Former Norwegian Foreign Minister to lead HD’s Foundation Board

The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) is pleased to announce that Mr Espen Barth Eide was elected as the new Chair of its Foundation Board on Friday, 14 June 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. He succeeds Ambassador Pierre Vimont who stepped down after leading the Board over the last three years and will now take on the position of Vice-Chair.

“HD occupies a unique place in our efforts to address armed conflict in the world,” said Mr Eide. “So it’s an honour to lead its Board.”

Mr Eide joined HD’s Board in 2013 and was appointed its Vice-Chair in 2016. He also supervised the Board’s Operations Committee until 2019. Mr Eide is a Member of the Norwegian Parliament. Prior to his election in September 2017, he served as United Nations Special Adviser on Cyprus from 2014 to 2017 during which time he chaired the negotiations which sought to reunify the divided island. From 2014-2016, Mr Eide was also Managing Director of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Geneva. Until October 2013, he was Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. During his 10 years in government, he held the positions of Minister of Defence, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Minister of Defence. Before joining the Norwegian Government, Mr Eide pursued an academic career in political science as a Senior Researcher at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI). He also directed NUPI’s Department of International Politics.

As an experienced statesman and diplomat, Mr Eide’s contribution as new Chair of HD’s Board will be invaluable as the organisation continues to adapt to a changing landscape of conflict. His insight and in-depth expertise into international relations and peacemaking will help HD navigate, and respond to, today’s dominant trends in warfare as well as the growing number of emerging threats mediators are faced with, including the rise of populism and organized crime, as well as the weaponisation of social media and cyberspace.

“He’s done it all; a true scholar-statesman. And one of the clearest strategic minds. We’re very lucky,” said David Harland, HD’s Executive Director.

HD would also like to express its gratitude to Ambassador Vimont for his leadership over the past three years, during which time the organisation was able to achieve significant operational results and expand its peacemaking activities internationally all the while reinforcing its business processes. HD is delighted that Ambassador Vimont will remain on HD’s Board as its Vice-Chair.

The organisation is also pleased to welcome Ms Sarah F. Cliffe as new Chair of the Board’s Operations Committee in charge of supervising the organisation’s programme of work. Ms Cliffe joined HD’s Board in 2015. The wealth of her experience in countries emerging from conflict and political transition will be extremely valuable in guiding HD’s operations and ensuring the organisation stays ahead of peacemaking trends.

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