Our Team

Our advisors, analysts, and consultants have decades of experience in the Middle East and other corners of the world.

Based in the GCC, across Europe, and in the United States, they work in both the public and private sectors and have backgrounds in political science, international relations, economics, public policy, communications, military affairs, and business administration.

Giorgio Cafiero
CEO and Founder
Mr. Cafiero is a regular contributor to the Middle East Institute, Al Monitor, LobeLog, Inside Arabia, and New Arab. Based in Washington, DC, Mr. Cafiero is also an adjunct fellow at the American Security Project and an affiliate at the Mena Center. Additionally, he is an analyst at London-based advisory Rosa & Roubini Associates. Mr. Cafiero frequently appears on Al Jazeera, TRT World, BBC Persian, and other networks as a commentator. He has taken part in dozens of closed-door meetings with high-ranking government officials, ambassadors, and other diplomats in Bahrain, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Throughout his career, Mr. Cafiero has spoken about Persian Gulf-related issues at conferences and delivered lectures on the region in Egypt, Slovenia, and the United States. From 2014-2015, Mr. Cafiero was an analyst at Kroll, an investigative due diligence consultancy. He received an M.A. in International Relations from the University of San Diego.
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Dr. Theodore Karasik
Senior Advisor
Dr. Theodore Karasik is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Lexington Institute in Washington, D.C. He is a former Advisor and Director of Research for a number of UAE institutions. Dr. Karasik was a Lecturer at the Dubai School of Government, Middlesex University Dubai, and the University of Wollongong Dubai where he taught “Labor and Migration” and “Global Political Economy” at the graduate level. Dr. Karasik was a Senior Political Scientist in the International Policy and Security Group at RAND Corporation. From 2002-2003, he served as Director of Research for the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy. Throughout Dr. Karasik’s career, he has worked for numerous U.S. agencies involved in researching and analyzing defense acquisition, the use of military power, and religio-political issues across the Middle East, North Africa, and Eurasia, including the evolution of violent extremism. Dr. Karasik lived in the UAE for 10 years and is currently based in Washington, D.C. Dr. Karasik received his PhD in History from the University of California, Los Angeles.
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Cinzia Bianco
Analyst
Based in London, Bianco is a regular contributor to GSA’s monthly monitor report, in addition to numerous publications such as the Middle East Institute, the Italian Review of Geopolitics "Limes", the Middle East Policy Council. Throughout her career, Bianco has served as a research fellow for the Institute for International Affairs (Italy) in the context of the European Commission’s “Sharaka” project, researching European-GCC relations while based in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the UAE. Since 2015 she is a non-resident research fellow at TRENDS Research & Advisory Abu Dhabi. Her publications include a chapter in “The US and the Gulf: Towards a Reassessment of Commitments and Alignments” (London and Berlin: Gerlach Press, 2015) based on her paper about a new European role in the Gulf, presented at the Gulf Research Meeting 2014 (University of Cambridge, UK). Bianco received her M.A. in Middle East and Mediterranean studies from King’s College London and is currently undertaking a PhD program at the Institute for Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter (UK). Her PhD research focuses on the evolution of Gulf security after the 2011 Arab uprisings.
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Amb. (Ret.) Adam Ereli
Senior Advisor
Adam Ereli is a senior advisor at Gulf State Analytics. A former US ambassador and currently the founder of The Ibero American Group, a strategic advisory firm based in Washington, DC, Ereli is a proven leader and innovator in the fields of foreign government relations, business development, commercial advocacy, public diplomacy, media relations and crisis communications. As a diplomat for 24 years, he established a network of close relationships at the senior levels of government and business in the US and the Middle East.
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Dr. Kristian Coates Ulrichen
Advisor
Dr. Kristian Coates Ulrichsen is a Research Fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. His work spans the disciplines of political science, international relations, and international political economy, and examines the changing position of the Arab Gulf states in the global order, as well as the emergence of longer-term, nonmilitary challenges to regional security. Dr. Coates Ulrichsen previously worked as senior Gulf analyst at the Gulf Center for Strategic Studies between 2006 and 2008 and as co-director of the Kuwait Program on Development, Governance and Globalization in the Gulf States at the London School of Economics (LSE) from 2008 until 2013. He has published four books on the Gulf: Insecure Gulf: the End of Certainty and the Transition to the Post-Oil Era (Hurst & Co, 2011), Qatar and the Arab Spring (Oxford University Press, 2014), The Gulf States in International Political Economy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), and, most recently, The United Arab Emirates: Power, Policy, and Policymaking (Routledge, 2016), and is the co-editor, with David Held, of The Transformation of the Gulf: Politics, Economics, and the Global Order (Routledge, 2011). Dr. Coates Ulrichsen received his PhD in History from the University of Cambridge.
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Dr. Courtney Freer
Advisor
Dr. Courtney Freer is a Research Officer at the Kuwait Programme at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Her work focuses on the domestic politics of the Arab Gulf states, with a particular focus on Islamism and tribalism. She previously worked as a Research Assistant at the Brookings Doha Center and as a researcher at the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council. Dr. Freer obtained her DPhil at Oxford University. Her thesis revised rentier state theory by examining the socio-political role played by Muslim Brotherhood groups in Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE. She earned her MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs and her BA from Princeton University in Near East Studies.
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Sina Azodi
Advisor
Sina Azodi is an advisor at Gulf State Analytics. He is also a contributing author to the Atlantic Council's Iran Initiative and he writers for LobeLog, the National Interest, and the Diplomat Magazine. Additionally, as a renowned expert on US-Iran relations, Azodi frequently comments on BBC Persian, Service, Iran International and i24 TV. He obtained his BA and MA from the Elliot School of International Affairs, the George Washington University and he previously worked as a Research Assistant at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars and the National Security Archive.
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Dr. Annelle Sheline
Advisor
Dr. Annelle Sheline is the Zwan Postdoctoral Fellow, jointly appointed by the Baker Institute’s Center for the Middle East and the Boniuk Institute for Religious Tolerance at Rice University. Her research and forthcoming book focus on religious authority in the Middle East. An analyst with more than four years of experience living in the Middle East, Sheline has expertise in violent extremism, religious freedom, and human rights specifically in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Sheline earned her PhD from George Washington University’s department of political science in 2018.
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Rauf Mammadov
Senior Advisor
Rauf Mammadov is resident scholar on energy policy at the Middle East Institute (MEI). He focuses on issues of energy security, global energy industry trends, as well as energy relations between the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Caucasus. Mammadov has a particular emphasis on the post-Soviet countries of Eurasia. Prior to joining MEI, he held top administrative positions for the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) from 2006 and 2016. In 2012, he founded and managed the United States Representative Office of SOCAR in Washington, DC. Mammadov received his Master of International Public Policy from SAIS Johns Hopkins and his MBA from Azerbaijan State University of Economics.
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Hafed Al Ghwell
Advisor
Hafed Al Ghwell is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute (FPI) of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at John Hopkins University. He is also a Senior Advisor at Maxwell Stamp Inc., the international economic consultancy firm, where he specializes in the Middle East and North Africa political economy issues and leads the global strategic communications practice. He is a a Senior Advisor with Oxford Analytica, the global risk consultancy and serves as a member of the Strategic Advisory Solutions International Group (SASI); a group of distinguished former U.S. Ambassadors, senior U.S. Military Officers, and Business Executives. He is also a Columnist with Arab News, the oldest English language daily in the Arab world and was until March 2015 a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Hariri Center for the Middle East in Washington, DC. Hafed holds a B.A. In Economics from the George Washington University, Harvard University's Postgraduate Executive Certificate in Leadership, and a Postgraduate Executive Certificate from Stanford University in strategic communication, in addition to numerous executive programs at the World Bank Group in public policy and global economic development.  
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Dr. Kristian Alexander
Advisor
Dr. Kristian Alexander is an Assistant Professor at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, UAE. He previously taught at the University of Utah, where he earned his PhD in Political Science, and at the University of Wyoming, where he obtained his MA. His research examines the significance of social movements in the Middle East and security related issues, especially pertaining to migration in the GCC. He has published in a number of journals and contributed book chapters to edited volumes.
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Dr. Bulent Aras
Advisor
Dr. Bulent Aras is a senior scholar and the coordinator of the Conflict Resolution and Mediation stream at Istanbul Policy Center, Sabanci University and a visiting professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Aras has published extensively on foreign policy, state, social movements, and Islam in Turkey, the Middle East, and Eurasia. He was head of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Center for Strategic Research (SAM) from 2009 to 2013. Dr. Aras has also taught in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Istanbul Technical University and in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Sabanci University. In 2010, he was senior visiting professor of Turkish Studies at St. Anthony’s College, Oxford. Dr. Aras was a research scholar at the Paris-based European Union Institute of Security Studies in the summer of 2004, at Oxford University’s St. Anthony’s College in 2003, and at Indiana University’s Center for Eurasian Studies in 1998.
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Shehab Al-Makahleh
Senior Advisor
Shehab al-Makahleh is a journalist and Middle East expert with experience as a political advisor in the UAE. He has analyzed geopolitical trends, reported on international affairs, and edited for numerous think tanks and media outlets in the GCC, including Gulf News and Kuwait Times. He is a frequent contributor to Sky News Arabia and Forbes. Al-Makahleh received his Master’s in Media and Translation from the University of Jordan.
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Dr. Fouad Gehad Marei
Advisor
Dr. Fouad Gehad Marei is a Research Fellow at the universities of Birmingham, UK, and Erfurt, Germany. He consults government and non-government stakeholders on politics of the Middle East and he has been involved in developing and implementing conflict stabilization and transformation programs. Dr. Marei also served as Senior Policy Analyst for several organizations and think tanks. His areas of expertise include sectarianism, Islamist actors, pan-Shi'a politics, insurgency and rebel governance, and postwar recovery. His work has focused on Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq as well as on broader regional geopolitics and the role of Iran, member-states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and Yemen. Dr. Marei has authored numerous policy papers on civilian and local governance structures in the Syrian war, insurgency, and the rebel justice and police sectors in Syria and Iraq, and violent extremism (P/CVE) and sectarian mobilization. He earned his PhD in International Relations from the University of Durham, UK.
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Ana Echagüe
Advisor
Ana Echagüe is an analyst at the National Security Department of Spain. Previously, Echagüe was a senior researcher at FRIDE, a Madrid-based think tank, where her worked focused on the GCC, Yemen, and political reform in the Arab world. She has an MA in International Relations from Columbia University, New York, and a BA in International Relations and Art History from Tufts University.
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Loaai Alakwaa
Advisor
Loaai Alakwaa lives in New York and is a Middle East political and security consultant with government and private sector experience. He managed congressional affairs for the Embassy of Yemen in Washington, D.C. from 2010 to 2014 and communications for the Permanent Mission of Yemen to the United Nations in New York in 2015. Alakwaa has worked on multiple projects in the Middle East and North Africa, focusing on security, political and economic development, governance, and public relations. He earned a B.A. in Political Science from Concordia University in Montreal and continued his studies at the American Graduate School of Paris focusing on International Affairs and Diplomacy.
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Dr. Ali Fathollah-Nejad
Advisor
Dr. Ali Fathollah-Nejad is a political scientist who focuses on Iran, the Arab world, the post-unipolar world order, and right-wing populism in the West. Based in Doha and Berlin, he is a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Doha Center. Previously, Dr. Fathollah-Nejad was an adjunct Assistant Professor in the PhD program of Qatar University’s Gulf Studies Center, a post-doctoral Associate with the Harvard Kennedy School’s Iran Project, and an Associate Fellow with the Middle East and North Africa Program of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). Currently, he is also an honorary affiliated researcher with Freie Universität (FU) Berlin’s Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics as well as the Centre d’Études de la Coopération Internationale et du Développement (CECID) at Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Dr. Fathollah-Nejad has also taught courses on globalization and development in the Middle East, contemporary Iran and the Arab Revolts among others at FU Berlin’s Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics, the University of Westminster and SOAS. His almost 150 analytical pieces in English, German and French have been translated into a dozen languages. A frequent speaker at political forums and academic conferences, Dr. Fathollah-Nejad regularly contributes to international media outlets in English, German or French. He is fluent in German, French, English and Persian. Dr. Fathollah-Nejad earned his PhD in International Relations from the Department of Development Studies at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London), with a dissertation on Iran’s international relations in the 2000s in a changing world order.
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Dr. Peter Harris
Advisor
Dr. Peter Harris is an Assistant Professor at Colorado State University, where his research and teaching focus on International Relations theory, international security, and U.S. foreign policy. He has published articles in over a dozen academic journals such as African Affairs, Asian Security, International Politics, and Review of International Studies, as well as writing for more popular outlets such as The Diplomat and The National Interest. He received his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin and also holds degrees from SOAS, University of London and the University of Edinburgh.
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Enrica Fei
Analyst
Enrica Fei is a PhD fellow at the Bundeswehr University of Munich. Her research interests include transnational Shi’a networks, communal mobilization, identity-based conflicts, nationalism, and nation-building in the Persian Gulf. Ms. Fei is fluent in Arabic, English, French, and Italian. Previously, she worked for the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (IAIS) of the University of Exeter, where she lectured on modern Arab history. Ms. Fei earned her MA in International Relations from Ca' Foscari University of Venice, in addition to an MA in Euro-Mediterranean relations jointly from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Ca’ Foscari and Moulay Ismail University of Meknes, and a BA in Arabic and French Language and Literature from the University of Florence.
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Dr. Jean-Marc Rickli
Advisor
Dr. Jean-Marc Rickli is based in Switzerland and the GCC. Dr. Rickli is an assistant professor at the Department of Defence Studies of King’s College London and at the Joaan Bin Jassim Joint Command and Staff College in Doha, and an associate fellow in global risks and resilience at the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP). He is a senior researcher at the Near East Center for Security and Strategy of King’s College and a non-resident fellow in modern warfare and security at TRENDS Research and Advisory in Abu Dhabi. He is a senior advisor for the AI (Artificial Intelligence) Initiative at the Future Society at Harvard Kennedy School and an expert on lethal autonomous weapons systems for the United Nations and for the United Nations Institute for Disarmament and Research (UNIDIR). Dr. Rickli’s expertise and research is on disruptive technology and international security as well as global risk assessments. Prior to working to his current position, he was an assistant professor at the Institute for International and Civil Security at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi. He is frequently interviewed by Financial Times, Le Monde, Al Jazeera, Al Arabyia and France 24. Dr. Rickli received his PhD and MPhil in International Relations from Oxford University, UK, where he was also a Berrow scholar at Lincoln College.
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Adam Dempsey
Advisor
Based in Switzerland, Adam Dempsey was previously Head of Editorial Content for ETH Zurich’s International Relations and Security Network (ISN) and a Research Coordinator at the UK Defence Forum. Adam’s research focuses on defense-industrial issues, particularly procurement initiatives. He has previously written for Defence Viewpoints, Defence and Security Systems International, and Defense Industry Daily. Adam received his M.A. in Intelligence and Security Studies from the University of Salford and his B.A. in International Relations and Strategic Studies from Lancaster University.
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Maysam Behravesh
Analyst
Mr. Behravesh is a PhD candidate in international politics at Lund University, Sweden, and a senior political analyst with Persis Media, a US-based multimedia production firm. His research and media work center around Middle East security—with special focus on the foreign policies of Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia—and have appeared on Reuters, Foreign Policy, Newsweek, Middle East Institute, Atlantic Council, Aljazeera, BBC, and others. Mr. Maysam worked as an intelligence analyst and policy advisor in Tehran from 2008 to 2010.
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Tyler Parker
Analyst
Mr. Parker is a PhD student in International Relations at Boston College, where his research focuses on diplomacy, governance, and security in Arab Gulf states and Yemen. Previously, he worked for the US Department of Homeland Security and taught Modern Standard Arabic at Washington University and in Morocco. Mr. Tyler received his M.A. in Islamic and Near Eastern Studies from Washington University in St. Louis and his B.A. in Arabic from Ohio State University.
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Dr. Sergey Sukhankin
Advisor
Dr. Sergey Sukhankin is a Fellow at the Washington, DC-based Jamestown Foundation and an Associate Expert at the Kiev-based International Center for Policy Studies. His areas of scientific interest primarily concern socio-economic developments in the Baltic Sea region, Russian information and cyber security, A2/AD concept and its interpretation in Russia, as well as the development of Russia Private Military Companies (geo-economic compound) as an instrument of “power economics”. Dr. Sukhankin’s academic articles, expert opinions and commentaries, as well as policy-oriented analyses have appeared in leading international think tanks and research institutions, including the European Council on Foreign Relations, Barcelona Centre for International Affairs, Diplomaatia, Russian International Affairs Council, New Eastern Europe, Kyiv Post, The New Republic, Rzeczpospolita, El Mundo, El Periodico and El Confidencial. He also provided his comments for Business Insider, BBC, Stars and Stripes. Dr. Sukhankin has taught a range of courses at Barcelona Global Business School, The Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals/Pompeu Fabra, University of Alberta, and MacEwan Univeristy. Dr. Sukhankin has consulted the EU Parliament, Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and the Defense Intelligence Agency. He received his PhD (Cum Laude) from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB).
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Tristan Ober
Analyst
Tristan Ober is a specialist in terrorist networks. Based in the Netherlands, he has supported research projects at Leiden and Uppsala University which were related to terrorism studies and civil society organizations in peace negotiations, respectively. Previously, Mr. Ober worked in the Dutch Embassy in Kuwait and Bahrain. He earned his MSSc degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from Uppsala University.
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Dr. Robert Cutler
Advisor
Robert M. Cutler is an advisor at Gulf State Analytics. He is also a Senior Research Fellow for Energy Security, NATO Association of Canada; Fellow, Canadian Energy Research Institute; and Senior Researcher, Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Carleton University. Cutler has also held research fellowships at the University of Geneva's Graduate Institute of International Studies (Gallatin Fellow, HEI), Moscow State University (IREX Fellow) and Columbia University (Mellon Fellow, Harriman Institute). Cutler has held many competitive research grants and fellowships and has been on the editorial board of numerous academic and policy journals in his fields. Besides extensive journalism on-line and in print, he has published over 50 peer-refereed articles and book chapters as well as two books. After a dozen years exclusively in universities, Cutler expanded into policy analysis and consulting. He is best known for his expertise as an Energy Security and Geo-economics Specialist, and also as a Strategic Communications Specialist. He consults on international oil and gas affairs to the energy industry, governments, think tanks, and non-governmental organizations. In addition, he has covered equity markets and industrial and precious metals for the periodical press. Cutler earned his Ph.D. at The University of Michigan.
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Abdullah Khurram
Consultant
Based at the Committee on International Relations, University of Chicago, Abdullah Khurram is also a South Asia Fellow at PoliTact, a think tank in the greater Washington, DC area. Formerly, he was a research associate at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C. His previous research work has also been based at the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad, Pakistan and at Economic Policy Research Institute, Cape Town, South Africa. Khurram is the co-founder of Mashal Foundation, a Pakistan-based education NGO and for his services in the field of education, he holds a National Award from the Government of Pakistan. His post-graduate studies focused on Conflict Resolution at Johns Hopkins SAIS in Bologna, Italy. Khurram received his B.A. in international politics & government and economics from George Mason University.
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Justin McCauley
Analyst
Justin McCauley is an analyst at Gulf State Analytics. Based in the United Arab Emirates, he is currently a communications consultant with Memac Ogilvy Public Relations. His previous stints: Director of Corporate Sales for Merite Incentive Solutions, Executive Editor of The Vienna Review, NAWAH and ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller in Abu Dhabi. McCauley received his M.A. in International Relations from Webster-Vienna.
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Omid Shokri Kalehsar
Analyst
Omid Shokri Kalehsar is a Washington, DC-based expert on energy security. He is as a Visiting Research Scholar in the Schar, School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. Mr. Kalehsar is a PhD Candidate in International Relations at Yalova University in Turkey. His primary research interest lies in energy diplomacy, US energy policy, geopolitics of energy, Iran-Turkey relations, Iran-Russia relations, and energy diplomacy in Central Asia and the Caspian Sea. Mr. Kalehsar has ten years of extensive professional experience in global energy market studies, energy security, and geopolitical risk.
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Daniel Wagner
Advisor
Daniel Wagner is the Managing Director of Risk Solutions at Risk Cooperative, a Washington, D.C.-based strategy, risk and capital management firm. He has more than a quarter century of experience in cross-border risk management as an insurance underwriter and broker, corporate risk manager, consultant and advisor. Wagner is the CEO of Country Risk Solutions, a cross-border risk advisory firm he founded, and Senior Vice President of Country Risk at GE Energy Financial Services, where he was part of a team investing billions of dollars into global energy projects. Wagner began his career as a political risk insurance underwriter at AIG in New York and subsequently became Guarantee Officer for the Asia Region at the World Bank Group’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency in Washington, D.C. After then serving as Regional Manager for Political Risks for Southeast Asia and Greater China for AIG in Singapore, Wagner then moved to Manila, where he was Guarantee and Risk Management Advisor, Political Risk Guarantee Specialist, and then Senior Guarantees and Syndications Specialist for the Asian Development Bank’s Office of Co-financing Operations. Wagner received his master’s degrees in International Relations from the University of Chicago and in International Management from the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird) in Phoenix.
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Dr. Sulaiman Wasty
Advisor
Based in Washington, D.C., Dr. Sulaiman Wasty is the CEO of Sharakpur, Ltd, a financial consultancy. His career began at the Planning Commission of Pakistan when he was a special assistant to the Minister for Finance, and Planning and Development. He previously worked for the World Bank (Independent Evaluation, and Quality Assurance) and served as a managing director and acting CEO of G. William Miller Financial Integrity Services, LLC. Sulaiman has held guest lecturer positions at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, George Mason’s OLLI, the John Hopkins University SAIS, and Cornell-in-Washington Program. He has published extensively about financial institutions in the GCC. Dr. Wasty received his PhD in analysis and functional analysis, economic development from Cornell University.
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Dr. Jeremias Kettner
Analyst
Jeremias Kettner holds a PhD in political science from the Free University of Berlin. He is the founder of the consulting firm Kettner Advisory and works as a global risk analyst and foreign affairs expert. He also offers business development services and governmental relations management for companies and governmental institutions alike. Jeremias is a regular speaker, guest lecturer, and commentator in leading international media on relations between Germany and Europe with the Arab world. As co-founder of the video channel platform BigSmallWorld, he interviews leaders from politics and businesses. From 2011-2013 he co-chaired the Young German Council on Foreign Affairs and is an Alumni Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum. Currently he sits on different corporate Advisory Boards as well as the Advisory Board of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy. His latest publication is Kettner, J (2019), Making Sense of Europe’s Response to the Gulf Crisis, in Krieg, A. (Ed), Divided Gulf, The Anatomy of a Crisis, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
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Grant T. Huxham
Advisor
Based in the UAE, Grant T. Huxham has worked in the Middle East and North Africa at a Big4 Accounting firm as well as a Royal Family Office. He is currently the CFO for a firm focused on niche consulting to both public and private organizations. Huxham is an internationally-seasoned executive cum corporate advisor with over 25 years of experience working with private equity investors and corporates in the U.S. and the Arab world across a broad range of sectors including real estate, media, manufacturing, defense and FMCG. His focus includes turn-around management, liquidity remediation and corporate change management. Huxham received his M.Comm in Financial Management from the University of Johannesburg, and has qualified as both a Chartered Accountant (SA) and Certified Public Accountant (California).
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Bertrand Viala
Advisor
Bertrand Viala is a French regional public policy and strategy advisor with over 15 years of continuous experience in the Middle East, Viala, started his career at the French Ministry of Defense, and worked as the regional director of French Public Affairs, Security and Strategy firm Serenus Conseil (Amarante Group). Viala has been a regular commentator on Turkish public policy and economic regional developments on Phoenix TV (China) and in France’s Les Echos newspaper. He acts as the representative of Paris-based ESL&Network to support its public affairs business in Turkey. His specific areas of interest are innovation management, energy transition policy and change management. Viala has worked successfully for large international consulting groups, and large MNCs. Viala received his M.A. in political science from McGill University (Canada).
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Alessandro Bruno
Analyst
Alessandro Bruno is an analyst at Gulf State Analytics. Bruno has worked as an industry analyst and as a United Nations officer in Libya. Based in Toronto, he is a frequent guest on the BBC, CBC, and CTV. Bruno has years of experience working in the global investment banking sector as an analyst specializing in aerospace and defense. He speaks eight languages fluently. Bruno earned his MA in International Relations from the University of Toronto.
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Dr. Edward Lemon
Advisor
Dr. Edward Lemon is the DMGS-Kennan Institute Fellow at the Daniel Morgan Graduate School in Washington, DC. His research focuses on international relations, authoritarian governance, religion, security, and migration in Eurasia. Since 2009, he has spent almost three years working and conducting fieldwork in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Poland. Dr. Lemon's work has been published in Central Asian Survey, The RUSI Journal, Caucasus Survey, Central Asian Affairs, Foreign Affairs, and the Review of Middle Eastern Studies. He was previously a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University and earned his PhD from the University of Exeter in 2016.
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Yuri Lobunov
Analyst
Yuri Lobunov is a journalist and researcher for various private companies, NGOs, and media outlets across Russia and Europe. He is the editor-in-chief of a news agency, Gorod32. His articles frequently appear in the Belorussian, Canadian, Polish, and Russian media. Lobunov has experience consulting political campaigns in Russia and participating in programs run by the Council of Europe and the pen World program of the US Congress. He received his education at the Moscow School of Civil Education and the Bryansk State Pedagogical Institute.
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