Ambassador Emil Brix, Austrian diplomat and historian, has been the director of the Vienna School of International Studies (Diplomatische Akademie Wien) since 2017. After joining the Austrian diplomatic service in 1982, he worked as political secretary for the parliamentary group of the Austrian People’s Party. In 1986, he was appointed head of cabinet at the Ministry of Science and Research. From 1990 until 1995, Brix served as the Austrian consul general in Cracow, Poland. Subsequently, he was the director of the Austrian Cultural Institute in London, a position he held for four years. In 2002, he was appointed director general of Foreign Cultural Policy at the Ministry for European and International Affairs of Austria. After serving five years as Austrian ambassador to the UK, he became Austrian ambassador to the Russian Federation in 2015.
Ms Monica Ferro is the director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in Geneva. Prior to joining UNFPA, she was a university professor and researcher for more than 20 years. She also served as a parliamentarian and president of the Portuguese All Party Group on Population and Development, and as vice president of the European Parliamentarian Forum. Previously, she held the position of state secretary for defense, and she is a founding member of the Portuguese UN association, the Population and Development Factor. She has published extensively on state building, security sector reform, the UN, and development cooperation.
Ambassador Vanessa Frazier is the head of the Permanent Mission of Malta to the United Nations in New York. She was previously ambassador to Italy (with concurrent accreditation to San Marino and the UN agencies based in Rome), and ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). She holds an MA in Diplomatic Studies from the University of Malta, and a BA in Business Management and French from Luther College in the United States.
Mr Marc Engelhardt spent seven years in Africa as a foreign correspondent. Since 2010, he has been based in Geneva, Switzerland, where he reports on the United Nations and the more than 200 international organisations based in the city. He is especially interested in stories that connect Africa with Europe. He studied geography, marine biology, and public law. After completing his studies, he got his start in journalism at a German radio broadcaster, and spent several years working for the news programme of a major German broadcaster.
Mr Richard Hill is the president of the Association for Proper Internet Governance (APIG). He is a civil society activist in the area of information and communication technologies (ICTs), including Internet governance and data privacy. He was formerly a senior official at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Prior to joining the ITU, Hill was, among other positions, head of the IT Infrastructure Delivery and Support department at Orange Communications, and the IT manager at the University of Geneva. He holds a PhD in statistics from Harvard University, and a BA in Mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Dr Jovan Kurbalija is the Executive Director of DiploFoundation and Head of the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP). He was a member of the UN Working Group on Internet Governance (2004‒2005), special advisor to the Chairman of the UN Internet Governance Forum (2006‒2010), and a member of the High Level Multistakeholder Committee for NETmundial (2013‒2014). In 2018-2019, he served as co-Executive Director of the Secretariat of the United Nations (UN) High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation. A former diplomat, he has a professional and academic background in international law, diplomacy, and information technology. He has been a pioneer in the field of cyber diplomacy since 1992 when he established the Unit for Information Technology and Diplomacy at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Malta, and later, DiploFoundation.