Princess seeks to promote sustainable development by maximising human potential through education and opportunity.
The Princess is an avid archaeologist and is closely involved with the work of the British Institute in Amman for Archaeological Research and the Council for British Research in the Levant. HRH was appointed by HM Queen Rania as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the first Jordan National Museum, where she is overseeing its development.
Yiorgos Kaminis was born on July 15, 1954 in New York, where he resided until the age of five. His family then returned to Athens. He commenced his academic career in November 1982 as a Scientific Associate of the University of Athens School of Law, specifically Constitutional Law Chair B. In December 1990 he was elected lecturer of the University of Athens Law Faculty and in June 1998 assistant professor.
Mr Kaminis served as Assistant Greek Ombudsman, responsible for Human Rights, from 1998 to May 2003, upon which he was unanimously elected Greek Ombudsman at a Presidents of Parliament roundtable meeting. In August 2010 he announced his resignation and intention to stand as mayoral candidate for the City of Athens. He is a member of the Association of Greek Constitutionalists, the Hellenic Political Science Association as well as the editorial committee fo rthe magazine Synchrona Themata (Current Affairs). During his term as Ombudsman Mr Kaminis was a member of the Association of Mediterranean Ombudsmen governing committee and deputy chairman of the International Ombudsman Institute?s European Region board of directors. Since September 1989 he has been a Scientific Associate of the Hellenic Parliament?s Scientific Service, specifically the Department for Parliamentary Research & Studies which forms part of the 1st Directorate of Scientific Studies. Mr Kaminis was elected Mayor of Athens with the municipal ticket «Right to Athens» on November 14, 2010 and assumed his Mayoral duties on January 1, 2011. Apart from Athens, he has also lived in Osaka, Paris, Madrid and Heidelberg. Mr Kaminis speaks English, French, Spanish and German.
HE Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser
High Representative, The UN Alliance of Civilizations
On March 1st, 2013, H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser assumed the post of UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations. Prior to that, Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser assumed the Presidency of the Sixty-Sixth session of the United Nations General Assembly from 13 September 2011 to 17 September 2012. A veteran diplomat, Mr. Al-Nasser has the rank of Minister, granted by His Highness the Emir of the State of Qatar.
He has contributed to advancing the multilateral agenda in the realms of peace and security, sustainable development and South-South cooperation over a career spanning nearly four decades. For the past 13 years, from 1998 to 2011, Mr. Al-Nasser served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations. During this period, he played leading roles as Chairman of the General Assembly’s Special Political and Decolonization (Fourth) Committee (2009 to 2010) and as President of the General Assembly High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation (2007 to 2009). He also chaired the Group of 77 and China at the United Nations in New York (2004), guiding action that paved the way for the Second South Summit of the Group, which took place in Doha, Qatar, the following year, and led to the establishment of the South Fund for Development and Humanitarian Affairs, a financing mechanism aimed at assisting the countries of the South in addressing issues such as poverty, hunger and natural disasters. Mr. Al-Nasser represented his country on the United Nations Security Council during the two-year term of Qatar as a non-permanent member (2006 to 2007). He was Security Council President for the month of December 2006, when the Council took action on a range of complex peace and security issues, including international cooperation to combat terrorism and the protection of journalists in armed conflict. He also presided over three of the subsidiary bodies of the Council. During his term as Ambassador to the United Nations, Mr. Al-Nasser also served as a Vice-President of the fifty-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly (2002 to 2003) and represented his country at numerous international and regional conferences and other forums. At the same time, he served as non-resident Ambassador to a number of countries in the Americas, including Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay. Earlier, Mr. Al-Nasser was appointed as his country’s resident Ambassador to Jordan (1993 to 1998), before which he was first posted to the Permanent Mission of Qatar to the United Nations, New York, as Minister Plenipotentiary (1986 to 1993). Mr. Al-Nasser entered the international arena at an early age, and was appointed Attaché at the Embassy of Qatar in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1972. He was assigned to the Embassy of his country in Islamabad, Pakistan, in 1975 and, later that year, was dispatched to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where he served as Consul-General for Qatar through August 1981. The recipient of numerous decorations and awards, Mr. Al-Nasser was made an honorary fellow of the Foreign Policy Association in New York in 2009. He also holds three honorary doctorates, in international affairs from the Government of China through Chongqing University, from the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences in recognition of his efforts to foster cross-cultural understanding and strengthen the work of the UN Alliance of Civilizations initiative, and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Fordham University in the United States. He was recently awarded by the United Nations Association of New York their 2012 Humanitarian Award as well as an award from the Universal Peace Federation in New York. A wide range of countries have conferred on him their national awards, including the Medal of Independence of the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Grand Officer, Order of Merit (Italy); Medal of Grand Commander of the Order of Makarios III (Cyprus); National Order of Doctor José Matias Delgado (El Salvador); and Commander of the National Order of the Republic (Côte d’Ivoire). In his private capacity, Mr. Al-Nasser serves on the boards of a number of institutions, including the Board of Advisors of the New York University Center for Dialogue and President of the Board of IPS (Inter Press Service). He also serves as member on the Advisory Board of the Committee on Education chaired by HH Sheikha Moza. Educated in Doha and Beirut, he is fluent in Arabic and English. Mr. Al-Nasser was born on 15 September 1953 in Doha. He is married to Muna Rihani and has one son, Abdulaziz.
President, The Global Civics Academy
Hakan Altinay is the President of the Global Civics Academy.
Altinay is a global ethics fellow at the Carnegie Council, a world fellow at Yale University and the Director of the European School of Politics in Istanbul. His book, Global Civics: Responsibilities and Rights in an Interdependent World was published in 2011, and has been translated into Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Altinay also served as a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution for 6 years.
Dr. Heinrich Kreft
Ambassador Dr Heinrich Kreft is a carreer diplomat and currently Deputy Director General for International Academic and Educational Relations and Dialogue among Civilizations in the German Foreign Ministry. Prior to this assignment he served as Senior Foreign Policy Advisor in the German Bundestag.
As diplomat he was stationed among others in Tokyo (1991-1994) and Washington D.C. (2001-2004). Foreign Policy Planning Staff (in charge of the Americas, Asia and Economic Issues 1996-2001); Visiting Fellow at The Henry L Stimson Center (July-December 2001), at the Heritage Foundation (January – March 2002) and the Woodrow Wilson Center (April – June 2002) in Washington, D.C.; Senior Strategic Analyst and Deputy Head of the Policy Planning Staff of the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin (2004-2006); Lecturer on International Politics. Numerous publications on major power political and economic relations; International Security; the Arab World; European, American and Asian political and economic affairs. Most recent publications on the Arab Awakening and on the rise of China. Contact: Heinrich.Kreft@Diplo.de; HeinrichKreft@msn.com
Chairman, Institute of Diplomacy & Business
Stephen Cole is one of the most experienced and versatile faces of International Television News. He has anchored 24-hour news since 1989 from the studio and from some of the world’s major trouble spots.
Stephen has conducted network interviews with Presidents, Prime Ministers and Movie Stars. He wrote and hosted the Oscars Special programme on BBC World for six years.
He successfully launched the world’s main news channels, Sky News, CNN International, BBC World and Al Jazeera International in London and Doha. He has specialist knowledge of Middle-Eastern politics and is often asked to speak about the region. One of his most successful ideas was the creation of the IT Show Click Online.
He developed the format and over seven years took the BBC show around the world to twenty-eight countries.
Stephen is also a popular Chairman and Moderator at International Global events such as the World Economic Forum at Davos and the Eurasian Media Forum in Astana.
He also recently chaired at the United Nations setting the five-year agenda for UNESCO. And has twice led Future of Energy Sessions for the Al-Attiyah Foundation.
He has also hosted conferences on education (WISE in Doha), banking and global health and writes travel articles for newspapers around the world.
Stephen’s other interests are horse-riding, tennis and rugby, and Supporting Artist work.
He is a Judge at BAFTA, a Global Growth Partner of the Global Thinkers Forum, he is a former Director of a Premiership rugby club, he is currently Chairman of the Institute of Diplomacy and Business and a School Governor in West London..
According to his sons, he also tells the world’s worst jokes.
International Commercial Director, Bloomberg Television
Lindsey is International Commercial Director at Bloomberg Television, an experienced media professional Lindsey is also a trained lawyer and has worked for large media organizations in both capacities.
General Counsel for CNBC Europe for ten years, Lindsey moved across to head up their distribution team. Following her tenure at CNBC Lindsey became Commercial Director at Al Jazeera English, based in Doha, where she was part of the team that launched the English language version of one of the world’s most controversial media brands. After successfully rolling out the channel Oliver moved to the Internet arena with Jalipo, an online content provider, before taking up her current position at Bloomberg Television. In her role she is responsible for distribution across Europe, Middle East and Africa and has been leading The Channel’s International localization initiative which, under her guidance has seen the completion of several new localization deals including BloombergHT in Turkey, Al Arab in the Middle East, RBC in Russia and Bloomberg West Africa in Nigeria.
President Tomorrow's Youth Organization (TYO)
A long time advocate for Middle East peace and children’s issues, Mr. Masri founded Tomorrow’s Youth Organization.
This non-profit organization provides programs in Technology (IT), Arts, Sports and Health for impoverished children aged 4-8, as well as social and economic development programs for women. TYO is a point of light for under-privileged children and communities in the Middle East. It represents the best aspects of the American people and international goodwill, contributing, managing, and operating essential services and activities for all members of communities afflicted by conflict, isolation, and poverty. TYO is an influence for personal and community development throughout the region. Working in cooperation with the highest quality institutions and organizations, TYO aspires to break ground in non-formal early childhood education and women’s empowerment. TYO pursues this objective through innovative programming as well monitoring and research activities to measure impact in communities where it works. The Nablus flagship opened in March 2008 and additional centers are planned for Egypt, Lebanon and Gaza. In 2009, he co-founded Palestine Note, a blog dedicated to fostering dialogue about all issues related to the Middle East. Mr. Masri is also a board member of the Peres Center in Tel Aviv, a non-partisan organization founded by Shimon Peres in 1997 and dedicated to the promotion of peace in the Middle East. He serves on the Board of Seeds of Peace, a non-profit, non-political organization that helps teenagers from regions of conflict learn the skills of “making peace”. Born in Nablus, Palestine and an American citizen since 1987, Mr. Masri served in the diplomatic service of Jordan as Director of its Foreign Ministry’s United Nations Department and as consul at the Jordanian Embassy in Washington, DC. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida and his graduate degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Mr. Hani Masri is Chairman of Capital Investment Management Inc. based in McLean, Virginia and specializing in fund and investment real estate management in the U.S. He also serves as President of M2 Investors Inc. also based in McLean, specializing in private equity fund investments and international consulting throughout the Middle East and Europe, and is President of Capital Corporation specializing in management consulting. He currently resides in Washington, DC.
Athanassios G. Platias
Proffessor of Strategy, University of Piraeus
He received a degree in Public Law and Political Science (with excellence) from the Law Faculty of the University of Athens. He also received an M.A and a Ph.D in International Relations from the Department of Government at Cornell University (1986).
He has been a Ford Foundation Fellow at the Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University, a Research Fellow at the Peace Studies Program, Cornell University; MacArthur Fellow in International Peace and Security at the Program for Science, Technology and International Security, MIT and the Center for International Affairs, Harvard University. Professor Platias taught for 18 years (1989-2007) at the Department of International and European Studies at Panteion University of Political and Social Sciences, Athens Greece. Professor Platias is the author of numerous books and articles. He has written in five principal areas: Strategy, Theory of International Relations, Arms Control and Nuclear Proliferation, Foreign and Defense Policy, International Relations and Strategy in Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War.
Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis
Unesco Goodwill Ambassador
Marianna V. Vardinoyannis has been an unceasing advocate and campaigner for the rights of children and the family.
She is a Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO, founder and president of the “Foundation for the Child and the Family” and of the “ELPIDA Friends’ Association of Children with cancer”. Inspired by motherhood, as a mother of five children herself, she has built up an extensive record of humanitarian work towards disadvantaged social groups in Greece and abroad, as well as on education, peace and cultural heritage. She struggles against human trafficking, climate change and other issues of today’s concern. She serves as board member at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the MENTOR Foundation, the “Light of Africa Foundation”, etc. She holds BA in History of Art and in Economics, MPhil in Archaeology as well as three Honorary Doctorates in Laws, Philosophy and Human Studies. Thanks to her and to the work of ELPIDA, more than 600 children for Greece and the Mediterranean region suffering from cancer were given a new chance of life. She created the first Bone Marrow Transplant Unit in Greece in 1993 and the first Pediatric Oncology Hospital in 2010. More than 750 families of sick children have been hosted for months at the ELPIDA Guest House (est 1999). She adopted the Greek village “Makistos”, reconstructing all the houses after their destruction by fire in 2007. She supported UNESCO programs for Middle East, Africa and other parts of the world. She funded the creation of the “Alexandria Center for Hellenistic Studies” at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in 2008. She is now working for the creation of the first “Bone Marrow Donor Bank” in Greece.
TV Host, Deutsche Welle
Ali Aslan is the host of the international talk show “Quadriga” on Deutsche Welle TV which can be seen by 200 million viewers worldwide. Born in Turkey and raised in Germany, Aslan has worked as a journalist for leading television networks around the world. His work at CNN, ABC News and Channel News Asia took him to Washington DC, New York, Istanbul, Barcelona and Berlin.
Upon his return to Germany, Aslan ventured into politics, serving as a policy and media advisor to the federal government. He is a co-founder of the “German Islam Conference”, a high-profile government initiative which aims to improve the integration of Muslims into German society. Aslan holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a Master of Science in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He received his Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. In recognition of his achievements, Aslan has been named a Young Leader by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, the American Council on Germany, the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, the Atlantik-Brücke, the Koerber Foundation Foreign Policy Network, the American Jewish Committee, the Bertelsmann Foundation, the American Society for Muslim Advancement, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the German Marshall Fund.
Director General, Eliamep
Thanos P. Dokos received his Ph.D. in International Relations from Cambridge University and has held research posts at the Hessische Stiftung Friedens und Konfliktforschung (1989-90) and the Center for Science and International Affairs (CSIA) at Harvard University (1990-91). He served as the Director for Research, Strategic Studies Division, Hellenic Ministry of National Defence (1996-98) and as an Advisor on NATO issues to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1998-1999).
Panos Papazoglou is the CMP since July 2010 and effective January 2011 he holds the role of the CSE South Cluster Leader (responsible for Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, FYROM, Albania, Cyprus, Malta, Moldova, Kosovo). He has served as Head of Assurance in Ernst & Young SRL – Assurance Services Romania for two years and focused on the energy and technology sectors.
He has also served as CMP and Head of Assurance in Bulgaria for three years. Panos Papazoglou joined Ernst & Young in 1988 and is based in the Athens office. Panos holds an MA in Economics and an MBA. Besides, Panos is a Qualified Accountant in Greece and Romania. He has sound management experience and supervisory skills gained over the 25 years of being involved in the accounting and audit profession.
Professor, Philosophy & Director, The Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies, Peking University
Tu Weiming, Lifetime Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies at Peking University and Research Professor and Senior Fellow of Asia Center at Harvard University, was born in Kunming and grew up in Taiwan. He received his B. A. from Tunghai University in Taiwan, M. A. and Ph. D. from Harvard University.
Tu is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1988-). Executive member of the Federation of International Philosophical Societies (FISP, 2008-) and a tutelary member of the Institute of International Philosophy (IIP2010-).
Tu has taught Chinese intellectual history, philosophies of China and Confucian humanism at Tunghai University (1967-68), Princeton (1967-71), Princeton University (1967-1971), University of California in Berkeley (1971-81), Peking University (1985), Taiwan University (1988), and the Ecole des Haute Etudes in Paris (1989). He taught at Harvard from 1981 to 2010.
He holds honorary professorships (comparable to honorary degrees) from Zhejiang, Sun Yat-sen,Suzhou, Renmin, Jinan, the Foreign Languages University and the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, all in China. He has been awarded honorary degrees from Lehigh, Michigan State (Grand Valley), Shandong (the highest honor confirmed by the State Council of the People’s Republic of China), Tunghai (Taiwan), Lingnan (Hong Kong), King`s College in London and Macau University, and Soca University. He was invited by the United Nations as a member of the Group of Eminent Persons to Facilitate the Dialogue Among Civilizations in 2001 and gave a presentation on civilizational dialogue to the Executive Board of UNESCO in 2004. He was the recipient of the grand prize of International Togue Society, the second Thomas Berry award for Ecology and Religion, Lifelong Achievement Award by the American Humanist Society, and the first Confucius Cultural Award (Qufu, 2009).
CEO, Sargia Partners & President, CEO Clubs See Europe
Georgia is a certified Master Coach by the Center for Advanced Coaching (CAC) in the USA; certified neuro-coach from the Neuro Business Group (NBG), certified Leadership Agility 360 Assessor by Change Wise and certified by Dr Frank Kinslow the founder of Quantum Entrainment on Mindful Practices as they apply to authentic leadership.
Georgia has worked with leaders and leadership teams in the FMCG, financial, technology, pharmaceutical, industrial and green energy sectors. Due to her diversified and vast experience in organizational structure/management matters and unique capability of C- level coaching, she is typically engaged to support leaders in improving their interpersonal impact, agility, creativity and executive presence, as well as strengthening their team’s alignment and effectiveness. She has a rich international business career including a decade as an industry leader in executive search services and 20 years of commercial management experience from the consumer, industrial and technology sectors, working with Stanton Chase, 3M, Philip Morris, TYCO and WR Grace, in Greece, the USA and the Mid East. She is the founder and CEO of SARGIA Partners, a unique provider of state of the art human capital development services linked to change strategy. She is also the founder of the Greek and Romanian Chapters of CEO Clubs Int’l and serves as BoD member of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and Chair of its Women in Business.
Dr. Daniel Fung
Vice Chairman, Salzburg Global Seminar
Daniel R. Fung, SBS, SC, QC, JP, is the first person of Chinese extraction who served as Solicitor General of Hong Kong (1994-8) under Chris Patten, the last Governor of the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong and the Honorable C H Tung, the first Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR, is a specialist in complex commercial litigation and in public law, specifically judicial review of legislative and administrative action, supervision of regulated industries including the financial services and the television & broadcasting sectors.
In addition, Mr Fung is a specialist in China-United States relations, specifically the security dimension and military-to-military relations, and in Chinese state-owned enterprises covering both and overseas operations.
A graduate of University College London (LLB 1974, LLM 1978) and made a Fellow of his alma mater in 2005, Visiting Scholar to Harvard Law School (1998-99), Senior Visiting Fellow to Yale Law School (1999) and Distinguished Fulbright Scholar accredited to the United States from Hong Kong (2000), Mr Fung was called to the English Bar (at Middle Temple) in 1975 and admitted to the Hong Kong Bar in 1977. Mr Fung was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1990. Mr Fung is a National Delegate to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (2003-2013), a current member of the Hong Kong Government’s Strategic Development Commission, also serves as Chairman of the United Nations Peace & Development Foundation, member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Rule of Law, President of the International Law Association (ILA) Hong Kong Chapter, Chairman of the Board of International Bridges to Justice (IBJ), Treasurer of the Salzburg Global Seminar (SGS), Vice Chairman of the Salzburg Global Seminar (2006-2011), Vice-President of the Academy of Experts, Member of the Board of Governors of the East West Center (EWC), Council Member of International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), Council Member of China Law Society (CLS) and Founding Governor of the China-US Exchange Foundation. In 2003, Mr Fung was awarded the Silver Bauhinia Star by for services to constitutional development in Hong Kong and made a Justice of the Peace in 2004. In 2011, Mr Fung was honored by UNDP in recognition of his contribution to the work of UNDP China and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
Victoria A. Budson
Executive Director, WAPPP Harvard Kennedy School
Victoria A. Budson is a founder and the Executive Director of the Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. WAPPP is the preeminent institution for advancing interdisciplinary research on approaches to closing gender gaps, educating students and leaders on gender policy, and implementing policy changes at local, state, and national levels.
WAPPP created and hosts one of the field’s most significant research seminars to foster faculty dialogue, promote the exchange of innovative ideas, and disseminate findings.
Budson’s policy advice is regularly drawn upon by leaders across the sectors including: the White House Council on Women and Girls, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Army and Air Force, as well as multinational corporations leading on diversity and inclusion. She served as the Chairperson of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women from 2010-2017 and has served as a board member or advisor to numerous other organizations including the Eisenhower Fellowships, the Boston Mayoral Women’s Workforce Council, the Global Thinkers Forum, Womensphere, Women2Women, the Women and Public Service Project, and the National Council for Research on Women.
She speaks regularly on topics related to closing gender gaps such as gender and public policy, electoral politics and political action. Budson also addresses how diversity and gender equality improve the profitability of corporations and the prosperity of families and society. She focuses on evidence-based methods that are proven to improve diversity and gender equality in the workplace.
Budson is a frequent commentator for news publications, television, and radio programs including CNN, Fox News, The New York Times, C-Span, CNBC, The Boston Globe, New York Times Magazine, US News & World Report, USA Today, and National Public Radio.
She has received numerous awards and honors. She was recognized by CNN as one of Ten Visionary Women from across the globe (2014) and by Boston Magazine, as a member of the “The new Power Class; the visionaries, idealists and thinkers whose insights are transforming the way we live, work, learn and play” (2014).
Budson earned a B.A. from Wellesley College and a master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where she was a recipient of the Lucius N. Littauer Fellow award for academic distinction and leadership.
Active in journalism for 34 years,Yavuz Baydar writes opinion columns for daily Today’s Zaman on Turkey’s domestic and foreign policy issues related to Turkey, and media matters. Baydar blogs with Al-Monitor and the Huffington Post, sharing his his analysis and views on Turkish domestic politics, the Middle East, Balkans, Europe, U.S-Turkish relations, human rights, free speech, press freedom, history, etc.
He has recently co-founded P24, an independent media platform, whose mission is to promote good journalism, to raise the Professional standards, to monitor the breaches of freedom and independence of media and support investigative journalism on economy, defence, local governments and judiciary. Turkey’s first news ombudsman, Baydar was the Reader Representative with daily Milliyet and SABAH, between 1999 – 2013. Baydar worked as producer and news presenter in Swedish Radio &TV Corp. (SR) Stockholm, Sweden; as correspondent for Scandinavia and Baltics for Turkish daily Cumhuriyet between 1980-1992 and the BBC World Service, in early 1990’s. He studied informatics, cybernetics and, later, journalism in the University of Stockholm. Baydar served as president of the U.S. based International Organizaton of News Ombudsmen (ONO) between 2003-2004. He is a member of the World Editors Forum (WEF) and the Committee of Concerned Journalists (CCJ).
Geir Lippestad is a Norwegian lawyer and head of the law firm Lippestad. He was defence counsel in the high profile criminal case following the 2001 murder of Benjamin Hermansen and was the lead counsel for the perpetrator of the 2011 Norway attacks, Anders Behring Breivik. When he was appointed as defense counsel for Anders Behring Breivik, he was the world’s focus. An attention which was not particularly positively charged initially.
From being identified with his client and his attitude, got Geir Lippestad communicated why it was right for him to accept the assignment even though he certainly did not share his client’s perceptions. He showed a rare integrity throughout the investigation period, the trial and then. Rather than talk about the technicalities surrounding a hateful sifted, selected Lippestad to emphasize that the case was a picture of democracy under pressure and that we had to protect the distribution of power in society we are so proud to live in. There is a defense attorney a central task – no matter what actions a person is charged with having done. It is a fundamental legal principle that everyone is entitled to a defense.
Dr. Maisah Sobaihi
Academic, Writer, Director & Performer
Maisah Sobaihi is an academic, writer, performer and director. She has a doctorate in English Literature from King’s College, the University of London and is an Assistant Professor at King Abul-Aziz University in Jeddah.
She recently became the first Saudi Arabian performer to participate at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She is best known for her work in theatre and the arts across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and around the world. Her one-woman play entitled ‘Head Over Heels in Saudi Arabia’ was first performed in 2006 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and has been performed several times since then, both within the country and in the US. In 2011, Maisah performed her play at the Midtown International Theater Festival, Manhattan, New York. She aims to perform this play at other venues across the US and Internationally in order to create a stronger dialogue and understanding of Middle Eastern affairs. Maisah is widely respected as a contemporary voice for women leading her to co-host a series on the experiences of Muslim women around the world, as well as serving as a Fulbright scholar at New York University. She has represented Saudi and Arab women at International and regional forums, one of which includes the Arab Youth Survey where she served as a panelist alongside Mark Penn, and Mohammad Al-Abbar to explore aspirations and attitudes of the Middle East youth.
Shahira Amin is a freelance Egyptian journalist who contributes mainly to CNN’s Inside Africa and CNN.com. She also writes for Index on Censorship, a portal for free expression.
Amin was formerly Deputy Head of Egyptian state television’s English Language Channel Nile TV but she quit in the height of the uprising in protest at state TV coverage of the developments in her country. Shahira was also a former Senior Anchor and Correspondent for the channel. Shahira has traveled the world covering major events and conflicts and has interviewed numerous statesmen and high profile figures. She has been recognized by UNICEF for her efforts to improve the status of women and children in her country. Earlier this year she received the American University in Cairo’s Catalyst for Change Award and is also the recipient of this year’s Holmes of the year award from the University of Gotheborg.
Ambassador (Ret) Ram Aviram
Lead Consultant, BIT
Ambassador Aviram is the lead consultant of BIT – Consultancy a multidisciplinary consulting agency active in the sphere of cross boundary water interactions. His experience is based over 25 years of multilateral and bilateral diplomacy, while serving in high ranking positions at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs including Chief of Staff of H.E. Shimon Peres, Ambassador to Greece and long term service periods in Europe and Asia and more than 6 years of private sector and academia activities on cross-boundary water interactions.
His career at the Ministry was highly connected to hydro politics and water related issues. His responsibilities included Head of Israel’s negotiating team on water issues within the framework of the multi-lateral peace process (1995-2000) the group initiated and established significant regional water related projects such as the Middle East Desalination Research Center in Muscat, Oman. He participated in numerous international forums and multilateral negotiations on environment and water issues. As Chief of Staff (2000-2003) he took part in the bi-lateral negotiations with Arab neighboring countries including on water issues. While joining the private sector (2006) he established BIT –Consultancy which specializes in providing services for cross-boundary water projects. BIT is the geopolitical consultant for the Rehabilitation of the Lower Jordan River Project. BIT gave services among others to: multinationals like Tetra-Tech in the context of the Red Sea- Dead Sea Water Project; NGOs like Friends of Earth Middle East while developing strategy for cross border water cooperation; think-tanks like AIX in establishing novel ideas for cross border water related conflict resolution; water technology providers like GES and water utilities like Mekorot in business development operations; and government agencies like TEKES of Finland within a project aiming at the establishment of overall strategy for support of export oriented water industries. He is a lecturer at Haifa University. He is a founding member of Israel Desalination Association and member of the board of Waterfronts Israel Water Industry Association.
Sir Dirk Brossé
Music Director, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia
Sir Dirk Brossé, born in Ghent, Belgium, in 1960, is a multi-faceted composer and a respected conductor on the international music scene. He is currently Music Director of ‘The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia’, Music Director of the Filmfestival Ghent and Music Director and Principal Conductor of the ‘Star Wars in Concert World Tour’.
Sir Dirk Brossé began his music studies at the Music Conservatories of Ghent and Brussels. He subsequently specialised in conducting, which he studied in Maastricht, Vienna and Cologne. Alongside his many guest professorships, he is currently Professor of Composition and Conducting at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Ghent. Dirk Brossé has conducted all the leading Belgian orchestras, among them, the Brussels Philharmonic, the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Flemish Opera and the National Orchestra of Belgium. Outside his native Belgium, he has conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra London, l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Shanghai, the Vancouver Opera, the KBS Symphony Orchestra of South Korea, l’Orchestra de l’Opéra de Lyon, the World Symphony Orchestra (Japan), the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra, the Ulster Symphony Orchestra of Northern Ireland, the Camerata St Petersburg, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Orchestras of Venezuela and Ecuador. Dirk Brossé is also a versatile and prolific composer. He has written some 200 works, including concerti, oratorios, lieder, chamber music and symphonic works, that have been performed all over the world and have been recorded in more than 40 countries. His most important works are ‘La Soledad de América Latina’, written in collaboration with the Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez, ‘Artesia’, a universal symphony for orchestra and ethnic instruments, the ethno-classical symphony ‘The Birth of Music’, the oratorio ‘Juanelo’, the lieder cycles ‘Landuyt Cycle’ and ‘La Vida es un Sueno’, the ‘War Concerto’ for clarinet and orchestra, and the violin concertos ‘Black, White & Between’, ‘Sophia’ and ‘Echoes of Silent Voices’. In 2010, at the request of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, he wrote ‘The Hallow-e’en Dances’. This Halloween-inspired work is specially written for age-old, traditional Chinese instruments. Besides this, on numerous occasions, Dirk Brossé has composed for the theatre and the cinema.
Fellow & University Lecturer, University of Oxford
Marc Ventresca is an organisational and economic sociologist who teaches strategy, leadership and organisation theory at Said Business School with a focus on innovation and on how new markets get built.
He is a Fellow of Wolfson College and affiliated Fellow of the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society (InSIS). He also works as Senior Scholar with Center for Innovation and Communication at Stanford University. Marc holds a lead faculty role in research and teaching initiatives focused on innovation and entrepreneurship, including service as faculty lead for Science Innovation Plus (a collaboration on enterprise skills with the Oxford Sciences Division). His research investigates governance innovation among global financial markets, entrepreneurial leadership in knowledge- and -information-intensive organisations, and value creation in emerging ecosystem services markets. Beyond Oxford, Marc serves on several journal editorial boards and is a regular reviewer for the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Oxford University Press. He contributes to scholarly and professional activities in the American Sociological Association, the Academy of Management and the European Group for Organisation Studies. He is Research Associate Professor of Global Public Policy at the Naval Postgraduate School and a research affiliate at University of California Irvine Center for Organizations Research and at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University. Marc is a GTF Awards Excellence in Innovation judge.
MARC VENTRESCA IS A 'FOUNDING' MEMBER OF GLOBAL THINKERS FORUM.
Christiana Lambrinidis is a thinker, scholar of creative writing, mentor, pedagogue, playwright, theatre director, lecturer, editor and activist. The Human Rights Watch awarded her with the Lillian Hellmann and Dashiel Hammett awards, and Lambrinidis was nominated twice for the Right to Livelihood Award for her international methodology of transforming violence to empowerment through intellect. From 1995 to 2013, she has mentored new writers to produce, singularly and collectively, a literary tradition of excellence that calls the reader to action.
Her method enables her students to collaborate at the forefront of current discourses in universities around the world. As a point of reference for budding academics, her methodology and its results are featured in PhD’s in Greece, the Unites States and the UK. Ms. Lambribidis founded the Center for Creative Writing and Theatre for Conflict Resolution as a functional paradigm of social action, culture and intellect. She introduced and established creative writing in Greece as an academic field, as an inspiration for literature, and as a praxis of intellectual democracy. Major projects include, Rifts in Silence: How Courage is Taught. This was the first decisive action between Greece, Turkey and Roma border populations which was performed at UN Headquarters in New York. Women of Tuzla, Serajevo and Mostar: A Mythography of Courage, was the performance of testimonies from the refugee camps of “ethnically cleansed” women in Bosnia Herzegovina during the war. This performance travelled not only to theatres in Athens, Galway, Thessalonik, Antwerp, but also refugee camps under the auspices of the UNHCFR. Lambrinidis was the first woman writer to hold the position of Writer-in-Residence at the George Seferis Chair for Modern Greek Studies, Harvard University. She devised the first comparative literary seminar on African-American and Greek women writers and used hellenism as a geopolitical vehicle to enable dialogue. She received her degrees from Wellesley College and Brown University.
Marco is Upstream’s CEO and the company’s co-founder. Marco sets Upstream’s strategic direction and spearheads business development as it continues its expansion into new geographical and product areas and has been Chairman of the Board since 2002.
As an experienced marketing strategist at leading advertising agencies Grey Advertising, McCann-Ericsson and DDB in London, Marco developed global and Pan-European communications strategies for brands such as Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Sony and SmithKline Beecham. Marco is a mentor for Endeavor and Openfund, Vice President of the board of HAMAC and an angel investor and board advisor in Workable HR. Marco holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and International Studies from Warwick University and a Masters of Philosophy in European Studies from Oxford University.
Akinwole Omoboriowo II (AOII)
Chairman & CEO, Genesis Energy Holdings
Akinwole Omoboriowo II (AOII) is a 1993 graduate of Economics from University of Jos, Alumni of the London Business School, from where he acquired specialist training in Electricity Pricing & Modelling course in 2006, and a 2011 Post-Graduate Diploma Alumni in Strategy & Innovation from the Prestigious Oxford University's SAID Business School, U.K.
AOII has over 20 years of experience in the Oil & Gas and Power Sectors in Africa, where he has consistently led other equally distinguished colleagues in pioneering several initiatives including but not limited to Independent Power Producing companies, well-Structured Oil Companies (Oil Trading and Exploration), thriving Utility Companies, amongst others.
AOII management work-profile includes being the Chairman and CEO of Genesis Energy Holdings, Chairman Board of Directors GEL Utility (Co- Sponsored by General Electric and Engro Corp), Member-Advisory Board of The Global Thinkers Forum (GTF), Member – Advisory Board of the African Utility and Clean Power Africa, Member – Board EnergyNet ‘’Off The Grid Club’’ West Africa, Founding Director of Walters Power Africa, CEO of Petroleum Projects International (a Foremost Oil & Gas Company in Africa, with several trail-blazing market initiatives to its credit) , Chairman of Bissau Electricidade de Agua (Guinea Bissau), Managing Director of Besse-Oil & Services.
AOII was listed among the most Influential Figures in African Power Sector for two years consecutively of 2014 and 2015- ESI, South Africa (Sponsored by ESKOM), nominated for a lifetime Achievement Award at the African Utility Industry Awards 2016 and is also invested with Honoris Causa Fellowship of the Certified Board of Administrators of Nigeria (CBAN).
AOII is a fellow of the institutes of Management Consultants.