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redirection Speakers

Rudolph Atallah

Chief Executive Officer, White Mountain Research; Senior Fellow, Africa Center, Atlantic Council

Chief Executive Officer of White Mountain Research, a small Virginia-based business providing tailored international security solutions to clients focused on Africa and the Middle East. White Mountain Research partners with like-minded organizations to save lives and resettle persecuted families in the Middle East and around the world. He currently oversees the evacuation and rescue of persecuted religious minorities in Northern Iraq and Syria, and his team has funded and rebuilt homes in the region.




Before retiring in 2009 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel after twenty-one years of service in the US Air Force, Atallah's military career included aviation, special operations, intelligence, and counterterrorism. In his last military posting, he served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as Africa Counterterrorism Director (2003-09), while concurrently holding positions as East Africa Director (2003-07) and Country Director for Morocco and Tunisia (2007-09). He was Air Force Defense Attaché accredited to six West African countries; Director of the Sub-Saharan Africa Orientation Course at the Joint Special Operations University; and instructor pilot with over 4 000 flight hours, including combat flight time. A native of Beirut, Lebanon, fluent in Arabic and French, Atallah holds a Bachelor of science in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering from the University of Connecticut and a Master’s degree of science in International Relations from Troy University.

Canan Atilgan

Director, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung – KAS

Prior to this position in Tunis, she was heading the KAS’s Regional Program of Political Dialogue in the South Caucasus.


She has worked for KAS since 2001 and has over 18 years of experience in program directorate in various countries (Palestine, Jordan, Thailand) with a focus on conflict resolution, democratization and transformation processes, geopolitics and regional security as well as EU Neighborhood Policy. She holds a PhD in political science.

Cadman Atta Mills

Co-Founder, John Evans Atta Mills Memorial Foundation; Former Senior Advisor to the President of Ghana

Former Senior Economic Advisor to the President of Ghana, his late brother John Atta Mills (2009-12) and successor John Dramani Mahama 2013-17. He was the Convener of Ghana's Economic Advisory Council, a member of the Board of Directors of the Ghana National Petroleum Company and Chairman of the Sino-Ghana Presidential Task Force which negotiated the $US 3 billion Chinese Infrastructure loan for Ghana. He led international negotiation missions and served as emissary to a number of African Heads of States.


Dr. Atta Mills worked for the World Bank for over 20 years at various positions, and for 12 years as a lecturer in the UN African Institute for Development and Planning (IDEP). He is currently a consultant on investment, trade, and macroeconomic policy focusing on Sub-Saharan African countries and a blogger on the political economy of social change in Ghana. He is also a co-founder of the John Evans Atta Mills Memorial Foundation and a co-chair of the Board of Directors.

Rym Ayadi

Honorary Professor, CASS Business School; Founder and Scientific Director, Euro-Mediterranean Network for Economic Studies - EMNES

Economist and international expert on inclusive and sustainable socio-economic models, financial architecture and stability. She is Professor at CASS Business School and member of the Centre for Banking Research (CBR)at the City University of London.


She is the founder and President of the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA), as well as founder and Scientific Director of the Euro-Mediterranean Network for Economic Studies (EMNES). Senior Research Advisor at the Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI) in Piran, Slovenia and Associated Scholar at the Centre for Relationship Banking and Economics (CERBE) at LUMSA University in Rome, she is Academic Member of several high-level expert groups including the European Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee (ESFRC), the European Banking Authority Banking Stakeholders Group (BSG), the European Commission’s Financial Services Users Group (FSUG), Finance Watch, the European Parliament - Economic and Financial Committee and Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), and an invited expert in international organizations including OECD and IMF, among others. Rym Ayadi holds a Ph.D. in Economics and Finance from University Paris Dauphine.

Zeinab Badawi

Director, Kush Communications

This journalist of Sudanese origin, named several times in the « Power list » as one of Britain’s top influential member of the black community, is known for her work on BBC’s Hard Talk, Global Questions and World Debates.


Her awards include International TV Personality of the Year (the Association of International Broadcasters), the 2018 President’s Medal by the British Academy for her services to broadcasting, the May Chidiac Lifetime achievement award, the MVISA Movie and Video Industry Lifetime Achievement Award. She is also a Queen’s appointment to the Board of the Historic Royal Palaces, a trustee of BBC Media Action (the charitable arm of the BBC), and a trustee of Hampstead Theatre. She is a former board member of the National Portrait Gallery, the British Council, the Centre for Contemporary British History, the Overseas Development Institute, the African Union Foundation, the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council for Africa and is a former Chair of ‘Article 19’ the London based freedom of speech campaign organization. She studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University and took a Master’s Degree (awarded with a distinction) on History and Anthropology at SOAS London University. She holds two honorary doctorates: from SOAS, London University and from the London College of Communications - University of the Arts London for her services to broadcasting.

Mohammed Benaïssa

Secretary General, Assilah Forum; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Morocco

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (1999-2007), Ambassador of Morocco to the United States (1993-99), Minister of Culture (1985-92), he was an elected member of Parliament (1977-92) and elected Mayor of Assilah his home town in 1983, a position he has held for 27 years to date. He formally began his career as a Press Officer for the Moroccan Permanent Mission to the UN.


He joined the United Nation as an Information Officer in New York and Addis Ababa (1965-67) and the FAO as Regional Information Advisor for Africa and Communication Advisor (1967-73), where he became Director of the Information Division (1974-76). In 1978 he co-founded The Al-Mouhit Cultural Association (presently the Assilah Forum Foundation) a non-governmental, non-profit organization dedicated to social and economic development through cultural and art exchange. Laureate of the Aga Khan Award for Islamic Architecture for the rehabilitation of Assilah (1988), of the Foundation of Arab Thought (Cultural Man of the Year 2003) and of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award. In 2008 he received a Honoris Causa Doctorate in Law and Public Services from the University of Minnesota. He is currently an active member of several national, regional and international organizations and an active international consultant in development communications and international relations. 

Roger Bertozzi

Vice President, EnergyPact

Vice-President of the EnergyPact Foundation, a Vienna-based organization dealing with Energy-Climate-Environment-Development issues and the strategies of emerging powers, with a focus on the security of critical infrastructures and cybersecurity.


From 2015 to 2017 he advised the Moroccan Government in the context of the Presidencies of the UN Climate Conferences COP21 in Paris and COP22 in Marrakech. He is the co-founder of the Federation of Aluminium Consumers in Europe (FACE) and he has been advising for the past 20 years the aluminium industries of the GCC and of Russia. He co-organized the first Brussels Summit on the role of Sovereign Wealth Funds for growth and development and, in partnership with UNCTAD and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the first international conference on the role of emerging economies in the transition to the green economy, at the UN Headquarters in Geneva, as well as a conference on the new roles of the Global South to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement.

He has been for 17 years a Senior Adviser and negotiator for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministries of Economy and Planning and then of Foreign Trade, including for the negotiation of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)-European Union (EU) Free Trade Agreement and as UAE Delegate to the WTO where he created and coordinated the Sectoral Initiative on Raw Materials. He has been the Permanent Representative for the GCC of the Parliamentary Association for Euro-Arab Cooperation and, as an expert, has been regularly consulted by the EU Commission and the EU Parliament on EU-GCC relations. He was also Member of the Board of the CCMO (International Middle-East Researchers Association) and President of the European Institute for Research on Mediterranean and Euro-Arab Cooperation (MEDEA), a Brussels-based think-tank.

Abdeta Dribssa Beyene

Executive Director, Center for Dialogue, Research and Cooperation (CDRC)

Director of the CDRC, an independent, Ethiopia based nonprofit center of excellence that promotes the advancement of development and the deepening of democracy and works to contribute to peace and security in the Horn of Africa, the African continent and beyond.CDRC was launched in April 2016 as a successor to the Institute for Advanced Research (IAR) established in 2012.


Prior to his current post, he served the Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Director General for African Affairs until 2012, Head of the Conflict Early Warning and Response Unit (2009-10), Chief of the Cabinet (2006-08), Special Envoy to Somalia (2008-09), and Head of the Ethiopian Trade office in Hargeisa, Republic of Somaliland (2002-06), as well as officer for Somalia and Ethiopia’s neighboring states. He also served as Chief of Staff of the IGAD-led Mediation Team for the Republic of South Sudan and briefly for the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission to oversee the Agreement to Resolve the Conflict in South Sudan. He holds a PhD from Northwestern University (Illinois, USA).

Bruno Boccara

Founder, Socio-Analytic Dialogue

Founder in New York of Socio-Analytic Dialogue, a system dynamics and psychosocial approach to public policy and dialogue. Socio-Analytic Dialogue is conducted by a task specific team, consisting of economists, political scientists, and psychoanalysts trained to work on large group dynamics, in conjunction with a country-level team.


Former Lead Economist at the World Bank on lending operations in Africa and Latin America and on governance and leadership issues worldwide, he has been Director of Sovereign Ratings for Latin America at Standard & Poor’s. A graduate of Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, he holds two Ph.Ds in Civil Engineering and Economics from MIT. He is also a graduate from the NYU School of Medicine Psychoanalytic Institute and trained in organizational behavior, leadership coaching, and Group Relations.

Dominique Bocquet

Senior Fellow, Policy Center for the New South

Dominique Bocquet is a graduate of Sciences-Po, a graduate of history and a former student of ENA. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the French Review Commentaire and Knight of the Legion of Honor. He lectures at Sciences Po and the ENA and is active in several European think tanks.



He is the author of several books and reports, including "Génération Europe" (Editions François Bourin, 1989), in collaboration with Philippe Delleur; "France and Germany, a couple running out of ideas" (Notes from the Saint-Simon Foundation, 1996); What economic efficiency for Lomé? "(Report for the Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry, June 1998)" Bringing the EDF into the EU’s Budget, a step forward in modernizing aid "(Report for the Minister for the Economy, Finance and Industry, July 2003). He also published a book on OECD, Reasoned Globalization, The Discreet Revolutions of OECD (La Documentation française, Paris, 2012).