Council of Experts

    Bertie Ahern

    Bertie Ahern is the former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland, a position to which he was elected following numerous Ministerial appointments as well as that of Deputy Prime Minister. A defining moment of Mr Ahern’s three terms in office as Taoiseach was the successful negotiation of the Good Friday Agreement in April 1998. Mr Ahern held the Presidency of the European Council in 2004, presiding over the historic enlargement of the EU to 27 member states. Since leaving Government in 2008 Mr Ahern has dedicated his time to conflict resolution and is actively involved with many groups around the world. Current roles include Co-Chair of The Inter Action Council; Member of the Clinton Global Initiative; Member of the International Group dealing with the Conflict in the Basque Country; Honorary Adjunct Professor of Mediation and Conflict Intervention in NUI Maynooth; Member of the Kennedy Institute of NUI Maynooth; Member of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, Berlin; Member of the Varkey Gems Foundation Advisory Board; Member of Crisis Management Initiative; Member of the World Economic Forum Agenda Council on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution; and Senior Advisor to the International Advisory Council to the Harvard International Negotiation Programme.

        Dermot Ahern

        Dermot Ahern is a former Irish Member of Parliament and Government Minister and was a key figure for more than 20 years in the Irish peace process, including in negotiations for the Good Friday Agreement and the St Andrews Agreement. He also has extensive experience at EU Council level, including as a key negotiator and signatory to the Constitutional and Lisbon Treaties. In 2005, he was appointed by the then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to be a Special Envoy on the issue of UN Reform.

            Dr Mehmet Asutay

            Professor Mehmet Asutay is a Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Political Economy & Finance at the Durham University Business School, UK. He researches, teaches and supervises research on Islamic political economy and finance, Middle Eastern economic development and finance, the political economy of Middle East, including Turkish and Kurdish political economies.

                Ali Bayramoğlu

                Ali Bayramoğlu is a writer and political commentator. He is a columnist for Al-Monitor. He is a member of the former Wise Persons Commission in Turkey, established by then Prime Minister Erdoğan.

                    Prof. Christine Bell

                    Professor Christine Bell is a legal expert based in Edinburgh, Scotland.  She is Professor of Constitutional Law and Assistant Principal (Global Justice) at the University of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the British Academy.  She is an expert on transitional justice, peace negotiations, constitutional law and human rights law. She regularly conducts training on these topics for diplomats, mediators and lawyers, and has been involved as a legal advisor in a number of peace negotiations.

                        Cengiz Çandar

                        Cengiz Çandar is a senior journalist and columnist for Turkish newspaper Radikal Daily News. He is an expert on the Middle East and former war correspondent. He served as special adviser to former Turkish president Turgut Ozal.

                            Andy Carl

                            Andy Carl is an independent expert on conflict resolution and public participation in peace processes. He believes that building peace is not an act of charity but an act of justice. He co-founded and was Executive Director of Conciliation Resources. Previously, he was the first Programme Director with International Alert. He is currently an Honorary Fellow of Practice at the School of Law, University of Edinburgh. He serves as an adviser to a number of peacebuilding initiatives including the Inclusive Peace and Transition Initiative at the Graduate Institute in Geneva and the Legal Tools for Peace-Making Project in Cambridge, and the Oxford Research Group, London.

                                Prof. Mervyn Frost

                                Mervyn Frost is Professor of International Relations in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, UK. He was previously Chair of Politics at the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa and was President of the South African Political Studies Association. He is an expert on human rights in international relations, humanitarian intervention, justice in world politics, democratising global governance, the just war tradition in an era of New Wars, and, ethics in a globalising world.

                                    Martin Griffiths

                                    Martin Griffiths is a senior international mediator and Executive Director of the European Institute of Peace (EIP). From 1999 to 2010 he was the founding Director of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva where he specialised in developing political dialogue between governments and insurgents in a range of countries across Asia, Africa and Europe. He is a co-founder of Inter Mediate, a London based NGO devoted to conflict resolution, and has worked for international organisations including UNICEF, Save the Children and Action Aid. Martin has also worked in the British Diplomatic Service and for the UN, including as Director of the Department of Humanitarian Affairs (Geneva), Deputy to the Emergency Relief Coordinator (New York), Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Great Lakes, Regional Coordinator in the Balkans and Deputy Head of the Supervisory Mission in Syria (UNSMIS).

                                        Kezban Hatemi

                                        Kezban Hatemi holds an LL.B. from Istanbul University and is registered with the Istanbul Bar Association. She has worked as a self employed lawyer, with Turkey’s National Commission to UNESCO as well as a campaigner and advocate during the Bosnian War. She was involved in drafting the Turkish Civil Code and Law of Foundations as well as in preparing the legal groundwork for the chapters on Religious Freedoms, Minorities and Community Foundations within the Framework Law of Harmonization prepared by Turkey in preparation for EU accession. She has published articles on human rights, women’s rights, minority rights, children’s rights, animal rights and the fight against drugs. She is a member of the former Wise Persons Commission in Turkey, established by then Prime Minister Erdoğan, and sits on the Board of Trustees of the Technical University and the Darulacaze Foundation.

                                            Dr Edel Hughes

                                            Dr Edel Hughes is a Senior Lecturer in Law at Middlesex University. Prior to joining Middlesex University, Edel was a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of East London and a Lecturer in Law at the University of Limerick. She was awarded an LL.M. and a PhD in International Human Rights Law from the National University of Ireland, Galway, in 2003 and 2009, respectively.  Her research interests are in the area of international human rights law, public international law and conflict transformation, with a regional interest in Turkey and the Middle East. She has published widely on these areas.

                                                Prof. Dr Ahmet Insel

                                                Professor Ahmet İnsel is a former faculty member of Galatasaray University in Istanbul, Turkey and Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne University, France. He is Managing Editor of the Turkish editing house Iletisim and member of the editorial board of monthly review Birikim. He is a regular columnist at Cumhuriyet newspaper and an author who published several books and articles in both Turkish and French.

                                                    Prof Dr Erol Katırcıoğlu

                                                    Prof. Dr. Erol Katırcıoğlu is an executive board member of the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) and one of the founding members of the Dialogue Group established in May 2016. He served as the Economic Adviser to Deputy Prime Minister Erdal İnönü between 1991 and 1993 and as the “economist member” of the drafting committee of the Competition Law. He became a professor in 1996 and was Vice Rector of Istanbul Bilgi University between 2001 and 2005, where he became the Head of the Economics Department in 2005 and was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2008. Prof. Katırcıoğlu has been a columnist for various daily newspapers like Radikal, Taraf and Star since 1996. He is currently a faculty member at Marmara University’s Department of Economics (English).

                                                        Avila Kilmurray

                                                        Avila Kilmurray is a founding member of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition. She was part of the Coalition’s negotiating team for the Good Friday Agreement and has written extensively on community action, the women’s movement and conflict transformation. She serves as an adviser on the Ireland Committee of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust as well as a board member of Conciliation Resources (UK) and the Institute for British Irish Studies. She was the first Women’s Officer for the Transport & General Workers Union for Ireland (1990-1994) and from 1994-2014 she was Director of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, managing EU PEACE funding for the re-integration of political ex-prisoners in Northern Ireland as well as support for community-based peace building. She is a recipient of the Raymond Georis Prize for Innovative Philanthropy through the European Foundation Centre.

                                                            Prof. Salomón Lerner Febres

                                                            Professor Salomón Lerner Febres holds a PhD in Philosophy from Université Catholique de Louvain. He is Executive President of the Center for Democracy and Human Rights at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and Rector Emeritus of Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. He is former President of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Peru. Professor Lerner has given many talks and speeches about the role and the nature of the university, the problems of scholar research in higher education and about ethics and public culture. Furthermore, he has participated in numerous conferences in Peru and other countries about violence and pacification.  In addition, he has been a speaker and panellist in multiple workshops and symposiums about the work and findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Peru.

                                                                Prof. Ram Manikkalingam

                                                                Ram Manikkalingam is founder and director of the Dialogue Advisory Group, an independent organisation that facilitates political dialogue to reduce violence. He is a member of the Special Presidential Task Force on Reconciliation in Sri Lanka and teaches politics at the University of Amsterdam. Previously, he was Senior Advisor on the Sri Lankan peace process to then President Kumaratunga. He has served as an advisor with Ambassador rank at the Sri Lanka Mission to the United Nations in New York and prior to that he was an advisor on International Security to the Rockefeller Foundation. He is an expert on issues pertaining to conflict, multiculturalism and democracy, and has authored multiple works on these topics. He is founding board member of the Laksham Kadirgamar Institute for Strategic Studies and International Relations, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

                                                                    Bejan Matur

                                                                    Bejan Matur is a renowned Turkey-based author and poet. She has published ten works of poetry and prose. In her writing she focuses mainly on Kurdish politics, the Armenian issue, minority issues, prison literature and women’s rights. She has won several literary prizes and her work has been translated into over 28 languages. She was formerly Director of the Diyarbakır Cultural Art Foundation (DKSV).

                                                                        Monica McWilliams

                                                                        Professor Monica McWilliams is Professor of Women’s Studies, based in the Transitional Justice Institute at the University of Ulster, UK. She was the Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission from 2005 to 2011 and responsible for delivering advice on a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. She is co-founder of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition and was elected to a seat at the Multi-Party Peace Negotiations, which led to the Belfast (Good Friday) Peace Agreement in 1998.

                                                                            Hanne Melfald

                                                                            Hanne Melfald worked with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for eight years including as the Senior Adviser to the Secretariat of the Foreign Minister of Norway before she became a Project Manager in HD’s Eurasia office in 2015. She previously worked for the United Nations for six years including two years with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan as Special Assistant to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General. She has also worked for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Nepal and Geneva, as well as for the Norwegian Refugee Council and the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration. Hanne has a degree in International Relations from the University of Bergen and the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Oslo.

                                                                                Roelf Meyer

                                                                                As Chief Negotiator for the National Party Government, Roelf was intimately involved in the settlement of the South African conflict. Together with his counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa, Chief Negotiator for the African National Congress (ANC), Roelf negotiated the end of apartheid and helped pave the way to the first democratic elections in South Africa in 1994. After the elections, Meyer continued in his post of Minister of Constitutional Affairs in the Cabinet of President Nelson Mandela. Roelf was chair of the South African Defence Review Committee (2011 to 2014), and is an active consultant on peace processes, having advised parties in Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, Rwanda, Burundi, Iraq, Kosovo, the Basque Region, Guyana, Bolivia, Kenya, Madagascar, and South Sudan.

                                                                                    Mark Muller QC

                                                                                    Mark Muller QC is a senior advocate at Doughty Street Chambers (London) and the Scottish Faculty of Advocates (Edinburgh). He specialises in public international law and human rights. He has many years’ experience of advising on conflict resolution, mediation, ceasefire and power-sharing and first-hand experience of a number of conflict zones, including Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Syria. Since 2005 he is Senior Advisor to the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, Beyond Conflict and Inter Mediate. He is also a Harvard Law School Fellow and former Chair of the Bar Human Rights Committee and Head of Rule of Law for the Bar Council. He is the founder of Beyond Borders – a Scottish initiative dedicated to fostering peace and international understanding through cultural dialogue. He currently acts as Senior Mediation Expert for the Standby Team of Mediators of the UN Department of Political Affairs.

                                                                                        Giles Portman

                                                                                        Giles Portman is an experienced British and EU diplomat, having worked for the UK Foreign Office in Brussels, New York, Prague and as Deputy Head of Mission in Ankara; and for the EU’s External Action Service as an Adviser to the High Representative, Head of Division for Turkey and Eastern Neighbourhood strategic communications adviser.

                                                                                            Jonathan Powell

                                                                                            Jonathan Powell is founder and CEO of Inter Mediate, an NGO devoted to conflict resolution working in the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and Asia. He was appointed as the UK Official Envoy to Libya by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2014. Jonathan was Chief of Staff to Tony Blair from 1995 to 2007, and from 1997 he was also Chief British Negotiator on Northern Ireland. From 1978 to 79 he was a broadcast journalist with the BBC and Granada TV, and from 1979 to 1994 a British Diplomat.

                                                                                                Sir Kieran Prendergast

                                                                                                Sir Kieran Prendergast served in the British Foreign Office, including in Cyprus, Turkey, Israel, the Netherlands, Kenya and New York. He was later head of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office dealing with Apartheid and Namibia. He is former UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs. He was also Convenor of the Secretary General’s Executive Committee on Peace and Security and engaged in peacemaking efforts in Afghanistan, Burundi, Cyprus, the DRC, East Timor, Guatemala, Iraq, the Middle East, Somalia and Sudan.

                                                                                                    Rajesh Rai

                                                                                                    Rajesh Rai was called to the Bar in 1993. His areas of expertise include Human Rights Law, Immigration and Asylum Law and Public Law. He is Founding Director of HIC, a community centred NGO based in Cameroon, and of Human Energy (Uganda) Ltd. He was previously Director of The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI). He lectures on a wide variety of legal issues, both for the Bar Human Rights Council and internationally in India, Africa, Asia and the USA.

                                                                                                        Sir David Reddaway

                                                                                                        Sir David Reddaway works as an adviser, board member and consultant in the private and university sectors. He is a Member of the Council of Goldsmiths’ College, London University, and Clerk of the Goldsmiths’ Company since January 2016. He previously served as British Ambassador to Turkey and to Ireland; High Commissioner to Canada; UK Special Representative for Afghanistan; and Charge d’Affaires in Iran, where he had first worked during the Iranian Revolution. He has also worked in Argentina, India and Spain. He was a Fellow at Harvard University and a volunteer teacher in Ethiopia. He read History at Cambridge and Persian at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

                                                                                                            Prof. Naomi Roht-Arriaza

                                                                                                            Professor Naomi Roht-Arriaza is Distinguished Professor of Law at, San Francisco, USA. She is an expert on transitional justice, human rights violations, international criminal law and global environmental issues, and has authored several works on these issues.

                                                                                                                Mehmet Ufuk Uras

                                                                                                                Mehmet Ufuk Uras graduated from the Faculty of Economics of Istanbul University and began working as an academician at the same institution. He is a former leader of the now-defunct University Lecturers’ Union (Öğretim Elemanları Sendikası) and was elected the chairman of Freedom and Solidarity Party in 1996. Ufuk resigned from the leadership after the 2002 general election. He became the party chairman again in 2007. Ufuk ran a successful campaign as a “common candidate of the Left”, standing on the independents’ ticket, backed by Kurdish-based Democratic Society Party and several left-wing, environmentalist and pro-peace groups in the 2007 general election, polling 81,486 votes, which is approximately 4 per cent of the vote in his constituency. He resigned from the Freedom and Solidarity Party on 19 June 2009.After the Democratic Society Party was dissolved in December 2009, he joined forces with the remaining Kurdish MPs in the Peace and Democracy Party group. On 25 November 2012, he became a co-founder and member of social liberal Greens and the Left Party of the Future, founded as a merger of the Greens and the Equality and Democracy Party. Ufuk is the member of the Dialogue Group and is the writer of several books on Turkish politics.  


                                                                                                                    Prof. Dr. Mithat Sancar

                                                                                                                    Professor Dr Mithat Sancar was formerly Professor of Law at the University of Ankara, Turkey. He is an expert on constitutional citizenship and transitional justice. He has written extensively on international human rights law and constitutional issues. He is a member of the former Wise Persons Commission in Turkey, established by then Prime Minister Erdoğan. In Turkey’s 2015 general election he was elected as an MP for Mardin Province.

                                                                                                                        Catherine Woollard

                                                                                                                        Catherine Woollard is the current Secretary General for ECRE, the European Council for Refugees and Exiles, a pan-European alliance of 96 NGOs protecting and advancing the rights of refugees, asylum seekers and displaced persons. Previously she served as the Director of the Brussels Office of Independent Diplomat, and from 2008 to 2014 she was the Executive Director of the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO) – a Brussels-based network of not-for-profit organisations working on conflict prevention and peacebuilding. She previously held the positions of Director of Policy, Communications and Comparative Learning at Conciliation Resources, Senior Programme Coordinator (South East Europe/CIS/Turkey) at Transparency International and Europe/Central Asia Programme Coordinator at Minority Rights Group International. She has also worked as a consultant advising governments on anti-corruption and governance reform, as a lecturer in political science, teaching and researching on the EU and international politics, and for the UK civil service.

                                                                                                                            Prof. Dr. Sevtap Yokuş

                                                                                                                            Professor Dr Sevtap Yokuş is a Professor of Law at the University of Kemerburgaz, Istanbul, Turkey. She holds a PhD in Public Law from the Faculty of Law, Istanbul University, awarded in 1995 for her thesis which assessed the state of emergency regime in Turkey with reference to the European Convention on Human Rights. She is a widely published expert in the areas of Constitutional Law and Human Rights and has multiple years’ experience of working as a university lecturer at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral level. She also has experience of working as a lawyer in the European Court of Human Rights. Since 2009 she has been contributing to the ongoing work to prepare a new constitution in Turkey.