Ayat Mohamed is a Gender Analyst at the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Syria. She had previously worked on women and civil society inclusion in the Syrian political process with the Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution (NOREF). She is a strong proponent of women’s inclusion in political processes, mediation efforts and on all levels. Ms. Mohamed has experience in mediation support, social dialogue, inclusive peace processes. She has written on hybrid mediation and women in peace processes. She has experience working on Middle East contexts. Ms. Mohamed has an MA degree in political science, and speaks Arabic, English, and intermediate French.
Karma Ekmekji is a Mediation Advisor with UN Women. She is also a Senior Policy Fellow at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut and the Lead Advisor on their Women, Peace and Security initiative. Prior to this, she was the International Affairs and Relations Advisor to former Prime Minister of Lebanon Saad Hariri, where she served as the focal point for all international dossiers for eleven years. Before joining PM Hariri’s office in 2009, Karma was the National Political Officer at the United Nations Special Coordinator’s office in Lebanon where she briefed the Special Coordinator on political
developments and strengthened the office’s network base with Lebanese political parties. She had also served at the UN Secretariat’s Department of Political Affairs in New York.
Karma worked as a policy analyst for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) tasked with conducting extensive research on electoral systems and reforms and with providing technical assistance to various regional Government agencies. She was present at the Doha Agreement in May 2008 to lobby Lebanese political parties to introduce reforms to the electoral law.
Stemming from a strong interest in empowering women in the field of diplomacy, peacemaking, mediation and negotiation, Karma founded the #Diplowomen initiative to share knowledge, develop mentorship opportunities and strengthen networking in this field. She is also the host of “The #Diplowomen Podcast”. She is a member of the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network and a member of the Global Alliance of Regional Women Mediator Networks, which she participated in launching during the 74th UN General Assembly in New York.
Karma, a lecturer in International Affairs and Women Peace and Security, was selected as a Munich
Young Leader in 2020. She was also selected to take part in the European Union Visitor’s Program in
2019 and is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. She is an advisor and member of the
Executive Board of the Intisar Foundation.
Karma is also a member of the British Government’s International Leaders Program and a “Personalité
d’avenir” – selected by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2012, Karma was named one of the top
99 foreign policy leaders under 33 years of age by the Diplomatic Courier.
Esra Çuhadar is an associate professor at the Department of Political Science at Bilkent University in Turkey and a senior fellow at the Inclusive Peace and Transition Initiative in Geneva. Previously a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, and a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, she also worked at Sabancı University, Istanbul. She received her M.A, Ph.D. and an advanced graduate certificate in applied conflict resolution from Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. She has been published widely in top academic journals and in over twenty book chapters and has won numerous research grants on inclusive peace processes, mediation, track two diplomacy and role of civil society in peacebuilding, evaluation of peacebuilding, negotiation pedagogy, and political leadership. She has also conducted numerous trainings and consultations in negotiation and mediation processes for various groups and organizations around the world. She has been working as a regional mediator for the World Bank in Turkey and Caucasus since 2011 and in the mediation roster of the OSCE since 2015. She was elected as a member of the International Society for Political Psychology Governing Council (2010-2012) and also served as a board member of the European Mediation Network Initiative between 2007 and 2010. She is a core member of the MWNM and the MWMN Turkey antenna launched in 2019 as it allows her to share mediation expertise with other women and act in solidarity to face challenges to women’s inclusion in peace processes.