One of Sudan's "lost boys" Valentino walked across Sudan at age 11 to escape the second Sudanese civil war. Deng has toured the country speaking about his life in Sudan, his experience as a refugee, and his collaboration with author Dave Eggers on What Is the What, the novelized version of Deng’s life story. As a leader in the Sudanese diaspora, Deng advocates for the universal right to education and the freedom of his people in Sudan. In 2006, Deng and Eggers established the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation to help rebuild Sudanese communities by increasing access to educational opportunities.
Hafez Al-Mirazi graduatied from Cairo University's Faculty of Economics and Political Science in 1979 and received a masters in politics and international relations at the Catholic University of America. Al-Mirazi has had made a name for himself as one of the world's most pan-Arab and independent voices in the media. He became Al-Jazeera's Washington bureau chief less than a year before 9/11.
Madeleine Albright began her illustrious career in public service as Chief Legislative Assistant to Senator Edmund Muskie in 1976. During the Carter Administration, she served both the White House and National Security Council in formulating foreign policy legislation. Before becoming Secretary of State, Albright served as US Ambassador to the United Nations in President Clinton's Cabinet.
As distinguished a scholar as a stateswoman, Secretary Albright has been a Fellow at both the Woodrow Wilson Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. In 1982, she was appointed Research Professor of International Affairs at Georgetown University where she was voted best teacher four times. Today, Secretary Albright is once again a professor at Georgetown.
Madeleine Albright is the author of three books: Madam Secretary (2003), The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs (2006) and Memo to the President Elect: How We Can Restore America's Reputation and Leadership (2008).
Dr. Harry Anastasiou is a long-standing academic in inter-ethnic and international Peace and Conflict Studies, and an experienced practitioner of conflict-resolution. He is a core faculty member of the Conflict Resolution Graduate Program and an affiliate of the International Studies Program at Portland State University. As an academic, he has published numerous works on peace and conflict issues, focusing on Cyprus, Nationalism, Peace Building and the European Union.
Mr. Anderegg spent his youth in the beautiful Swiss ski resort of Klosters. He studied Business Administration in Switzerland as well as Comparative Politics and International Relations at CUNY and Columbia University (Master of Arts in Political Sciences from the Graduate Center CUNY).
Tamim Ansary is also the author of Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes and has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, Salon, Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere. Born in Afghanistan in 1948, he moved to the U.S. in 1964. He lives in San Francisco, where he is director of the San Francisco Writers Workshop.
Dr. Reza Aslan, internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religion, holds degrees in Religion from Santa Clara University, Harvard University, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa, where he was named the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the board of directors for the Ploughshares Fund, Abraham's Vision (an interfaith peace organization), and PEN USA. He is cofounder and Chief Creative Officer of BoomGen Studios, a hub for creative content from and about the Middle East, as well as Editorial Executive of Mecca.com. Born in Iran, he now lives in Los Angeles where he is Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside.
Aslan's first book was the New York Times Bestseller, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, which has been translated into thirteen languages. His edited anthology, Words Without Borders: Writings from the Middle East, will be published 2010.
Mr. Auerback currently serves as consulting strategist for RAB Capital and economic consultant to PIMCO, the world’s largest bond fund management group. In his 28 years in the investment business, he has spent 12 years in Asia as investment manager for GT Management; run the emerging markets hedge fund for Tideman Investment in New York; served as international economics strategist for Veneroso Associates, and managed the Prudent Global Fixed Income Fund for David W. Tice & Associates. Mr. Auerback graduated magna cum laude in English and philosophy from Queen’s University in 1981 and received a law degree from Corpus Christi College, Oxford University.
Maureen Aung-Thwin is director of the Burma Project/Southeast Asia Initiative of OSI. A graduate of Northwestern University, Ms. Aung-Thwin did post graduate work at New York University. She serves on the boards of Human Rights Watch/Asia and the Burma Studies Foundation, which oversees the Center for Burma Studies at Northern Illinois University in De Kalb, Illinois. Before joining OSI she served on the staff of the Asia Society in New York and was a free-lance journalist based in Hong Kong. Ms. Aung-Thwin has contributed the chapter on Burma in Asian Security Handbook (Carpenter & Wiencek eds, editions 2004, 2000, 1996) and occasionally for publications such as the Far Eastern Economic Review, Foreign Affairs, Jurist hotline, Ms Magazine and the Wall Street Journal.
David Austin serves as the Program Director for Mercy Corps operations in North Korea. Mr. Austin has been to North Korea seven times since his first visit in 2007, and lead the 2011 food assessment which became a cornerstone in the current conversation related to the need for food to the people of North Korea.
José María Aznar was the Prime Minister of Spain in 1996 and 2000. He led an important process of economic and social reform. One of José María Aznar’s most serious concerns is the battle against terrorism. He is in favour of a firm policy, one that is against any kind of political concession, combined with close international cooperation between democratic countries. He is a strong supporter of the Atlantic Relationship and the European Union’s commitment to freedoms and economic reform.