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Barker-Murphy Nicola

Foreign Service Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jamaica

Nicola Barker-Murphy is currently the Africa, Caribbean, and the Pacific Group of States –European Union (ACP-EU) desk officer in the Foreign Trade Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica, where she provides analysis on ACP-EU issues including the European Development Fund (EDF) and coordinates activities involving the various stakeholders.

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An International Relations practitioner with 11 years of experience working for the Government of Jamaica, her areas of specialization include coordination of bilateral and multilateral negotiations, documentation of trade policies and analysis of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) issues in the context of the ACP-EU partnership. She holds an honors master’s degree in international politics and an honors bachelor’s degree in international relations/public administration/gender studies.

Barker-Murphy Nicola

ACP–EU Desk Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica

Nicola Barker-Murphy is currently the desk officer for African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States–European Union (ACP-EU) in the Foreign Trade Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica.

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She provides analysis on ACP–EU issues including the European Development Fund and coordinates activities involving the various stakeholders. An international relations practitioner with 11 years of experience working for the government of Jamaica, her areas of specialization include coordination of bilateral and multilateral negotiations, documentation of trade policies and analysis of Caribbean Community and Caribbean Forum issues in the context of the ACP–EU partnership. Ms. Barker-Murphy holds a master’s in international politics and a bachelor’s in international relations/public administration/gender studies.

Barreto Ana Paula

Intern, Gender, Human Rights and Advocacy, United Nations Human Rights Office of the Higher Commissioner, Brazil

Ana Barreto is a graduate student in International Affairs at The New School and a researcher on migration, with special focus on women and girls. 

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She has several years of experience as human rights international professional and worked with UNICEF in Brazil and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Ethiopia. Ana is also one of recipients of the 2018 United Nations Fellowship for People of African descent in Geneva and she is currently working on her thesis on the health needs of Internal Displaced and refugee women in Ethiopia. The thesis will also become a short-documentary.

Barreto Ana Paula

« Passionate, Black, visionary » Ana Paula Barreto talks about serious matters with great calm, taking time to reflect before answering questions, from New York. Born in Jardim Angela, a poor area of São Paulo, considered as the most dangerous neighbourhood in the world by the United Nations in 1996, she remembers the violence of the favelas. She doesn’t want to reduce her childhood « in a joyful family » to « the ugly », but one of her strongest memories is seeing the bodies of people murdered during the week-end, on her way to school on Monday mornings. At a young age, Ana Paula Barreto realized that her « community was lacking the conditions and opportunities to have a dignified life ». She decided that she would be an « agent of change,  promoting social and racial justice ». In one of the most unequal societies in the world, she reminds that « 54 % of the population is of African descent, but we are very invisible in decision-making circles, universities and politics ».

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Promoting equality and equity, « meaning that the people with less access to education, health and resources will achieve the same », soon became her raison d’être. After school, she was able to attend University. A « historical accident », as she calls it. It was still impossible for Black students coming from a poor background to study in the early 2000’s, because of a historical systemic racist and elitist selection process. « Some of the best universities in Brazil are public, thus free, but the middle-class and rich people send their children to private schools. For people like me who went to public schools, the exam to enter University was impossible to pass. Its level was too high for the quality of my education ». « Racial and Social quotas » at University Fortunately, the Lula administration, with the historical support of Black movements, created affirmative action programs in the mid-2000’s, at the time she was finishing High school. Thanks to a Law of Racial and Social Quotas passed in 2012, no less than half of the admission spots benefit pupils who attended public schools, most of them being indigenous and Black. « If I was born 20 years before, my possibilities would have been very low. President Lula showed how public policies can change a country. Today, there is a whole generation of Black Brazilian professionals and this is changing Brazilian society ». A system of scholarships was also introduced to give more access to private universities. That is how Ana Barreto could study International Affairs with a full bursary at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica of São Paulo. « We were 30 in my class, and two of us were coming from a black and poor background ».  After college, she applied to the United Nations and went to Brasilia, a 90 minutes flight from São Paulo, for a six month internship. This was the last « critical investment » she asked her family to make for her, as her internship would be unpaid and she would have no time to work alongside her office hours. Her parents took a loan, to cover all her expenses for six months. When she moved back to São Paulo, she worked for UNICEF, while participating in human rights projects in her community with local organizations, and volunteering as a popular educator. New York, Addis Abeba, Marrakesh She then was selected by the Atlas Corps for a one-year fellowship in New York in 2015 with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), a global NGO launched in Mumbai (India) in 1952 and headquartered in London. « They bring professionals from the global South to get experience contributing in U.S. organizations », she explains. In New York, she assisted staff by managing the portfolio of sexual and reproductive health programs related to youth, gender-based violence, and HIV/STIs. It went so well that she stayed for six more months, before moving back to Brazil and prepare her next step : a Master’s degree in International Affairs, which she started in 2017 at the New School University of New York, with a focus on racial justice and global health. With a group of students, she went to Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, for a research project on Women Economic Empowerment through loans. There, she worked with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on internally displaced communities, doing advocacy with the African Union. Also in touch with the Brazilian Embassy, she organized a Film Festival in 2018 in Addis Abeba, on Black Brazilians in cinema. Her experience in Ethiopia was “powerful”, she says, as she was able to “see the similarities with people of African descent, not only physically but with food and dances that have not been lost throughout the centuries, the transatlantic slave trade and colonization”. The same year, she was selected as a Fellow of the OHCHR in Geneva for the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), and by the Policy Center for the New South, for the Atlantic Dialogues Emerging Leaders program in Morocco. “The Atlantic Dialogues were an amazing experience in that very special year for me. I was on the last panel of the conference representing my cohort and talking about youth, transformation and creating a more just society. It was an honor, and I was able to connect to so many people doing great work !" Racial justice and global health She has now completed her masters about health outcomes of Black Brazilian women, « in the only country in the world having a public health policy focused on the African descent community ». Currently working as the Director of Programs with Afro Resistance, a small NGO launched in 2010 in New York, she deals with racial justice, human rights and democracy in the Americas, with a focus on Black women, notably from the Caribbean and Latin America. The NGO provides online conversations, research projects and conversations bringing local community voices to international decison-making spaces. Her dream is “to make a difference in the Americas by uniting global health, racial justice and ancestral knowledge of our people”. She hopes to make innovative and impactful work, as well as becoming a reference in this unique approach. “I also hope to work in government, a critical strategic space if we want to really promote systematic change through public policies”. Her role models are an exact reflection of the way she describes herself : “Passionate, Black, visionary”… Among them, the US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, 38, born in Somalia, and Vilma Reis, 51, sociologist and activist from Salvador de Bahia, whom she describes as a “historical figure that did a lot on the intersection of civil society, government and human rights for the most marginalized people”. One of her favorite readings is Lelia Gonzalez (1935-1994), a Brazilian anthropologist, professor, politician and activist, “for her complex analysis of the world we live in”.

Barrios Cristina

Senior Analyst, European Union Institute for Security Studies, Paris

Dr. Cristina Barrios is senior analyst at the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS), an EU agency based in Paris. She works on Europe-Africa relations, following international trends in democracy promotion, conflict resolution, and development policies.

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Her briefings and publications have addressed state building and conflict, security sector reform, democratic transitions, and the African Union. Prior to joining EUISS, Barrios was senior researcher and EU project manager at ESSEC business school, and researcher at the think tank FRIDE. She has also worked as assistant professor at ESCP Europe and as a researcher at the Carter Center, as a consultant in democracy promotion and electoral observer in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, among others. Barrios obtained her Ph.D. in international relations from the London School of Economics, and previously studied at University of Granada, University of Regensburg, University of Paris 8, and University of California, Berkeley.

Barrios Cristina

Senior Analyst, European Union Institute for Security Studies, Paris

Dr. Cristina Barrios is senior analyst at the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS), an EU agency based in Paris. She works on Europe-Africa relations, following international trends in democracy promotion, conflict resolution, and development policies.

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Her briefings and publications have addressed state building and conflict, security sector reform, democratic transitions, and the African Union. Prior to joining EUISS, Barrios was senior researcher and EU project manager at ESSEC business school, and researcher at the think tank FRIDE. She has also worked as assistant professor at ESCP Europe and as a researcher at the Carter Center, as a consultant in democracy promotion and electoral observer in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, among others. Barrios obtained her Ph.D. in international relations from the London School of Economics, and previously studied at University of Granada, University of Regensburg, University of Paris 8, and University of California, Berkeley.

Bart Hijmans Michiel

Deputy Military Representative to NATO and the EU, Brussels

Commodore Michiel Bart Hijmans was appointed the deputy military representative to NATO and the EU in Brussels in May 2012.

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This followed an appointment in November 2011 as the director of Strategic Operations Center of the Allied Command Operations Headquarters in SHAPE Belgium. From June 2010 until June 2011, he served as the commanding officer of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2, conducting counter piracy operations in Ocean Shield. Prior to this assignment, he was assistant chief of staff for international military cooperation, directly responsible to the chief of defense within The Netherlands Defence Staff. Part of his career was also spent in the United States, first as The Netherlands’ defence attaché in Washington, DC, in 2004, and then from mid-2005 to mid-2007, as dean of the Defense Attaché Corps in Washington. He has received numerous awards and honors from various governments, including the U. S. , French, Swedish, and his own in The Netherlands.

Barufi Ana

Research and Innovation Manager, Bradesco Bank, Brazil

Ana Barufi is Research and Innovation Manager at the Innovation Department of Bradesco Bank, in Brazil, in which I conduct studies about new technologies and business models in the banking sector.

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Ana is also a researcher at The University of São Paulo Regional and Urban Economics lab, and holds a Ph.D in Economics from the same university, having spent two semesters abroad at Arizona State University (GeoDA Center) and VU Amsterdam (Spatial Economics Department). Moreover, she has experience with research projects in the academic and professional environments, with a significant list of publications in academic journals. Her research is mostly centered on applied economic analysis, with a specialization in regional and urban economics. In that sense,Ana is involved with the international academic network in regional science, having participated on many international conferences in the area, and being a founding member of the Regional Science Academy.

Basagni Laura

Program Coordinator, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, Italy

Laura Basagni is a program coordinator at The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) in Brussels.

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She coordinates GMF’s portfolio on North-South and South-South cooperation, focusing on the Mediterranean and the wider Atlantic regions. Her research interests are EU foreign and trade policy, and the future of governance. She leads the organization of GMF’s Atlantic Strategy Group meetings, and coordinates the Brussels chapter of GMF’s Young Transatlantic Network (YTN.) Laura joined GMF as a trainee in 2016, working on Mediterranean politics and European foreign policy. She studied at LUISS Guido Carli and the London of School of Economics and Political Science (LSE.) She holds a BA in international relations, an MSc in comparative politics, and a postgraduate degree in European project management.  

Bassou Abdelhak

Senior Fellow, OCP Policy Center

Abdelhak Bassou occupied several offices within the Directorate General of the Moroccan National Security where he was chief of the Borders’ Division from 1978-93. He was the former director of the Royal Institute of Police in 1998. He also served as the chief of regional security (Errachidia 1999-2003, Sidi Kacem 2003-05) and was also head of the Central General Intelligence from 2006-09. 

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Bassou also contributed to the output of several international organizations’ endeavours including the Council of Arab Interior Ministers from 1986-92, where he represented the Directorate General of National Security in several meetings. Bassou holds a master’s degree in political science and international studies from the Faculty of Law, Economics and Social Sciences of Agdal in Rabat.

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