We take pride in our international staff from Europe, North America and the Middle East.
Roberta Bonazzi, Executive Director, has long-standing experience as an EU public affairs practitioner. After having worked for some of the major public affairs agencies in Brussels, she founded the European Foundation for Democracy. She works on a broad range of issues relating to foreign relations, democratic reforms, violent radicalisation and terrorism. Fluent in English, Italian, French and German, Roberta holds a degree in Political Sciences and International Relations from the University of Milan and a post graduate degree from the Institute for International Studies.
John Duhig, Senior Counsellor, has extensive experience in EU governmental affairs and commercial consulting, having worked for many years at both the European and national levels. He began his career at the European Commission, working on human rights, good governance and democratic institution building, where he spent three years. He subsequently spent over a decade at two of Brussels' leading government relations commercial consulting firms where he has focused on advising businesses on working with the European Parliament in particular. In this context he has advised on a broad range of EU policy areas including foreign affairs and enlargement, energy and environment, trade, consumer protection and animal welfare issues. John holds a BA in History from NUI Galway in Ireland, as well as an MPhil in International Politics from the Free University of Brussels.
Niall Judge, Programme Manager, is responsible for managing and coordinating projects on empowerment activities, human rights and international security. His main expertise lies in the field of EU affairs having arrived in Brussels in 2008 and completed a traineeship in the European Commission. Since then, and before joining EFD, Niall has worked in public affairs consultancy and marketing. He has a Bachelor of European Studies from the Institute of Technology Tallaght, Dublin and a Master of European Studies from the University of Bonn. Niall speaks English and German as well as some French.
Lorenzo Vidino, EFD Senior Policy Advisor, is also a fellow at the Center for Security Studies, ETH Zurich. He previously held positions at the RAND Corporation, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and the U.S. Institute of Peace. His work focuses on Islamism and political violence in Europe and North America and he has published several books and articles on the subjects. He holds a law degree from the University of Milan and a Ph.D. in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
Magnus Norell, Senior Policy Advisor, specialises in matters relating to terrorism, political violence, democracy and security in the Middle East and Central Asia. Magnus has worked as a researcher and analyst at the Swedish Defence Research Agency, the Swedish Defence College, the Swedish Secret Service and the Swedish Military Intelligence Service. As well as being a Senior Policy Advisor with EFD, he is currently also the acting head of the programme Defense, Security and Development Policy at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs in Stockholm. In addition to a PhD in Political Science from Stockholm University, Magnus studied Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University, International Relations at the University of Geneva and has been a visiting scholar in Israel. He is also an Adjunct Scholar at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy in Washington D.C.
Ahmad Mansour, Policy Advisor, is an Arab Israeli who has been living in Berlin since 2004. He studied Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology at Tel-Aviv University and Psychology at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Ahmad works as a group leader with young people in the “Heroes” project, which promotes equality and action against oppression in the name of honour. In addition, he is a research associate at the Centre for Democratic Culture, part of the Astiu Project (Conflict with Islamic extremism and Ultra-nationalism), and a member of the Prevention Work with Youths working group at the German Islam Conference. Ahmad also organises educational workshops for Muslim families and is active in working against violence and anti-Semitism in Berlin. He has previously worked in Israel as group leader for the project “Du Kiom – Living together of Arabs and Israelis in Israel”.
Irshad Manji, Senior Fellow, is also Director of the Moral Courage Project at New York University, a leadership program that mentors students to speak truth to power within their communities. Ms. Manji came to both roles as author of The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim’s Call for Reform in Her Faith, published in more than 30 countries. Wherever her book is banned, she reaches readers by posting free-of-charge translations on her website. So far, the Arabic, Urdu and Farsi translations have been downloaded 2 million times. Her documentary film, Faith Without Fear, is now being widely watched by young Muslims in the digital underground. Ms. Manji has just released her new book, Allah, Liberty and Love.
Valentina Colombo, Senior Fellow, teaches Geopolitics of the Islamic World at the European University, Rome. After graduating in Arabic Language and Literature from Cattolica University, Milan, she earned a Phd in Islamic Studies from Orientale University, Naples. She taught Islamic Studies and Arabic language and literature at Bologna University (Faculty of Political Sciences). Her research focuses on democratization processes in the Middle East, with particular regard to Arab liberal intellectuals and the role of women in politics in the Middle East. Her latest works are: Islam. Istruzioni per l'uso (Islam. Instructions for use, Milan 2009); Vietato in nome di Allah. Libri e intellettuali messi al bando nel mondo islamico (Forbidden in the name of Allah. Books and Intellectuals banned in the Islamic World, Turin 2010).
Wahied Wahdat-Hagh, Senior Fellow, a German-Iranian scholar based in Germany, writes in the major German media addressing the threat of Iran as well as violations of human rights and minority rights. He is a graduate sociologist and political scientist and wrote his doctoral PhD. thesis on the issue of the "Third form of totalitarian rule as it manifests itself in Iran". He is a member of the independent German expert group on anti-Semitism, which was established by the Federal Ministry of Interior and is tasked to issue its first report to the German Parliament by the end of 2011.
Bakary Sambe, Senior Fellow, specialises in and conducts research on movements and ideologies within Islam, as well as on their compatibility with democratic values and principles. He is a member of ASMEA (The Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa) and is currently working on strengthening the European network of Muslim reformers, especially in France. Bakary is author of the book “Islam and Diplomacy” (Washington, 2011) and is an Assistant Professor and Researcher at the Department of Civilisations, Religions, Arts and Communication at the Gaston Berger University of Saint-Louis, Senegal. He is particularly active in the Centre for the Study of Religions at the university. In recent years Bakary has been consulted by international organisations and embassies on the issue of Islamic radicalisation in the Sahel. He is fluent in French, English and Arabic.
Malika Bouziane, Adjunct Fellow, specialises in elections, the role of local administration and protests & social movements in the Middle East. Malika completed her undergraduate degree in business administration and Arabic, followed by a Masters in International Politics and European Economics at the Ruhr University in Bochum. After her graduation in 2005, she began working as a programme manager at the Goethe-Institute in Amman. In 2008, Malika joined the Centre for Middle Eastern and North African Politics at the Freie Universität Berlin where she is the project co-ordinator for the “Challenge for Local Governance-Institutions? Decentralization in Morocco and Jordan?” programme. She is also a board member of a German-Moroccan network. Malika is currently researching a PhD on participation in elections and informal politics in Jordan.