Ambassador Romana Vlahutin
Ambassador-at-Large for Connectivity
European External Action Service


Ambassador Romana Vlahutin is a career diplomat. Before joining Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1999 she worked as an analyst for the Bassiouni UN Commission for former Yugoslavia, the UN Tribunal (ICTY) in The Hague and the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington DC. As a Croatian diplomat she served in embassies in Washington (Head of Political Section) and Belgrade (Deputy Ambassador), and as the Head of Strategic Analysis and Policy Planning at the MFA in Zagreb (2000-2004). She also served as a Political Director of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo (2006-2007). From 2010-2014 she was the Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of Croatia. Most recently she was posted as the EU Ambassador to Albania (2014-2018). As of 1 March 2019 she has been appointed Special Coordinator and Ambassador at Large for Connectivity in the European External Action Service.

Ambassador VLAHUTIN is a graduate of Zagreb University (Faculty of Philosophy) and Harvard University (J.F.Kennedy School of Government). She is a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

sam cross
manager of the aalto energy platform
aalto university


Sam Cross has worked as the Manager of the Aalto Energy Platform since 2018. Through this role, Sam works on the development of multidisciplinary energy research and education at Aalto, currently with a particular focus on energy storage, electro-mobility and RES integration. Sam also leads a new challenge-based Energy industry project course, and teaches courses on Energy Markets and Thermal Energy Storage. Sam has worked at Aalto since 2012, initially focussing on research work on Renewable Energy and Islanded Power Systems. Between 2005 and 2012, Sam worked as an Adviser at EURELECTRIC, the association representing the European electricity industry towards the European Union institutions. His responsibilities included co-ordination of cross-industry working groups on Renewable Energies and Energy Scenarios. He was closely involved in a number of long-term energy modelling projects for the decarbonisation of the European Power sector, with a particular focus on electrification of the heating and transport sectors. Furthermore, he worked on a number of studies looking into the pathway to reaching the European Union’s 2020 Renewables target. Sam has previous experience with UK consultancy AEA Energy & Environment, and with CEN, the European Committee for Standardization.



Dr. Roland Roesch is Deputy Director at the Innovation and Technology Center of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Before Roland became in October 2010 a Professor for Energy Economics at the University of Applied Science in Darmstadt he worked for 15 years in the Oil&Gas and Utilities Industry for Shell and E.ON in his last position as General Manager Power at Shell and for E.ON as Head of Division, Project Leader, Project Executive and Technical Project Developer. Before he joined E.ON he worked as Energy Market Consultant for Lahmeyer International and as researcher for renewable energies. Roland has solid business experience in energy markets, energy economics and energy strategies, renewable integration management, energy project development and project financing. He currently leads IRENA´s work on RE Project Development known as IRENA Project Navigator, RE Innovation, Grids and Flexibility for the Power Sector Transformation and the Gas Sector Transformation.


ambassador barbara plinkert
ambassador of the european union to singapore


H.E. Barbara Plinkert began her term as the EU Ambassador to Singapore in 2017 – a historically significant year as the EU turned 60 and ASEAN 50; and the EU and ASEAN marked 40 years of ties. Singapore’s importance as a regional partner is being further emphasized by its three-year role as ASEAN’s coordinator for EU relations since mid-2018 and by the signature in October 2018 of three landmark agreements: the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, the EU-Singapore Investment Protection Agreement and the EU-Singapore Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. Prior to her assignment in Singapore, Ambassador Plinkert was Head of Division responsible for Headquarters Security and EEAS Security Policy at the European External Action Service in Brussels. Before that, she served in various positions in different parts of the world. From 2011-2015, she was based in Addis Ababa as Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Ethiopia. Prior to that, she has held key positions within the EU with postings in Zimbabwe, Tajikstan and Kazakhstan. Between 1998 and 2003 she worked for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which took her to Afghanistan. Ambassador Plinkert speaks English, German, French and Chinese. She holds a Masters of Arts degree in Sinology, South-east Asian studies and Linguistics from Free University of Berlin.

Director-General of the Joint Research Centre


Stephen Quest is the Director-General of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) as of 1 May 2020. Prior to this, he was the Director-General of the Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union (TAXUD) and the Director-General for Informatics (DIGIT), driving the digital transformation of the Commission.  His career spans more than 25 years in the European civil service, and has included work on the EU budget, social and environmental policy and four years as Assistant to the Secretary-General. As Director-General, Stephen is particularly focused on modernising organisational culture and promoting innovation within the Commission, both as regards the use of technology and empowering and involving staff in decision-making. He is particularly passionate about communication and the interface between policy and technology.

executive director
asia-europe foundation (asef)


Mr Toru MORIKAWA, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Japan in Iran, has been elected as the 8th Executive Director of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and will join ASEF in September 2020.  Mr. MORIKAWA is a seasoned diplomat from Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), with nearly 30 years of experience. He has held different positions including the Director of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Division, the Director of the Consular Policy Division of which the agendas comprise the infectious disease, MOFA, Japan, as well as Minister-Counselor in charge of public relations and cultural exchange of the Embassy of Japan in France.  He has also served in the Permanent Mission of Japan to the UN in charge of human rights and humanitarian affairs and as the Vice Chair of the Third Committee of the UNGA.  His wide-ranged diplomatic experience together with his passion to the cooperation with the respect to the diversity allows him to adapt a holistic approach and to lead a practical solution in the efforts to overcome the common challenges of Asia and Europe.  Mr. MORIKAWA holds a B.A. in Law from the University of Tokyo. He is married with a son and a daughter.

koji hachiyama
chief operating officer
economic research institute for asean and east asia (eria)


Mr. Koji Hachiyama started his career in the Ministry of International Trade and Industry of Japan (now known as the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) in 1992 and served in various positions including Embassy of Japan in Indonesia (1997-2001) throughout the years. In the past two years, Mr. Hachiyama served as the Counsellor in the National Strategy Office of ICT, the Cabinet Secretariat of Japan. From 2014 to 2017, he served as the Director of IT Department in JETRO New York and the Head of the New York Representative office of IPA (Japan’s Information Technology Promotion Agency). Mr. Hachiyama obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Engineering from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan.

miao lu
co-founder, vice-president
center for china and globalization (ccg)


Miao Lu (Mabel), Co-founder, Vice President of CCG & Secretary General of CCG. Dr. Miao got her PhD degree on Contemporary Chinese Studies from Beijing Normal University and had been a visiting scholar at New York University and Harvard University. She has participated in a number of Chinese government’s and Social Science Foundation’s research projects and she has published many research papers and books. The latest new well known Chinese Blue Books she has authored and edited are: The Chinese Enterprises Globalization Report 2014/2015;The Chinese Overseas Students Development Report 2013/2014; The Chinese Overseas Returnees Development Report 2013/2014/2015; Chinese Overseas Professionals Report 2014; Chinese Enterprises Globalization Report 2014/2015;Chinese International Migration Report 2015; all published by China Social Science Academy Press, the most prestigious publishing house under China Social Science Academy. Her latest book also includes Global Think tanks, which is the best seller on the subject in China. In another capacity, Dr. Miao is a Deputy Director of International Writing Center of Beijing Normal University, where she assists Mo Yan, the Center Director and the Chinese Nobel Laureate in Literature.

Frédéric Asseline
Principal Climate Change Specialist (Climate Finance)
Climate Change & Disaster Risk Management Division
Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department
Asian Development Bank


Mr. Asseline is a national of Germany and France. He obtained graduate and post-graduate public law degrees from Paris XI University (France, 1995), a Master’s degree in International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (USA, 1997) and a Dual Executive MBA from INSEAD (France/Singapore, 2011) and the School of Economics and Management of Tsinghua University in Beijing (China, 2011). Mr. Asseline has 20 years of international experience in project and program management, with expertise in the energy sector (renewable and urban energy), climate finance and sustainable urban development. He was also involved in new project development, investment lending supervision and in large trust fund management. He has spent over 15 years working in China, Mongolia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. Prior to joining the ADB, he was a Program Director for Urbanization with GIZ International Services, based in China. He held staff positions at the World Bank in Washington and in Beijing, where he was a Senior Energy Specialist and Coordinator for the Asia Sustainable and Alternative Energy Program (ASTAE), a trust fund supporting renewable energy, energy efficiency and access to energy in the East Asia and Pacific region. He also held China based technical advisor positions in the renewable energy sector with AEA Technology (UK) and with the UNDP.

Shada Islam
Managing Director New Horizons Project & Senior Advisor European Policy Centre


Shada Islam is a respected and well-known Brussels-based commentator on European Union affairs who now works independently as an advisor/analyst/strategist on questions related to Europe Africa Asia Geopolitics Trade and Inclusion.

Ms Islam is a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Natolin where she teaches Europe-Asia relations. She is concurrently a member of the European Policy Centre’s prestigious Strategic Council and Senior Adviser for its Europe in the World programme. She worked for nine years as Director of Europe and Geopolitics at Friends of Europe, an influential independent think tank based in Brussels. Shada now runs her own Brussels-based global strategy and advisory company, New Horizons Project.

In 2017, Ms Islam was selected as one of the 20 most influential women in Brussels by the magazine Politico. She is also a Solvay Fellow at the Vrije University Brussel (VUB).

Ms Islam has spent most of her professional life researching, writing and speaking about the European Union’s relations with Asia, building up a global reputation as a leading commentator, analyst and writer as well as a fresh and original thought-leader on the EU’s domestic and foreign policy agendas.

Jesper Thomsen
Connectivity Coordinator
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark


Jesper Thomsen is Denmark’s connectivity coordinator at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Thomsen has been posted at diplomatic missions in Tokyo, Islamabad, Skopje and Ouagadougou. He is experienced within security policy, development and financing. Recently, he was Denmark’s representative at the Board of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). He worked for the European Union with crisis management at the EU Special Representative Office in North Macedonia. Mr. Thomsen is a graduate of the University of Copenhagen (Political Science) and McGill University.


Anita Prakash
Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)


Anita Prakash is Director, Policy Relations, in the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) in Jakarta, Indonesia. Her key role in ERIA is policy research and policy development for leaders and senior officials of the governments of Southeast Asia, East Asia and Oceania, Europe and Africa. Her policy research covers growth and connectivity in Indo-Pacific, Europe-Asia connectivity, Asia-Africa connectivity, strategic and economic growth in East Asia, South Asia and India. She writes extensively on multilateralism, global governance, sustainable development, trade and economic cooperation, Global Value Chains and industrialization in developing Asia and Africa. She provides policy and research support for cooperation programmes between ASEAN and its Dialogue Partners, the East Asia Summit (EAS) countries, and their counterparts in Europe and Africa. She also supports the workings of the Trade Ministers meetings in ASEAN, East Asia Summit, Asia-Europe Meeting, and to the T 20 and Sherpa process in G20.

Her recent writings include the vision document for “Asia Africa Growth Corridor” (2017) and the “Brussels Report on Asia Europe Connectivity” (2018). She is developing the Plenary Study for the 13th ASEM under Cambodia’s chairmanship. She served in the Government of India from 1991 to 2009 with last posting in the Ministry Commerce.

Konrad Zawodziński
Kozminski University (Akademia Leona Kozminskiego)


Konrad Zawodziński is an attorney-at-law (admitted to practice law in Poland), with over eight years of professional experience at international law firms and as an in-house counsel, certified compliance professional, holder of qualifications conferred by the International Compliance Association.

After a period of research cooperation with the Warsaw School of Economics as a graduate student and a fresh graduate, Konrad returned to the academia as a PhD candidate at Koźmiński University (Warsaw), Poland’s leading private higher education institution. His research focuses on comparative procedural laws, EU litigation, interim measures against the states and in public law disputes, Energy Charter Treaty arbitration, energy market regulation, and competition law. Parallel to his doctoral studies, Konrad is also enrolled at the King’s College London.

Konrad has participated in numerous programmes abroad, including a recently completed Singapore International Arbitration Academy at the National University of Singapore (February 2019). He has been appeared as a speaker for the Competition Law Scholars Forum conference held at Queen Mary University and during the Doctoral Colloquium on Enforcement Challenges in Multi-Level Regulatory Systems in Luxembourg.

Beside his native Polish Konrad speaks fluent English and German, and is conversational in Spanish, French and Russian.

Zane Šime
latvian political science association


Zane Šime specialises in European Affairs. Her most recent research interests revolve around the EU science diplomacy towards Southern Neighbourhood, the role of higher education and research cooperation in the EU-India relations and the Arctic, as well as multi-level governance of the Baltic Sea Region. Zane has obtained professional experience as an international civil servant at the Secretariat of the Council of the Baltic Sea States and the national civil servant in Latvia. She is a graduate of KU Leuven (Belgium) and the University of Latvia (Latvia), as well as a member of the Association of the Polar Early Career Scientists.

Mario Esteban
Autonomous University of Madrid – Elcano Royal Institute


Dr. Mario Esteban, PhD on Political Science and MSc on Asian Politics. He is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for East Asian Studies of the Autonomous University of Madrid and Senior Analyst at Elcano Royal Institute. He has been the principal investigator of projects funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Korea Foundation. He has served as external expert for the European Commission and the European Parliament. He has also been a visiting professor at the Beijing Foreign Studies University and at the University of Turku; and visiting researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing and the Chengchi National University in Taipei. His research interests are focused on the international relations of East Asia, EU – East Asia Relations, and the domestic and international politics of China. On these topics, he has published several books and numerous articles in academic journals, such as The China Quarterly, The Journal of Contemporary China, Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, African and Asian Studies, The Chinese Political Science Review, and The European Journal of East Asian Studies.

Richard Pomfret
University of Adelaide


Richard Pomfret has been Professor of Economics at the University of Adelaide since 1992 and Jean Monnet Chair on the Economics of European Integration since 2017. Before moving to Adelaide, he was Professor of Economics from 1979 to 1991 at the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, Bologna and Nanjing. He has acted as adviser to the Australian government and consultant to international organizations such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, the OECD and United Nations. His research interests centre on economic development and international economics. His recent books include The Age of Equality: The twentieth century in economic perspective (Harvard UP, 2011), Trade Facilitation: Defining, measuring, explaining and reducing the cost of international trade (Edward Elgar, 2012 – co-authored with Patricia Sourdin) and The Central Asian Economies in the Twenty-first Century: Paving a new silk road (Princeton UP, 2019). He is currently working on The Economics of European Integration (to be published by Harvard UP).

Alloysius Joko Purwanto
Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)


Alloysius Joko Purwanto is an energy economist at the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) since 2018. Previously he was a researcher at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Seville, Spain (2005-2008) and then at Transport & Mobility Leuven in Belgium (2008-2018) before moving back to Indonesia and joining ERIA. In ERIA he works on the development of several ASEAN countries’ energy outlook as well as on several transport related studies of the region.

Panayotis Christidis
European Commission’s Joint Research Centre


Panayotis Christidis is a Senior Researcher at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Seville, Spain. He is specialized in the analysis of multi-modal transport networks and connectivity at all scales ranging from urban to international. He has carried our several analyses on the impact of international aviation and agreements on economic development and competition. His main research focus is the development of quantitative methods in order to provide robust evidence for policy makers.

Ellen Putri Edita
Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)


Ellen Putri Edita is a dream chaser who believes that there is no limit to dreaming. After a long wait, she finally reached one of her biggest dreams, being able to study abroad. In a country 14.000 kilometres from her home, she found that the world is huge, diverse, complicated, pretty, and mean at the same time. Often, she questioned herself: “What can I do to make myself more useful for this world?” Obtaining bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering, Diponegoro University, Indonesia and master’s degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science, Lund University, Sweden, Ellen is now passionate about sustainability-related issues, particularly in the complexity of political, social, economy, and environmental relations, which can lead to inequalities. While pursuing her master’s degree, she and her team had a chance to create travel policy suggestion for Malmö Municipality. In addition to her academic activities, Ellen was a co-founder of a start-up called ‘Super Tempe’ which serves as an alternative sustainable food in Sweden. At present, Ellen works as a Research Associate in Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), where she is involved in research on developing Regional Knowledge Centre for Marine Plastic Debris in ASEAN Plus Three countries.

Aditya Wisnugraha Sugiyarto
Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta


Aditya Wisnugraha Sugiyarto was born on October 22, 1999 in Klaten Regency, Central Java, Indonesia. Adit pursued his undergraduate education at Yogyakarta State University, Indonesia in the mathematics study program. In honing and applying his knowledge, Adit did it by making a small research where it can answer the existing problems with a mathematical approach. In addition, he received several awards such as getting a Silver Award at the International Invention & Innovation Competition in 2019. In addition to winning several awards, he also made several scientific papers and published them in several international seminars. His experience in publishing works at international seminars such as The 2nd International Seminar on Mathematics and Mathematics Education in 2018, The 2nd International Conference on Informatics for Development in 2018, 6th International Conference on Research, Implementation and Education of Mathematics and Science in 2019, 1st International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Data Sciences in 2019, 2nd International Conference on Applied Information Technology and Innovation in 2019, and 15th International Asian Urbanization Conference in 2019. For him, experience is the most valuable and most memorable teacher and can motivate himself to be more active in achieving his mission and goals.

Mei-Line Le Goueff
University of Poitiers


Dr. Mei-Line Le Goueff graduate with a J.D. in Common Law from the University of Sherbrooke (Canada) and a Ph.D. in International Law and Sustainable Development from the University of Poitiers (France) in cooperation with McGill University (Canada).

Her research and studies focus on International and European Law, Sustainable Development Law, Comparative Law and International Relations. The objectives of her research are to find sustainable solutions to the problem of States’ development. More specifically her thesis looks at how “sustainable development” becomes a norm and how it is implemented in both theory and practice by international organizations, States, NGO and Companies. Besides, the aim of her research is to find a way to reconcile developing countries and developed countries towards sustainable development law through various actors. She studies three main regions such as EU, ASEAN and NAFTA.

In parallel with her research activities Dr. Mei-Line Le Goueff also worked at the legal service of the European Commission, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vietnam, jurisdictions such as the French Council of State, International Law firm and an Investment Bank.

Plamen Tonchev
Institute of International Economic Relations


Mr Plamen Tonchev is a Senior Researcher and Head of Asia Unit at the Institute of International Economic Relations (IIER), Greece. Plamen sits on the EU Chapter of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (EU CSCAP) committee and, as a representative of IIER, he is a founding member of the European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC). Mr Tonchev has published books, monographs and peer-reviewed articles, and is a regular lecturer at universities, think tanks and other institutions in European and Asian countries.

Plamen’s research interests relate to sustainable connectivity, in particular the Belt and Road Initiative as well as the EU Strategy on Connecting Europe and Asia. Mr Tonchev has worked on specific aspects of sustainability, such as environment-friendly socio-economic development, sound project design, robust monitoring and evaluation, comprehensive impact assessment, transparent public procurement, conflict prevention and resolution, etc. His related publications cover Central and Eastern Europe, the Western Balkans, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean and Central Asia.

Ibnu Budiman
World Resources Institute


Ibnu Budiman is a researcher in World Resources Institute, in the field of environmental policy and governance. He holds a MSc from Wageningen University and Research (WUR), majoring environmental sciences, minoring climate studies and sustainability sciences. He has been working on the topics of architecture of environmental governance, primarily on climate change-related energy, land use and agriculture. Ibnu is particularly interested in the connections between state and non-state actors, examining institutional complexity and fragmentation, and how to improve the performance of (polycentric) governance.

Ibnu was a fellow of the Transrisk and Greenwin project, consortiums of research program of Horizon2020, European Commission (EC). He has published academic articles, policy reports, op-ed articles and book chapters on a variety of environmental issues. He participated in the public debate on environment, climate, energy, agriculture, and among other, through newspaper appearances, seminar, conferences and open lectures. Before joining WUR, Ibnu worked in international consulting firms Sustainability and Resilience ( in partnerships with Stockholm Environmental Institute and other research institutions, advising international public authorities, such as EC/The EU, Asian Development Bank, UNDP, UNIDO and Japan International Cooperation Agency, on environmental, agriculture, energy and climate policies.

Bustanul Arifin
University of Lampung


Bustanul Arifin is Professor of Agricultural Economics in the University of Lampung (UNILA), Senior Economist with the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF), and Professorial Fellow at School of Business in IPB University, Indonesia. He has over 30 year-experience on a comprehensive range of research in food and agricultural policy, institutional change, and sustainable development strategy. He earns a Ph.D. in resource economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA (1995) and Sarjana in agricultural economics from IPB (1985). He contributes his expertise as Food Policy Adviser for Minister of Economic Affairs, Chairman of Statistical Society Forum (FMS), and Vice Chairman of Indonesian Society of Agricultural Economics. He has served as Director of INDEF, Economic Adviser to the House of Representative, Chairman of Expert Group of Food Security Council, and Member of the National Innovation Council. Arifin has published over 40 titles of books in economics and development issues, over 80 articles in scientific journals, presented over 100 papers in international conferences, and over 500 papers in national conferences in Indonesia. Arifin is a well-known analyst on economics and development issues for national television and radio stations, and has written about 1,000 articles and columns in magazines and newspapers.nd.

Helena Uhde
Beijing Institute of Technology


Helena Uhde is currently a PhD candidate at the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research at Beijing Institute of Technology (CEEP-BIT). Her work focuses on the analysis and design of local energy markets, as well as the development of business models for decentralized energy markets in China. Helena studied Economics, Governance and Chinese and holds a M.A. from University of Bayreuth and a B.A. from University of Hamburg (Germany). Prior to joining CEEP-BIT, she worked with JSNR in Nanjing as a project manager for water treatment and biogas projects. Helena is passionate about the global transition to renewable energy and is a founding member of DALE, the Global Initiative for Distributed and Local Energy.

Alessandro Albana
University of Bologna


Alessandro Albana obtained a doctoral degree in “Global and International Studies” at the University of Bologna in April 2019 with a dissertation China’s maritime vision and naval rise. He conducted field research in China on multiple occasions and participated in several international academic conferences. Alessandro published in the fields of Asian Studies, Political Science and International Relations. Along with Antonio Fiori, he is guest editor of a special issue of the International Journal of Taiwan Studies titled “Taiwan: A Frontline of Democracy under Threat?” whose publication is forthcoming. From 2016 to 2018, Alessandro was junior analyst at the Center of Contemporary China Studies, on behalf of whom, in November 2018, he was member of the “Leading European Think Tanks” delegation to China. Alessandro’s research interests include China’s domestic politics, social development and foreign policy, IR and political systems of East Asia. He is assistant coordinator of the “EU-Asia Politics and Markets Studies Platform,” an international academic cooperation initiative involving scholars and students from the University of Bologna, Japan’s Aoyama Gakuin University and Toyo University, and Seoul’s Korea University.

Felippa A. Amanta
Center for Indonesian Policy Studies


Felippa A. Amanta is a researcher at the Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS) where she focuses on food security and trade. Previously, Felippa conducted and published policy research with the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at University of California, Berkeley. When she returned to Indonesia, she then worked at the Women and Youth Development Institute of Indonesia in Surabaya.

She received her Bachelor in Sociology degree from University of California, Berkeley, followed by Master of Public Administration from the Australian National University with the best overall result. She was selected as one of Indonesia’s Future Leaders by the British Council in 2017 and completed the leadership training from University of Cambridge.

Nato Defense College Foundation


Fabio Indeo holds a Ph.D in Geopolitics. Currently he is analyst on Central Asia Energy and Security at the Nato Defense College Foundation (Rome) and non-resident researcher at Center for Energy Governance and Security (EGS) of Hanyang University (South Korea). Dr Indeo works as analyst for the ASEAN-Pacific region at the Strategic Observatory of the The Italian Military Center for Strategic Studies (Cemiss)

His research field is focused on energy security and geopolitics; analysis of national and international energy scenario; energy security and diversification strategy; geopolitics of pipelines, chokepoints and maritime transport routes.

Dr Indeo has been invited to attend several international conferences and lectures presenting his research on energy and geopolitical field. He published several articles on energy issues, among them:
2019 (forthcoming) ASEAN-EU energy cooperation: sharing best practices to implement renewable energy sources in regional energy grids, in Global Energy Interconnections
2018 China’s new energy sourcing: disrupting and competing or improving global energy security? In A. Amighini (ed), “China: champion of (which) globalization?”, ISPI, Milan
2016 The vulnerability of maritime energy routes and Chinese energy security: Hormuz and Malacca chokepoints dilemmas, in A. Beltran (ed.), “Oil Routes”, Peter Lang Editions

Maria Angela Zafra
Strategia Development Research Institute, Inc.


Dr. Maria Angela Zafra is the co-founder and executive director of Strategia Development Research Institute, Inc. (SDRI), a nonprofit research organization focused on providing policy research, capacity building, and technical assistance in various social and economic development areas. She is SDRI’s lead technical expert and project manager for practice areas related to inclusive business models, climate change, tourism, and sustainable development. She has completed projects and conducted capacity-building programs for government agencies, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. Dr. Zafra has a doctorate in business administration from the Ateneo de Davao University, a masters in management from the University of the Philippines Mindanao and a bachelors in environmental Science from the Ateneo de Manila University. She also completed a postgraduate certificate in public policy from the University of Waikato in New Zealand as a New Zealand ASEAN Scholar. She is the recipient of several prestigious international fellowships including the US State Department YSEALI Professional Fellowship, UNIDO Green Industry Fellowship, and the POSCO Fellowship at the East-West Center. Dr. Zafra is also adjunct faculty at the graduate programs of the School of Business and Governance, Ateneo de Davao University

Cungki Kusdarjito
Janabadra University


Cungki Kusdarjito obtained a doctorate at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, majoring in geography and planning. The research interests are in the application of soft computing for planning, DSS and scenario generation. Profession membership such as in PERHEPI (Indonesian Agricultural Economic Association), AAI (Indonesian Agribusiness Association), and IFAMA. In the years 2016 and 2017 wrote a book chapter published by Budapest Business School, Hungary, Keynote speaker at Zhejiang Yuexiu University of Foreign Language in 2018, lecturing in Copernicus University, Torun, Poland (2018), Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland, (2017) and at Warren Wilson College, Asheville, North Carolina (2016), and obtained research grant from AIFIS-Luce, USA for the year 2020. In 2015, it compiled SiDeKa (village and regional information systems) guidelines. For organizational activities, being a board member of Yogyakarta Private University Association (2015-2019), vice chairman of the Board of Yogyakarta Special Region Education Council (2018 – 2022), the founder and vice-chairperson of the Indonesian Scientist-Reformers in 2019 and served as a vice-rector and rector of Janabadra University, Yogyakarta from 2006 to 2018.

Shruti Kulkarni
Indian Institute of Science


Shruti Kulkarni an experienced researcher who aims to accelerate the advent of sustainable development goals, by advancing the state of the art in machine learning and data science. She is finishing her Ph.D. research at the Department of Management Studies, IISc, Bangalore and investigated the evolving management paradigm of corporate sustainability in the case of India under the guidance of Dr. P. Balachandra. Her research developed deeper insights in the context of corporate sustainability in India and provided analytical insights for business performance in the context of climate change risks and opportunities. Prior to that she holds an engineering degree in electronics and telecommunications. She holds a brief experience with the Indian software Industry at the TCS innovation labs. She is passionate about solving complex business problems and active in the data science community such as Women in Machine Learning (WiML) group. Along with this, she is also a co-chair and senior member at the IEEE women in engineering (WiE)- IISc section. Shruti has also held research exchange positions at the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) and was a recipient of the sakura science exchange program.

Constantin Holzer
University College Cork


Constantin Holzer graduated with a PhD in Economics from Renmin University of China before starting his academic career at University College Cork as Lecturer in Chinese Business in 2016. His research focuses on Chinese entrepreneurship and innovation cooperation between China and the EU as well as the dynamics of state-society relations in China under its economic reform process. Before his appointment at UCC he worked as a trainee in the section ‘Science, Technology and Environment’ at the European Union Delegation in Beijing and was awarded the Marietta-Blau Research Fellowship from the Austrian Ministry of Science, Research and Economy for his research on Chinese entrepreneurship and business ethics. Constantin has been involved in the coordination of several EU-level project proposals and is passionate about business and science cooperation between the EU and China.

Missy Oktavia Manullang
LPsr communication & business institute


Missy Oktavia P. Manullang is an International Relations Graduate from LSPR Communication & Business Institute, Jakarta, Indonesia. During her study, she was a member of LSPR Student League and actively participated in Martial Arts Club while serving as a club treasurer. On 2016, through LSPR International Academic Exchange, Missy was chosen as a student representative to EU Business School Munich in Germany.

Yuliana Riana Prasetyawati
LPsr communication & business institute


Yuliana Riana Prasetyawati, Head of Undergraduate Programme in Management at LSPR Communication & Business Institute, Jakarta, Indonesia. Currently pursuing her Doctoral degree in the University of Indonesia. She is also Head of Centre for ASEAN Public Relations Studies (CAPRS). As she is passionate in ASEAN research, she is trusted to be the Chairman for Call for Abstract in ASEAN Public Relations Conference (APRC) on September 20 – 23, 2017 at Bali, Indonesia. On February, 2018, Yuliana visited The Hague University in Netherland as the guest lecturer and to promote ASEAN as well as offering a collaboration research about ASEAN. The research collaboration titled: Young Generation Perspective about ASEAN, with students from The Hague University as the respondents. One of her most recent publication is a book titled “ASEAN Travel Infographics: Facts and Recommendation” that contains data, recommendations and facts on tourism of 10 ASEAN member countries, to attract the attentions of its target audience as readers. She is also a writer in a book titled “Inspirasi Komunikasi Bagi Indonesia” together with LSPR lecturers. She has published several journal articles such “Higher Education within ASEAN Connectivity” in Asia Pacific Studies Journal.

YEO Lay Hwee
European Union Centre,  Singapore


Dr YEO Lay Hwee is Director of the European Union Centre in Singapore. The EU Centre is a Research Centre in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at the Nanyang Technological University that takes pride in promoting multidisciplinary research focusing on impact of science and technology on society and humanity. Lay Hwee is also Council Secretary at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, Adjunct Fellow at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, and Adjunct Faculty at the Singapore Management University. Lay Hwee sits on several Advisory Boards including Centre for European Studies at the Australian National University, KU Leuven’s Master in European Studies Programme; Centre for Asia-Pacific Studies, Tallinn University of Technology, and the Leiden Asia Centre in Leiden University. She is also a member of the Scientific Committee of a multi-year research project on “Trends in Global Governance and Europe’s Role” (TRIGGER) led by the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). Her research interests revolve around comparative regionalism, multilateralism and governance networks. She has written extensively on issues pertaining to Asia-Europe relations in general, and specifically on the ASEM process and EU-ASEAN relations. She participates actively in various research networks, policy dialogues and academic conferences.


Eleonora Salluzzi
International Trade Centre, GENeva


Eleonora Salluzzi currently works at the International Trade Centre (ITC) – a joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization in Geneva – where she provides technical assistance to implement trade facilitation-related projects in developing and least-developed countries, with a regional focus on South/Southeast Asia. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in International Relations, both earned in Rome, Italy. She has complemented her education with traineeships and study exchanges in Geneva, Rome, Brussels and Wellington, New Zealand. Her Master’s Degree dissertation on the EU economic diplomacy has been selected among the best ten dissertations in a national competition and was presented at the Italian Chamber of Deputies in January 2017. She is passionate about trade policy, multilateralism and economic diplomacy.

pascal abb


Pascal Abb is a senior researcher at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF). Previously, he was a researcher at the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, at the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution, and a visiting fellow at several universities in China and Taiwan. He is currently conducting a research project on the impact of China’s Belt and Road Initiative on conflict states, focusing on specific effects of Chinese-supplied infrastructure on conflict dynamics and deriving practical suggestions for managing them. A China specialist by training, he has previously worked on the development of think tanks in China and Chinese regional diplomacy. His research on these issues has been published in the Journal of Contemporary China, Modern China and Pacific Affairs, among others.

Maaike Okano-Heijmans
Netherlands Institute for International Relations ‘Clingendael’


Maaike Okano-Heijmans, PhD, is a senior research fellow at the Netherlands Institute for International Relations ‘Clingendael’ in The Hague and a visiting lecturer at the University of Leiden. She has more than 10 years’ experience in (policy-oriented) research and advice on issues of (digital) connectivity, economic diplomacy and the geopolitics of tech in EU-Asia relations, with a special focus on China and Japan. A key question underlying much of her work is how developments in these fields matter to Europe, the EU and, in particular, to the Netherlands

Maaike is Clingendael’s scientific coordinator for the Asia-Pacific Research and Advice Network (#APRAN), advising the European External Action Service and the European Commission. She also leads Clingendael’s projects on ‘Geopolitics, great powers and global governance’ for the Dutch Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense. She is a regularly invited speaker at public conferences, track 1.5 dialogues, think tanks and universities in Europe and Asia.

Maaike obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Antwerp, Belgium, and holds Master degrees from the University of Amsterdam and Waseda University in Tokyo.




Ana Rita Neves currently works at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre – Competence Centre on Composite Indicators and Scoreboards, where she has been part of the team developing the Asia-Europe Meeting sustainable connectivity index. Prior to joining the European Commission, Ana worked for six years at Climate Alliance, an international network of cities dedicated to climate action. At Climate Alliance, she was coordinating the development of the energy and climate reporting framework for over 7,000 cities engaged in the Covenant of Mayors initiative and involved in policy and advocacy activities linked to the international climate process. She was also an external expert evaluator of Horizon 2020, the biggest European Union’s research and innovation programme. Ana has worked in research and international organisations for over 13 years at the intersection between science and policy. She holds a Ph.D. in Sustainable Energy Systems from the MIT-Portugal Programme, a Masters in Urban and Environmental Planning and a degree in Environmental Engineering.

Asad beg
EUROPEAN external action service


Asad Beg works as Adviser to the Ambassador at Large for Connectivity at the European External Action Service in Brussels, since July 2019. He started his career at the European Commission in Luxembourg in 1994, managing foreign direct investment statistics, working extensively with EU Central Banks. In 1996, he moved to the European Parliament in Brussels, working as head of the Information Centre and then for the Budget Control Committee. In 2001, he worked in public affairs at the London office of the European Parliament. As first secretary at the EU Delegation in Almaty, Asad Beg was responsible for finance, contracts and audit matters related to development cooperation with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan from 2003 to 2007. As legal advisor, he was responsible for common foreign and security policy operations in the Middle East notably on judicial, police and penitentiary cooperation in Iraq and Palestine until 2009. After working on relations with China and Mongolia, he served as Counsellor, head of political, press and information affairs of the EU Office to Hong Kong and Macao from 2011 to 2015. His last posting was as Minister Counsellor, head of political, press and information affairs to at the Delegation of the European Union to China from 2015 to 2019. Asad graduated from Bristol University and Imperial College, England. In addition to English, he speaks French, German, Russian, Arabic, Urdu/Hindi and is studying Mandarin. He has three daughters.

bart gaens
the finnish institute of international affairs (FIIA)


Bart Gaens works as Senior Research Fellow at the Global Security Research Program at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) in Helsinki. He is also Project Director for the Center on US Politics and Power at the same institute, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Helsinki. Recently he was also affiliated to Osaka University as Specially-Appointed Associate Professor. He has published widely on Europe-Asia relations and the ASEM process; on Japan’s foreign policy and regional role; and on international relations and security-related issues in the Indo-Pacific region. Most recently he has also published on the EU-Asia connectivity strategy. (Co-)edited books and reports: Japan’s Search for Strategic Security Partnerships (Routledge, 2018); Inter-regional relations and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) (Palgrave, 2017); Managing unpredictability. Transatlantic relations in the Trump era (FIIA, 2017); The European Union’s Role in Asia: China and India as Strategic Partners (Ashgate, 2009); Europe-Asia Interregional Relations – A Decade of ASEM (Ashgate, 2008).

christopher len
Energy Studies Institute, National University of Singapore


Dr. Christopher Len is a Senior Research Fellow at the Energy Studies Institute (ESI) of the National University of Singapore (NUS). His research focuses on Asian energy and maritime security issues, regional infrastructure connectivity, Chinese foreign policy, as well as the growing political and economic linkages between the various Asian sub-regions. In recent years, he has also developed an interest in the Arctic region, focusing on energy policy-related issues in the Arctic which are also of relevance to the wider world — from the governance of sustainable energy transition, to energy access in remote locations, maritime infrastructures and shipping and issues related to innovation, resilience and capacity-building. He was the Singapore co-convenor for the August 2018 Arctic Renewable Energy Atlas (AREA) Project workshop, initiated under the Arctic Council’s Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG). Christopher obtained his PhD from the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP) at the University of Dundee in Scotland where he was awarded the Dean’s Medal for Research. He also has degrees from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and Uppsala University, Sweden. He is also an Associate Fellow at the ISEAS—Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore.



Diana-Larisa Zahorte is the Deputy Head of Mission of the Romanian Embassy in Singapore. She previously worked in the Headquarters of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Asia-Pacific Division, between 2016–2018, and was a National Expert in Professional Training in the Asia Pacific Department of the European External Action Service from October 2017 to January 2018. Before joining the Romanian Diplomatic Corps, she worked as a freelance translator. Ms Zahorte is a graduate of China University of Political Science and Law (Master’s Degree in International Politics) and Babeș-Bolyai University (Bachelor’s Degree in English Language and Literature and Chinese Language and Literature).

nicola bianchi
italian embassy in singapore


Nicola Bianchi is currently the diplomatic counselor for science and technology at the Italian embassy in Singapore. He is also chairman of the nuclear physics division board of the European Physical Society and of the Lise Meitner Committee which awards the best European nuclear physicist every 2 years. He was recently the Italian government representative in the council of the SESAME multilateral project in Jordan. In the past, for many years, he has been a scientific expert of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. He was member of several committees, such as the LHeC international advisory committee at CERN, the program advisory committee of the TJNAF center in USA and the INFN Italian nuclear physics committee. He was editor of the European Physical Journal A, member of the editorial board of the HERMES collaboration at DESY (Germany), referee for DOE (USA), CNRS and ANR (France), FNRS (Belgium) and INFN (Italy) and for various scientific international journals. His experimental research was conducted in the field of nuclear and particle physics performed by leading several projects in LNF (Italy), ELSA and DESY (Germany) and CERN (Switzerland). He has published over 400 peer-reviewed articles with an h-index of about 120.

william becker
indenpendent consultant, former european commission joint research centre


William Becker is an accomplished data scientist with extensive experience in international policy making. Originally from a technical background, he received a PhD in mechanical engineering, statistics and machine learning from the University of Sheffield in 2011. For the last nine years he has worked at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, supporting high-level international policy making with innovative data and policy analysis; and developing composite indicators and scoreboards for monitoring global trends. In parallel, he has built a strong cross-disciplinary academic track record, with a wide range of high-impact publications, and keynote speeches in international conferences. Applications of his work include sustainable development, international connectivity, policy/performance monitoring and impact assessment, environmental science, engineering and economics.

Abdul Kaium Masud
Noakhali Science and Technology University


Dr. Masud is currently working as an associate professor, department of Business Administration, Noakhali Science and Technology University.  Prior to the present position, Dr. Masud was an adjunct professor at Inha Business School, Inha University, South Korea.  Mr. Masud has been working on sustainable management issues including Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Carbon pricing and Climate Finance. He has completed his PhD from Sustainability Management Research Institute, Inha University, South Korea in the area of Sustainability Management.  During the academic journey, Mr. Masud has joined and presented many national and international seminars, workshops and conferences. He has published his research on many international reputed and impact factors journals, including Sustainability, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Sustainability Accounting Management and Policy Journal, International Journal of Financial Studies, Asian Journal of Sustainability and Social Responsibility, Problems and Perspectives in Management. He has been working on many international journals as a peer reviewer.  Currently he is the reviewer board member of Sustainability and managing editor of Asian Journal of Sustainability and Social Responsibility journal. Mr. Masud is keenly interested in empirical findings of Business Management connection on Politics in the South Asian countries. He is mostly devoted to exploring Corporations’ strategy on CSR and sustainable development in connection to organizational as well as financial performance. 

George Cunningham
EEAS – European External Action Service


George Cunningham is the Strategic Adviser on Asia-Pacific at the European External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels. He is also the EU Alternate Senior Official for the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), helping prepare the upcoming 53 Heads of Government summit in Phnom Penh in 2021.

George was previously Deputy EU Ambassador to Afghanistan (2016-18); EEAS Deputy Head of Division for China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Mongolia (2012-16); Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the EU’s Delegation to New Zealand (2007-12); and Coordinator for bilateral trade relations with the United States at the European Commission’s Trade Directorate General (2005-07). He was also Head of Accession Process and Cooperation at the EC’s Delegation to Cyprus (2003-05) and Head of Press/Public Affairs and Political Counsellor at the EC’s Delegation to the United Nations in New York (2000-03).

He started his career in the British Army, worked for British Petroleum and British Telecom, ran an NGO and worked as an UN official in New York before joining the European Commission.

He is a member of Chatham House in London. His book – Journey to Become a Diplomat – was published in 2005 by the Foreign Policy Association of New York.