IISA - Key Persons
Frank Baker is a businessman and a former British diplomat In a diplomatic career spanning over thirty years he spent the early part in Latin America before moving to the Middle East in the mid 1990s. After a secondment to the US Government he headed back to London to head up the Equatorial African Department with a focus on conflict resolution. He returned to Washington in 2003 as the Foreign and Security Policy Counsellor before returning to the Middle East via London in 2010 when he was appointed British Ambassador to Kuwait. Two further Ambassadorial roles followed - Iraq in 2014 and Libya in 2018 - before he left government for the private sector. He is now the Managing Partner of Baker McKie and Partners, a company that focuses on providing strategic and analytical advice to a wide range of international clients. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the British Institute for the Study of Iraq. In addition to his UK honours, Frank is also the holder of the Order of Kuwait (Special Class).
General Ehsan Ul Haq is former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of Pakistan. His four decades of Military Service included assignments as the Director General Inter-Services Intelligence, Director General Military Intelligence and the Corps Commander in Peshawar, which was responsible for security in the Tribal Areas of Pakistan. His international assignments include an instructional tenure with the Iranian Armed Forces and a command tenure with the Saudi Armed Forces.
Ever since his retirement, General Ehsan has been engaged in many corporate, intellectual, and humanitarian activities. He is currently associated with a number of prestigious think tanks internationally and in Pakistan. The General has consented to be a Mentor for Strategic and security studies at the National Defence University, Islamabad. He is a Honorary Senior Consultant of Centre for Law & Globalization at Renmin University Beijing, China, that is the focus institution for the ‘Belt Road' Initiative. He is a frequent participant in Track II parleys, a speaker in international forums, reputed think tanks and universities on geopolitical, defence and security issues.
Jonathan Bloch studied law at the University of Cape Town and the London School of Economics. He was politically involved in South Africa in the worker and student movements and remains active in human rights circles in the UK. From 2002 until 2014 he chaired the Canon Collins Educational and Legal Assistance Trust, one of the largest South African scholarship awarding organisations. He was a London Borough of Haringey Councillor 2002-14. He has co-authored several books on intelligence. He owns and runs a worldwide financial information business across four continents and serves as a director of several financial service companies.
- Professor of International Relations at University College Stockholm
Kjell-Åke Nordquist is Professor of International Relations at University College Stockholm, Sweden, specializing in peace-building, mediation and local governance.He is a former Director of the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University (1999-2005) where he also earned his PhD and position as Associate Professor. Throughout his career Nordquist has consistently combined extensive field work in conflict situations with teaching and research. He has mediated and facilitated conflict resolution processes in East Timor, the Middle East and Latin America (mainly Colombia), among other regions. His academic training includes, among social sciences, studies of religion, identity and reconciliation as a political process. Nordquist has published on peace processes in the Middle East and South East Asia as well as other regions since the 1980s. His most recent publication is the book La reconciliación como política - El concepto y su práctica, 2018. University of Javeriana Press, Bogotá, Colombia (translated from English).
- Research & Funding Advisor
Louise Pyne-Jones is a PhD Near and Middle East studies candidate at SOAS, University of London, where her research looks at the nexus of race and religion in Black Jewish and Muslim identities, power, resistance and the Palestinian question. Her wider research interests lie in the history of religious and colonial ideologies, nationalism and their relationship to political agency. In addition, she has 7 years experience managing research and projects in international NGOs and think-tanks. She has written and published a number of articles and is a contributor to the book: The First World War and Its Aftermath, the Shaping of the Middle East, edited by T.G Fraser (2016).
Major General Kristin Lund is a retired Norwegian General. She is the first female force commander in the UN's history. She enlisted in the Norwegian Army Transportation Corps/Army Logistic in 1979 and graduated the following year from its Officer Candidate School. Her first mission abroad was in UNIFIL, Middle East.
In 1991, She was deployed with NORMEDCOY/Saudi Arabia in 1991 (for Operation Desert Storm). In 1992/1993 she was deployed as Deputy Commander/S3 NORMOVCON/UNPROFOR in Sarajevo/Balkans. In 1993 to 1995 she held positions as Assistant G3, UN/NATO Section, Jegerkorpset Akershus Regiment. She was headhunted in 1994-95 and deployed as Staff Officer J3/J5, JMCC/JLOC, UNPF (as a Civilian, UN contractor) in the Balkans.
Thereafter she served in different positions such as Commander Nation Support Element, SFOR, in Balkan (1998 to 99) and Deputy chief CIMIC Coordination centre at the ISAF HQ in Afghanistan (2003-2004).
She attended US Army War College in 2006 and got her master's degree in strategic studies. MG Lund was promoted Brigadier General and posted as Deputy Commander Norwegian Army Forces Command when she returned to Norway in June 2007 until September 2009. MG Lund was appointed Chief of the Norwegian Home Guard in October 2009 until end of November 2013.
From November 2013 to July 2014 MG Kristin Lund was appointed as head of the Veteran Division to the Norwegian Defence Staff. In 2014 Major General Lund took command as Force Commander UNFICYP (United Nations Forces in Cyprus),
Major General Kristin Lund was Head of Mission/Chief of Staff of UNTSO (United Nations Truce Supervision Organization) with HQ in Jerusalem, Israel. She became the first woman in UN's history to be military Head of Mission. From 1 January 2020 she started to work at Peace Research Institute Oslo, PRIO and joined IISA's board of advisors at the end of year 2020.
Major General Kristin Lund is the first Norwegian female Army officer to reach the rank of Major General. Her main focus on military subjects have been logistics, CIMIC (Civilian Military Cooperation/coordination), and light Infantry. She was awarded the Norwegian Armed Forces Equality Award in 2004. In 2015 she received the French Ordre National de la Légion d'honneur, and in 2016, Major General Lund was awarded the Norwegian Defence Cross of Honor. Furthermore, In October 2019 she was awarded the St Olav's Order.
- Member of the Board of Advisors
Najla Al Qasemi is a former diplomat of the UAE. In 1994 she attained her bachelor's degree in political science from the United Arab Emirates University, and in 2014 attained her Master in e-Government from Stockholm University. As from 2016 working on her Ph.D. in Social Wellbeing Indicator and Policy Decision Making in Stockholm University.
In 1999 she commenced on her professional journey working as a researcher assistance at the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies. The year 2002 she commenced work with the United Arab Emirates Ministry for Foreign Affairs as a USA Desk Officer. She was transferred as a representative of UAE. In 2004 to Geneva, in 2008 she was appointed as Ambassador to Sweden, Finland and Denmark. In 2014 she was transferred to Portugal. Returning to UAE she worked in Zayed University as instructor in International Affairs Department, since August 2016 for two years. And in July 2018 she joined Dubai Public Policy Centre.
- Member of the Board of Advisors
Sir William Patey was a senior British Diplomat until April 2012. He served as Ambassador to Afghanistan (2010-2012), to Saudi Arabia (2007-2010) to Iraq (2005-2006) and to Sudan (2002-2005). He was also Head of the Middle East Department at the Foreign and Commonwealth office from 1999-2002. Since retiring from government service in 2012 he has become an international consultant and regular media commentator on Middle East affairs. He is currently Chair of Control Risks Trustee Ltd and Government and International Affairs adviser to Control Risks. He is a
Chairman of Turquoise Mountain Trust, the Saudi British Society and a Board member of PACT UK. His previous positions include Non-Executive Director HSBC Bank Middle East (2012-2019) and Chairman of Swindon Town FC (2012-2013). He served as the PM's Special Envoy for Aviation Security (2105).
He was honoured with a KCMG in 2009. He is an Honorary Fellow of Exeter University and Distinguished Fellow at New Westminster College, Vancouver. He was awarded a Doctorate of Law (Honoris Causa) by the University of Dundee in July 2016.
- Executive Director
Usama Butt is IISA's founder. He is a strategist and conflict resolution expert and holds post graduate degrees from the University of London in Security Studies. He has worked on Inter-Islamic & Intra-Islamic conflicts, Security Sector Reform (SSR) and Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR), civil-military relations, conflict transformation and post-conflict reconstruction, and capacity building of INGOs. He has advised governments, global governance agencies, as well as humanitarian and development organisations. He is published internationally and resides in London.