Too many photographs of European or NATO summits are made up of rows of grey suits. Too often women remain on the sidelines of key discussions, negotiations and decision-making in foreign and security policy.


WIIS Brussels started almost two decades ago as a loose group of volunteers aiming to change the status quo. In 2013, under the leadership of Cristina Gallach, then Director for Media and Communications at the Council of the European Union - now Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and for Ibero-America and the Carribbean of the Spanish government - we began the journey from an informal "band of sisters" to an organised and registered not-for-profit association of male and female professionals dedicated to making waves in the Brussels, European and global foreign affairs and security sector. Under the leadership of our successive Presidents WIIS Brussels has become a key actor of the Brussels security and gender discussion. We offer our network of some hundred members and close to a thousand contacts regular activities, ranging from professional development and training workshops to networking opportunities and gender-balanced policy debates.


Diversity is as much about making sure half of the world's population is involved in decision-making as it is about leveraging the diversity of ideas that is necessary to develop the innovative and sustainable solutions to global security challenges. We believe in paying more than just lip-service to inclusion, diversity and gender-balance: we offer our members the tools to enhance their skills and develop their career, and partner with forward-looking organisations such as The Brussels Binder to offer concrete solutions to the "mostly-male" syndrome plaguing the Brussels policy debate. We regularly welcome leading female speakers and writers to contribute new proposals to current debates.


Please browse our website, support our efforts and join us as we work for a secure world.



Women In International Security (WIIS - pronounced "wise") Brussels is an independent, non-partisan, non-for-profit organisation, registered under Belgian law.


It belongs to the global family of WIIS chapters, which are dedicated to advancing the leadership and professional development of women in the field of international peace, security and defence. There are close to 50 independent chapters around the world whose members include policymakers, military personnel, diplomats, legislative aides, scholars, students, journalists, entrepreneurs and business representatives at all stages of their careers. We are about community building and networking.


WIIS Brussels promotes training and mentoring for the next generation of women leaders. It offers various platforms harnessed by technology to amplify women voices among security experts and practitioners to engage in more inclusive ways. It takes part in intellectual diversity through discussions on current policy challenges. It also offers informal opportunities for experts and practitioners to discuss their differences off the record in a polarized world. It benefits from the presence of the EU institutions and NATO, as well as a very high concentration of diplomatic representations, international organisations, and other influential stakeholders, putting it at the centre of key policy discussions on international relations, security and defence.


WIIS Brussels is led by an energetic team of unpaid volunteers who constitute its Steering Committee. A high-level Advisory Committee provides strategic guidance.




In the face of such forces as geopolitical competition, nationalism and "strongmen politics", as well as economic malaise and the fight over resources in a post-coronavirus environment, the recent gains in the debate about women in international security, the presence of women in foreign and security decision-making, and the promotion of gender-sensitive international policies and norms are seriously challenged. The current situation requires nothing short of a cultural shift in the public debate over the very concept of international security, towards an agenda that is no longer alienating to women, nor threatening to vulnerable members of society.


WIIS Brussels is an association of security experts and practitioners committed to advancing women's leadership to contribute their voices in addressing current peace and security challenges, offering a safe space as a platform to broker new informal ways in a polarized world. In shaping the post-Covid19 foreign and security policy debate, WIIS Brussels choose to lead with a new initiative 2020 putting people first, and focusing on two pillars: "community" leading from compassion, and "connectivity" among people harnessed by technology.


As a vibrant community and a powerful network, WIIS Brussels puts a premium on its members, training as well as mentoring the current and next generations of women leaders. Now more than ever, we need to champion young, talented women to take part in an inclusive, equitable, and diverse debate over peace and security priorities. We will lead from a place of transparency, authenticity, and respect as one of many voices. As a "connector" in the age of artificial intelligence, we will contribute expert views on foreign and security policies, building bridges with other fields, recognising the expertise of others, and the wisdom of those with experiences from different origins, backgrounds and ages. Together we will co-create new pathways, restorative and regenerative strategies for future generations to feel safe and thrive.



The "next generation" training and mentoring program will support the individual and collective needs of our community providing to our members various opportunities, from building resilience to speech writing, personal coaching, and ultimately support women entrepreneurs providing their services in the face of a disrupted and fast changing work environment. This is about our own personal growth.


The "new cast" platform harnessed by technology will serve our broad community, including other WIIS chapters, to share our collective voices and opinions through videos, podcasts and creative writing. It will allow our younger members of WIIS Brussels campus, the young professionals, and the long-standing security experts and practitioners to team up and engage, offering recommendations for decision makers in Brussels and beyond. This is about reaching out to others in a more inclusive and diverse way.


The "creative security table" will offer informal opportunities to experts and practitioners to discuss "off the record" and bridge the gap in a polarised world. This policy initiative will bring opposite views, different generations, public and private interests in the peace and security debate to discuss their differences in a safe space, and enrich the field for high-ranking officials in our Brussels-based institutions. This is about our policy/advocacy contribution to a new international foreign and security debate. 



In the midst of a pandemic and "putting people first" in our approach to security, WIIS Brussels shifted to online activities in 2020. We discovered the transformative power of community, as well as the technical requirements and human challenges of staying connected in confinement. We are seeking to consolidate our membership in these challenging times.


In 2021, the Association is offering a new series of trainings for woman to succeed in their own way, define their personal branding, and speak with impact, while mentoring the new generation this year again.


The WIIS Brussels communication platform stands ready to host woman leaders telling their stories, notably on the WIIS Voices Podcast, and to share its virtual space with the young voices of WIIS Campus. The network will continue to echo WIIS voices and activities through its website and social media platforms for the benefit of its members and friends.


Around our "creative security table", we are launching in 2021 a Virtual Consultation on Women and Security "off the record" among security experts and practitioners. As an exercise in direct democracy, this informal dialogue within Brussels and beyond is exploring what security means to us, individually and collectively, in a post-COVID environment. We offer a path beyond the Brussels bubble, the rituals, the rules of engagement, agreed language, cultural biases, and patriarchal systems. Publicly debating security, putting people first and justice before force and order requires self-reflection and education. We are proud to launch this year our Diversity Task Force.




We, Women In International Security (WIIS) in Brussels, are working towards a future that is more diverse, equitable, and inclusive for all, starting by educating ourselves and seeking greater awareness within our midst. We recognize the structural inequalities perpetuated by institutional frameworks. We are exploring the link between diversity and security. We welcome diversity of thought and encourage diversity in all its forms, enriching our vision, conversations, and activities. 


We appreciate your being part of our community of thought and practice and helping us support marginalized voices, creating a sense of belonging. We honour different approaches, offer equitable opportunities to the less heard in international security, and commit to treat everyone with respect and appreciation.


WIIS Brussels is led by an energetic team of unpaid volunteers who constitute its Steering Committee

Honorary President

Cristina Gallach is Spain's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs since 2020. She previously served as High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda of the Spanish government; United Nations' Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information; Head of the Public Relations Unit in the Council of the European Union; Spokesperson to Javier Solana, then European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy; and NATO Deputy Spokesperson. Cristina was instrumental in bringing a new energy to WIIS Brussels and moving it from a loose association to a dedicated group of volunteers, serving as its first President under the new governance structure. As Honorary President, she continues to bring her wealth of experience in communications, information, public diplomacy, international affairs and security policy, combined with transformational leadership and hands-on management expertise, to the cause of more gender equality in international relations.



Isabelle is an expert in international security with a 30-year professional experience from the Canadian government to international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as academia and think tanks. She is currently Adviser for the Science for Peace and Security at NATO. She has also worked as a consultant providing policy advice to the private and public sectors, and volunteered in several nonprofit organizations. She has served in a number of capitals: Ottawa, Brussels, Moscow, Washington. She led many international teams, developing and implementing various projects bringing people from different cultures together, and fundraising for causes she felt strongly about. Isabelle has authored over fifty publications on international security issues, spoken at many conferences, and given various interviews to the press. She received her Law degree from Sorbonne, Paris, her Ph.D in Political Science from Université de Montréal, Canada, a Certificate in Essentials of Leadership from London School of Economics (LSE), and her Life Coach Certificate from the United States (QSCA).

Member of the Steering Committee (Policy)

rbalfour(at)wiis-brussels.org | @rosabalfour

Rosa Balfour is director of Carnegie Europe. Her fields of expertise include European politics, institutions, and foreign and security policy. Her current research focuses on the relationship between domestic politics and Europe’s global role.

She has researched and published widely for academia, think tanks, and the international press on issues relating to European politics and international relations, especially on the Mediterranean region, Eastern Europe and the Balkans, EU enlargement, international support for civil society, and human rights and democracy.

Balfour is also an associate fellow at LSE IDEAS. In 2018 and 2019, she was awarded a fellowship on the Europe’s Futures program at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.

Prior to joining Carnegie Europe, Balfour was a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. She was also director of the Europe in the World program at the European Policy Centre in Brussels and has worked as a researcher in Rome and London.

Member of the Steering Committee


Jamila is a senior cyber threat analyst. Alumni of the Institut Supérieur de l’Armement et de la Défense she has been working in private and public defence-related entities in France and abroad before joining NATO HQ. As a vocal champion for cyber awareness, she’s actively involved in several cyber vulgarisation initiatives as a trainer and speaker."

Member of the Steering Committee


Sabrine works on programme development and Brussels programming at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. She is a Master’s candidate of Advanced Studies in International Human Rights Law at UCL. Sabrine holds a Master’s degree in International Relations specialised in peace, security and conflict, in addition to both a BA in French Law and in Political Science. 


Her expertise lies in international security, conflicts, peacebuilding, human rights and gender studies. Throughout her experience and studies, she developed a strong knowledge in the Arab world and Sub-Saharan African matters. She has previously acquired first-hand experience of how these conflicts play out on the international stage during a placement at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in 2018. 


Sabrine previously worked at the largest peacebuilding organisation Search for Common Ground on European affairs and partnerships. She also worked as a marketing and then public relations assistant at Redscope Consulting, a Brussels-based agency providing training in leadership to top EU managers from the commission, NGOs and the corporate sector.  


Sabrine has, for several years, been involved in non-profit organisations such as UNICEF France and Amnesty International. She has also participated in the NMUN as a delegate. Since Sabrine joined WIIS Brussels, she supports the membership management and the production of the podcast channel WIIS Brussels voices. In 2020, she co-founded and is currently leading WIIS Campus, the university antenna of WIIS Brussels.   


A native French speaker, she is multilingual, speaking English and Spanish and learning Arabic and Russian. 

Member of the Steering Committee


Diana is working as Political Engagement Officer in the Cabinet of the General Manager and Chief of Staff of the NATO Communications and Information Agency in Brussels.  She provides advice on the political and military spectrum of Alliance’s strategic priorities.  Diana has founded the Diversity and Inclusion and Women Empowerment movement inside the Agency and she is an Advisory Council Member of Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, a GMF Marshall Memorial Fellow and a member of Women in International Security.  Diana advocates for the integration of a gender perspective in international security and foreign policy and for strengthening the gender-security nexus.  She has been nominated for an Award – Honourable Mention for Integration of a Gender Perspective at NATO.

She has previously worked in academia, the private sector, NATO Joint Force Command Naples, The Italian Delegation to NATO, the European External Action Service and Non-Governmental Organisations on strategic, partnerships and policy matters. Diana has undertaken field work in 2018 in Ghana, Africa, where she contributed to community engagement, capacity building and research on women’s rights.  She has worked with girls from Ghana slums and the Muslim community to enhance women and girls’ awareness of human rights in a country where issues such as child marriage, child prostitution, gender-based violence, illiteracy, child abuse are still a very diffused. She also trained women and girls on leadership, presentation and communication skills hence empowering them with tangible abilities they could employ in the future.

Diana has published several articles and research papers for the NATO Defence College and international think tanks on foreign policy and security and defence issues.

Born in Naples, Italy, Diana De Vivo holds a Master’s degree in International Relations and Politics and is currently pursuing an MLitt (Research programme) in Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St Andrews (United Kingdom) – The Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV).  She is interested in the contribution of women to counter terrorism and countering violent extremism, radicalisations, terrorism and religion and terrorism and the media.  She is Italian mother tongue and fluent in English and French, good in Spanish.

Member of the Steering Committee


Nora is a Communication Officer at the Europe Direct Contact Centre, managed by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Communication. She has previously worked at the think tank Friends of Europe, Polis Network and the European Liberal Forum. Nora graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2018 with a BA in English Literature, and spent the third year of her degree as an Erasmus student in Salzburg, Austria. In addition to her native proficiency in English and Irish, she speaks French and German at an intermediate level and is currently learning Dutch.    


Member of the Steering Committee


Florence is working since January 2018 as a Consultant at CEIS European office, a French strategic consultancy specialized in sectors of national sovereignty and digital transformation. Florence works on several types of missions for public and private customers and performing a large range of tasks from desk research and support activities on deliverables to follow-up of large projects. Most of her work focuses on digital transformation in defence sector, as she was involved in several studies on new technologies, such Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain, for industry and public entities.


Owing two International Relationships second-year master’s degrees from Lyon 3 Jean Moulin University with specializations in international security, defence and business intelligence, Florence studied especially defence themes such as cross-border cooperation, no-state threats, defence economics or nuclear deterrence.

As part of her education, Florence achieved several internships within the French public sector (French General Delegation for Armament Naval Techniques, police force) as monitoring officer, and the aeronautic industry (MBDA, Safran). 


As member of WIIS Steering Committee, Florence is notably involved in the Digital & Innovation Series organisation - a series of events on women and the digital transformation of the security and defence sectors.


Member of the Steering Committee


Dr. Naďa Kovalčíková is the Senior Analyst in charge of the Transnational Security portfolio at the EU Institute for Security Studies (EUISS). She focuses on hybrid threats, foreign interference, disinformation, resilience and democracy, election security, and transatlantic cooperation.

She is a 2019 awardee of Women In International Security; a mentor within the innovative network of Harvard Women in Defense, Diplomacy, and Development; and an expert collaborator for Minsait’s Ideas for Democracy.

Nad’a was formerly a Program manager and Fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy in the German Marshall Fund of the United States. She also worked at NATO, the European Parliament, the French and Canadian embassies, and several NGO and think tank projects.

Nad’a obtained her Ph.D. in international economic relations with a focus on globalization and security threats, and master’s degrees in Politics and Government from the LSE, in European Affairs from SciencesPo Paris, and in International Relations from EUBA.


Member of the Steering Committee


Rebekka Haffner is Attaché at the Belgian Ministry of Defence. Previously, she worked as a Project Officer at the European Organisation of Military Associations (EUROMIL). She holds an MA in Security and Diplomacy Studies from Tel Aviv University as well as a BA in Politics and History and a BA in Politics and Law from the Westfälische Wilhelms Universität in Münster, Germany. In addition to her native German, Rebekka speaks English, Dutch and French.

Vice-President, Operations and Outreach


Pauline Massart has been an active member of WIIS Brussels since 2010, and coordinates the group’s outreach, membership, fundraising and network. She is Deputy Head of the EU Office of CEIS, a French strategic advisory company. She was previously Head of Media & Communication at the European Defence Agency, after heading the Peace, Security & Defence Programme of the Brussels-based think-tank Friends of Europe (previously the Security & Defence Agenda) for eight years. She began her career in the defence industry, after studying at King’s College London, the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris and Leiden University in the Netherlands. Massart is on the Board of the Brussels Binder, the online female expert database. She speaks English, French, German and Italian, and is the mother of two children.



Marta Martinelli is head of the EU external relations team for the Open Society European Policy Institute, where she oversees policy development and EU advocacy within the institute. She acts also as OSF Special Advisor on security governance. She joined the Open Society Foundations in May 2010. Previously, Marta worked in Kinshasa for the European Union mission for Security Sector Reform in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. From 2005 to 2009, she advised the Belgian Directorate General for Development on peace-building policies in the Great Lakes Region. Marta has advised the European Commission, the European Parliament, the UNDP, OECD/DAC and UNIFEM on gender, peace support operations, and security system reform in Burundi, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Marta’s academic career includes holding a chair in peace and conflict studies at the Free University of Brussels, and teaching at the Institute of International Sociology in Gorizia (Italy) and at the UNESCO Chair for Peaceful Conflict Resolution and Human Rights in Bujumbura (Burundi). In Brussels, she serves as an adviser to the European Institute of Peace, the European Network for Central Africa, and Save the Children. She holds a PhD in conflict resolution and an MA in international politics and security studies from the Department of Peace Studies in Bradford (United Kingdom) as well as a BA in diplomacy and international relations from the University of Trieste (Italy).

Secretary General


Romana Michelon joined NATO in 2015, and works within the office of the Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security. Before joining this team, she worked on EU-NATO cooperation as part of the Operations Division of NATO’s International Military Staff. Prior to NATO, Romana specialized in EU foreign policy and Middle Eastern affairs. She worked on the geopolitical implications of the discovery of natural gas in the East Mediterranean at the German Marshall Fund of the U.S., and on energy and water diplomacy in the Middle East within the European External Action Service. She holds a bachelor's in European studies from Maastricht University, a master’s in international relations from the University of Amsterdam, and a master's in conflict resolution from King’s College London. Romana speaks Dutch, English, Italian and French, and is currently studying Modern Hebrew.

Daria Nashat Pic.jpeg
Member of the Steering Committee


Daria Nashat is a resilience and leadership trainer, speaker, and co-creator of the Women’s Sanctuary Circle. She is trained in Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR), Co-active Coaching Fundamentals, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), and co-author of the ZIF 'Stress Management Handbook' for civilian experts in peace missions. 

Prior to founding her own business, she worked in the field of peacebuilding, refugee return and post-conflict development. Her career includes experiences with the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe, PAX Netherlands; the Heinrich Böll Foundation North America, NATO, and the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in the U.S. Congress. 

Daria has been a WIIS member (WIIS Global, Germany, Belgium) for almost two decades. She is passionate about social justice issues, a mother with a vision, and a book lover. A native of Berlin, Germany, Daria has lived abroad for more than 20 years in Belgium, the U.S., and the Netherlands.

Daria holds a MA degree in Political Science and Education from University of Tübingen, Germany and studied at University of Leuven, Belgium and University of Minnesota, US. She is fluent in German, English and Dutch and has basic knowledge of French.

Eva Ribera.jpeg
Member of the Steering Committee


International Relations Master candidate specialized in gender studies, international security, transitional justice and human-capacity building, Eva Ribera decided on this career path after a long-lasting activism in Bordeaux, where she participated in the creation of a gender equality association. Thanks to a humanitarian mission within the German diplomatic corps, she gained first-hand experience on international responses to post-conflict development needs in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province. She also participated in a transitional justice project with the Sri Lankan NGO “Centre for Equality and Justice”. Through her research works, she further focused on gender-just peace in the post-conflict Western Balkans societies. In addition to her native French, she speaks English, has professional proficiency in German and has been learning Arabic for two years. 


Member of the Steering Committee


Krystal Gaillard is the Programme Officer for the European Young Leader (EYL40) programme at Friends of Europe where she manages the organisation’s remarkable leadership programme, which also includes transatlantic and MENA profiles. After a law and political science degree at the University of Kent, she pursued studies in public policy and human development at Maastricht University and the United Nations University. 

She previously worked for the Peace, Security and Defence programme at Friends of Europe after a short stay as a junior public policy analyst. She has also held several roles as a freelance researcher (West African peace and development), assistant researcher (political participation and diversity) and editor-in-chief of a public policy and governance academic journal.

Member of the Steering Committee


Sofiia Shevchuk is a Research Assistant to an MEP Dr Hannah Neumann, at the European Parliament and a Database team coordinator at The Brussels Binder. Sofiia is also a working student at the MSc Conflict and Development Studies at the Ghent University. After her studies at the College of Europe, the EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies program, she worked as a Research Assistant for the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. Prior to this, she worked for the Security and Defence programme at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, Brussels office. 

Member of the Steering Committee


Clotilde Sipp is a Policy Adviser for Political, Security and European Institutions at the New Zealand Mission to the European Union. She was previously a Senior Programme Manager at the think-tank Friends of Europe, where she coordinated security, Asia and development-related activities. She previously worked for a sustainable development charity and for a global risk management and security services company. She holds an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics (LSE), specialising on EU external policies, especially non-traditional security cooperation with Southeast Asia; and a BA in Politics & Linguistics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She is bilingual in French and English.


WIIS Brussels's Advisory Committee give the organisation strategic advice and guidance.


This small group of dedicated individuals includes:

Historian, author, journalist and consultant

Ilana Bet-El is a senior adviser on energy, defence, geopolitics and communications, with over thirty years' experience in both the private and the public sectors. She is also a widely published writer on politics, history and identity in the EU, Russia, the Middle East and the Trans-Atlantic community. With a background in academe and the media, she has worked for the UN in both the Balkans and New York as well as advising multinationals and governments from her base in Brussels. She created and edited the editorial page of European Voice (now Politico), and has contributed hundreds of columns and opinion to pieces to a wide variety of international media. She holds a PhD from the University of London and is fluent in English, Hebrew and French.



Former Deputy Secretary-General for Economic and Global Issues
at European External Action Service (EEAS)

Christian Leffler, born in Göteborg in 1955, obtained a Bachelor's degree in politics and international relations from the LSE. After doctoral studies at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva he joined the Swedish Foreign Service in 1980. Postings to Cairo and Paris were followed by the Political Affairs Department of the Ministry in Stockholm. After participating in the accession negotiations and in establishing the new working structures of the Representation in the first year of active Swedish EU membership, he became the first Swedish “Antici,” responsible under the Permanent Representative for policy coordination in the work in the Council of Ministers. He joined the European Commission in 1996, where he took up the post of Commission “Antici” and Head of the unit in the Secretariat General responsible for the coordination of relations with the Council of Ministers. In 1999, he became the Deputy Head of the Private Office of the Right Honourable Chris Patten, European Commissioner for External Relations. From 2002 until 2007, he was Director in charge of the Middle East and South Mediterranean in the European Commission’s Directorate General for External Relations. He then spent three years as Head of Cabinet of Mrs Margot Wallström, Commission Vice President for Institutional Relations and Communication. During 2010 Mr Leffler was Deputy Director General of the DG for Development and relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific States, as well as a senior adviser to EU High Representative for CESP and European Commission Vice-President Catherine Ashton, assisting her in the preparation for the establishment of the new European External Action Service. From the beginning of 2011 to 2015 he was Managing Director for Americas with the European External Action Service, and was Deputy Secretary-General for Economic and Global Issues from 2015 to his retirement in 2019. 


Former President of WIIS Brussels (2015-2019) & Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of GMF's Brussels Office

Corinna Hörst is senior fellow and deputy director of GMF’s Brussels office. She supports the executive director in all aspects of strategic planning, operations, personnel, management, and communication. In this capacity, she plays a central role in program planning, networking, and relationship building with the EU institutions, NATO and stakeholders from governments, media, business, as well as nongovernmental and think tank communities. She monitors and frequently comments on transatlantic relations and European affairs and is engaged in various women leadership development and diversity activities.


She is also co-founder of The Brussels Binder, an online database of female policy experts. Her recent book “Women Leading The Way in Brussels,” co-authored with Claudia de Castro Caldeirinha (John Harper Publishing, 2017) looks at women leadership in Europe and Brussels, including vignettes of women who exercise leadership across different sectors in Brussels. Before coming to GMF in 1999, she was a teaching associate at Miami University, teaching American and world history and worked as assistant project manager at a publishing company in Germany. Hörst has a PhD and master’s degree in history and studied at Miami University in Ohio, United States, the University of Heidelberg in Germany, and St. Andrews University in Scotland.


Founder and Director, New Horizons Project Geopolitical strategy advice and analysis

Shada Islam is a Brussels-based commentator on EU affairs. She runs New Horizons project, a strategy, analysis and advisory company. She was previously the Director for Europe and Geopolitics at Friends of Europe, where she was responsible for policy oversight of the think-tank's initiatives, activities and publications, particularly on issues related to the Future of Europe, Migration, the Asia Programme and the Development Policy Forum. Shada is Visiting Professor at the College of Europe (Natolin) where she teaches Asia-Europe relations. She is also a VUB Fellow. She has been named as one of twenty most influential women in Brussels by Politico. Shada is the former Europe correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review and has previously worked on Asian and Migration issues at the European Policy Centre. She is sought after as a speaker, commentator, columnist and moderator at high-level European and global events. Shada also continues to write on EU foreign and security policy, EU-Asia relations and trade and development issues for leading Asian, European and international publications and academic journals.


Chair, Global Public Affairs at Hill+Knowlton Strategies

Philippe Maze-Sencier has been working for 25 years at the nexus of policy, government relations and communications on transatlantic issues as well as in Africa, India and the Middle-East in the aerospace, energy, defense, and pharmaceutical sectors. Prior to joining Hill+Knowlton Strategies, he was the Managing Director at McLarty Europe and held multiple senior positions at APCO Worldwide. He also worked for the spirits division of the French luxury group LVMH in France and Germany; for the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva; and at the delegation of the European Commission in Washington, DC. Philippe holds a master of science in foreign service from Georgetown University and a master of arts in law (Cantab) from Cambridge University. During the course of his studies, he spent one year at the University of Bonn in Germany as a Konrad Adenauer Security Studies fellow.


Vice-President for Communications of the European Economic and Social Committee, Deputy Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Equality Commission and former Deputy Speaker of the first Northern Ireland Assembly

Born in Belfast, Jane Morrice has worked in many challenging fields throughout her career; Deputy Speaker of the first Northern Ireland Assembly set up after the Peace Agreement, Head of the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland and former BBC reporter and Deputy Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Equality Commission. She was elected Vice President of the European Economic and Social Committee in April 2013 until October 2015. In this capacity, she was also President of the EESC Communications Group. Throughout her career she has been actively involved in peace building and conflict resolution. As EC representative, she was a member of Delors task force, which established the first EU PEACE Programme, and, during her time in politics, she worked on the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. In her role as EESC Member she has written two reports on EU peace building and she continues to work to promote exchange of experience between Northern Ireland and people in conflict zones in other parts of the world.


Freelance Reporter for NPR and Deutsche Welle; Podcast Host, Atlantic Council

Teri Schultz is an experienced multimedia journalist who has reported from more than two dozen countries, having lived in Finland, Russia and Belgium in addition to the United States. Based in Brussels since 2006, Schultz currently covers NATO and the European Union and can be seen, heard and read on NPR, on the German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) and on her own podcast, Channeling Brussels.


Having begun her international career covering the disintegration of the USSR from Helsinki, Schultz remains particularly focused on counter-terrorism, security and defense with an emphasis on Russian disinformation and destabilization activities. Over her career, she has traveled six times to Afghanistan, been a Kiplinger Fellow in Digital Media, a journalism exchange participant in Pakistan with the Center for International Journalists, and a Knight International Press Fellow teaching throughout rural Russia. 


Schultz has a Master of Science in International Relations (magna cum laude) from the University of Helsinki and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism (with honors) from New Mexico State University. She speaks French and Finnish. She is a frequent debate moderator and panelist, active in promoting better gender balance across subject matters.

Director for Stabilisation and Humanitarian Aid at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Marriët Schuurman is a senior diplomat having served the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs for more than 20 years. She currently serves as Director for Stabilisation and Humanitarian Aid, and was previously Human Rights Ambassador, and representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia . She also led the Task Force for the Netherlands' 2018 UN Security Council membership. Other duties include postings in Sudan, Zambia and Moscow, and strategic policy development regarding Kosovo and the African Great Lakes region. She served as the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security from 2014 to 2017. Ambassador Schuurman has held several board positions including the Presidency of the Works Council of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Presidency of the Council of the University of Amsterdam.



Senior Advisor to the President of the UN General Assembly, Team Leader for Human Rights, Social & Humanitarian & Cultural issues - Leader of the task force on 75th anniversary of the UN

As the Team Leader for social, humanitarian and cultural issues in the OPGA74, Alexandre Stutzmann is the focal point for Third Committee issues, which also prominently feature human rights and fundamental freedoms, migration and refugees, youth and education. Prior to joining the Office of the President of the General Assembly, Alexandre was the Director for parliamentary committees in the field of External Policies (foreign affairs, development, international trade, human rights, security and defence) in the European Parliament. His role was to coordinate the political and administrative support given to the work of several political bodies and develop synergies between external and domestic EU policy areas, while ensuring consistency with the work and action of other EU institutions or with third country counterparts. A European Union official since 2001, he previously headed the Secretariat of the Foreign Affairs Committee (2014-2015) and served as the Diplomatic Adviser to three Presidents of the European Parliament (2007- 2014). Alexandre is a graduate in humanities, political science and law from the Ecole Normale Supérieure as well as the Sorbonne University in Paris. He was also a postgraduate scholar at the European University Institute in Florence (1997-2001), where he focused on international relations, while teaching political science at New York University (1999-2001). A French native, his languages include English, German, Italian and Spanish.