Zaid Al-Ali was born in Madrid in 1977, spent the first ten years of his life in New York and the second ten years in London. His family is from Baghdad, Iraq. At the start of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980, his father (who was Iraq’s ambassador to the United Nations) resigned his position in protest, thereby effectively forcing his entire family into exile until 2003. Zaid graduated with law degrees from King’s College London in 1997, from the Université de Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne) in 1999 and from Harvard Law School in 2001. He started his legal career at Shearman & Sterling LLP, where he practiced international commercial and investment arbitration in its Paris and London offices. In February 2005, he moved to the Middle East to work for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq. He was a legal adviser for the Office of Constitutional Support, which was mandated to provide advice to the Iraqi constitutional drafting committee.
By 2010, Zaid had decided that the efforts that he and his Iraqi colleagues were making were not leading to the types of improvements that they had hoped for, and left the United Nations to consider other options. He spent an academic term teaching international trade law in Paris, and was in Baghdad when Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was deposed in a popular uprising on 14 January 2011. From that time onwards, Zaid has been focusing on constitutional reform in the Arab region, with a specific focus on Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Yemen.
Meliha Benli Altunışık
Meliha Benli Altunışık is a Professor in the Department of International Relations, Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara where she also heads the Graduate School of Social Sciences. She was a Fulbright Scholar at Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University in 1988-89 and received her Ph.D. in political science from Boston University in 1994.
Raquel Cabrera Alvarez
Raquel Cabrera Alvarez is an international relations expert and political scientist, with extensive work experience in international organisations and the private sector. Currently, she is Head of International Relations at Gas Natural Fenosa – Spain and Latin America’s biggest integrated energy company. Previous to that, she was Chief of Staff to the European Union’s Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean Region where she was responsible for negotiations with the 28 EU Member States at the Maghreb/Mashreq Committee at the European Council as well as responsible for relations with the countries in the Southern Mediterranean region, namely Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Libya, and Morocco. Before that, she worked at the Spanish Prime Minister’s Office where she dealt with international and global affairs and led the work on the G20. She was adviser to former Minister for Europe in the UK, Labour MP Denis MacShane. She holds an MSc in Development Management from the London School of Economics (LSE) and a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from Manchester University. She has recently completed an Executive programme in Global Leadership at Harvard University. She has published opinion articles in many national and international media outlets.
Abdullah is a graduate in business studies and international relations. He holds a Master in Business Administration (MBA), a Master in International Relations (MA) and a Doctorate in International Political Economy (PhD) from the University of Cambridge. Abdullah has a general interest in international relations and the international political economy, particularly in the subject area of regionalism and globalization. Specifically, his academic interest focuses on the in the Gulf States’ economic, political, security and social development and their external relations. He has participated in numerous international conferences, workshops and seminars and has several publications to his credit. He is a member of a number of academic and research institutions as well as business organizations, professional bodies and committees. Abdullah has held several positions in business and academia and his last post was the Director of the Gulf Research Centre -Cambridge at the University of Cambridge.
Karim El Aynaoui
Karim El Aynaoui is currently Managing Director of OCP Policy Center and advisor to the CEO and Chairman of OCP, a global leader in the phosphate sector. From 2005 to 2012 he worked at Bank Al-Maghrib, the Central Bank of Morocco. He was the Director of Economics and International Relations, where he provided strategic leadership in defining and supporting monetary policy analysis and strategy. He was also in charge of the Statistical and International Relations Divisions of the Central Bank, led the research division and was a member of the Governor’s Cabinet. Before joining Bank Al-Maghrib, Karim El Aynaoui worked for eight years at the World Bank, both in its Middle Eastern and North Africa, and Africa regions as an economist. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Bordeaux, where he taught for three years. He has published articles in scientific journals on macroeconomic issues in developing countries.
Shireen T. Hunter is a visiting scholar at ACMCU where she directs a project on Reformist Islam funded by the Carnegie Corporation Of New York. She is also a Distinguished Scholar at CSIS where she directed the Islam Program from 1998 to 2005. She is the author of seven books and three monographs and the editor and contributor of seven books and three monographs. She has contributed to more than 35 edited volumes and written forty journal articles.
Her latest publications include, Reformist Voices of Islam: Mediating Islam and Modernity (M.E. Sharpe, forthcoming in June 2008); Islam And Human Rights: Advancing A US–Muslim Dialogue (edt) (CSIS Press, 2005); Modernization, Democracy And Islam (co edt & contributor) (Praeger, 2004); Islam In Russia: The Politics of Identity And Security (M.E .Sharpe, 2004); Islam: Europe’s Second Religion (edt) (Prager,2002).
Daniel Levy is the head of the Middle East and & North Africa programme at ECFR. He was formerly Director of the New America Foundation’s Middle East Taskforce and a Senior Fellow at The Century Foundation. From 2003 to 2004 Daniel was an analyst for the International Crisis Group’s Middle East programme. From 1999 to 2001 Daniel was special adviser and head of Jerusalem Affairs in the office of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. He also served as senior policy adviser to Israeli Justice Minister Yossi Beilin, responsible for coordinating policy on issues including peace negotiations, civil and human rights, and the Palestinian minority in Israel.
Daniel was a member of the Israeli delegation to the 2001 Taba negotiations with the Palestinians and served on the Israeli negotiating team to the 1995 “Oslo B” agreement under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. He was the lead Israeli drafter of the Geneva Initiative, a joint Israeli-Palestinian effort suggesting a detailed model for a peace agreement to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Daniel received his BA and MA from King’s College, Cambridge. He went to Israel in 1991 as chair of the World Union of Jewish Students in Jerusalem, a position he served in until 1994, after which he spent a year in the Israeli Defense Forces as a non-commissioned officer. In the late 1990s, Daniel was projects director for the Economic Cooperation Foundation, a policy-planning think-tank based in Tel Aviv.
Emma Murphy is professor of political economy and Head of the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University. She began her research career studying the political economy of Israel-Palestine, moving to study economic and political liberalisation in North Africa. In recent years she has expanded her interests to include structural dimensions of information and communications technologies in the Middle East, food security and most recently youth policy. She is a member of the FP7 POWER2YOUTH project and on the advisory board of the FP7 SAHWA project. She was a member of the REF2014 Area Studies Sub-panel and is a fellow of both the Royal Society of Arts and the Academy of Social Sciences.
Randa Slim is a Lebanese-American political analyst with long-term experience in Track 1.5 – 2.0 dialogue and peace-building processes in the Middle East and Central Asia. She works and publishes on regional and international issues of the Middle East with an emphasis on Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.
She is the director of the Initiative for Track II Dialogues at the Middle East Institute in Washington DC, and a non-resident fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Foreign Policy Institute.
Robert Springboard is Visiting Scholar at Belfer Center, Harvard University ; Visiting Professor in the Department of War Studies, King’s College, London and and non-resident Research Fellow of the Italian Institute of International Affairs. Until October, 2013, he was Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School and Program Manager for the Middle East for the Center for Civil-Military Relations. From 2002 until 2008 he held the MBI Al Jaber Chair in Middle East Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, where he also served as Director of the London Middle East Institute. Before taking up that Chair he was Director of the American Research Center in Egypt. From 1973 until 1999 he taught in Australia, where he was University Professor of Middle East Politics at Macquarie University. He has also taught at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
Roberto Toscano has been Italy’s Ambassador to India (2008-2010), after being for five years (2003-2008) Ambassador to Iran.
Until 2003, he was Head of Policy Planning at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and chaired the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee network on conflict, peace, and development co-operation. As a career diplomat, he has served in a number of other posts (Chile, USSR, Spain, United States, as well as at Italy’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations at Geneva).
He holds a degree in law from the University of Parma and an M.A. from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, which he attended as a Fulbright fellow. In 1987-88 he was a Fellow at the Center for International Affairs of Harvard University. From 2000 to 2003, he was a visiting professor of international relations in the Department of Political Science at LUISS University in Rome. He is the author of books and articles (on human rights, peacekeeping, conflict prevention, ethics and international relations) published in Italy, the U.S., France and Spain.