Day 2

Dr. Birgit Grundmann

former State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry of Justice, Attorney at Law

Dr. Birgit Grundmann studied law and political sciences in Hamburg and got PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Private Law. From 1989 to 1993 worked as a lawyer in Hamburg, specializing in business law. In 1993 – 2014 Ministerial Officer in the Federal Ministry of Justice. In 2009 – 2014 Official State Secretary. In 2014–2015 involved in Management Board Policy and Regulation of Allianz Deutschland. Dr. Grundmann has worked for many years in the field of international legal cooperation with numerous foreign operations. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for International Legal Cooperation and a member of the Expert Pool of the Center for International Peace Assets.


Birgit Lao

CEO and Member of the Board of the Foundation Innove, Estonia

Birgit Lao has been a CEO since 2014. She is a head of the organisation of 460 people, which main task is to coordinate the lifelong learning development activities and to implement the relevant projects and the EU structural aid in a targeted and efficient manner. Birgit Lao worked at Estonian Ministry of Education and Research in 2006-2014. During that time she led Analysis department in Estonian Ministry of Education and Research and was a Deputy Head of Structural Funds Department. Birgit Lao also worked at Association of Estonian Adult Educators ANDRAS as a Secretary General in 2001-2006. She had Master's degree in European Studies of University of Tartu, Bachelor's degree in Law, MA in European Studies/Civilization (University of Tartu).


Dr. Dominic Richardson

Senior education officer at UNICEF Innocenti Research Center

Dominic Richardson joined Innocenti in 2015, working on issues of equity in education and the relationships between schooling, school outcomes and child well-being. Dominic Richardson has been working at the OECD in Paris since May 2007. Dominic co-authored the OECD’s first report on child well-being, and has contributed work on child indicators to both the OECD Health at a Glance and Society at a Glance series. Prior to taking up post at the OECD Dominic worked in the Social Policy Research Unit at the University of York where he contributed background research to the UNICEF Innocenti Report Card 7 on child well-being.


Viktor Chaychits

MP, Chair of the Belarusian Republican Attorneys’ Bar Association

Before election to the Council of the Republic National Assembly of Belarus he had worked as a judge of the People’s Court of Minsk region and Zaslavl, a head of the department of general-theoretical problems of the organization of work of the institutions of justice of the Research Institute for Criminology, forensics and expert evidence of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus, a lawyer of the Minsk Regional Legal Consultation No.1. Сurrently he is a Chair of the Belarusian Republican Attorneys’ Bar Association.


Amitabha Mukherjee

Lead Public Sector Specialist in the World Bank’s Governance Global Practice

Amitabha Mukherjee is a Lead Public Sector Specialist in the World Bank’s Governance Global Practice, also managing the World Bank’s Justice Peer-Assisted Learning (JUSTPAL) Network, which he established in 2011. He has worked in the ECA Region of the World Bank from 1996-2001 and again from 2005. He has also led operational and analytic work on public sector governance in the East Asia and Pacific Region from 2001-2013. Prior to joining the World Bank, Amitabha Mukherjee served in the Indian government from 1983-1995 in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).


Balázs Jarábik

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, non-resident scholar

During studying in Comenius University in Bratislava in the 1990s Balázs Jarábik was a civic activist. Later he co-founded the Bratislava-based Pontis Foundation’s international development projects in the Balkans and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Prior to joining Carnegie, Jarábik was an associate fellow at FRIDE in Madrid and senior fellow at the Central European Policy Institute in Bratislava. He also worked as a consultant for political parties and civil society organizations in the Balkans and CIS countries, as well as an adviser with wide range of international, governmental, and parliamentary institutions. Jarábik worked with Pact, Inc. in Kyiv, Ukraine, served as project director for Pact in Vilnius, Lithuania . Balázs Jarábik’s research focuses on Eastern and Central Europe with particular focus on Ukraine.


Dr. Bas Bakker

Senior Regional Resident Representative for Central and Eastern Europe of the IMF

Bas B. Bakker is the IMF’s Senior Regional Resident Representative for Central and Eastern Europe in Warsaw. He joined the IMF in 1993 and has held in four IMF departments, working on a range of countries, and policy and research issues. He has worked extensively on central and Eastern Europe, including as head of the Emerging Europe Regional Division and as mission chief for Bulgaria, and is the co-author of the book “How Emerging Europe Came Through the 2008/09 Crisis: An Account by the Staff of the IMF's European Department.” He obtained his PhD in economics from the University of Groningen.


Dr. Ben Slay

Senior Advisor at the Regional Service Centre for Europe and CIS, UNPD

Dr. Ben Slay has 25 years of experience in economics and policy analysis, policy and programming for sustainable development, research and teaching, and UNDP strategic, program, project management.  From 2001 served as director of UNDP’s Bratislava Regional Centre, advising government ministers/officials, and UNDP senior management, on key economic development and transition issues. In 2008 Dr. Ben Slay created the senior economist’s office in UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS. In 2012 served as senior advisor for sustainable development in UNDP’s Bureau of Development Policy. During 2013-2014 served as UNDP's poverty reduction team leader in the Europe and Central Asian region. Dr. Ben Slay has worked in academia, including at PlanEcon Inc. (now part of Global Insight), and teaching economics at a number of American universities and colleges.


Timour Sysouev

attorney, partner of the SBH Law Office

Practicing since 1992 year. Holds membership in Minsk Regional Bar Association, International Bar Association (IBA), Ukrainian Arbitration Association (UAA). Timour Sysouev is recognized by Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers, Chambers Europe, International Financial Law Review’s Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law firms (ILFR) and many other international ratings. Participates in international commercial arbitration. He is teaching at the Belarusian State University (Chair of the civil process and labor law) and at the Institute of advanced training of judges, prosecutors, courts and justice administration.


Dmitry Bochkov

Deputy Chairman of the Board of ONT

He was born on September 30, 1983 in Minsk.  Dmitry graduated from the Institute of Modern Knowledge. A.M. Shirokov. Now he is a journalist. His professional career began on the radio. From 2005 to 2017 he worked in Belteleradiocompany. Dmitry led major projects of the National Television and Radio Company. Several times he became the winner of the contest "Televertshina" in the nomination of "Best Leader". He was a deputy director of the Agency of Television News of Belteleradiocompany.


Fionna Gibb

British Ambassador to Belarus

Ms Gibb joined the FCO in 1990 and has held a number of positions in London and overseas. She has worked in Berlin, Kyiv, Mogadishu, Basra - where she was Deputy Consul-General from 2008-2009 - and Sana’a, where she was Deputy Head of Mission from 2010-2012. Her most recent appointment was in London as Deputy Head of the Projects Task Force, covering a range of political, security and cultural issues.


Dr. Rashed Mustafa Sarwar

UNICEF, Representative in the Republic of Belarus

Dr. Rashed Mustafa Sarwar has more than 19 years of diverse work in Central Asia and Caucasus, Europe and Southeast Asia, with UNICEF (14 years) and other UN agencies. Dr. Sarwar served as UNICEF Deputy Representative in Azerbaijan 2009-2015. In this capacity, he was providing overall leadership and managerial guidance on UNICEF programming, policy direction, monitoring of compliance and performance standards as well as coordination with international, governmental and civil society organizations. From 2006 to 2009, Dr. Sarwar served as Chief of UNICEF Office for North Caucasus, Russian Federation (5 Caucasian republics: Dagestan, Chechen Republic, North Ossetia, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria). Dr. Sarwar also provided policy support, guidance and advocacy as required in emergency situations and other humanitarian programme implementation. In 1999-2006, Dr. Sarwar worked for UNHCR in East Timor and Georgia and UNWFP Tajikistan as well as in UNICEF in South-East Asia (East Timor and Myanmar) first as Health and Nutrition Project Officer, than as Project Officer on Integrated Early Childhood Development and Expanded Programme on Immunization respectively. Dr. Sarwar has advanced medical educational background, PhD in Medicine.


Karlis Smits

Senior Economist of the World Bank in Belarus and Ukraine

Karlis Smits joined the World Bank in 2006. He served as the WB economist in Russia till 2011, then he was a senior economist in the group of countries: Belarus, Cyprus, Turkey, Moldova in2001-2012. His last position was a senior economist in China. Karlis Smits had an experience of work at the Ministry of Economy (2004-2006). Karlis Smits graduated from Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (Business Administration). He had PhD in economics from Queen’s University.


Viacheslav Shelegeiko

Head of Programme, UNDP in Belarus

Viacheslav Shelegeiko coordinates programme activities of the United Nations Development Programme in Belarus in three priority areas for 2016-2020: inclusive and responsive governance; “green” economy; and 3) social inclusion of vulnerable groups. Has more than 12 years of experience in international organizations in the field of sustainable human development. Considers 17 Sustainable Development Goals as the key roadmap for change for the next 15 years. Has Master’s degree in Linguistics from Minsk Linguistic University and Master’s degree in Public Policy from Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.