Ambassador Leslie Agius, Ambassador of Malta to Switzerland

Ambassador Leslie Agius joined the Executive Civil Service in 1964, a few days after Malta’s independence from Britain and was posted to the nascent Ministry of Foreign Affairs (then known as the External Relations Division of the Office of the Prime Minister) from its first day of operations. He later joined the Diplomatic service and attended the Oxford University Foreign Service programme. He received further training in Vienna, with the British Embassy and in Tokyo with the Japanese Export Trade Organization. Following his return to Malta he served in the Protocol and Consular section. In 1969 he was posted to Brussels and subsequently to Rome, Tripoli, Washington and Paris. In 1981 he was appointed non-resident Ambassador to the USA, Italy, France and Greece. He resigned in 1983. Between 1985 and 1992 he headed the Malta National Tourist Office in London where he chaired the Association of National Tourist Offices. In 1992 he joined the University of Malta as its first Director of International Relations and Chief Executive of its subsidiary, the Foundation for International Studies. In these capacities he started the recruitment of international students, the establishment of linkages with overseas universities, the organization of numerous international conferences, and the University’s participation in European-funded cooperation programmes. On his retirement from the University, Mr Agius was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Conference of Heads of Government of the Commonwealth, held in Malta in 2005. He subsequently re-joined the Foreign Ministry and was Acting Director of Protocol and Consular Affairs for several months. Later on he was appointed focal point for Malta’s Honorary Consuls. In 2008 he presented his credentials as non-resident Ambassador to Switzerland.

Amitav Banerji

Amitav Banerji took office as Director of Political Affairs in January 2009. He is the chief political adviser to the Commonwealth Secretary-General and is responsible for managing the Commonwealth’s political activity and the division supporting this work.

Before his current role, he was Chief of Staff to the Secretary-General, a position he held since June 2000. In that capacity he offered policy advice to the Chief Executive on the entire range of issues which confront the Commonwealth and ensured that the Office provided the Secretary-General the support he needed to carry out his varied functions.

Amitav joined the Commonwealth Secretariat in 1990. Prior to becoming Director in 2000, he was Special Adviser in the Political Affairs Division, where he was responsible for the Commonwealth’s Democracy and Good Governance Programme, as well as organising the biennial Heads of Government Meetings.

Amitav Banerji is originally a career diplomat from India. He served the Indian Government in a number of positions at home and abroad, including as Private Secretary to the Indian Foreign Minister. His diplomatic assignments have included Spain, Pakistan, Malaysia and the Indian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. He is fluent in six languages.

Ambassador Saviour F. Borg

Ambassador Saviour Borg is currently serving as advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and is Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein. He served as Malta’s Permanent Representative of Malta to the United Nations in New York from August 2007 to January 2012.  During this same period he was elected and served as the Rapporteur of the United Nations Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. From July 2003 to July 2007, Ambassador Borg served as the Permanent Representative of Malta to the United Nations Office in Geneva serving concurrently as Malta’s Permanent Representative to the WTO and Head of Malta’s Observer Delegation to the Conference on Disarmament, the Commission on Human Rights and its successor the United Nations Human Rights Council. From April 1999 to April 2003, Ambassador Borg served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Malta to the People’s Republic of China, serving concurrently as Malta’s Ambassador to Japan, the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. From January 1997 to March 1999, Ambassador Borg served as Ambassador Permanent Representative of Malta to the United Nations Office in Vienna, and to  UNIDO, serving concurrently as Malta’s first Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the IAEA and to the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO, to UNEP and the OPCW. In 1996, Ambassador Borg formed part of the International Observer Monitoring Mission of the OSCE for the first elections held in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  In 1990 Ambassador Borg was a Member of the Executive Staff in the Office of the President of the Forty-Fifth Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Dr Stephanie Borg Psaila,  Tutor DiploFoundation

Dr Stephanie Borg Psaila has been a tutor on DiploFoundation’s Internet Governance Capacity Building Programme (IGCBP) for over 5 years. She holds a Doctorate in Law (LL.D.), a Master’s in Contemporary Diplomacy, a Bachelor’s degree in Law and Communications, and two law-related diplomas from the University of Malta. She is a former journalist with The Sunday Times of Malta, and (on education) with The Times of Malta. She joined DiploFoundation in 2005, first as a participant, then as tutor. Currently, she works with the IG director on the IGCBP and other IG-related programmes, events and activities. Her areas of interest include legal issues in Internet governance, including jurisdiction on the Internet, which was the focus of her doctorate dissertation, human rights, and e-diplomacy.

Hon. Dr Michael Frendo, Former Speaker of the Parliament of Malta

The Hon. Dr Michael Frendo, MP, former, Speaker of the Parliament of Malta, has been a Member of the Maltese Parliament for the past 23 years. From 1990 to 1992, he was Parliamentary Secretary (Minister of State) for Youth, Culture and Consumer Protection. From 1992 to 1994, he was Minister of Youth and Arts. From 1994 to 1996, he was Minister of Transport, Communications and Technology. He was Parliamentary Secretary (Minister of State) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from March to July 2004 before serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malta from 2004 to 2008, during which he was also a Member, and later Chair, of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), and Chair of Commonwealth Connects, the Commonwealth ICT for Development Programme. He lectures on law and international relations in Malta, Italy and the UK and is the author of a number of articles and books. Dr Frendo has a Doctorate in Laws from the University of Malta and a Master of Laws in European Legal Studies from the University of Exeter.

Michael Guy, Second Secretary/Vice ConsulThe Bahamas High Commission, London

Michael “Mike” Guy assumed his duties as Second Secretary/Vice Consul at The Bahamas High Commission in August 2009.  After having spent four years working in the The Bahamas High Commissions in London and Ottawa, as Technical and Administrative Staff, Mike joined the Foreign Ministry in 2008 and worked in the Multilateral Organizations/Relations (Political) Section.  Mike is the High Commission’s Political Officer and his portfolio includes oversight of relations between The Bahamas and the UK, France and Greece, The Bahamas’ involvement in International Organizations based in the UK and Europe; including the Commonwealth Secretariat and Commonwealth Organizations, the International Maritime Organization and the Bureau of International Exhibitions.  Mike is the current President of the Young Diplomats in London (YDL) Organization, which is a forum for Diplomats based in London to network and share experiences. Mike completed his Post-graduate degree in Diplomatic Studies at the Diplomatic Academy of London, University of Westminster and holds an Undergraduate degree in English and International Development from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.  Interests include competitive and open water swimming, water polo and scuba diving.

Dr Katharina Höne

Dr Katharina Höne is a consultant for online learning and publications with DiploFoundation. She completed her doctorate at the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University, Wales. Her research focuses on states and their interaction in international organisations from a constructivist perspective, paying particular attention to the images and metaphors used to make abstract entities and processes more tangible. Previously, she was part of a research project on the Special Representatives of the UN Secretary-General and their role in peace processes at the University of Jena, Germany. She obtained a Master in Diplomatic Studies with distinction from the University of Leicester in the UK. Her research interests include international organisations, the UN Secretary-General, international mediation, the role of emotions in international relations, international environmental politics, climate change diplomacy, and education diplomacy.

Dr Anna Khakee, Lecturer, University of Malta

Dr Anna Khakee is Senior Lecturer at the Department of International Relations of the University of Malta and a specialist on democratisation and democracy promotion. Her consultancy and previous work experience has also focused extensively on human security and development issues. She holds a PhD from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. For three years, she has been an Associate of The Policy Practice, a leading UK-based development consultancy company. She has previously acted as a consultant to Norwegian Peacebuilding Centre, FRIDE, EuroMeSCo, Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), UNDP-BCPR, and Amnesty International, among others. Dr Khakee has published a number of articles and book chapters internationally. Recent publications include The Western Saharan autonomy proposal and political reform in Morocco (NOREF Working Paper 2011); Interests vs. Ideals: EU Democracy Promotion in Nigeria (Johns Hopkins University Press 2010); and Assessing Democracy Assistance: Morocco (FRIDE/World Movement for Democracy 2010).

Mary Murphy

Originally from Ireland, Mary is now based in Budapest, Hungary, whence she provides presentation skills training, public speaking coaching, and general communications workshops. Mary has had a varied career in operations and administration, with work experience in the financial, energy, NGO, communications training, public speaking, and publishing sectors in Ireland, the UK, Hungary, and the USA. She holds an MA in International Publishing from Oxford Brookes, UK, and a Master in Contemporary Diplomacy from the University of Malta. Mary can be contacted at Mary@Irjjol.com

Lourdes Pullicino, Research Assistant/Teaching Associate, MEDAC

Ms Lourdes Pullicino is currently Research Assistant and Teaching Associate at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC). She worked for 20 years as a journalist, particularly in radio and television newsrooms. For the last five years she has been producing the award-winning current affairs programme Newsroom, aired on Net TV. She is also a lecturer at the Communications Department within the University of Malta.

Dr Alex Sceberras Trigona, Senior Fellow, DiploFoundation

Dr Alex Sceberras Trigona is a Founder Member of Diplo. He has been organising courses simulating international negotiations – bilateral and multilateral – at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC), University of Malta, since 1991 as well as for the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), for the Commonwealth and for the Commission of the European Union [EU], in Brussels, the United Nations Commission for Africa [UNECA] in Addis Abeba, among others. Dr Trigona served as Malta’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1981-1987. He negotiated Malta’s Neutrality Agreements. He lobbied for, won and managed Malta’s first ever seat on the United Nations Security Council [UNSC] for 1983-1984. His law Doctorate was awarded on the basis of a seminal thesis ‘Constitutional Change and the Maltese Constitution’. Fundamental constitutional changes in 1974 transforming Malta’s Constitution into a Republican one followed this thesis in both manner and substance. He was elected Rhodes Scholar for Malta and read Politics, Economics and Philosophy at Oriel College, Oxford University for his M.A. He Lectures on Diplomacy, Diplomatic Practice and Humanitarian Diplomacy for International Relations students and on Private International Law at the Law Faculty of the University of Malta. He was appointed as the Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of Malta since 2013 and accredited as Malta’s Ambassador to the World Trade Organization [WTO] in Geneva.

Dr Biljana Scott, Lecturer, Oxford University and DiploFoundation

Dr Biljana Scott trained as a Sinologist and a Linguist (D.Phil, Oxford University). She taught General Linguistics at the University of Oxford from 1990 to 2001 and continues to teach Chinese Linguistics there. Shortly after obtaining a postgraduate diploma in ICT and Diplomacy from DiploFoundation she focused her attention on the relevance of language to politics and now develops and teaches courses on political language, public diplomacy, media management and other related topics.

Patrick Tabone,

Patrick Tabone was made Chief of Staff to the Maltese Minister of Foreign Affairs at the age of 26, and was a member of Malta’s Core Negotiating Group during Malta’s negotiations for accession to the European Union. Mr Tabone played a key background role in media relations and worked especially closely on negotiations in the sensitive environment chapter.  He then transferred to Brussels where he served as Chef de Cabinet to EU Commissioner Joe Borg, responsible for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. Mr Tabone then took on the role of Principal of Chiswick House School and St Martin’s College, a leading Maltese co-educational establishment teaching students up to Sixth Form level, and is now Managing Director at Sigma Coatings (Malta) Ltd.

Olaph Terribile, Lecturer, DiploFoundation

Mr Terribile is currently personal secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malta. He served as Director of Protocol and Consular Services at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Malta for a number of years. In his 28-year diplomatic career, he has served in various Missions overseas. He holds an MA in Chinese literature from the University of Hebei in the People’s Republic of China where he served as a diplomat for a number of years. He also served at the Maltese Embassy in Riyadh and in London. Since 2004 Mr Terribile has been a regular lecturer at DiploFoundation where he lectures on protocol procedures and etiquette.

Dr Nadia Theuma, Director, Institute for Toursim, Travel and Culture, University of Malta

Dr Nadia Theuma holds degrees in Anthropology and Tourism Studies. She has been a member of staff at the University of Malta for more than 14 years with teaching, administrative and research experiences at the Department of Management and Department of Tourism Studies, where she is now Head. She has held advisory posts with the Ministries of Tourism and Education, MTA, Heritage Malta, Malta Crafts Council and Ministry for Resources and Competitiveness and Communications. She was a Board Director of Malta Tourism Authority where she was influential in the Ministry developing a cultural tourism policy and participated in the developing of the Brand Identity for Malta. She is also a consultant to Maltese entities and private companies on identity, image and product development.

Previous diplomatic appointments include: Ambassador of Malta to Libya (2005-2009); to the Russian Federation (2002-2005) and to the Italian Republic (1999-2002);  Permanent Representative to the United Nations, New York (1993-1997); Ambassador to the CSCE – Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (1991-1993) and   adviser to Prof. Guido de Marco, President of the 45th UN General Assembly, New York (1990-1991)

Between 1997 and 1999, he was Visiting Professor at the Center for Global Education, St. John’s University, New York.  During that period, he also formed part of the Holy See Delegation at the United Nations Conference for the Establishment of an International Criminal Court (Rome – 1998).

Between 1984 and 1991 he was Editorial Director of Independence Print, and was also active as an official of the Nationalist Party (PN) and elected President of the PN Administrative Council between 1998-1990.

Throughout his career has published articles as a columnist and leader writer in various newspapers.

More recent academic publications include “The Rights of Nations – Reflections on Pope John Paul II’s address to UNGA-50” (1997); “Permanence in a world of Change – The UN Security Council reform Debate” (1998) and “The Family – Anxieties and Hopes – The family’s entitlement to protection by society and the State” (1999), all published by the Global Research Monograph Series, St. John’s University, New York.