Speakers’ Biography Prof. Dr. Fabrizio Luciolli : President of Atlantic Treaty Association, Brussels

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18th Annual International Conference of ACA : NATO in face of the recent Euro-Atlantic Security Challenges

Tirana, 26 February 2015, Hotel Mondial

Speakers’ Biography

Prof. Dr. Fabrizio Luciolli : President of Atlantic Treaty Association, Brussels. President of the Atlantic Treaty Association and President of the Italian Atlantic Committee, Fabrizio W. Luciolli is Professor of International Security Organizations, Military Policy, and National Security Policy at the Center for High Defense Studies of the Italian Ministry of Defense. He is a regular lecturer in various national and international, military, and academic institutions. Coordinator of Training Courses for military officers and diplomats in the Western Balkans and Middle East, he is Director and promoter of NATO and EU cooperation projects in Central and Southeastern Europe. Prof. Luciolli is also a Consultant on foreign affairs and security matters to various Members of Parliament. He is the author of several papers and articles published in national and foreign journals.

Dr. Arian Starova : President of Atlantic Council of Albania. Dr. Starova has graduated in 1978 on Philosophy at the Faculty of Political Sciences and Law, University of Tirana. In 1988 he holds a PhD degree in Philosophy. He has held the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs,  Deputy Minister of Defense and he has been Member of Parliament for 8 years. Dr. Starova was the Head of the Board of the “Albanian Institute for International Studies”. He is Member of the Advisory Board of the Szeged Center for Security Policy, Hungary , Member of the European Strategy Forum, Ponte de Lima , Portugal and Member of the Board of Trustees of the “Balkan Mosaic". On  19 April 2007, he was awarded with the title “Ambassador for Peace” by the “Universal Peace Federation” (UPF), Seul , Korea. Dr. Starova has been Vice President of the international organization “Atlantic Treaty Association” (ATA), in Brussels from 2005 to 2008. He has published several articles, research studies, speeches, interviews and other publications on domestic and foreign policy, regional security issues and other political problems on the Albanian and international press. He is the author of many books particularly with a focus on Albanian national question, democracy, regional security, Diplomacy, etc. He is also well-known as a translator of several book and publications.

Ms. Despina Afentouli : NATO, Diplomacy Public Division. Despina Afentouli works as Information Officer at NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division. In this capacity she is in charge of information activities and regional coordinator. In addition, she is responsible of the Academic Affairs Program, sponsored by PDD. She studied Law at the Athens University and earned a MA in Political Communication at Paris-I (Sorbonne). Before joining NATO she worked for fifteen years as a journalist specializing in Foreign Policy and European Affairs. She was Diplomatic Editor at the Athens News Agency, responsible for the Greek edition of the Economist Intelligence Unit and political correspondent at KATHIMERINI daily. As Secretary General of the European Network of Women Journalists she has participated in many activities aiming at the rapprochement of media professionals in Southeastern Europe. For her work related with European Affairs she received the Calligas Award of the European Association of Journalists.

Prof. Dr. Paskal Milo : Former Minister of Foreign Affairs in Albania. Prof. Dr. Paskal Milo holds a degree in History and Geography at the Faculty of History and Philology, University of Tirana. He has completed his postgraduate studies in Sweden and holds a PhD Degree in History. Milo has held various post under the Albanian government namely that of Minister of Foreign Affairs (1997-2001); Minister of European Integration (2001-2002), and former MP. Prof. Dr. Milo is a lecturer at the University of Tirana and he has lectured in various universities in the USA, Canada, Sweden, Greece, Italy, Spain etc. He has been an Advisor in institutions and councils for Foreign Affairs and International Relations in the UK, USA, Argentina, Chile, Sweden, Denmark etc. He has conducted scientific research in historical archives of the U.S. State Department (1996-1997); Foreign Office in London (1994); the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia (1994) etc. Prof. Dr. Paskal Milo has been member of several boards and regional committees for peace and understanding in Balkan and he is the author of several books, articles and university publications at home and abroad.

H.E.Dr. Mimi Kodheli : Minister of Defence of Albania. Dr. Kodheli holds a PhD in economic Science at the University of Verona, Italy, in cooperation with the University of Tirana, Economic Faculty since 2007. She has a master degree in Public Administration by the Lincoln University, Nebraska, USA, in cooperation with University of Tirana since 2000, as well as a Bachelor degree in Finance from the University of Tirana, Faculty of Economics (1986). Dr Mimi Kodheli entered politics in 2002, when she became Deputy Mayor of the Municipality of Tirana. Since 2007, she is a member of the Headship of the Socialist Party. She has trained in various fields such as international markets, bond and

assets, work and investment markets, trainings on small and medium enterprises and banking management. She has participated in a programme of the US State Department, ‘Women in Politics’, and in the ‘National Security Policy’ of the European Security Centre, Marshall.

H.E. Mr. Donald Lu : Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of USA in Tirana. He is graduated from Princeton University with both master’s and bachelor’s degrees in international relations, is Ambassador Extraordinary and plenipotentiary of USA in Tirana. Prior to that assignment, he worked on the Ebola crisis in West Africa as Deputy Coordinator for Ebola Response in the State Department.  His overseas postings include Deputy Chief of Mission in India, Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan.  He also served for a year as Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan. Mr. Lu is a Foreign Service Officer with 25 years of U.S. government service, including assignments in Pakistan, India, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan and Washington.  He also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone, West Africa from 1988-1990.  

Mr. Fatmir Mediu : Former Minister of Defense. He has graduated in 1990 from the University of Tirana, Faculty of Geology – Mining. He is Member of Albanian Parliament and a Former Minister of Defense and Former Minister of Environment, Forest and water administration. Mr. Mediu has been invited to hold lectures on issues of international politics, diplomacy and security in a number of prestigious institutions in the world, such as the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London, IISS - International Institute for Strategic Studies, Institute 'Marshall', Washington DC, Center For Strategic and International Studies,- Center for Strategic and International Studies - CSIS, in and California, Berlin, and Paris; European Center for Security Studies 'George C. Marshall' - European Center for Security Studies - Germany, Munich Conference on Security International. Mr. Mediu has participated as speaker in the activities of ATA ( Atlantic Treaty Association) and in the activities of Atlantic Council of Albania. Mr. Mediu has published several speeches and interviews in foreign and Albanian distinguished publications.

Amb. Vasil Sikharulidze, Former Minister of Defense of Georgia, President of the Atlantic Council of Georgia. Born May 30, 1968, Mr. Sikharulidze is a Georgian diplomat and politician. He has been foreign affairs advisor to the President of Georgia since August 27, 2009. He had previously served as Ambassador to the United States (2006-2008) and Georgia's Minister of Defence (2008-2009).

From 2010 he is President of Atlantic Council of Georgia

Dr. Serhiy Dzherdzh: Head of the NATO-Ukraine Civic League. Dr. Dzherdzh holds a PhD in political science and a Master degree on state administration. He is a well known public and political activist. He has actively participated in the development of public relations of the EU-Ukraine and NATO-Ukraine cooperation and he has made an invaluable contribution to the wide society regarding Euro-Atlantic integration. Dr. Dzherdzh is the author of several socio-political publications on the topic of national security of Ukraine and Ukraine's cooperation with NATO. He is currently the President of the Democratic Action NGO and Head of the NATO-Ukraine Civic League.

Prof. Dr. Viorel Cibotaru: Director of the European Institute for Political Studies of Moldova. He is a Senior Associate Fellow of the Center for Democratic Control of Armed Forces in Geneva. He is cofounder of the Documentation and Information Center on NATO, and served previously as its Executive Director. Mr. Cibotaru is also a retired lieutenant-colonel of the Moldovan Armed Forces (promoted in 2006 to colonel), and while mobilized, served in the Ministry of Defense as Editor-in-chief of military weekly, Head of the PI and PR office, Head of the Foreign Relations Department, and Deputy Commander-in chief of the Moldovan Peacekeeping Forces. From 1980 to present, he has also been teaching Journalism classes at the State University of Moldova.

Mr. Sokol Dervishaj : Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania. Mr. Sokol Dervishaj is graduated in 1992 from the University of Tirana, Faculty of History and Philology, Department of English. Mr. Dervishaj has held the post of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania from October 2013 to February, 2015. He has previously held the post of Deputy Minister of Economy, Trade and Energy. Mr. Dervishaj has also performed several duties in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, such as Specialist of Regional Directorate and Head of Security Affairs in the Department of Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, Advisor of the Minister and the Executive Director of the Cabinet of the Deputy Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. He has held various posts in the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Interior. He holds a Master degree in International Studies from King's College University of London (2003), and he is specialized in the field of Strategic Studies from the Royal College of Defence Studies in London (2002).

Mr. Lutfi Haziri : Former Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo. Mr. Haziri was part of the students' leadership structures within the University of Pristina during the 1990s. In October 1998, Haziri was arrested and imprisoned on charges of leadership of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) structures in the Karadaku zone (Gnjilane). After his release in August 1999, Haziri became Mayor of the municipality of Gnjilane, where he remained until December 2004. He was chairman of the Kosovo Municipal Delegation to the Congress of Local and Regional Governance in Strasbourg (Council of Europe). On December 2004, Mr. Haziri was elected as Kosovo's first Minister for Local Government. He is, a member of the Network Board of Local Authorities in SEE, an honorary citizen of the Luterbah Municipality in Strasbourg, France and a member of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He obtained a management diploma of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, certificates of Georgetown UniversityUniversity of Colorado, a diploma from the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) as well as other recognitions from local and international organizations.

1946 Mr. Trifun Kostovski : Former Mayer of Skoplje, Executive Director of Euro- Atlantic Council of Macedonia. He was born 27 December in Skopje. He is a politician and businessman, ex-mayor of Skopje. He has graduated at the Faculty of Economics, university of Skopje. Mr. Kostovski is Financing and supporting great number of NGOs, hospitals and social institutions, humanitarian and voluntary activities. Former Member of parliament, member of International Crisis Group Board; US Council on Foreign Relations Corporate Member; Member of the Business Advisory Council, Working Table II of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe; Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of CEI; Founder and member of Forum for Euro-Atlantic Integration of Republic of Macedonia. Mayor of Skopje from 2005–2009.

Mr. Albert Musliu, member of the presidency of ATA Macedonia/Political analyst, Macedonia

Dr. Albert Rakipi : Executive Director at Albanian Institute for International Studies. Dr. Albert Rakipi is the founder and the Executive Director of Albanian Institute for International Studies. He is well-known for his contribution on the debates regarding security issues in domestic and international events.

Dr. Enver Bytyçi : Director of Institute of Studies of Southeastern Europe. He has been Director of Foreign Affairs and Public Relations on the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, Youth and sports. He is a prominent researcher, expert and publicist mainly in history and security affairs. He has made a valuable contribution on a political debate in Albania. Mr. Bytyci is the author of several historical and analytic books. Dr. Bytyci has participated as speaker in several international conferences at home and abroad.

Mr. Aldo Bumçi : Former Minister of FA. He is a member of the Parliament of Albania. Former Minister of Justice, Former Minister of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Bumçi is also member of Parliamentarian Committee on Legal Affairs, Public administration and Human Rights and Committee on European Integration. Since 1999 Mr. Bumci has been working as researcher in the Albanian Institute for International Studies in Tirana. He holds a B.A. Degree in International Relations from the Eastern Mediterranean University in Northern Cyprus. Mr. Aldo Bumci completed his postgraduate studies at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. Mr. Bumci has participated in many international Conferences at home and abroad.

H.E.Mr. Ahmed Hassan Abdellah, Ambassador Extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Arab Republic of Egypt in Tirana. Born in 1957, he is graduated in Cairo University on Economic and Political Sciences. He has held different important positions in the Ministry of FA in Cairo and he has been Consul General of Egypt in Kuwait.

Mr. Essam F. Ben Galiel, Chargé D’Affairs, Embassy of Libya in Tirana,

Prof. Dr. Bekir Cinar, Director of the Center of European Studies, Epoka University, Turkey.

Sulejman Tomcini : Former Ambassador of Albania to Arabian Countries. Mr. Sulejman Tomcini completed his studies for Arab Language and Literature in the former Soviet Union and Iraq. In January 1977 he was appointed Ambassador of Albania in Egypt. He has also represented Albania as a non-resident Ambassador in several other Arab countries such as Lebanon, Syria, Kuwait, and Yemen. After his return in Albania in 1980, Mr. Tomcini has been adviser on the Middle East affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Albania. He has also been the Ambassador of Albania in Algeria, from 1991 to 1992 and in 2001, Mr. Tomcini was appointed Ambassador of Albania to Saudi Arabia, a post he held until his retirement in 2004. Since his return in Albania, Mr. Tomcini is the author of the first Arabic – Albanian and Albanian – Arabic dictionaries published in Albania. He has translated several books from Arabic language into Albanian Language.

Mrs. Edith Harxhi : Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Ms. Edith Harxhi is an expert on the field of Diplomacy and International Relations. She completed her studies in Political Science and International Relations in the UK in 1996 and she has played an important role in Albanian diplomacy ever since. Ms. Harxhi has PhD on International Relations from the University of Ankara in Turkey. She is the author of several academic publications, particularly focusing on the region and security. Ms. Harxhi has worked in close cooperation with American institutions and UNMIK in Kosovo. She has held the post of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania. She is now the President of the Albanian Policy Centre, an independent think tank that plays a crucial role in the policy-making process and political discourse in the region.

Plator Kalakulla : Director of NATO Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Albania. Mr. Kalakullka was graduated for International Relations in Geneva, Switzerland in 1992. For over a decade, his work and expertise has been a central component of the Mission of Albania to NATO in Brussels, Belgium. He is an expert in the field of security and the influence of NATO in the region. Mr Kalakulla’s expertise has been at the core of Albanian-NATO relations and he has made a valuable contribution to the process of integration of Albania in NATO. He has been part of the high-level debates on security and he has taken part in several international conferences at home and abroad. Mr. Kalakullka has also played an active role in successful implementation of several activities organized by the Atlantic Council of Albania. Currently, he holds to post of the Director of NATO Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Albania.

Dr. Guillaume Lasconjarias : NATO Defence College. He is a Research Advisor in the Research Division of the NATO Defense College in Rome. His areas of interest include military doctrine, counterinsurgency operations, and revolution in military affairs. He was a researcher at the French Ministry of Defense (IRSEM - Institute for Strategic Research) from 2010 to 2012. In this capacity he lectured on various topics at the French War College, where he was also in charge of an elective course. From 2007 to 2010, he served as Deputy to the Head of the Research Bureau at the French Army Centre for Force Employment Doctrine. He started his professional career as a university lecturer at the Sorbonne in Paris. He holds a PhD in History from the Sorbonne. A former student of the École Normale Supérieure in Lyon, he has published two books and several articles in defense publications such as Sécurité Globale and Revue de Défense.

Edvin Kulluri : Former Secretary General of the Ministry of Defense. Mr Kullari is a philosophy and sociology graduate from the University of Tirana. From 2007 to 2008 Mr. Kulluri was Assistant to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania, in charge of Public Relations, Local Government and Public Policy Advising. During his political career he was also engaged as Advisor to the Minister of Local Government and Decentralization. He is also engaged as a freelance publicist for the daily newspapers “Koha Jone”, “Terma” and “Standart”. He is the author of more than 250 articles in daily newspapers. Mr. Kulluri has held the post of Secretary General of the Minister of Defence and he is currently Member of the Board of the Institute for Political Studies.

Dr. Arjan Dyrmishi : Researcher, Institute for Democracy and Mediation. Mr. Dyrmishi is head of the European and Security Research department at the Institute for Democracy and Mediation in Tirana. His research interests include international relations, security studies, democratization, political parties and the European Union. Before joining the institute he held various positions with several departments of the Albanian government, including the Prime Minister’s office, the Ministry of Defence and the State Intelligence Service. Arjan holds a master’s degree in Political Sciences from the University of Siena, Italy.

Mr. Geron Kamberi : MA-Associate Researcher, European Movement Albania. Mr. Geron Kamberi holds a degree from the University of Sussex in the UK. He has been a Policy and Advocacy Officer at Oxfam in Albania. He is currently a Policy Officer at QuoDev, a social enterprise program in Tirana that’s the successor to Oxfam’s mission in Albania. He has previously worked with the GTZ-supported project on “Empowering Civil Society in Albania in Decision-Making Process” at the Council of Ministers of Albania. He is Associate researcher at Albanian Institute for International Studies, Advocacy Adviser at World Vision, Part of Open Society Foundation in Albania. He is the author of several publications regarding security, Security Policy in the Western Balkan, published by Centre for Civil-Military Relations.
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