Dr. Peter J. Middlebrook

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, travelled 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. He has been an invited speaker as the US Council On Foreign Relation (CFR), the Hague Institute for Global Governance and the Asia Europe Foundation (ASEF), and he is an invited speaker at regional economic summits and conferences. He is also a member of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Capital Club and a regular contributor to Al Jazeera on Middle East, North African and Central Asian current affairs. He is widely published on economic issues, growth and market volatility.

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Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Mohamed A Omar

Mohamed A Omar, PhD is the former Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation in Somaliland and the former Trade & Investment Minister in Somaliland. He has 24 years of professional experience in managing social & economic development programs and leading transition, stabilization and state-building work. As a former Foreign Minister and Minister of Trade and International Investment for the Government of Somaliland, he dealt with major political, security and economic challenges at a national and regional level in cooperation with international institutions such as the World Bank, UN, EU as well as foreign governments. He is an expert in State-building, transition management, stabilization, peace building, reconciliation, foreign affairs, diplomacy, political work, security, counter-piracy, trade, investment, institutional reform, negotiations.

Mr. Omar has presented papers and speeches at many international conferences including World Economic Forum on Africa, Abuja April 2014, UAE investment Conference, Feb 2014 and European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, March 2012. He frequently attends high-level meetings, often as head of delegation with heads of state including Prime Minister David Cameron (2013), Prime Minister of Turkey (2013), Prime Minister of Ethiopia (2010-2013) and Emir of Kuwait (2011).

Mr. Omar is fluent in English, Dutch, Somalia and Arabic.

East and Southern Africa

Dr. Richard J. Ponzio

Dr. Richard Ponzio is a Senior Adviser for Geopolicity U.S.A. and a Nonresident Fellow at The Stimson Center. 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 served as a Senior Adviser in the U.S. State Department’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. He has also served in senior policy and strategic planning positions for the United Nations in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, the Solomon Islands, and New York. He has a DPhil from Oxford University on a Clarendon-Scholarship; a MALD from The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy and The Graduate Institute Geneva as a MacJannet Fellow, and a BA from Columbia University.

He brings more than two decades of expertise in economic reconstruction and political institution-building in fragile and conflict-affected states, civil society and private sector development, and reforming global institutions to better manage national political transitions, violent conflict, climate change, and economic globalization. He has published widely in Foreign Policy, Global Governance, edited volumes, newspapers, journals, UN policy reports (including national, regional, and global Human Development Reports), and books, including most recently Democratic Peacebuilding: Aiding Afghanistan and other Fragile States (OUP, 2011) and Human Development and Global Institutions: Evolution, Impact, and Reform (Routledge, January 2016, with Dr. Arunabha Ghosh). 

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Economic and Political Governance and Stabilization

Dr. Amer Durrani

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.

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Infrastructure & Energy Lead

Dr. Nadeem Ul Haq

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.

Macro-Fsical and Economic Growth

Bikash Dash

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.

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Institutional & Capacity Development

Albana Vuji, MSc

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.

Strategic Water Investment

Deres Abdulkadir MSc

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.

Rural Development & Food Security

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