Dr. Peter J. Middlebrook - Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Peter J. Middlebrook is the co-founder and CEO of Geopolicity Inc, an international management and consultancy group based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He was formally with the World Bank (Vice President’s Office) and PREM for South Asia, the European Union (AIDCO/RELEX) and UK Government. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Durham (2002) Institute of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and a BSc. (First Class) Honours in Environmental Studies and Ecology from the University of Northumbria.
He has more than 25 years in international development experience, living and working in the Middle East, North and East Africa and Central and Southern Asia covering various aspects of governance, economic growth, employment and state stability. He has worked in over than 50 countries, traveled to more than 100, and led teams (ranging from 5 to 200) on more than 30 significant exercises including national needs assessment and national, sector and industry development strategies. Dr. Middlebrook has worked as a senior advisor to Heads of State, Cabinet Executives, multilateral and bilateral institutions and is a regular invited speaker at Middle East Summits and Conferences.
His work has been covered on BBC, Aljazeera, CNN, Time Magazine, The Financial Times, Sky News, USA Today, Reuters, Bloomberg and national media including the Gulf News, Albaweba, Alarabiya, the UAE National and Egypt News, The Times of India, The Hindu Times etc.
Amer Durrani - Infrastructure and Energy
Amer Durrani, PhD spent 17 years with the World Bank Group (WBG) in 20 countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, India, Sri Lanka, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Philippines, Georgia, Iran, Tunisia. Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyz Republic. Amer has previously worked with the World Bank Group (WBG) for 17 years, in 20 countries; before resigning he was covering Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyz Republic.
In the WBG he has worked on: partnerships; energy; trade logistics; standards, metrology, testing, and quality; railways; ports; highways; aviation; urban transport; community driven development; community infrastructure; social protection—including disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and public works programs; sub-national finance; e-government; technology integration; privatization and enterprise reform; public institutions; public expenditure reviews; and, disaster risk management. Amer also has 8 years of fragile-conflict states experience.
His WBG assignments have also covered Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, India, Sri Lanka, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Philippines, Georgia, Iran, and Tunisia. Before the WBG he worked for 12 years in the transport sector with Construction Companies, Consultants, Academia, and Government, in USA, Italy, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan. Amer also serves as an advisor to the President of the National Academy of Performing Arts in Pakistan. Mr. Durrani currently focuses on: (a) collaborations in social entrepreneurship; (b) solutions for low cost renewable energy; and (c) improving infrastructure governance.
Amba Tadaa - Project Director
Amba Tadaa is a project director and economist with Geopolicity, bringing several years of practical experience working with the UN, World Bank, European Union, Asian Development Bank and UK FCDO in Africa, Asia and Europe. He is a graduate from the University of Cambridge with a first-class MPhil in Development Studies, focusing on development economics & political economy and has an undergraduate degree from the London School of Economics (First Class).
His previous professional engagements are various including extensive experience in sustainable development finance, private sector development, blended finance, undertaking Development Finance Assessments (DFA) and Integrated National Financing Frameworks (INFF), strengthening planning and budgeting processes, public sector management, institutional reform and capacity development, and financial inclusion and socio-economic impact assessment . He has worked on Malaysia, Somalia, Kenya, Botswana, Afghanistan, Iraq, Tajikistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kyrgyzstan Republic, India, Jordan, Nigeria, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
Bikash Dash - Public Sector Modernization
Bikash Dash, Masters in Sociology and Management has spent 15 years with UNDP and other UN organizations. He has more than 22 years of international development experience covering UNDP’s area in the field of Democratic Governance, Poverty Reduction, Crisis Prevention Recovery and Program/Project Management across the Asia Pacific, Europe CIS and African regions. Some of the countries where Bikash has worked are Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Georgia, India, Kosovo, Laos, Mongolia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Uganda, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vietnam and Afghanistan.
Bikash has worked with UNDP, UNCDF, UNV, UNIDO, World Bank, ADB, DFID, SDC in the governance sector covering public administration reform, decentralization, local governance, institutional reform/development, capacity assessment/development, rule of law, policy formulation, community participation / participatory planning, program / project design & management. Other areas of work include strengthening sustainable livelihoods & economic growth, community empowerment/mobilization and management of relief and rehabilitation projects during natural disasters. Bikash was instrumental in introducing the Capacity Assessment and Capacity Development approach in the Europe and CIS region using UNDP’s Capacity Development Approach. After that he has undertaken similar assessments starting from Village up to Prime Minister’s Office in more than 12 countries across different regions of the world. Bikash has several publications published by UNDP and other organizations.
Dr. Richard Ponzio - Democratic Goverance, Security and Justice
Richard Ponzio is Director of the Global Governance, Justice & Security Program and a Senior Fellow at Stimson. Previously, he directed the Global Governance Program at The Hague Institute for Global Justice, where (in a partnership with Stimson) he served as Director for the Albright-Gambari Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance. He brings expertise in the areas of global and national democratic institution-building, global political economy, South-Central Asia, and the role of international institutions in responding to state fragility, climate instability, global financial volatility, and population displacement.
Ponzio is formerly a Senior Adviser in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, where he conceptualized and coordinated Secretary Hillary Clinton’s and later John Kerry’s New Silk Road initiative. Earlier he served as a Senior Strategy and Policy Officer in the State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, where he initiated a global network of multi/bilateral peacebuilding and stabilization organizations. From 1999-2009, Ponzio served in a variety of senior policy and strategic planning positions for the United Nations in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, the Solomon Islands, and New York. From 1997-1999, he was a Visiting Fulbright Fellow at the Mahbub ul Haq Human Development Centre in Islamabad, where his research focused on the governance-security-development nexus in South Asia.
Albana Vuji - Economic and Sector Development
Albana Vuji (M.A, MBA) is a senior International Development and Infrastructure Economist with over 20 years of work experience across different organizations; both public and private. She has worked widely with the World Bank, the EU, UN, US Government, EBRD, USAID and KfW in projects involving economic, financial, institutional and regulatory aspects of public services. She worked on the US Government Economic Impact Assessments of the US$ 28 billion New Silk Road and other projects such as UN Country Water Strategy reforms and on decentralization of public services.
Ms. Vuji’s expertise include policy and strategy development, legal and regulatory reforms, institution building and functional restructuring, local government and decentralization, sector studies, economic and financial impact assessments for public and private sector, Public-Private-Partnerships, macroeconomic analysis, project evaluation, feasibility studies, business planning, PSP, training and project management. Ms. Viji has worked in Southeastern Europe, the Middle East (Iraq, UAE, Jordan) Afghanistan and Africa, with a broad range of actors, from utility companies to local and central government.
Nadeem Ul Haq - Macro-Economics
Dr. Nadeem Ul Haque is a former Deputy Minister of Planning for Pakistan and former IMF Resident Country Representative for Egypt and Sri Lanka. He has wide-ranging operational experience with over 24 years at the International Monetary Fund, including leading technical assistance missions and policy and research teams. Dr. Ul Haque has a strong background in economic analysis and policy development, reflected in numerous publications in academic and policy journals and conference participation.
As the IMF Representative for two central banks, he organized a modernization effort, which included improvements in the monetary framework and the policy formulation process. He also led organizational reform and efforts for nationwide deregulation in Sri Lanka. To ensure success of the reform efforts in Sri Lanka, Dr. Ul Haque led the highly successful public dialog with civil society and was the initiating member and architect of Deregulation Committee, Financial Market Reform Committee and Chambers-Academia Round Table for Education Reform. In each case, the committee was by private sector based, with limited official participation. Such committees helped sharpen the domestic debate and raise awareness of the need for reform. Dr. Ul Haque is a skilled public speaker with ability to develop and lead public debate in diverse topics.
Deres Abdulkakir - Rural and Community Development
Deres Abdulkadir, with an MSc Degree in Agriculture from the University of London, UK, has for more than 30 years served in several agencies including the Ethiopian Government’s Ministry of Agriculture, international and local NGOs, the European Union, and private organizations. His extensive professional engagement in Ethiopia covered fields such as agricultural and rural development, food security, natural resources management (NRM), climate adaptation and WASH.
Over the long years of his professional career he has served in the capacities of team leader, regional office head, program coordinator/manager, Advisor, Executive Director, and Consultant. These positions and his other professional engagements have provided him with skills in programs planning, management and coordination, participatory development approaches, monitoring and evaluation, reviewing and/or appraising projects, contracts management, budget preparation, accounting and reporting, resources mobilization, networking and coordination with partners, and value chain development activities. Deres has attended many conferences and seminars including the “European Forum on Agricultural Research and Development” in Zurich, Switzerland, the international workshop on Natural Resources Management in Guatemala, Central America, the World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, the Multiple Use of Water Services (MUS) think tank roundtable workshop, in Bellagio, Italy, etc. where he made presentations on various issues.