Enhancing European and Transatlantic Economic Cooperation
Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, Albania
Secretary of State, Ministry of Infrastructure, and Government Plenipotentiary for the Central Communication Port, Poland
Zoran Sapuric PhD is professor at The University American College in Skopje. He has finished his PhD, MsC and BA at University “Ss. Cyril and Methodius”, Skopje, Macedonia. Besides the other specializations he has attended executive program at The Harvard University US. He has published than more 45 scientific papers, which are indexed in reputable scientific base and several books. His main field of research is Environment and Sustainable Development, European Union and Local Government. He has taken activities an expert and a consultant in more than 60 projects and a number of strategic documents. Currently he is Minister for regulation of national business climate and he is a former Minister of Environment and Physical Planning, and former MP and former mayor.
Prof. Zbigniew Krysiak is President of the Institute of Schuman’s Thought and professor of finance at Warsaw School of Economics. He is the author of over 130 publications and reviewer of over 90 scientific works.
He is an expert at Ministry of Finance in Poland. He was an economic expert appointed for various projects in the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland. He was an advisor to the Deputy Minister of Finance in Poland.
He has over twenty-five years of experience in business practice in the following functions: member of the Management Board of the Bank Guarantee Fund, Chairman of the Board of the Bank Guarantee Fund, Managing Director at Division of Real Estate Financing in PKO BP, Vice-President of AIG Bank Poland.
He was a member of the Mortgage Funding Expert Group (MFEG) at the European Commission. He was a member of the Warsaw Stock Exchange Scientific Committee. He was the chairman of the Committee for Real Estate Financing at Polish Banks Association. He is the chairman of Quarterly Real Estate Finance Journal.
He was awarded the Silver Cross by the President of the Republic of Poland for his contributions to the development of the banking sector.
Mr. Usackas is the Director of Institute of Europe at Kaunas University of Technology. Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Lithuania’s Ambassador to the USA and to Mexico, as well as in UK, Ambassador of the EU to Russia (2013-2017) and Afghanistan (2010-2018).
s UiPath’s Chief Strategy Officer, Vargha Moayed works closely with UiPath CEO Daniel Dines and the Senior Leadership to formulate and communicate key strategic initiatives. He is responsible for ensuring rapid strategic planning implementation and that all operational areas are informed, aligned and accountable. Vargha joined UiPath from EY, where he was a partner, leading the Advisory services practice in Romania. An early recognizer of the transformational opportunities with RPA, he also built EY’s RPA Center of Excellence for EMEA. He championed the technology with clients across the oil and gas, energy and utilities, financial services and public administration markets. Throughout his professional career, Vargha advised multinational organizations on corporate strategy, sales management and organizational effectiveness. His previous experience includes co-founding a software company and a high-tech incubator with Goldman Sachs as lead investor. He also worked for McKinsey in North America and was a Vice President of corporate development for First Data.
Dr. Valentin Naumescu is Associate Professor of International Politics at Babeş-Bolyai University, the Faculty of European Studies, where he is the director of the Master programme in International Relations, Foreign Policy and Crisis Management. He is a director of PhD thesis in International Relations.
Valentin is an independent expert of the European Commission and the founder (2013) of the think tank Citadel. He also has diplomatic experience, having served as Consul General of Romania in Toronto (2008-2012) and Secretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2005-2007), with the diplomatic rank of Minister Counsellor.
Valentin Naumescu published heretofore 12 books as single author, editor or co-editor, over 60 articles in academic journals and edited volumes, and around 350 analyses and commentaries on international politics. Among his most recent books are Romania, the Great Powers and the European Order: 1918-2018 (Polirom, 2018), The Crisis of the European Union and the Global Order in the Trump Era (Trei, 2017), The European Union’s Eastern Neighbourhood Today: Politics, Dynamics, Perspectives (co-edited with Dan Dungaciu, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015) and Democracy and Security in the 21st Century: Perspectives on a Changing World (Ed., Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014).
Teodor Meleșcanu was appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs of Romania on January 4th, 2017. This is his third term in office, having previously held this position between 1992 and 1996, and in November 2014. He holds the diplomatic rank of Ambassador since 1996.
Minister Meleșcanu has extensive political and administrative experience: three times Senator in the Romanian Parliament, re-elected in 2016, he held numerous high-level positions in the Administration. His broad foreign affairs experience also extends to national security matters. He was defense minister (2007 – 2008) and State Advisor on defense and security in the Prime Minister Chancellery in 2015. He was also head of the Romanian Foreign Intelligence Service (2012 – 2014).
The Minister is Professor at the doctoral school of the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration since 2013.
Minister Meleșcanu graduated from the Faculty of Law (University of Bucharest) in 1964 and completed postgraduate studies in International Relations at the Bucharest University and the International Institute for High International Studies in Geneva. He holds a PhD in Social and Political Science, specializing in International Law, from the University of Geneva since 1973.
Tsvetan Simeonov is the President of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, for which he worked for more than 35 years. He started his professional experience as a specialist-jurist in various departments of the Chamber, such as the Trade Register Directorate, Law Department etc. He was elected BCCI President in June 2009. He is a member of the following national and international professional bodies:
Employers’ delegation of Bulgaria with the International Labour Organization-Geneva, Board of directors of the Association of the European Chambers of Commerce and Industry (EUROCHAMBRES), Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Business Council (BSEC BC) as well as the National Council for Tripartite Cooperation at the Council of Ministers, The Economic and social council, President of the board of GS1– Bulgaria, Arbitrator at BCCI Arbitration court etc.
Tsvetan Simeonov was born in Bulgaria and studied Law in Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. He graduated in 1979 getting a M.A Degree in Law. His postgraduate qualifications include International Arbitration and Commercial Law. He also specialized in Labour Law and Social Relations at the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization, Turin.
Steve Mathias is Vice President, Global Military Business Development for Bell Helicopter. In this role, he is responsible for the customer interface, global strategy, market development and major fleet sales of V-22, AH-1Z, UH-1Y, V-280, V-247 and OH-58D aircraft worldwide. He is also responsible for the campaign strategy for Advanced Vertical Lift concepts.
In his previous role, Steve was Director, Global Business Development Advanced Tiltrotor Systems. In this capacity, Steve was responsible for developing and executing Bell Helicopter’s strategy to bring the next generation of advanced tiltrotors to military, international and commercial customers. Prior to that, Steve served as Senior Manager, Strategy and Operations Global Military Business Development. He joined Bell in July 2014.
Steve is originally from Russell, Iowa. He graduated from Truman State University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. His military experience includes a Special Operations and Conventional Forces background in aviation operations, capabilities development, strategic planning, budget development, force development and training. Steve served in multiple overseas assignments and combat tours to include Korea, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as several other European and Southwest Asia locations.
He is rated in the AH-64A/D Apache, serving as an attack helicopter squadron commander, the UH-1H and the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. Prior to joining Bell, Steve was the Deputy Chief of Staff, United States Army Special Operations Command, G8. Prior to that, he served as the Deputy Commanding Officer and Chief of Staff for the United States Army Special operations Aviation Command.
Steve earned Master’s degrees in Human Resource Development.
Mr. Oprea is the Minister of Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship of Romania and Senator in the Romanian Parliament.
He is also Vice-president of the Commission for Economic, Industries and Services and member of the European Affairs Committee, after having begun his public administration career as a Prefect at Prahova Prefect Institution, in Ploiesti, Romania. Previously, Mr. Oprea held the position of Secretary of the Permanent Bureau, as well as Chairman of the Commission for Development and Economic Strategy, both at the Senate of Romania.
Mr. Oprea’s work experience ranges from Administrator of the Urban ICIM Companies Group (2009-2012 and 2010-2012), specialized in civil and industrial construction, to Consultant for European Projects (1994-2000) at the Eurodec Foundation, local development agency in Ploiesti.
Mr. Oprea’s academic background includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, obtained at the University of Oil and Gas – Technological College, Ploiesti and multiple certificates delivered by prestigious institutions, such as the Networking Certificate (1997) and Financial Management Certificate (1998) in International Management Foundation and GOPA Germany, Bucharest. He was offered a scholarship by The British Council and the Confederation of British Industry, London, Middlesbrough, Coventry (United Kingdom), which concluded with a Management Certificate for young entrepreneurs with corporate practice in UK. He most recently obtained a “Foreign Policy and Graduation Certificate” from the Romanian Diplomatic Institute and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bucharest.
Ș. Tinca has joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania in 1995. Between 1997 and 2000 he was CFSP counselor at the Romanian Mission to the EU. In 2000, he returned to the MFA as Director for the EU. Between 2002 and 2006, he was posted to the Mission of Romania to the EU, in charge with ESDP and liaising with the European Parliament. In 2006, he returned to the MFA as Deputy Political Director, to become Director General for Political Affairs in 2007, a position he held until 2011. He then served as Director General for Regional Affairs within the MFA 2011-2012. Between October 2012 and April 2016, he was Ambassador of Romania to the Kingdom of Belgium.
In April 2016 he was appointed State Secretary for Defense Policy at the Ministry of Defense of Romania. Ș. Tinca joined back the MFA in early 2017. Since 4 April 2017, he is Political Director.
Main areas of expertise: security and defense, transatlantic relationship, Central and South-East Europe, the Black Sea region.
Ș. Tinca is a graduate of the Faculty of Mathematics, University of Bucharest. He holds a PhD degree in History from the Babeş-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca (Romania).
Sławomir Dębski is an international affairs expert, an experienced institution builder and manager. His specialization is Poland's foreign policy, external relations of the European Union, NATO and transatlantic relations, as well as foreign and domestic policy of Russia.
Throughout his professional career, he has been associated with the Polish Institute of International Affairs, Poland's leading research and Advisory institution in area of foreign affairs. Mr.Dębski joined the Institute in 2000 as an analyst and has subsequently ascended to the position of research coordinator for Eastern Europe, head of Research Office and ultimately the Director of the Institute in 2007. Between 2010 and 2016, he was responsible for establishing the Center for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding and served as the Center's first Director.
In February 2016, was appointed as the Director of PISM for the second time. In particular, he has led the effort to re-instate one of Poland's most reputable foreign affairs journals — a quarterly Polski Przeglqd Dyplomatyczny.
In 2002, Mr. Dębski earned his PhD in history from Jagiellonian University. He is the author of the book Between Berlin and Moscow: German-Soviet Relations, 1939-1941 and the editor of multiple volumes of Polish Documents of Foreign Policy for years 1918 - 1919 in Polish, as well as co-editor of two PDFP volumes in English: 1918-1919, 1938-1939.
Ambassador Sorin Dumitru Ducaru is a Romanian career diplomat with a longstanding experience in trans-Atlantic and International Relations and a particular expertise in the field of emerging security challenges and the impact of new technologies upon security. Ambassador Ducaru’s professional background reflects a quite rare blend of technical and political studies. Holding degrees both in computer-studies and political science, he has been intensely engaged intellectually and professionally in translating “digital language” into the language of policy and strategy. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington DC, and the Chair of the Scientific Board of the New Strategy Centre in Bucharest, Romania and Special Advisor to the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace.
Ambassador Ducaru held the post of NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges from September 2013 to November 2017. In this capacity he was the head of the Emerging Security Challenges Division at NATO-HQ, Chair of the Cyber Defence Committee and also coordinator and manager NATO’s Science for Peace and Security Programme. He has lead the work on NATO cyber policy development and implementation in a period of most dynamic developments for the Alliance in this field. Prior to his appointment as ASG, Ambassador Ducaru served as Romania’s Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council, from September 2006 to September 2013. From November 2011, Ambassador Ducaru was the Dean of the North Atlantic Council.
Mr. Buşe, former Minister of Transports of Romania (July 2016- January 2017), worked upon multiple strategic projects for Romania’s transport system and finalized a series of priority projects, including over 500 km of Highway Road, 336 km of Express Road and 12 Ring Roads, all ready for tender, and three subway sections of various lengths.
Previously, he was responsible with Special Affairs related issues for the EUROMED Region for Russia, Turkey, Romania, Morocco etc. (April 2015–October 2015). He built a successful career at Group Renault, where he held the positions of: VP of Renault Engineering, Head of Renault Technologies Romania, Renault’s biggest Engineering Regional Center outside France (September 2010-May 2015), Deputy General Manager RTR (July 2009-September 2010) and Deputy Chief Engineer for Russia (DGTa) (September 2008-June 2009).
In the past, Mr. Buşe also worked as General Manager of Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Canada, Cambridge Ontario and Manager for Product Development at Matcor Automotive Inc., after having started as Process Engineer at SKD Company Milton Division, Milton Ontario. As part of his activities, he was frequently assigned to missions in U.S., Canada, Japan and Mexico (several missions within 6 months activity).
Mr. Buşe’s academic background includes a Degree in Manufacturing Mechanics Engineering, specialized in Machines Building Technology, obtained at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Romania, and a Degree in Electro-Mechanics from St. Sava National College, Bucharest.
Mr. Sergiy Gerasymchuk is involved in political studies since 2001 and has worked for the Secretariat of the Parliament of Ukraine, scientific research institutions under the President of Ukraine and under Security and Defense Council of Ukraine. Besides, he was involved in numerous projects implemented by national and international think tanks.
As an expert, Sergiy cooperated with Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (HSFK), International Center for Defence and Security (Tallinn, Estonia), International Center for Democratic Transformation in Budapest (Hungary), International Research Company GfK Ukraine and also conducted the research at Uppsala University (Sweden), Lublin University (Poland) and Giessen University (Germany). Sergiy is affiliated to Strategic and Security Studies Group and Foreign Policy Council “Ukrainian Prism”. In 2017 Sergiy was Think Visegrad Fellow at Slovak Foreign Policy Association Research Center.
Sergiy graduated from Kyiv-Mohyla Academy as MA in Political Science and is a graduate of the Estonian School of Diplomacy.
Roland Werner is the Head of government affairs and policy of DACH & CEE at Uber since July 2016. Prior to this, Mr. Werner was a member of the board of directors for Powernext (2015-2017) and for the European Commodity Clearing AG (2011-2017). Between 2010 and 2015, he occupied the position of Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board at the European Energy Exchange AG. His past experiences in the field of public administration include the post of State Secretary in the Saxon State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor and Transport, from 2009 to 2014, Executive Director of FDP parliamentary group in the Saxon Landtag, from 2005 to 2006, and Head of Parliamentary Office of Dr. Guido Westerwelle, MP, from 1997 to 2000. Last but not least, he was also a Personal assistant to and speaker of Dr. Wolfgang Gerhardt, parliamentary group chairman of FDP in the German Bundestag.
Secretary Rick Perry
Rick Perry currently serves as the 14th United States Secretary of Energy. He leads an agency tasked with maintaining a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent and reducing the threat of nuclear proliferation, overseeing the United States’ energy supply, carrying out the environmental clean-up from the Cold War nuclear mission, and managing the 17 National Laboratories, home to the country’s best scientists and engineers.
Secretary Perry is a veteran of the United States Air Force, a former farmer and rancher, and the longest-serving governor In Texas history, having led the world’s 12th-largest economy from 2000 to 2015. He has devoted his adult life to creating prosperity and opportunity for families.
Prior to joining the Administration as Secretary of Energy, Perry served as the 47th Governor of Texas. As Governor of the Lone Star State, Perry championed conservative principles that helped Texas become America’s economic engine. Under Perry’s leadership, Texas became a national leader for job creation, innovation, and population growth.
Perry’s leadership of Texas proved that economic growth and protection of the environment can be achieved simultaneously. While adding population and more than 2.2 million jobs during his tenure, Texas also experienced major reductions in carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide emissions. Despite having a rapidly growing population and one of the largest petrochemical refining industries in the world, Texas saw its air quality improve.
Perry grew up the son of tenant farmers in the tiny West Texas community of Paint Creek. The younger of Ray and Amelia Perry’s two children, he was active in scouting and earned distinction as an Eagle Scout. He was one of the first in his family to go to college, earning a degree in Animal Science from Texas A&M University, where he was also a member of the Corps of Cadets and a Yell Leader.
Between 1972 and 1977, Perry served in the U.S. Air Force flying C-130 tactical airlift aircraft in Europe and the Middle East. He is a lifetime member of both the NRA and American Legion Post #75. Prior to being elected Lieutenant Governor in 1998, he served two terms as Texas Commissioner of Agriculture and three terms in the Texas House of Representatives.
Richard L. Morningstar is the founding Chairman of the Global Energy Center and a Board Director at the Atlantic Council. He served as the US Ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan from July 2012 to August 2014. Prior to his appointment, he was the Secretary of State's special envoy for Eurasian energy (2009-2012). Previously, he lectured at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and Stanford Law School. From June 1999 to September 2001, he served as United States Ambassador to the European Union. Prior to this, Morningstar served as Special Advisor to the President and Secretary of State for Caspian Basin energy diplomacy. From April 1995 to July 1998, he served as ambassador and Special Advisor to the President and Secretary of State on assistance for the new independent states of the former Soviet Union, where he oversaw all US bilateral assistance and trade investment activities in the NIS. From 1993 to 1995, he served as Senior Vice President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). Morningstar received his BA from Harvard in 1967 and JD from Stanford Law School in 1970.
Remus Pricopie is professor and Rector of the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA), Bucharest, since March 2012. From December 2012 to December 2014, he served as Minister of National Education. His activity within the Romanian Ministry began in 1996, and includes positions such as Spokesperson, Director, Secretary General and Deputy Minister (Secretary of State) for Higher Education, International Relations and Teacher Training.
Also, he has extensively collaborated with many international organizations - UNESCO, UNICEF, EU, OECD, World Bank, United Nation University, Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie - and ministries of education, higher education and research from more than 100 countries. Prof. Pricopie holds a PhD in Political Science at the SNSPA and he is a Fulbright New Century Scholar alumnus, a World Academy of Art and Science Fellow, a member of the Romanian Chapter of the Club of Rome, and a member of the Atlantis Group.
Mr. Pricopie is also President of the Board of Romanian – US Fulbright Commission, Vice-president of the International Association of Universities and President of the EU – Latin America and Caribbean Permanent Academic Forum.
His educational background includes a rich international experience, being educated and trained in five countries and nine higher education institutions, especially in the United States of America and European Union.
Razvan Nicolescu is the Energy and Sustainability Industry Leader of Deloitte Central Europe. He has almost 20 years of experience in the energy and climate change sector, holding positions both in the public and private sectors. In 2014 he was the Romanian minister of energy.
Between 2006-2008 he was the Energy Attaché of Romania to the European Union. During this period he was involved in the successful negotiations of the energy-climate change and the third market liberalization packages.
Between September 2008 and February 2014 he held the position of director for Public and Regulatory Affairs of Petrom, the biggest Romanian energy company. During this period he managed a successful program to improve the sustainability of the company.
Razvan Nicolescu is also experienced at the EU level. He has been the Chairman of the Administrative Board of the European Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER), being designated member of this body by the Council of the European Union in 2009. The Administrative Board is responsible for the governance of this institution. During his mandate ACER became a leading EU institution.
He has an electrical engineering educational background and graduated a Master Business Administration Program at Solvay Brussels School of Management (Belgium).
Ambassador Rastislav Káčer has served as Honorary Chairman of the GLOBSEC organisation (formerly known as the Slovak Atlantic Commission) since 2008, after completion of his five-year term in Washington D.C. as Ambassador of Slovakia to the United States. Prior to this, Mr Káčer served at different decision-making levels for 16 years. He began his career as a policy analyst at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, rising to Head of the Analytical Unit. Between 1994 and 1998, he served at NATO headquarters in Brussels and on his return from Brussels became Head of Policy Planning Staff and Director General for Security Policy and Multilateral Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2001, he became Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defence responsible for the negotiation and accession process of Slovakia to NATO. He is widely recognised as an expert on U.S. domestic and foreign policy, transatlantic relations, defence and security issues. He has finished as Ambassador of Slovakia to Hungary in July 2018.
Mr. Raimundas Lopata is currently the Director of the State and Economics Forum and Professor at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science of the University of Vilnius, which he was the Director of between 1999 and 2009. Specialized in the fields of History of International Relations, International Relations Theory, European Politics since 1945, and Lithuanian - Russian Relations, Mr. Lopata is also a President of the Association of NGO's and Academic Institutions of Lithuania and Russian Federation Kaliningrad Oblast.
Former graduate of the University of Vilnius, in 1990, Mr. Lopata was awarded multiple prestigious scholarships, such as the Hansard Society for Parliamentary Government (in association with London School of Economics and Politics) and the IREX Grant for International Security Studies, conferred by the Foreign Policy Institute of the John Hopkins University. He has previously occupied the positions of Chief Consultant (2015-2016) and Advisor (1998-1999) in the Office of the Prime-Minister of Lithuania.
Pearse O'Donohue is Director for the Future Networks Directorate of DG CONNECT at the European Commission, dealing with policy development and research supporting the Digital Single Market as regards 5G networks, IoT, cloud and data flows and conceptualising new and innovative approaches towards service platforms and next generation Internet. Before becoming Director, Pearse was Head of the Cloud and Software Unit in DG CONNECT, dealing with the strategic development and implementation of policy on cloud computing and software. Until October 2014, Pearse was Deputy Head of Cabinet of Vice-President Neelie Kroes, previous European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda. He was responsible for advising the Vice-President on the development and implementation of policy on electronic communications, networks and services, as well as broadband, spectrum and other related policies such as Internet governance. Before that, Pearse was Head of the Radio Spectrum Policy Unit in the European Commission, DG CONNECT. Prior to joining the European Commission, Pearse held posts in the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU in Brussels, and as Assistant Director of the Brussels office of the Irish Business & Employers' Confederation.
Pal Sagvari is the Ambassador-at-large for Energy Security and the Head of the Department for Emerging Security Challenges of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Security Policy Division, ever since 2015.
His academic background includes large experience of both French and Hungarian systems. Mr. Sagvari began his studies at the Faculty of International Management and Business, in Budapest, Hungary (1999-2002) and then the Institut Supérieur de Commerce International de Dunkerque, France (2002). He enrolled and studied at the University of Economic Sciences, in Pécs, Hungary (2003-2005) and later on graduated from the École Supérieure des Sciences Commerciales d’Angers (ESSCA), in Angers, France (2005-2006).
Previous experience in the work field began with an internship at the French audit company RSM Secovec in 2005, and continued with the following positions at GDF SUEZ Energia Magyarország, in Budaörs, Hungary: Adviser to the CFO (2006-2008), Financial Controller (2008), Pricing Expert (2008-2009) and Senior Gas Portfolio Manager (2009-2011). Mr. Sagvari entered the public administration with a position inside the Ministry of National Development, Energy Division in Budapest, Hungary, as the Head of Department in Strategy and International Affairs (2011-2014). Between 2014 and 2015, before taking on his current office in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sagvari was the CEO of Mosaic Energy, in Budapest, Hungary.
Nikola Vujovic was born in 1990 in Cetinje, where he finished elementary and high school. He graduated from the Faculty of International Economics, Finance and Business at the University of Donja Gorica in Podgorica with a bachelor's degree on thesis “Economic regulation in the energetics”, and graduated from the subject "Feed in tariffs as a mechanism of incentive for renewable energy sources in the EU ". He worked in the Montenegrin Electricity Market Operator, where, among other jobs, he dealt with monitoring the implementation of regulated revenue, developing projections of revenues and operating costs, preparing documentation for the process of determining regulated revenue. He participated in the processes of drafting the Energy Law , by-laws in the field of electricity, as well as determining the regulated permitted income and incentives for the operation of the market operator. Since October 2017 he in position of the State Secretary in the Ministry of Economy in the Government of Montenegro, and at the same time he is Member on the Board of Directors of the company Coal Mine Pljevlja.
Gen. Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă is the Chief of General Staff of Romania since January 15, 2015. His professional experience resides in many important positions abroad, as January, 2004 – July, 2004 – Commander of the ROU Infantry Battalion, Iraq; June, 2002 – January, 2003 – Commander of the ROU Battalion participating in Enduring Freedom Mission, Afghanistan; 2000 – Chief of Staff of 26 Infantry Battalion –SACEUR Strategic Reserve; May, 1996 – May, 1997 – Staff Officer, UNAVEM III Mission, Angola.
In Romania, he was also Deputy Chief of General Staff between October 15, 2014 – January , 2015, January, 2014 – October, 2014 –Chief of Land Forces Staff; January, 2011 – January, 2014 – Commander of 2 Infantry Division, Buzău; March, 2007 – February, 2009 – Deputy Commander of 282 Mechanized Infantry Brigade, Focșani; from August 1998 until March, 2007– Staff Commander, 2 Infantry Brigade, and other positions in Craiova. He participated in numerous exercises – 2010 – Brigade Commander of “Eurasian Star“ Exercise (NRDC – Turkey); 2003 – OCE/EXDIR Exercise, as part of ISAF; 2001 – Commander of 26 Infantry Battalion –SACEUR, in “Dynamic Response“ Multinational Exercise, Bosnia and Herzegovina; 2000 – Commander of Ground Component in the “Blue Danube 2000“ Multinational Exercise. He also received an important number of distinctions and awards.
Natalia Budescu is the Executive Director, Association of Cross-border Cooperation "Lower Danube Euroregion" since it’s set up in 2009. ACTEDJ focuses on cross border cooperation between members of the “Lower Danube” Euro region. ACTEDJ is recognized as a growth catalyzer in the Black Sea Region, with a project portfolio of over 1 million euro, in different fields: economic growth, environmental protection, tourism, health and public policies. As member of the Managing Board and then President of Romanian NGDO Platform, Mrs Budescu was involved in the Black Sea NGO Forum file in the period 2013-2017. Black Sea NGO Forum is an open space for debate, knowledge and mutual understanding, communication and cooperation between stakeholders within the Black Sea extended region, reuniting more than 400 participants from various domains of activity from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Russia, the Republic of Moldova, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Ukraine, Romania and other member states of the European union which are active in the Region.
Mrs Budescu received her Master’s degree in environmental management and monitoring from the University “Dunarea de Jos” in Galati. Additionally, she holds university degrees in public administration and law from University “Dunarea de Jos”. She speaks Romanian and English.
Dr. Cibian is the President of the Romanian NGDO Platform - FOND and co-founder and executive director at the Făgăraș Research Institute. Also, he is the director of Cibian Consulting SRL and Academy Associate at the Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs, Chatham House - The Royal Institute of International Affairs. Dr. Cibian is teaching as visiting lecturer at Babeș-Bolyai University's Master program in International Development. His research and teaching focuses on foreign policy, peacebuilding, development and statehood, with a regional focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. A key area of interest is uncovering the gaps between international approaches to development and local practices in developing areas. In his consulting and civil society work, Dr. Cibian works on civil society development in Central and Eastern Europe, more specifically supporting the development of community foundations and other organizations. Dr. Cibian serves on the board of several organizations: The Romanian Association for International Cooperation and Development, Țara Făgărașului Community Foundation, and the Foundation for Youth Involvement. He received his PhD and MA from Central European University and BA from Babeș-Bolyai University and 1st of December 1918 University, while also studying at Salzburg University, University of California in Los Angeles and University of Ljubljana.
Michał Baranowski is the director of GMF's Warsaw office, where he focuses on transatlantic relations, U.S. foreign policy, and the relations between the United States and Central and Eastern Europe(CEE). Prior to helping launch the Warsaw office, he served at GMF’s headquarters in Washington, DC, where he developed GMF’s programming in Poland and CEE. Before that posting, Baranowski worked in GMF’s Brussels office, where he focused on EU and U.S. policy toward Ukraine and Georgia, and where he also established the Young Transatlantic Network.
He has published in Gazeta Wyborcza, Rzeczpospolita, the Warsaw Business Journal, the Kyiv Post, and GMF’s Transatlantic Take series. He is a member of the Advisory council of the Institute for Western Affairs in Poznań, Poland. He holds a Master's of European public affairs from Maastricht University and has studied at Mercer University in the United States and at the University of Oxford.
Marta Poślad joined Google in 2012. Before becoming the Head of Public Policy & Government Relations in Central and Eastern Europe, she was responsible for privacy & security policy in Europe, Middle East and Africa, as well as analysing impact of new technologies on societies on the academic front. She is an Atlantic Council Millennium Fellow, Humanity in Action Senior Fellow, Aspen Institute Young Leader and an alumna of Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights’ Programme. Graduate of sociology at the University of Cambridge and political science at the University of Warsaw.
Marek Kłoczkowas born in 1951 in Augustów, Poland. In 1976, he finished his study with a Master’s degree at the Electronics Faculty of the Technical University in Budapest and in 1979 the Warsaw School of Economics. Between 1976 and 1990, he has been working in the electronic industry in Poland. In 1990, he was trained in the British Institute of Management and later on passed different courses on economic policy in Japan (organized by World Bank, Washington), Republic of Korea (industrial policy) and USA (Small Business Administration). Mr Kłoczko was previously a member of the Parliament of Poland (1991-1993) and a member of many advisory bodies to the Polish government (trade, promotion, statistics, economic issues).
Since 1990, he has been General Director of the Polish Chamber of Commerce, and General Secretary since 1993. Now he occupies position of Vice President, Director General of the Polish Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Kłoczko is member of many business organizations in Poland and abroad. Since 2017, he occupies the position of EUROCHAMBRES’ Vice President, which is an association of European Chambers of Commerce located in Brussels, strengthening polish entrepreneurs’ position in the international arena. He is also member of the Budgetary Committee of EUROCHAMBRES.
He is organizer of many promotional events (conferences, seminars, exhibitions and trade missions) in many countries of the world and also participant of them as presenter and lecturer.
He is author or co-author of the programme and organizational concept of the Poland’s participation at the EXPO 2000 in Hannover, Germany (Deputy Commissioner, Managing Director) and EXPO 2005 in Aichi, Japan (Commissioner General, Managing Director). He is also an author of numerous publications dealing with the economic issues and questions of promotion. In acknowledgement of his achievements in the field of promoting Poland and the development of economic self-government, as well as in recognition of his merits connected with the development of the international co-operation, he has been awarded, inter alia, with the Commandor Cross, Officer Cross and the Chevalier Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, Great Order of Merit of the Gedymin Count of the Republic of Lithuania, the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic and the Great Order of Merit of the Republic of Estonia.
Maja Bakran Marcich held various positions in the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs between 1996 and 2016. Based in Brussels from 1999 until 2011, she was responsible for horizontal coordination of the Croatian accession negotiations. In 2011, she moved back to Zagreb and was responsible for setting up and management of the system of national coordination of European Affairs. In 2015, she became Assistant Minister for Europe in the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
On 1 December 2016, she became Deputy Director-General in the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, responsible for coordinating the activities related to investment, innovative and sustainable transport, in support of President Juncker's political priorities.
Leszek Jesień serves since 2017 as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Central Europe Energy Partners (CEEP) – Brussels based energy companies from Central Europe, as well as Director for International Cooperation at the PSE S.A., Poland’s transmission system operator for electricity (TSO) since 2016. His duties cover inter-TSO cooperation, EU electricity market policy, as well as general and innovation strategies.
He has been Professor for international relations and sustainable development at the Collegium Civitas University in Warsaw, and holds a Ph.D. from Warsaw University and habilitated Ph.D. from the Polish Academy of Sciences. His area of expertise covers regional energy relations and energy policy of the European Union.
He served as member of Supervisory Boards of the following energy companies: PSE Innowacje (as chairman), Gas-Trading, Empower Energy. He consulted EDF Poland, BPI Poland and Gaz-System on energy related issues.
Recently, he published: New Electricity and New Cars. The Future of the European Energy Doctrine (2016, with M. Kurtyka); The Kaliningrad nuclear power plant project and its regional ramifications (2013, with L. Tolak); A case for common European biomass policy (2013, with M. Kurtyka); The Future of European Energy Security (2006).
Ambassador Lazăr Comănescu is currently Advisor for foreign affairs to the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania (CCIR). In this capacity, he has been actively involved in the efforts aimed at the consolidation of the presence of the Romanian companies on foreign markets, with particular attention being given to a better use of opportunities offered by Romania’s EU membership.
Mr. Lazăr Comănescu was twice Minister of Foreign Affairs (April 2008 - December 2008 and November 2015 - January 2017), Ambassador- Head of the Romanian Mission to NATO (March, 1998 - May 2001), Ambassador - Permanent Representative of Romania to the EU (May 2001- April 2008), Ambassador of Romania to Germany (May 2009 -February 2015) and Diplomatic Advisor to the President of Romania (February 2015 - November 2015).
Mr. Lazăr Comănescu, PhD, is a graduate of the Faculty of Foreign Trade, Bucharest University of Economic Studies.
Justin Jackson is currently the Upstream Commercial International Manager for ExxonMobil Gas and Power Marketing Company.
Justin joined ExxonMobil in the UK in 2001 in the Upstream where he spent the first four years of his career in various analytical, operations and commercial roles.
In 2005, Justin moved to Qatar where he was involved in the Al Khaleej Gas domestic gas projects and performed key commercial and analytical activities for ExxonMobil’s interests in the Qatargas and RasGas Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Joint Ventures.
In 2009, Justin moved back to the UK where he had roles as the manager for the Europe LNG organisation responsible for the marketing of LNG imports into the South Hook Terminal in Wales before moving roles to lead the company’s Europe New Business Development activities in ExxonMobil Gas and Power Marketing.
In 2012, Justin moved to Houston where he held assignments in Gas and Power Marketing Strategic Planning and Upstream Ventures organisations.
In 2015, Justin moved back to the UK and became the International Gas Business and Market Analysis Manager. Justin assumed his current role in April 2018 and has responsibility for all new business development activities for Gas and Power Marketing’s International Gas division covering parts of Europe, Caspian, Africa and the Middle East.
Justin was born in Hong Kong but is a UK national and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Cardiff University in Wales.
General James L. Jones, USMC (Ret), is founder and President of Jones Group International, a global consulting firm.
General Jones was appointed National Security Advisor by President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009, and served in this capacity until October 2010. Prior to this he was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the US Chamber Institute for 21st Century Energy. From July 1999 to January 2003, General Jones served as the 32nd Commandant of the United States Marine Corps. After relinquishing this post, he assumed the positions of Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) and Commander, United States European Command (USEUCOM), both of which he held until December 2006. After more than 40 years of uniformed service to the Nation, General Jones retired from active duty in the US Marine Corps in February 2007.
In November of that year, he was appointed as the State Department’s Special Envoy for Middle East Regional Security. In this capacity, he worked with Israeli and Palestinian officials to advance regional security in support of the Middle East Peace Process.
General Jones spent his formative years in France, returning to the United States to attend Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. In addition to having been awarded national and international military awards, he received from Georgetown University a Bachelor of Science degree (1966) and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters (2002). In June 1985, he graduated from the National War College in Washington, D.C.
A graduate in political science from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow and the Faculty of International and Political Studies, Izabela Albrycht has chaired the Kosciuszko Institute since 2010. She has also acted as Chairperson of the Organising Committee of the European Cybersecurity Forum – CYBERSEC since 2014. In 2016, she was appointed Chair of the Council for Digitization in its second term. Izabela Albrycht is also an Associate Editor of the European Cybersecurity Journal and a co-author of reports, publications and analyses focusing on issues related to EU policies and international relations. Her research interests cover the EU institutional system and energy policy, strategic challenges related to digital transformation and the construction of a cybersecurity system, including public-private cooperation, the educational system, and innovation. Since January 2017, she has been a member of the Supervisory Board of Asseco Poland S.A. She is an alumna of the prestigious U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) in NGO Management. In 2017 she was listed among the 100 Eastern Europe’s emerging technology stars announced by Financial Times & New Europe 100.
Iulian started his first business 20 years ago, at the age of 22. He now owns and manages multiple Romanian companies, with a turnover of 7 milliard RON and over 7.000 employees. In the last 6 years, he attracted for eMAG a capital of over 200 million USD from the Naspers Investment Fund that allowed his company to build an advanced technology by which it expanded to Bulgaria, Hungary and Poland. Iulian is passionate about technology and believes its use in society will improve the quality of life. In addition, Iulian invests in education through the eMAG Foundation, thus annually helping over 5.000 children to pursue their studies and develop themselves.
Dr. Iulian Fota is currently working as the director of the National Intelligence College and an associate professor at the National Intelligence Academy, Bucharest, Romania. He is a former National Security Advisor to the President of Romania (2009-2014) and Head of National Security Department of the Presidential Administration. He previously held the position of Parliamentary expert on defense and international relations issues at the PNŢCD Parliamentary Group (Christian-democrats) in the Romanian Chamber of Deputies (1994 and 1996). He also served as Assistant to the State Secretary for Defence Policy at the Ministry of Defence, Romania (1997 – 1998) and as the Head of the Defence Section of the Mission of Romania to NATO and WEU (1998-2001), at the NATO HQ in Brussels, Belgium. Starting with 2002, Dr. Fota was a Senior Advisor in the Department for European Integration and Defence Policy within the Ministry of Defence, Romania, until 2005, when he was appointed Director of the National Defence College of Romania, post he held until 2009.
The educational background of Dr. Fota comprises a PhD in Political Sciences achieved at the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration in Bucharest, Romania, as well as the graduation of the NATO Defence College in Rome, Italy and of the National Defence College in Bucharest, Romania.
During his professional activity, Dr. Iulian Fota has contributed to different books and collective projects published by prestigious Institutes, both in Romania as well as international. From 2006 to 2009 he was co-director of a NATO -Science for Peace Research Project. Moreover, he has published many articles in leading Romanian newspapers and magazines, on issues relating to international relations, security, and defense. Furthermore, he is a member in the Advisory council of the American think-tank Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) and in the editorial board of multiple security and military publications.
Iulian Chifu is an associated professor at the National School of Political and Administrative Studies in Bucharest. He is the founder of the Conflict Prevention and Early Warning Center in Bucharest. Between 2011-2014 he was the Presidential Advisor for Strategic Affairs and International Security of the Romanian President.
He acted as Advisor for Foreign Policy, Security and Defense of the Vice-President of the Romanian Senate (2006-2011). He was Advisor of the President of the Iasi House of Health Insurances (1998-2000), researcher and journalist (1991-1998), including correspondent of the BBC World Service, Romanian Service(1991-1995).
He is specialised in Conflict Analysis, Crisis Decision making and the post-Soviet Space. He is member of the board of the Center for Energy and Resource Security - EUCERS at King’s College London, UK, member of the International Advisory committee of the Journal CBRNE-Terrorism-Newsletter, Athens, Greece, member of the Coordination Council of the Romanian Transatlantic Committee Casa NATO. He is author and co-author of more than 30 books on conflicts, crisis, post-soviet space and energy security.
Secretary of State, Ministry of Transport, Romania
Dr Igor Munteanu is acting today as Chairman of the Administrative Board of IDIS (Institute for Development and Social Initiaties). IDIS is one of the oldest think tanks in Moldova. Today, the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (IDIS) is successfully combining social, political and economic research with solid advocacy components.
Between 2010 and 2015, Dr. Munteanu served as E.P. Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova to the United States of America (September 2010 – June 2015), Canada (February 2011 – March 2013) and Mexico (2010 – 2015). From 2016 he is teaching Public Policy and Political Administrative MA Courses at the Academy of Economic Studies (ASEM) in Chisinau.
Prior to his diplomatic assignment, Munteanu served as Independent Expert to the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (2001-2008), monitoring the status of local and regional autonomy in several countries of the Council of Europe. Igor Munteanu wrote several publications for the national and international audience on governmental affairs, decentralization, foreign policy, post-Soviet transformation. The latest book by Munteanu is ”Politici publice complexe” (2016, Cartier Publishing House).
Munteanu designed and launched the publishing of the Arena Politicii Journal, as the first political sciences and foreign affairs journal in Moldova (1996-2000). In 2007, Munteanu served as a member of the International Board for the BSTF (Black Sea Trust Fund) and also a Member of the External Evaluation Committee of the Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD).
In 2002, he pursued his PhD at the Law Department of ULIM on Moldovan and EU regionalism. Between 1997 and 2005, Dr. Munteanu was involved as freelance political analyst with Radio Free Europe (RFERL). He also served as Political Advisor to the first President of Moldova (Mircea Snegur) during 1992-1994.
Ian Steff oversees approximately 1,400 trade and investment professionals based in more than 100 U.S. cities and 70 markets around the world. He manages a $300 million budget and a broad portfolio of International Trade Administration initiatives aimed at increasing the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers and service providers. In this capacity, he is responsible for executing the Administration’s plans to foster growth in U.S. jobs, exports, and investments.
Before joining the U.S. Department of Commerce, Steff served as the state of Indiana’s first Chief Innovation Officer under then-Governor Pence. Steff oversaw Indiana’s strategy regarding science and technology economic development and was directly responsible for the implementation of the Governor’s billion-dollar innovation and entrepreneurship initiative. He worked to expand investments and public-private partnerships in information technology, life sciences, composite materials, nanotechnology, energy storage, and the Internet of Things.
Prior to his roles in the state of Indiana, Steff worked for the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) for nearly a decade. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors and the Advisory Board of Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Microelectronics.
Ian Brzezinski is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on Strategy and Security in Washington, DC. He brings to the Council his experience in defense industry, including as a Principal at Booz Allen Hamilton, where he provided policy and technical support to United States combatant commands and international military establishments. He served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe and NATO Policy from 2001 to 2005, during which his responsibilities included NATO expansion, Alliance force planning and transformation and NATO operations in the Balkans, the Mediterranean, Afghanistan and Iraq. Mr. Brzezinski served for seven years on Capitol Hill, first as a Legislative Assistant for National Security Affairs to the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Bill Roth, (1995–2000) and then as a Senior Professional Staff Member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (2000–2001).
He leads the Brzezinski Group, LLC, a consulting firm advising commercial and government clients on international security policy, government relations, business development and political risk.
Deputy Director General of the Projects Directorate and Director of the Safeguards and Quality Management Department within the Projects Directorate, European Investment Bank
Gordan Bosanac was born in 1973 in Zagreb, Croatia. After graduating the Faculty of Physics - University of Zagreb, he also completed a non-formal Peace Studies programme organized by the Center for Peace Studies. In 2004, he obtained a MA degree in Human Rights, graduating the University School of London, School of Public Policy.
Since 1998, he has been involved in many citizens’ initiatives related to peace, security, human rights, combating discrimination, LGBT rights, migration policies etc. From 2005 to 2011, he was appointed as programme director of Center for Peace Studies. Since 2012, he works as a chief policy analyst in CPS on topics related to development cooperation, human security and human rights public policies. He teaches „Human security“ at Peace Studies programme in Zagreb. In 2014, he was elected president of the Managing Board of Croatian Platform for International Citizen Solidarity (CROSOL). Mr. Bosanac has published many articles related to human rights and peace building and has worked across the Balkan region with other civil society organizations.
Before assuming his post as Vice-Minister of National Defence on 20 February 2017, Mr. Giedrimas Jeglinskas worked as Vice President in Corporate Banking at Citigroup, most recently in Warsaw, Poland. His earlier roles at Citigroup included capital markets origination and corporate finance in Sydney, Singapore and Tokyo.
Mr. Jeglinskas is a former Lithuanian Armed Forces officer. He served as a platoon commander with the Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanised Infantry Battalion in Rukla between 2005 and 2006 and as a senior intelligence analyst with the Second Investigation Department under the Ministry of National Defence from 2006 to 2008.
Mr. Jeglinskas graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point with BSc in Political Science and Computer Science. He holds an MA in National Security Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Washington, DC and an MBA in Strategy and Finance from Columbia Business School in New York.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia
Florin Talpeș, Bitdefender's CEO and founder, is a visionary entrepreneur who has worked in the IT security business for the past 20 years. Right after the “fall” of the soviet bloc in 1990, with his wife Mariuca, he created Softwin, one of the first Romanian private software companies and the mother company of Bitdefender. Founded in 2001, Bitdefender is a global security technology company, delivering solutions that protect over 500 million users in more than 150 countries, from private individuals to employees of the world’s largest corporations. As a founder of the National Association of Software Services Industry, Florin Talpeș has helped develop a major technology hub in Central and Eastern Europe by encouraging international expansion of technology start-ups.
Eugen Teodorovici is the Minister of Public Finance of Romania since January 2018 and senator in the Romanian Parliament since 2012. He had an important number of government positions starting in 2008 with the position of State Secretary coordinating State Treasury, Public Debt and European Funds, State Counsellor of the Prime Minister in 2012, Minister of European Funds between December 2012 – February 2015 and Minister of Public Finance between March-November 2015. His parliamentary activity includes presidency of the Committee for Budget, Finance, Banking Activity and Capital Market and membership of the Committee for European Affairs.
Eugen Teodorovici is also the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the European Investment Bank and Governor for Romania in the Board of Directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as well as in the of the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank.
At national level, he also held certain representation functions, including Chairman of EXIM Bank Inter-Ministerial Committee for private sector financing and guaranteeing, member of the Board of Directors of CEC BANK SA, Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for financing, guaranteeing and ensuring local public authorities, as well as the representative of the Ministry of Public Finances in the Council of Export.
Eric Stewart is a Partner with the Washington DC firm of Williams & Jensen, PLLC. Mr. Stewart represents clients before the Administration, Congress and select foreign governments on a range of international and domestic policy matters. Mr. Stewart also serves as President of the following nine business groups: American-Central European Business Association, American Czech Business Council, American-Lithuanian Business Council, American-Romanian Business Council, U.S. – Guatemala Business Council, U.S. – Hungary Business Council, U.S. – Mexico Business Coalition, U.S. – Poland Business Council, U.S. – Turkmenistan Business Council.
Prior to joining Williams & Jensen, Mr. Stewart served as the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe/Eurasia at the Department of Commerce and as a Senior Advisor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
In 2006, Mr. Stewart was awarded the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary by the President of Hungary for his outstanding contributions to fostering Hungarian-American economic relations. In 2012, Mr. Stewart was awarded the Knights Cross of the Order of Merit by the President of the Republic of Poland for Mr. Stewart’s formation of the US-Poland Business Council. He is also a member of the Atlantic Council.
Mr. Stewart, who holds a bachelor's degree from Ohio University, also served three years on the University's National Alumni Board of Directors as well as received the Ohio University 2002 Outstanding Recent Graduate Award. He is often called upon by Members of Congress and the Administration for his views on bilateral and regional economic relations with foreign countries.
Edward Lucas is a writer and consultant specializing in European and transatlantic security. His expertise also includes energy, cyber-security, espionage, information warfare, Russian foreign, and security policy.
Formerly a senior editor at The Economist, the world’s foremost newsweekly, he is now a senior vice-president at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA).He writes a weekly column in the London Times. In 2008, he wrote The New Cold War, a prescient account of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, followed in 2011 by Deception, an investigative account of east-west espionage. His latest book is Cyberphobia. He has also contributed to books on religion and media ethics.
An experienced broadcaster, public speaker, moderator and panelist, Edward Lucas has given public lectures at Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge and other leading universities. He is a regular contributor to the BBC’s Today and Newsnight programmes, and to NPR, CNN and Sky News.
For many years, as a foreign correspondent, he was based in Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Moscow and the Baltic states. He now lives in London. He concluded his time at The Economist as the editor responsible for the daily news app Espresso. He also wrote obituaries. A weekly syndicated column has appeared in English and other languages since 2005. In 1992, he co-founded an English-language weekly in Tallinn, Estonia: the Baltic Independent.
After his Business Master in Finance and Marketing Didier Philippe joined Matra Finance Direction while finishing his third cycle studies in “Organisations Sciences” at Paris Dauphine University.
After a few years in Finance, he joined Export team and took over Export to the USA where he sold large quantities of Durandal anti-runway weapons to the US Air Force for its fleet of F4, F5, F16, F111.
Further on Didier Philippe choose to take the responsibility of Export to Europe which, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, enlarged to Eastern Europe and later to Central Asia.
The first contract he signed for Matra in Eastern Europe was in Romania in 1995, selling the Magic 2 air-to-air missile to equip the Migs 23 and 21 LanceR.
During his career, Matra became, after the successive merge with other European Companies, the European Champion for Missile Systems MBDA (producer of Mistral, VLMica and Exocet)
Didier Philippe has always been a convinced European, passionate about geopolitics.
David Koranyi is a non-resident senior fellow for energy diplomacy at the Atlantic Council. David was previously the director of the Council’s Energy Diplomacy Initiative (2016-2018), its Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative (2014-16), and deputy director of its Eurasia Center (2012-2014). He was also a nonresident fellow at the Johns Hopkins University SAIS Centre for Transatlantic Relations between 2010 and 2017.
David served as Undersecretary of State and Chief Foreign Policy and National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Hungary, Gordon Bajnai (2009-2010). He worked in the European Parliament as Chief Foreign Policy Advisor and head of cabinet of a Hungarian Member of the European Parliament (2004-2009). Before he was a political Advisor at the Hungarian National Assembly and a junior researcher at GKI Economic Research Institute, in Budapest, Hungary (2000-2004).
David obtained his Master's degree in International Relations and Economics, with a major in Foreign affairs from Budapest Corvinus University. He is currently attending an executive Master of Public Administration programme at Columbia University in New York City.
Dan Nechita is a former State Counselor for Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Cioloș, responsible with digitalization and cybersecurity. He graduated the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. with an M.A. in International Relations and Columbia University in the City of New York with a B.A. in Economics and Political Science. At Columbia, he worked for two years as are search assistant at the Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies and wrote his honors thesis under the guidance of Profs. Kenneth Waltz and Robert Jervis. He also worked at the World Security Institute (the Global Zero nuclear disarmament initiative), at the Brookings Institution Center of Executive Education, and at ABC News as a reporter and writer for the political analysis publication The Note. He currently runs Smart Everything Everywhere, an organization focused on digitizing European industry, and K Street Consulting, a public and governmental affairs company focused on supporting U.S. companies in Romania.
Ambassador Daniel Fried is a distinguished fellow of the Atlantic Council and is the United States’ longest-serving diplomat. Prior to joining the Atlantic Council, he served as the US State Department’s coordinator for sanctions policy (2013 – 2017).
In the course of his forty-year Foreign Service career, Ambassador Fried played a key role in designing and implementing American policy in Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union. As special assistant and NSC senior director for Presidents Clinton and Bush, ambassador to Poland, and assistant secretary of state for Europe (2005-09), Ambassador Fried crafted the policy of NATO enlargement to Central European nations and, in parallel, NATO-Russia relations. Ambassador Fried helped lead the West’s response to Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine in 2014: he crafted US sanctions against Russia and negotiated the imposition of similar sanctions by Europe, Canada, Japan, and Australia.
Ambassador Fried became one of the US government’s foremost experts on Central and Eastern Europe and Russia. While a student, he lived in Moscow, majored in Soviet studies and history at Cornell University (BA magna cum laude 1975), and received an MA from Columbia’s Russian Institute and School of International Affairs in 1977. He joined the US Foreign Service later that year, serving overseas in Leningrad (human rights, Baltic affairs, and consular officer), and Belgrade (political officer), and in the Office of Soviet Affairs in the State Department.
As Polish desk officer in the late 1980s, Ambassador Fried recognized the impending collapse of Communism in Poland, and helped develop the immediate response of the George H.W. Bush Administration to these developments. As political advisor at the US Embassy in Warsaw (1990-93), Fried witnessed Poland’s difficult road to a free market and democratic transformation.
Ambassador Fried also served as the State Department’s first special envoy for the closure of the Guantanamo (GTMO) Detainee Facility.
Dan Cărbunaru discovered his interest in the European theme during his university years. He began as a journalist specialized on Internal Affairs at Mediafax News Agency, and continued at Adevarul and Gandul. His journalistic career grew, adding experiences in both the written press and TV, including hosting a weekly talk-show, at TVR1, the National Public Television. He graduated the National Defense College and the National Intelligence College. As a director of Communication department within Ministry of Internal Affairs, he organized the first Communication Conference on Internal Affairs in 2007, at EU-level.
In 2006, he founded Calea Europeana, a weekly TV show made by B1 TV. Since 2009, Calea Europeana became the most important EU affairs multi-media platform in Romania – more than 70.000 people permanently following the platform. Among the personalities interviewed are: Romanian Presidents, Klaus Iohannis and Traian Basescu; NATO Secretary, General Jens Stoltenberg; former NATO Secretary General, Andres Fogh Rasmussen; former NATO Force Commander in Europe, Philip Breedlove.
In 2017 and 2018, Dan Cărbunaru moderated important citizen debates, with the President of European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and enjoying the presence of other EU Commissioners. He also moderated, in 2017, the CD from Reflecting of Europe series in Romania, having President Marku Markulla, Mayor Emil Boc, the President of the European Committee of Regions, Karl-Heinz Lambertz and Corina Cretu, the European Commissioner for Regional Policy as guests.
Damon M. Wilson is Executive Vice President of the Atlantic Council, where he is responsible for programs and strategy. His work is committed to advancing a Europe whole, free, and at peace, to strengthening the NATO Alliance, and to fostering a transatlantic partnership capable of tackling global challenges and promoting its common values. From 2007 to 2009, Mr. Wilson served as special assistant to the President and Senior Director for European affairs at the National Security Council.
He managed interagency policy on NATO, the European Union, Georgia, Ukraine, the Balkans, Eurasian energy security, and Turkey, and planned numerous Presidential visits to Europe, including US-European Union and NATO summits. Mr. Wilson has also served as: Executive Secretary and Chief of staff at the US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq; Director for Central, Eastern, and Northern European affairs at the National Security Council; and as Deputy Director in the Private Office of NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson. Prior to serving in Brussels, Mr. Wilson worked in the US Department of State in various positions dealing with European security and China and served in Rwanda with Save the Children. He is a graduate of Duke University, studied at the University of Grenoble in France, and completed his graduate studies at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs. Mr. Wilson also worked with the Unaccompanied Children in Exile refugee programme in Croatia and Turkey, and has been decorated by the presidents of Estonia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, and Poland for his efforts to advance transatlantic relations.
Corina Crețu was born on June 24, 1967 in Bucharest. She is the European Commissioner for Regional Policy. Her responsibilities include maximizing the impact of cohesion funds to improve citizens' daily lives, as well as ensuring those funds help create jobs and growth whilst making sure regional funds are spent according to the rules.
Prior to becoming an EU Commissioner, she was a Member of the European Parliament, where she chaired the Committee on Development and served as a Vice-President of the Parliament.
Corina Crețu studied at the Academy of Economic Studies, Faculty of Cybernetics, graduating in 1989.
She worked as a journalist and political commentator for various Romanian newspapers before joining the Spokesperson's office of the Cabinet of President of Romania and becoming Presidential Advisor, Presidential Spokesperson and Head of the Public Communication Department.
She is also a former Romanian MP and a former Romanian Senator.
Christian Rupp was appointed by the Austrian Government 2003 as the Federal Executive Secretary for eGovernment and in 2005 as the Spokesperson of the Federal Platform Digital Austria, which is responsible for the coordination and standardization of eGovernment between federal, regional and local governments. In 2016 he was appointed by the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber as the special representative for digitization and coordinator of the SME DIGITAL initiative.
Christian Rupp studied business informatics as well as marketing and holds special business degrees as a Certified Management Consultant and Certified Digital Consultant. He is an University Lecturer for Digital Transformation and Strategies in Public Sector and Businesses.
As an international expert and consultant in the digital innovation field, he is involved in different high level groups of the European Commission, OECD and the Worldbank. He is in the board of directors of the UN WSIS World Summit Awards and e.g. in the advisory board Research Studios Austria. He has written different digital strategies, among others, for Eastern Partnership and Balkan countries.
Christian Rupp was awarded in 2013 by the Austrian Federal President with the Golden Medal of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria.
Mr. Gaburici was born on the 23rd November 1976 in Logănești, Hîncești. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, with a specialization in management, at the Slavonic University of Moldova. Later on, he graduated from the Free International University of Moldove, where he obtained a Master’s Degree in Economic Sciences, with a specialization in Management and Marketing. In addition, Mr. Gaburici participated in the pilot programme and development of the Bachelor’s Degree programme at the Stockholm School of Economics and Hanken & IFL Corporate Development and pursued the Telecoms Mini MBA, organized by Telecoms Academy Training Excellence. He was distinguished with the Diploma Doctor Honoris Causa issued by the International Informatization Academy, associated member with general consultative status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).
At the beginning of his career, Mr. Gaburici started working as Sales and Distribution Coordinator (Eval-Standart, 2000-2001) and Sales Channels Representative (JV Moldcell JSC, 2001-2003). He became Head of regional sales unit in the company JV Moldcell JSC (2003-2004), then Head of sales division (2004-2008), before occupying the position of General Manager (2008-2012). Between 2012 and 2015, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Azercell, part of the TeliaSonera Group.
Mr. Gaburici held the position of Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova from February to June 2015 and, after the end of his term, became the founder/CEO of a group of companies in agriculture, IT, energy, services and auto sport.
Charlotte Ruhe, EBRD’s Managing Director, Central and South Eastern Europe, is responsible for 18 countries from Poland and the Baltic States to Greece and Cyprus.
In a 25-year career in the Bank, she was a Director within the SME Finance and Development Group for the past 7 years, providing finance and advice to SMEs across 26 EBRD countries of operation. Charlotte served as Director for Croatia in Zagreb from 2005 to 2010.
Prior to that she led the EU-EBRD SME Finance Facility as a Senior Banker in the Financial Institutions Team. Charlotte joined the EBRD as Advisor to the Director for the United States in 1992, and in 1995 moved to the Financial Institutions Team where she worked on debt and equity transactions in the Baltic States, Central Europe, Georgia and Uzbekistan.
She began her career at the US Department of the Treasury as an international economist, and has an MA in International Economics from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a BA in Journalism and Political Science from Indiana University.
Head for Networks & Regional Initiatives, Directorate-General for Energy, European Commission
Vice President of the Czech Chamber of Commerce
Beata Daszyńska-Muzyczka graduated from economic universities with majors in Corporate Finance Management and completed the Advance Leadership Programme at the ICAN Institute of the Harvard Business Review. She is an alumna of the Cambridge University.
From 1994 to 2016, she worked for the Bank Zachodni WBK (part of Santander Group). She was in charge of the implementation of strategic projects, including the New Branch Model, electronic banking - Minibank 24 and optimization and rationalization of bank processes. Since 2005, she headed the Logistics and Real Estate Area and since 2008 became a member and then the chairman of the Supervisory Board of Bank Zachodni WBK Property. Since 2012, she was in charge of the organizational culture transformation - project Next Generation Bank and she was appointed as Head of the HR Partnership Area. After accomplishing a number of strategic projects, she became a member of the Management Board of Bank Zachodni WBK in 2015. In 2016, she was promoted to the President of Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK) - a state development bank that initiates and implements programs serving the economic growth and improving the quality of life in Poland. She launched a new BGK Strategy, focused on the implementation of actions planned in the governmental Strategy for Responsible Development of Poland. Recently, she is deeply involved in the 3SI, mainly in the process of establishing the 3S Fund, which is aimed at financing infrastructure needs in the 3S region to support integration and strengthen economic cohesion in the EU.
Barbara Dorić, PhD, is the Managing Director of LNG Croatia, responsible for development of LNG Terminal in the Republic of Croatia. Prior to her appointment as a Managing Director of LNG Croatia two months ago, she was president of the Management Board at Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency, responsible for supervising oil and gas production activities and oil stocks in the Republic of Croatia. She has a rich experience in development and implementation of energy policies and strategy related to primary energy resources production, gas market, petroleum market and EU third energy package.
Prior to the Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency, she worked for the Centre for Monitoring Business Activities and Investments in the Energy Sector and A.T. Kearney, management consulting company, where she gained significant experience in energy practice in South East Europe.
She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in economics at Webster University in Vienna, Austria in 2004, accomplished executive MBA studies at IEDC-Bled School of Management, Slovenia in 2008, and gained a PhD degree at University of Ljubljana, Slovenia in 2017.
Coordinator of the Programme Poland 3.0 - National Programme of Poland, based on a cluster policy
Currently, Andrei Țărnea is the Commissioner of the Romania-France Season with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, leading a consortium that includes the Ministry of Culture and National Identity, the Ministry of Defense and the Romanian Cultural Institute. Andrei serves as member of the board of ECAS in Brussels. He is a member of the Aspen Institute Romania and, between 2010and 2017, has served as the Executive Director of the Institute. He is a career diplomat having joined the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in1998. His diplomatic career includes working in bilateral affairs, serving with the Ministry's spokesperson, and as Head of the Early Warning Unit in the Policy-Planning Department. He was Advisor to the Foreign Minister between 2002 and 2004 and Director of the Romanian Information Centre in Brussels between 2004-2010. Previously, he worked for the Centre for Policy Studies and Comparative Analysis, and co-led a political and social affairs think tank. He also worked in the private sector and the Romanian Senate where he served as an advisor and researcher with the legal affairs committee.
Andreana Baeva Motusic is President of the European Business Association Zagreb and member of the governing board of IDEMO Institute for Democracy. She holds a PhD in Political Science and International Relations from University College London and an MA in European Studies from Uppsala University. Her professional interests include regional and structural development, political economy of European integration, and educational reform in Central and Eastern Europe. Andreana has been involved with the Three Seas Initiative as a civil activist since 2015 and is a strong promoter of the intensifying of the cooperation among the CEE states, in particular in the areas of transport, energy, education and digital economy.
Ana Birchall was appointed Vice Prime Minister for Romania’s Strategic Partnerships’ Implementation in the Romanian Government, in January 2018, after having previously held the position of Minister delegate for European Affairs (January-June 2017) and ad interim Minister of Justice (February 2017).
She is currently serving her second term as deputy in the Romanian Parliament, representing Vaslui County and continuing the legislative work begun in 2012. Between February 2015 and December 2016, she served as Chairman of the European Affairs Committee in the Chamber of Deputies.
In 2002, Ana Birchall began her career as a lawyer in New York City, collaborating with White & Case LLP law firm. In 2003, she returned to Romania with her family, where she made her debut in politics and administration as advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 2005 she was appointed senior-adviser for the Commission on Foreign Affairs of the Senate of Romania.
After graduating from the Faculty of Law of the University of Bucharest and the Faculty of Law and International Relations (valedictorian) of the “Nicolae Titulescu” University in 1996, Ana Birchall continued her studies at Yale Law School, where she received a Master of Studies in Law, in 2000, and Ph.D. in Law (J.S.D.), in 2002, under the guidance of Professor Anthony T. Kronman, Dean of Yale Law School.
Alina Inayeh joined GMF in 2007 as the Director of the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation. Alina is an active practitioner in the field of international relations, development and democratization, having run the Freedom House office in Ukraine, in 2004, and the NDI office in Russia, between 2000-2003. She has trained NGOs throughout Central and Eastern Europe and FSU on issues related to NGO development and democratization. Alina has been a leading civic activist in the 1990s in her own country, Romania, and an active promoter of the NGO sector in the country. She received her Bachelor's degree in Geology from the University of Bucharest and a Master in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School, University of Princeton, USA. She speaks Romanian (native), English, and Russian.
Mr. Mihai Daraban has been the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania (CCIR) since June 2014. Mr. Mihai Daraban has set out a series of strategic objectives aimed at better representing the interests of the business community both towards central authorities in Romania and international organizations abroad. Among his priorities one can mention the improvement of vocational education, the promotion on foreign markets, the improvement of business legislation and the cutting of red tape.
Mr. Mihai Daraban was deputy chairman of CCIR during July 2002 - December 2007 and June 2011 - March 2014. Mr. Mihai Daraban has also been the President of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Navigation and Agriculture of Constanta, a position he has held since 2002.
Mr. Mihai Daraban is a graduate of the Politehnica University of Bucharest, Faculty of Mechanics, Department of Heat Machinery and Equipment, completed by Shipmanagement Specialization at the Norwegian Shipping Academy in Oslo. He is also a graduate of the Business Management Course of the TEMPUS Program for Eastern Europe and the National Defence College.
Alexander Van der Bellen (born in 1944) took office as the Federal President of the Republic of Austria on 26 January 2017.
From 1994 to 2012, Alexander Van der Bellen was a member of the Austrian National Assembly, and from 1999 to 2008 Chairman of the Greens’ Parliamentary Group. From 1997 to 2008, he served as Federal Spokesperson for the Austrian Greens.
Apart from being a politician, Van der Bellen also pursued an academic career. From 1980 to 2009, he was appointed as Full Professor of Economics at the University of Vienna, and from 1990 to 1994, Deputy Dean and then Dean of the University of Vienna School of Social and Economic Sciences.
She was born 29 April 1968 in Rijeka, where she attended primary school. She completed secondary school in Los Alamos, New Mexico, United States of America.
In 1993, she obtained a degree in English and Spanish from the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb, and in addition completed further education in Portuguese. In 1994, she completed the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna and in 2000 obtained her Master's degree in International Relations from the Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb. From 2002 to 2003, she was a Fulbright scholar on pre-doctoral research in international relations and security policy at the George Washington University, United States of America. At the time she was awarded the President’s Medal for scientific, social and political work. She was also a Lukšić Fellow in Senior Managers in Government Executive Program at the J.F.K. School of Government at Harvard in 2009.
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović began her career in 1992 in the Ministry of Science and Technology and in 1993 moved on to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she held various positions – in 1995 she was Head of Department for North America, in 1997 she worked as Counsellor in the Croatian Embassy in Canada, later as Minister-Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission.
From 2001 to 2003, she was Minister Counsellor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in November 2003 was elected Member of Parliament in the 7th electoral district. The same year, she was sworn in as Minister of European Integration, and in 2005 as Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, office she held until 2008. The major objective of her term was to lead Croatia on its path to Euro-Atlantic integration and she was Head of the State Delegation for Negotiations on the Accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union.
In 2008, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović became Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to the United States of America. In 2011, she was appointed NATO Assistant Secretary-General for Public Diplomacy, position she held until 2014, as the first woman Assistant Secretary-General ever in the history of NATO and the highest ranking woman in NATO.
She is married and mother of two. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese and has some command of Italian, French and German.
Andrzej Sebastian Duda was born on May 16, 1972 in Cracow.
After graduating from the Jan III Sobieski High School in Cracow in 1991, he enrolled at the Department of Law and Administration of the Jagiellonian University. On earning his MA in 1997, he started working as an academic teacher at the Faculty of Administrative Law of his Alma Mater.
In January 2005, Andrzej Duda obtained a doctoral degree in law and in the spring of the same year he launched his own law firm.
On August 1, 2006, he was appointed a Deputy Minister of Justice and in November, 2007, he was elected a member of the Tribunal of the State by the Sejm.
On January 16, 2008, President Lech Kaczyński appointed him an Undersecretary of State in the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland.
In 2010, Andrzej Duda won a seat in the City Council of Cracow, becoming also the chairman of the Club of Law and Justice City Councillors.
In October, 2011, he was elected a member of Polish parliament. In the Sejm, he became a Deputy Chair of the Committee for Constitutional Liability.
In November, 2013, he became the press spokesman for the Law and Justice Party and continued in this capacity until January, 2014, when he was appointed the party’s chief of campaign before the forthcoming elections to the European Parliament.
On May 25, 2014, he became a Member of the European Parliament.
On May 24, 2015, Andrzej Duda was elected the President of the Republic of Poland, having won 51.55% of votes in the run-off election. He assumed the office on August 6, 2015.
Klaus Iohannis is the current President of Romania, serving his first term in office.
A graduate of the Faculty of Physics of the Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca (Romania), he started teaching physics in 1983, and later became Educational Inspector in the city of Sibiu.
Iohannis joined the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania (DFGR) in 1990. He led the organization for more than a decade, before being elected Mayor of Sibiu, as a DFGR representative. He served as Mayor for four terms, until 2014. In 2007, Sibiu was designated European Capital of Culture, alongside Luxembourg, thereby becoming the first city of a non-EU country to win this title before the country’s official EU accession.
President Klaus Iohannis joined the National Liberal Party in 2013. On November 16, 2014 he was elected President of Romania. He was sworn in before the Parliament on December 21.
Throughout his term in office, President Klaus Iohannis received numerous state honorary distinctions and prestigious international awards for his contribution to the promotion of democratic values, the fight against corruption, transparency and the rule of law, including the Franz Josef Strauss award (Hanns Seidel Foundation, 2018), the Light Unto the Nations award (American Jewish Committee, 2017) and the Martin Buber-Plaque (EURIADE Foundation, 2016).
Klaus Iohannis believes that a sound foreign policy requires a responsible domestic policy, as well as predictability, reliability and accountability at international level. These are prerequisites for a performing state, which is able to ensure prosperity and security for its citizens, while projecting democratic values and the rule of law in its neighbourhood and beyond it. Only an internally powerful Romania will be able to face its external challenges and to strengthen its role as a security and stability provider.