Leadership

Leadership team

Mark Leonard
Mark Leonard

Director

Biography

Mark Leonard is co-founder and director of ECFR. He hosts the weekly podcast “Mark Leonards’s World in 30 Minutes” and writes a column on global affairs for Project Syndicate. Previously, he worked as director of foreign policy at the Centre for European Reform and as director of the Foreign Policy Centre. He has spent time in Washington, DC as a transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and in Beijing as a visiting scholar at the Chinese Academy for Social Sciences. In September 2021, he published his latest book The Age of Unpeace: How Connectivity Causes Conflict.

Alba Lamberti
Alba Lamberti

Deputy Director
Head, ECFR London

Biography

Alba Lamberti is deputy director and head of ECFR’s London office. She oversees ECFR’s operations, coordinates the network of ECFR offices across Europe, and leads engagement with the Board of Trustees. Prior to joining ECFR, she spent five years at the International Crisis Group in Brussels as EU advocacy manager, responsible for institutional relations with the EU, NATO, and civil society organisations. She has also worked at the College of Europe in Bruges and in former European Commission President Romano Prodi’s group of policy advisors.

Vessela Tcherneva
Vessela Tcherneva

Deputy Director
Head, ECFR Sofia

Biography

Vessela Tcherneva is deputy director and head of ECFR’s Sofia office. From 2010 to 2013, she was the spokesperson for the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a member of Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov’s political cabinet. Previously, she was secretary of the International Commission on the Balkans, chaired by former Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato and former German President Richard von Weizsäcker; supervising editor of the Foreign Policy Bulgaria magazine; and political officer at the Bulgarian Embassy in Washington, DC.

Board of trustees

Carl Bildt
Carl Bildt

Co-chair of ECFR’s Council
Former Prime Minister and Former Foreign Minister of Sweden

Biography

Carl Bildt served as both prime minister and foreign minister of Sweden. Under his leadership, the government initiated major liberal economic reforms and negotiated Sweden’s accession to the EU. Previously, he served as EU special envoy to the former Yugoslavia, high representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, UN special envoy to the Balkans, and co-chair of the Dayton Peace Conference. He also chaired the Global Commission on Internet Governance. In 2021, he was appointed WHO special envoy for the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator.

Lykke Friis
Lykke Friis

Co-chair of ECFR’s Council
Director of the Danish Think Tank Europa

Biography

Lykke Friis is director of Denmark’s Think Tank Europa. Previously, she served as prorector at the University of Copenhagen; Danish minister of climate, energy, and gender equality; and the Danish liberal party’s spokesperson for European affairs. In 2007, she was appointed as a member of the EU reflection group on the future of Europe. She also covered Germany as a correspondent for the Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende. Besides ECFR, she chairs the board of directors of Denmark’s House of Energy, is a board member of Team Denmark, and is president of the Danish Cancer Society.

Norbert Röttgen
Norbert Röttgen

Co-chair of ECFR’s Council
Member of the Bundestag

Biography

Norbert Röttgen has been a member of the German parliament since 1994 and chaired the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag from 2014 to 2021. Previously, he served as German federal minister for the environment, nature conservation, and nuclear safety, as well as spokesperson for legal policy and parliamentary secretary of the Christian Democratic Party’s parliamentary group. He is vice-chair of the board of directors of the transatlantic association Atlantik-Brücke and a member of the Advisory Council at the German Council on Foreign Relations.

Franziska Brantner
Franziska Brantner

Parliamentary State Secretary, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action

Biography

Franziska Brantner has been a member of the Bundestag since 2013 and was appointed parliamentary state secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action in 2021. She was previously the spokesperson for European policy and parliamentary secretary of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen. Prior to joining the Bundestag, she was a member of the European Parliament, where she served as foreign policy spokesperson for the Green/EFA Group. She has also worked for the Bertelsmann Foundation in Brussels, consulting on EU foreign policy issues.

Ian Clarkson
Ian Clarkson

Founder of Celerant Consulting

Biography

Ian Clarkson is the founder of the international advisory firm Celerant Consulting, later acquired by Hitachi Consulting. When Celerant was sold, it was one of the ten largest operational consultancies in the world and had a global footprint. He is an expert on delivering large scale operational and technology transformation programmes to global companies. He served as a board member for a range of professional services businesses, including the educational consultancy Bright Field, and currently chairs the board of Mentore Consulting to help companies achieve diverse leadership teams.

Marta Dassù
Marta Dassù

Senior Advisor Europe, the Aspen Institute

Biography

Marta Dassù is senior advisor for Europe at the Aspen Institute and editor-in-chief of Aspenia. Previously, she served as Italy’s deputy minister of foreign affairs. She is a regular contributor to the Italian newspaper La Stampa and the author of various books and essays. She sits on the board of directors of Istituto Affari Internazional and is a member of the strategic council of the European Policy Centre. In 2020, she was appointed as a member of the group of experts to support the NATO 2030 initiative and provide advice on how to further strengthen NATO’s political dimension.

Teresa Gouveia
Teresa Gouveia

Former Foreign Minister of Portugal

Biography

Teresa Gouveia has held multiple government positions in Portugal, serving as secretary of state for culture, secretary of state for the environment, minister for the environment, and minister of foreign affairs. She also was a member of parliament for the Social Democratic Party. She has been active in the cultural sphere as a trustee of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, governor of the European Cultural Foundation’s executive committee, president of the Council for Cultural Cooperation at the Council of Europe, and a member of the consultative council at the University of Lisbon.

Sylvie Kauffmann
Sylvie Kauffmann

Editorial Director, Le Monde

Biography

Sylvie Kauffmann is editorial director, lead writer, and columnist at the French newspaper Le Monde, for whom she writes a weekly column on global affairs. Her opinion pieces on European and international politics have also appeared in the New York Times. Previously, she was the first female editor-in-chief of Le Monde, a position she held during the Wikileaks collaboration with El País, the Guardian, and the New York Times. She has reported from Asia, Eastern Europe, and the United States, where she wrote a prize-winning series of articles about life in the US following the 9/11 attacks.

Ivan Krastev
Ivan Krastev

Chairman, Centre for Liberal Strategies

Biography

Ivan Krastev chairs the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia and is a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences, IWM Vienna. He is a founding board member of ECFR, a member of Open Society Foundations’ global advisory board, a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, and the author of the widely acclaimed book “After Europe”. In 2020, he was awarded the Jean Améry Prize for European essay writing. Previously, he served as executive director of the International Commission on the Balkans and as editor-in-chief of the Bulgarian edition of Foreign Policy.

Andrzej Olechowski
Andrzej Olechowski

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Former Minister of Finance of Poland

Biography

Andrzej Olechowski has served as both minister of foreign affairs and minister of finance of Poland. He has twice been a presidential candidate and is a co-founder of the political party Civic Platform. Previously, he served as secretary of state in the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and deputy governor of the National Bank of Poland. He has also worked as an economic affairs officer in Geneva and as an economist at the World Bank in Washington, DC. He sits on the boards of various charitable and educational foundations and is the author of numerous publications on foreign policy.

Marietje Schaake
Marietje Schaake

International Director of Policy, Stanford’s Cyber Policy Center

Biography

Marietje Schaake is international director of policy at Stanford University’s Cyber Policy Centre, policy fellow at the Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, and president of the CyberPeace Institute. Previously, she was as member of the European Parliament, where she led the alliance of liberals and democrats for Europe on the International Trade Committee and served as her party’s spokesperson for transatlantic and digital trade. She also founded the European Parliament Intergroup on the Digital Agenda for Europe and was featured by Politico as one of the 28 most influential Europeans in 2017.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt
Helle Thorning-Schmidt

Former Prime Minister of Denmark

Biography

Helle Thorning-Schmidt was the first female prime minister of Denmark. She also served as a member of parliament and leader of the Social Democrats. Prior to her career in national politics, she was a member of the European Parliament and worked as an adviser to the Confederation of Trade Unions. She has tackled significant global issues, specifically with regards to children’s rights as CEO of Save the Children. She currently is a board member of Vestas, a co-chair of Facebook’s Oversight Board, and a member of the WHO Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development.

Javier Solana
Javier Solana

President, Esade Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics
Former EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy

Biography

Javier Solana is a distinguished fellow in foreign policy at Brookings, president of the ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics, senior fellow at the Hertie School of Governance, and chair of the Aspen Institute Spain. From 1999 to 2009 he was the EU’s high representative for common foreign and security policy and secretary general of the Council of the European Union. Before that, he served as secretary general of NATO and minister of foreign affairs of Spain. He began his career in public service as a member of parliament and held several ministerial positions.

Alexander Stubb
Alexander Stubb

Director, European University Institute’s School of Transnational Governance
Former Prime Minister of Finland

Biography

Alexander Stubb is the director of the School of Transnational Governance at the European University Institute in Florence. Previously, he served as prime minister, finance minister, foreign minister, and trade and Europe minister of Finland. He was a member of the European Parliament and of Finland’s national parliament, as well as chair of the Finnish National Coalition Party. He is a former vice-president of the European Investment Bank and has been a visiting professor at the College of Europe in Bruges. He has written numerous books and academic articles on European affairs.

Chair emeriti

Martti Ahtisaari
Martti Ahtisaari

Chair of the Board and Founder, Crisis Management Initiative
Former President of Finland

Biography

Martti Ahtisaari served as president of Finland from 1994 to 2000. Upon leaving office, he founded the Crisis Management Initiative, committed to helping the international community practice more effective preventive diplomacy and post-conflict state-building. A diplomat and UN mediator, he is noted for his international peace work in Namibia, Indonesia, Iraq, Central Asia, Kosovo, and Northern Ireland. In 2008 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his important efforts to resolve international conflicts.

Emma Bonino
Emma Bonino

Member of the Senate
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy

Biography

Emma Bonino is an Italian senator and former minister of foreign affairs. She also served as minister for international trade and European affairs and has been a member of both the Italian and European parliaments. She is a former European commissioner for humanitarian aid, fisheries, and consumer policy. During her career, she has instigated several international human rights campaigns, including ‘Stop FGM’, and contributed to the establishment of the International Criminal Court.

Joschka Fischer
Joschka Fischer

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany

Biography

Joschka Fischer has been a leading figure in the German Green Party and served as minister of foreign affairs and vice-chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005. He was a visiting professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and supported the creation of the Spinelli Group, an initiative to reinvigorate efforts to federalise the EU. He advises on foreign policy issues as senior strategic counsel at Albright Stonebridge Group and as a founding partner of Joschka Fischer and Company.

Mabel van Oranje
Mabel van Oranje

Global Champion, Girls Not Brides – The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage

Biography

Mabel van Oranje is an entrepreneur for social change working globally to advance equality, freedom, and justice. She played a key role in the global movement to end child marriage, including in the creation and growth of three entities supporting girls’ futures: Girls Not Brides, the Girls First Fund, and VOW for Girls. She is a board member of Fondation Chanel and the Sigrid Rausing Trust, as well as an advisor to Apolitical Academy Global, Co-Impact’s Gender Fund, Global Witness, and The Elders.