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Ahmed Abbadi

Secretary General, Mohamedia League of Oulemas

Ahmed Abaddi is the secretary-general of Rabita Muhammadia of Ulama, which is the council of religious scholars established by His Majesty King Mohammed VI. Previously, he had been appointed by King Mohammed VI as the king’s member of the Human Rights National Council, as well as the king’s member of the Environmental, Social, and Economic Council, and the Human Rights Consultative Council.


In 2002, Abaddi was a visiting scholar in residence in Chicago, teaching sociology at DePaul University, and the University of Chicago, becoming the director of Islamic Affairs there in 2004. Previously, he was a professor at Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakech. Abaddi holds a degree in Islamic studies, and completed post-doctoral studies in the history of religions in Paris-Sorbonne University.

Salem Afeworki

Program Director, Value Sustainability

Salem is the program director of Value Sustainability, a leading provider of advisory services in sustainability, climate change, and community engagement. She is responsible for the company’s integrated strategy to deliver customer solutions to meet their sustainability challenges and to operate in a way that advances environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic success


Applying her corporate and consulting experience to her client’s sustainability priorities, she challenges her clients to set increasingly higher targets that grow their business by making a positive difference in the world. Prior to that, Salem has held numerous management and senior consultant roles in engineering and financial services firms, both in the United States and internationally. She began her career with the United Nations, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication and MSc in Environmental Management & Auditing from Universidad de Leon, Spain.

Masood Ahmed

Former Director of the Middle East and Central Asia, International Monetary Fund

Masood Ahmed will become the president of the Center for Global Development as of January 2017. He obtained his graduate and post-graduate degrees in economics from the London School of Economics, where he also served on the economics faculty. Until recently, he was director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department, a position he held from November 2008 to October 2016.


Ahmed had also been the director of the External Relations Department in the IMF from May 2006. From 2003-06 Ahmed served as director general for Policy and International Development at the U.K. Government's Department for International Development (DFID). In 2000-03, Ahmed was deputy director in the IMF's Policy Development and Review Department. In this role, he served as senior staff focal point for taking forward the IMF's policy work in support of low income member countries and its relationship with the World Bank and other development agencies.

Mamphela Aletta Ramphele

Active Citizen

Mamphela Aletta Ramphele studied medicine at the then University of Natal, has a bachelor of commerce degree, a diploma in tropical hygiene, a diploma in public health and a Ph.D. in social anthropology. She went on to become vice-chancellor of UCT, then one of four managing directors of the World Bank, based in Washington, DC.


Ramphele has served as chairperson of Gold Fields, Circle Capital Ventures (Pty) Limited, Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), as a director of Medi-Clinic Corporation Limited and Remgro Limited, and is currently a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. She was founder of the Open Society Foundation for South Africa and the Citizens Movement. In January 2013, Ramphele became the leader of Agang SA, a party for all South Africans which won two seats in the national elections held in May 2014.

Caroline Alexis-Thomas

Health Consultant, Trinidad and Tobago

Caroline Alexis-Thomas is an independent health consultant who has worked with the government of Trinidad and Tobago, Food and Agriculture Organization, UN Development Programme, UN Population Fund, Pan American Health Organization, and International Labour Organization in the areas of HIV and AIDS, chronic non-communicable diseases, and sexual and reproductive health.


She lectures in the Behavioral Department at the University of West Indies, Trinidad, and the Masters of Health Administration Program at the University of Trinidad and Tobago. Her research interests are in sociology of health, tobacco control, and diabetes management. She is a registered nurse by profession and has previously served as director of the National AIDS Program in Grenada and as policy analyst and hospital administrator at the Ministry of Health. Alexis-Thomas is a Fulbright scholar and has a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of West Indies and master’s in public health.

Katherine Almquist Knopf

Director, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, U.S. Department of Defense

Kate Almquist Knopf is director of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, an academic institution within the U.S. Department of Defense. She has spent most of her career focused on the intersection of security and development in Africa. She held several senior positions at the U.S. Agency for International Development.


Knopf has also been a senior advisor for the Crisis Management Initiative, a conflict mediation organization founded by former Finnish President and Nobel Laureate Martti Ahtisaari, and a visiting policy fellow at the Center for Global Development. She was chief of staff for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority and for the Executive Office for Administration and Finance of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She holds an master’s degree in international relations from Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC, and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.

Youssef Amrani

Head of Mission, Royal Cabinet, Kingdom of Morocco

Prior to his designation in the Cabinet of His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco in October 2013, Youssef Amrani was minister delegate for foreign affairs and cooperation, a post he held since January 2012. In November 2008, he was appointed secretary general at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, a position he held until his election as secretary general of the Mediterranean Union in July 2011.


Amrani has also served as an ambassador of Morocco to Colombia, Chile, and Mexico. From 2003 to 2008, he served as ambassador and director general of bilateral relations in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. He was the head of office of the secretary of state for the Arab Maghreb Union from 1989 to 1992. Afterward, he was appointed as consul general in Barcelona. He holds a degree in economics from the University Mohammed V in Rabat and graduated from the Institute of Management in Boston.

Miguel Angel Moratinos

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Spain

Miguel Ángel Moratinos has committed his professional and political activity to international relationships and development cooperation. He graduated in Law and Political Sciences at the University Complutense in Madrid, then in Diplomatic Studies at the Spanish Diplomatic School, and entered Spain’s diplomatic service in March 1977.


He began his diplomatic career as the head of the Coordination Section for Eastern Europe between 1977-80. At the end of 1980, he was appointed First Secretary of the Spanish Embassy in Yugoslavia After years of diplomatic activity; he engaged in politics and was elected Member of Parliament for the constituency of Córdoba. In 2004, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation; and in 2012, he joined the Global Dry Land Alliance in Qatar and promoted an international treaty for food security in over 15 countries. From 2012-13 he was member of the high level advisory panel of the president of the 67th UN General Assembly.

Ali Aslan

Broadcaster, Deutsche Welle

Ali Aslan is a seasoned television presenter and journalist. He has worked for global news networks such as CNN, ABC News, Channel News Asia and Deutsche Welle TV, where he hosted the international talk show “Quadriga.” A frequent conference moderator and public speaker, Aslan has also served as a policy and media advisor to the German government, including the Foreign Office.


Aslan has been named a Young Leader by the American Council on Germany, the BMW Foundation, The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), the Bertelsmann Foundation, the Munich Security Conference, and the Atlantik-Bruecke. He is the first German recipient of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations International Fellowship and an alumnus of the Koerber Network Foreign Policy. Aslan holds master’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University. He received his bachelor’s degree in international politics from Georgetown University.

Jordi Bacaria

Professor, Autonomous University of Barcelona  

Jordi Bacaria is a professor of applied economics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). He is also director of the journal Foreign Affairs Latinoamérica published in Mexico. He is a member of Euro-Mediterranean Forum of Economic Science Institutes. He has been dean of the Faculty of Economics at the UAB (1986-1988) and director of the Institute for European Studies (1988-1992, 1994-2000) at the UAB.


From 2000 to 2009, he coordinated the Doctoral Program in International Relations and European Integration of the UAB. From 2000 to 2013, he has been co-director of the Institute for European Integration Studies in Mexico, an institution funded by the European Commission and the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico. He is the author of over a hundred publications (articles, book chapters and books) on economic integration, Latin America, Mediterranean economy, monetary institutions, and public choice.