Sevki Acuner is Head of Ukraine at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). During his 17-year career at the EBRD, Mr. Acuner held senior management positions in the Credit Risk and Agribusiness departments before being appointed as EBRD Deputy Country Director for Turkey in 2009. Prior to joining the EBRD, Sevki Acuner worked at the Central Bank of Turkey, the Bank of Montreal and the Royal Bank of Canada in various countries in North America and Europe. He holds a BSc in Management from Bosporus University, Istanbul, and an MBA from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.
Olga Afanasyeva is Executive Director of the Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Asscoaition (UVCA). She has got PhD degree on Finance at the Ukrainian banking academy of the National Bank of Ukraine, had been studying at University of Applied Sciences of the Deutsche Bundesbank, Academy of Capital Market Leaders at the Lesław A. Paga Foundation (Poland). She is a member of EU Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Working Group “Economic Integration & Convergence with EU Policies", author of more then 50 scientific papers, researches, and three books in finance, investment and banking.
David Akopyan is a native Armenian who has spent the last 20 years of his career as a development practitioner. He is now Chief of Operations at UNDP in Somalia. Previously, he worked in Afghanistan, Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan. He started his U.N. career as national officer and then Assistant Resident Representative with UNDP in Armenia. In 1991-1993 he was Senior Research Associate with the Centre for Business Research and Development at the American University of Armenia. He holds an MBA from American University of Armenia and a Ph.D. from Yerevan State University in laser physics as well as a M.A. in theoretical physics.
Anca Albu is the founder of CEE Changers, with a background in international relations, graphic design and a passion for human rights, she is working on creating and growing the global startup community, focusing on post-communist countries and the way cross-sector collaboration and shared values can create a collective impact in the East-Central European region.
Twitter: @anca_albu, @ceechangers
Sergei Aleinik is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as well as Belarusian Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland and the Holy See and the Sovereign Order of Malta with concurrent accreditation. He was awarded the Grand Cross pro Merito Melitensi of the Sovereign Order of Malta. Previously, he was Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Belarus, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Belarus to the UN Office and other International Organisations in Geneva. He is a graduate of German and English from the Minsk State Pedagogic Institute of Foreign Languages and the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna.
Audrey L. Altstadt is Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is the author of several dozen articles published in the US, Europe, Turkey, and Azerbaijan, and of three books, most recently The Politics of Culture in Soviet Azerbaijan, 1920-1940 (Routledge, 2016) and Frustrated Democracy in Post-Soviet Azerbaijan (Woodrow Wilson Centre Press and Columbia University Press, 2017.) She has been a consultant with the US Foreign Service Institute, the Department of Justice, the US Institute of Peace, Freedom House. She has been a fellow at Harvard’s Davis Russian Research Centre, the Kennan Institute, and the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars. She was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2000 by Khazar University in Baku.
Yury Antoniuk is President of the IT Ukraine Association, which currently has around 40 members — leading Ukrainian IT companies.
Marta Aserigadu is RPO Manager at Hays Poland, where she is responsible for recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) solutions. She has over 13 years of experience in volume recruitment projects, gained while working as a Delivery Manager and Recruitment Consultant for shared services and outsourcing sector. Prior to that, she ran a portfolio of Hays’ strategic clients and managed Hays Talent Solutions’ teams across Northern Poland. Marta gained her expertise in Poland and Ireland. She is an experienced HR Manager and Internal Trainer.
Anders Åslund is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. Previously he was a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He is also Chairman of the CASE Advisory Council. He worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace from 1994 to 2005, first as a senior associate and then from 2003 as director of the Russian and Eurasian Program. He also worked at the Brookings Institution and the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies. He earned his doctorate from Oxford University.
Vasily Astrov is senior economist at the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW). He's been working as an economist for the WIIW since 2003, primarily covering Russia, Ukraine and macro-economic and energy issues in CEE. He also worked as a consultant for the Austrian National Bank and was involved inter alia in projects for the European Commission. He holds an MSc. in economics from Warwick University (UK) and was also studying at the University of Münster (Germany) and St. Petersburg State University (Russia).
Dr. Wladimir Augustinski is the head of the Representative Office of German Economy in Belarus (RGE), which is a part of the worldwide network of the German Chambers of Commerce of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (130 offices in more than 90 countries) – the official tool of foreign economic policy of Germany. The RGE´s main goal is the active promotion and development of bilateral economic relations between Germany and Belarus.
Jennifer Austin is co-founder of Risky Business, the first acceleration fund in Romania. In 2013, Jennifer moved from California to Romania with her business partner, later creating Risky Business. Prior to this she worked in diverse business roles for both large firms and startups, across industries including tech, medical, law, and social. She holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson and a BA in international business and marketing from Cleveland State University.
Alexander Averyanov is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to Poland. Prior to that he worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Council of Ministers. Also between 2004 and 2009, he was Head of Trade and Economic Section at the Embassy to Poland. He is a graduate of the Minsk State Linguistic University and the Academy of Public Administration under the aegis of the President of the Republic of Belarus, Diploma of Excellence in World Economy and International Economic Relations.
Gabriela Baicu holds a Ph.D. in international economics with the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, where she has remained as an Associate Professor. She also continues to provide management consulting services for public institutions with a focus on strategies and institutional capacity and to the private sector as well supporting companies achieve their growth potential. Gabriela graduated from the Polytechnical University of Bucharest as an engineer and scientific researcher in applied electronics. Having worked in engineering and afterwards as Director General for foreign invesments with the Romanian Government, she has a deep knowledge and interest in those fields.
László Balogh is Deputy Secretary of State in the Ministry of National Economy, responsible for financial policy affairs. In addition he chairs the Board of the National Debt Management Agency. Laszlo is a member of the Economic Policy Committee of the EU. He started his career as a multilateral trade negotiator, later he was posted as an OECD diplomat and had a leading role in Hungary’s accession to the OECD in 1996, finally becoming Hungary’s first ambassador to the OECD. Later, he worked at the Hungarian Financial Supervisory Authority, and then he was a member of both the ESMA Supervisory Board and the ESRB’s Technical Advisory Committee.
Eva S. Balogh left Hungary in December 1956, after the failed Hungarian revolution. She studied at Carleton University, Ottawa, where she received a B.A. (hon.)degree in 1965, majoring in history. She continued her studies at Yale University, where she received an M.A. in Russian and East European Studies, an interdisciplinary program, and Ph.D. in history. Dr. Balogh taught East European history at Yale and published a number of studies on Hungarian foreign policy and party politics between the two world wars. She is the editor of HungarianSpectrum.com, which features daily analyses of news from Hungary—political, economic, and cultural.
Bruno Balvanera is Director for the Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus at the European bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). He joined the bank in 1996 and has served as Head of Regional Development in Russia and Head of Business Development. Prior to joining the EBRD, he worked at Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior and Nacional Financiera. He has an MBA from the University of Chicago — Booth School of Business and a BA in Engineering from Universidad Iberoamericana, Ciudad de México.
David Baron is the Washington, D.C. based Chairman of the Belarus-U.S. Business Council and a shareholder in the International Law Firm of Greenberg Traurig. For more than 12 years David has worked with and represented a number of the largest Belarusian State-owned enterprises in their dealings with the United States and represented other entities in their dealings with Belarus. David regularly counsels both US and non-US clients regarding business and investment matters as well as all aspects of international trade regulations, including economic sanctions policies. He is also an adjunct professor at American University's Washington College of Law where he teaches advanced seminars on international law and international dispute resolution involving sovereigns.
Dimitar Bechev is a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for European Studies, Harvard, and Director of the European Policy Institute, Sofia. He is Adjunct Professor at the University of Sofia. He is also affiliated with the European Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom. Previously, he headed the Sofia office of the European Council on Foreign Relations. He has written extensively on the politics and history of modern Turkey and the Balkans, EU external affairs and Russian foreign policy. Twitter: @DimitarBechev
Vladimir Beck has been Chairman of the European Business Association IT Committee since its inception and is the founder and a board member of Sigma Software - an IT consulting company which is a member of the Scandinavian Sigma group of companies. Sigma Software unites over 700 specialists in Ukraine, Poland, and the USA. Vladimir has more than 25 years of experience in software development. He started his engineering career by participating in development of control systems for nuclear power plants and information systems for the airline industry and telecom sector. Later Vladimir took on executive roles as CTO and CEO. He has a degree in technical sciences in the field of Project Management.
Tim Bennett is Director-General/CEO of Trans-Atlantic Business Council. He has held senior positions in the U.S. Government (Office of the U.S. Trade Representative), including as a lead US negotiator in multilateral trade negotiations in Geneva, as chief negotiator for bilateral trade and investment issues with Mexico leading up to NAFTA, as chairman of five inter-agency trade policy committees, and as the U.S. Trade Attaché in the US Mission to the European Union. He also served as Vice President of Steptoe’s international trade and investment consulting arm. Immediately prior to joining TABC, Bennett was a DC-based consultant providing an array of services in government affairs, association management, and international trade and investment policy.
Genti Beqiri is Chief Executive Officer of the Albanian Investment Development Agency. He completed Finance and Accounting at the University of Tirana, Faculty of Economics and acquired a Master Degree at Kobe University, Hyogo, Japan and then an MBA at George Washington University — School of Business in Washington DC, USA. His principal areas of expertise and research are economics, the development of economic policies. He is the author of various articles published in academic and professional journals national and international, related to the field of international economy and in particular international capital flows, free trade agreements and foreign direct investment.
Anna Berczyńska is Director of the Rockwool Global Business Service Centre in Poznań, Poland, established in September 2016 and now employing 100 finance & IT Digital associates. She has worked in the shared services sector for European and American corporations with locations in North America, Australia and Europe for over 15 years and specialised in change management, communication, business processes improvement and consulting.
Zygmunt Berdychowski is Chairman of the Krynica Economic Forum Programme Council and a co-founder of the Institute of Eastern Studies Foundation. He was a Member of the Polish Parliament at the beginning of the 1990s. In 2011, he was awarded the Order of Polonia Restituta by Poland’s President Bronisław Komorowski. He is also a Himalayan mountaineer and completed the last of all the Seven Summits in 2015. Zygmunt is a graduate of law and administration at the Jagiellonian University.
Daniel Berg is Country Head of Serbia at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). He joined the EBRD in 1995 as an adviser to the Board Director for the United States of America. In 1997 he transferred to the Bank’s Financial Institutions team and moved to Almaty in 2000, where he developed the Bank’s operations. He became Head of Office in the Kyrgyz Republic in 2004, in Albania in 2007 and most recently, since July 2010, was Director for Bulgaria in Sofia. He was educated in the US, where he attended Rutgers College and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Ambassador Rajiv K. Bhatia is the Director General of the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA); after joining the Indian Foreign Service in July 1972, Mr. Bhatia served in Indian Embassies in Paris, Beirut, Brussels and Jakarta and as Consul General in Toronto. Later, he served as Ambassador/High Commissioner in Kenya, Myanmar, Mexico and South Africa, he also served as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs and Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Florian Bieber is a political scientist working on inter-ethnic relations, ethnic conflict and nationalism, focusing on Southeastern Europe. He is a Professor in South East European Studies and director of the Centre for South East European Studies at the University of Graz. Florian Bieber is also a Visiting Professor at the Nationalism Studies Programme at Central European University. He studied at Trinity College (USA), the University of Vienna and Central European University (Hungary) and received his M.A. in Political Science and History and his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Vienna, as well as an M.A. in Southeast European Studies from Central European University.
Oana Bizgan is a strategy and commercial professional with more than 10 years of experience within a multinational environment. She is a member of Parliament. Earlier, she was involved in new business generation for foreign investors in Romania. She has extensive expertise in strategy consulting, restructuring, commercial performance and general management. She has a MSc BA in Strategy and Organisation from the School of Business, Economics and Law at Gothenburg University in Sweden and was an exchange student at HEC Montreal and London School of Economics.
Teodor Blidarus is a managing partner at Softelligence Romania and president of the Employers’ Association of the Software and Services Industry (ANIS). He has over 20 years of experience in the IT&C industry. As president of ANIS, he is actively involved in supporting entrepreneurs on the path to mature businesses, while also encouraging investments in software intellectual property and promoting the Romanian market as a “hub” for international IT services integration.
Marina Borovko is Deputy Chairwoman of the European Business Association in Minsk and an Associate Professor at the Belarusian State University. So far, she has written more than 20 scientific works, co-authored a monograph and co-developed more than 10 methodological guidelines and manuals. In 2006 she became a Laureate of the President of the Republic of Belarus Award for PhD candidates of full-time tuition.
Ian Brown is Head of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). He was a senior member of the Power, Energy & Utilities team from 2008. Between May and October 2012, he was acting head of office in Belgrade. He has a degree in Economics and Business Administration from Sheffield University and an MBA from the University of Greenwich.
Rogers Brubaker is Professor of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and recurrent visiting Professor in Nationalism Studies at the Central European University (CEU). He has written widely on social theory, immigration, citizenship, nationalism, and ethnicity. His most recent book, Trans: Gender and Race in an Age of Unsettled Identities, was published by Princeton University Press in September 2016.
Cristian Buchiu is the deputy head of the European Commission Representation in Romania, where he coordinates the political section. Before returning to his home country, he worked in Brussels for eight years for the European Commission, after stints in the European Parliament and the European civil society sector. He holds degrees in Political Sciences and Humanities, after studies in Romania and the United States.
Piotr Buras is director of the Warsaw office of the European Council on Foreign Relations think tank; he is an expert on European and German affairs, and was Gazeta Wyborcza’s permanent Berlin correspondent between 2008 and 2012. He is the author of "Muslims and Other Germans. The Reinvention of the Berlin Republic." (2011).
Luka Burilović is President of the Croatian Chamber of Economy (HGK). Before he served as Chairman of the Board, „SLADORANA“ d.d., Županja and was Assistant Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water as well as Deputy Chief, Municipality of Nijemci.
Alexander Chekan is the CEO of the largest Belarusian online media outlets — TUT.BY — and a mentor of a number of Belarusian start-ups. Alexander conducts regular mentor sessions for start-ups and he is the host of an online business conference in Minsk. He has an EMBA degree.
Stepan Chernovetskyi is the founder and CEO of Chernovetskyi Investment Group, a venture capital firm specialising in funding promising technology businesses based in the CIS region. He began his career at Pravex Bank, where he was finally appointed the Senior Vice President. After that, he became Head of the Supervisory Board of PJSC, a company specialising in real estate investment and construction. Stepan also runs a charity which helps orphans, large families and elderly people in Georgia.
Matteo Colangeli is Country Head of Albania at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). He joined the EBRD Natural Resources team in London in 2005. Before joining the EBRD, he worked at Royal Bank of Scotland in the Debt Capital Markets Origination team and as a Senior Consultant at Arthur Andersen. He holds an MSc in European Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA in Politics from the University of Sussex.
Dr Antonia Colibasanu is a senior geopolitical analyst, focusing on strategic competitive intelligence analysis. She has recently joined Geopolitical Futures team as Senior Analyst, after working for more than ten years with global analysis firm Stratfor, in various positions, including partner for Europe and Vice-President for International Marketing. She is also an associate professor at the Romanian National Intelligence Academy and Bucharest University. She holds a doctorate in international business and economics from Bucharest’s Academy of Economic Studies. She is an alumna of the International Institute on Politics and Economics, Georgetown University.
Cristian Colţeanu is GE President & CEO for Romania, Bulgaria and Republic of Moldova. Prior to that, he served as the Romanian Ambassador to Italy, Secretary of State, National Coordinator of the Stability Pact for Southeast Europe and National Coordinator of Southeast European Cooperative Initiative in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as an adviser and representative of the Finmeccanica/Ansaldo Group of Companies in Bucharest. He graduated the Polytechnics Institute, Bucharest, Romania and he holds a Bachelor of Science in machine tools. He also undertook various training in Foreign Trade, International Economic Cooperation, Human Resources, International Finance and Political Environment.
Philip Cox is Vice-President of APEV Romania, the Wine Exporters’ and Producers’ Association of Romania, which groups wine exporters of the country, who holding together around 70 per cent of the total Romanian wine export in value terms. He is also commercial director at Cramele Recas, a family owned British-Romanian quality wine estate, founded 1998.
Santiago Croci Downes is Acting Manager, Doing Business Unit, World Bank. He joined the Doing Business team in March 2008. Prior to that, he used to lead the Getting Credit - Legal Rights indicator. Before joining the team, he worked on an insolvency and creditor rights initiative at the Legal Vice-Presidency of the World Bank Group. He also worked on development issues at the Competitiveness Capacity Building Initiative of the Organisation of American States. Mr Croci holds a law degree in corporate law from Montpellier I University (Montpellier, France) and a master's degree in international law from Paul Cézanne University (Aix-en-Provence, France).
Charles Crocker is CEO of the British Romanian Chamber of Commerce. He has been working as a business entrepreneur for over 20 years in Romania and the region. He has developed many teams and businesses and led them from start up to exit, including regional expansion, acquisition and strategic partnerships, e.g. DPD, Achieve Global, Barnett McCall Recruitment, Gi Group and Frontline Resourcing. Recently Charles has been working as a consultant supporting new companies to enter the Romanian market and with other organisations on their HR priorities.
Andrzej Dąbrowski is an analyst of the United States foreign policy at the Polish Institute for International Affairs. His areas of expertise are: American foreign and domestic policy, bilateral cooperation between US and European Union states as well as American interests in the world. Earlier, he worked for TVN24 Biznes i Świat, a Warsaw-based news organisation, as a journalist. He is a graduate of political science and history at Warsaw University.
Dr Marek Dąbrowski is a non-resident scholar at Bruegel in Brussels, a Professor at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, and a co-founder and fellow at CASE — Centre for Social and Economic Research in Warsaw. Since the end of the 1980s, he has been involved in policy advice and research and in research projects related to monetary and fiscal policies, growth and poverty, currency crises, international financial architecture, perspectives of European integration, European Neighbourhood Policy and the political economy of transition. He has also worked as a consultant for the EU, World Bank, IMF, UNDP, OECD and USAID projects. He is the author of several academic and policy papers and is the editor of several publications.
Professor Daniel Dăianu is an economist and politician. He is a member of the Board of the National Bank of Romania. Earlier, he was a member of the European Parliament, the first deputy president of the Romanian Financial Supervision Authority. He was the Finance Minister of Romania between December 5, 1997 and September 23, 1998, in the governments of Victor Ciorbea and Radu Vasile. Earlier her was Chief Economist of the National Bank of Romania, President of the Supervision Board of Banca Comercială Română. He is a member of the High Level Group on Own Resources of the EU, which is headed by Mario Monti. Dăianu is also a member of the European Council for Foreign Relations, since 2012.
David Dalton is an analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit covering Ukraine, Belarus and Poland. His country expertise includes the Baltics, Central Asia, CIS, Eastern Europe; and his specialist subjects are Economics, EU integration, Macroeconomics, Politics. David is currently responsible for The Economist Intelligence Unit's economic and political forecasts for Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, Moldova, Estonia and Uzbekistan. He has degrees in economic and social studies from Manchester University and in transition economics from the University of London's School of Slavonic and East European Studies.
Ciprian Dascalu is Chief Economist at ING Bank in Romania. He graduated with an Msc from the Doctoral School of Finance and Banking - European Centre of Excellence, Bucharest University of Economic Studies. He started his career in 2003 with National Bank of Romania as an economist within the Monetary Policy Department and joined ING first time in 2006 as a senior economist. He left briefly for two years for a career as a trader at Millennium Bank, followed by a one year as financial markets business manager with Unicredit, before returning to ING in February 2015 as Chief Economist.
Zhidas Daskalovski is a professor of political science, and one of the most prominent political scientists in the country. He is the director of the Council of Europe supported School of Public Policy |Mother Teresa|. He is the 2008 Young Scientist of the Year of the Macedonian Academy of Science and a recipient of a number of distinguished research fellowships including the Lord Dahrendorf Fellowship at St. Antony’s College at Oxford University. He holds a PhD from the Political Science Department, Central European University. He has published numerous scholarly articles on politics in the South-eastern European region.
Francis P Delaey manages the operations of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in Belarus. He previously served in a similar capacity in Azerbaijan and Moldova and has worked in Central and Eastern Europe and CIS for the past 17 years. He graduated from the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA,France) and is a CFA charterholder. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the EBRD.
Judy Dempsey is a nonresident Senior Associate at Carnegie Europe and Editor-in-Chief of the Strategic Europe blog. She is also the author of the book The Merkel Phenomenon. She worked for the International Herald Tribune from 2004 to 2011. She was the diplomatic correspondent for the Financial Times in Brussels from 2001 onward, covering NATO and European Union enlargement. Between 1990 and 2001, she served as Jerusalem, Berlin and Eastern European correspondent for the Financial Times. During the 1980s, she reported on Central and Eastern Europe for the Financial Times, the Irish Times, and the Economist. Twitter: @Judy_Dempsey
Anna Derevyanko is Executive Director of the European Business Association (EBA). She is also a member of World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council and several supervisory boards. The EBA under her supervision has quadrupled its size now bringing together around 900 companies and, consequently, has become the largest union of foreign business and one of the most influential advocacy groups in Ukraine. Anna graduated from the Kyiv National Economic University with a degree in International Economics and Law.
Marcin Diakonowicz is CE German Desk Leader, Partner, Audit & Assurance at Deloitte. He has has extensive auditing experience obtained both in Poland and in Germany. He is a Polish Statutory Auditor and a member of FCCA. His experience includes German GAAP and International Financial Reporting Standards. He has authored numerous articles and training courses on German GAAP. He is an expert on consolidation methods.
Rumen Dobrinsky is Senior Research Associate at the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW) and country expert for Bulgaria and Belarus. His main research areas include processes of transformation, growth and convergence and European integration. He was Head of Economic Cooperation and Integration Division, UN Economic Commission for Europe and President of the Centre for Economic and Strategic Research and has provided advisory services for the EC, OECD. He holds a PhD in economics from IMA, Sofia.
Vladimir Đorđević is Lecturer at the Department of International Relations and European Studies, Faculty of Social Studies of Masaryk University; he did his PhD studies in US Foreign Policy in the Western Balkans from 1993 to 2009 and was Visiting Researcher at East Central European Centre at Columbia University in the City of New York, US in mid-2013, his areas of interest and expertise include the Western Balkans, European Integration, US Foreign Policy, and Human Rights.
Andriy Dovbenko is Managing Partner at N&D Law Firm. He started his career in 2007, when he graduated from the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla. He worked in several law firms such as Contract and the Law Office of Gennadiy Kopeika as well as PwC and EY. In 2011, he stared working for Andreas Neocleous & Co. In 2015, he was promoted to the position of Managing Partner of Andreas Neocleous & Co Ukraine. In 2016 he became the Managing Partner of Neocleous & Dovbenko.
Denis Dovgopoliy is a leading member of the Ukrainian Venture Capital and entrepreneurial community. He is the managing partner of GrowthUP Group, as well as a co-founder and president of the GrowthUP Accelerator, which focuses on acceleration and investment in Eastern European startups looking to enter the global market. Since 2007, he has been one of the most popular blogs about high-tech and venture capital in Ukraine. He is also a co-founder or executive committee member of various events, including iForum, Silicon Valley Open Doors, IDCEE, Startup Crash Test, Kyiv Startup Week, SVOD Europe, and others.
Gabriela Dragan is General Director of the European Institute of Romania (EIR) and Director of the Romanian Journal of European Affairs (RJEA). She is also professor in the Department of International Business and Economics, Economic University of Bucharest and Associate Professor at the National School of Political Science and Public Administration and at the Romanian-American University.
Dr Iulia Dragut is president of the Euro-Est Alternative Cultural Association (ACEEA) and an international culinary judge. She has created a great deal of food-related concepts and projects as well as organised multiple events promoting Romanian Cuisine both in the country and abroad. Prior to her current position and engagements, she worked in public relations. She has an MA in history and a PhD in philosophy from Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca.
Andrei Drosu is a consultant at the Research Department, JLL Romania. He joined the Research and Consultancy team in 2013. He is responsible for providing consultancy services and preparing public and internal reports. Andrei has four years of experience in the Romanian real estate market and has previously worked with clients such as Sonnae Sierra / Caellum Developments, Prodplast Imobiliare, Skanska or Tiriac Imobiliare. Andrei graduated with a M.Sc. in Business Administration from the University Of Economic Studies Of Bucharest.
Gregor Famira is partner at CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz and founder of the company’s offices in Zagreb (2003) and Ljubljana (2008). He coordinates our activities in the field of real estate within the CEE region. As a specialist with more than 10 years of experience in CEE he advised clients in numerous corporate and real estate transactions throughout the region. Primarily working for the Zagreb office, Gregor Famira advises national and international investors in all legal aspects of substantial investments into the tourism industry.
Fernando Faria is the Founder and CEO of Global Expansion Summit (GES). Before starting the GES, he spent 6 years as Marketing Director with the GSMA, where he was responsible for the conference programme of over 30 large scale events, e.g. Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the largest technology event in the world with 96,000 attendees from over 200 countries. He also founded innovaBRICS & Beyond — an investment driven conference with 300+ senior level attendees, and organised multiple annual events between 2012 and 2014. Twitter: @ffaria111
Konstantyn Fedorenko is a junior research fellow at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation. He was awarded his Master degree in Political Science from the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in 2013, and Master of Arts degree in European and European Legal Studies from Europa-Kolleg Hamburg in 2014. Between 2011 and 2013, he worked for the Centre for Society Research as a coder for their Ukrainian Protest and Coercion Data project. He is a frequent contributor to multiple national and international media outlets.
Tomasz Filipiak is a political scientist, Europeanist and an English philologist. He graduated from the College of Europe in Natolin and the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun. He is also a specialist in EU external affairs, a practitioner of international relations in Central and Eastern Europe, with professional experience including several positions at Lithuania-Poland INTERREG Programmes, national-level public administration, think tank (Centre for Social and Economic Research in Warsaw) as well as the third sector. He currently works with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
Erwan Fouéré is Associate Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels; he had a career spanning 38 years with the EU institutions, during which he assumed various responsibilities both at Headquarters and more particularly in the EU’s External Service. He was a post graduate research assistant at the Max Kohnstamm Institute for European Affairs and a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution; he was also a regular contributor to EU Masters Course of Human Rights. His area of research is on the EU’s role in the Balkans.
Dr George Friedman is a geopolitical forecaster and strategist on international affairs. He is the founder and chairman of Geopolitical Futures, a new online publication that analyses and forecasts the course of global events. Prior to founding Geopolitical Futures, he was chairman of Stratfor, the private intelligence publishing and consulting firm he founded in 1996. He received a BA at the City College of New York, where he majored in political science, and a PhD in government at Cornell University.
Iakov Frizis is an economist at the Centre for Social and Economic Research (CASE), specialising in macroeconomic analyses and evaluations. He is a graduate of Sciences Po Paris (Master of International Economic Policy). Previously to CASE, Iakov worked as an External Researcher for Junior Consulting Sciences Po, where the focus of his analysis was on the Greek economy, with a thematic specialisation on the financial sector and impact evaluation of taxation policy.
Alexander Frost is Head of Global Risk Intelligence and Data at Axco Insurance Information Services. Alexander is a multilingual analyst, with five years’ experience in academic and private sector research and publication, an extensive knowledge of African, Chinese, European, Russian and Central Asian domestic and foreign policy and a strong background in Russian and European 20th and 21st century history as well as post-Soviet security, with emphasis on non-traditional security threats and Russian-Chinese competition in Central Asia.
Dr Georgiy Geletukha is Head of the Board at the Bioenergy Association of Ukraine (UABio). He has served as director of the Scientific Engineering Centre “Biomass” since 1998. He has also been Head of the Bioenergy Department of the Institute of Engineering Thermophysics at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine since 2003. He graduated from Moscow State Technical University (1986).
Mircea Geoana is the founder and president of the Aspen Institute Romania. He ran for the Presidency of Romania in 2009. In an unprecedentedly narrow and contested election, he received 49.6 per cent of the cast ballots. He served as the President of the Romanian Senate and President of the Social Democratic Party, Chairman of the Joint Committee of the Romanian Senate and Chamber of Deputies for Romania’s Accession to the Schengen Area, and as the High Representative of the Romanian Government for Strategic Economic Projects and Public Diplomacy. Prior to that, he worked as the Romanian Ambassador to the US and was the youngest ambassador in the Romanian diplomatic corps.
Cristian Ghinea is Director of the Romanian Centre for European Policies (CRPE), a Bucharest-based think tank. CRPE has a large portfolio of projects in areas like rural and regional development, anticorruption policies and Eastern Partnership. In 2012 CRPE launched a branch in Chișinău, Republic of Moldova.
Dr Łukasz Gibała is a independent Polish MP, former entrepreneur who had co-founded two successful businesses which he sold when he started his political career in 2005. He has liberal views. He defended his PhD in Logic, which he wrote in the US, at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków.
Richard Giragosian is the founding director of the Regional Studies Centre (RSC), an independent “think tank” located in Yerevan, Armenia and serves as a visiting professor at both the College of Europe Natolin Campus and Yerevan State University’s Centre for European Studies (CES). Prior to moving to Armenia in 2006, he worked for twenty years in Washington, including service as a professional staff member of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) of the US Congress. Twitter: Richard_RSC
Krzysztof Głowacki is an economist at the Centre for Social and Economic Research (CASE) in Warsaw, Poland, with a specialisation in institutional economics. He is a member of the CASE research team, co-author of economic reports for the European Commission, and editor of CASE’s official bulletin “showCASE”. He studied at Bocconi University (Department of Economics), Antwerp University (Department of Applied Economic Sciences), and Tilburg University (Liberal Arts and Sciences).
Florin Godean is country manager of Adecco Romania and president of the Romanian Association of Temporary Work Agents (ARAMT). He has a degree in Management and Economics from the West University of Timisoara. He also completed his studies in Lausanne, at the International Institute for Management Development. Prior to joining Adecco, he worked for one year in Helsinki, as part of a youth information and counselling centre. In 2010 he also graduated a management program within the Swiss business school IMD Business School.
Professor Bogdan Góralczyk is Director at the Centre for Europe, University of Warsaw, and a former Ambassador of Poland to Thailand, the Philippines and Republic of the Union of Myanmar, former Head of Cabinet of the Polish Foreign Minister and a long-term diplomat in Hungary; specialist in Hungarian and Asian (Chinese) affairs, prolific writer, author of many books and articles in Polish, English and Hungarian.
Michael Green is Chief Executive Officer of the Social Progress Imperative. An economist by training, he is co-author (with Matthew Bishop of ‘The Economist’) of Philanthrocapitalism: How Giving Can Save the World and The Road from Ruin: A New Capitalism for a Big Society. Previously Michael served as a senior official in the UK Government’s Department for International Development. He taught Economics at Warsaw University in Poland in the early 1990s.
Richard Grieveson is an economist at the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies — wiiw. His main area of research is CESEE country analysis and economic forecasting. In addition he works on economic history, European political economy, financial markets and convergence and transition in CESEE. He holds a Graduate Diploma in Economics from the University of London, Birkbeck, a Master in Advanced International Studies from the University of Vienna and a BA in History from the University of Cambridge. Previously he worked as a Director in the Emerging Europe Sovereigns team at Fitch Ratings and was was a regional manager and lead analyst for Germany and Poland at the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Jelica Grujić is Director of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA). Before coming to FIPA, she had been Head of Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH for several years.
Olga Grygier-Siddons holds the position of Chair of PwC in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). She has been with the firm since 1991 becoming Partner in the Corporate Finance Energy Team in London. Olga has extensive experience in advising governments and leading international corporates from energy and infrastructure sectors on privatisation, M&A activity and restructuring. She also has considerable experience in advising on PPP projects in Great Britain and Central Europe. Olga is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Igar Gubarevich is a senior analyst at the Ostrogorski Centre based in Minsk. He grew up in Bielaaziorsk in the Brest region and graduated with honours from the Minsk State Institute of Foreign Languages. In 1993–2006, Igar worked in various diplomatic positions at the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, including postings in New York and Paris. His areas of expertise are Belarus foreign policy, business climate in Belarus, Western Europe, United States, international organisations.
Dimitri Gvindadze is Head of Moldova at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). He previously held the position of lead regional economist for eastern Europe and the Caucasus at the EBRD. Prior to joining the EBRD in 2014, he was Finance Minister of Georgia from 2011 to 2012 and Deputy Finance Minister for six years before that. He was also head of the Georgian National Investment Agency and first deputy CEO of Georgia’s sovereign fund. Mr Gvindadze holds a master’s degree in international economic development (MPAID) from Harvard’s Kennedy School and a master’s degree in engineering from the Georgian Technical University.
Till Hahndorf is Managing Director of BW Business Bridge, which identifies and certifies high-quality ICT product and service offerings for the German market, and Director of Sourceconomy GmbH. He is an economist, technology entrepreneur and international cooperation architect; a former consultant with Accenture and board member of a US/Asian software company; an accredited business coach on digital technology and entrepreneurship, cofounder of BW Business Bridge, evaluating and supporting foreign companies for the German IT market.
Kerry Hallard is CEO of the Global Sourcing Association. Before rebranding she led the National and the European Outsourcing Associations. Prior to joining the NOA/EOA full time, Kerry was Managing Director of Buffalo Communications, the consultancy which the NOA had outsourced. She worked in communications for 20 years. Kerry received an MBA from Kingston Business School and is a member of the Association of MBAs. She has a BA Hons in Modern Languages & Information Systems. Twitter: @KerryHallard
Nicholas Hammond was the first English solicitor to open an office in Romania in 1990. He had started his career in the City of London in the 1970. His practise covers all aspects of corporate and commercial law including company formations and corporate restructuring, joint ventures and inward investment. He has advised clients in such varied fields as aviation, insurance, banking, retail,agriculture, project finance as well as venture capital investments, real estate matters as well as leasing and Romanian intellectual property matters.
Mazen Hamwieh is a project director at RRY Capital. He is responsible for all managerial and operational project tasks associated with the Palazzo Project. Prior to joining RRY Capital, Mazen was a project manager at International Port Management, based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and was responsible for design review and management of the construction of the first phase of the King Abdullah Port. Before this, he was a construction manager at SEG International, managing the construction of three projects in the UAE. Mazen holds a Master of Engineering and Bachelor of Engineering in civil engineering from the American University of Beirut. He is based in Minsk.
Anca Harasim has been the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Romania since 2000. Prior to this, she served as an executive director of the Soros Foundation for an Open Society and Fulbright Commission. She was a World Bank consultant for Albania’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Programme, and for the PHARE Programme in Romania, reforming the Local Public Administration. In 1999 she obtained a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government – Harvard University.
Dr Heike Harmgart is Head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in Jordan. She has been working in the country since the beginning of the Bank’s expansion to the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Region. She previously covered the region as the Senior Economist in charge of the Macro Economic and Structural Economic Analysis. Prior to joining the EBRD, she worked several years for the Economist Group, mainly on emerging markets in the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). She holds an Economics Master’s degree from Berlin’s Humboldt University and a PhD in Economics from University College London (UCL).
Dr Christopher A. Hartwell is President of the Centre for Social and Economic Research (CASE) in Warsaw and an Associate Professor at Koźminski University. His research concerns transition dynamics, the economics of institutions, and financial sector development. He has also advised governments and the private sector on economic policy issues. His latest book, Two Roads Diverge: The Transition Experience of Poland and Ukraine, was released in 2016. Twitter: @InstEconomist
Professor Oleh Havrylyshyn is a former Deputy Minister of Finance and International Affairs in the first Ukrainian government, and after Maidan an economic advisor to the Presidential Administration of Ukraine. He was a Professor of Economics at Toronto University and the Joint Vienna Institute and Queen’s University and George Washington University, as well as a Visiting Professor at University Libre de Bruxelles (1981-1982) and Geneva Institute of International Studies (1986-1987).
Janet Heckman is Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region at the European bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). She joined the EBRD in July 2012 as Director for Kazakhstan. Before joining the EBRD, Ms Heckman was a Managing Director with Citi, where she led corporate and commercial activities in the regions where the EBRD also invests.
Finn Heinrich is Director of Research at Transparency International. He joined TI’s Policy and Research Department in August 2008 to contribute to TI’s anti-corruption research tools with a focus on the National Integrity System Assessment. Prior to joining TI, he was the Director of Programs at the international civil society network CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation and led CIVICUS’ work on the Civil Society Index Project. Finn holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from FernUniversität Hagen (Germany) and a master’s degree in Social Sciences from University of Mannheim and has published numerous articles and several books on civil society and governance issues.
Mike Herrington is Executive Director of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) which is part of the Global Entrepreneurship Research Association (GERA), University of Cape Town. He was involved with a number of companies as General Manager in southern Africa and New Zealand.In 2001, he joined the Graduate School of Business School and founded the Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Mike obtained an MBA from Cape Town University and a PhD from London. In 2014 he was involved in teaching MBA students specialising in New Venture Planning and Entrepreneurship as well as teaching in Customised Academic Learning and Executive Education Programmes.
Michael Hindley is an adviser on trade relations to the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), including reports on EU/Central Asia relations. Earlier, he was vice-president of the European Parliament’s Trade Committee and an Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) election monitor in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. He is a frequent lecturer on EU External Relations including at Economics University of Varna Babes Bolyai University in Cluj; Higher Schools of Economics Perm and Moscow, Russia; Academy of Economic Science in Chisinau and Taras Shevchenko University in Kyiv.
Lukáš Hlaváč is the Founder of Whoolala, an online marketplace that enables its users to discover and share their fashion sense. He is also a consultant helping foreign businesses to grow and manage operations in China since 2009. He previously worked at Czech Lasvit and more recently as a business development manager in China. He has two masters degrees, in Informatics and Business Administration and is fluent in Mandarin, English and Czech. Twitter: @HlavacLukas
Mario Holzner is Deputy Director of wiiw. His research focuses on macroeconomic analysis, financial markets and income distribution and inequality. Mario Holzner is also a lecturer in applied econometrics at the University of Vienna, Department of Economics. He obtained his PhD at the Vienna University of Economics and Business in 2005.
Gabor Hunya is a Senior Economist at wiiw and country expert for Romania and Bulgaria, focusing on macroeconomic analysis and policy. His research areas are on privatisation and foreign direct investment in Central, East and Southeast Europe. Beyond his research and publishing Gabor Hunya is regularly engaged by national and multinational institutions and banks as a consultant in the field of country risk assessment, economic transformation, foreign direct investment flows and risks (e.g. World Bank, UNCTAD and OECD). He is editor of the annual publication 'wiiw FDI Report Central East and Southeast Europe'. He holds an MA degree and doctorate in economic geography of Budapest University.
Martin Hurt is Deputy Director and Member of the Executive Board at the International Centre for Defence and Security in Estonia. He previously previously worked on various posts at the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Estonia, the General Staff of the Estonian Defence Forces and the Headquarters of the Swedish Armed Forces. Martin is a graduate of the Economics Department of Stockholm University. He has studied Estonian Philology and History at the University of Tartu.
Fatmir Hyseni is Marketing & Business Development Manager for Kosbit – a leading IT outsourcing company in SE Europe. As an award-winning Chartered Marketer, He is passionate about driving the outsourcing industry through thought-leadership marketing. He is also a regular contributor to several outsourcing publications. Previously, he was a marketing associate for the Economist.com.
Matti Hyyrynen is Head of the Baltics at the European bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). He joined the Bank in 2001. Prior to that, he was Managing Director and a Member of the Board at Garras Bank – Naspa Dublin. Earlier, he worked as the Assistant General Manager at Postipankki Ltd in Helsinki and in London. He is a board member of Teo Lt, Siauliu Bankas and Estonian Cell. He hold a Master’s degree in Mathematics from Helsinki University.
Professor Krystyna Iglicka-Okólska is Rector of Łazarski University in Warsaw; she is an economist and demographer; between 1996 and 1999 she coordinated the Polish Migration Project at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at University College London; she is a Senior Fellow at the Centre of International Relations in Warsaw and a migration policy adviser to the Polish government, a European Commission expert in topics related to mobility of workers from new member states after 2004 and chair of the Expert Committee on Migrants at the Human Rights Defender’s Office.
Angelo Ilardi is the president of the Italy-Belarus Chamber of Commerce. He is also the president of the In-world Special Consortium for Internationalisation, CEO of Fintur srl, a member of the board of Polo Nautico srl and IDP srl, and a director of OOO INBI Industrial Developer. Previously, he was a member of the national executive board at the Italian Hotel Association (UNAI) and a member of the board of the Italian Industrial Association in Salerno. He is a graduate of the University of Engineering in Salerno.
Kirill Ilinski is co-founder and Managing Partner of Fusion Asset Management, specialising in Portfolio Management and Advisory Services for institutional, corporate and individual clients. Kirill obtained a PhD in Mathematical Physics from the Mathematical Institute of Academy of Sciences of Russia, and he pursued an academic career as a Physics Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham. Kirill is a speaker and moderator at financial industry conferences, covering risk management, protective investment products and corporate treasury management.
Edgars Ivanovs is the developer of the Urban Powerhouse concept. He has 12 years’ experience in urban innovation and the real estate sector. He started at Colliers International and was later involved in the public sector working for the Roja municipality in Latvia, where he managed 27 projects and brought innovations to the region, e.g. the establishment of the first town in the Baltics with a Wi-Fi cloud. He also spent two years living in Spain where he worked as an urban innovation researcher at Citymart. He has an MBA and an extensive track record of research.
Professor Andrzej Jajszczyk is Director of the National Science Centre and a professor at AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow, Poland. He was the founding editor of IEEE Global Communications, editor of IEEE Transactions on Communications, and editor-in-chief of IEEE Communications Magazine. He is also a Fellow at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He is the author of 19 patents in the areas of telecommunications switching, high-speed networking, network management, and reliability.
Nikola Janković is Director of the Serbian Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SIEPA) and Chairman of the Working Group on Investments within the German-Serbian Business Council. He studied at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and holds a Master’s degree from the University of Bonn, Germany. Mr. Jankovic started his career as a journalist at the West German Broadcasting (Westdeutscher Rundfunk — WDR) in Cologne, Germany, and correspondent of a daily newspaper Frankfurt News. Since his return to Serbia, he has been working for the Serbian Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SIEPA).
Bryan Wilson Jardine is the managing partner of Wolf Theiss' office in Romania. He regularly advises business clients on matters related to corporate mergers and acquisitions, energy law, regulatory and public procurement, dispute resolution and real estate. In addition, he is the coordinating attorney for the firm's regional renewable energy practice group and annually supervises the firm's popular publications related to renewables and waste as energy sources.
Leszek Jażdżewski is editor-in-chief and a co-founder of Polish liberal quarterly magazine Liberté! He is also one of the founders of 6 Dzielnica, a Łódź-based intellectual salon. He is a political scientist and commentator. Twitter: @lesjazd
Tomáš Jelínek is a member and a former Chairman of the Institute for Social and Economic Analyses (ISEA) and Executive Director in Donath Business & Media. He was an economic adviser to President Václav Havel and also worked as an advisor to the Minister of Economy. In 1999, he was a scholar at Pew Fellowship Fellow at Georgetown University. In the economic sphere, it addresses the issue of savings, pension reform and household income.
Vedrana Jelušić Kašić is EBRD Director, Croatia. She joined the EBRD in London in 1998 and was transferred to the Zagreb office in 2005 to manage the agribusiness operations in Croatia and the Western Balkans. Before she joined the EBRD, she gathered business experience at the Central Securities Depository of Italy in Milan, Merrill Lynch in Boston, the Croatian National Bank and Raiffeisen bank in Zagreb. She has a BA in Finance from the University of Economics, Zagreb, and a MA in International Economics and Finance from Brandeis University, Boston.
Alexander Kaffka, a native Georgian, is Executive Editor of Review of Business and Economics Studies and Publisher of Georgian business portal Hvino.com. He earned his doctorate from the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute for US and Canadian Studies – a leading think-tank in USSR/Russia. Alexander was a guest scholar at Brookings Institution, SIPRI, and North Atlantic Assembly. He was director of a series of international conferences on environmental security. He also worked at senior position at APCO Worldwide and consulted a number of organisations, including the Russian Union of Entrepreneurs and Industrialists, on external affairs and PR.
Marina Kaljurand has been chair of the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace (GCSC) since March 2017. She served as the Estonian foreign minister between 2015 July – 2016 October. She has also been appointed as ambassador to several countries, including Israel, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Canada and the US. She has twice served as the Estonian National Expert at the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security.
Iga Kamocka is a project manager at the Polish Robert Schuman Foundation. Her projects are related to urban development, civil society and youth engagement, particularly as far as young people participation in political elections is concerned. She is interested in the development of cities, particularly in methods of engaging their inhabitants in the management of common areas. She studied at the European Centre at Warsaw University, as well as the Polish Academy of Sciences and Collegium Civitas.
Daphne Kasriel-Alexander works as Consumer Trends Consultant with Euromonitor International. She commissions analysis on consumer trends and writes Euromonitor’s Top 10 Global Consumer Trends report helping businesses and organisations decode their consumers. She is inspired by making sense of contradictory global trends such as a desire for instant gratification alongside a celebration of frugality.
Andrei Kelemen is executive director of Cluj IT Cluster. Throughout his professional career he has held various management positions in private and public bodies where he managed numerous projects worth tens of millions of Euros. In particular, he acted as a management consultant for Babes-Bolyai University. Prior to that he led the Information Compartment in an EU structural funds management organisation of the Ministry of Labour. Andrei holds a Master’s degree in public administration from Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in international economic affairs at the same university with a thesis on clustering, internationalisation and proximities.
John Keppel is a Partner and President at the ISG Executive Board and leads ISG EMEA and Asia. John's nine years at ISG have included extensive strategic, transaction and post transaction experience with many of the firm's top global clients. Prior to ISG John held executive positions at both Accenture and Capgemini in both sales and delivery functions. He is a New Zealand national, who resides in the UK and was educated in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom. John holds a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree from Loughborough University of Technology in the United Kingdom.
Inna Kharchenko is General Manager at Adecco Ukraine/Avanta HR Solutions. She has worked for the company since January 2015, earlier as head of the Kyiv Branch. She has been working in HR since 2008. Inna has a degree in International Economics from Kyiv National Economics University.
Oleg Khusaenov is CEO, the founding partner and sponsor of ZubrCapital. He has over 20 years of business experience in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Prior to ZubrCapital he was CEO of Atlant-M Group, a company with more than 3,000 employees and total turnover more than $1 billion. He personally managed and oversaw the creation of over 30 portfolio companies, including eight acquisitions and over 15 start-ups. He received the highly regarded “Entrepreneur of the Year” award from Ernst and Young in Russia in 2009.
Jonathan Knott is Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Hungary. He had previously held a variety of diplomatic posts at home and abroad. He has served in a number of positions in the British Diplomatic Service since joining in 1988: Deputy Head of Mission and Director for Trade and Investment in South Korea, First Secretary in UKDel OECD Paris, First Secretary in Mexico. Jonathan holds an MA in law from Oxford University, and he is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
Wojciech Konończuk is a senior fellow at the Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) in Warsaw, where he heads the department for Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova. Prior to joining the OSW he was a coordinator of international projects at the Batory Foundation. He was also a visiting fellow at the Kennan Institute in Washington, DC. His expertise includes political and economic situation in Eastern Europe countries. He writes extensively about the region.
Dmytro Korbut is a counsel at Sayenko Kharenko. He has more than 15-years’ experience of practicing law, specialising in M&A, corporate law, real estate and taxation. He advises clients on a wide range of legal issues related to the largest M&A, corporate restructuring, real estate and tax matters. He has been recommended in Tax for Ukraine by Chambers Europe 2016, Best Lawyers International 2017 and Ukrainian Law Firms 2016; and was named among the recommended lawyers in M&A by Best Lawyers International 2017.
Valeria Kostyugova is a political analyst and strategist. She is the head of the Agency of Policy Expertise at the Belarusian Institute of Strategic Studies (BISS) and has served as the head of the Agency of Social and Political Expertise (Vilnius, Lithuania), since 2013. She is Editor of Nashe Mnenie, the website of Belarus’s expert community, editor of the analytical digest Belarusian Yearbook and the author of the study Russian-Belarusian Relations: Terms, Status, Prospects and a number of other publications.
Krzysztof Kowaluk is a political scientist interested in the Balkans and Central Europe. He received a PhD from Warsaw University for his thesis on contemporary political thought. He has been involved in a variety of educational projects promoting civil society in Poland and Lithuania. He lives in Warsaw.
Libor Krkoška has been Head of EBRD Resident Office in Nicosia, Cyprus, since August 2014. He joined the EBRD in 1997, initially working in the Chief Economist Office and then as the Head of Office in Moldova and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Before coming to the EBRD, Libor was a researcher in the Economic Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences from 1994, and, prior to that, worked for Česka Pojistovna, the largest Czech insurance company. Libor holds a Ph.D. in Economics from CERGE-EI in Prague, was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, and obtained a Masters degree in Mathematics from Charles University in Prague.
Dzmitry Kruk is a researcher at the Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Centre (BEROC). His main research interests are finance and economic growth, productivity analysis, and monetary policy. He obtained a BA in economics (2002) and an MA in banking and finance (2004) from the Belarusian State University. In 2003 worked as a research assistant for the Scientific and Research Economic Institute of the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Belarus.
Karel Kučera is CEO of CzechInvest, the Czech Investment and Business Development Agency. Prior to that he held managerial positions at Czech Public TV, M.C. Teton, Accenture and Deutsche Post. He graduated from Charles University and University of Economics, where he completed Law and International Affairs respectively.
Piotr Kuczyński is Chief Analyst of Xelion Financial Advisors. He has been an active investor since 1993. Since 2000, he has been a market analyst and commentator in GG Parkiet and Puls Biznesu. He is a graduate of Gdańsk Technical University. He was the manager of the team building the first microcomputer based on the MERA-200 microprocessor. He was also a member of the Solidarity Trade Union at the beginning of 1980s.
Professor Ludger Kühnhardt is Director of the Centre for European Integration Studies (ZEI) and professor of political science at Bonn University. He worked as journalist, served as speechwriter for German Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker, was Professor of Political Science at Freiburg University and visiting professor at prestigious universities around the world. Twice, he was appointed a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington D.C. In 2004 he was awarded the European Science Prize of the European Cultural Foundation.
Davor Kunc works in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement as Programme Manager for Energy & Transport. He is responsible for the regional programmes of Instrument for Pre-Accession, covering the West Balkans. Earlier, he worked for the World Bank in Washington, DC and government and corporate sectors in Croatia. He has a BSc in Economics from the University of Zagreb, and an MA in International Economics and European Studies from the Johns Hopkins University SAIS in DC. Twitter: @DavorKunc
Olexandr Kyrychenko is the Head of the Russian department at IMD Solicitors LLP. Specialising in corporate matters and commercial litigation as well as regulatory matters Olexandr focuses on those engaged in international trade with the UK as well as franchises and stand alone operators within its borders. Olexandr brings with him extensive knowledge of litigation, analytical thinking and a no-nonsense approach to this progressive unique firm. He was born in Ukraine and lived in the UK since 1996. He graduated from University College London.
Pavel A Laschenko is EY Country Managing Partner for Belarus, Assurance with 22 year working experience in auditing and banking in Belarus, Baltic States and CIS countries. He opened the EY office in 2000. He is a certified Belarusian auditor and a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants of Great Britain (FCCA). He is also a member of the Foreign Investment Advisory Council under the Council of Ministers of Belarus (FIAC). Since 2004, he has been advising the Belarusian National Bank.
Kanstantsin Lashkevich is editor-in-chief at dev.by, a leading tech news website in Belarus. He has 12 years of experience with print and online media and has been honoured with a number of awards for high-quality journalism from the Belarusian Association of Journalists. He is a Chevening Scholarship holder from UK’s Foreign Office and he earned his MA degree, in International Politics, from City University, London (2012).
Vedrana Likan is Managing Partner at Colliers for Croatia, BiH and Slovenia. She is also President of the Board of the British Business Centre Croatia. Since the beginning of her career she has been involved in the new business developments across the West Balkans. Vedrana was chosen woman of the year 2012 by the Business Woman magazine. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Zagreb, the Academy for Political Development (2012); UN Academy (2013) and EMBA.
Jeremy Luedi is the Web Editor and frequent contributor at Global Risk Insights (GRI), and has worked for NGOs and political parties in Canada. He speaks German, spent 17 years in Zurich, Switzerland, and currently resides in Ottawa. Jeremy's writing has been featured in Business Insider, Huffington Post, Nasdaq.com, Seeking Alpha and has been quoted by Time Magazine, Greenpeace, and Nikkei Business, among others.
Daniela Lulache is CEO of SN Nuclearelectrica SA, Romania
Adrian Lupuşor is Executive Director of Expert-Grup, a leading think tank in the Republic of Moldova. He is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Economic Studies, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. He holds an MS in Economics and Finance from Charles University, Prague and an MA in Financial and Bank Administration, Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova. His main areas of expertise are macroeconomics, economic development, foreign trade, financial industry, pension system, and demography.
David R Marples is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History and Classics, University of Alberta, Canada, and the President of the North American Association of Belarusian Studies. He has served as a regular consultant on Belarus and Ukraine to a variety of government and non-government organisations including the US Department of State and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.
Anne-Marie Martin is the chief executive of the Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe (COBCOE). Her previous role was as CEO of the British Romanian Chamber of Commerce, from 2001-2012. She has served in a voluntary capacity as a member of the Board and then Vice-Chair of The Princess Margareta of Romanian Trust in the UK and as a member of the Board of the Princess Margareta of Romania Foundation in Romania. She is a fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and was awarded the King Mihai I of Romania Medal for Loyalty in 2008 for services to British Romanian bilateral trade, investment, cultural and charitable activities.
Anita McKinna has been researching issues related to Kosovo and the
Balkans since the late 1990s. She completed her PhD on the international
administration of Kosovo at the University of Melbourne, after having
attained an MPhil on the post-war reconstruction of Kosovo from Cambridge University. She has published several articles on the interaction of international administrators and local political actors in post-war Kosovo. Currently Anita is based in Pristina, Kosovo.
Michael Mesquita is a Senior Analyst (CIS) at West Sands Advisory Limited. Michael is involved in a longstanding project focused on investigating the intricacies of informal elite networks of power in the CIS, and how these networks exert influence. He contributes to Frontera News, a multi-channel emerging and frontier markets information company. Frontera provides informed and authoritative assessments of risk and reward to help investors better under stand business, finance, and economic conditions in global growth markets.Twitter: @mikemesquita
Sebastian Metz is the general manager of the Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK Romania), the official representative of the German economy and also the largest bilateral Chamber of Commerce in Romania. Established in September 2002, AHK Romania has over 550 member companies.
Dan Mihalache is Ambassador of Romania to the Court of St. James’s. Before this appointment, he was the Head of the Presidential Chancellery and the Head of Presidential Administration. He has broad political experience, having led numerous political, policy and communications campaigns. Between 2004 and 2008, he served a complete term as Member of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies, while in 2006 and 2007 he held a seat as Observer and then as Member of the European Parliament (MEP). He is a graduate of the Bucharest University Law School (1994) and the Romanian National Defence College (1998), and has a doctoral degree in political science (2008).
Velimir Mijušković is President of the Chamber of Economy of Montenegro and Vice President of the Forum Ionian Adriatic Chamber of Commerce and also a member of the Council of the Higher Education, the Privatisation Council and the Investments Council; he was a member of the Board of Directors of Eurochambres from 2010 to 2012 and President of the Association of Balkan Chambers in 2013. He has a degree in Economics.
Jelena Milić is Director of the Centre for Euro-Atlantic Studies in Belgrade. She is among the most influential political analysts in Serbia and the region of the Western Balkans. She was a co-worker of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of SCG and Serbia, Goran Svilanović, during his mandate in the Stability Pact for South East Europe Department for Democracy and Human Rights. Previously she worked as a political analyst and researcher for the International Crisis Group and the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia.
Ambassador Hugues Mingarelli is Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine. Earlier he worked as a Senior Adviser on Global Strategy and ENP Review Implementation and was Managing Director for North Africa, Middle East, Arabian Peninsula. in the European Commission he worked as Deputy Director-General for Eastern Europe, Caucasus, Central Asia, North Africa, Middle East, European Neighbourhood Policy, Director for Middle East & South Mediterranean, Director of the European Agency for Reconstruction.
Lincoln Mitchell is a writer, pundit and specialist in political development based in New York City and San Francisco. He has worked on democracy and governance related issues in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. He also works with businesses and NGOs globally, particularly in the former Soviet Union. Lincoln writes and speaks about US politics as well, and was the national political correspondent for The New York Observer from 2014-2016. Lincoln was on the faculty of Columbia University's School of International Affairs from 2006-2013 and worked for years as a political consultant in New York City advising and managing domestic political campaigns.
Witold Modzelewski is President of the Institute of Tax Studies, Professor of Law and Administration at Warsaw University and a lecturer at the Warsaw School of Economics. He is a member of the National Development Council and an honorary Chairman of the National Chamber of Tax Advisers. Between 1992 and 1996 he was deputy Minister of Finance, and was responsible for the restructuring of the tax system as well as introducing VAT and excise taxes into the system. He has authored and co-authored over 1,000 articles and books about taxes.
Martin Mojžiš is an associate professor of physics at the Comenius University in Bratislava and also an editor of .týždeň magazine. In this magazine he writes about a wide range of themes, from science, through sport and literature, to politics and important matters. His popular science articles from .týždeň magazine were published as books (so far three books have been published and a fourth is ready for publication).
Dr Richard Mole is a Political Sociologist at University College London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies. He studied modern languages as an undergraduate, before switching to social sciences for his MPhil and PhD. His research, which focuses primarily on the relationship between identity and power with reference to nationalism, ethnic conflict, migration and gender/sexuality, has always been explicitly interdisciplinary, crossing the boundaries of Political Sociology, International Relations, Social Psychology, Socio-Linguistics & Health Studies.
Dr Agnes Molnar is a Senior Associate at Reed Smith. Her practice focuses on cross-border structured, corporate, funds financing as well as non-performing loans and loan portfolio acquisitions and disposals transactions. In addition, as a Hungarian national, Agnes has an in-depth knowledge of the legal and business issues across the entire CEE region and is regularly advising on all types of CEE financing.
Mateusz Morawiecki is the deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development and Finance for Poland. He was a member of the task force that negotiated the conditions of Poland’s accession to the European Union. From 2007-2015, he served as CEO of Bank Zachodni WBK. He graduated from the Wrocław University of Technology in history and business administration from the Central Connecticut State University.
Giulio Moreno is Head of Montenegro at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Earlier he serves as the Bank’s Head for Bosnia Herzegovina. He has almost two decades of experience of credit, origination and negotiation of transactions in public/private sector in the Balkans. He worked as an energy sector executive in different position in Italy, Far East and the US. He has a degree in political science and economics from LUISS Guido Carli University.
Morten Munk is Honorary Consul of Ukraine to Denmark and CEO of Mafcon, an international consultancy firm specialising in planning and implementing outsourcing and offshoring tasks, with offices in Minsk, Belarus, Lviv, Ukraine and Aarhus, Denmark. Morten is originally from Denmark. He has a BSc in production from the Engineering College of Copenhagen and he also attended courses at international business schools.
Arne Niemann is Professor of International Politics and Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration Studies at the Department of Political Science of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany. His research focuses on the European integration process and European Union politics and policies, especially the EU’s external relations.
Natallia Nikandrova is Director of the National Agency of Investment and Privatisation of the Republic of Belarus. Earlier she worked as the Vice-Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She had also been Chief Financial Officer at EY and VELUX.
Alexander Nosachenko has been Managing Director of Colliers International in Ukraine since 2006. He joined the organisation in 2001.Under his management it has become a leader in all major niches of commercial real estate and now comprises a strong team of high-level professionals in the sector. Alexander graduated from the National University of Economics majoring in International Economics in Kyiv, Ukraine and has Master’s degree in International Economics.
Damir Novinić is Managing Director of the Agency for Investments and Competitiveness and has more than 15 years of experience in attracting foreign investments and development of competitiveness in both public and private sectors. He has also been General Manager of the Croatian Television (HTV), a co-owner of Jadran Invest Ltd, a fund management company, and Chairman of Pastor Engineering. He also worked as a project leader of the USAID economic projects and served as a foreign commercial service employee in Zagreb (US Department of Commerce).
Alina Nychyk is a journalist, political scientist and economist. She researches international response to the conflict in Ukraine and Ukraine’s integration into the European Union. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree with honours in International Economics from Kyiv National Economic University and Master’s Degree in International Economic Relations from Wroclaw Economic University. Alina also studied in Gazi University in Turkey and Goethe University, Frankfurt on Main in Germany. She is a Secretary General of the Regional Representation of Polish Forum of Young Diplomats in Wrocław and a Content Manager at Ukraine Democracy Initiative. She continues her research on her web-page Hold the Trend.
Kateryna Oliinyk is the head of Intellectual Property Practice at Arzinger Law office and the head of the IP Committee of the Ukrainian Bar Association. She is a patent attorney and has been practicing IP law for over a decade and she has acquired a wealth of experience in patent and trademark prosecution and litigation, both in cancellation and infringement actions. Her expertise also covers advertising, unfair competition, media, e-Commerce, commercial contract, regulatory (IT and telecommunications) as well as GR, product liability and consumer protection.
Dr Josef Olmert is a former director of the Government Press Office and advisor to former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. In 1999, he was a policy advisor to former Defence Minister Moshe Arens. He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics in Middle East Studies, headed the Syria and Lebanon desks at Tel –Aviv University’s Moshe Dayan Centre for Middle Eastern and African Studies-where he served on the faculty. He has authored three books on the Middle East, as well as numerous articles in important academic journals. He taught at Cornell University, York University in Toronto, City College in New York and American University in DC.
Roman Opimakh is Executive Director of Association of Gas Producers of Ukraine. He was the advisor to the Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine in the petroleum sector. At the same time, Roman was the Head of the Oil and Gas Division in the Office for Interaction of the President of Ukraine with the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Roman graduated from the Kyiv Institute for international relations National Taras Shevchenko University with a Masters diploma. Later, Roman was a H.Humphrey (Fulbright) fellow at Michigan State University.
Sergiu Oprescu is executive president of Alpha Bank Romania and president of the board of directors, at the Romanian Association of Banks. Prior to this, he held several managerial positions in companies in the financial sector, including the Bucharest Stock Exchange. He has been involved in local and international professional organisations such as the European Banking Federation's Board and the European Mortgage Federation where he acts as an executive board member. He graduated from the Aeronautics School of Bucharest and the University of Colorado.
Professor Witold Orłowski is Chief Economic Adviser for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Poland, Director of the Warsaw University of Technology Business School and a former Member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Council. In 2011, he was appointed Special Adviser (budget) to the European Commission. He was adviser to Leszek Balcerowicz and Head of Economic Advisory Council to the Polish President, Aleksander Kwaśniewski.
Martin Oxley is Strategy Adviser of UK Trade and Investment in Central and Eastern Europe. He has spent the last 20 years working in Central Europe. Over the course of his career he has led the growth ambition of a number of blue chip and local pharmaceutical companies in the region. He has spent the last ten years promoting British Polish trade & investment, which has grown 5 times under his watch. Martin led the British Polish Chamber to become the leading international business networking organisation in Poland and has held a number of Non Executive Board positions in CEE based companies. Martin is a recognised international speaker and expert on Poland.
Andris Ozols is Director of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA). His dynamic leadership style has revitalised the activities of the LIAA and brought increasing recognition to Latvia; he is a member of the Latvian Seaport Council; with a background in mathematics and a degree in Business Administration, he became an entrepreneur as soon as the first business opportunities arose with the collapse of the Soviet Union; he has a diverse and successful business experience.
Professor Anders Paalzow is Rector of Stockholm School of Economics in Riga. He is also Chairman of the Board for the Baltic International Centre of Economic Policy Studies (BICEPS) and Connect Latvia. His main research areas are: macroeconomics, economic growth, public debt, regional development, and economics of racetrack betting.
Mihai Patrulescu is head of Strategic Analysis at Colliers International in Romania. Prior to this position, he coordinated the economic research activities of UniCredit Romania. In 2015/2016, Mihai was seconded on assignment to the Milan Headquarters of UniCredit, working as a management consultant on the implementation of the bank’s strategic plan. He holds a Masters in International Trade, Finance and Development from the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
Amanda Paul is a Policy Analyst and Programme Executive at the European Policy Centre in Brussels; she is also Associate Senior Research Fellow at the International Centre for Policy Studies in Kyiv, Ukraine; Her main areas of expertise include Turkish foreign policy, Ukraine, the South Caucasus, Eastern Partnership and European Neighbourhood Policy, Russia, conflict resolution (Cyprus and the former Soviet space) and geopolitical issues in the Caspian region; prior to working at the EPC, Amanda worked at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and Türk Henkel in Istanbul, Turkey.
Marta Pawlak is an attorney, a graduate of the Faculty of Law and Administration at the University of Warsaw as well as the Center for American Law Studies. She works for the American Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the expert group on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the U.S.
Margeir Petursson is an independent banking professional and a member of the Supervisory Board at Bank Lviv. Margeir is also a grandmaster of chess, the highest world chess ranking 22nd in 1990. He was born in Iceland.
Jan Piekło is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland to Ukraine. Earlier, he was director of the Polish-Ukrainian Cooperation Foundation PAUCI in Kyiv and Warsaw. As a journalist, he reported on the Romanian Revolution in 1989, and the war in former Yugoslavia. He wrote two books on the Balkans. As an expert and media consultant, he collaborated with the European Journalism Centre, Rutgers University of New Jersey, MU Columbia School of Journalism, Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Groeningen University, etc.
Leon Podkaminer is Senior Economist (Emeritus) at the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw). He is focused on economic policy, exchange rates, integration & disintegration, the euro, globalisation. From 2006 through 2009 he was a member of the Panel of the Monetary Experts to the European Parliament.
Przemysław (Prem) Polaczek is Managing Partner and Director at the International Business Centre, Grant Thornton Poland, where he has worked for two decades. He started his career in assurance, where he worked with multinational clients and served as Head of Audit for ten years. Prem concentrates on providing value added consulting, high level advisory and international project coordination of services to existing and new entrants to the Polish market.
Aleksandra Polak works at the Centre for Social and Economic Research (CASE) in Warsaw. She graduated from the College of Europe (MA in European Interdisciplinary Studies), the University of Sussex (MA in Global Political Economy) and the University of Warsaw (BA in Philosophy and BA in European Studies). She gained experience at the Polish Institute of the Foreign Affairs (PISM) in Warsaw, the Centre d’étude de la vie politique in Brussels, the Polish MFA (European Union Economic Department) and the Permanent Representation of Poland to the EU in Brussels. Her focus is EU governance, European social policies and economic inequality, socially inclusive and sustainable growth, EU macroeconomic coordination.
Grzegorz Poniatowski is Director of Fiscal Policy Studies at the Centre for Social and Economic Research (CASE). As a CASE expert he has led several projects for governmental and EU institutions on structural reforms, fiscal policy, taxation and financial markets. Currently, he is a task leader on the H2020 project FIRSTRUN – Fiscal Rules and Strategies under Externalities and Uncertainties. He also analyses investment determinates in emerging markets in a study for the International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group.
Dr Agris Preimanis is Country Head at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in Kazakhstan. He joined the EBRD in 2010 and served as Regional Lead Economist, Central Asia, since 2014. He is also a member of the Operating Committee and a co-chair of the Innovative-Technological and Economic Development Working Group of the Foreign Investors Council of Kazakhstan. He is a Latvian citizen, studied at the University of Oxford and holds a DPhil in financial economics.
Antoinette Primatarova is Director of the European Program of the Bulgarian Think Tank CLS (Centre for Liberal Strategies). She was directly involved in the process of Bulgaria’s preparation for EU accession as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (1997-1999), Ambassador to the European Communities (1999-2001) and Deputy Chief Negotiator (2000-2001).
Beata Radomska is the President of the Executive Club and a Managing Partner at Cigno Consulting, in Warsaw, Poland. She is a graduate of the Catholic University of Lublin and the University of Insurance and Banking as well as an MBA graduate. Beata has over ten years’ experience as a manager and has worked at such financial institutions as: Allfinanz, an Austrian brokerage firm and Skarbiec Asset Management Holding. For the past several years she has been associated with the personnel consulting industry, especially as a Managing Partner at Cigno Consulting. She is an initiator of and the President of the Executive Club; an elite organisation that brings together members of top management.
Albert Rakipi is Director of the Tirana-based Albanian Institute for International Studies. He has a PhD in international relations from Bilkent University. Before assuming this position, he previously served as deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania and as a career diplomat. He is the co- founder and co-president of the Albanian Council on Foreign Relations, founder of a monthly magazine Europa, co-founder and editorial page editor of the English language weekly newspaper Tirana Times, and a member of the Director’s Network of International Relations Institutes of EU countries, He is a member of the Editorial Board of the European Perspectives, and the Journal on European Perspectives of the Western Balkans, Slovenia.
Nicholas Richardson is a Partner at Richardson & Wspólnicy and vice-Chairman at British-Polish Chamber of Commerce. He has been working in Poland for the last 16 years. Prior to establishing his own law firm in 2004, Nicholas was a partner with Norton Rose. Nicholas has served as non-executive chairman of two public companies traded on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange, and also served on the boards of a number of companies in Poland, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Nicholas is member of The Law Society of England and Wales, is a registered foreign lawyer at the Polish Bar of Legal advisers and is a member of The Institute of Directors in London.
James Roaf is Senior Regional Resident Representative of the International Monetary Fund for Central and Eastern Europe.
Przemysław Ruchlicki is a legal and economics expert at the Polish Chamber of Commerce (KIG), also dealing with TTIP. Having worked for the Chamber since 2011, Przemysław is a legislature process consultant, specialising in business law, including special economic zones, pharmaceutical and tax law. He is a mediation and business negotiation lecturer and coach. He was a member of a special committee responsible for regulatory improvements at the Ministry of Economy and took part in public debates organised by the President of Poland. Przemysław is a graduate of Law and Administration from Warsaw University and the University of Florida, Levin College of Law.
Rafal Rudzki is a Senior Manager, Sustainability Consulting Central Europe, Deloitte. He is a sustainability expert. He advises Polish and foreign clients in sustainability analysis & strategy, non-financial reporting, stakeholders’ engagement and dialogue, building companies’ reputation, impact measurement and designing and implementing organizational structures & networks. Rafał coordinates regional development of Sustainability Consulting practice within Deloitte Central Europe.
Plamen Russev is a serial entrepreneur, mentor and investor, the author of the book "Power to the People - the new marketing", a public Speaker. He sits on the boards of a number of companies in tech, digital, media and finance and he is the founder and chairman of Webit Congress. Twitter: @PlamenRussev
Professor Krzysztof Rybiński is Rector of the New Economic University in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and a former Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Poland. He was chief economist and managing director of commercial banks, a member of the EU Economic and Financial Committee and a member of the Polish Financial Services Authority. He also served as a World Bank alternate governor for Poland and was a partner in Ernst & Young Poland. He has been an economic advisor to several Polish governments and a co-author of the country’s higher education strategy, e-government strategy and intellectual capital strategy. Twitter: @KR_PL
Professor Andrei Victor Sandu is President of Romanian Inventors Forum and Coordinator of EUROINVENT. He is also a senior lecturer at Gheorghe Asachi Technical University of Iasi, a visiting professor at Universiti Malaysia Perlis, CEGeoGTech as well as publishing editor of the International Journal of Conservation Science.
Kirill Savrasov is a seasoned international market practitioner. He is CEO of Phoenix CRetro, a Bermudian reinsurer & ILS specialist with a focus on CEE investors and an authentic Asset-Backed ILS concept. Prior to moving to the UK, in 2010, he was the only Lloyd’s broker with an office in Belarus, for a decade. Since 2009, he has been President and Head of London at the British-Belarus Chamber of Commerce within the Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe (COBCOE).
Nate Schenkkan is Project Director for Nations in Transit, Freedom House’s annual report on democracy in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Prior to joining Freedom House, he worked as a journalist in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. His writing has appeared in Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, World Politics Review, Russia Analytical Digest, and Eurasianet.
Ryszard Schnepf is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland to the United States of America. He was Secretary of State for Foreign Relations and Security at the Chancellery of Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz and earlier Deputy Director in the Chancellery of Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek. At the beginning of his diplomatic career he served as Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain, to the Eastern Republic of Uruguay and the Republic of Paraguay.
Erlet Shaqe is Chairman of the Albanian Energy Association (AEA) in Tirana, Albania. His goal is to implement high work performance and best energy efficiency and to secure the best legislative and regulatory framework for expanding sustainable and renewable energy production. He has worked with government departments, agencies, regulators and NGOs. He has an Engineering Degree in Energy field – Renewable Energy.
Olga Sherbina is Head of Belarus Office at the International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank Group). She has been working for IFC since 2012. Olga holds MBAs from University of Mississippi - School of Business Administration and from Belarusian Dziarzhauny University — Business Administration and Management, as well as a BA in English.
Robert Šimončič is General Director of the Slovak Investment and Trade Agency SARIO; he has over 30 years of professional experience in the U.S. and Slovakia. He headed the Slovak branch of Microsoft and in April 2004 he was awarded the prestigious IT Personality of the Year award for 2004 in Slovakia. Prior to that he had worked for Pwc and IBM. He was the President of the Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Slovakia and also the Chairman of the Board for the American Chambers of Commerce (European Council of American Chambers of Commerce – ECACC).
Asta Skaisgirytė Liauškienė is Lithuanian Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s. Previously served as the Ambassador to France, Tunisia and Israel as well as a Vice-Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, responsible for the country's participation in international organisations, consular services, relationships with foreign Lithuanians, relations with Latin American, African, Asian and Oceanian countries. She graduated from the Faculty of Philology English Philology at Vilnius University and International Relations at the International Institute of Public Administration in France.
Witold Sobków is the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland to the Court of St. James’s. He was Permanent Representative by the United Nations, Undersecretary of State for European Affairs and a Co-author of the Eastern Partnership Initiative. He is Honorary Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association and a Member of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy.
Aleksandra Stanek-Kowalczyk is Senior Manager, Sustainability Consulting Central Europe, Deloitte; Aleksandra is an experienced sustainability expert. She advises companies in business transformation strategies, stakeholder engagement, non-financial reporting, and impact assessment and management. She also cooperates with the Polish Ministry of Economic Development on “Vision 2050: The New Agenda for Business in Poland” project. She is a certified trainer and university lecturer.
Mihnea Stoica is a research assistant at the Department of Communication, Public Relations and Advertising of the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He holds an MSc in Comparative European Politics from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and has worked as an MEP adviser at the European Parliament. His research interests revolve around political communication, focusing mainly on populism, Euroscepticism and the far-right.
Peter Stracar, CEO, Central and Eastern Europe at GE, which employs approximately 26,000, has 18 factories, five technology centres and three banks and represents a $4 billion market for the company. Prior to joining GE, he spent 18 years at Hilti Corporation, based in Hong Kong, completing his time with the firm as President of Asia Pacific. He started his career at IBM Eastern Europe. Mr Stracar has a Master’s degree in Electronic Engineering and Computer Science from the Technical University of Kosice, Slovakia.
Dr Johann Strobl has been Chairman of Management Board and Chief Executive Officer at Raiffeisen Bank International AG since March 2017 and has been its Member of Management Board since September 2010. Prior to joining Raiffeisen, he worked for UniCredit Bank Austria AG (alternatively Bank Austria Creditanstalt AG), the BA-CA Group, Bank Austria Wohnbau Gewinnscheine and UniCredit Bank Austria AG, amongst others. Dr Strobl worked as University Assistant from 1984 to 1988. He was Assistant Professor at Vienna University of Economics and Business from 1983 to 1989. He holds Doctor of Economics and Business Administration from Vienna's University of Economics and Business Administration in 1988.
Professor Dr. Andrzej Strupczewski, chairman of Nuclear Safety Commission at the National Centre for Nuclear Research, expert in nuclear safety with the experience of fifty years, including the work for the International Atomic Energy Agency as the leading officer on reactor safety and for European Commission TACIS programme, 40 missions to various countries on nuclear safety problems and intensive involvement in comparative risk assessment for various energy sources.
Pawel Swidlicki is a Policy Analyst in Open Europe He is an expert and media commentator on a range of issues from the EU budget and EU regional policy, to the role of national parliaments in EU decision making. Pawel also follows how domestic politics in the UK, Poland and Germany impact on these countries' EU policies. He has also worked on Open Europe Intelligence. Prior to joining Open Europe, Pawel worked in the City and also in Westminster. Pawel holds a BA in History from the University of Leicester and an MA in International Relations from the University of Nottingham. Twitter: @pswidlicki
Marcin Święcicki is a Polish politician (an MP) and economist. He is Chairman of the European Movement Forum. He was Minister for Foreign Economic Relations in the first post-communist government led by PM Tadeusz Mazowiecki. Later he was Mayor of Warsaw and the Representative of Poland to the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. He also served as an Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Economy, responsible for economic relations between Poland and the European Union and a member of the Polish team negotiating the EU accession treaty. Twitter: @MarcinSwiecicki
Ewa Synowiec is Principal Adviser at the Trade Directorate, the European Commission. Prior to taking the position she was Director of the European Commission Representation in Poland. Earlier she was Director in Directorate General for Trade in charge of public procurement, intellectual property and bilateral trade relations with European (non-EU) and Central Asia countries. Before joining the European Commission worked in Poland, as a researcher at the Foreign Trade Research Institute and then for public administration. She was also posted in Brussels as Deputy Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative of Poland to the EU. She is an economist by education (PhD in economics at Warsaw School of Economics).
Eszter Szabó is a Corporate Communications, Public Affairs & Government Relations Executive with over 15 years of experience in CEE — GE and in the government. She is a a board member of the Economic Forum of the Foundation Institute for Eastern Studies.She is a businesswoman, an economist and honorary professor of BGF, the leading business school in Hungary. She is a promoter of Central Europe’s big potential in the global context. Eszter was Forbes Hungary’s fifth most influential business women in 2015.
Aleks Szczerbiak is Professor of Politics and Contemporary European Studies, University of Sussex. He is also a member of the European Union Democracy Observatory Observatory on Political Parties and Representation. Previously, he was Associate Director of the ESRC 'One Europe Or Several' Programme, convenor of the Political Studies Association Specialist Group on Communist and Post-Communist Politics, and Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of Institutional Affairs (RIIA) European Programme. He was also the 2004 Main Prize Winner of the Political Studies Association Sir Bernard Crick Prize for Outstanding Teaching in Political Science.
Michał Szczygielski is a political scientist and an analyst at the Centre of International Relations Foundation and the THINK TANK Centre for Dialogue and Analysis in Warsaw. He is a PhD student at Warsaw University. He also studied in St. Petersburg and was an intern at the Centre for Eastern Studies in Warsaw, Poland. His main area of expertise is the foreign and domestic policy of Russia and post-Soviet countries.
Zsuzsanna Szelényi is a liberal Member of Parliament in Hungary. She covers foreign and security policy, migration, constitutional affairs and gender issues. She started her career as one of the founding members of Fidesz, a youth party at the régime change in Hungary in 1988. She became a Member of Parliament of the first freely elected Parliament. She left politics in 1994 and had a professional career at the Council of Europe. In 2013 she returned to the Hungarian politics for the call of former Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai, who formed a new party, Together.
Dr. Csaba Tóth, co-founder and strategy director of the Republikon Institute, a political scientist and sociologist, graduated from the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) Faculty of Law and Faculty of Social Sciences. He works as a teacher at the Institute of Political Studies at ELTE and is a member of the Hungarian Presidency Political Science Association. His areas of expertise are party politics and policy meeting of the EU; Developments in the Euro-skepticism and the change in the party system.
Andreas Umland, Ph. D., is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation at Kyiv, and General Editor of the book series „Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society“ published by ibidem Press at Stuttgart. Andreas is a political scientist, historian and Russian interpreter, specialising in contemporary Russian and Ukrainian history.
Jeroen van der Toolen is an acknowledged expert in the field of commercial and residential real estate. He is the head of Ghelamco in Central and Eastern Europe and has been responsible for all company’s operations in the region for 10 years. In this time the company has grown threefold, in 2016 standing at over 1.1 million sq m of surface delivered in the region.
Filip A.G. Vandenbroele is Honorary Consul of Belgium to Belarus. He has a broad experience in investment projects in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries. In 1994, he seised the opportunity to start one of the first supermarket chains in Russia. Since 2000, he works mainly in Belarus for several strategic investors and western companies, developing new business projects in the food, sport infrastructure, automotive and pharmaceutical industries.
Alfonso Velasco Tamames is an analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit, carrying out economic and political analyses of regions in the south and south-east of Europe. He has a background in applied macroeconomics and financial economics. Alfonso previously spent ten months as an economics trainee at the European Central Bank. Prior to that, he co-founded a macroeconomic research company specialising in EU and US economic analysis. Alfonso holds a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Emory University.
Nataly Veremeeva is the founder and CEO of Cossacks Information Technologies, an outsourcing consultancy. She has an MBA, a degree in economy, literature and languages. This paired with her 12 years of developing businesses in IT, IT community building and a rich network of connections, makes her an ideal partner and adviser for businesses that want to enter Ukraine.
Lars Vestbjerg is the founder and president of the Danish Business Association and General Manager of Sika Footwear in Ukraine. He is an advisor to the Danish Investment Fond (IØ Fonden) in Ukraine, and a board member of Progeny Solar Inc. Earlier, he served as Chairman of the Board of the European Business Association in Western Ukraine and Chairman of the Board of Ukraine Partner Group Ltd. Lars is a member of Rotary Club Lviv in Ukraine.
Cristian Vlas is an Editor and a Reporter at Moldova.org, an independent (non-political & non-governmental) portal that provides news about Moldova and the world. He is also a student of International Relations at the University of Pécs, Hungary.
Clara Volintiru is an associate professor in the Department of International
Business and Economics (REI), at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies (ASE). She graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and has been involved in various international research projects in the field of behavioural studies, good governance, informal exchanges and political economy. She has been a consultant for international organisations such as the World Bank, European Commission, Eurofound, Committee of Regions, and Partnership for
Research in International Affairs and Development (PRIAD), or Romanian think tanks such as CAESAR Foundation, Centre for Indochina Studies or Strategikon.
Hovsep Voskanyan is the chairman of the board at the German-Belarusian Economic Club. He is also a senior representative of a major German bank. Hovsep graduated from Business Studies, at Freie Universität Berlin, where he later worked as a tutor in the Chair of Management. He is based in Minsk.
ClaudiuVrinceanu is a former state secretary in the Ministry of Economy in Romania (2015-2017). A former head of Invest Romania department, Claudiu holds two bachelor degrees in Economics and Political Science and an EMBA from the Maastricht School of Management. He was also manager and editor-in- chief of Wall-Street.ro.
Pavao Vujnovac is the owner and President of the Board at PPD (Prvo plinarsko društvo), the leading natural gas supplier in Croatia and Energia naturalis (ENNA). He started his career in PPD in 2006 and became the president of the management board a year later. He successfully restructured PPD and established it as a pioneer of market liberalisation in Croatia. He has a degree in Economics from the University of J. J. Strossmayer.
Vuk Vuković is a lecturer of Political Economy, Principles of Economics, International Economics and Public Finance at the Department of Economics, Zagreb School of Economics and Management (ZSEM). He is a research fellow at the Adam Smith Institute in London, a Co-Founder and VicePresident of the Adriatic Economic Association. He was a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge. He has published in top academic journals in addition to writing articles for newspapers and think tanks. He also runs the im-an-economist.blogspot.com blog.
Roman Waschuk is Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine. He began his career with the Department of External Affairs in 1987. First posted as second secretary (political) in Moscow, he subsequently served as counsellor (political) in Kyiv and counsellor (political) and minister-counsellor (political/economic) in Berlin. He also served as Ambassador to Serbia, with concurrent accreditation to Macedonia and Montenegro. He graduated from the University of Toronto (MA in History).
Christopher J. Weafer is a founding partner of Macro Advisory, Bespoke Russia-CIS Consulting. Earlier he held the positions of Chief Strategist at Sberbank-CIB, Chief Strategist with Uralsib Financial Corporation and Alfa Bank. He also worked as Head of Research for NatWest Markets in Bangkok, Thailand, during the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998, Senior Investment Manager at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Chris started his investment career with the Irish Life Assurance Company in Dublin, Ireland. He was voted the best Russia investment strategist for 2013 by investors in separate polls carried out by Thomson Reuters Extel and Institutional Investor magazine.
Andrea Wiktorin is Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Belarus. She is a German diplomat with the rank of ambassador. She assumed her current post in September, 2015. Her earlier overseas postings were as Germany's Ambassador to Latvia (2012-2015) and Germany's Ambassador to Armenia (2007-2009). She also held posts at the German Federal Foreign Office. Ms Wiktorin served as the Deputy Head of Mission at the German Embassy in Belarus between 2000 and 2003. She joined the German Federal Foreign Office in 1989. Twitter: @awiktorin
Marcin Wilczek has been Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland to Romania since September 10th 2015. Prior to this position he served as Consul General in Istanbul and as Ambassador to Turkey. He is a career diplomat who has joined the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1994. Marcin Wilczek has an MA from the Institute of Applied Linguistics of University of Warsaw (1991) and he also graduated from the National School of Public Administration in Warsaw in 1994.
Krzysztof Wiśniewski is a tax advisor and a lawyer. He headed a tax and accounting team in one of the largest financial companies in Poland, participated in projects related to the optimisation of settlements within capital, tax structuring, planning as well as optimisation benefits in the area of VAT and transfer pricing. He is the author of “Deductions and VAT Refunds” and articles about financial instruments, transfer pricing and eligibility of expenditure for the settlement of investment in SEZs etc. He has worked as a tax manager at BSS SA since 2011.
Dmytro Yakymchuk is a project manager and analyst at Transparency International Ukraine. He is the co-author of TI Ukraine’s 2016 research “Transparency in Corporate Reporting in Ukraine: Private and State-Owned Enterprises”. He holds a Master’s in Public Administration, with five years of experience in public service.
Andrei Yeliseyeu is an analytical journalist at the Belarusian business portal BEL.BIZ. Previously he was a research fellow at the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies. He received a B.A. in International Relations and four Master’s degrees in the fields of European and International Law, Political Science, History and Management from Belarus’ and the Baltic States’ universities.
Richard Youngs is a senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program, based at Carnegie Europe. He works on EU foreign policy and on issues of international democracy. He is a professor of international relations at the University of Warwick. Prior to joining Carnegie in July 2013, he was the director of the European think tank FRIDE. He was a senior fellow at the Transatlantic Academy in Washington. He is the author of a number of books including The Puzzle of Non-Western Democracy. Twitter: @youngsrichard
Paweł Zalewski is a former Member of the European Parliament, where he served as Chairman of the Committee on International Trade (INTA) and a Rapporteur of the DCFTA Agreement with Ukraine. Prior to that, he had served as a Member of the Polish Parliament for three terms. He is a historian, a graduate of Warsaw University. Twitter: @ZalewskiPawel
Tomasz Zalewski is Partner at Wierzbowski Eversheds and the head of the Public Procurement and IP/IT teams. He is a Public Procurement, Intellectual Property and TMT lawyer recommended by Chambers & Partners and Who is Who Legal.
Paweł Zerka is Director of Research at demosEUROPA-Centre for European Strategy: a Warsaw-based independent think-tank, discussing foreign policy of the European Union and its key Member States. He is a political scientist, economist and an expert in the area of EU foreign policy, with particular focus on the global trade policy and transatlantic relations (EU, US, Latin America). He is the author of the „Notes from Bogota” blog (www.notyzbogoty.blogspot.com, in Polish only) dedicated to political and economic affairs of Latin America. Twitter: @PawelZerka
Grzegorz Zieliński is Regional Director for Poland and the Baltics at the European bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). He joined the EBRD in 1998 from Ernst&Young and became a banker in the Power, Energy & Utilities team in 2001. He has been responsible for the Bank’s activities in the power sector in Poland since 2006 and was promoted to Senior Banker in 2009.
Gene Zolotarev is the founder and main shareholder of the Maximus Group. Prior to founding the Maximus Capital, he worked in the investment banking and asset management fields for two decades. He held a number of senior executive positions at the largest US, Russian and Baltic commercial and investment banks. He worked at Parex Bank, where he was responsible for capital markets, asset management, brokerage, investment banking, etc. He was also Senior Vice President at the Republic National Bank of New York.
Karolina Zubel is a project manager at the Centre for Social and Economic Research (CASE) in Poland. She focuses on EU funded research and innovation actions in the energy and environmental fields, both in the EU and its neighbouring countries. Prior to joining CASE, she worked for demosEUROPA, Polish Institute of International Affairs as well as Global Issues and Counter-terrorism Division of the European External Action Service. She is a graduate of University of Warsaw, Sciences Po Paris and London School of Economics and Political Science.
Dariusz Żuk is President and Co-founder of Entrepreneurial Poland (EP) — a think tank operating in the area of entrepreneurship; he is also President and Co-founder of AIP Group that is pursuing Entrepreneurial Poland’s strategy. He is an expert on entrepreneurship for Business Centre Club. He was awarded the Gold Cross of Merit by the President of the Republic of Poland for developing entrepreneurship in Poland.
Dr Fabian Zuleeg is Chief Executive of the European Policy Centre since 2013. He remains Chief Economist at the same time (a post he has held since January 2010). Fabian holds a PhD on the political economy of EU accession from Edinburgh University. Before coming to the EPC he has worked as an economic analyst in academia, the public and the private sector. He is currently Honorary Fellow at the Europa Institute of the University of Edinburgh and Honorary Professor at Heriot Watt University. His research focuses on the economic and Euro crises, including the reform of the new economic governance at Eurozone level. He also works on the Single Market, Digitalisation, European labour markets and the EU budget.
Mateusz Żurawik is Editor at the Polish edition of the Harvard Business Review and the Poland, Go Global magazine. He is also a freelance contributor to the International New York Times. Previously he worked at the business desk of Gazeta Wyborcza, the largest daily publication in Poland. In 2014, he was granted the US State Department fellowship to cover the sixth round of the TTIP negotiations and, as a guest of Mark F. Brzezinski, American Ambassador to Stockholm, he presented the image of the agreement in the Polish society to two chief negotiators of TTIP and major Swedish business leaders. Twitter: @mzurawik