Plenary Session 1: The Future of the UN: Beyond Traditional Multilateralism

> Roger Coate (moderator), , ACUNS Chair; Coverdell Chair of Public Policy, Georgia College

Roger Coate is Paul D. Coverdell Professor of Public Policy at Georgia College and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science and former Director of the Walker Institute of International Studies at the University of South Carolina. He is also Chair of the Academic Council on the United Nations System. He has served as member of the Secretary-General’s Advisory Panel on Housing Rights, Fellow at the UN Centre for Human Rights, and member of the U.S. National Academy of Science’s Boar of International Scientific Organization. Books include: Identity Politics in an Age of Globalization and United Nations Politics: Responding to a Challenging World.

> Nihel Chabrak, CEO of the UAEU Science and Innovation Park

Prof. Chabrak is the CEO of the UAEU Science and Innovation Park and Executive Director of the UAEU Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. She is the leader of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) UAE national team. She is Professor of Accounting in the College of Business and Economics at UAEU. Before joining the UAEU, she worked as consultant, Assistant then Associate Professor at Institut Mines Telecom, France. Prof. Chabrak is a member of the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt Responsible Leaders Network, the Global Diplomacy Lab, The Bosch Alumni Network, and GIZ Global Leadership Academy. She is former of Dubai Declaration on sustainable finance, a UNEP FI initiative with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. She is currently leading “The Pathfinders Program” to be showcased during Expo 2020 Dubai, a pilot of the “university of the Future” to foster agency for a new quality of growth.

> Sarmad Khan, Senior Advisor, United Nations

Sarmad has served as a policy, development and learning professional for almost 20 years in the areas of development cooperation, policy coordination and executive leadership learning and training. He is on assignment as Head of the UN-UAE RC Office and UN Senior Advisor on engagement in Expo 2020. Prior to this, at UN HQ, Sarmad served as the Team Leader and Policy Advisor at the UN Development Coordination Office (DCO) in New York and led its work on UN System leadership solutions for sustainable development and reform. Previously, Sarmad worked with the UN System Staff College in Turin as Coordinator of its flagship programme on UN Leadership. In the field, he spent 7 years with UN operations in Iraq and Yemen focusing on development and post-conflict transition strategies, and with UNDP’s Crisis Prevention and Recovery Bureau in Geneva working on complex emergencies. Sarmad has also held roles as Director of Communications and Advisor to the President for the UN Association (UNA) of Canada in Toronto, and Founding Member of the Knowledge & Innovation Management Professional Society. In 2019, he joined the ACUNS Board and was invited to the Advisory Board of the UAE University’s (UAEU) ‘University of the Future’ initiative launching at Expo 2020.

> Stefan Schurig,  Secretary General, Foundations-20 Platform; Senior Advisor, World Future Council Foundation and Global Renewables Congress (GRC)

Stefan Schurig is an architect by training. Political engagement based on science has been always at the heart of his professional career since 1998. In 2017, he established his own consultancy firm ‘Cities and Energy Consulting’ (CEC) and currently serves as the Secretary General of the international Foundations-20 platform (F20). The F20 platform seeks to highlight the importance of the 2030 Agenda and the global energy transition within the political discourse of the G20. Stefan also works as the Senior Advisor to the World Future Council and the Global Renewables Congress (GRC). Before, Stefan has been working for some 20 years with national and international NGO’s and think tanks. He holds a number of different advisory and research mandates in the field of climate change advocacy, sustainable cities and renewable energy. He authored and co-authored various publications on environmental protection, energy and urban development in recent years. He is also teaching a master class at the Urban Planning Faculty of the Hamburg University for the Built Environment (HCU).


Plenary Session 2: Global Partnerships in an International World: Towards Innovative Co-operations

> Cecilia Cannon (moderator), Graduate Institute Geneva, UN75 Academic Advisor
Dr. Cecilia Cannon was appointed as the Academic Advisor to the United Nations’ Commemoration of its Seventy-Fifth Anniversary in January 2020. She is a researcher at the Graduate Institute’s Global Governance Centre, where she also co-directs the Executive Masters course in International Negotiation and Policy-making, and lectures in the Masters of International Development and International Affairs. In 2019, Cecilia was nominated as a member of the Global Perspectives Journal Emerging Scholars Forum. Her current research focuses on the design, reform and effectiveness of International Organizations (IOs), focusing on the United Nations (UN). Her broader research looks at the role and influence of non-state actors in international policy processes; and migration policy. Cecilia served as Head of Research for the Global Governance Centre until December 2017, and designed and launched the Graduate Institute’s SDG Portal during that time. She also directs the Graduate Institute’s Summer Program on the UN and Global Challenges. She also has professional advocacy experience, and frequently advises governments, non-governmental organizations, businesses and IOs on their advocacy, monitoring and evaluation projects. She obtained a PhD in International Relations/Political Science at the Graduate Institute.
> Damaris Akhigbe, Poet, Podcaster and Youth Advocate Damaris is a highly acclaimed poet, podcaster and youth advocate determined to use her art to provoke positive change in the society. She is a UNODC Youth champion(2019) and the Winner of the UNODC Education for Justice call for artistic submissions with her powerful spoken word poem titled ‘I AM CHANGE’ which charges young people to be the change they seek in their societies. She began spoken word poetry in 2015 at the university, standing out for her moving words, powerful delivery and captivating stage presence and is rapidly becoming a household name in the art scene in Africa. An exceptional UN volunteer, passionate about the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 4, 5 and 16 (Quality Education, Gender Equality and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions respectively) Damaris has been a panelist at UN high level conferences and events in Nigeria, Austria and Switzerland. She has also hosted podcasts on gender equality and culture in Nigeria. She hails from Edo state, Nigeria and enjoys reading, meeting new people and cooking in her spare time.
> Ramu Damodaran, Chief of the United Nations Academic Impact Initiative
Ramu Damodaran is Chief of the United Nations Academic Impact initiative, which aligns institutions of higher learning and research with the objectives of the United Nations and the States and peoples who constitute it. He is also the current secretary of the United Nations Committee on Information. His earlier posts with the Organization have included the Departments of Peacekeeping and Special Political Questions, as well as the Executive Office of the Secretary-General.
> Hilligje van’t Land, Secretary General of the International Association of Universities (IAU)
Dr. Hilligje van’t Land is the Secretary General of the International Association of Universities (IAU).
Educated in France, the Netherlands and Canada, Dr. van’t Land obtained her PhD in comparative francophone literature and completed a post-doc in Canada. She held teaching positions at the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands, Laval University, in Canada and Avignon, France. As Member of the Board of the International Council Canadian Studies, she helped develop Canadian Studies Centres and projects around the world. She has published intensely in that sector. She held a teaching and research position at the Université d’Avignon et des Pays du Vaucluse and served as Academic Director of the Institute American Universitaire in Avignon before joining the IAU, the global association of universities headquartered at UNESCO. She joined the IAU to work on intercultural learning and dialogue projects, doctoral education in Canada and higher education and research for sustainable development (HESD) – the work on HESD is now central to the overall IAU strategic plan. Expert in Higher Education, she published on a number of issues relating to the field and sits on International Working Groups and Expert Committees including at UNESCO – in particular the ESD Programme and the Advisory Committee to the Futures of Education Initiative, the UN – the HLPF initiatives and UNU-RCE Advisory Group, and the Council of Europe – the Expert Group tasked with the development of the Reference Framework for Competences for a Democratic Culture and the Expert Group developing a new vision for The Local Mission of the Universities. She speaks 6 languages and is strong believer in the value of international cooperation.


Plenary Session 3: Multilateralism, the UN System and Pandemic Crises

> Georgios Kostakos (moderator), Executive Director, Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability (FOGGS)

Georgios Kostakos did his PhD thesis on UN Reform at the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK in the late 1980s. After starting his career with the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) and the University of Athens, and following brief deployments on a number of UN field missions, he took part in actual UN reform efforts, including through the 2005 World Summit, as member of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Executive Office. He later served as focal point for UN system coordinated action on climate change, as Acting Deputy Executive Secretary of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability, and as advisor to the secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including for the COP21 negotiations that led to the Paris Agreement. Georgios, whose first degree was in Mechanical Engineering (National Technical University of Athens), continues to work on global governance reform, global sustainability and global citizenship through the Brussels-based Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability (FOGGS), of which he is co-founder and Executive Director.

> Adam Kamradt-Scott, Associate Professor, University of Sydney

Adam specialises in global health security and international relations. His research and teaching explores how governments and multilateral organisations respond to adverse health events such as epidemics and pandemics, as well as emerging health and security challenges. Adam’s professional background before entering academia includes having worked as a Registered Nurse for eight years specialising in emergency care and clinical risk management before serving as a political adviser and then public servant in national health security and pandemic planning. Adam’s most recent research examines civil-military cooperation in health and humanitarian crises, compliance with the International Health Regulations, and the correlations between gender, sexuality, health and security. He has published three books and over 36 journal articles and book chapters on global health issues, is co-convenor of the Global Health Security conferences, and director of the Global Health Security Network.

> Jeffrey O’Malley, Adjunct Research Professor of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California

Jeffrey O’Malley is an Adjunct Research Professor of Preventive Medicine at Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. He also works as a senior consultant working on public health, development, gender equality and sexual diversity issues with organizations including the United Nations Development Programme, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, African Men for Sexual Health and Rights, and HIVOS. Jeff’s background includes serving as the Director of Policy and Strategy for UNICEF; Director of HIV, Health and Development for UNDP; and as the Country Director for India for PATH, the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health. Between 1993 and 2004, Jeff established and led the International HIV/AIDS Alliance (now “FrontlineAIDS”), which became the world’s largest international development nongovernmental organization specializing in HIV and AIDS. He has also worked for the Harvard School of Public Health and for the World Health Organization.