Fall 2015 Symposium


LIDS Event 10.16.15-page-0

12:00pm – 1:00pm: Lunch and Opening Speaker Edith Quintrell, Director, World Bank Group

1:15pm – 2:45pm: Panel 1: Business Development in Post-Conflict Areas

    • Sakuntala Akmeemana Senior Governance Specialist, World Bank
    • Jim Bullion CEO, Phoenix Global Services LLC
    • Marcela Escobari Executive Director, Harvard Center for International Development
    • Thomas Staal Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator, USAID Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance

2:45pm – 3:15pm Coffee and Tea Break

3:15pm – 4:45pm Panel 2: Dilemmas Humanitarian Actors Face in High-Conflict Areas

    • Claude Bruderlein, Senior Researcher at the Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research
    • James Hooper, Managing Director of the Public International Law and Policy Group
    • Simar Singh, Humanitarian Policy Coordinator, Humanitarian Negotiation Initiative, Conflicts Dynamics Internaitonal
    • Paul Williams, President and Co-Founder of the Public International Law and Policy Group

5:00pm – 6:00pm Closing Speaker Paul Brinkley, Co-Founder and CEO, North America Western Asia Holdings; Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense

6:00pm – 7:00pm Evening Reception with Speakers

All events will take place in Ames Courtroom with the reception on the first floor of Austin Hall.


Sakuntala Akmeemana is a Senior Governance Specialist, who has worked both in the field and at headquarters. She has worked extensively in South Asia and East Asia, focusing particularly on the political economy of institutional change; understanding the incentives and conditions under which local elites invest in broadly developmental institutions and processes (particularly in countries emerging from conflict); service delivery and the state-citizen interface; and justice and drivers of conflict (including empirical approaches to issues of disputation, crime and security from a citizen’s perspective). Prior to joining the Bank, Saku worked for the United Nations in a number of fields: political affairs, post-conflict institutional development, refugee and humanitarian assistance. Early in her career, she worked on indigenous land issues, and served in legal and policy advisor roles in the Australian Government.

Paul Brinkley is the co-founder and CEO of North America Western Asia Holdings (NAWAH), a business development firm establishing industrial enterprises in the Middle East. In 2013, NAWAH announced its reopening of the historic port of Basra, establishing a modern container terminal in the city center, financed by private capital. NAWAH has since expanded to offer multimodal logistics service including cargo vessel operations from the UAE to Iraq, and launched partnerships with MRC Global and US Steel serving regional markets. Brinkley served as U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense from 2005-2011. In this position, he led business modernization initiatives for DoD, working with military departments to transform business operations to enhance support for military requirements and improve financial accountability.

In 2006, at the request of military commanders, Brinkley established and led the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, restoring industrial operations, farms, banks, and facilitating international investment in Iraq, deploying hundreds of business leaders, engineers, accountants, and scholars, later expanding operations to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Rwanda, and Sudan, reporting to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and serving both the Bush and Obama administrations. This effort restored or created hundreds of thousands of jobs in conflict-ridden communities. Brinkley held a number of executive roles in Silicon Valley, including JDS Uniphase and Nortel Networks, managing operations in North America, Europe and Asia. A licensed professional engineer, he is the recipient of four U.S. patents, and has published research on process optimization, production economics and artificial intelligence. He is the recipient of the Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Medal, the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, and the Defense of Freedom Medal for injuries sustained in a bomb attack in Iraq. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Claude Bruderlein is Senior Researcher at the Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research. He also holds a faculty appointment at the Harvard School of Public Health and Kennedy School of Government, where he teaches strategic planning in humanitarian protection. In his research, Mr. Bruderlein focuses particularly on humanitarian negotiations and mediation strategies, the protection of civilians, the development of humanitarian law and the role of information technologies in emergency response.

He is currently serving part-time as Strategic Advisor to the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva, focusing on strategic relationships, communities of practice and institutional development. In 2010, he co-founded the International Association of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection and serves as its first President of the Board.

Before joining Harvard University, Mr. Bruderlein served as Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on Humanitarian Affairs, focusing particularly on issues related to the negotiation of humanitarian access and the targeting of sanctions. He served as an expert to the UN Security Council on the humanitarian impact of sanctions in Sudan, Burundi, and Sierra Leone. He has also previously worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as a delegate in Iran, Israel and the Occupied Territories, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Yemen.

Jim Bullion served as Director of the US Department of Defense’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO). In that role, Mr. Bullion led a 70-person organization whose mission was to identify and execute opportunities for investments in Afghanistan designed to create long-term private-sector growth. Under Mr. Bullion’s leadership TFBSO invested $150 million in Afghanistan, much focused on launching the development of Afghanistan’s natural resources. TFBSO attracted the first international investment into the mining and oil and gas sectors, tendering four copper and gold mines and two major oil and gas fields and managed a $30 million rehabilitation and expansion of Afghanistan’s only natural gas pipeline, setting the stage for commercialization and industrialization of the gas industry. TFBSO also helped modernize and accelerate the growth of existing industries, increasing product value and linking companies to international markets and sources of capital. Finally, TFBSO built a small business incubator in Herat and a business innovation hub in Kabul to support young Afghan entrepreneurs, the future leaders of Afghanistan.

Before taking leadership of TFBSO, Mr. Bullion was President of Phoenix Global Services LLC, a management consulting and management firm, which provides strategic and operational support to corporations and government entities. Clients included the Audax Group, a Boston-based private equity firm, and Detica-DFI, Inc., a provider of services to US Government agencies, since sold to BAE Systems. In addition, Mr. Bullion worked in Mali, Uganda and Madagascar for various clients.

Prior to being activated for active service with the US Army in Iraq in 2002, Mr. Bullion was a Vice President at Genuity, a $1 billion publicly-traded telecommunications services company affiliated with Verizon Corporation, where he launched a series of Internet- based services and managed strategic business development and acquisitions and alliances with major partners such as Microsoft, Cisco, Akamai and EMC. Earlier in his career, Mr. Bullion built and managed international operations for UNIFI Communications, a high-growth start-up, where he launched operations in China, Korea, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Indonesia and Taiwan. He also managed the company’s relationship with its strategic investor, Singapore Telecom, which eventually purchased the company. Mr. Bullion served 30 years as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, including two combat tours in Iraq, and was awarded three Bronze Star Medals and the Combat Action Badge.

Marcela Escobari is Executive Director of Harvard’s Center for International Development, a university-wide center that develops and disseminates breakthrough strategies for growth and prosperity in developing countries. The Center encompasses 40 staff and fellows and 80 faculty associates from across Harvard University.

She has two decades of experience in economic development. Before joining the CID, Marcela led the Americas region and served on the Executive Committee of the OTF Group, a strategy consulting firm that advises private and public sector leaders on how to improve export competitiveness.

Her work at OTF included advising the president of the Dominican Republic on the country’s industrial policy, the government of Colombia on revitalizing its tourism industry, and the Jamaican entertainment and tourism industries on increasing their earning potential. She has also led strategy projects for private multinationals on corporate strategy, product positioning and market entry.

Marcela has a particular interest in the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) on economic development. She has led studies on the effectiveness of ICT investments in the Caribbean and Africa, and assessed the role business incubation in driving entrepreneurship in 47 developing countries. Along with Harvard and London Business School professors, she co-authored cases on successful business strategies in Latin American companies. She has spoken about issues of technology, entrepreneurship and competitiveness in a wide range of policy, industry and academic forums throughout the Americas, and gave the keynote address at the “International Conference of Social Women Entrepreneurs” for an audience of over 1000 women entrepreneurs in Mexico City.

The World Economic Forum recently named Marcela a Young Global Leader for 2013. Marcela serves on the board of Root Capital, an organization financing rural development, and co-authored the book In the River They Swim: Essays from Around the World on Enterprise Solutions to Poverty.

Prior to working at OTF, Marcela worked with indigenous communities in Bolivia for the World Bank and was a Mergers & Acquisitions investment banker with JP Morgan in New York. Marcela grew up in Bolivia, holds a B.A. in Economics from Swarthmore College and a Masters in Public Policy (MPP) from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

James Hooper is a Managing Director of the Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG). He is the former director of the Washington office of the International Crisis Group (ICG), an independent non-government global advocacy organization that focuses on conflict early alert, prevention, and containment. He also directed ICG’s Balkan programs. He helped found the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ Radio Sawa initiative for the Middle East after September 11 and served as the radio’s first General Manager.

In his prior capacity as executive director of the Balkan Action Council, a Washington- based non-profit organization, he analyzed the Balkan situation for the media in interviews with the Lehrer Newshour, CNN, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Bosnian television, BBC, Voice of America, National Public Radio, Radio Free Europe, and numerous other broadcasting outlets plus frequent interviews with major U.S. and foreign newspapers and news magazines. His frequent public speaking appearances included occasional testimony before Congress. He was the subject of a feature article in the New York Times “Public Lives” series in 1999.

Previously, as a career United States diplomat with the Foreign Service for twenty-five years, Mr. Hooper served at assignments in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, during the 1973 October War; Beirut, Lebanon; Damascus, Syria, during the Lebanon civil war and formative years of the Arab-Israel peace process; Tripoli, Libya, during the Qadhafi- inspired mob attacks against the American Embassy; London, England; Kuwait, where as Deputy Ambassador he negotiated and implemented the naval protection agreement for reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers; and Warsaw, Poland, where as Deputy Ambassador he led the effort to prepare Poland’s post-communist government and military for NATO membership. He also served as the State Department’s director of Canadian Affairs and as diplomat-in-residence at the Political Science Department of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While serving as deputy director of the office of East European and Yugoslav affairs from 1989-91, he was responsible for managing U.S. bilateral relations with the Balkan and Baltic states. He retired from the Foreign Service in 1997.

Mr. Hooper was the most senior dissenter on Bosnia policy within the Department of State. He met with two secretaries of state, numerous senior Department officials, White House staff members, and gatherings of Foreign Service Officers to promote an alternative approach to the Balkan crisis from 1991-1994. Mr. Hooper received his Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University in New York and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the American University’s School of International Service in Washington, D.C. He has served as a Scholar in Residence with American University’s Human Rights Institute.

Edith Quintrell is a Director of the World Bank Group. She is the former Director of the Operations Group of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the political risk insurance and credit enhancement arm of the World Bank Group. This group is responsible for underwriting MIGA’s guarantees and developing the agency’s business in a number of areas, including infrastructure, post-conflict countries, frontier markets, South-South investment, and sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining MIGA in 2007, Ms. Quintrell held various senior level positions in the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) such as Vice President for Insurance, Director of Technical Operations, and Regional Manager. Ms. Quintrell has also been active in the Berne Union, including as Chair of the Investment Insurance Committee. Prior to joining OPIC, Ms. Quintrell worked at the Pan American Development Foundation, a nongovernmental organization in Washington, DC. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and Latin American studies from Princeton University, and a master’s degree in international affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Ms. Quintrell was a Fulbright Scholar at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia from 1985-1986.

Simar Singh is a member of CDI’s Humanitarian Policy team. She is the coordinator of Conflict Dynamics’ Humanitarian Negotiation Initiative and also works on the organization’s Children and Armed Conflict Initiative. Ms. Singh’s professional expertise is in the area of human rights and humanitarian policy. Her work has primarily focused on policy development related the protection of children in situations of armed conflict. Prior to joining Conflict Dynamics in 2012, she spent four years working at the Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, where she conducted research and advocacy on the situation of children affected by armed conflict in several contexts including: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Burma, Afghanistan, Nepal and Colombia. Her work also focused on the development of the UN Security Council’s Children and Armed Conflict agenda.

Ms. Singh holds a graduate degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and an undergraduate degree in International Relations from Mount Holyoke College.

Thomas Staal has spent most of his career working overseas in international development. He has worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) since 1988, beginning in Sudan as an Emergency Program Officer. In the early 1990s he worked in the USAID regional office in Kenya, managing food aid and doing project development throughout eastern and southern Africa. From 1996 to 2002 he worked in the USAID West Bank and Gaza program, providing assistance to the Palestinians, focusing on water supply projects, as well as local community development. Between 2003 and 2004, he served as the USAID Regional Representative for Southern Iraq, overseeing all USAID projects in that part of the country. He also served as the Deputy Director of the Food For Peace Office in Washington, and he was the Director of the Iraq Reconstruction Office in Washington and USAID Mission Director in Lebanon. Mr. Staal served as the USAID Mission Director in Ethiopia from 2009 to 2012, and Mission Director in Iraq from 2012 to 2013. Since January 2014, Staal has been the Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) and served as Acting Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance from February to August 2015.

Before joining USAID, Mr. Staal worked for World Vision International as their Country Representative in Sudan in the mid-1980s. He also worked for ARAMCO in Saudi Arabia in the late 1970s and the early 80s in the company’s government relations department. Mr. Staal has a Master’s Degree in Comparative Politics (Middle East focus) from Columbia University and a M.Sc. in National Strategic Security Studies from the National Defense University. As the son of missionaries, he grew up in Iraq and Kuwait, and attended boarding school in India.

Paul Williams is the President and co-founder of the Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG). Since 1995 PILPG has provided pro bono legal assistance to states and governments involved in peace negotiations, drafting post-conflict constitutions, and prosecuting war criminals. In 2005, Dr. Williams, as President of PILPG, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by half a dozen of his pro bonogovernment clients.

Dr. Williams is regarded as a social entrepreneur for his practical and innovative approach to providing pro bono legal assistance to states and governments. During the course of his legal practice, Dr. Williams has assisted over a dozen states and governments in major international peace negotiations, including serving as a delegation member in the Dayton negotiations (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Rambouillet/Paris negotiations (Kosova), Lake Ohrid negotiations (Macedonia), and Podgorica/Belgrade negotiations (Serbia/Montenegro). He also advised parties to the Key West negotiations (Nagorno-Karabakh), the Oslo/Geneva negotiations (Sri Lanka), the Georgia/Abkhaz negotiations, and the Somalia peace talks.

Dr. Williams has advised fifteen governments across Europe, Africa, and Asia on matters of public international law. Dr. Williams has advised the governments of Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Kosova, Montenegro and Nagorno-Karabakh on the drafting and implementation of post-conflict constitutions. He is also experienced advising governments on issues of state recognition, self-determination, and state succession including advising the President of Macedonia and the Foreign Minister of Montenegro. On issues relating to border and sea demarcations and negotiations, Dr. Williams has advised the President of Estonia and the Foreign Minister of East Timor.

Dr. Williams has testified before the U.S. Congress and provided expert commentary in the British House of Commons on matters of public international law and peace negotiations. In addition to serving as the President of PILPG, Dr. Williams holds the Rebecca I. Grazier Professorship in Law and International Relations at American University, where he teaches in the School of International Service and the Washington College of Law. Previously, Dr. Williams served in the Department of State’s Office of the Legal Advisor for European and Canadian Affairs, as a Senior Associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and as a Fulbright Research Scholar at the University of Cambridge. He is a Member of the American Society of International Law and serves on the Board of Directors of several non-profit organizations. Dr. Williams is a leading scholar on peace negotiations and post-conflict constitutions. He has authored four books on topics of international human rights, international environmental law and international norms of justice, and over two dozen articles on a wide variety of public international law topics.  Dr. Williams is also a sought-after international law and policy analyst, and has been interviewed more than 250 times by major print and broadcast media.  He has published op-eds in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, International Herald Tribune, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal Europe, and Le Monde.