Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Hassan Shoukry, graduated from the Faculty of Law, Ein Shams University, in 1975.
Since joining 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. In 1982, he became Second Secretary to the Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 1984, he served as First Secretary at the Egyptian Embassy in Buenos Aires. From 1988 to 1990, he served as 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 Director of the Department of the United States and Canada at the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1995, he became Secretary for Information for 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. In 2003/2004, he served as Assistant Foreign Minister and Chief of Protocol in the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2004/2005, he served as Assistant Foreign Minister and Cabinet Chief for the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs. From 2005 to 2008, He was 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. In 2012, he was Sherpa to the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit. In 2014, he was Sherpa to the Hague Nuclear Security Summit.
Sameh Hassan Shoukry became Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs in June 2014.
Khaled Abdel Ghafar obtained his BA in Dentistry from the University of Ain Shams in 1984, an MA 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.
Egyptian Minister of Culture, Mr. Helmy El-Namnam, graduated from the Faculty of Arts, Philosophy Department in 1982. Upon graduation, he commenced his professional career at Dar El-Hilal until he was appointed as Editor-in-Chief of one of its publications, Al-Mosawer magazine, and became Chairman of the Board of Dar El-Hilal in 2011.
Helmy El-Namnam previously occupied several posts, such as Director of Egyptian National Library and Archives, Deputy Head of the General Egyptian Book Organization in 2009, a member of the Supreme Council of Culture’s Publishing Department, and Editor-in-Chief of El-Moheet magazine.
El-Namnam is also a researcher and historian with several enlightening works in his repertoire.
Mohamed Sultan was born in Beheira in October, 1970. He obtained a number of academic degrees, including a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from Cairo University in 1994, an MA in Orthopaedic Surgery from Cairo University in 1999, a graduate diploma in hospital management from Ain Shams University in 2001, a Total Quality Management (TQM) diploma in the field of health care from the American University in Cairo (AUC) in 2002, and a diploma in institutional development from the University of Queensland, Australia in 2013.
Sultan held many senior positions, including the Vice President of Nasser Institute For Research and Treatment, the Director of the Oncology Center from 2001 to 2006, the Director General of Emergency Medicine at the Ministry of Health from 2006 to 2007, the Head of the Health and Medical Services Department from 2007 to 2010, and the Deputy Director of the Egyptian Ambulance Authority until 2011 before he served as its Director from 2011 to 2013. He also served as the Head of the Secretariat of Specialized Medical Centers from 2013 to 2014 and was the Head of the Health and Population Sector at the Ministry of Health until he was appointed as the Governor of Beheira in February 2015.
He participated in drafting a future plan and formulating a decree-law to merge the ambulance facilities and the emergency medicine units throughout the governorates of Egypt under the umbrella of the Egyptian Ambulance Authority Services.
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 the 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.
His Royal Highness Prince Turki Al Faisal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud was born on 15 February 1945 in Makkah, 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. His Royal Highness was appointed as an advisor at the Royal Court in 1973. In 1977, he was appointed the director general (with a rank of 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 ambassador to the United States. He retired in February 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. His Royal Highness is a visiting distinguished professor at Georgetown University.
Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud 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 Trustees of the Library of Alexandria, 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 (2015).
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 was the Prime Minister of Norway from 1997 to 2000 and from 2001 to 2005. He was the Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1989–1990, and the Minister of Church and Education, 1983–1986.
Kjell 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 1981–1983, 1986–1989, 1993–1997, and 2000–2001. He was also the Christian Democratic Party leader from 1983 to 1995.
He 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.
Kjell 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 Italia’s Order of Merit, the Grand Cross of Portugal’s Order of Merit, and the Grand Cross of Guatemala’s Order of the Quetzal.
Emil Constantinescu was the third President of Romania and the first non-communist President after Ceausescu, in 1996. Once in power, Constantinescu went about quickly reforming the Romanian system and moving it towards a market-based economy. In 2000, his presidency came to an end and 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.
Emil Constantinescu has had an illustrious career in both academia and politics. He graduated from the University of Bucharest with a degree in law, and became a local judge. Following his time as a judge, he returned to the University of Bucharest where he undertook a doctorate in geology. 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 elected as Vice-President of the University of Bucharest and became its President from1992 until 1996. In 2000, he returned to working as a professor in geology at the University of Bucharest. He is 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). In 2001, Constantinescu was appointed as president of the international commission for supervising the parliamentary elections in Senegal. In March 2003, he founded the Peoples’ Action trend. In 1992, he became the leader of the Romanian Democratic Convention (RDC).
Emil Constantinescu was born in Tighina, presently in Republic of Moldova, on 19 November 1939.
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 the director of the Sustainable Agriculture Program at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).
Conway became 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.
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.
Nadia Makram 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.
Farouk El-Okdah is former Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (2003-2013). He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Cairo University in 1965, and a Master Degree in Accounting in 1975, also from Cairo University. He received an MBA in 1981, and a PhD in 1983 from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Farouk El-Okdah 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 Assistant Vice President for the Middle East Division and later Vice President and Africa District Manager.
From 1997 to 2002, he was Managing Director of the International Company for Leasing (INCOLEASE). From 1978 to 1982, he was 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.
Farouk El-Okdah is a member of the Board of Directors of Egypt Air since 1998. He served as an advisor to the Governor of 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.
Tarja Kaarina Halonen is a Finnish lawyer who was the 11th President of Finland, serving from 2000 to 2012. The first female to hold the office, Halonen had previously been a member of the parliament from 1979 to 2000 until her election to the presidency. In addition to her political career, she had a long and extensive career in trade unions and different non-governmental organizations.
Halonen served in the parliament of Finland 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 to parliament in 1979.
Halonen is widely known for her interest in human rights issues. She is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders; an international network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers whose mission is to mobilize the highest-level of women leaders globally for collective action on issues of critical importance to women and equitable development.
In 2009, Forbes named her among the 100 Most Powerful Women in the world.
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 ninth Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), 2004–2013. Being at the helm of the second largest and sole intergovernmental international organization representing the whole Muslim world (57 countries), Secretary 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 İstanbul for 25 years, and the first professor and founding head of the Department of History of Science at Istanbul University. Professor İhsanoğlu 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 votes.
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 member of boards of trustees of a large number of national and international not-for-profit organizations. He also served as a non-executive director at the Royal Dutch Shell company. From 1989 to 1994, he served as Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister. He was also 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. Wim 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.
Zlatko Lagumdzija obtained his B.Sc., MA, and Ph.D. 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 Hercegovina (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 de 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 he has been its director since 1995. He also founded the Management and Information Technologies Department at the Faculty of Economics, Sarajevo University, and he 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, and research papers and publications on these topics.
Alexander Likhotal is President of Green Cross International since 2000. He was appointed Deputy Spokesman and Adviser to the President of the USSR in 1991. He remained with President Gorbachev (after his resignation) as his adviser and spokesman and worked at the Gorbachev Foundation as the International and Media Director.
He is also a member of the Club of Rome, a counselor at the World Future Council, and serves as adviser to the Club of Madrid.
After completing a PhD in Political Science and History from the Moscow Institute of International Relations in 1975, Alexander 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 Professor of Political Sciences and International Relations at the Diplomatic Academy and Vice-Rector of the Academy.
He was a visiting professor at the Northeastern University, Boston, USA (1996-1998), Research Associate at the Institute of European Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow (1992-1997), and Associate Editor of Security Dialogue Journal, Oslo, Norway (1994-2000).
Alexander Likhotal was born in Moscow in 1950.
Rexhep Medani is the former President of Albania (1997–2002). 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.
Medani 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, 1986–1990; Virtual Embassy (ICDC) in Latin America (Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina), 2006; and was the co-leader of the mission in the International Observer Delegation to the Palestinian Legislative Council Elections (Jerusalem, Palestine), 2006.
Rexhep 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, 1998; the National Order "Golden Star of Romania" (Ordinul National "Steaua Romanici" in Grand de Colan), Bucharest, Romani, 1999; the Golden Key of the City Worcester, Massachusetts, USA; the Jan Masaryk Medal, University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic, 2001; and the Chancellor's International Medallion of Distinction, New Orleans University, New Orleans, USA, 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, Moussa 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.
His Excellency Andrés Pastrana is former President of Colombia (1998-2002). He graduated in Law from the Colegio Mayor Nuestra Señora del Rosario of Bogotá in 1977, and 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 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.
Andrés Pastrana entered politics in 1982, gaining a seat on the local Bogotá Council until 1986. From 1984 to 1985, he served as President of the City Council of Bogotá.
From 1988 to 1990, he served as Mayor of Bogotá. He was also president of the American Section of the International Union of Local Authorities from 1988 to 1989.
In 1978, Andrés Pastrana co-founded and directed the Guión Review, and in 1979 he founded the Hoy television news program. He is Honorary President of the Unión de Partidos Latinoamericanos (UPLA).
Jorge F. Quiroga was the former President of Bolivia from 2001 to 2002, and he has been the Leader of Opposition since 2014. He holds a B.S., 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, 2006–2010; a Woodrow Wilson Scholar, 2002–2003; the Vice-President and President of Congress, 1997–2001; the Minister of Finance, 1992; the Vice-Minister of Planning for Public Investment and International Cooperation, 1990–1992; 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 (1993–1997); in the mining sector in Bolivia (1989–1990); a Systems Engineer with IBM in Texas (1981–1988); and a university calculus Teaching Assistant (1980–1981).
He currently holds various posts in the private sector and in many international organizations, such as the Vice-President of “Club de Madrid”; a member on the boards of the Inter-American Dialogue and Results for Development (R4D) Institute in Washington D.C.; and posts in the Global Adaptation Institute and the Foro Iberoamericano. He has been the president of FUNDEMOS since 2002, a Bolivian public policy foundation.
Jorge Quiroga’s expertise spans in the fields of management of international aid and cooperation for developing countries; macroeconomic policy; constitutional, legal, and institutional reforms; private and official external debt restructuring and relief; 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.
Mohamed Salmawy is a leading Egyptian novelist, playwright, editor, poet, journalist, and political commentator. He was a longtime friend of the Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz. 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 the University of Cairo 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 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, the Butterfly Wings 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. 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.
Rosalía 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 also 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 A.S. Productions.
Rosalía 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, including Hours and The Trees of Cuenca. Her poems and stories appear in anthologies circulating in Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, Spain, and Ecuador.
Nicéphore Dieudonné Soglo was the President of the Republic of Benin from 1991 to 1996. He thus became the first democratically elected civilian leader of a nation in the history of the entire African continent. He played an active role in international affairs as the chairman of ECOWAS. In 2002, he was elected Mayor of Cotonou and was re-elected in 2008. During a 15-year tenure, starting from 1963, in the Benin Ministry of Finance, he rose to the position of Minister of Economy and Finance. He later became the executive director of the Central Bank of West African States, then the executive director of the Board of the World Bank in 1979, and he launched the bank’s efforts to promote economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa. He also played a major role in the creation of African Development Banks. Nicéphore Soglo was educated in France—he graduated from the French graduate school Ecole Normale d'Administration—and obtained degrees in French literature, as well as in private and public law.
Peter 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.
Currently, he 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, based 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.
His Excellency Boris Tadić is former President of Serbia (2004-2012). 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.
Boris 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, Boris Tadić was chosen as the new leader of Serbia’s Democratic Party. Later that year he won the general presidential elections. As President of Serbia, Boris 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.
Vaira Vike-Freiberga is the president of Club de Madrid and the former President of Latvia (1999–2007). She was instrumental in achieving membership in the EU and NATO for her country and was a Special Envoy on the UN reform. She has published extensively and is in great demand as a speaker.
She is a member, board member, or patron of 30 international organisations, including the World Leadership Alliance, the Board of Trustees of the Nizami Ganjavi International Centre (co-chair), the European Council on Foreign Relations, as well as five academies. She chaired the High-Level Group On Freedom And Pluralism Of Media in the EU in 2011–2012. In 2015, she was a member of two High-level groups on European security and defense. She is currently a member of the High-level Independent Team of Advisors to the UN Economic and Social Council Dialogue Process on UN development.
Sir Magdi Yacoub is 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 Magdi Yacoub is also 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 is a British Health Foundation Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery for over 20 years and Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Harefield Hospital (1969–2001) and Royal Brompton Hospital (1986–2001). He was knighted for his services to medicine and surgery in 1991, and 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. Sir Magdi Yacoub 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 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.