School of Transnational Governance

Policy Leader Fellows 2017-2018


Fizza Bangash

Fellowship period: 1 November 2017 - 30 April 2018
Prior to the fellowship, Fizza Bangash worked at Save the Children as a Communications and Reporting Officer for a project on Integrated Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (IMNCH) services in Sindh, Pakistan. She completed her Masters in Development Studies from London School of Economics (LSE) on a Commonwealth Scholarship in 2016, while her undergraduate was in Mass Communication from the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), where she graduated as top of the class and was awarded the President’s Gold Medal. Before pursuing her Masters, she worked as a financial reporter for S&P Global Market Intelligence and as a Development Intern in the social media unit of Pakistan’s Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform for the launch of the Vision2025 development plan. Her academic and professional interests lie at the intersection of new media and international development, and how these two themes can be merged to contribute towards governance and policymaking.

Zach Bastick

Fellowship period: 1 May 2018 - 31 July 2018
Zach Bastick is a fellow at the EUI. He is interested in policy development that promotes innovative uses of technology for democratisation. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Sorbonne University and has been a fellow at the Harvard University Department of Government and the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. He has taught numerous courses on politics, technology and government. At the EUI, he is working on assessing potential policy paths for supporting the deep democratization of the European Union through the Internet, as well as assessing EU policymaker attitudes towards fundamental innovation in democracy. His project seeks to support other researchers and policymakers in their quests for creating fairer, and more transparent, political systems through technology.

Ahmed Ben Aessa

Fellowship period: 18 September 2017 - 18 December 2017 
Ahmed Ben Aessa is the Head of Training Department at the Bureau of Training and International Cooperation at the Administrative Control Authority in Tripoli, Libya. Since Ahmed was a child he was very passionate about politics and governance due to the fact Libya was and still is the focus of attention in international relations, the media channels and policy circles. After he completed his BA in English Language and Literature from Tripoli University and a MA in Peace and Conflict Studies from Coventry University, he went on to study his passion and gained a PhD in Politics from the University of Glasgow. Ahmed is a keen public speaker, and has led seminars, workshops and symposiums at the University of Glasgow and other British Universities. Ahmed has participated in several Conferences with International Scholars; such as Anthony Lang, Keith Hammond, Kurt Mills and Adham Saouli.

Deniz Igan

Fellowship period: 26 March 2018 - 26 June 2018 
Deniz Igan is the Deputy Chief of the IMF Research Department’s Macro-Financial Division. Previously, she worked in the Western Hemisphere and the European Departments. She has been a recurring contributor to the Global Financial Stability Report, the World Economic Outlook, and the IMF-FSB Early Warning Exercise. Her research interests include macro-financial linkages, financial crises, real estate markets, and the political economy of financial regulation. Her work has been published in academic journals and presented widely in conferences and workshops. Deniz is an expert panellist at Zillow’s House Price Expectations Survey and a recipient of the IMF Research Award for her innovative work on risks in real estate markets for the Early Warning Exercise and of best paper awards from the Midwest Finance Association and the American Real Estate Society. She holds a PhD in Economics from Princeton University.

Gabriela Jacomella

Fellowship period: 15 October 2017 - 30 June 2018 
Gabriela Jacomella joined Corriere della Sera after graduating from Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa. After 9 years in the newsroom and a fellowship at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (Oxford), she left her permanent position to work as a researcher and journalism trainer in the USA, South Sudan and Myanmar. In 2016, she co-founded Factcheckers, a non-profit association focusing on educational fact-checking. Gabriela’s research will focus on an inter-disciplinary analysis of policy issues related to the “fake news” debate and the approach adopted by stakeholders such as institutions, media organisations, digital platforms, and fact-checking networks. A final policy paper will be disseminated at worldwide conferences and to a network of institutional contacts and media research centres.

Simonida Kacarska

Fellowship period: 1 January 2018 - 30 June 2018
Simonida Kacarska is a co-founder, former research coordinator and the current director of the European Policy Institute, a think tank in Skopje, Macedonia. Her previous professional experience also includes her research fellowship at the University of Edinburgh, lecturer at her alma mater the American University in Bulgaria, and a civil servant in the Macedonian European integration office. Her policy research interests are related to the political transformation and European integration of the Balkans with a focus on national minority policies. She regularly consults international organisations such as the OSCE and the Council of Europe on achieving sustainable democratic change through Europeanisation processes. Her forthcoming publications include 'Aid and political conditionality: continuity and change'. She completed her PhD in Politics and International Studies at the University of Leeds in 2013.

Maciej Kuziemski

Fellowship period: 1 September 2017 - 31 August 2018 
Maciej Kuziemski is a policy entrepreneur interested in the governance of emerging technologies. During his stay with the EUI, he will examine policy frameworks and institutional responses supporting the development of beneficial AI. Previously, Kuziemski headed a multi-stakeholder policy-network, managed democracy assistance programs in Burma and served as an advisor to the cabinet minister and member of the parliament. He received a Masters in public policy from the University of Oxford, a BA in Politics from the University of Warsaw, and is the recipient of the John Lewis Fellowship and Atlantic Council Millennium Fellowship. Kuziemski sits on the boards of a nonprofit publishing house Res Publica, and a social enterprise Kuchnia Konfliktu. His columns have been published by Project Syndicate, Eurozine, Quartz and Gazeta Wyborcza.

William Lochi

Fellowship period: 1 September 2017 - 30 June 2018 
William Lochi is the Deputy Secretary General of the Government of South Sudan. He supervises the development and submission of policy proposals for consideration by the Cabinet. Prior to his current position, he worked for Deloitte Consulting as a Policy and Institutional Advisor to the Government of South Sudan. William participated in high-level negotiations under the auspices of the African Union on post-secession issues between Sudan and South Sudan. He played a key role in managing the out-of-country voting during Southern Sudan Referendum in Canada. During his fellowship at the EUI, William plans to focus on governance and develop a network of diverse professionals. With his experience working in systems with evolving institutional structures, he intends to contribute and deepen his knowledge. Following the fellowship, he plans to engage policy makers in developing core government institutions to improve accountability. His long term goal is to pursue studies in the field of public policy.

Arturo Magaña Duplancher

Fellowship period: 18 September 2017 - 18 December 2017 
Arturo Magaña Duplancher is an International Relations expert focusing on Mexican Foreign Policy and Parliamentary Diplomacy, European Politics and International Relations Theory. He is currently serving as Research Director of the Gilberto Bosques Center for International Studies (CEIGB), a parliamentary think tank within the Mexican Senate. Prior to joining the Center in 2012, he was policy adviser and Chief of Staff in specialised Committees in both Chambers of the Mexican Congress. Currently an International Relations Professor at the Universidad de las Americas in Mexico City, Magaña Duplancher has regular appearances as an analyst and columnist in the media and specialised publications, and is an associate of the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI). He holds a MSc in International Relations and Diplomacy from Leiden University in the Netherlands, as part of a scholarships programme from the Dutch government (where he obtained a Cum Laude distinction), and a B.A. in International Relations from El Colegio de Mexico.

Erwin Natosmal Oemar

Fellowship period: 10 September 2017 - 10 December 2017 
Since 2012, Erwin Natosmal Oemar has worked as a programme manager at the Indonesian Legal Roundtable (ILR), a legal research NGO which focuses on the rule of law, and constitutional and legal reform. He graduated from the Faculty of Law at Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia and began his career as an assistant of human rights defenders at Yogyakarta Legal Aid Foundation. He has also worked as an editor at Genta Publishing, been a researcher at the Judicial Reform Institute and in 2014, was elected as a co-ordinator of the Public Interest Lawyer Network (PILNET) in Indonesia, a network of human rights defenders which advocates democracy and legal aid. In 2016 he was appointed as a chairman of human relations in the central board of the Indonesia Bar Association (IKADIN) and also received a fellowship at the Media and Law Center at The University of Hong Kong. In early 2017, Erwin Natosmal Oemar was invited to be a guest lecturer at the Faculty of Law at University of Catolic Atma Jaya Jakarta.

Bartlomiej E. Nowak

Fellowship period: 15 January 2018 - 15 July 2018 
Dr Bartlomiej E. Nowak is the Foreign Affairs Secretary of Nowoczesna (liberal political party in Poland) and Chair of International Relations Department at the Vistula University in Warsaw. He connects policy practice and the academic world. He is a former official in the European Parliament, advisor during the Convention on the Future of Europe, and fellow of the Transatlantic Academy in Washington D.C. where he has worked with a group of prominent scholars on the future of the western liberal order. As a Young Policy Leaders fellow at the EUI, Dr Nowak would like to advance his work on the changing world order and the problems of global policy coordination which he later intends to publish as a book. He is also willing to contribute to the EUI work and share his practical experience in the area of the future of the EU, Eastern policy and developments in CEE countries.

Yana Popkostova

Fellowship period: 6 September 2017 - 6 July 2018
Yana Popkostova is an energy policy expert and consultant. She is the founder of the European Centre for Energy and Geopolitical Analysis ‐ an energy think‐tank aiming to catalyze real leadership and meaningful cross‐sectoral engagement for a sustainable, inclusive and resilient energy transition. Her policy interest and research focuses on the spectrum of EU Energy and Climate Policies (particularly on the design of pragmatic and scalable decarbonisation solutions); External Relations (EU climate diplomacy, relationship with Russia); and women’s empowerment (most notably gender mainstreaming of policy and business). In 2017, she was designated as one of the 35 under 35 Future Energy Leaders by the World Energy Council. Yana has previously worked at the European Parliament and the European Climate Foundation. She holds a Master of Sciences degree in European Politics with distinction from the London School of Economics, and a double Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and European Studies from the American University in Bulgaria.

Lucilla Spini

Fellowship period: 1 January 2018 - 30 June 2018
Dr. Lucilla Spini is a bio-anthropologist with expertise in sustainable development, science/policy bridging, and gender mainstreaming. She is currently the Head of Science Programmes at the International Council for Science (ICSU). Prior to joining ICSU, she held several positions in the United Nations System, including Associate Expert at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); Programme Officer for Environmental Conventions at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); and Executive Officer for Global Environmental Change and Human Health at the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH). Dr. Spini holds a B.A. (Hons.) in anthropology from New York University, as well as an M.Sc. in human biology and D.Phil. in biological anthropology, both awarded from the University of Oxford (Linacre College). She has also served as Adjunct Assistant Professor in Anthropology at the University of Waterloo and Adjunct Professor in the School of Geography and Earth Sciences at McMaster University. Dr. Spini is also an alumna of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Sustainability Science Program.

Rui Tavares

Fellowship period: 15 January 2018 - 15 July 2018
Rui Tavares is a Portuguese historian and former Member of the European Parliament for the 2009-2014 mandate, where he was appointed rapporteur for the situation of fundamental rights, rule of law and democratic values in Hungary. The resulting “Tavares Report” was the first such parliamentary procedure dedicated to the infringement of the “Values of the Union” by a Member State of the EU. Back in Portugal, Rui Tavares was one of the founders of the green-left party LIVRE, and he is a regular contributor to the press and TV political commentary. He is the author several books of history, politics, European affairs and also fiction, as well as a translator of classical literature, especially from the Enlightenment period.