Ambassador Christian Strohal was director of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the OSCE in Warsaw. In 2008 he became Austria‘s permanent representative at the United Nations in Geneva, 2013 Permanent Representative to the OSCE in Vienna. Between 2016 and 2017 he was Special Representative for the Austrian Chairmanship of the OSCE 2017.
Dr Annika Hansen has worked in the context of peace operations for over 25 years and currently heads the Analysis Team at the Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF) in Berlin. From 2008-2016 she worked at UN Headquarters and in the UN mission in Libya (UNSMIL), having earlier served in the EU Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2002-2003). From 1996-2008, Annika was a Senior Analyst at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) and the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London (2000-02). Most recently, she consulted the UN on the Strategy for the Digital Transformation of UN Peacekeeping (2021).
Angela Kane worked for over 35 years for the United Nations and held posts at the Assistant- and Under-Secretary-General levels. She is the Vice President of the International Institute for Peace in Vienna and serves as Senior Advisor to the Nuclear Threat Initiative in Washington. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Vienna Center for Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. She is a Professor at Tsinghua University/Schwarzman Scholars in Beijing and serves on Boards in Europe, North America, and Asia, focusing on political affairs, conflict resolution and artificial intelligence.
Fatuma Ahmed Ali
Fatuma Ahmed Ali is an Associate Professor of International Relations at the United States International University Africa (USIU-A), Nairobi, Kenya. She is also a Visiting Faculty and an External researcher of the Interuniversity Institute for Social Development & Peace (IUDESP) of the Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain. Her areas of specialization are in the field of International Relations, Peace, Conflict and Development Studies, Post-colonial Studies, Security and Gender Studies.
Ambassador Apakan is one of the most experienced Turkish diplomats in the international field. As State Secretary in the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he was part of efforts leading to a rapprochement with Armenia. Later, he served as Permanent Representative to the United Nations. In one of his last official capacities, he was head of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine until 2019.
Hrair Balian has served in leadership positions with the UN as Director of the SG’s High Representative Office in Ivory Coast (2006-2008), the OSCE/ODIHR as Head of Elections (1998-2003) and NGOs, including with the Carter Center as Director of Conflict Resolution (2008-2022) as well as with the International Crisis Group as Director of its Bosnia and Herzegovina field office (1996-1998). During a 35-year career in public service, he has worked on conflict resolution, elections and human rights in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Caucasus, Central Asia, Middle East and Africa. Hrair Balian has also taught conflict resolution, negotiations, and mediation at the Emory University School of Law (2008-2018) and Georgia Tech's Sam Nunn School of International Affairs (2023).
Emil Brix is the Director of the Diplomatische Akademie Wien – Vienna School of International Studies since 2017. Mr. Brix started in 1982 in the Diplomatic Service of the Republic of Austria. Positions as Consul General in Krakow, Director of the Austrian Cultural Institute in London and Head of the Cultural Policy Section in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are just a few to name. Between 2010 and 2015 he was Ambassador in London, until 2017 Ambassador in Moscow.
Former diplomat Martin Kobler served a.o. as the German representative in the Palestinian Territories after the conclusion of the Oslo Agreement, and as Ambassador in Egypt, Iraq, or Pakistan. Later in his career he worked for the United Nations - first as Deputy Head of Mission in Afghanistan, then as Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Iraq, the Congo (DRC), and Libya. Spending most of the time of his professional career in conflict zones was driven mainly by humanitarian motives.
Olivia Lazard is dedicated to environmental peace-making as a mediator and is an advisor with the Austrian Centre for Peace at Schlaining. She is a fellow at Carnegie Europe. Her research focuses on the geopolitics of climate, the transition ushered by climate change and the risks of conflict and fragility associated with climate change and environmental collapse.
Professor emeritus Werner Wintersteiner, Ph. D., was the founding director of the “Centre for Peace Research and Peace Education” at Alpe Adria University in Klagenfurt, Austria. His main research fields include peace education, global citizenship education, culture, and peace, as well as literature and peace and literature education.
Cindy Wittke is the Head of the Political Science Research Group at the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies. She is Principal Investigator in the competence network “Conflict and Cooperation in Eastern Europe: The Consequences of the Reconfiguration of Political, Economic, and Social Spaces since the End of the Cold War” (KonKoop). Cindy Wittke’s research is situated at the intersections of International Law and International Politics.
Ambassador Hossam Zaki is an Egyptian diplomat, with a 30-year long career in diplomacy He is currently Assistant Secretary General and Chief of Staff at the League of Arab States. He was Assistant Foreign Minister for European Affairs. He previously served as Senior Middle East Advisor for the Foreign Minister of Egypt, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Chief of Minister’s Cabinet. He has extensive knowledge on issues pertaining to the Middle East and crises including Palestine and Arab- Israeli affairs. Ambassador Zaki was Egypt’s Ambassador to Brazil from 2012-2015.