Search form


Matteo Pugliese

ISPI Associate Research Fellow (Italy)

Matteo Pugliese is an ISPI Associate Research Fellow for the Center on Radicalization and International Terrorism. He has contributed to the journals of the Italian Defense Staff and the Italian intelligence. 


Pugliese gave lectures and seminars at the University of Genoa Law School and IR School, as well as in the counter terrorism courses of the Italian Police. In 2017 and 2018, he was appointed as a Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman.

Pugliese holds a JD from the University of Genova and a master’s degree in Strategic Studies and International Security from the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. He graduated from the Italian Navy War College in the General Staff Officers’ Course. He has also studied at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and the University of Zagreb, Croatia.

Passi Ritika

Associate Fellow and Project Editor, The Observer Research Foundation (India)

Ritika Passi is Fellow at ORF. She works on connectivity, tracking developments across Eurasia and the Indo-Pacific, the changing global economic order and its geopolitical impact, and Indian foreign policy


Her current projects include India’s approach to connectivity, the economics of the Belt and Road Initiative, and the evolving development finance landscape. Her latest publications include the study India and China in multilateral economic governance: Worldviews, approaches, and IFIs. She is editor of the ORF Raisina Files and oversees the Global Policy Journal-ORF series.

Ritika graduated with a Masters in International Security from Sciences Po, Paris (summa cum laude).  

Daniel Saka Mbumba

Vice President – International Sanctions Project Manager, New York (France)

Daniel Saka Mbumba is currently an International Sanctions Project Manager at BNP Paribas in New York, specialized in Financial Security Risk Compliance (International Sanctions and Embargoes, Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism).


Prior to joining the banking industry, Daniel held multiple management consulting positions in Paris and in New York, helping a wide variety of clients to successfully transform their operations.

Daniel has always been committed to sustainable development by empowering local communities, through his international volunteer experience as a French teacher in Benin and as a computer literacy teacher in India. He is currently the co-chair of the BNP Paribas Financial Literacy Group, an educational volunteering program impacting more than 200 students of the New York City tri-state area.

Sahil S.R Shah

Project Lead, Kenya Business Guide (Kenya)

Sahil S.R Shah is a policy and strategy advisor working in the areas of private sector and economic development. Currently, Sahil is the Project Lead of the Kenya Business Guide, a private sector development think-tank aimed at improving the business and investment environment in Kenya.


Prior to this, Sahil worked as a Consultant at Oxford Policy Management and the Strathmore Business School providing technical and strategic advisory support to leaders and decision-makers in both the public and private sectors. Sahil is a Fellow of the British Council’s Future Leaders Connect and holds degrees from the University of Bristol and Strathmore Business School.

Adaku Ufere

Deputy Chief of Party, USAID West Africa Program (Nigeria)

Adaku Ufere is currently the Deputy Chief of Party and Operations Lead of the USAID and Power Africa coordinated initiative, the West Africa Energy Program, in Accra, Ghana. Prior to this, she founded an Energy, Gender & Infrastructure consulting firm, providing business strategy and operational support to clients throughout West Africa.


Her previous professional experience includes Head of the Energy Practice of Centurion Law Group in Equatorial Guinea, and with General Electric as Legal Counsel GE Oil & Gas in Nigeria. She’s a globally respected conference speaker/panelist, and a prolific writer with published articles in energy, gender and project finance. Adaku is a Mandela Washington Fellow, a Power Africa, Young Woman in African Power and an Obama Foundation Leader Africa.

Edna Liliana Valencia Murillo

Journalist, France24 (Colombia)

Edna Liliana Valencia is a proudly Afro-Colombian journalist, news reporter and news anchor on the international news network France 24. Director and anchor of the program “Ellas Hoy”, a news magazine about women and diversity.


She also directs and presents the program “Africa 7 Days”, the only news show in Spanish 100% dedicated to the African continent. She was the first news anchor in Latin America to present news with natural afro hair. She is also a leader of the natural hair movement in Colombia and other countries in the region. Influencer and poet.

Ronald van den Heuvel MSc

Political Advisor, Executive Advisory Group Commander Royal Netherlands Army (The Netherlands)

Ronald van den Heuvel, teacher, military officer and civil servant. In 2013, after finishing a master’s degree in International Relations Ronald joined the Royal Netherlands Army as a reserve-officer.


Simultaneously he switched his civil profession from high-school teacher social studies to a political advisor within the Dutch Ministry of Defense. Recently Ronald was voluntarily deployed to Afghanistan as part of NATO, in the position of military advisor to the Afghan Ministry of Interior.

Kheston Walkins

CEO / Chief NeuroInnovation Officer, Allegori (Trinidad and Tobago)

Kheston is a Neuroscientist with a background in neurophysiology, cancer and experimental neuroscience. He studied Medical Neuroscience out of the University of Sussex in Brighton, England and is a PhD candidate in Molecular Genetics at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago.


He is the Chief NeuroInnovator at Allegori which designs innovations in education, art, mental health and industry using neuroscience and psychology. He believes strongly that the mind is an important resource to champion and doing so with radically improve our quality of life and performance in our nations.

Denica Yotova

Programmes Coordinator, European Council on Foreign Relations (Bulgaria)

Denica Yotova is the Programmes Coordinator of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) based in Berlin. She serves as a liaison between the central advocacy team and the four regional programmes of ECFR: Asia and China, Middle East and North Africa, Wider Europe, and European Power.


She is involved in the strategic communication and annual planning of the organization and is currently working on a gap analysis on the relations between Europe and Africa. Previously, she completed a Schuman traineeship at the European Parliament and served as an Organizational Leader and Executive Board member of the Association of the Bulgarian Leaders and Entrepreneurs. She holds an MA in International Relations and European Studies from Centre International de Formation Européenne - France, and a BA in Cultural Studies from Sofia University. She is an Alumna of the Bulgarian Young Leaders Programme by IIE.

Mamou Zakaria

Co-founder and President, FIDEA (International Forum for African Entrepreneurship Development, Morocco)

Zakaria Mamou is currently the President of the International Forum for African Entrepreneurship Development (FIDEA): a yearly meeting of entrepreneurs, investors and public actors which goal is to foster entrepreneurship and business environment in the African continent.


Through the forum, he brings technical support to high potential African startups and accompanies them in their fund raising since 2017. His commitment to job creation in Africa led him to integrate OpenClassrooms in 2019: a global EdTech Startup making education accessible. Zakaria has completed a double Master’s degree in International Business (at ESCE Paris) and Political Sciences (at HEIP Paris).