Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs, graduated from the Faculty of Law, Ein Shams University in 1975. Ever since he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1976 as an attaché, he assumed a number of diplomatic posts. In 1978, he became the Third Secretary at the Egyptian Embassy in London. He then became the Second Secretary to the Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1982, and he served as the First Secretary at the Egyptian Embassy in Buenos Aires in 1984. From 1988 to 1990, he served as the Counselor to the Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. From 1990 to 1994, he became part of Egypt’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations. In 1994, he was the Director of the Department of the United States and Canada at the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and in 1995, he became Secretary for Information to the Egyptian Presidency. Sameh Shoukry received his first ambassadorship in 1999 when he became Ambassador and Egypt’s representative to the international organizations in Vienna.
From 2003 to 2004, he served as an Assistant Foreign Minister and Chief of Protocol in the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He then served as an Assistant Foreign Minister and Cabinet Chief for the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2004 to 2005. From 2005 to 2008, he was an Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva. From 2008 to 2012, he served as Egypt’s Ambassador to the United States of America. He was Sherpa to the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit in 2012 and was Sherpa to the Hague Nuclear Security Summit in 2014. Shoukry became the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs in June 2014.
Khaled Abdel Ghaffar obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Dentistry from the University of Ain Shams in 1984, a Master's Degree in antibodies of dental viruses in 1989, and a PhD in the clinical, biological, and immunological properties in cases of rapid inflammation in 1995.
Abdel Ghafar was the Chief of the Oral Medicine, Diagnosis, and Radiology Department at the Faculty of Dentistry in 2009. He was later appointed as the Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry, the Vice President of Ain Shams University for Graduate Affairs and Research, then finally as the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
He also worked as a visiting professor at the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Georgia and the University of Houston, Texas, USA. He was granted numerous scientific awards, such as the First Prize for Best Research at the convention of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) and the State Encouragement Prize in Medical Science. He has also published 20 researches in international periodicals and magazines.
Dr. Inès Abdel Daïm is the first woman to be appointed as Minister of Culture since the ministry was first established in 1961. She is a world renowned flute player. She received her BA at the Cairo Conservatoire, then travelled to France on scholarship until 1990. She obtained an MA and PhD degree in Flute Performance from L’École Normale de Musique de Paris.
Abdel Daïm held many positions throughout her career, including Dean of the Cairo Conservatoire in 2004, then Vice President of the Academy of Arts (2009), and is currently Chairperson of the Cairo Opera House since 2011. She performed in several music concerts around Europe and the Arab world. Additionally, she participated in European radio shows; the most important of which was Radio France in Paris. Inès Abdel Daïm represented Egypt at numerous official international cultural and artistic festivals and conferences. She served on the Supreme Council of Culture and on the Board of the BA Arts Centre (2013), and was appointed at the Arab Academy of Music of the League of Arab States.
Inès Abdel Daïm received many local and international prizes, including the First Prize of the Federation of Music Institutes in France (1982), the Prize for Creativity awarded by the Academy of Arts (Ministry of Culture), and the Prize for the Best Performer at the North Korea Arts Festival (1999). She was designated one of the 10 most prominent Egyptian women of the 20th Century (2000), and she received the State Encouragement Award in the Arts.
Dr. Abdel-Aziz Qonswa is a Professor of Environmental Engineering at the Chemical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering – Alexandria University. From 2015 to 2018, he was appointed as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering. He has various contributions in the field of desalination and water treatment during his work as a consultant with number of major industrial companies and plants both localy and regionally. Furthermore, he carried out number of research and developmental projects in the field of desalination and water treatment using nanotechnology. The results of these projects were either published in international sophisticated scientific journals and periodicals or registered as patents.
Dr. Abdel-Aziz Qonswa participated in the Arab Water Experts Forum in January 2016, to set up an Arab water strategy to be presented to the Council of Arab Water Ministers. He contributed in preparing the third edition of the World Water Development Report issued by the UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme in 2009.
He has major contributions in serving the educational process, society, environment, and developing students activities. He signed number of mutual work agreements between the Faculty of Engineering and highly ranked international Europeans and Americans universities. He worked on developing the technological aspect and the infrastructure of the educational process, and improving the capabilities of the faculty laboratories to refine the educational, research, and industrial processes. And finally, he established the engineering creativity club in 2015 to adopt and fund students creative ideas in an attempt to reinforce the knowledge based industry.
Dr. Abdel-Aziz Qonswa received a number of awards, such as: the University Scientific Encouragement Award in 2008, the Engineers Syndicate Distinction Award in 2002, and Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority Award for cooperation in the field of water desalination in 2006.
Essam Ahmed Mahmoud El-Kurdi is the President of Alexandria University and a Professor of Structural Analysis at the Department of Structural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University. He obtained his BE in Civil Engineering, with honors, from Alexandria University in 1981 and was appointed as a teaching assistant the same year. He then obtained an MSc in Civil Engineering from Alexandria University in 1985 and obtained a PhD in the same field from Northeastern University, USA, in 1992.
He has had a significant role in enriching the educational and cultural scene in Egypt. He also represented Egypt in several international assemblies, as he served as a Cultural Councilor and a Director of Cultural Relations in the USA and Canada. Additionally, he served as the Secretary General of the Education Development Fund at the Egyptian Cabinet of Ministers.
He served as the Vice-President of Alexandria University, for Community Development and Environmental Affairs, for a year before being appointed as its president in November 2016.
Ismail Serageldin, Founding Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA), the new Library of Alexandria, inaugurated in 2002, is currently Emeritus Librarian, and member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Library of Alexandria. He is advisor to the Egyptian Prime Minister in matters concerning culture, science, and museums. He has been Distinguished Professor at the Collège de France in Paris from 2010 to 2011 and has received various awards, including the Public Welfare Medal of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), the Légion d’Honneur (France), and the Order of the Rising Sun (Japan). He has also held a number of international positions, including as Vice-President of the World Bank from 1993 to 2000. He is a member of many academies, and has received over 36 honorary doctorates. Serageldin serves as Chair and Member of a number of advisory committees for academic, research, scientific, and international institutions and civil society efforts, including as co-Chair of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center (NGIC), and serves on the Advisory Committee of the World Social Science Report for 2013 and 2016, as well as the UNESCO-supported World Water Scenarios (2013) and the executive council of the Encyclopedia of Life (2010) and Chairs the Executive Council of the World Digital Library (2010). He also co-chaired the African Union’s high level panel for Biotechnology (2006) and again for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in 2012–2013, and was a member of the ICANN Panel for the review of the internet future (2013). He lectures and publishes widely.
Justin Yifu Lin received his PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago in 1986. He served as the Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of the World Bank—the first economist from a developing country to hold said posts—from June 2008 to June 2012. Prior to assuming said positions, Mr. Lin served for 15 years as the Founding Director of and a Professor at the China Centre for Economic Research (CCER) at Peking University. He has authored 18 books, including The China Miracle: Development Strategy and Economic Reform; Economic Development and Transition: Thought, Strategy, and Viability; and Demystifying the Chinese Economy. He has published more than 100 articles in refereed international journals and collected volumes on history, development, and transition. Mr. Lin is a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy and a fellow of the World Academy of Sciences for the Developing World. In 2007, he gave the Marshall Lectures at Cambridge and, in 2011, the Simon Kuznets Lecture at Yale and the UNU Wider Annual Lecture in Mozambique—the first ever to be held in a developing country.
Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovsky is the Director of the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. He attended Cairo University from 1965 to 1966 and graduated with honors from the Oriental Faculty of Leningrad State University, specializing in Arabic Studies, in 1967. He was research assistant at the Leningrad branch of the Institute for Oriental Studies from 1967 until 1991. Dr. Piotrovsky is an academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a member of the Russian Academy of Arts, President of the Union of Museums in Russia, the President of the Worldwide Club of St. Petersburg, and the Chairman of the board of the European University in St. Petersburg. He has received various national and international awards, including the Netherlands Order of Orange-Nassau (1996); the Russian Order of Honor (1997); the French Order of the Legion d'Honneur (1998, 2004); the Swedish Order of the Northern Star (1999); the Order of Merit to Italian Republic (2000, 2004); the Order of Saint Mesrop, Armenian Apostle Church (2000); the Order of Yaroslav the Wise, Ukraine (2003); the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (2004); the Order of Service to the Fatherland, Russia (2004); the Presidential Prize in the Field of Art and Literature, Russia (2003); the Order of Honor Al-Fakhr, the Council of Muftis of Russia (2005); the Order of the Finish Lion (2005); the Order of Sun, Japan (2007); the Silver Medal of Amsterdam (2009); Woodrow Wilson Award, USA (2009); and the Order of the Crown, Kingdom of Belgium (2011). In 2011, Dr. Piotrovsky was awarded the title of Honored Citizen of Saint Petersburg.
Sir Gordon Conway is an agricultural ecologist and a former President of the Royal Geographical Society. He studied at Bangor University in Wales, the University of Cambridge, and the University of the West Indies in Trinidad, before going on to pursue a PhD in Agricultural Ecology at the University of California, Davis.
Throughout the 1960s, Conway worked in Malaysia developing agricultural programs in integrated pest management. In 1970, he returned to England to become a professor of environmental technology at the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London. While at Imperial College, he also established the university’s Centre for Environmental Technology in 1976.
Following his work at Imperial College, Conway worked for a number of organizations, including the Ford Foundation and the World Bank. He was also the director of the Sustainable Agriculture Program at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).
Conway became the President of the Rockefeller Foundation (RF), where he worked to extend the benefits of the “Green Revolution” to Africa, from 1998 to 2004.
He was appointed Chief Scientific Adviser to Department for International Development (DFID) and President of the Royal Geographical Society in the UK from 2004 to 2009.
He is the author of numerous books and papers in the field of sustainable agriculture.
Zlatko Lagumdzija obtained his BSc, MA, and PhD in the fields of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Sarajevo University in 1977, 1980, and 1988 respectively. He belongs to the first generation of computer scientists who were educated and trained in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). From 1988 to 1989, he joined the Fulbright Professorial Research and Teaching Program at the University of Arizona. He has been a professor at the Faculty of Business and Economics and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Sarajevo University, since 1989. He assumed several positions in the government of BiH, including Prime Minister and Acting Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Foreign Affairs in various periods between 1992 and 2015.
Lagumdzija was the president of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) of BiH from 1997 to 2014. He was a member of the Presidency of the Party of European Socialists (PES) from 2010 to 2016. He was elected as a member of the BiH Parliament six times from 1996 to 2010. He has been a member of Club of Madrid since 2005, a member of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2006, and the president of the Governing Board of Bosnia Institute since 2005. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Nizami International Center and a member of numerous International Missions and Commissions in different parts of the World.
Lagumdzija is the founder of the Center for Management and Information Technology in Sarajevo, and has been its director since 1995. He also founded the Management and Information Technologies Department at the Faculty of Economics, Sarajevo University, and has been the department’s head since 1994. His teaching and research interests include Decision Support Systems, Competitiveness and Information Technologies, Shared Society and Sustainable Development, and Managing Transition and Leading Change. He has numerous lectures, books, as well as research papers and publications on these topics.
Mohamed Salmawy is a leading Egyptian novelist, playwright, editor, poet, journalist, and political commentator. From 2005 to 2015, he served as the president of the Egyptian Writers Union and Secretary General of the General Union of Arab Writers. He earned a BA in English Literature from Cairo University and a Higher Diploma in Shakespearean Theater from the University of Oxford, England. He also obtained an MA in Mass Communication from the American University in Cairo.
Salmawy was appointed as a teacher of English Language and Literature at the Faculty of Arts, Cairo University, in 1966. He worked at Al-Ahram newspaper as an Editor of Foreign Affairs in 1970, and in 1988, he was appointed as the Deputy Minister of Culture for External Relations. He was appointed as the Editor-in-Chief of Al-Ahram Weekly newspaper in 1991 and was later appointed as the Editor-in-Chief of Al-Ahram Hebdo newspaper. He was also the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Al-Masry Al-Youm (Egypt Independent) newspaper, and then became the Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper in 2014.
Salmawy received several prestigious awards, including the French Order of Arts and Letters in 1995, the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 2006, the Order of the Crown of the Royal Belgian King Albert II in 2008, and the State Merit Award for Literature in 2012.
Among his most famous novels is the Butterfly Wings, which was recognized as a prophetic novel of the Egyptian revolution in 2011 and an extended allegory of Egypt’s modern experience of authoritarian rule and explores the fractures and challenges of a society at the moment of revolutionary transformation.
Rosalía Arteaga Serrano served as the first female Vice President and constitutional President of Ecuador from 1996 to 1998. She is the former Secretary General of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization, and she also served as the Deputy Minister of Culture and Minister of Education.
Serrano is a lawyer, doctor of jurisprudence, and has a degree in journalism and an MA in anthropology. She was a member of the Editorial Board of the Encyclopedia Britannica and the Director of Natura Regional Foundation until 2007.
She served as a member of the Executive Council of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE, the center’s Spanish acronym) in Costa Rica until 2012.
She is currently a member of the World Academy of Art and Science; a board member of the PanAmazonia Foundation, Manaus, Brazil; the President of the Advisory Board of FIDAL Foundation; and the Executive President of AS Productions.
Serrano is a professor honoris causa of the University of Tarapoto, Peru, and she has received several awards and honors, including the Benigno Malo award, Cuenca State University; the Blue Castle Award, Tarija, Bolivia; the Decoration of Rio Branco, in the rank of Grand Cross, Brazil; and the Green Prize of the Americas, Brazil. She has numerous published books of essays and literary works, such as Hours and The Trees of Cuenca. Her poems and stories appear in anthologies circulating in Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, Spain, and Ecuador.
Petar Stoyanov is a Bulgarian politician who was democratically elected as the second President of the Republic of Bulgaria, serving from 1997 to 2002. He won the 1996 presidential election as a candidate of the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF).
From 1992 to 1993, Stoyanov was the Deputy Minister of Justice in the first non-communist UDF government of Bulgaria since 1944. In 1994, as the holder of a Doctorate in Law, he was elected as a member of the 37th National Assembly in Bulgaria, and he was elected as the deputy chairman of the UDF in 1995. In 2002, he founded the Petar Stoyanov Centre for Political Dialogue in Sofia. He was involved in different international organizations; he was a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, the European Executive Committee of the Trilateral Commission, and the International Advisory Board of the American Bar Association. He currently serves as an honorary co-chair of the World Justice Project, and a board member of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center.
Since 2009, Stoyanov has been the founder and president of the Center for Global Dialogue and Cooperation, CGDC, in Vienna. He has also won numerous awards, including the Anti-Defamation League’s Courage to Care Award and the Annual Award of the Association of the Russian Lawyers.
Kjell Magne Bondevik is the founder and President of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights, and he has held this position since the opening of the center in August 2005. He is also a Theological Candidate and an ordained priest in the Lutheran Church of Norway. He was appointed a special humanitarian envoy for the Horn of Africa by the United Nations Secretary-General from February 2006 to August 2007.
He served as the Prime Minister of Norway from 1997 to 2000 and from 2001 to 2005. He was also the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1989 to 1990, and the Minister of Church and Education from 1983 to 1986. Bondevik was a member of Stortinget (the Parliament) from 1973 to 2005, representing the Christian Democratic Party, and he was the party’s parliamentary leader from 1981 to 1983, 1986 to 1989, 1993 to 1997, and from 2000 to 2001. He was also the Christian Democratic Party leader from 1983 to 1995.
Bondevik is an honorary doctor of Law at Suffolk University in Boston, USA; an honorary doctor of Politics at Wonkwang University in Seoul, Republic of Korea; an honorary doctor of Philosophy at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, Republic of Korea; and an honorary professor at the Gumiljov University in Astana, Kazakhstan. Bondevik is the bearer of the Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav, the Grand Cross of Latvia’s Terra Marina Order, the Grand Cross of Italy’s Order of Merit, the Grand Cross of Portugal’s Order of Merit, and the Grand Cross of Guatemala’s Order of the Quetzal.
Farouk El-Okdah was the Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt from 2003 to 2013. He obtained a Bachelor of Commerce in 1965 and a Master’s Degree in Accounting in 1975 from Cairo University. He received an MBA in 1981 and a PhD in 1983 from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has extensive banking experience. In 2003, he was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Bank of Egypt. From 1983 to 2002, he worked with the Irving Trust Company, which later became the Bank of New York, where he was the Assistant Vice President for the Middle East Division and later Vice President and Africa District Manager.
From 1997 to 2002, he was the Managing Director of the International Company for Leasing (INCOLEASE). From 1978 to 1982, he was the Instructor of Accounting and Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania that nominated him in 1978 to serve as a Consultant for the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group.
El-Okdah has been a Member of the Board of Directors of Egypt Air since 1998. He served as an Advisor to the Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) from 1998 to 2001. He is also a Member of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Egyptian Banks.
Rexhep Meidani was the President of Albania from 1997 to 2002. He has been a member of the Academy of Sciences in Albania since 2003 and a foreign member of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts since 2015.
He was the chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Albania from 1991 to 1992. He also served as the chairman of the Board of the Albanian Center for Human Rights from 1994 to 1996. He was the General Secretary of the Socialist Party from 1996 to 1997, and he became the Deputy of Parliament in July 1997. He was also a member of the Albanian Committee for Understanding and Cooperation in the Balkans from 1986 to 1990; Virtual Embassy (ICDC) in Latin America (Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina) in 2006; and was the co-leader of the mission in the International Observer Delegation to the Palestinian Legislative Council Elections (Jerusalem, Palestine), 2006.
Meidani has a distinguished teaching career; he taught, lectured, and conducted research in different universities and institutions in Albania and other countries, such as France, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom. He has received numerous general and academic awards, including the Great Cross of Salvation, Greece in 1998; the National Order “Golden Star of Romania” (Ordinul National “Steaua Romanici” in Grand de Colan), Bucharest, Romani in 1999; the Golden Key of the City Worcester, Massachusetts, USA; the Jan Masaryk Medal, University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic in 2001; and the Chancellor’s International Medallion of Distinction, New Orleans University, New Orleans, USA in 2002.
Amr Moussa is an Egyptian politician and diplomat who served for more than a decade as Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, from 1991 to 2001, and was the Secretary-General of the Arab League from 2001 to 2011.
In September 2013, he was elected the President of the Committee of 50–a diverse group of Egyptians who convened to amend Egypt’s 2012 constitution. He was a candidate in the 2012 presidential election and founder of Egypt’s Conference Party.
As the Secretary-General of the Arab League, Moussa launched the Arab League Peace Initiative to address and resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict. Moussa was also appointed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the UN High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change.
Moussa joined Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs soon after graduating from Cairo University in 1957 and held many important posts over the decades, including serving as Egypt’s Ambassador to the United Nations and to India. He has been awarded the Order of the Nile by the Egyptian government and has received high decorations from the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Qatar, Jordan, and Sudan.
Andrés Pastrana was the President of Colombia from 1998 to 2002. He received a degree in Law at the Our Lady of the Rosary University, Bogotá in 1977, and he attended Harvard University as a 1978 Weatherhead Center for International Affairs Fellow.
He founded the New Democratic Force movement in 1991 and succeeded in winning a seat in the Colombian Senate. He served in the Senate until 1993. In 1998, he was elected the President of Colombia for a four-year term. After his presidential tenure, he served from 2005 to 2006 as the Colombian Ambassador to the United States.
Pastrana entered politics in 1982, gaining a seat in the local Bogotá Council until 1986. From 1984 to 1985, he served as the President of the City Council of Bogotá. From 1988 to 1990, he served as Mayor of Bogotá. He was also the President of the American Section of the International Union of Local Authorities from 1988 to 1989.
In 1978, Pastrana co-founded and directed the Guión Review, and in 1979, he founded the Hoy television news program. He is the Honorary President of the Union of Latin American Parties (UPLA).
Boris Tadić was the President of Serbia from 2004 to 2012. He graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, majoring in Social Psychology. He received an Honorary Doctorate from the Dimitrie Cantemir Christian University in 2009.
Tadić began his political career as a student at the University of Belgrade, joining Serbia’s anti-communist dissident movement of the 1980s. After graduating from the University of Belgrade, he taught psychology and worked as a military clinical psychologist. In 1997, he founded the Centre for the Development of Democracy and Political Skills—an NGO specializing in political and civil education.
In 2004, Tadić was chosen as the new leader of Serbia’s Democratic Party. Later that year, he won the general presidential elections. As the President of Serbia, Tadić led the movement for a “new Serbia” and revitalized Serbia’s role internationally. He was re-elected for a de facto second term in 2008. He resigned in 2012 in order to trigger an early election. Prior to his presidency, Tadić served as the last Minister of Telecommunications for the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and as the first Minister of Defense for Serbia and Montenegro.
Emil Constantinescu, Romanian professor and politician, served as the third President of Romania from 1996 to 2000. He was the first non-communist President after Ceausescu. Although he was not in power when Romania became a Member of NATO and the EU, his presidency was vital for laying the groundwork of Romania’s accession.
Constantinescu received a degree in law in 1960, a degree in geology in 1966, and a doctorate in geology and geography from the University of Bucharest, in 1979.
Constantinescu became a highly-esteemed academic whilst at the university. He has lectured widely at some of the most important universities in the world and has received various global awards for his contributions to the field of geology. In 1990, Constantinescu was named Prorector of the University of Bucharest and became its Rector from 1992 to 1996. He became the Leader of the Romanian Democratic Convention (RDC) in 1992. He presided the international commission for supervising the parliamentary elections in Senegal in 2001. He later founded and led the People’s Action party.
Constantinescu is the President of the Association of Citizenship Education and the Romanian Foundation for Democracy. He is also the Founding President of the Institute for Regional Cooperation and Conflict Prevention (INCOR) and a Board of Trustees Member of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center.
Tarja Halonen, a distinguished Finnish lawyer, was the 11th President of Finland, serving from 2000 to 2012. She is the first female to hold the office. Halonen had previously been a Member of the Finnish Parliament until her election as President. Halonen served in the Finnish Parliament for six terms, from 1979 to 2000, representing the constituency of Helsinki. She also had a long career in the City Council of Helsinki, serving there from 1977 to 1996. Halonen is a graduate of the University of Helsinki, where she studied law from 1963 to 1968. She was active in Student Politics and served as the Social Affairs Secretary and Organization Secretary of the National Union of Students from 1969 to 1970. In 1971, she joined the Social Democratic Party and worked as a lawyer in the Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions until she was elected as a parliament member in 1979.
Halonen is a Member of the Council of Women World Leaders, and in 2009, Forbes named her among the 100 Most Powerful Women in the world.
Wim Kok was elected Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs of the Netherlands in 1994, and was reelected for a second term in 1998. He held the two positions until 2002. After having stepped down as Prime Minister, he served as a supervisory board member in a large number of companies, such as ING Group, TNT, and KLM, and as a member of the boards of trustees of a large number of national and international nonprofit organizations. He also served as a non-executive director at the Royal Dutch Shell company. From 1989 to 1994, he served as the Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister. He was also the President of Club de Madrid from 2009 to 2013.
In 1986, he became both a member of the Lower House of Parliament and the leader of the Labor Party (PvdA).
From 1986 to 1989, he was the leader of the opposition in the Dutch Parliament. He was the Deputy Chairman of the Socioeconomic Council (SER) and the Chairman of the employee’s representatives in the Foundation of Labor. From 1985 to 1986, he was a visiting lecturer at the Institute of Social Studies and an advisor to the President of the European Commission.
Kok is the recipient of an honorary degree from the Nijenrode University, Breukelen, the Netherlands; and an honorary degree from the Westfälische Wilhelms Universität, Münster, Germany. He graduated from the Nijenrode Business School in the Netherlands in 1958. He was appointed as Minister of State in 2003.
Alexander Likhotal has been the President of the Green Cross International since 2000. He is a Member of the Club of Rome, a Counselor at the World Future Council, and serves as an Advisor to the Club of Madrid.
After obtaining a PhD in Political Science and History from the Moscow Institute of International Relations in 1975, Likhotal started his academic career as a Lecturer at the Moscow State Institute for International Affairs, and later became Senior Research Fellow at the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR. In 1988, he became a Professor of Political Sciences and International Relations at the Diplomatic Academy and Vice-Rector of the Academy. He was appointed Deputy Spokesman and Advisor to the President of the USSR in 1991. He remained with President Gorbachev, after his resignation, as his advisor and spokesman and worked at the Gorbachev Foundation as the International and Media Director.
He was a Research Associate at the Institute of European Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow from 1992 to 1997; Associate Editor of Security Dialogue Journal, Oslo, Norway from 1994 to 2000; and Visiting Professor at the Northeastern University, Boston, USA from 1996 to 1998.
Jorge F. Quiroga was the President of Bolivia from 2001 to 2002, and he has been the Leader of Opposition since 2014. He holds a BS, Summa Cum Laude, in industrial engineering from Texas A&M University and an MBA from St. Edwards’s University, Texas.
His previous posts in the public sector include: the Leader of Opposition from 2006 to 2010; a Woodrow Wilson Scholar from 2002 to 2003; the Vice-President and President of the Congress from 1997 to 2001; the Minister of Finance in 1992; the Vice Minister of Planning for Public Investment and International Cooperation from 1990 to 1992; and several consulting jobs. He also held several posts in the private sector, including the Vice-President, board member, and shareholder of a large private bank in La Paz from 1993 to 1997; in the mining sector in Bolivia from 1989 to 1990; a Systems Engineer with IBM in Texas from 1981 to 1988; and a university calculus Teaching Assistant from 1980 to 1981. He currently holds various posts in the private sector and in many international organizations, such as the Vice-President of Club of Madrid; and posts in the Global Adaptation Institute and the Foro Iberoamericano. He has been the president of FUNDEMOS, a Bolivian public policy foundation, since 2002.
Quiroga’s expertise spans in various fields, including management of international aid and cooperation for developing countries; macroeconomic policy; programs to reduce drug trafficking and cocaine production; and Latin American public policy, trade, economics, finance and banking, integration, politics, as well as development issues.
HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud was born on 15 February 1945 in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. He began his schooling at the Model School in Taif and went on to obtain his high school diploma at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. He then completed his studies at Georgetown University, where he later became a distinguished visiting professor.
His Royal Highness was appointed as an advisor at the Royal Court in 1973. In 1977, he was appointed as the Director General (with the rank of a Minister) of the General Intelligence Directorate (GID), Saudi Arabia’s main foreign intelligence service, and served as the head of the GID until August 2001. In October 2002, he was appointed as the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. He served in that position until July 2005 when he was appointed as the ambassador to the United States until 2007. A founder and trustee of the King Faisal Foundation, he is also the chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies. Additionally, he is a trustee of the Oxford Islamic Center, Oxford University, and the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) at Georgetown University. He received an honorary PhD in Law in 2010 from the University of Ulster in Ireland and an honorary PhD in International Politics in 2011 from the University of Hankuk, Korea.
Prince Al Faisal is an active participant in the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting, the Global Economic Symposium, and the Clinton Global Initiative’s Annual Meeting. He is also a member of the Board of the Beirut Institute, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Council for Arab and International Relations, and a member of the Advisory Council of the Munich Security Conference. In September 2015, the University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’ appointed him as an honorary professor and the Fondazione Mediterraneo in Naples, Italy, granted him the Mediterranean Award for Diplomacy in 2015.
Nadia Makram Ebeid is the executive director of the Center for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE)–an international diplomatic position that she assumed in January 2004.
Prior to that, she was the first Special Peace Envoy of the Secretary General of the Arab League. She was formerly Egypt’s first Minister of the Environment, who headed the newly created Ministry in 1997 for a period of five years, and the first female minister to hold this position in the Arab World. One of her most notable achievements was declaring the River Nile free from polluted industrial wastewater discharge.
Ebeid has a long-standing professional record with the United Nations in the field of international development cooperation, and she is a visiting professor at George Washington University, USA. She is also the chairperson and a board member of various prestigious institutions. She has also received more than fifty international and national awards.
Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu is a Turkish academician and diplomat. He is a member of the Turkish Parliament and Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), and the 9th Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) from 2004 to 2013.
Being at the helm of the second largest and sole intergovernmental international organization representing the whole Muslim world (57 countries), İhsanoğlu took major steps bringing about a significant shift of paradigm in the OIC. He was the founding Director General of the Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) in Istanbul for 25 years, and the first professor and founding head of the Department of the History of Science at the Istanbul University. He has also taught and lectured in many leading universities in Europe and the USA, and he has published books, articles, and papers in different languages on science, the history of science, and relations between the Muslim world and the Western world.
He was awarded medals by kings and presidents and has received honorary doctorates from a number of universities around the world. İhsanoğlu was also a presidential candidate in the 2014 elections in Turkey and won 38.5 % of the total vote.
Sir Magdi Yacoub is the Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London and Founder and Director of Research at the Harefield Heart Science Centre (Magdi Yacoub Institute). He graduated from Cairo University Medical School in 1957, trained in London, and held an Assistant Professorship at the University of Chicago.
Sir Yacoub is also the Founder and Director of the Magdi Yacoub Research Network, which has created the Qatar Cardiovascular Research Center in collaboration with Qatar Foundation and Hamad Medical Corporation. He has been a British Health Foundation Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery for over 20 years. He was the Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Harefield Hospital from 1969 to 2001; and Royal Brompton Hospital from 1986 to 2001.
He was knighted for his services in medicine and surgery in 1991, and he was awarded Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1998 and Fellowship of the Royal Society in 1999. He was presented with a lifetime outstanding achievement award in recognition of his contribution to medicine by the Secretary of State for Health in the same year. He has an active interest in global healthcare delivery with particular focus on developing programs in Egypt, the Gulf Region, Mozambique, Ethiopia, and Jamaica. He is the Founder and President of the Chain of Hope charity for treating children with correctable cardiac conditions from war-torn and developing countries, and establishing training and research programs in local cardiac units.