Search form


redirection Speakers

Hubert Védrine

President, François Mitterrand Institute; Former Foreign Minister, France

Founder of Hubert Védrine Conseil, current President of the Institut François Mitterrand, former Minister of Foreign Affairs (1997-2002). After joining Sciences Po Paris and a degree in history, he attended the Ecole nationale d’administration (ENA) from which he graduated in 1974 before joining the Ministry of Culture as a civil administrator.


In 1981, President François Mitterrand called him to the Elysee as a diplomatic advisor. He became spokesman of the Elysee in 1988 after the reelection of François Mitterrand, then Secretary General of the Presidency (1991-95). He joined the Council of State in 1995. In May 1997, after the victory of the Socialist Party (PS) in the legislative elections, Jacques Chirac named him Minister of Foreign Affairs, a position that he kept until the end of the cohabitation in May 2002. He published several books, among which Face à l’Hyperpuissance(2003, Fayard), Continuer l’Histoire(2007, Fayard), translated in English in 2008 under the title History Strikes Back, Sauver l'Europe(Editions Liana Levi, 2016, republished in 2019), Comptes à rebours(Fayard, 2018).

Antonio Villafranca

Research Coordinator; Co-Head of the Center on Europe & Global Governance, Italian Institute for International Political Studies – ISPI

Current lecturer in International Relations and was lecturer in European Economic Policies (2016-18) at the Bocconi University (Milan). He is also Non Resident Senior Fellow at the Chongyang Institute of the Renmin University (Beijing). Economist by training,


he received his MA from the Catholic University of Milan where he also specialized in Economics and International Relations and was awarded the “Premio Gemelli”. He has extensively published on global and European governance and EU policies with Italian and international publishers.

Marcus Vinicius de Freitas

Senior Fellow, Policy Center for the New South

Marcus Vinicius De Freitas, a Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South, focusing on International Law, International Relations and Brazil, is currently a Visiting Professor of International Law and International Relations at China Foreign Affairs University ( in Beijing, China. He is a licensed Professor of The Armando Alvares Penteado Foundation in Sao Paulo, where he served as the coordinator of their International Relations Program from December 2012 until December 2013.


He was president of the Sao Paulo Directorate of the Progressive Party, having run for vice governor of the State of Sao Paulo in 2010, where his party polled in third place with more than 1.2 million votes. He also served as the Administrative Director of the Sao Paulo Metropolitan Housing Company until December 2015.Early in 2017, Mr. De Freitas, was a Visiting Fellow of Practice at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford. Prior to his current appointment, he was advisor to several investment companies investing in Brazil and Latin America, with particular emphasis on export financing, crypto- assets, crypto-currencies and Blockchain technology. Mr. De Freitas holds an LL.B. (Bachelor of Laws) degree from the University of Sao Paulo, a master of laws from Cornell University and a master of arts in economics and international relations from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Ignacio Walker

Former Foreign Minister, Chile

Professor at the Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, he is a Hewlett fellow in Public Policies at Kellogg Institute for International Studies (University of Notre Dame since Fall 2018, Senator of the Republic of Chile (2010-18), President of the Christian Democratic Party (2010-15), former Minister of Foreign Affairs (2004-06), former Member of Parliament (1994-02) and President of CIEPLAN (2006-2008).


Human Rights lawyer under the Pinochet dictatorship (1979-82), he is the author of Democracy in Latin America (between hope and despair), Notre Dame Press, 2013. Trained as a lawyer in Chile, he has a Ph. D. in Politics from Princeton University, 1989.

Richard Werly

Correspondent, Le Temps

He is covering France and European Affairs, and is also the editor of the book collection «L'Ame des peuples» (Nevicata Publishing) and a columnist for the French parliamentary Channel LCP and TV5 channel.


John Yearwood

President and CEO, Yearwood Media Group

An award-winning multimedia journalist, John Yearwood is President and CEO of Yearwood Media Group, a global consulting and content creation firm. In his role as President/CEO of Yearwood Media, he advises companies seeking to do business in emerging markets, with a particular focus on Africa and Asia. In 2019, he was appointed honorary chair of the the National Association of Black Journalists annual convention, which convened 4,100 black journalists in Miami. He sits on several boards, including the Austria-based International Press Institute, where he is the former chairman.


Former world editor of the Miami Herald. The World Desk won numerous awards under his leadership, including two McClatchy Company President's Awards and the Arthur Ross Award for best coverage of Latin America. His coordination of The Herald’s Haiti earthquake coverage contributed to the newspaper being named a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. He is a regular guest on national and international radio and television news programs, and has been sought out by many global organizations as a speaker and moderator, including German Marshall Fund, Policy Center for the New South, Toronto Global Forum, Conference de Montreal, Conference of Paris, Asian Leadership Conference and the United Nations. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Connecticut.

Tigist Yeshiwas Engdaw

Assistant Professor; Research Coordinator for the Academic Programs, Institute for Peace and Security Studies – IPSS/Addis Ababa University

Prior to joining IPSS in 2009, she worked as Special Assistant to the Addis Abeba University (AAU) President in 2007-08 and research assistant at UNECA on Gender based violence in Africa.


A Global Goodwill Ambassador on Humanitarian, she consults on peacebuilding, peace education, gender, peace, security, development nexus in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea. She was visiting scholar fellow at Brown University, USA, University of Leipzig, Germany, at the Danish Institute for International Studies in Copenhagen, Denmark. She has a Ph. D. in Peace and Security Studies, MA in Gender and Peace building, University for Peace Costa Rica, LLB, Law, Faculty of Law AAU (Ethiopia), Advanced Diploma, University of Fribourg (Switzerland), and different certificates/trainings on Preventive Violent Extremism (PVE) from Hiroshima University (Japan), Peace Education from Colombia University (USA), Mediation and Conflict prevention election and gender, Brown University in RI, Providence (USA) and Humanitarian and Post conflict Reconstruction.

Noura Youssef Mansouri

Senior Research Associate, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center – KAPSARC

She is also a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and an observer/expert at the World Energy Council (WEC). Previously, she has served as the manager of strategy and marketing at Areva, the then global nuclear energy leader.


She earned her BSc in management information systems from Dar Al Hekma University and her MBA and PhD in clean energy transition from Queen Mary, University of London. She is the author of Greening the Black Gold: Saudi Arabia’s Quest for Clean Energy(CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013). She completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at MIT, and is a recipient of the Ibn Khaldun Fellowship from the Center for Clean Water and Clean Energy at King Fahad University for Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) and MIT. She received the 2015 Women Excellence Leadership Award under the category "Rising Stars", and is also a board member at Women in Clean Energy under the Clean Energy Business Council for the Middle East and North Africa.

William Zartman

Jacob Blaustein Distinguished Professor Emeritus, SAIS Johns Hopkins University

Jacob Blaustein Distinguished Professor Emeritus of International Organizations and Conflict Resolution at SAIS and Senior Fellow of the International Steering Committee of Processes of International Negotiations (PIN) Program at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA).


He is also a member of the International Academic Advisory Council on Mediation of the UN Department of Political Affairs. He is the author and editor of such books as How Negotiations End(2019),A Pioneer in Conflict and Area Studies(2019), Preventing Deadly Conflict(2015), Arab Spring: Negotiating in the Shadow of the Intifada(2015), The Global Power of Talk(2012). He is former president and founding Executive Secretary of the Middle East Studies Association, founding president of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies, founding treasurer of the West Africa Research Association, and past president of the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies. He received his doctorate from Yale and honorary doctorates from the Catholic University of Louvain and the University of Uppsala.

Yali Zhao

Former Ambassador of China to Uganda, China

A career diplomat, he has worked from 1978 in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, at the Chinese Embassy in Greece and Cyprus, where he became Ambassador (2005-09) before being posted in Kampala as Ambassador to Uganda (2011-16). From 1974,


he studied at Aristodelio University in Greece, major in Modern Greek Language.