Hrair Balian joined The Carter Center in 2008 as director of the Conflict Resolution Program. Mr. Balian oversees the program's efforts to monitor conflicts around the world and coordinates the Center's cross-program efforts in the Middle East. He is also an adjunct professor at the Emory University Law School, teaching an advanced international negotiations seminar.
Since 1991, Mr. Balian has worked in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, the independent states emerging from the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, and Africa, serving in intergovernmental organizations (the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and nongovernmental organizations (International Crisis Group and others). He has worked on elections, human rights, and conflict resolution.
Mr. Balian received his Juris Doctor degree from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. In May 2009, the New England College awarded Mr. Balian the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, for his "lifetime commitment to the dignity, respect, and self-determination of all peoples" and for his "uncompromising effort to resolve international conflicts." He is fluent in English, French, and Armenian, with a basic knowledge of Arabic. He was born and raised in Lebanon, moving to the United States for university studies.
Shamsul Bari is the chairman of Research Initiatives, Bangladesh. Before that he served the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for more than twenty years, including as Regional Director for Central Asia, South West Asia, North Africa and the Middle East. In 2008 he was appointed Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Somalia by the UN Human Rights Council, a position he held until 2014. From 2003 to 2007 he was a member of RAWOO, an international advisory council on research for development cooperation of the Netherlands government. Shamsul Bari is a Barrister at Law and has taught at the University of Chicago and Minnesota.
Davin Bremner has worked in the peacebuilding field for over 25 years, and was Kreddha Europe’s Director for Research and Analysis (2005-2008) and Acting Director (2008-2009). During his tenure he worked extensively in West Africa and South Asia. Most recently he was senior strategist at Cordaid, where he developed the ‘theory of change’ capacities of that organization. His expertise is in conflict analysis, community conflict, human needs theory and Human Scale Development, action research, and in designing ‘research dialogue processes’.
Bremner worked on inter-community peace building in South Africa from 1990 to 1995 and participated in the South African Peace Accord structures during the political transition in that country. Since then he has worked extensively in Africa, in the Caucasus and in Asia and has conducted trainings in negotiation skills and peace building in conflicted societies. Bremner has taught conflict analysis and resolution theory at universities in the USA, the UK and the Netherlands, where he now lives. Bremner obtained a Ph.D. in International Relations based on conflict resolution action research undertaken in post-Soviet Georgia in 2000-2003.
Mamadou Diouf is Professor of African Studies and Director of Columbia University's Institute for African Studies. Before joining the faculty at Columbia University, he was Professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Michigan, from 2000 to 2007. Earlier, he was Head of the Research, Information, and Documentation Department of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) and faculty member of the History Department of Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal.
His research interests include urban, political, social and intellectual history in colonial and postcolonial Africa. His most recent publications include: Tolerance, Democracy, and Sufis in Senegal [ed. 2013] and New Perspectives on Islam in Senegal: Conversion, Migration, Wealth, and Power (with Mara A. Leichtman) .
YASH PAL GHAI
Yash Pal Ghai is the Director of the Katiba Institute in Nairobi, which he founded in 2011. He was the head of the UNDP Constitution Advisory Support Unit in Nepal, and served as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Human Rights in Cambodia. Ghai has had an international academic career as a professor of law and as a constitutional expert, beginning with the establishment of East Africa’s first law school in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In 1989, he was appointed Professor of Public Law at the University of Hong Kong. Ghai has advised parties in peace processes such as the Bougainville peace process and some in which Kreddha had a mediating role. He has advised in over twenty countries on constitution making and other issues, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea, Nepal, Fiji, Somalia, Libya, and Kenya (where he chaired the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission (CKRC) from 2002-2004, as well as the National Constitutional Conference (“Bomas”). He has worked, researched and written extensively on constitutionalism and human rights, ethnic conflicts, sociology of law, federalism and autonomy.
Claudio Grossman is Professor of Law and was Dean of Washington College of Law at American University, in Washington DC for 21 years, until 2016. He is on the board of directors of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights. He served as Member (2003-15) and Chairperson (2008-15) of the United Nations Committee against Torture and was appointed President of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, of which he was formerly on the board, in 2014. For many years Grossman served as a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and was also appointed its Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women and on the Rights of Indigenous Populations.
Michelo Hansungule, from Zambia, is a commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists. He is Professor of Human Rights Law at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Hansungule is a member of the independent technical team established to measure the compliance of countries with the governance and human rights requirements of the New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). He is an Independent Expert Member of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and a Board Member for Minority Rights Group International. In 2013 Michelo led SADC Lawyers Election Observer Missions in Zimbabwe and Swaziland. He is currently Board Member for the Journal of Conflict and Peace Studies, the South African Journal of International Law and the African Human Rights Law Journal.
Nicholas Haysom, from South Africa, is the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan. Before this appointment, in March 2016, he served with the UN in Afghanistan for four years, most recently as Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). Previously, he was Director for Political, Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Affairs in the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General from 2007 to 2012, and Head of the Office of Constitutional Support for the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) from 2005 to 2007.
In his long international career, Haysom has focused on democratic governance, constitutional and electoral reform, reconciliation and peace processes. Mr. Haysom served in the Government of South Africa, including as Chief Legal and Constitutional Adviser in the Office of President Mandela from 1994 to 1999. He was involved in the Burundi Peace Talks as Chair of the committee negotiating constitutional issues from 1999 to 2002 under the facilitation of President Mandela, and was the principal adviser to the Mediator in the Sudanese Peace Process from 2002 to 2005.
José Ramos-Horta is the former President of Timor-Leste (East Timor) (2007-2012) and also served as Prime Minister (2006-2007), Foreign Minister (2002-2006) and Cabinet Member in the United Nations Transition Administration for East Timor (UNTAET) (2000-2002).
Horta was co-awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996 in recognition for his work towards a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in East Timor. Dr Ramos-Horta lived in exile for 24 years following the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975 and represented the East Timor resistance movement at the United Nations and around the world. Following independence in 1999, he returned to Timor-Leste and has played a pivotal role in peace-building and poverty reduction in the conflict-torn nation.
Since leaving office, Dr Ramos-Horta has continued to work on a number of high-level peace-building and human rights projects around the world, including as UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Guinea-Bissau (2012-2014), Vice-Chairman of the Asian Peace and Reconciliation Council, and Co-Chair of the Independent Commission on Multilateralism.
Devasish Roy Wangza is the Chakma Raja and Chief of the Chakma Circle in the Chittagong Hill Tracts and an advocate at the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. He was a member-designate to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) from 2010 to 2016. In January 2008 he was appointed Special Assistant to the Chief Adviser (Minister of State) of the Caretaker Government of Bangladesh. He was in charge of the Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs and the Ministry of Environment & Forests and held these posts until January 2009, when an elected government resumed office in Dhaka after the caretaker administration of fourteen advisers facilitated one of the fairest elections in the history of Bangladesh.
In 1997 Roy acted as Resource Person and Facilitator, on invitation of both parties, for the negotiations between the Government of Bangladesh and the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (JSS) to end a decades-long armed conflict in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The dialogues resulted in the signing of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord on 2 December 1997. Since then Roy has remained very engaged in promoting and advocating for the peace accord’s full implementation.
Geir Sjøberg is the Policy Director for Human Rights at the Foreign Ministry of Norway. Previously he was Human Rights Counselor at the Norwegian Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva and Norway’s lead negotiator in 2013-14 for passage of the UN General Assembly resolution on Protecting Women Human Rights Defenders. Earlier, he served as Chef de Cabinet of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)’s High Commissioner on National Minorities and was the Special Adviser to the UN Envoy Kjell Magne Bondevik at the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights.
Francesc Vendrell’s forty-year diplomatic and mediation career included appointments as Special Representative of the European Union for Afghanistan (2002-2008); Personal Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Special Mission for Afghanistan (2000-2002); UN Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Bangladesh, East Timor, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Myanmar, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Central America. He held the post of Director of the Asia and Pacific Division at the UN Department of Political Affairs and that of Director for Europe and Americas in the Office of the UN Secretary-General. Most recently (2014-15) Vendrell was appointed Mediator-in-Residence at the UN Department of Political Affairs.
Francesc Vendrell is currently Adjunct Professor of International Relations at the School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and Senior Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics.
Paul R. Williams is the Rebecca I. Grazier Professor of Law and International Relations at American University in Washington DC. He teaches at the School of International Service and the Washington College of Law and also directs the joint JD/MA program in International Relations. Williams is co-founder of the Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG), a non-profit organization, which provides pro bono legal assistance to state and non-state parties involved in peace negotiations, post-conflict constitution drafting and implementation, and war crimes prosecutions. In the past he served as legal advisor for European and Canadian affairs at the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Legal Adviser and as Senior Associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.