Huda Abuarquob is ALLMEP’s regional director in Palestine. She has years of experience in conflict resolution, NGO leadership, and social change education and activism, as well as a life-long commitment to building strong people-to-people Israeli-Palestinian relations. She is a well-known speaker on issues related to Middle East politics and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After studying conflict transformation and peace studies as a Fulbright scholar, she worked as an executive director, a program director, and an NGO consultant to several organizations in the U.S., Israel, and Palestine. She is a co-founder of the Center for Transformative Education (CTE) and has taught and trained hundreds of students in Israel and the U.S. She has long been an active leader in grassroots Palestinian initiatives focused on women’s empowerment and people-to-people diplomacy. Previously, she worked as a teacher, trainer, and consultant for the Palestinian Ministry of Education for fifteen years.
Dr. Pınar Akpınar
Pınar Akpınar is an Action Research Program Manager at the ARAMA Initiative of Sabancı University (Turkey). She is also an Adjunct Lecturer at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Sabancı University. Previously, she was a Scholar and a Project Manager at Istanbul Policy Center. She received her Ph.D. from the School of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy (SPIRE), Keele University (UK). Her dissertation topic was “An emerging mediator on the periphery: Turkey’s mediations in the Syrian-Israeli talks and in Somalia”. Dr. Akpınar’s research interests include conflict resolution, foreign policy, international mediation, peacebuilding and humanitarianism. She was a visiting scholar at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University in 2013, and has advised institutions such as the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Turkish General Staff and Qatari Ministry of Defense on mediation, conflict resolution and regional politics. She has been engaged with a number of local and international networks, especially in the areas of women’s rights and conflict resolution.
Prof. Joseph Bahout
Prof. Joseph Bahout is the Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) in Lebanon, where he is also Associate Professor of Practice in Political Studies. Prior to that, he has been a Non-Resident Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Middle East Program, Professor of Middle East Politics at Sciences Po Paris, and Permanent Consultant for the Policy Planning Unit (CAPS) at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also served as Professor at Université Saint-Joseph in Lebanon (USJ), as researcher at the Centre d’études et de recherches sur le Moyen-Orient contemporain (CERMOC, now IFPO), and as Senior Fellow at Académie diplomatique internationale (ADI). Until lately, he was Associate Fellow with the Geneva Center for Security Policy, the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University, and member of the Scientific Board of the Institut Français du Proche-Orient (IFPO) that covers Beirut, Damascus, Jerusalem, Amman, and Irbil. He is currently a member of the Editorial Board of Revue Esprit, and of the Scientific Council of the Le Rubicon research and publications network. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Institut d’études politiques de Paris (IEP, Sciences-Po Paris), and is the author of two books, on Syria’s business community and its political outlook, and on Lebanon’s political reconstruction, in addition to numerous articles and book chapters. He is a frequent commentator in European and Arab media.
Emmanuel Cohen-Hadria is a Co-Founder of Diplomeds – The Council for Mediterranean Diplomacy, the Director of the Euro-Mediterranean Policies Department of the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed), and the Team Leader of “EuroMeSCo: Connecting the Dots”, a project involving think tanks around the Mediterranean region and contributing to policy-oriented research on issues related to Euro-Mediterranean relations. An expert on European Foreign Policy in the MENA region, he is regularly invited to provide expertise to European institutions, including the European Parliament. Before joining the IEMed in 2015, he worked for eight years for the European Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS). He was based in the Western Balkans between 2006 and 2011. Between 2012 and 2015, he worked in the office of the then Deputy Secretary General for political affairs of the European External Action Service. He teaches courses on the EU Foreign Policy and on the MENA region at the Blanquerna Faculty/Ramon Llull University in Barcelona.
Member of the Supervisory Board
Dr. Silvia Colombo
Dr. Silvia Colombo is a Researcher and Faculty Advisor at the NATO Defense College in Rome. She is also an Associate Fellow in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa program at the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI). Her research focuses on contemporary politics in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the EU and US foreign policy towards the Middle East and their role in conflicts in this region as well as the implications for NATO. Among her research interests are the relations between the EU and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). She has published various monographs, peer-reviewed articles, edited books, book chapters and numerous research papers and commentaries. She has given lectures and seminars in the fields of comparative politics and international relations of the MENA in several academic institutions as well as has organized and participated in policy workshops and conferences both in Europe and in the MENA countries. She has pursued extensive fieldwork in the MENA region and speaks Arabic fluently. She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Politics from the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa in London.
Member of the Supervisory Board
Yasmina Dahech is currently working at the Cooperation and Cultural Action Service of the Embassy of France in Egypt. At Diplomeds, she maps and monitors ongoing inter-state diplomatic developments in the Mediterranean. Ms. Dahech’s fields of expertise are Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean, and her research focuses on socio-political developments in the Middle East. She has previously contributed to the Contemporary Turkey/Middle East program of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), where she participated in research and reporting on Turkish foreign policy towards the Cyprus issue. Ms. Dahech also worked with a Lebanese NGO assisting Syrian refugees.
Dr. Ehud Eiran
Dr. Ehud Eiran is a Senior Lecturer of International Relations at the University of Haifa and a Board Member at Mitvim – The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies. He was a Visiting Scholar at the department of Political Science at Stanford University, an affiliate of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford and an Israel Institute Visiting Professor of Israel Studies at UC Berkeley. Previously, he held research appointments at Harvard Law School, Harvard’s Kennedy School, and at the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University and was a visiting lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Prior to academia, he held several positions in the Israeli civil service including as Assistant to the Prime Minister’s Foreign Policy Advisor. He is the author of two books and some fifty scholarly articles, book chapters, and policy briefs. His research interests include spatial, technological, and legal aspects of international conflict (mostly in the Arab-Israeli context), negotiation and conflict resolution, and maritime strategy.
Intissar Fakir is a Senior Fellow and Founding Director of the Middle East Institute’s (MEI) North Africa and Sahel program. Her work focuses on North Africa, the Sahel, and key regional thematic issues. She has written extensively on North Africa’s evolving politics, socio-economic trends, regional dynamics, governance, and security. Prior to joining MEI, Ms. Fakir was a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace where she was also the editor-in-chief of the bilingual (English and Arabic) Middle East platform Sada. She has also implemented programs at various NGOs in support of political, economic, and social reform in North Africa and the Middle East. She has consulted for and advised different entities in the US and Europe on Maghreb developments.
Dr. Nimrod Goren
Dr. Nimrod Goren is a Co-Founder of Diplomeds – The Council for Mediterranean Diplomacy, and the President and Founder of Mitvim – The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies. He is a member of President Isaac Herzog’s Israeli Climate Forum, teaches Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is a Faculty Affiliate at Syracuse University’s Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC). He holds a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern Studies and Political Psychology from the Hebrew University and was a Hubert Humphrey Fellow (Fulbright Scholar) at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He is the recipient of the Victor J. Goldberg Prize for Peace in the Middle East and the Centennial Medal of the Institute of International Education, and a former Visiting Fellow at J Street. He was also named a Vamik Volkan Scholar by the International Dialogue Initiative and is a member of the Global Diplomacy Lab. He has initiated, led and participated in multiple regional track-II and policy dialogue initiatives, both at the policy and grassroots levels. He serves on the board of The Center for Enterprising Citizens and on the steering committees of the Geneva Initiative and the Turkish-Israeli Civil Society Forum. His areas of expertise – on which he regularly comments in the media – include diplomacy, regional cooperation and peacemaking, with a focus on Israel’s foreign policy.
Member of the Executive Board
Hafsa Halawa is a Co-Founder of Diplomeds – The Council for Mediterranean Diplomacy and an independent consultant working on political, social and economic affairs and development goals across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)/Horn of Africa regions. She is a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute and was a visiting fellow with the Middle East and North Africa program at the European Council on Foreign Relations. A former corporate lawyer, she has held positions in government, the UN, INGOs/NGOs, multinational corporates, private firms, and think tanks, now consulting for a similar set of clients. Her expertise spans the geographical regions of MENA and the Horn of Africa, covering, (but not limited to): Conflict prevention, conflict/post-conflict analysis, development proposals, democratization, gender equality, policy planning, political risk, regional and geopolitical dynamics, reconciliation, security, social cohesion, water diplomacy, and youth empowerment.
Member of the Supervisory Board
Amb. (ret.) Michael Harari
Amb. (ret.) Michael Harari is a Policy Fellow at Mitvim – The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies, a lecturer at the Political Science Department at the Yezreel Valley College, and a consultant for energy, strategy, cultural diplomacy and policy planning. At Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he served in Cairo and London, was Ambassador to Cyprus (2010-2015), Head of the International Division at the Center for Political Research, Deputy Head of the Policy Planning Division and Director of a department dealing with the Palestinians and Jordan. Amb. (ret.) Harari is a frequent media commentator on Israel;s regional relations and on issues related to energy in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Camille Limon is the Coordinator of Diplomeds – The Council for Mediterranean Diplomacy. She is an independent consultant specialized in Euro-Mediterranean cooperation and EU external relations with the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Middle East. She has experience in project management and strategic communications on various Euro-Mediterranean cooperation projects financed by the European Commission. She is a Ph.D. researcher at the University of Geneva specialized in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, in particular the issue of Jerusalem. She worked as a researcher and seminar teacher in EU law and external relations at the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the University of Geneva and as an international affairs officer in the European Youth Parliament France. Her areas of expertise include EU external relations, Euro-Mediterranean cooperation, foreign and security policy, the Middle East Peace Process, conflict analysis and peacebuilding.
Member of the Executive Board
Amb. (ret.) Mohammed Loulichki
Amb. (ret.) Mohammed Loulichki is a Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South (PCNS) in Morocco, and an Affiliate Professor at the Faculty of Governance, Economic and Social Sciences of the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), where he focuses on diplomacy, conflict resolution and human rights. He has an extensive experience of 40 years in diplomacy and legal affairs. He assumed inter alia the functions of Head of the Department of Legal Affairs and Treaties in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Morocco, Ambassador in Hungary, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, Ambassador Coordinator with MINURSO, Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva and New York, as well as President of the United Nations Security Council. He was appointed President of the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the Security Council, President of the Working Group on Peace Keeping Operations, Vice-President and Facilitator of the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council, and President of the Morocco’s National Committee in charge of the follow-up on nuclear matters.
Amb. (ret.) John O’Rourke
Amb. (ret.) John O’Rourke worked in the external relations services of the European Commission, where he focused on Russia and the Newly Independent States (NIS), particularly on cooperation regarding energy and nuclear safety issues. He previously was Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Commission in Warsaw and worked on financial cooperation and accession negotiations with Turkey. Besides, he was responsible for the development of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), notably leading the preparation of the Commission proposal for the Eastern Partnership and subsequently its launch. He then headed the Division Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and Iran and was the Ambassador and the Head of the Delegation of the EU to Algeria. He holds a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His professional interests are centered on the EU’s relations with the countries of the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe, particularly in the areas of peacebuilding, energy policy, migration, governance and regulatory alignment.
Amb. (ret.) Mithat Rende
Amb. (ret.) Mithat Rende is a member of the Board of TSKB-Industrial Development Bank of Turkey. He served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Turkey to the OECD and assumed the Chairmanship of the Executive Committee of the OECD. Prior to his appointment, he held the position of Director General for Multilateral Economic Affairs at Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, responsible for global issues, G20, energy, climate and environment, and worked as Turkey’s Chief Climate Change Negotiator and member of the Turkish Nuclear Energy Commission. He was also the Chairman of the Trade and Transit Group of the Energy Charter and served as Turkey’s Ambassador to Qatar. Earlier in his career, he served at Turkey’s missions to NATO and the OSCE and at the embassies in Damascus, Rome, Sofia and London, and served as Deputy Permanent Representative of Turkey to the International Maritime Organization (IMO). He has lectured on diplomacy and negotiations and has published in various academic journals.
Amb. (ret.) Dr. Omar Rifai
Amb. Dr. Omar Rifai is a Co-Founder of Diplomeds – The Council for Mediterranean Diplomacy, an Advisor to HRH Prince El-Hassan Ibn Talal of Jordan, and the former Director-General of the WANA Institute in Amman. He previously was the Director of the Arab Affairs Unit and the Representative of the Commissioner-General at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Jordan. Prior to that, he was Secretary-General of the Jordanian Foreign Ministry, President of the Jordan Institute of Diplomacy, and the first Executive Director of the West Asia-North Africa (WANA) Forum. He served in the Jordanian Diplomatic Service, was stationed at missions in Cairo, Bern, New York, London and Washington, and headed Jordan’s diplomatic missions in Israel, Italy and Egypt. He also held the positions of Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Director of the Special Bureau at the Foreign Ministry in Amman. He was notably a member of the Jordanian delegation to the Jordan-Israel peace talks in 1994 and Jordan’s Permanent Representative to the Arab League in Cairo. Besides, he was a part-time lecturer in Political Science and International Relations at various universities in Jordan. He holds several Jordanian and foreign decorations and is presently a Member of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Crime and Justice Institute (UNICRI), the Academic Board of the NATO Defense College, and the WANA Institute in Amman.
Member of the Executive Board
Amb. (ret.) Dr. Abderahman Salaheldin
Amb. (ret.) Dr. Abderahman Salaheldin is a member of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs. He lectures at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry’s diplomatic institute on Arab, Turkish and American affairs, participates in academic and policy-oriented seminars in American, European and Egyptian universities, and writes opinion articles in Arabic and English. Amb. Salaheldin worked for four decades as an Egyptian diplomat. Before his retirement in 2018, he served twice as the Assistant Foreign Minister for Arab and Middle Eastern Affairs, and as the Ambassador to Turkey and to the Czech Republic. He spent 17 years of his diplomatic career in the United States (Washington, New York, and San Francisco). Amb. Salaheldin obtained his Ph.D. in Political Science at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic on the “Egyptian foreign policy and the Arab spring: A Case study of Egyptian policy toward Turkey and Palestine”. Besides, he published his memoirs in Arabic about his time as the Ambassador to Turkey (2010-2013) and also wrote a chapter on Egyptian-Saudi-Turkish relations in the book “Aspiring Powers, Regional Rivals: Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the New Middle East” published in 2019 by the Middle East Institute in Washington D.C.
Dr. Abdullah Swalha
Dr. Abdullah Swalha is the Founder and Director of the Center for Israel Studies (CIS) in Jordan. He is the Secretary of the Jordanian Political Science Association (JPSA), a member of the European Association of Israel Studies (EAIS) and a member of Middle East Studies Association (MESA). He previously served at the Government Spokesman’s Office and as a teaching assistant in the Political Science Department at the University of Jordan. He holds a Ph.D. from Cairo University in Comparative Political Systems. His research focuses on Israeli affairs, religion and democracy, Israel’s decision making processes, Palestinians political process, comparative politics, democratization and democratic transition.
Prof. Ahmet Sözen
Prof. Ahmet Sözen is a Professor of Political Science and International Relations, at the Eastern Mediterranean University in Northern Cyprus. He is the founding Director of Cyprus Policy Center. During his PhD dissertation fieldwork – which was on the Cyprus inter-communal peace negotiations, he was granted one of the fifty 1997 Paul Harris Ambassadorial Peace Scholarships on International Conflict Resolution given on a world-wide competition by the International Rotary Foundation. Besides his university work, he was the founding Turkish Cypriot Co-Director of the UNDP funded program Cyprus 2015 which operated first under Interpeace and later became the first inter-communal think-tank called SeeD – Center for Sustainable Peace and Democratic Development. He also served as the Research Director of SeeD. He is also active on the policy and advocacy fronts. His experience over the last twenty years as a peace activist includes peacebuilding and democratization processes, participation in the official Turkish Cypriot negotiation team in the UN-led official peace negotiations in Cyprus, active involvement in second-track peace and democratization initiatives, trainings in conflict resolution, mediation and peacebuilding and policy recommendations design. He has published extensively on the Cyprus conflict, peace processes and Turkish foreign policy, and has given dozens of invited speeches on conflict resolution (including two TED talks), the Cyprus conflict and Turkish foreign policy in various countries. He frequently appears on both local and Turkish media, as well as international media, such as Al-Jazeera, Euronews and BBC, where he comments on world events.
Valeria Talbot is a Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Middle East and North Africa Centre at the Italian Institute of International Political Studies (ISPI). She teaches a course in the Master’s program in Middle Eastern Studies at Alta Scuola di Economia e Relazioni Internazionali (ASERI) of the Catholic University of Milan. Previously, she was Adjunct Professor of History and Institutions of the Middle East at IULM University in Milan and the ISPI scientific coordinator for the EU-funded Arab Transformations Project (2012-2016). She actively contributes to research projects, papers, articles and edited books. Ms. Talbot was the scientific coordinator of several editorial projects, such as the World Geopolitical Atlas published by the Italian Encyclopaedia Institute Treccani in 2020, the ISPI MED Reports (2016-2020) and the ISPI journal Quaderni di Relazioni Internazionali (2007-2012). Her main research interests are Euro-Mediterranean relations, geopolitics of the Middle East, Turkey’s domestic and foreign policy, and the Gulf monarchies. She is a regular speaker and commentator on Turkey and Middle Eastern issues in the Italian and international media.
Dr. Harry Tzimitras
Dr. Harry Tzimitras is the Director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo – PRIO Cyprus Centre. In this capacity, he coordinates research and dialogue activities on the search for a political settlement to the island’s division. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C. (Global Energy Center), and an Associate Professor of International Law and International Relations, specializing in energy security and geopolitics, the law of the sea, foreign policy, and the Eastern Mediterranean. He has published extensively on these subjects, and has previously held teaching and research positions at Istanbul Bilgi University, Koç University (Istanbul), the University of Cambridge and the Institute of International Relations in Athens. He holds a Ph.D. summa cum laude in International Law from the Panteion University of Athens and two post-docs from the University of Cambridge and the Institute of International Relations in Athens.
Amb. (ret.) Hesham Youssef
Amb. Hesham Youssef is a Co-Founder of Diplomeds – The Council for Mediterranean Diplomacy, a Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, and a former career diplomat with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt. He was posted to the Egyptian Embassy in Canada and the Egyptian Mission in Geneva where he focused on economic and trade issues in the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. He was a member of the Cabinet of the Egyptian Minister for Foreign Affairs and previously taught at Cairo University, the American University in Cairo, and Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. He also served as a senior official in the Arab League, as Official Spokesman, Chief of Staff to Secretary General Amr Moussa, and Senior Advisor to Secretary General Dr. Nabil Elaraby on issues pertaining to crisis management and the reform of the Arab League. Besides, he served as assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian, Cultural and Social Affairs of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). His areas of expertise include conflict resolution in the Middle East and in particular the Arab-Israeli conflict, reconciliation in Iraq and the situation in Sudan, reform in the Arab world, and the fragility and humanitarian situation in the Islamic world, in particular in Somalia, the Palestinian Territories, Chad, Niger and Myanmar.
Member of the Supervisory Board
Dr. Yahia H. Zoubir
Dr. Yahia H. Zoubir is a Professor of International Studies and International Management, and the Director of Research in Geopolitics at KEDGE Business School, France. He has taught at multiple universities in the United States, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, South Korea, and the Middle East and North Africa. He is the author/editor of several books, notably North African Politics: Change and Continuity, co-edited with Gregory White, and The Politics of Algeria: Domestic Issues and International Relations. He is the author of dozens of articles in leading academic journals, such as the Journal of Contemporary China, Foreign Affairs, Third World Quarterly, Mediterranean Politics, International Affairs, Africa Spectrum, Journal of North African Studies, Democratization, Middle East Journal, Arab Studies Quarterly, Africa Today, and Middle East Policy. He is currently preparing the publication of an edited, 32-chapter volume, titled, The Routledge Companion to China and the Middle East and North Africa. His other publications include analytical articles in international newspapers, research articles the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of International Studies and the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion & Politics, and on think tanks’ websites.
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