Dr. Alejandro Bendaña
Alejandro (Ph.D. History, Harvard) is Chairman of the Centro de Estudios Internacionales (CEI) in Managua (Nicaragua), which he founded in 1990. Prior to establishing CEI, his diplomatic career included serving as the Secretary General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Managua), as well as the Ambassador of Nicaragua to the UN. Alejandro has also consulted with various international bodies on disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration, and on post-war peace-building in Mozambique, Sri Lanka, Somalia and Indonesia.
H.E. Faustino Imbali
Faustino (DEA, Maîtrise, Licence, Université Bordeaux) has over 20 years experience as a practitioner and researcher in conflict management, governance and social development. He is the former Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, and Deputy Prime Minister of Guinée-Bissau. Since then he has worked with ECOWAS on small arms proliferation and with InterPeace on security sector reform and post-conflict stabilisation. Faustino has published extensively on dialogue and consensus-building, small arms proliferation, and governance in West Africa. He is fluent in Portuguese and French.
Janine di Giovanni
Janine di Giovanni is an award winning author and journalist. She began her career during the first Palestinian intifada in Gaza and the West Bank; then went to the Balkans where she reported from Bosnia, Kosovo, Serbia and Croatia. She is currently focused on the Syrian conflict. She has won four major journalistic awards including two times The Amnesty International Press Award and is a frequent analyst for CNN, ABC, CBS, BBC and other networks . Her consulting projects are mostly focused on the Middle East, North Africa and Africa. Based in Paris, she is fluent in English and French.
Dr. Kumar Rupesinghe
Kumar (Ph.D. Economics, City) is the Chairman/Founder of the National Anti-War Front and the Foundation for Coexistence in Sri Lanka since 2003. He serves as the advisor on Peace Initiatives to the Carter Centre’s International Negotiation Network (Atlanta) and has advised the Sri Lankan Prime Minister on the Triple ‘R’ Programme (2002). Kumar held the positions of Secretary General of International Alert (1992-1998), Director of the State of the World Forum (1997-2000), and Commissioner of the Commission on Globalisation (State of the World Forum) (1999-2002). He is the Chair of the Programme on Culture and Ethnicity of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (Japan) and a Member of the Board at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD).
H.E. Bakary Dabo
Bakary is a senior legal professional with over 30 years of experience in diplomacy (The Gambia), the UN and the public sector on issues concerning peace and security. Bakary served as the Ambassador to Senegal for The Gambia and has served the UN as a senior mediation advisor such as to the UNOWA mission in Dakar on the peaceful political transition in Guinea. With extensive work experience in West Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Western Sahara Bakary now provides consulting services on issues ranging from governance to mediation and negotiation. Bakary has a BA from Ibadan University (Nigeria) and post-graduate studies in Law (UK).
Florence (MA, Sussex; MBA, Brunel) is a mediation and early warning practitioner with over 30 years experience from senior levels in ECOWAS and the National Centre for Women and Development (Nigeria). She has supported mediation efforts in Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire, and Guinea, and been involved in the establishment of the mediation unit in the ECOWAS Commission. She also participated in election observation missions in Zambia, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, and Guinea. Florence led the Early Warning Directorate in ECOWAS until 2014 and redirected its focus on national early warning capabilities, risk assessment, and regional conflict systems. She successfully managed the first 10-year evaluation of the ECOWAS early warning and response mechanism, which was a first for African RECs. Florence represented ECOWAS on the Presidential Fact-Finding Committee on the Abduction of the Chibok Girls in Borno State. She is a member of the United Nations Expert Mediation Roster.
Gregg Pascal Zachary
Gregg is a writer, teacher and researcher. He provides risk assessment and strategic advice in sub-Saharan Africa for corporations, foundations and non-governmental organizations. Gregg spent 13 years as a senior writer for The Wall Street Journal (1989 to 2001) and created the Ping column on innovation for The New York Times (2007-08). He is the author of books on political and economic arrangements that support successful ethno-racial diversity ("The Diversity Advantage, 2003) and the historical roots of nuclear-weapons development ("Endless Frontier," 1997). Gregg has taught courses in journalism and communications at Stanford University and UC Berkeley and has worked extensively on the role of media in conflict situations, and the social and geographic drivers of global technological change.
Dr. Sunday Ochoche
Sunday’s career spans 30 years in senior management in the UN system, government and academia. His UN experience covers peacekeeping missions in Sierra Leone and Darfur and UNDP HQ in New York. Sunday has also headed the Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution in the Nigerian Presidency. In his UN and IPCR capacity he has facilitated peace initiatives and positively defined and implemented policy, peacebuilding and development processes. In academia, he has taught and researched state building, conflict analysis, Security Sector Reform, state institutions and post-conflict recovery.
Bushoki has over 25 years experience in civil and political affairs. His work has involved human rights, conflict resolution, peace building, peace keeping, on regional cooperation, gender and security and transitional justice to security sector reforms issues. He emerged as a regional (Great Lakes of Africa) mediator after facilitating several sensitive negotiations in the DRC, including hostage release from armed groups. He has founded and/or managed prominent national and civil organizations in the DRC and Kenya – with a focus on involving actors in conflict as peace-brokers themselves. Bushoki’s peace work and service for four years as Minister in the DRC government has earned him the label of the “Gandhi of Goma”. He is fluent in English, French, Kiswahili and Lingala, and has a good understanding of several DRC national languages, as well as Kinyarwanda and Kirundi. Bushoki has authored or co-authored numerous articles, academic works, technical papers, keynotes, reports and books.
Gay (MA from the School for International Training) is a conflict transformation specialist with 30 years experience in the UN and with NGOs. She has formulated numerous country-based conflict transformation programmes and co-founded the UN’s first cadre of peace and development/conflict transformation advisers. Gay's work involves conflict analysis and response development, capacity-building for mediation and dialogue, electoral violence prevention, and conflict-sensitive policy and practice. Currently, she is a consultant/senior advisor to the Swiss Task Force on Dealing with the Past and Prevention of Atrocities; a senior advisor to Nonviolent Peaceforce; an adjunct professor at NYU teaching peacebuilding and development, and continues to consult with the UN and other entities. She is on the board of the New York Peace Institute and the Free Yezidi Foundation.
Joel is currently a senior director of security and crisis management for a large INGO with operations in 35 crisis countries around the world. Joel is experienced in security management, business continuity and crisis planning for NGOs in conflict areas. Prior to joining the humanitarian sector, Joel was a national security officer with over 25 years of experience spanning four continents. His blend of analytic, operational, peacekeeping, humanitarian and diplomatic experience provides imaginative problem-solving to conflict resolution and risk mitigation. Joel served as a military advisor to the counter-drug programs in Peru, Bolivia and Columbia in the 90's and in the Defense Attaché Offices in both Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Zagreb, Croatia during the Balkan Conflict. Joel worked throughout Africa between 2008 and 2013, primarily on capacity-building and political-security projects before joining the private sector as a consultant with Control Risks. Joel has a Master’s Degree in International Relations and Bachelor’s Degree in the Social Sciences. Joel is fluent in French, Croatian, and German besides his native English.
Willy H Olsen
Willy is senior advisor to INTSOK and a member of the Norwegian EITI board. Formerly with Statoil, he held a number of positions during his 23 years there, including Senior Vice President Public and Government Affairs, Managing Director of Statoil UK Ltd and Senior Vice President for Statoil’s activities in Russia and the Caspian. He led Statoil’s team in the negotiations for the first production sharing agreement in Azerbaijan. He was Senior Vice President Corporate Strategic Development in the late 1990s and was involved in the process leading up to the privatisation of Statoil in 2001. He was a senior advisor to the President of Statoil for five years and head of the President's Office before his retirement. Prior to his Statoil career, he spent 15 years in journalism, broadcasting and newspapers. As a journalist he closely monitored the development of the Norwegian hydrocarbon sector during the 1970s. Willy now advises governments, national and international oil companies as well as service companies and civil society organisations on issues like local content strategies, national oil company strategies, revenue management and transparency/ governance as well as geopolitical challenges. He runs training programs on the strategy of national oil companies, and on how to implement the best local content policies. Willy is trained in economics from the University of Oslo.
H.E. Ragnar Angeby
Ragnar has a diplomatic career spanning over 30 years, which included 15 years as the Ambassador for Conflict Prevention/Head of the Conflict Prevention Secretariat of the Policy Planning Group in the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and posts in Romania, London, Madrid, Hanoi, Belgrade, and Moscow. During his diplomatic service, he worked on security policy planning and analysis, East-West relations and the Commission of Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission). In 2004, he moved to the Folke Bernadotte Academy and led the Conflict Prevention Practice Programme, before his current post as Senior Advisor. Ragnar focuses on the involvement of economic actors in conflict prevention and peacebuilding, and also issues relating to reconciliation processes and practice. He works globally on leadership, governance issues and change management.