Padraig O’MALLEY is the founding Director of the FCT with over 30 years of experience specialising in the complications of divided societies, such as Northern Ireland, South Africa and most recently Iraq. He has written extensively on these subjects and has been actively involved in promoting dialogue among representatives of all factions.
The premise that underlies O’Malley’s work is simple: people from divided societies are in the best position to help people in other divided societies; that former protagonists, often former purveyors of violence and death who abandoned violence to resolve their differences, are best equipped to share their often tentative and difficult journeys to recognising the necessity to abandon violence as the instrument to achieve their political aims and open the gateways to recovery, reconstruction, and reconciliation.
Padraig O’Malley is the John Joseph Moakley Chair of Peace and Reconciliation at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and author of a number of prize-winning books on Northern Ireland including:The Uncivil Wars: Ireland Today (1983) and Biting at the Grave (1990); South Africa: Shades of Difference (2006); and The Middle East: What the Future Tells Us; forthcoming (2012).
Professor O’Malley has monitored elections in South Africa, Mozambique, and the Philippines on behalf of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. He is also a frequent contributor to The Boston Globe. O’Malley was born in Dublin. He was educated at University College, Dublin, and at Yale, Tufts and Harvard universities.
FCT JOINT SECRETARIAT
Allan LEONARD is a specialist in Northern Ireland affairs, arriving from America at the time of the 1994 ceasefires. He served as a policy officer at the Northern Ireland Assembly and held a senior management position at the Ulster Historical Foundation. Previously, he was responsible for the development and launch of the Troubled Images project at the Northern Ireland Political Collection, Linen Hall Library; this exhibit travelled worldwide.
Allan’s professional background includes marketing, communications, exhibition and event management, policy development, and senior management. He is particularly skilled at organisational and networking matters. He received a MA degree in Irish Political Studies, from University College Dublin, and a BA degree (with Distinction) in International Relations, from Boston University. Allan is the Director of the Northern Ireland Foundation.
Nancy RIORDAN heads up the UMass Boston Secretariat of the Iraq-Helsinki Project and is co-secretariat for the Forum for Cities in Transition at UMass Boston. Nancy has several years of experience working with foreign governments and NGOs in Finland, Iraq, Lebanon, and Kosovo among others.
Nancy holds a MSPA, International Relations from the University of Massachusetts and a BA in Globalization Studies.
FCT SECRETARIAT TEAM
Candyce CARRAGHER has assisted at FCT events in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Nigeria. She is working towards a Master’s degree at the University of Massachusetts Boston’s John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy & Global Studies in the Conflict Resolution, Human Security & Global Governance. She is the Assistant to the President at CAPA The Global Education Network.
As an FCT volunteer, Candyce assisted with conferences in Northern Ireland, Iraq, and Nigeria. Her contributions included pre-conference budget planning, travel, and visa arrangements and international payments and banking. Once in the country, Katie assisted with the editing and production of the conference pack, assisted delegates with travel arrangements, ensured the venue was sufficient and safe, as well as note-taking during the conference itself.
Emanuela DEL RE is an Italian scholar and an expert in geopolitics, conflict studies and security issues, with a specialism in the Balkans, Caucasus, and the Middle East. She is a Professor at the University Niccolò Cusano, Rome, and she has been Jean Monnet Professor at University “Sapienza”, Rome. She is the National Coordinator of the Section of “Sociology of Religion” of the Italian Sociological Association (AIS). Emanuela is Founder and Chair of EPOS, an independent non-profit agency operating in the field of conflict resolution and prevention, working for Syrian refugees and others in the MY FUTURE Project. She is the Vice President of FCT Europe.
She is a member of the editing committee and author of Italian Geopolitical Review Limes; editor-author of Italian Review on Intelligence Gnosis (Italian Min. of Interiors). She also serves as reference-consultant for international institutions and research institutes, as well as member-associate of think tanks and research groups, including: (Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI); Forum for Cities in Transition (Boston); Italian Sociological Association (AIS); Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (Columbia University); and Military Center for Strategic Studies.
Emanuela has chaired and organised panels and sessions in numerous conferences and seminars (European Parliament; World Economic Forum (Poland); London School of Economics). She is the author of several books and essays, and director of video-documentaries, including The Denied Yazidi Festival.
Ryan GAWN is a public affairs and conflict resolution consultant. As a Rotary World Peace Fellow, he researched truth recovery and transitional justice in his native Northern Ireland. Ryan has worked in Northern Irish public affairs since 1999, and has published a variety of media on international affairs and peacebuilding, e.g. “Arms to agreement: Northern Ireland’s move from war to peace” (Strategic Analysis) and “Truth cohabitation: A truth commission for Northern Ireland?” (Irish Political Studies).
Ryan has worked on numerous projects with track-two organisations, international NGOs, the United Nations, Scottish and European parliaments, and the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office, concerning devolution, peacebuilding, international development, and peace and conflict. His previous experience includes editor of Chile’s main English newspaper, International External Relations Coordinator at Save the Children UK, and leader of an economic development project in eastern Afghanistan.
Katie JONES has proven ability to work efficiently and proactively in high-pressure environments from fast-paced consulting firms in Brussels and Boston to international conferences in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, and Iraq. She also has a great deal of experience with both independent research and collaborative activities in a variety of fields.
As a member of the FCT Secretariat, Katie aided with the pre-conference organization and on-the-ground operation of Forum for Cities in Transition conferences in Boston, MA (2009); Mitrovice/Kosovska Mitrovica, Kosovo (2010); Derry~Londonderry, Northern Ireland (2011); Kirkuk, Iraq (2012); and Belfast, Northern Ireland (2014). Tasks included compiling background materials and participant biographies, taking notes for conference panels and discussion sessions, accommodating participants, and pitching in wherever help is needed.
Brenda MAGUIRE is a Press, Policy and Campaigns Manager at MS Society, responsible for communications, public relations, public affairs, social media management and events. She is develops and implements national campaigns, to influence decision makers, politicians and partner organisations. Brenda acts as a spokesperson during key campaigns, providing television and radio interviews, as well as detailed briefings for media.
Brenda’s role in supporting the Forum for Cities in Transition secretariat includes research, event co-ordination, and planning and preparing the event programme. She acts as a liaison between conference delegates and FCT staff, facilitating workshops and site visits, taking notes of proceedings, and contributing to the post-event report. For several FCT global events, Brenda provided media relations support, writing and issuing press statements, liaising with international media outlets, and arranging radio interviews for delegates.
Krisztina NAGY is an intern for the Forum for Cities in Transition project. She will assist the co-secretariat in the development of its structures, including the FCT Business, FCT Women, and FCT Youth Networks, as well as working with individual FCT member cities in the delivery of project pledges that they have made at annual gatherings.
Krisztina has previously served as a team member at AIESEC, the world’s largest youth-led organisation, focused on facilitating a global exchange scheme that provides challenging, mainly cultural, business and IT work internships. She also has work experience in production planning, recruitment, personnel administration and learning & development where she improved her efficiency, accuracy, time management and interpersonal skills.
Currently enrolled for a Master’s degree in Economics and Business Administration at the University of Southern Denmark, Krisztina will apply her coursework to improve and enrich the work of the Forum for Cities in Transition. Krisztina is placed at the Northern Ireland Foundation’s office in Belfast, until December 2015. She can be contacted at: email@example.com
Quintin OLIVER is a conflict resolution specialist with three decades experience from the voluntary, statutory and private sectors, working at all levels of government. In 1998, he set up and ran the successful cross-party “YES” Campaign for the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement Referendum, with important support from civic society. His conflict speciality began with anti-apartheid work in the 1970s, solidarity activity in the Middle East in the 1980s, and active involvement in applying appropriate lessons from Northern Ireland towards other regions, in the 1990s.
Quintin has applied his skills in respect to Israel and Palestine, South Africa, Cyprus (2004 Referendum), Uganda (2005 Presidential campaign), Colombia (civil society support, 2008), former Yugoslavia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and most recently Iraq. In Northern Ireland, he enjoys close and productive relations with all political parties as an adviser, lobbyist and researcher. Quintin is Director of Stratagem Northern Ireland.
Tom SHORTLAND leads large, collaborative, decision-making events for Capgemini’s ASE capability in the UK. He drives transformational change across organisations, aligning senior leadership teams and increasing productivity for a variety of major organisations and programmes. Clients include the UK Government and multinationals; he operates in the UK and overseas. Tom is head of operations for Capgemini’s ASE UK capability. He has considerable experience of: facilitating senior leaders and programme teams, driving change through workforce engagement, and designing and delivering collaborative decision making.
Mohammed THABIT has served as Director of Public Relations for the Vice President of Iraq, as well as Director of Protocol for the Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament. He developed Iraqi Presidency structures from 2006-2010, implementing plans for staff capacity building and other training courses. Mohammed has expertise in political party formation, NGOs, executive administration, foreign language interpretation and translation, public relations, protocol and project management. He holds a diploma in international diplomacy, a Bachelor’s degree in English art and literature, a Master’s degree in public administration, and a PhD in policy analysis.