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Speakers' Biographies

Mr Wadie Abunassar, Director of the International Center for Consultations, Israel

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Wadie_AbunassarEducation:
1992-1995: Masters Degree from the Department of Political Science of Tel Aviv University
1989-1992: Bachelor Degree from the Political Science Department of Tel Aviv University
1988: Bagrout (Israeli Matriculation) certificate from the Italian High School of Haifa
1987: A course in Mass Media and Communications at the University of Haifa
1986: A course in Mass Media and Communications at “Beit Hagefen” Institute in Haifa
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Mr Ribal Al-Assad, Founder and Director of the Organisation for Democracy and Freedom in Syria, United Kingdom

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Ribal_Al-AssadRibal Al-Assad is the Founder and Director of the Organisation for Democracy and Freedom in Syria. He is an international campaigner for democracy, freedom and human rights. Ribal, 37, was born in Syria and has lived in the West since being exiled from his country as a child. He brings new ideas and perspectives to campaigning for democracy and freedom in Syria and the Middle East and is a regular speaker on political and human rights platforms. Ribal regularly interacts with politicians, civil servants, academics, journalists, think tanks, pro-democracy, and human rights groups all around the world.

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H. E. Dr Riad Al-Malki, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Palestinian National Authority

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Dr_Riad_Al-MalkiHe was reappointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs in May 2012

He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, in addition to Minister of Information and Official Spokesperson of the Government form September 2007 to June 2009

He served as Minister of Justice from June 2007 to August 2007

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Dr Thomas Becker, Vice President Governmental Affairs BMW Group, Germany

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Dr_Thomas_Becker

Personal Information:

Born on 18th May 1966

Married, 2 children

 

Education

1977 – 1985 Grammar School in Meerbusch/Germany; A – level

10.1986 – 11.1991 Course of Studies: Business Economics (Cologne University)

4. 1992 – 10.1994 Conferral of a doctorate

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H. E. Prof Dr Sali Berisha, Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania

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BerishaBorn on October 15, 1944 Sali Berisha graduated from the Medical Faculty of the University of Tirana in 1967 "with honors". He specialized in cardiology and was subsequently appointed as an assistant professor of medicine at the same university and as staff cardiologist at the Tirana General Hospital.

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Dr Kerry Brown, Director of the China Studies Centre and Professor of Chinese Politics, University of Sydney, Australia

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Dr_Kerry_BrownKerry Brown is Executive Director of the China Studies Centre, and Professor of Chinese Politics at the University of Sydney. He leads the Europe China Research and Advice Network (ECRAN), funded by the European Commission. Prior to this he was Head of the Asia Programme at Chatham House. Educated at Cambridge, London and Leeds Universities, he worked in Japan, and the Inner Mongolian region of China, before joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. He worked in the China Section and then served as First Secretary, Beijing, from 2000 to 2003, and Head of the Indonesia East Timor Section at the FCO from 2003 to 2005.

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Mr Stephen Castle, London Correspondent for International Herald Tribune, United Kingdom

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Stephen_CastleStephen Castle is based in London and writes for the International Herald Tribune and New York Times on the eurozone, European and British politics, economics and business. Before moving to London earlier this year he was Brussels Bureau Chief of the IHT from 2007.

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Sir Suma Chakrabarti, President of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

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Suma_ChakrabartiSir Suma Chakrabarti, born in 1959 in West Bengal, India, is the sixth President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The Bank's Board of Governors elected Sir Suma as President of the EBRD for the next four years, from July 3, 2012. He replaced Thomas Mirow, the President since 2008.

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Mr Dmitriy Chernenko, Chief Executive Officer of UP "STiM", Belarus

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ChernenkoDmitriy Chernenko (born July 31, 1964) - general director (CEO) "STiM" group of companies, which mainly focuses on the road marking machinery and paint production.

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Mr Sandi Češko, Executive Chairman of Studio Moderna Group, Slovenia

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ekoAs the co-founder of one of the first Slovenian computer company, ORIA and the co-founder of Studio Moderna, the leading direct marketing multi-channel retailer in Central & Eastern Europe, Sandi ranks amongst the most successful business entrepreneurs in Slovenia and Europe and is undoubtedly a proven business innovator.

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Ambassador Stephen Evans, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Operations

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EvansAmbassador Stephen Evans took up the post of Assistant Secretary General for Operations in August 2011 on secondment from the United Kingdom Diplomatic Service. He supports the North Atlantic Council and the Secretary General of NATO in the political direction and management of NATO's operational activities.

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Mr Nik Gowing, International Broadcaster and Journalist, United Kingdom

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GowingNik Gowing has been a main presenter for the BBC's international 24-hour news channel BBC World News, since 1996. He presents The Hub with Nik Gowing, BBC World Debates, Dateline London , plus location coverage of major global stories.

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Mr Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

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GurraBorn on May 8th, 1950, in Tampico, Mexico, Angel Gurría came to the OECD following a distinguished career in public service, including two ministerial posts.

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Dr Peter Holmes, Reader in Economics at the Department of Economics, University of Sussex, United Kingdom

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HolmesPeter Holmes is the Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Regional Integration at Sussex (CARIS) and is a specialist in international economic integration. He has published on international trade and competition in economics and law books and journals. Co-authors include Beatrice Dumont, Alasdair Smith and Bernard Hoekman. He was a member of the "Cecchini Committee" on the Internal market in the 1980s.

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Mr Xhevit Hysenaj, Managing Director of XHERDO Ltd, Albania

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HysenajBorn on 20/10/1960 in Albania

Finished high professional school In Albania 1979

Finished Tirana University of Albania in Economic - Finance specialty

In the past worked in financing department of constrictions of goverment company In Albania

In 1991 stratet private business

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Mr Alejandro Jara, Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization

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JaraAlejandro Jara was born in 1949 in Santiago, Chile. He studied high school in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Santiago, Chile. In 1973 he obtained his law degree from the Universidad de Chile. With the support of a Fulbright scholarship he pursued graduate studies at the Law School, University of California at Berkeley (1975-1976).

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Mr Tim Judah, Balkans Correspondent for The Economist, United Kingdom

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JudahTim Judah covers the Balkans for the Economist. He is the author of three books on the region: The Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia and Kosovo: War & Revenge. The third, Kosovo: What Everyone Needs to Know was published at the end of 2008.
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H. E. Mr Nebojša Kaluđerović, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegro

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KalueroviDate and place of birth

17 December 1955, Nikšić, Montenegro

Education

1979 Graduated from the Faculty of Law in Belgrade, SFR Yugoslavia, majoring in international relations

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H. E. Mr Miroslav Lajčák, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic

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LajkDate of Birth: March 20th, 1963

Place of Birth: Poprad, Slovakia

Nationality: Slovak

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Ambassador Satinder K. Lambah, Special Envoy in the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of India

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LambahH.E. Ambassador Satinder K. Lambah was born in Peshawar (now in Pakistan) in 1941. He is Special Envoy in the Office of the Prime Minister of India.

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Prof Dr Jean-Pierre Lehmann, Professor Emeritus at the IMD Lausanne and Founding Director of the Evian Group, Switzerland

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LehmannJean-Pierre Lehmann is Professor of International Political Economy at IMD and Senior Fellow at the Fung Global Institute (FGI).

His areas of special interest include globalization, global governance, trade and development, the role of business in reduction of poverty and inequality and the socio-economic, cultural, and business dynamics of Asia. He acts in various leading capacities in a number of public policy institutes and organizations, as an adviser to governments and corporations, and as a frequent commentator in the international media. He is the author of several books and numerous articles and papers primarily dealing with globalization, modern East Asian history and East Asia and the international political economy.

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Dr Vasiliy Likhachev, Member of the State Duma of the Russian Federation

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LikhachevBorn in 1953 in Nizhny Novgorod.

1975 graduated from the law faculty of Kazan State University. Doctor of Law. Professor. Corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tatarstan. Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary Ambassador.

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Dr Uroš Merc, President of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of BISOL Group, d.o.o, Slovenia

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merc

After successfully defending his thesis on quantum mechanics, Dr. Uros Merc received his Ph. D. in 2005 and became an entrepreneur in solar photovoltaic industry. As co-founder, majority shareholder, President and CEO of a group of companies named BISOL Group, d.o.o., today he runs an international corporation with 300 employees and 21 dependent companies that are operating in more than 17 countries all over the world. BISOL Group headquartered in Slovenia has its representative offices in Belgium, France, Italy, United Kingdom, and Germany. One of the Group companies is specially designated to employ disabled people, which is one of many ways how our Group pays back to the local society. As recognized by many international institutions, BISOL Group is positioned among the best European companies performing manufacturing processes, offering services and making own investments.

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Mr Mark Minevich, President of Going Global Ventures, Inc, United States of America

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MinevichMark D. Minevich is President of Going Global Ventures, a New York based private investment and strategic advisory firm. Mr. Minevich's background includes 20 years' experience in strategy and consulting for the global technology markets. He currently focuses on sustainable development, smart city and impact programs, and is also an influential authority on technology leadership and particularly the role of the CIO/CTO in private wealth, social networking, impact investing and innovation.

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Mr Edward Mortimer, Senior Programme Adviser at the Salzburg Global Seminar and Former Chief Speechwriter and Director of Communications to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, United Kingdom

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MortimerEdward Mortimer read History at Balliol College, Oxford, and won a Prize Fellowship at All Souls College in 1965. From 1967 to 1985 he worked for The Times [of London], first as a correspondent in France, then as foreign specialist and leader-writer, focusing on southern Europe and the Middle East.

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Mr Jan Mühlfeit, Chairman Europe Microsoft Corporation, Czech Republic

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MhlfeitJan Muehlfeit is responsible for representing Microsoft Corporation and engaging with governments, large corporations, key partners and academic elites both cross Europe and on a global level. His goal is to ensure that Microsoft continues to act as a relevant, trusted and valuable partner that listens and contributes to enabling long-term growth, local economic competitiveness, job creation and innovation both in public and private sectors.

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Ms Lidija Pavlovčič, Economics Desk Editor at Delo, Slovenia

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PavloviI am Economic desk Editor at leading Slovene daily newspaper Delo since 2008.

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H. E. Mr Nikola Poposki, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia

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PoposkiPersonal Information

• Name: Nikola Poposki

• Date of Birth: 24 October 1977

• Place of Birth: Skopje, Republic of Macedonia

• Marital Status: married, one child

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Dr Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for the Environment

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PotonikDr Janez Potočnik was born in 1958. He graduated with honours from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana. He continued his studies at the same University where he did his Master's degree in 1989 and a Ph.D. degree in 1993.

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Prof Dr Danica Purg, President and Dean of the IEDC – Bled School of Management, Slovenia

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PurgProfessor Danica Purg is the President of the IEDC-Bled School of Management, Slovenia, and the President of CEEMAN, the association of 200 management development institutions from 50 countries, established with the aim to enhance management development in Central and Eastern Europe. She is also leading the European Leadership Centre (ELC), established with the aim of assessing and promoting European leadership through the organization of forums, workshops and research.

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H. E. Prof Dr Vesna Pusić, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia

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Prof_Dr_Vesna_PusiProf. dr. sc. Vesna Pusić; Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia and a professor of the Sociology of Politics at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb.

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Mr Mark Ramsey, Vice President for Business Analytics and Optimization in IBM Global Business Services (GBS), Growth Markets, Czech Republic

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Mark_RamseyMark Ramsey is the Vice President for Business Analytics & Optimization in IBM Global Business Services (GBS), Growth Markets. In this role, he is responsible for setting the strategic direction and operational management of the IBM Business Analytics & Optimization consulting division for eight growth markets including South East Asia, India and South Asia, Greater China, Korea, Australia/New Zealand, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa and Latin America.

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Mr Sergio Rodrigues Costa, International Relations Director at Investe São Paulo, Brazil

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Sergio_Rodrigues_CostaSergio Costa holds a Master of Arts Degree in Organizational Leadership by the Azusa Pacific University, USA. Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Production Engineer, he worked for many national and multinational companies such as Mannesmann-Demag, Sotreq Caterpillar, AES Corporation, AES Eletropaulo and Empresa de Infovias and Sebrae in various segments ranging from capital goods to IT, Telecommunications, Power generation and distribution, Foreign Trade and Education.

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Mr Eric S. Rubin, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, United States of America

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Eric_S._RubinEric Rubin assumed his duties as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs in July 2011. In this capacity he is responsible for issues related to Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, and the Caucasus. He most recently served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow (2008-2011).

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Ms Mahbouba Seraj, Director of Organization for Research in Peace and Solidarity (ORPS) and Member of the Executive Board of Directors at Afghan Women Network (AWN), Afghanistan

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Mahbouba_SerajMahbouba Seraj was born in Kabul Afghanistan. She graduated from Malalai High School for girls and Kabul University, and is now working on her Masters Degree on line. After 26 years in exile, She returned to her beloved Afghanistan at the end of 2003, and has been working with the women and children of Afghanistan ever since. She is the creator and announcer of a radio program for women by the name of "Our Beloved Afghanistan by Mahbouba Seraj" which has been broadcasted all over Afghanistan. She also established Women's Listening Circles in the villages of Afghanistan, where women would gather to listen and discuss different topics of previously recorded radio programs. She has been a tireless advocate for Women's rights, pushing for women's participation in the Peace Jirga, as well as in the Peace High Council. She and other women advocates were responsible in raising women participation at the 2011 BONN conference and 2012 Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan after 2014.

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Prof Dr Marjan Svetličič, Head of International Relations Research Centre at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

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Dr_Marjan_SvetliiMarjan Svetličič is professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana (was also its Dean) teaching; International Economics, International Business, Negotiations and International management. He is also the Head of the Centre of International Relations and Ambassador of Science of the Republic of Slovenia,Fellow of the European Academy of International Business (EIBA).

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H. E. Mr Hashim Thaci, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo

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Hashim_ThaciFollowing the victory of the Democratic Party of Kosova in the parliamentary elections of 17 November 2007, Hashim Thaçi was elected Prime Minister of the Government of Kosova on 9 January 2008.

On 17 February 2008, Prime Minister Thaçi, in the Assembly of Kosova, declared Kosova as an independent, sovereign and democratic state.

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Mr Pierre Vimont, Executive Secretary of the General European External Action Service

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Pierre_VimontBorn June 15, 1949

Education

- Bachelor's degree in law

- Graduate of the Institute of Political Studies, ("Institut d'Etudes Politiques", Paris)

- Graduate of the National School of Administration (ENA), 1977

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Mr Yoshikazu Yamada, Resident Representative of tha Afghanistan Office, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan

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Yoshikazu_YamadaEducation: May, 1991, obtained Master Degree of City Planning at University of Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

March, 1981, obatined Master Degree of Civil Engineering at Tokyo Metropolitan University.

Oppupation: May, 2011 – Present

Resident Representative of Afghanistan Office, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

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Mr Lamberto Zannier, Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

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Lamberto_ZANNIERAmbassador Lamberto Zannier of Italy took up the post of OSCE Secretary General on 1 July 2011.

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Dr Nadya Zhexembayeva, Coca-Cola Chair of Sustainable Development at the IEDC-Bled School of Management and Vice-President of the UN Global Compact Slovenia, Slovenia

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Dr_Nadya_ZhexembayevaDr. Nadya Zhexembayeva is Coca-Cola Chair of Sustainable Development at IEDC-Bled School of Management, the European executive education business school based in Slovenia, where she teaches leadership, organizational development, and sustainability strategy. Nadya also belongs to Positive Organizational Scholarship movement, most noticeably with her work on Appreciative Inquiry, a world-renown change management and strategic planning methodology that fosters multi-stakeholder strategy design.

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Prof Zhu Liqun, Vice-President of the China Foreign Affairs University and Secretary-General of the China National Association for International Studies, China

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Dr. Zhu Liqun is currently Vice President of China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU), where she is holding a full professorship, teaching courses of International theories, Post-War International Relations. As Secretary-General of China National Association for International Studies, and the board member of Guiding Committee of History Teaching of the Ministry of Education in China, China–EU studies Association, she is actively engaged in international studies in China. She is also Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Chinese Journal of Foreign Policy Review. Her research focuses on China's foreign policy, the European Union and international relations in general.

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