Laura Batalla Adam joined Ashoka in the summer of 2019 to bridge the gap between social entrepreneurship and policymaking in the field of migration and integration as Hello Europe’s Policy Representative in Brussels, a position that she combines with an advisory role to a Member of the European Parliament on foreign policy.
Laura has worked in the European Parliament for nearly a decade overseeing a wide-range of policies and she has established her own initiatives like the European Parliament Turkey Forum, a cross-party non-partisan platform for high-level discussion and cooperation between Turkey and the EU, of which she is the Secretary General since 2014.
Over the last decade, she has invested significant professional and personal capital in cultivating ties between the EU and Turkey in all domains. The Forum has established itself as a trusted and respected interlocutor between a wide spectrum of political and social actors in Turkey, the European Union and the United States.
Batalla is a leading and well-respected voice in EU-Turkey relations. She speaks in depth about Turkey in conferences and seminars and writes policy papers and op-eds on Turkish politics, Turkey’s foreign policy and migration. She is part of prestigious expert groups like Mercator’s Turkey Europe Future Forum and a member of distinguished leadership networks like the Marshall Memorial Fellowship of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
She holds two Bachelor's degrees in Political Science and Public Administration and Journalism and a Master's degree in European Political and Administrative Studies from the College of Europe.
She joins the advisory board of Turkish Heritage Organization in her personal capacity, not representing any of the organizations she is affiliated with.
Michael M. Gunter is a professor of political science at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee where he teaches courses on international relations, international organizations, international law, American foreign policy, European politics, and American politics, among others. He is one of only two others who have won the two most prestigious faculty awards at his university: The Outstanding Faculty Award in Teaching and the Outstanding Faculty Award in Research (The Caplenor Award). He also is the Secretary-General of the EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) headquartered in Brussels.
In the past he taught courses on international and comparative politics for many years during the summer at the International University in Vienna, as well as courses on Kurdish and Middle Eastern politics, among others, for the U.S. Government Areas Studies Program and U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Institute in Washington, D.C. He is the author of 11 critically praised scholarly books on the Kurdish question and co-editor (with Mohammed M. A. Ahmed) of three more books on the Kurds, among others. He has also published numerous scholarly articles on the Kurds and many other issues in such leading scholarly periodicals as the Middle East Journal, Middle East Policy, Middle East Quarterly, Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies, Orient, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Maghreb Review, American Journal of International Law, International Organization, World Affairs, Journal of International Affairs (Columbia University), Brown Journal of World Affairs, Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, Current History, Third World Quarterly, International Journal of Turkish Studies, Insight Turkey, Turkish Studies, Terrorism: An International Journal, and Arms Control, among numerous others.
He was a former Senior Fulbright Lecturer in International Relations in Turkey and also has held Fulbright awards for China and Israel. He has been interviewed about the Kurdish question on numerous occasions by the international and national press. His most recent book is Out of Nowhere: The Kurds of Syria in Peace and War, London: Hurst Publications, 2014.
Parag Khanna is a leading global strategist, world traveler, and best-selling author. He is a Managing Partner of Hybrid Reality, a geostrategic advisory firm, and CEO of Factotum, a boutique content strategy agency. He is a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, Adjunct Professor in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, and Senior Fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs. He is co-author of Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization (2012) and author of How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance (2011) and The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order (2008). In 2008, Parag was named one of Esquire’s “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century,” and featured in WIRED magazine’s “Smart List.”
Parag lectures frequently at international conferences and gives executive briefings to government leaders and major corporations on global trends, systemic risks, future scenarios, economic master planning, emerging market strategies, and technological disruptions. He has been an adviser to the U.S. National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends 2030 program. Previously, he served in the foreign policy advisory group to the Barack Obama for President campaign. During 2007 he served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a senior geopolitical adviser to United States Special Operations Forces. From 2002-5, he was the Global Governance Fellow at the Brookings Institution; from 2000-2002 he worked at the World Economic Forum in Geneva; and from 1999-2000, he was a Research Associate at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
A widely cited global intellectual, Dr. Khanna appears frequently in media around the world. He is a contributing columnist on CNN.com, contributing editor to WorldPost, regular guest host of CNBC. His 2008 cover story for the New York Times Magazine titled “Waving Goodbye to Hegemony,” is one of the most globally debated and influential essays since the end of the Cold War. His essays and articles have appeared in major international newspapers and journals such as the Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Washington Post, Financial Times, TIME, Forbes, The Atlantic, Quartz, Foreign Policy, Newsweek, Harper’s, BusinessWeek, Harvard Business Review, The Guardian, The National Interest, McKinsey Quarterly, Prospect, Esquire, Slate.com, Die Zeit, and Strategy+Business. He has been featured on CNN, BBC, PBS, Al Jazeera, CCTV, Russia Today, National Public Radio (NPR), and other media all over the world. He was the first video-blogger of ForeignPolicy.com and from 2010-12 co-authored the Hybrid Reality blog on BigThink. From 2008-9, Parag was the host of “InnerView” on MTV. He spoke on “Invisible Maps” at TED Global 2009 and was a guest host of TED Global 2012.
Dr. Khanna holds a PhD from the London School of Economics, and Bachelors and Masters degrees from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He has been a Visiting Fellow at LSE IDEAS (2011-13), Senior Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (2011-13), Distinguished Visitor at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, Distinguished Visitor at the American Academy in Berlin (2008), Next Generation Fellow of the American Assembly (2007-8), Visiting Fellow at the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore (2006), Non-Resident Associate of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University (2004-5), and a Visiting Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi (2004). He has received grants from the United Nations Foundation, Smith Richardson Foundation, and Ford Foundation. He currently serves on the executive boards of Independent Diplomat and the Micro Equity Development Fund, board of trustees of the New Cities Foundation, Innovation Advisory Board of DBS, advisory board of the World Economic Forum’s Future of Urban Development Initiative, and editorial board of Global Policy.
Born in India, Parag grew up in the United Arab Emirates, New York, and Germany. He is an accomplished adventurer who has traveled in more than 100 countries on all continents. Some of his lengthy journeys include driving from the Baltic Sea through the Balkans and across Turkey and the Caucasus to the Caspian Sea, across the rugged terrain of Tibet and Xinjiang provinces in western China, and eight thousand miles from London to Ulaanbaatar in the Mongolia Charity Rally. He has climbed numerous 20,000-foot plus peaks, and trekked in the Alps, Himalayas, and Tien Shan mountain ranges. Parag is also a competitive tennis player.
In 2009, Parag was honored as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and currently serves on the WEF’s Global Agenda Council on Geo-economics. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, International Institute for Strategic Studies, and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. In 2002 he was awarded the OECD Future Leaders Prize. He speaks German, Hindi, French, Spanish, and basic Arabic.
F. Stephen Larrabee is the RAND Corporation's distinguished chair emeritus in European Security.
Before joining RAND, Larrabee served as vice president and director of studies of the Institute of East–West Security Studies in New York from 1983 to 1989. He was a distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Institute from 1989 to 1990. From 1978 to 1981, Larrabee served on the U.S. National Security Council staff in the White House as a specialist on Soviet–East European affairs and East-West political-military relations.
Larrabee's recent RAND monographs include Troubled Partnership: U.S.-Turkish Relations in an Era of Global Geopolitical Change (2010); Turkey as a U.S. Security Partner (2008); The Rise of Political Islam in Turkey (with Angel Rabasa, 2008); and Encouraging Trade and Foreign Direct Investment in Ukraine (with Keith Crane, 2007).
His recent articles include “Arming Europe,” in The National Interest (with Seth G. Jones, Winter 2005–2006); and “ESDP and NATO: Assuring Complementarity,” in The International Spectator (January–March 2004).
In addition, he is the coauthor (with Julian Lindley-French) of Revitalizing the Transatlantic Security Partnership: An Agenda for Action (RAND/Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2008); the editor of The Volatile Powder Keg: Balkan Security After the Cold War (American University Press, 1994); and coeditor (with Robert Blackwill) of Conventional Arms Control and East-West Security (Duke University Press, 1989).
Larrabee has taught at Columbia, Cornell, New York, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, and The George Washington universities, and at the University of Southern California.
Larrabee received his Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University.
Robert Olson is Professor Emeritus of Middle East History and Politics at the University of Kentucky. He is the author of The Siege of Mosul and Ottoman-Persian Relations, 1718-1743: A Study of Rebellion in the Capital and War in the Provinces of the Ottoman Empire (1975), translated into Arabic (1983); The Ba'th and Syria, 1947-1979: An Interpretative Historical Essay (1980); The Ba‘th and Syria from the French Mandate to the Era of Hafez at-Asad, 1947-1982 (1982); The Emergence of Kurdish Nationalism and the Sheikh Said Rebellion: 1880-1925 (1989); translated into Turkish (1989); translated into Persian (1999); translated into Kurdish (2000); translated into Arabic (2008); ); (paperback) The Emergence of Kurdish Nationalism (1991); Imperial Meanderings and Republican By-Ways: Essays on Eighteenth Century Ottoman and Twentieth Century History of Turkey (1996); The Kurdish Question and Turkish-Iranian Relations: From World War I to 1998 (1998); revised and translated into Arabic under the title The Kurdish Question and Turkish-Iranian Relations: From World War I to 2000 (2001); translated into Persian (2002) with the title Masale Kurd va Revabet-e Iran va Turkiye/The Kurdish Question in Turkish-Iranian Relations in the Twentieth Century; Turkey’s Relations with Iran, Syria, Israel and Russia, 1991-2000: The Kurdish and Islamist Questions (2001); translated into Turkish (2005); translated (online) into French (2005); translated into Persian (2011); Turkey’s Relations with Iran, 1979-2004: War, Revolution, Ideology, War, Coups and Geopolitics (2004); translated into Turkish, 2005). The Goat and the Butcher: Nationalism and State Formation in Kurdistan-Iraq since the Iraqi War (2005); translated into Turkish, 2008; Blood, Beliefs and Ballots: The Management of Kurdish Nationalism in Turkey, 2007-2009 (2009); translated into Kurdish (2010); translated into Persian (2011); The Kurdish Nationalist Movements in Turkey, 1980-2011: Oppression, Resistance, War, Education in the Mother Tongue and Relations with the Kurdistan Regional Government (2011); translated into Persian (2013). Editor: Islamic and Middle Eastern Societies: A Festschrift in Honor of Wadie Jwaideh (1987); The Kurdish Movement in Turkey in the 1990s: Its Impact on Turkey and the Middle East (1996); Co-editor: Orientalism, Islam and Islamists (1985), translated into Turkish (1992), and Iran: Essays on a Revolution in the Making (1981). Professor Olson is the author of some 75 research articles, 90 essays and reference works and 250 book reviews. He received the Best Book Award from the Third World Studies Association in 1999-2000. Olson was University Research Professor, 1991-1992; Distinguished Professor the College of Arts and Sciences, 1999-2000; Albert B. and Elizabeth H. Kirwan Memorial University Professor, 2000-2001.
Robert Olson and his colleague Professor Michael Gunter are considered to be the principal contributors to the establishment of Kurdish Studies in the United States. Together they have published 24 books, edited 9, and published 265 referred and editor approved articles, 100 essays and 400 book reviews. Of this number Olson has written 9 books, of which 7 have been translated 15 times: 6 into Turkish, 3 Arabic, 2 Persian, 2 Kurdish and 2 French. He has published 115 articles, 60 essays and 250 book reviews. He has also written over 100 hundred opinions pieces in the Today’s Zaman, an English language newspaper published in Turkey and distributed in Europe and the Middle East. His The Kurdish Nationalist Movement in the 1990s: Its Impact on Turkey and the Middle East with a new introduction has just been reissued; The Emergence of Kurdish Nationalism and the Sheikh Said Rebellion, 1990-1925 (University of Texas Press) is currently being translated into Arabic in Erbil, Iraq-Kurdistan. It has already been translated into Turkish, Kurdish and Persian.
In 2013 he delivered papers on the situation of the Kurds in Turkey at Columbia University on 6 May (New York); Rand Corporation and CIA on 28 June (Washington, DC); Middle East Studies Association on 14 October (New Orleans) and Beirut, Lebanon, 27-30, November, 2013.
Selma is currently working at the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) as a coordinator of Asia – Pacific Business Councils in Istanbul. Before DEIK, she served at the Center for Asia Leadership in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia which is a group of non-profit international organizations that addresses public challenges in Asia through research, development, training and publication initiatives. She served at the John D. Evans Foundation in Washington D.C. as an Atlas Corps Fellow, where she spearheaded several high-profile events such as a Criminal Justice Reform Working Group Meeting, bringing together diverse strategic partners across the U.S. public and private sectors. Until 2015, Selma was the Deputy Director of International Leadership Application and Research Center at Bahcesehir University. She worked closely with the government to facilitate dialogue among policy makers, subject matter experts, civil society leaders, and academics on regional and global issues for roundtables and educational programs such as Bahçeşehir University’s School of Politics U.S. program and the Global Leadership Forum. In 2012, Selma led the U.S. Embassy-funded Young Turkey - Young America Program, representing both Turkish young professionals as well as her own university. Selma enjoys exploring the topics of U.S.-Turkey Relations, U.S. Foreign Policy, Asia – Pacific, leadership development, diplomacy, and youth empowerment. She has a strong passion for human development and social capital. Selma has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations from Bahcesehir University in Turkey, and a Master of Global Politics and International Relations from the same university. In addition to her professional roles, Selma works on a social project to help Syrian refugees as a board member of Al-Shami Kitchen in Turkey. She is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and the National Interest.
Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, has been with the center since its inception. He also chairs the research council and the Foreign and Security Policy Program.
He retired from the Russian Army in 1993. From 1993–1997, Trenin held a post as a senior research fellow at the Institute of Europe in Moscow. In 1993, he was a senior research fellow at the NATO Defense College in Rome.
He served in the Soviet and Russian armed forces from 1972 to 1993, including experience working as a liaison officer in the external relations branch of the Group of Soviet Forces (stationed in Potsdam) and as a staff member of the delegation to the U.S.-Soviet nuclear arms talks in Geneva from 1985 to 1991. He also taught at the War Studies Department of the Military Institute from 1986 to 1993.
Malik Mufti is Professor of Political Science at Tufts University, where he teaches courses on international relations as well as the politics of the Middle East. He received his Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University, and is the author of Sovereign Creations: Pan-Arabism and Political Order in Syria and Iraq (1996), and Daring and Caution in Turkish Strategic Culture: Republic at Sea (2009). He has also published shorter pieces on the domestic politics, international relations, and political thought of the Near East, the most recent of which dealt with Ibn Khaldun on jihad and statecraft; evolving Islamic conceptions of democracy; Francis Bacon's political and ethical thought from an Islamic perspective; the AK Party's Islamic realist vision; and the democratizing potential of the Arab Spring. He is currently working on a broader research project on realism in Islamic political thought.
Bill Park is Senior Lecturer in the Defence Studies Department, King’s College, London. He is the author of journal articles, book chapters, blog pieces and monographs on a range of Turkish foreign policy issues, including its EU accession prospects, the Cyprus problem, Turkey’s policies towards Northern Iraq, Turkey-US relations, the Fethullah Gulen movement, and the Ergenekon affair. Among his publications are ‘Turkey-KRG relations after the US withdrawal from Iraq: putting the Kurds on the map’, published by the Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College, in March 2014 (available online). His book, ‘Modern Turkey: People, State and Foreign Policy in a Globalized World’, was published by Routledge in 2011. He is currently writing a book on Turkey’s regional Kurdish predicaments.
He serves as a trustee, council member and research committee member for the British Institute at Ankara (BIAA), and is an editorial board member for the journal Mediterranean Politics.
He is a frequent visitor to Turkey, has presented at numerous workshops and conferences, and has appeared as a Turkey expert on various UK and overseas media, has given testimony on Turkish issues to the UK Parliament, and is used as a consultant on Turkish issues by various UK government agencies.
His current interest is in international law and its impact on various apects of the Arab-Israeli conflict. To this end, he is the editor of Palestine and International Law. He has to his credit a number of other books and journal articles that have appeared internationally, from Indonesia to India to the United Arab Emirates and in Israel. Additionally, he is a book reviewer for a number of journals and library associations. He has served as a lecturer and participant in academic settings in England, Palestine, and Belgium.
Dr Hande Özsan Bozatlı is a medical professional and former President of the Assembly of European Regions. Bozatlı was elected to serve as a Provincial Council member in Istanbul in 2009 and became Vice President. She was the president of the EU and International Relations Committee of the Provincial Council until April 2014. She' was elected in 2010 as the President of the Assembly of European Region’s Committee on Culture, Education, Youth and International Cooperation. She has been very much involved with Youth Councils, and all kinds of youth issues in Europe, including unemployment and early school-drop out problems.
In May 2013, she was elected President of the Assembly of European Regions and re-elected unanimously in December 2015. She was the first AER President coming from a non-EU member country and one of the rare non-EU member and Turkish personality heading a European political organization.
SVP-Global Business Development, First Pathway Partners Former POLAD to GEN Petraeus, GEN Mattis - US Central Command Director, Iran Regional Presence Office-Dubai, Director - Voice of American Persian
Mr. Asgard is Senior Vice President for Global Business Development with First Pathway Partners, a US-based investment and global services firm. He is also a national security thought leader, attorney, business development/technology/entrepreneurship expert, and independent consultant based in Manhattan and globally.
His work is focused on Global Market Access and Analysis, National Security Matters, and Government Relations. Previously, Mr. Asgard was a highly decorated veteran U.S. Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State, with extensive global expeditionary/combat, field and headquarters experience in the diplomatic, commercial/trade advocacy, consular, political, intelligence, pol/mil, economic, public diplomacy, and research and analysis experience.
Among Mr. Asgard’s career highlights with State:
- Political Advisor at U.S. Central Command, where he served as Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to CENTCOM Commanders General David Petraeus and General James Mattis.
- Commercial Attaché, Kabul Afghanistan, where his efforts helped attract $1.8 billion in Foreign Direct Investment and for which he received the Amb. Charles Cobb Award.
- Director of the Iran Regional Presence Office (IRPO) in Dubai, the U.S. government’s primary field operation concerning Iran.
- Director of Voice of America Persian, VOA’s largest language service, where he increased viewership 380% during his tenure.
- Deputy Political Counselor in Saudi Arabia, Senior Iraq Desk Officer, Turkey Desk Officer
Mr. Asgard’s memberships/associations include:
- Phi Beta Kappa Member
- Council on Foreign Relations, Lifetime Member
- Federal Bar Association Member
- Invest in the USA (IIUSA), Member and Chair of IIUSA Veterans Support Committee
- Senior Policy Advisor to No One Left Behind, a non-profit supporting Afghan and Iraqi SIV recipients (generally translators for US forces in those countries during conflicts),
- Board Member of Art of Hope, a non-profit working to address the Syrian refugee crisis.
Mr. Asgard holds a JD from Tulane University, a Master’s in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA summa cum laude from Temple University.