Miguel Bronfman is an Argentinian lawyer based in Buenos Aires, specializing in criminal and international law and human rights. Bronfman leads the legal team that represents Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA), the Argentinian Jewish community center, on the criminal proceedings for the July 1994 terrorist attack that killed 85 people. In 2016, Bronfman started working as a consulting lawyer for the National Anti-Corruption Office, working on specific criminal cases and designing new policies to combat and reduce corruption. Bronfman also has a private law firm in downtown Buenos Aires, handling civil and criminal cases. In the last decade, he has given several lectures and presentations on international terrorism in Argentina, the US, Canada and Israel.
Sabah Hamamou has worked in media for more than 20 years, representing publications such as Al-Ahram, Al-Jazeera, Huffpost, Al-Fanar Media. She has also written stories for Al-Ahram Weekly, The Daily News Egypt, the Daily Beast, Neiman Reports and other Arab and international media institutions. Her most recent position was as the associate managing editor of Al-Fanar Media, which provides independent coverage of academia in the Arab world. Prior to this she founded an independent publication house in Cairo and began an initiative for the professional development of journalists in Egypt. Hamamou is a well-known advocate for freedom of speech and media reform in Egypt, and has been featured in several international media publications. In 2012 she authored "Memoirs of an Al-Ahram Journalist", which was the first personal memoir in the publication’s 140-year history. In 2006 Hamamou was awarded the Emerging Leaders Fellowship from Northwestern University and in 2010 she was selected for the Knight - Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan. She holds a degree in literature from Cairo University.
Isabel Amorim has worked in media for more than 20 years, representing publications such as The New York Times, Grupo Prisa, Dow Jones and Globo. At present, Amorim is the head of digital and advertising at Editora Abril in São Paulo, Brazil. Its main publication, Veja, is a weekly news magazine with a circulation of 1.2 million copies per week and 83 million online readers per month. Previously, Amorim managed the development of The New York Times syndication into Spanish and Portuguese for more than 13 years and in 2013 she launched El País newspaper in Brazil during complicated political and economic times. Amorim is on the board of directors of the World Association of News and the International Press Association, which works to defend quality journalism and freedom of the press. Amorim holds a post-graduate degree in communications from the University of São Paulo and an MBA from the São Paulo School of Business.
Mohamed Elfayoumy is an Egyptian diplomat and expert on the Middle East with a long-term focus on conflicts and transitions in the region. His most recent position was as the political advisor to the United Nations Special Envoy to Syria, where he worked to launch negotiations between warring parties aiming at a peaceful solution to the crisis. Prior to this, he worked with the Egyptian government in multiple positions, including serving as the Consul of Egypt in Damascus. Elfayoumy is currently interested in conflict prevention through supporting good governance initiatives at senior government levels. His work with governments in the region on issues with direct impact on political and social stability, including; energy sector reform, healthcare and public finance. Mohamed was selected as a World Fellow by Yale University in 2013 and was awarded the Archbishop Desmund Tutu fellowship in 2014. He holds a degree in medicine from Tanta University and a master's degree in International Relations from the University of Lyon.
Yasmine Farouk is an assistant professor of political science at Cairo University. She is also the director of research at the Cairo Center for Conflict Resolution and Peacekeeping in Africa (CCCPA), a think tank and training center affiliated with the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Farouk worked at the office of the Egyptian Prime Minister after the 2011 revolution supporting civil society participation in the national dialogue and constitution drafting process. She now focuses on Egyptian foreign policy in Africa and the Arab world. At CCCPA, Farouk contributes to the development and implementation of the Preventing Violent Extremism training program for African communities affected by conflict. In addition to her academic publications, she writes op-eds for the Egyptian independent newspaper Al-Shorouk. She holds a PhD in international relations from Sciences Po Paris and was a Fulbright Fellow at Yale University during her postdoctoral studies.
Eka Gigauri is the executive director of the Georgia chapter of Transparency International, a global anti-corruption network that aims to combat corruption through the promotion of transparency and accountability. Her work spans both the public and private sectors. In the public sector, Gigauri worked in foreign affairs for the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Foreign and Internal Affairs. From 2004-2008, she worked as the deputy head of the border police of Georgia, supervising anti-corruption reform in the agency. Gigauri was also a member of the state commission on negotiations for the European Neighborhood Policy Action Plan. In the private sector, Gigauri worked in marketing and public affairs at Marriott International and the Institute for Polling and Marketing. Gigauri holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Tbilisi State University, an MBA from the Caucasus School of Business in Georgia and an LLM degree in international law from VU University Amsterdam.
ASTRID ODETE ESCOBEDO BARRONDO
Astrid Odete Escobedo Barrondo has been practicing law for 16 years with experience litigating cases before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. She has also provided legal counsel for NGOs and human rights organizations.For eight years, Escobedo has served as a legal officer for Guatemala's International Commission against Impunity (CICIG). Escobedo’s assignments include legal counsel for Guatemala’s public prosecutor's office and the commissioner's office. She has worked on cases of corruption, money laundering, tax evasion, organized crime and illegal drug trafficking. She is actively involved in cases involving prominent public officials in Guatemala's government. Escobedo is a PhD candidate in human rights law at the Charles III University of Madrid. She holds a master’s degree in human rights law and fundamental rights from the Charles III University of Madrid and a master's degree in international criminal law from the University of Granada. Escobedo received her law degree from the University of San Carlos of Guatemala.
ELSA MARIE D’SILVA
ElsaMarie D’Silva is an Indian gender activist. She is the founder and CEO of Red Dot Foundation (Safecity) and the president of Red Dot Foundation Global. Safecity is a crowdsourced project that maps sexual violence in public spaces that operates in India, Nepal, Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago. D’Silva is listed as one of BBC Hindi’s 100 Women and has won the Vital Voices Global Leadership Award, Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Niti Aayog’s #WomenTransformingIndia award and ShePeople’s Digital Woman Award in Social Impact. Prior to Safecity, D’Silva worked in the aviation industry for 20 years as vice president of Network Planning and Charters for Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines.
ANOOP RATNAKER RAO
Anoop Ratnaker Rao has over 20 years of experience working in development and large multinational corporations. For a decade, Rao has created and led community initiatives in his capacity as COO of the Naandi Foundation and CEO of Naandi Community Water Services (NCWS). NCWS is an Indian social enterprise whose mission is to provide safe drinking water to underserved communities by installing and operating reliable and cost-effective community water centers. As CEO, Rao convinced rural communities to pay for clean drinking water changing their status from beneficiaries to customers. Today over 500,000 customers get a month's supply of water for under two dollars. Through Rao's extensive interactions with rural communities, he discovered how the agriculture - water crisis has led to large - scale suicides in India. He is currently working on creating ReLife, an organization in its conceptual stage, which seeks to end the tragedy of farmer suicides and to improve public and global health through sustainable solutions.
Hadeel AlQaq is the executive director of the Business and Professional Women Association (BPWA) in Amman, Jordan. BPWA is a Jordanian non-profit organization that works to expand women’s economic empowerment by creating platforms for women in business to grow personally and professionally. AlQaq has executed projects aimed at increasing female participation in the national workforce and reducing unemployment rates, especially among the country’s youth. She works on advocacy and collaborative arrangements with various stakeholders to overcome challenges that women face in Jordan. AlQaq holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Al-Ahliyyeh Amman University and an MBA with a concentration in management from the German Jordanian University.
Maureen Susan Oduori is a development professional with over 12 years’ experience working in Kenyan and international civil society organizations that seek to strengthen institutions, governance and economic development. At present, she is the country representative for the Westminster Foundation for Democracy in Kenya, where she assumes overall responsibility for the in-country portfolio. Westminster Foundation for Democracy works to support and strengthen democracy around the world by developing political parties and parliamentary institutions. Currently, Oduori provides guidance on development within Kenya’s democracy and governance sector, working with policy makers on matters of devolution, legislative frameworks for civil society and women’s voice in leadership. Oduori holds an MBA from Jomo Kenyatta University of Technology in Kenya.
Alanoud Al - Sharekh is a consulting partner at Ibtkar Strategic Consultancy and a research associate at the London Middle East Institute at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. Al - Sharekh has held senior consulting and teaching positions in academic, governmental and non-governmental institutions in the Arabian Gulf and abroad. Al-Sharekh founded Abolish 153 (winner of the 2016 EU Chaillot Prize for Human Rights), Friends Who Care and Eithar, organizations that all seek to improve legal and social conditions for women and girls in Kuwait and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). In 2014, Al-Sharekh’s academic research won the Arab Prize for best publication in a foreign journal. In 2016, Al-Sharekh was awarded the knighthood of the National Order of Merit by the French Government for her dedication to improving women's rights in the GCC region.
Omar Balafrej is an elected member of the Parliament of Morocco and has served as a councilman in the capital city of Rabat since 2015. As a member of the opposition, Balafrej advocates for true democracy and alternative economic and social policies for Morocco. Since his election to Parliament in 2016, Balafrej has dedicated much of his time to challenging the government’s current stance on education in Morocco. Balafrej is the president of Clarity, Ambition, Courage, a political movement that joined the Moroccan Democratic Left Federation in 2015 to develop a political alternative for Morocco. Prior to his election to Parliament, Balafrej served for eight years as the CEO of Techopark, an incubator for start-ups that operate in IT, green-tech, and cultural industries in Morocco.
Zaceu Lian is a long-time advocate for democracy, federalism, human rights and peace in the Union of Burma (Myanmar). After living in exile in India and Canada for 14 years, he returned to his native country in 2012. Lian works full-time for peace and national reconciliation programs currently being undertaken by the government of Myanmar, political parties and armed ethnic groups. Lian serves as a senior liaison officer for Myanmar’s ethnic affairs at the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD Center) where he closely supports the efforts of key actors in the Myanmar peace process. The HD Center is a private diplomacy organization headquartered in Geneva that works around the world to prevent, mitigate and resolve armed conflict through dialogue and mediation. As both an insider and an analyst, Lian writes and speaks about democratic transition, the peace process and federalism in Myanmar.
UDO JUDE ILO
As the Nigerian representative for the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), Udo Jude Ilo supports civic education and media campaigns on political participation, human rights, natural resources management and freedom of information. By developing partnerships with local and regional groups to promote inclusive, democratic governance, transparency and active citizenship, Ilo helps advocate for a robust civil society that holds political institutions accountable. Ilo has been involved in the design of the Civil Society Election Situation Room, a hybrid form of election observation that engages with key stakeholders in real-time. This initiative contributed to the success of the 2011 and 2015 elections in Nigeria, and has been replicated across several African countries. Ilo published widely on the topics of governance, democracy and the rule of law, including six books, 50 op-eds and a number of papers related to elections and good governance in Africa.
Marryam Khan is an academic and Pakistani civil servant with over 18 years of experience advocating for and promoting democracy, development and rule of law. As the director general of the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), Khan is responsible for coordinating and reviewing the implementation status of the National Action Plan, covering policy interventions in sectors including education, extremism and the criminal justice system. Khan belongs to the Pakistan Administrative Service, where she has served in various positions across the country. Khan devised the first draft of the National Counter Extremism Policy for Pakistan through a broad-based consultative process. Khan’s office works alongside international organizations on diplomatic missions that aim to strengthen NACTA’s institutional capacity and response to terrorism and extremism.
RUTH JULIE KISSAM
Papua New Guinea
Ruth Julie Kissam is a community organizer and a human rights activist focusing on grassroots democracy, gender-based violence and sorcery-related violence in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Kissam serves as the director of operations for the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Tribal Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works in areas of maternal health, education and gender issues. Kissam is also the program manager for the Senisim Pasin Film Campaign, a three-year national project that is designed to change cultural attitudes toward women in PNG. Prior to joining Tribal Foundation, Kissam established Partners 4 Change, an NGO focused on addressing law and order issues around illegal settlements in PNG, including; lack of education, lawlessness and domestic violence. Kissam holds a certificate in frontline management and studied for her LLB at the University of PNG.
MARITES FILOMENA B. RANA-BERNALES
Marites Filomena B. Rana-Bernales is a judge at the Regional Trial Court under the Supreme Court. She serves in Cagayan de Oro City on the Island of Mindanao, Philippines. Assigned to a court of general jurisdiction, she is on the frontlines of maintaining the rule of law through adjudication of both civil and criminal cases, including cases related to drugs and the environment. Rana-Bernales has served as a judge for over 12 years and prior to joining the judiciary she worked in private practice. She teaches alternative dispute resolution at the Colleges of Law of Liceo de Cagayan University and Ateneo de Cagayan University. She also lectures on this subject in mandatory continuing legal education seminars to promote modes of conflict resolution other than litigation.
Arsenii Bobrovskii is a Russian blogger and journalist. In 2010, Bobrovskii started the satirical Twitter account @KermlinRussia, which provides commentary on issues in Russia’s social and political life. The account rapidly gained followers and has become a very popular Twitter feed in Russia with nearly two million followers. Previously, Bobrovskii was also a contributor to Forbes Russia and GQ Russia. After gaining attention with @KermlinRussia, Bobrovskii launched his journalism career as an interviewer for GQ Russia. In this role he has profiled prominent politicians, academics and entrepreneurs. Recently, he has worked with Mikhail Khodorkovsky on the Open Russia movement, through which Bobrovskii helped develop economic and political recommendations for the future of Russia. He also campaigned for Alexei Navalny in his 2013 bid for mayor of Moscow. Bobrovskii’s work as a satirist and activist has been highlighted in The New Republic and Foreign Policy.
Zhanna Nemtsova is a Russian journalist currently working at Deutsche Welle, a German international broadcaster. At Deutsche Welle, Nemtsova hosts the weekly Russian-language program "Nemtsova.Interview," which features discussions on current events. Nemtsova founded the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom to promote the ideas of freedom and education and to preserve her father's liberal political legacy after he was assassinated in 2015. The Foundation awards the Boris Nemtsov Prize to courageous Russians for their demonstrated dedication to fighting for democratic rights in Russia, hosts the annual Boris Nemtsov Forum in Berlin and supports Russian political prisoners and asylum seekers. On May 10 the Boris Nemtsov Foundation, in cooperation with Charles University in Prague, launched the Boris Nemtsov Center for Russian Studies. Nemtsova holds a bachelor’s of science degree in economics with a minor in foreign languages from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
Ivana Djuric is a communications and training expert with over 18 years of experience in planning and managing government strategic communications and professional development within public administration. Djuric works as the assistant director for communication and training in the European Integration Office of the Government of Serbia, a public service agency responsible for the implementation of the Serbian National Strategy for EU accession. The European Integration Office coordinates all government activities in the reform process from policy-making to international development aid to public communication. As a civil servant, Djuric promotes transparency and accountability in the Serbian administration. Throughout her career, she has conducted numerous trainings to prepare state administrators and the wider public for EU accession. Djuric is a member of the Club of Venice, a group of high-level public communicators from the EU member states. Djuric is the author of several publications on democratic principles and the rule of law and holds a law degree from the University of Belgrade.
ABDEL-RAHMAN EL MAHDI
Abdel-Rahman El Mahdi has over 20 years of experience in international development. He specializes in organizational management and programming, and his thematic expertise is in peacebuilding and human security, civic engagement and democratic transformation. El Mahdi founded and currently serves as the president of the Sudanese Development Initiative (SUDIA), a nongovernmental organization that works to achieve greater stability, development and good governance in Sudan. El Mahdi holds leadership positions in and is a member of several national and regional networks, a few of which include the Confederation of Sudanese Civil Society Organizations, the African Democracy Forum and the Arab Working Group for Media Monitoring.
Mustafa Haid is a Syrian human rights and accountability advocate who has organized several campaigns for justice in Syria. At present, Haid is a chairperson of the Dawlaty Foundation, a Syrian nonprofit foundation that works with nonviolent activists on capacity building, democratic transition and transitional justice in Syria. Haid worked as a consultant for Human Rights Watch, the UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect from 2011 to 2012. Haid has written numerous articles and published research and books on issues related to transitional justice, the Syrian uprising and human rights. He holds a master’s degree in conflict resolution from King’s College London.
Victor Liakh leads the East Europe Foundation (EEF), a Ukrainian non-profit organization that seeks to mobilize public and private resources for social and economic development. EEF implements various projects in Ukraine related to technology innovation, which include: e-governance, e-democracy and public sector development. Liakh works actively to promote innovations in civil society and governance areas, disseminate best practices broadly, inform policymakers at the local and national levels and enhance the public and media’s understanding of the importance of technology innovation. From 2005-2008, Liakh served as executive director of the Child Well-Being Fund Ukraine, a daughter organization of the ChildFund International Inc. He has also worked for the Ukrainian State Center for Social Services for Youth and UNICEF.
Olena Sotnyk is a Ukrainian lawyer and politician. Sotnyk is a member of the Parliament of Ukraine, the secretary of the Parliamentary Committee on Issues of European Integration and vice-chairperson of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. Sotnyk’s main areas of expertise are judicial reform, police and security service reform, anti-corruption reform and adaptation of Ukrainian legislation to EU law. She provided pro-bono legal services for the “Heavenly Hundred,” the victims of Maidan who were part of the civil protests that led to the Ukrainian revolution in 2014. Sotnyk is also the coordinator of a range of projects to defend children’s rights. Sotnyk received a degree in law from the National Academy of Internal Affairs of Ukraine specializing in economics and governance, and a degree in psychology from the National Pedagogical Dragomanov University.
Hoi Trinh is an Australian lawyer of Vietnamese origin. The founder and executive director of the Vietnamese Overseas Initiative for Conscience Empowerment (VOICE), a non-profit registered in the US and the Philippines. Trinh is currently based in the Philippines managing VOICE programs that provide capacity building training for Vietnamese activists, as well as providing support for civil society back in his homeland where he is unable to return due to the nature of his work and activism. Trinh was awarded the Young Vietnamese Australian of the Year Award in 1998 for his human rights work. In 1999, he received an Honorable Mention at the Young Australian Lawyer of the Year Awards by the Law Council of Australia. A year later, the Sydney Olympic Organizing Committee selected him to be one of the torch-bearers for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Trinh holds a law degree from Melbourne University Law School and a master’s degree from Oxford University.