Rowinda Appelman

The Netherlands
President, Youth Atlantic Treaty Association

As President of the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association (YATA), Rowinda oversees a transatlantic network with chapters in 36 NATO member and partner countries that seeks to educate and inform the public on international security affairs. Rowinda also serves as the President of the Dutch Atlantic Youth Association, as a guest lecturer at Weekend Academies, and as an event coordinator for Internations.

She previously worked as a Staff Research Member at VU University Amsterdam’s Faculty of Psychology and Education, as the coordinator of the Weekend Academie Westerpark, and as a staff member in the international office at VU University Amsterdam. Rowinda received an MSc summa cum laude in Political Science from Universiteit van Amsterdam and a BA and MA summa cum laude in Communications and Information Sciences from VU University Amsterdam.

Tobias Bunde

Policy Advisor; Head of Policy and Analysis (as of July 2014), Munich Security Conference

Tobias is a policy advisor and speechwriter for Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, the Chairman of the Munich Security Conference (MSC), and has been promoted to lead the MSC Policy and Analysis team starting in July 2014. He previously worked at stiftung neue verantwortung, a Berlin-based think tank. He is currently a PhD candidate in political science at the Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies at Freie Universität in Berlin, writing his dissertation on “NATO’s Contested Globalization: Constructivism, Collective Identity, and Collective Action.”  

Tobias received his MA in International Relations from Freie Universität Berlin and BA from Technische Universität Dresden, and also studied at Universität Konstanz, George Washington University, and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Strasbourg, France.

Boris Ecker

Desk Officer for the United States, Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs

Boris coordinates Slovak-US political relations for the Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, including supporting the 2013 bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Fico and President Obama and the 2014 EU-US Summit. Boris previously spent five years working as a Country Officer for NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division in Brussels, where he worked in the Media Operations Center during Operation Unified Protector and coordinated public outreach efforts in Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Poland. He received his BA and MA in International Relations and Diplomacy from Matej Bel University.

Scott Erwin

United States
Engagement Manager, McKinsey & Company

Scott Erwin is an Engagement Manager with McKinsey & Company in London. He completed his doctorate in theology from the University of Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship and is the author of “The Theological Vision of Reinhold Niebuhr’s The Irony of American History: ‘In the battle and above it'” (Oxford University Press, 2013). Scott previously worked as a Policy Advisor to the US Department of Defense in Iraq, where he supported the training and equipping of Iraqi police and founded a civics program for university students in Baghdad.

He also worked at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York as a Research Associate to the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for US Foreign Policy. Scott is originally from Kansas City, completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Richmond, and currently lives in London with his wife, Nita, where he works to strengthen the transatlantic bond by sharing American BBQ with the British.

Lars Ragnar Aalerud Hansen

Fulbright Fellow and MA Candidate, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

On leave from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lars is currently finishing his MA in international relations at the Fletcher School, where he is writing his thesis on the leadership of the NATO Secretary General. He previously served as a Personal Advisor to the High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe; as the Deputy Head of Mission at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan; as a Staff Officer in the Defense Attaché’s Office at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Moscow; and as an officer in the Norwegian Army. Lars received his BA in Russian and Eastern European Studies from the University of Oslo and previously completed the Norwegian Defense Intelligence and Security School’s officer training program.

Michael Hermann

United States
National Security Legislative Assistant, Office of Congressman James Langevin (D-RI)

Michael manages all policy and legislative issues for Representative Langevin’s work on the Armed Services and Select Intelligence Committees, including in his role as Ranking Member of the Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, and serves as the Democratic staff lead for the Congressional Cybersecurity and Directed Energy Caucuses.

He previously worked as a Legislative Assistant to Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA), covering defense and science, among other areas, and as an Executive Assistant to the CEO at Dutko Worldwide. Michael received his MA in Strategic Security Studies from the National Defense University and his BA in Political Science and Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Gina Maria Jones

United States
Strategic Planner, Defense Intelligence Agency

In her capacity as a senior strategic planner at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Gina is engaged in numerous high-profile portfolios, including: advising an initiative to ensure the Afghanistan-Pakistan Task

Force Transition meets DIA strategic objectives, participating in the DIA Director’s Tiger Team on transportation-specific intelligence resources, and contributing text for the 2014 National Intelligence Strategy. Gina previously served as an intelligence officer in the US Air Force, deploying to Iraq during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM; as a Booz Allen Associate and intelligence analyst at US Army South; and as the chief of a socio-cultural analytical team at US Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany.

She received her Master of Military Art and Science from the US Army School of Advanced Military Studies; an MA with Honors in Global and International Studies through the Interagency Studies Program at the University of Kansas; and graduated cum laude from Boston University with a BA in East Asian Studies, and a BA and MA in Economics.

Joanna Kaminska

Advisor/Parliamentary Administrator, Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament

Joanna advises members of the European Parliament on Common Foreign and Security Policy, European Neighborhood Policy, the Eastern Partnership, and relations with EU Eastern neighbors. She also is a Senior Research Associate and visiting lecturer at the Institute for European Studies at Vrije Universiteit Brussels (IES-VUB). She previously worked as a Policy Officer at the European Commission’s Secretariat General.

Joanna holds a PhD from University of London, Royal Holloway College, where she was a British Chevening Scholar. She received her MA and undergraduate degrees from the University of Warsaw’s Institute of Political Science, and a Certificate of Political Studies from Ínstitut d’Études Politiques d’Aix-en-Provence, France. She is publishing a book, Poland and the EU Enlargement: Foreign Policy in Transformation, this year with Palgrave MacMillan.

Radu Magdin

CEO, Smartlink Communications

Radu leads Smartlink, a strategic communications and public affairs consultancy whose clients include the World Economic Forum, World Bank, Allegro Group, SCL Elections, and Yahoo. Radu worked previously as a Policy Manager at Google in Brussels; as a Communications Manager at EURACTIV Media; as a Press Officer for the Romanian Social-Democrat Delegation at the European Parliament; as an Editor on EU Affairs at AGERPRES, the Romanian National News Agency; and as a Diplomat at the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He received an MA in European Union Law and an MA in Security Studies from the University of Bucharest and a Law Degree with a focus in European Studies from the Sorbonne in Paris. He is a regular contributor in the Romanian media, commenting, among others, in Forbes Romania, Money Channel, and Radio France International.

Martin Michelot

Program and Research Officer, German Marshall Fund

In his current role, Martin manages the Transatlantic Security Task Force at the German Marshall Fund (GMF), coordinates daily programming at GMF’s Paris office, and helps develop GMF’s foreign and security policy programs. He is a regular contributor on France 24, TV5 Monde, Radio France Internationale, BFMTV, and Europe 1 on American domestic and foreign policy. Martin previously worked as a Research Assistant at the Brookings Institution; as a Program Coordinator at Humanity in Action; and as a Parliamentary Assistant at the France National Assembly. He received his MA in International Relations from Science Po Lyon and his BA from Université Lumière in Lyon.

Sergio Ortiz Martin

Director and Project Manager, Youth Mediterranean Dialogue; and Assistant to the Director, Jean Monnet Center of Excellence in Freedom, Security, and Justice at Rey Juan Carlos University

Sergio was the director and lead organizer of the first Youth Mediterranean Dialogue in April 2014, serving as a driving force in launching the dialogue in collaboration with NATO, the Spanish Ministry of Defense, and the US Embassy in Spain. The dialogue, held on the 20th anniversary of NATO’s first high-level Mediterranean Dialogue, convened 90 students from across NATO member and partner countries to discuss security cooperation and critical issues facing the region.

In his work at Rey Juan Carlos University, Sergio serves as a research assistant and teaching fellow for faculty at the Jean Monnet Center of Excellence. He received his undergraduate degree in Law and Public Administration and in Management from Rey Juan Carlos University and is currently pursuing his MA in Terrorism Studies.

Marta Rzechowka

Captain, Canadian Army

Marta currently serves as a regional analyst in the Canadian Armed Forces. She was selected to deploy to Afghanistan as the senior national representative to the NATO Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan. She previously served as a research analyst for the Canadian Army Historian, creating a first-of-its-kind narrative of the military effort in Afghanistan; as a Policy Developer at the Canadian Defense Academy; and as a member of the Princess Patricia Light Infantry Battle Group in Kandahar, Afghanistan. She received her MA in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada and her BA in Political Science from the University of Alberta.

Mark Simakovsky

United States
Russia Country Director, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia (RUE), US Department of Defense

In his current role, Mark develops and manages US defense policy towards Russia, including assisting in the Department of Defense response to the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Prior to this position, Mark worked as RUE’s Eurasia Strategy Advisor and NATO Coordinator and as the Georgia and Moldova Country Director, where his work coordinating the response to the Russian-Georgian conflict was profiled in the Washington Post.

He has also served as a National Security Fellow in the Office of Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) on a Brookings Legis Fellowship; as a Non-Resident Fellow at the German Marshall Fund; as a Presidential Management Fellow at the Office of Russian Affairs in the State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs; and as a Fulbright Scholar at the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies in Tbilisi. Mark has been awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service and recognized as a “Top 99 under 33 Foreign Policy Leader” by the Diplomatic Courier. He received his MSFS magna cum laude from Georgetown University and his BA magna cum laude from Miami University.

Emre Tuncalp

Managing Partner, Sidar Global Advisors

Emre oversees daily operations for Sidar Global Advisors’ (SGA) research, risk advisory, and business intelligence practices and advises clients on political risk, political economy, and energy security in emerging markets in Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and the Middle East and North Africa.

He previously worked as the Private Sector Division Director and the Operations Director for SGA, a Research Assistant at the German Marshall Fund, a project consultant on energy and environment at the Inter-American Development Bank, and a Research Assistant at the Center for European Policy Studies in Brussels. Emre received his MA in International Relations and International Economics from Johns Hopkins University and his BA from Sabanci University in Istanbul.

Claire Yorke

United Kingdom
Doctoral Researcher, Department of War Studies, King’s College London

Claire is an MPhil/PhD candidate at King’s College, where she is studying nuclear negotiations and arms control issues with a focus on Iran. Before starting at King’s College, Claire was the Programme Manager at Chatham House’s International Security Research Department, where she managed a team of nine full-time staff and a wide-range of research projects on international security, including defense policy, cyber-security, terrorism, nuclear weapons, human security, and strategy.

She previously worked as Parliamentary Researcher to Sir Nick Harvey, a frontbench Liberal Democrat MP (North Devon) who later became Minister of State for the Armed Forces. Claire is the co-organiser of Women in International Security UK, which she helped re-establish, and an Advisory Board Member at Future Foreign Policy, a think tank that offers youth opportunities to inform and analyze foreign affairs. Claire received her MA in Middle East Politics from Exeter University and her BA in Politics and International Relations from Lancaster University.