Board of trustees

Carl Bildt

ECFR co-chair
Former Prime Minister and Former Foreign Minister of Sweden


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. A renowned international diplomat, he also 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. Bildt also has a well-established profile in technology circles. He is Chair of the Global Commission on Internet Governance, a former Adviser to ICANN, and a high-profile proponent of a global digital marketplace. Bildt graduated from Stockholm University.

Lykke Friis

ECFR co-chair
Director of the Danish Think Tank Europa


Lykke Friis is Director of the Danish Think Tank Europa, focusing on European Affairs. She currently also serves as Chair of the board of House of Energy and is President of the Danish Cancer Society. Furthermore, she is on the Board of the Rockwool Foundation and Team Denmark. Friis is former Prorector for Education at the University of Copenhagen, former Minister of Climate and Energy, as well as former Minister for Gender Equality. She has held close to twenty honorary offices, including Member of the EU Reflection group appointed by the European Council. Friis holds a PhD in international politics from the University of Copenhagen.

Norbert Röttgen

ECFR co-chair
Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag


Norbert Röttgen is Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag and has been a Member of the German Parliament since 1994. He served as German Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety, as well as Legal Policy Spokesman and later as Chief Parliamentary Secretary of the Christian Democratic Party’s parliamentary group. His 2008 speech on the financial crisis in front of the Bundestag was awarded as “best political speech of the year”. Röttgen holds a PhD in law from Bonn University.

Franziska Brantner

Member of the German Bundestag for Alliance 90/The Greens


Franziska Brantner is Spokesperson for European Policy and Parliamentary Secretary of Alliance 90/The Greens’ parliamentary group. She is a Member of the Committee on the Affairs of the European Union and Deputy Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. Previously, Brantner was the Spokeswoman on Child and Family Policy for Alliance 90/The Greens and a Member of the European Parliament. Prior to that, she worked for the Bertelsmann Foundation consulting on EU foreign policy issues. Brantner holds a PhD from the University of Mannheim.

Ian Clarkson

Founder of Celerant Consulting


Ian Clarkson is currently working on the education agenda in the UK, combining strategy and practicality through the Chairmanship of Bright Field Consulting and as director of two large Academy schools. He is the Founder of Celerant Consulting, which he later sold to Hitachi. When Celerant was sold, it was one of the ten largest operational consultancies in the world with a global footprint, 600 full-time employees, and more than $140m in revenue. Clarkson graduated from the University of Hull.

Marta Dassù

Senior Advisor for European Affairs at The Aspen Institute


Marta Dassù is Senior Advisor of European Affairs at the Aspen Institute and Editor-in-Chief of Aspenia. She is a Board Member of Istituto Affari Internazionali in Rome, of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, and a Member of the Advisory Council of the European Policy Centre in Brussels. She is also part of the scientific committee of the LUISS School of Government in Rome. Previously, she was Italy’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy Adviser to the Italian Prime Minister. She is a regular contributor to the Italian newspaper La Stampa and has written numerous books. Dassù graduated from the University of Florence.

Teresa Gouveia

Former Foreign Minister of Portugal


Teresa Gouveia has held multiple government positions in Portugal, serving as Secretary of State for Culture, Secretary of State for Environment, Minister for Environment, and Minister of Foreign Affairs. In addition to her various positions in government, she was a Member of the Portuguese Parliament for the Social Democratic Party. In parallel to her political career, she has always been active in the cultural sphere. She was Trustee of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, President of the Serralves Foundation, and a Member of its Executive Board. She also served as Governor of the Executive Committee of the European Cultural Foundation, President of the Council for Cultural Cooperation at the Council of Europe, and a Member of the Consultative Council at the University of Lisbon. Gouveia graduated from the University of Lisbon.

Sylvie Kauffmann

Editorial Director, Le Monde


Sylvie Kauffmann is Editorial Director, Leader Writer, and Columnist for Le Monde, writing a weekly column on global affairs. She is also a Contributing Writer for the international edition of the New York Times. Previously, she was the first female Editor-in-Chief of Le Monde, including 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. Kauffmann graduated from the Institut d’Études Poltiques Aix-en-Provence and the faculty of law at the University of Provence Aix-Marseille.

Ivan Krastev

Chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies


Ivan Krastev is Chair of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia and a Permanent Fellow at the IWM Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna. He is a founding Board Member of ECFR, a Member of the Board of Trustees of the International Crisis Group, and a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. He is also an Associate Editor of Europe’s World and a Member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Democracy and the journal Transit – Europäische Revue. Krastev graduated from Sofia University.

Andrzej Olechowski

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


Andrzej Olechowski is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Bank Handlowy, Director of Euronet, and a Member of the Supervisory Board of P4. He is also a Professor at Vistula University and the author of numerous publications on international trade and foreign policy. He previously served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance of Poland. He was a presidential candidate twice, and is as a co-founder of the political party Civic Platform. He co-authored the report “Engaging Russia: A Return to Containment?” which is the third in a series of reports on Russia written by the Trilateral Commission. Olechowski holds a PhD in Economics from the Central School of Planning and Statistics in Warsaw.

Marietje Schaake

International Director of Policy at Stanford’s Cyber Policy Center
International Policy Fellow at Stanford University’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence
President of the CyberPeace Institute


Before taking on her current roles, Marietje Schaake served as a Member of the European Parliament, where she led the ALDE team on the International Trade Committee and served as her party’s Spokesperson on transatlantic and digital trade. Furthermore, she founded the European Parliament Intergroup on the Digital Agenda for Europe. Schaake was also part of the delegations to the US, Iran, and the Arabian Peninsular, and Chief Observer in the Election Mission in Kenya. She was featured by Politico as one of the 28 most influential Europeans in the “class of 2017”. Schaake graduated from the University of Amsterdam.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt

Former Prime Minister of Denmark


Helle Thorning-Schmidt was the first female Prime Minister of Denmark. She was a Member of Parliament and the Leader of the Social Democratic Party for ten years. She also served as a Member of the European Parliament, prior to which she worked as an International Adviser to the Confederation of Trade Unions. Throughout her career, she has tackled significant global issues, specifically with regards to children’s rights. She was appointed to the Education Financing Commission led by Gordon Brown and as CEO of Save the Children. She graduated with a degree in Political Science from the University of Copenhagen and in European Studies from the College of Europe.

Javier Solana

Former EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy
former Secretary-General of the Council of the EU
former Secretary General of NATO


Javier Solana is President of ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics. He is also a distinguished Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, a Fisher Family Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School, Chair of the Aspen Institute España, Honorary President of the Centre for Human Dialogue, and a Member of the Board of the International Crisis Group and of Human Rights Watch. After serving as Spanish Foreign Minister and Secretary General of NATO, he was appointed European Union High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, and Secretary-General of the Council of the EU. He holds an Honorary Degree from the London School of Economics, where he is now a Visiting Professor.

Alexander Stubb

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


Alexander Stubb is Director of the School of Transnational Governance at the European University Institute in Florence. He also chairs the Board of Crisis Management Initiative (CMI). He previously held the position of Vice-President of the European Investment Bank and served as Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Foreign Minister, and Trade and Europe Minister of Finland. He was a Member of the European Parliament, a Member of Parliament, and Chair of the National Coalition Party. Stubb holds a PhD from the London School of Economics.

Chair emeriti

Martti Ahtisaari

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


Martti Ahtisaari was elected President of Finland in 1994. Upon leaving office in 2000, he founded the Crisis Management Initiative. A UN diplomat and mediator, Martti Ahtisaari is noted for his international peace work in Namibia, Indonesia, Iraq, Central Asia, Kosovo and Northern Ireland, among other areas. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2008, “for his important efforts to resolve international conflicts”.

Emma Bonino

Former Foreign Minister and Former Minister for International Trade and European Affairs of Italy


Emma Bonino is a former Italian Foreign Minister. She also served as Vice President of the Senate (2008-13) and as Minister for International Trade and European Affairs (2006-08). She was a member of the Italian or European Parliament continuously since 1976, except when serving as European Commissioner for humanitarian aid, fisheries, and consumer policy (1995-99). A former Chief Observer of the EU electoral missions in Ecuador and Afghanistan, she was nominated ‘European Personality of the Year’ in 1996. During her career, she has conducted several international human rights campaigns, among the most successful – on the legalisation of abortion, the ‘Stop FGM’ campaign to ban Female Genital Mutilation, and for the establishment of the International Criminal Court.

Joschka Fischer

Former Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor of Germany


Joschka Fischer is a German politician of the Alliance ’90/The Greens. He served as Foreign Minister and as Vice-Chancellor of Germany in the cabinet of Gerhard Schröder from 1998 to 2005. He was a senior fellow at the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination and visiting professor at Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Since 2008, Fischer has been Senior Strategic Counsel at Albright Stonebridge Group.

Mabel van Oranje

Chair of Girls Not Brides – The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage


A global advocate on peace and justice issues for almost two decades, Mabel van Oranje is Chair of Girls Not Brides – The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage. In 1993 Mabel founded the European Action Council for Peace in the Balkans and was its CEO until 1997. She also co-founded the Dutch foundation War Child in 1995 and served on its board until 1999. In 1997, she joined the Open Society Institute in Brussels as Executive Director, becoming OSI’s International Advocacy Director in 2003. From 2008 until 2012, she was the first CEO of The Elders. Mabel holds masters degrees in Economics and Political Science (cum laude) from the University of Amsterdam. She helped found the global NGO coalition Publish What You Pay and was actively engaged in global efforts that led to the establishment of the International Criminal Court in 2002.

Leadership team

Mark Leonard



Mark Leonard is Co-founder and Director of ECFR. He is the author of two best-selling books and writes a column on global affairs for Project Syndicate. He also is a regular speaker on global issues, and his essays have appeared in various international and European newspapers. Previously, he was Director of Foreign Policy at the Centre for European Reform and Director of the Foreign Policy Centre. He also worked for the think-tank Demos, was a Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and was a Visiting Scholar at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Alba Lamberti

Deputy Director
Head, ECFR London


Alba Lamberti is ECFR’s Deputy Director and Head of its London office. She oversees ECFR’s operations, coordinates the network of ECFR offices across Europe and leads the 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. Before that, she worked at the College of Europe in Bruges and in the Group of Policy Advisers of European Commission President Romano Prodi in Brussels.

Vessela Tcherneva

Deputy Director
Head, ECFR Sofia


Vessela Tcherneva is ECFR’s Deputy Director and Head of the ECFR Sofia Office. Previously, she was the spokesperson for the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a member of the political cabinet of Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov. Before that, 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.