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To facilitate the process, the Secretary General appointed a group of 12 experts. It represented a broad spectrum of large and small NATO members and offered a balanced combination of insiders and outsiders, including from the private sector, think tanks and the academic community. Dr. Madeleine Albright, former US Secretary of State, chaired the group with Mr. Jeroen van der Veer, former CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, as vice-chair.


The Honorable Madeleine K. Albright (United States)

The Honorable Madeleine K. Albright

Madeleine K. Albright is chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm, and Chair and Principal of Albright Capital Management LLC, an investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets. 

In 1997, Dr. Albright was named the 64th and first female Secretary of State of the United States and became, at that time, the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. movement.  From 1993 to 1997, Dr. Albright served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and as a member of the President’s Cabinet.

She is the first Michael and Virginia Mortara Endowed Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.  She chairs both the National Democratic institute for International Affairs, the Pew Global Attitudes Project and serves as president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation.  Dr. Albright co-chairs the UNDP’s Commission on Legal  Empowerment of the Poor, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Board of Trustees for the Aspen institute and the Board of Directors of the Center for a New American Security.

Dr.Albright earned a B.A. with Honors from Wellesley College, and Master’s and Doctorate degrees from Columbia University’s Department of Public Law and Government, as well as a Certificate from its Russian institute.  Dr. Albright is author of three New York Times best-sellers.


Mr Jeroen van der Veer (The Netherlands)

Mr Jeroen van der Veer

Jeroen van der Veer was President and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell PLC until June 2009.  He has maintained his connection with the company by serving today on the Shell Board.  He joined Shell in 1971 and worked in manufacturing and marketing. He was responsible for corporate planning and subsequently of the Pernis refinery before taking charge of Shell business activities in Africa and Canada. In 1992 he became Managing Director of Shell Nederland.  He graduated from Delft University with an engineer’s degree in mechanical engineering and holds an MSc degree in economics from Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Members of the Group

Ambassador Giancarlo Aragona (Italy)

Ambassador Giancarlo Aragona

Ambassador Aragona is currently Italy’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom.  He has held many senior diplomatic positions including Political Director and Ambassador to the Russian Federation.  From 1996-1999 Ambassador Aragona was also Secretary General of the OSCE in Vienna.  At the end of the 1980s he was the Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy on the North Atlantic Council.  Ambassador Aragona has had broad exposure to security issues having worked in both the Foreign and Defence Ministries at senior level.  Between 1991 and 1994 he served as Diplomatic Advisor to the Secretary of State for Defence.  Ambassador Aragona holds a degree in International Law from the University of Messina.

Ambassador Marie Gervais-Vidricaire (Canada)

Ambassador Marie Gervais-Vidricaire

Ambassador Gervais-Vidricaire is currently Canadian Ambassador to Austria and the Permanent Representative of Canada to the International Organisations at Vienna.  Prior to taking up this position, she was Director General responsible for global issues in the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa and head of the Canadian delegation to the 58th session of the Commission on Human Rights in 2002.  Ambassador Gervais-Vidricaire has also been the spokesman for the Western Group at the World Conference on Racism in Durban in 2001.  In a broad-ranging diplomatic career, she has specialized in human rights and human security issues and served as Deputy Permanent Representative at the Canadian Mission to the United Nations in Geneva and as Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights.  Ambassador Gervais-Vidricaire was appointed to the Board of Directors of Rights and Democracy in 2003.  She was educated at Lavalle University and also holds a Diploma of International Relations Studies from the Insitut d’études politiques and a Diplôme d’études approfondies from the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales in France.

The Rt Hon Geoff Hoon  MP (United Kingdom) (until 24 March 2010)

The Rt Hon Geoff Hoon MP

Geoff Hoon has been the Member of Parliament for Ashfield in Nottinghamshire since 1992. He served in the Department for Transport as Secretary of State until June 2009. Geoff Hoon has held several government posts since 1997, including as Chief Whip, Minister for Europe, Leader of the House of Commons and Secretary of State for Defence, a post which he occupied from 1999 until 2005.  He has also been Foreign and Commonwealth Minister of State for Asia, the Pacific, the Middle East and North Africa as well as serving in the Lord Chancellor’s Department as Parliamentary Secretary where he was promoted to Minister of State in July 1998.  In opposition, Geoff Hoon held the position of Whip between 1994 and 1995 and then became a spokesman on Trade and Industry.  In 1984 Geoff Hoon was elected to represent Derbyshire and Ashfield in the European Parliament and remained an MEP until 1994. During that time he was a member of the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee and Chairman of the Delegations for Relations with China and the United States. From 1976 to 1982, Geoff Hoon lectured in law at Leeds University and was a Visiting professor of law at the University of Louisville, USA, from 1981 to 1982, before returning to Nottingham to practice as a barrister. Geoff Hoon was educated at Nottingham High School and Jesus College, Cambridge.

Ambassador Ümit Pamir (Turkey)

Ambassdor Ümit Pamir

Before retiring from the Turkish Diplomatic Service in 2006 Ambassador Pamir was the Permanent Representative of Turkey on the North Atlantic Council.  He has had extensive experience of NATO in his career, having also been Deputy Permanent Representative in the late 1980s and Counsellor at the Turkish Permanent Delegation to NATO in the late 1970s.  Ambassador Pamir has had a number of senior appointments.  He has served as Ambassador of Turkey to the United Nations, as well as to Greece and Algeria.  From 1997 until 2000 he was also the Senior Diplomatic Advisor to the Prime Minister.  Ambassador Pamir also has broad experience of international organisations, having been Ambassador to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in Montreal, Canada, and Head of the section dealing with international organisations in the Turkish Foreign Ministry.  He is a graduate of the Faculty of Political Sciences in Ankara.

Ambassador Fernando Perpiñá-Robert Peyra (Spain)

Ambassador Fernando Perpiñá-Robert Peyra

Ambassador Fernando Perpiñá-Robert Peyra is currently the Secretary General of the Club of Madrid. His most recent diplomatic posting prior to taking up his current position was as Consul-General to Paris (2003-2007). He has been General Consul of Spain in Paris since 2003. From 2001-2003 he served as Spain´s Special Representative for Terrorism Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was Ambassador to Hungary from 1996 to 2001 and to Germany from 1991 to 1996. Ambassador Perpiñá-Robert Peyra served as Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs between 1988 and 1991. Between 1983-1985 he was Technical Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has also worked as General Consul of Spain in Boston from 1978 to 1982.

Ambassador Dr Hans-Friedrich von Ploetz (Germany)

Ambassador Dr Hans-Friedrich von Ploetz

Ambassador von Ploetz  retired from the German Foreign Service in 2005, following a long and distinguished career as a diplomat.  Between 2002 and 2005 he was Ambassador of Germany to the Russian Federation and, prior to this, he was German Ambassador to the United Kingdom.  In the early 1990s he was Permanent Representative of Germany on the North Atlantic Council, having been promoted from the position of Deputy Permanent Representative.  Ambassador von Ploetz has also occupied a number of senior positions at the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, heading departments dealing with transatlantic and European security issues.  He was educated at the University of Marburg and received his doctorate in law in 1967.

Mr  Bruno Racine (France)

Mr Bruno Racine

Bruno Racine is the President of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.  He also holds the position of Conseiller maître at the Cour des Comptes in Paris.  Mr Racine has had a distinguished career in diplomatic and cultural affairs. He had been an Auditeur and subsequently a Conseiller at the Cours des Comptes and has also held a number of positions with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  In 1983 he was appointed to the Directorate of Strategic Affairs and Disarmament and returned to the Ministry in 1993 as the Director of the Centre d’analyse et de prévision.   In the intervening period he served in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Chirac as Chargé de Mission. He was a member of the Commission on the French Livre Blanc sur la défense et la sécurité nationale.  He also holds the position of President of the Fondation pour la recherche stratégique.  Bruno Racine graduated in political science from the Institut d’études politiques in Paris.  He is also a graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure and a former student of the Ecole Nationale d’Administration.

Ambassador Aivis Ronis (Latvia) (until 5 May 2010)

Ambassador Aivis Ronis

Ambassador Ronis is currently the Director of the Latvian-Amercian Financial Forum, a non-profit organisation which aims to strengthen business and financial ties between Latvia and the United States.  Prior to taking up this position, Ambassador Ronis was the Permanent Representative of Latvia on the North Atlantic Council.  His other senior diplomatic positions were Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador to Mexico and Ambassador to Turkey.  Ambassador Ronis has also been Under Secretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Prior to joining the Latvian Foreign Service, he was a journalist and a senior editor with Latvian State Television.  Ambassador Ronis was educated in Latvia and at Columbia University in the United States.

Professor Adam Daniel Rotfeld (Poland)

Professor Adam Daniel Rotfeld

Professor Rotfeld is Co-Chairman of the Polish-Russian Working Group on Difficult Matters and Special Envoy of Poland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs. He has had a long career as an international expert, Polish researcher and leading analyst on security, arms control and defence policy. He has served as the Foreign Minister of Poland from January until November 2005 and before this was Deputy Foreign Minister. During his time as Foreign Minister, Professor Rotfeld established the Warsaw Reflection Group on UN Reform and Transatlantic Security and Complementarity of European Security Institutions.  

In the 1990s, Professor Rotfeld served as the Director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), after having led a SIPRI project on building a cooperative security system in and for Europe. He was appointed in 1992-93 a Personal Representative of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) Chairman-in-Office to elaborate the political settlement of the conflict in the Transdniester region of Moldova. Currently, Professor Rotfeld is also a member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Committee on Disarmament Matters.

Ambassador Yannis-Alexis Zepos (Greece)

Ambassador Yannis-Alexis Zepos

Yannis-Alexis Zepos has been Ambassador of Greece to the Arab Republic of Egypt since 2007.  He was Permanent Representative of Greece on the North Atlantic Council from 2004 until 2007.  He was also Deputy Permanent Representative to NATO in the mid-1990s. During his extensive diplomatic career, Ambassador Zepos has been Director of the Balkan, Central-Eastern European and USSR Political Affairs Directorate at the Geek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has served also in the Western European Political Affairs Directorate. He has also been Ambassador of Greece to India and has had postings in Portugal, Spain, Egypt and the United States. In 2001 Ambassador Zepos was appointed as the Director of the Diplomatic Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.  He holds degrees in Law and Economic Science from the University of Athens.