Koos Richelle is a Dutch lawyer and high-ranking civil servant who currently serves as Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Migration Affairs, an independent committee that advises the Dutch Government and Parliament on immigration law and policy. Previously, he was the Director-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Integration at the European Commission. Before working in European politics, he served in high-ranking positions in Dutch ministries, for instance, as Director-General for Welfare and Director-General for International Co-operation.
Jacek Saryusz-Wolski is a Polish diplomat and politician who is currently Member of the European Parliament. He was a Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, which he also chaired for two years, and served as Vice President of the European Parliament. Prior to his career in Brussels, Saryusz-Wolski became the first Polish Minister for European when this office was created in 1991.
Marietje Schaake, a Dutch politician and Member of the European Parliament, serves on the International Trade committee and is the spokesperson for the ALDE Group on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Schaake also serves on the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Subcommittee on Human Rights. She is the founder of the European Parliament Intergroup on the Digital Agenda for Europe. She has been called “Europe’s most wired politician” by the Wall Street Journal, “rising Dutch star” by CNN.
Jamie Shea has occupied a number of senior positions at NATO across a wide range of areas, including external relations, press and media, and policy planning. As NATO’s Spokesman, he was the face of NATO during the Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts. He later worked as the Director of Policy Planning in the private office of former Secretary General Rasmussen during the preparation of NATO’s 2010 Strategic Concept. Shea is also a regular lecturer and conference speaker on NATO and European security affairs.
Javier Solana is a Spanish physicist and politician. Considered one of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party’s (PSOE) leaders responsible for the transformation of the party in the post-Franco era, he held several ministerial posts in the Spanish government, serving as Minister for Culture, Minister of Education and Minister for Foreign Affairs. After a career in national politics, he became the 9th Secretary-General of NATO and, later on, the longest-serving High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy. Solana is currently President of ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics in Spain.
Anna Terrón is a politician and currently Chair of the United Nations University Institute on Globalization, Culture and Mobility. Previously, she was a Member of the European Parliament for over a decade. She also served as the Secretary for the European Union within the Generalitat de Catalunya and as the Catalan Government Delegate to the European Union. Additionally, she held the position of Spanish Secretary of State for Immigration and Emigration.
Frans Van Daele is a long-standing diplomat in the Belgian Foreign Service. He served as Chief of Staff to the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and Chief of Staff to His Majesty the King of Belgium. In his diplomatic career, he was Deputy Permanent Representative of the Belgian Mission to the United Nations in New York and Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the European Union in Brussels, amongst others.
Herman Van Rompuy is a Belgian and European politician. He began his career in Belgian national politics, becoming Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Budget and was later elected to the Belgian Chamber of Representatives, finally serving as Prime Minister of Belgium. Praised as a consensus-builder, Van Rompuy was chosen unanimously to become the first full-time President of the European Council.
Frank Vandenbroucke is a Belgian politician and professor at the University of Amsterdam. His current research focuses on the impact of the EU on the development of social and employment policy in the EU Member States. Previously, he was Minister for Foreign Affairs and, later on, for Social Security, Health Insurance, Pensions and Employment in the Belgian Government. Furthermore, Vandenbroucke is the Chairman of a High-Level Group convened by Friends of Europe, which produced the report “Unequal Europe – Recommendations for a more caring EU”.
Androulla Vassiliou is a Cypriot politician. Previously, she was the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth and Commissioner for Health. She is also very active in social and cultural fields particularly within the UN and EU. In Cyprus, she was twice elected to the Cyprus House of Representatives and represented the Parliament to the Convention for the Future of Europe as an alternate member.
Lukasz is a Senior Manager responsible for European structured finance at the Warsaw-based PKO Bank Polski, where he works on projects related to energy, transport and the environment with budgets ranging from €50 million to €1 billion. He is also a member of the management board for the Marguerite Fund 2020 for Energy, Climate Change and Infrastructure in Luxembourg. There, Lukasz oversees the formulation of financial and operational strategies. He is also on the supervisory board of Pomeranka Development, InvestGas and Energa Operator in Poland, and of PZU Ukraine Insurance Company and Kredobank, also in Ukraine. Lukasz began his career as an adviser in the European Parliament, focusing on energy policy and security as well as EU relations with Russia and Ukraine.
Colum has been at the heart of the post-conflict success story in Derry, the second-largest city in Northern Ireland. He was only 27 years old when he was elected as the city’s mayor in 2010. In this position, he championed Derry as a city of culture and transformed its image. Throughout the years, Colum continuously stood against dissident republican violence and steadfastly called for an end to terrorist activities by armed groups. Following his election to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2011, Colum was appointed as the SDLP representative on the committee overseeing the work of First Minister and Deputy First Minister. He currently sits on the Committee for Communities, which plays a key role in debating and developing legislation.
Othman El Ferdaous is a public affairs and strategic communication professional, listed among the 50 most influential Moroccans under 40 by Telquel Magazine in 2016. He is a strong advocate for EU-Maghreb integration and founded clubgibraltar.org, a non-profit
organization aiming to provide a "South-North" perspective on European affairs, especially policy and institutions matters regarding the Mediterranean and Africa. He is also a board member of Sciences Po Alumni Morocco, focused on fostering reverse brain drain by
mentoring Moroccan students. He releases a monthly newsletter covering Moroccan issues read by +7000 subscribers.
Ignacio is a journalist, political analyst and Founder and Director of www.eldiario.es, an online media political analysis site. Previously Ignacio founded and managed the well-known newspaper Publico. He also manages www.escolar.net, the most popular and widely read political blog in Spain, which was named best political and journalist blog of the year in 2008 and 2009. Ignacio is also the founder of Bitban, a technology and design consulting company for Internet media communication, working with clients all over the world. In 2009 he was awarded the José Manuel Porquet Journalism Prize, the Mujeres Progresistas Prize for declining to publish prostitution ads in Publico and the Nicolas Salmeron for Human Rights Prize.
Aaron currently serves as Parliamentary Secretary for EU funds and Social Dialogue. Previously, he ran the Malta Freeport, which was established in 1988 as the first transhipment hub in the Mediterranean. The company has experienced remarkable growth and currently ranks twelfth among the top European ports. Aaron served as president of the Labour Youth Forum and was elected deputy mayor of Ta’ Xbiex in 2005. During the international financial crisis, he was appointed to a team of economic experts set up by the Young European Socialists and was elected as Education Secretary in the Maltese Labour Party’s Central Administration. Aaron also chaired the progressive think tank IDEAT, the party’s political foundation. In 2014, he founded the Anton Buttigieg Foundation, which seeks to promote social awareness in Malta, focusing on education as the primary tool for economic and social development.
Jorge is Director of E-Health and Health 2.0 and Innovation Manager at the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu in Barcelona. He has over 15 years of experience in biomedicine and healthcare, with a strong focus on technology, working on projects throughout Europe with healthcare providers, life sciences, pharmaceuticals and biotech companies, as well as medical devices and digital health ventures. He regularly acts as advisor and mentor to various healthcare start-ups and entrepreneurial acceleration programs, where he helps create a stronger ecosystem in the biomedical and healthcare industries. Jorge is also Director of Academics at Moebio – the Biomedical Center for Healthcare Entrepreneurship –, where he teaches Entrepreneurship and Innovation and is in charge of designing the curriculum. Jorge is a graduate in European Political Economy from the London School of Economics.
Mary is an analyst and journalist specialising in the Euro-Mediterranean region with a particular focus on Libya. She has worked on Libya since 2011 and lived there throughout 2014. She has conducted research on Libya for the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), the European University Institute (EUI) and IEMED among others, and is a contributing author to an edited volume on the Libyan revolution published by Oxford University Press. Mary has worked on a number of award-winning radio documentaries for the BBC, one of which won a Gold Sony Radio Academy Award.
Myriam is an academic, broadcaster and writer specialising in issues related to Islam and the Middle East. She is a regular contributor to the Middle East Eye, the New Statesman and the Telegraph. In 2014, she broke a headline story on an exclusive 36-page document written by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the Al-Qaeda militant behind the 9/11 attacks. Since then, she presented two BBC documentaries, ‘The Muslim Pound’ (2016) and ‘A Deadly Warning: Srebrenica Revisited’ (2015) nominated for the Sandford St Martin religious programming award. Myriam is also a Research Associate at the Centre of Islamic Studies at SOAS University, where she focuses on British-Muslim integration issues. She recently completed her doctorate at Oxford University on the subject of Islamic political movements in Morocco.
Markus is the founder of the Financing Agency for Social Entrepreneurship (FASE), a leading financial intermediary that helps social enterprises scale their social impact by helping them raise hybrid growth capital. FASE has built an open pipeline of investment-ready social enterprises and closed sixteen transactions leveraging around €6m in impact investments. Markus is also a member of the Expert Group on Social Entrepreneurship (GECES), a consultative multi-stakeholder group on social business that examines the progress of measures foreseen by the European Commission. He has experience of working with many social enterprises in finding appropriate financing solutions and scaling-up the impact of proven business models. Markus worked for seven years as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, where one of his roles was providing pro-bono consulting for social entrepreneurs.
Alessandro is a former Advisor to the Italian Economic Development Minister on European Affairs, Innovation and Youth, and former Head of Office at the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport. Previously he was an official at the Council of the European Union dealing with global economic governance (G20/IMF). He has worked for the Italian Prime Minister’s office in Rome as part of the G8 team, as well as for the Italian Ministry of International Trade. He teaches at the LUISS Guido Carlo School of Government in Rome and at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris. He was until recently President of RENA, the Italian association of young professionals promoting innovation, merit, youth empowerment and a new generation of local public policies. He is also the author of two novels.