Advisors and Experts


Prof. Allaya Allani

Allaya Allani is an associate Professor in contemporary history at Manouba University in Tunis, Tunisia. He specialises in international relations and Islamism in Maghreb. He has participated in many international conferences and has written many papers and books including most recently ‘Islamism after the Tunisian and Egyptian revolution’ and the emergence of the new middle east’ Strategic affairs magazine Tunis, April 2011 and ‘Islamists in Tunisia; between confrontation and participation’ Journal of North African studies, Volume 2 Number 14, 2009. He has given numerous interviews on the role of Islamists in Maghreb to regional and international media.


Dr. Omar Ashour

Dr. Omar Ashour is the Director of Middle East studies at Institute of Arab & Islamic studies, University of Exeter. He is a court qualified expert on terrorism and a regular contributor to international media outlets. His current research is focused on the de-radicalization processes and programs of armed Islamist movements and factions in the Middle East, Central Asia and Europe. He is also working on two other projects, one regarding the causes of radicalization/de-radicalization in the developed world (particularly United Kingdom and Canada) and the other on democratic transition and ending authoritarianism in the North Africa.


Prof. Gökhan Bacik

 Gökhan Bacik is an Associate Professor of PoliticalScience at Zirve University and also the head of the Middle East Research Center at Zirve University. Bacik also taught in different European Universities as Erasmus Visiting Professor. He is the author of September 11 and World Politics (2004), Modern International System: Genealogy, Teleology and the Expansion. (2007) He also published in Middle East Policy, International Review of Sociology, The Muslim World, Arab Studies Quarterly, Peace Review, Turkish Studies, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics. His most recent book is Hybrid Sovereignty in the Arab Middle East (Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2008.) He is also columnist for Today’s Zaman also works as a regional expert for various research centres such as the US German Marshall Fund an the US Rethink Institute.


Dr. Julian Schofield

Dr. Julian Schofield (PhD Columbia University) is an Associate Professor in Department of Political Science at Concordia University in Montreal Canada. His research focuses on nuclear strategy, counter-insurgency, conventional army and navy arms races, missile defense, foreign and security policy, and strategic studies in the Near East, South, Southeast and East Asia. He is the author of ‘Militarization of war’ (New York Palgrave-McMillan 2007) and co-editor of ‘Pakistan: The US, Geopolitics and strategy’ (Pluto press London 2012). Since 1999, he has conducted extensive field work in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, Indonesia in Southeast Asia, and Egypt in the Near East. He has published in the Journal of Strategic Studies, Armed Forces & Society, Journal of Small Wars and Insurgencies, Journal of Political and Military Sociology, Third World Quarterly, Defense and Security Analysis, Security and Peace, International Relations, and the Canadian Journal of Political Science, as well as over twenty book chapters, several classroom textbooks, government reports, encyclopaedia entries, book reviews, and nearly forty conferences. He has been the recipient of one FQRSC and three SSHRC grants. His courses focus on international relations, strategic studies, causes of war and security policy.


Dr. Hakeem Yusuf

Dr. Hakeem Yusuf is a Senior Lecturer in Law and Director of LLM Programmes in Human Rights at the Strathclyde Law, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. Hakeem researches and writes in transitional justice and human rights. An overarching theme of his research is accountability for the exercise of power across the intersections of law, rights and governance with particular focus on transitional societies. He was appointed a member of the Osun State Truth and Reconciliation Commission (OSTRC), established by the government of Osun State in South West Nigeria in February 2011. Hakeem has been a Senior Research Fellow and Director, Sustainable Democracy Programme, Centre for Africa Resources Research and Development (CARRD), Leicester, since 2007. He is also a director of the Educational Support Initiative for Africa (ESIFA). His work has been He is the author of Transitional Justice, Judicial Accountability and the Rule of Law (Routledge, 2010). His work has been published in the International Journal of Transitional Justice, Critical Studies on Terrorism, African Human Rights Law Journal, Law and Policy and Third World Quarterly among others. Dr Yusuf was formerly the Belfast Director as well as Executive Committee Member of the European Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation of the European Inter-University Centre, Venice, Italy (2010-2012).


Prof. Ehud R. Toledano

Prof. Ehud R. Toledano holds the University Chair for Ottoman & Turkish Studies in the Department of Middle East and African History at Tel Aviv University (TAU), ISRAEL. With a PhD from Princeton University, he conducted extensive research in Istanbul, Cairo, London, and Paris, and taught courses on Middle East history at TAU, UCLA, Oxford, and other leading universities. Among the 11 books he wrote and edited, the following are noteworthy: The Ottoman Slave Trade and Its Suppression, 1840- 1890, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982; State and Society in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Egypt, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990; Slavery and Abolition in the Ottoman Middle East, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1998; As If Silent and Absent: Bonds of Enslavement in Islamic Middle East, New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 2007. Professor Toledano also served as the Director of the Graduate School of History (2004-2008) and was a member of TAU’s Executive Council (2005-2009). Outside academia, Professor Toledano was on the advisory teams of Prime Ministers Peres (1984-1990) and Rabin (1990-1995), published numerous op-ed articles in leading Israeli and international newspapers, and gave many TV and radio interviews on current Middle East issues.


Radwan Ziadeh

Radwan Ziadeh is a Senior Fellow at the U.S Institute of Peace in Washington D.C, and Fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) in Washington D.C. and a leading figure within Syrian National council (SNC). Since the Syrian uprising started in March 15, 2011 he was involved in documenting all the human rights violations and testifying at the UN Human rights council in Geneva twice, also he involved in the opposition activities where he elected in October as director of Foreign relation office for the Syrian National Council SNC the main umbrella for the Syrian opposition. He was most recently a Visiting Scholar at Dubai Initiative at Kennedy school of Government at Harvard University, visiting scholar at The Institute for Middle East Studies (IMES) at Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University, Prins Global Fellow at Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at New York University and Visiting Scholar at The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) at Georgetown University. Before that he was Reagan–Fascell Fellow at National Endowment for Democracy (NED) at Washington D,C and Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University in New York City, he was also a Visiting Fellow at Chatham House (The Royal Institute of International Affairs) in London and a visiting scholar at Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard University (2008–2009). In 2007–2008 he was a Senior Fellow at United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, D.C. His most recent book is Power and Policy in Syria: Intelligence Services, Foreign Relations and Democracy in the Modern Middle East (I.B.Tauris ,2011). He has written ten books: The Clash of Values Between Islam and the West, with Kevin James O’Toole (2010), Political Islam in Syria (2008), Decision Making and Foreign Policy in Syria (2007), The Challenges of Reform in The Arab World: Islam, Identity, Modernity and Globalization (2006), The Intellectual Confronts Power: Dialogues of Syrian Civil Society (2005), and The Near Peace: The Syrian–Israeli Negotiations (2005—the first book written by a Syrian on the subject), The Ideology of Renaissance in Contemporary Arab Discourse (2004), The Question of Renewal in Contemporary Islamic Discourse (2004), Modernism and Post-Modernism in Western Philosophy (2003), and Human Rights in the Arab World (2000). He has edited five books: The Democratic Transition between Spain and Syria, with George Irani (2009), The Struggle for Reform in Syria (2006), Reform in Syria: Between Domestic and International Politics (2004), Towards Civil Society in Syria (2004), and Islam and Political Thought: Democracy and The West (2000).


Amjad Saleem

Amjad is a political analyst (and free lance consultant) with expertise in Humanitarian and Development Issues, Peacebuilding & Interfaith Dialogue and South Asia with specific expertise on Sri Lanka & Myanmar.  He is part of the thematic team for the World Humanitarian Summit looking at ‘Serving the Needs of People in Conflict’.  He is a visiting fellow at the Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies(Malaysia) and sits on the steering committee of the Peace and Security Forum, an initiative by the Malaysian and Qatari Governments and an advisor to the Institute for Islamic Strategic Affairs. Amjad was also the UK representative for the Civil Society Advisory Committee of The Commonwealth Foundation, as well as a trustee of UK NGO BUILD, which works on building partnerships in International Development.  In his previous roles, he has served as head of communications for The Cordoba Foundation and Country Director for British NGO, Muslim Aid in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from 2005 – 2009 where he worked on post disaster and  conflict reconstruction and rehabilitation. He has been a part time lecturer  on International Development and Civil Society at the University of East London and Lawrence Tech University in Michigan. He has also published a book on the Aceh Peace Process and contributed chapters to ‘Cosmopolitanism, Religion and the Public Sphere’; ‘Sustainable Development in South Asia: Shaping the Future’; ‘Shariah & Microfinance’ and ‘The World of Prayer’. He has an M.Eng from Imperial College, an MBA from U21 Global Singapore and is currently pursuing a part time PhD from Exeter University.

Mahtab Aziz

Mahtab Aziz

Mahtab is a solicitor and has been involved in legal practice for over 20 years. He has conducted a number of very high profile litigation matters involving both Criminal and civil jurisdictions.  He acted for many defendants in the most serious of cases such as murder trials and high value fraud matters that have received media coverage. He has acted for Imran Khan in his defamation matter and his private prosecution of Altaf Hussain. He acted for the British 2 time ex-World Heavyweight Champion Herbie Hide in his well publicized case involving the well known  undercover newspaper journalist Mazher Mahmood.  He also advised  and assisted the English Director  Tony Rooke in obtaining a conditional discharge after he was  prosecuted by the BBC and appeared in court for refusing to pay for his TV Licence. Mahtab has a long standing and avid interest in human rights law and has taken part in many TV debates and forums regarding such issues.


Prof. Kenjji Isezaki

Mr. Kenji Isezaki is a practitioner in the areas of conflict resolution and Professor of Peace and Conflict studies at Tokyo university of Foreign studies. He has considerable field experience as a NGO and UN staff. He has served as the special representative of Japanese Government Special Envoy for Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) in Afghanistan and coordinated DDR for nearly 60,000 pro and anti government militias and completed their reintegration into the society in two years. He served as the Chief of DDR Section & Senior Advisor to the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General, United Nations Assistance Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) and District Transitional Administrator (Governor), United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET).


Dr. Desmond Molloy

Dr. Desmond Molloy is a Disarmament Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) practitioner/scholar who has contributed to the evolution and operationalisation of innovate approaches to ex-combatants and armed gang member DDR in many recent post-conflict and rule of law strengthening environments. After twenty years as an officer in the Irish Defence Forces, including various UN missions, Des has been Emergency/Relief Coordinator with IFRC in DRC; with Dutch RC and ICRC in BiH and with various NGOs and UN Agencies in Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kosovo and East Timor.From 2002 to 2004, Des was Chief of the UN DDR Section, Sierra Leone contributing to the delivery of a successful DDR process.From 2004 to 2007, he was Chief of UN DDR Section in Haiti, piloting innovated approaches to Community Violence Reduction and Community Security in bringing bottom-up impetus to top-down efforts to finding local solutions to violence reduction. Since 2007, he completed a Masters and a PhD in International Studies (TUFS, Tokyo), the latter with a comparative analysis of security dilemmas in evolving DDR theory and Counterinsurgency doctrine.While studying, Des undertook contracts in scoping for DDR with DfID, USCFR and USIP in Niger Delta; UNDP in Somalia, Sri Lanka, CAR and Nepal.

He is Course Mentor with Hiroshima Peacebuilders Center; a member of the International Research Group on Reintegration at Tromsø University; Visiting Lecturer at Pannissastra University, Phnom Penh and an advisor to IISA. Des facilitates at numerous international DDR seminars and publishes on related matters.  


Mustafa Akyol

Mustafa Akyol is a Turkish political commentator and author based in Istanbul, Turkey. Akyol was born in Ankara in 1972 and had his early education there. Later he graduated from Istanbul Nisantasi British High School and from the International Relations Department of the Bosphorus University. He had his master thesis on the Kurdish question at the History Department of the same university.
Since 2002, he has been a regular commentator in the Turkish media. He is currently a regular columnist for Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s foremost English-language daily. He writes a regular column for a Turkish-language daily, Star, as well. He also appears regularly on Turkish TV, on political discussion shows. 
He has spoken on many platforms, including the Council on Foreign Relations, Brookings Institution, Heritage Foundation, Mont Pelerin Society, Cato Institute, Acton Institute, Discovery Institute, Mises Institute and many universities around the world . (His talk at TED, Faith Versus Tradition in Islam, was widely acclaimed.) 
Over the years, Akyol’s articles have appeared in publications such as Foreign Affairs, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, The Guardian, The Times, Newsweek, The American Interest, First Things, The Weekly Standard, The Washington Times, Huffington Post, National Review Online, The Forward, Tech Central Station, Bitter Lemons and IslamOnline. He has appeared on BBC World, Al Jazeera English, France 24, and other international TV channels. 
Mustafa Akyol has a book in Turkish titled Rethinking The Kurdish Question: What Went Wrong? What Next? (Dogan Publishing, 2006). His new book, Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case For Liberty, which is an argument for Muslim liberalism, was published by W.W. Norton in July 2011, and got reviewed in Wall Street Journal and Financial Times.


Prof. Ahmet Nuri Yurdusev

Prof Ahmet Nuri Yurdusev is a Professor of International Relations at Middle East Technical University Ankara, Turkey. His research interests are in theory of International relations, Civilisation and International system, European identity and Ottoman Empire. He is author of many books including Ottoman Diplomacy: Conventional or Unconventional (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004).


Imtiaz Gul

Imtiaz Gul is one of the leading and senior Pakistani security and counter-terrorism commentators and analyst. Gul is also the executive director of ‘the independent Centre for Research and Security studies’ (CRSS), a Pakistan based think-tank and advocacy group. He is the author of the best-seller on Pakistan’s border regions The Most Dangerous Place, and “The Unholy Nexus: Afghan-Pakistan Relations under the Taliban Militia” (July 2002). Gul has also edited many books including the acclaimed “Liberalism, Islam and Human Rights.