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Global Negotiation Conference 2023 
Hosted by the University of Zurich
11-14 July 2023

The tenth annual GNC will take place from the ​11-14 July 2023 at the University of Zurich. The conference will include workshops and presentations on theoretical and practical aspects of negotiation before culminating in a simulation in the field of humanitarian negotiation. We are pleased to announce the following speakers will conduct workshops and presentations alongside members of the IGN team

Peter Maurer 

Peter Maurer served as President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) from 2012 to 2022. Prior to that, he served as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in Switzerland from 2010 to 2012, and held the role of Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations from 2004 to 2010. He began his career in the Swiss diplomatic service in 1986, with various positions in Switzerland, South Africa and the U.S. Since leaving his role at the ICRC he has taken up numerous engagements, including serving as the President of the Board of the Basel Institute on Governance, a Member of the Advisory Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and a Member of the Board of Directors of Zurich Insurance. 


Fiorella Erni

Fiorella Erni is Head of Operations at the Centre for Competence in Humanitarian Negotiations (CCHN) where she previously served as Operations Manager for the Middle East and North Africa region. Her long-standing humanitarian experience includes field missions as an ICRC Protection Delegate in Gaza and Syria and as the Head of Sub Delegation in South Sudan and DRC. Besides her field experience, Fiorella also worked as Program Responsible for the Horn of Africa at the Human Security Division of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and as Risk- and Crisis Management Consultant in the private sector. Fiorella holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, a Master’s Degree in Conflict and Development Studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Anthropology and Arabic Literature from the University of Zurich.


Gérardine Goh Escolar


Gérardine Goh Escolar is Professor (Adjunct) at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore. Concurrently, she is Deputy Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, where she also heads two divisions: International Commercial, Digital and Financial Law; and Transnational Litigation. Previously in practice, Geri has acted in numerous international negotiations, and litigation and arbitration proceedings. Formerly Legal Advisor to the President of the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal and principal legal officer in a Judge’s chambers at the International Court of Justice, her earlier roles include legal officer in government service, in-house counsel at a NewSpace company, and vice-president at a legaltech startup. Geri focuses on finding solutions to global transborder issues at the intersection of emerging technology (outer space, blockchain and crypto, fintech, digital and quantum communications), sustainability and social impact. 


Michael Ambühl 

Michael Ambühl is a Professor Emeritus at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) where he was formerly Professor of Negotiation and Conflict Management and the Director of the Swiss School of Public Governance. Previously, Michael Ambühl spent over thirty years as a Swiss Diplomat where he served as State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and State Secretary in the Finance Ministry. Throughout his career, he was a member of the “Swiss-EU Bilateral I”- negotiation team, he led the negotiations of the “Swiss-EU Bilateral II”- agreements (including Schengen), he was facilitator of the Geneva Iran-P5+1 talks, and in the Armenia-Turkey Protocols, signed in Zurich in 2009. He also negotiated the Swiss-US UBS-deal, the Tax treaty Switzerland-UK & Austria, the Swiss-US FATCA Agreement and the Swiss-US Tax deal.

Corneliu Bjola.jpg

Corneliu Bjola

Corneliu Bjola is Associate Professor in Diplomatic Studies at the University of Oxford and Head of the Oxford Digital Diplomacy Research Group. He also serves as a Faculty Fellow at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California and as a Professorial Lecturer at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. He has published extensively on issues related to the impact of digital technology on the conduct of diplomacy with a recent focus on public diplomacy, international negotiations and methods for countering digital propaganda. Corneliu Bjola received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Toronto (2007) and previously taught and conducted research at McMaster University and the University of Toronto. He was a research fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a Visiting Fellow at the Australian Defense Force Academy (2012) and China Foreign Affairs University (2016). 


Smadar Cohen-Chen 

Smadar Cohen-Chen is a senior lecturer (associate professor) in the Management Department, University of Sussex Business School. After receiving her PhD in social psychology from the University of Sheffield, Smadar held a postdoctoral position in the Dispute Resolution Research Center, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, followed by an assistant professor position in the Surrey Business School. Smadar research focuses the role of emotional experiences and expressions in promoting conflict resolution and cooperative negotiations. Smadar has been teaching negotiations, organizational psychology, and conflict resolution (postgraduate level) for over seven years.


Eemeli Isoaho

Eemeli Isoaho serves as Program Coordinator for the Master of Advanced Studies ETH Mediation in Peace Processes (MAS ETH MPP) program at ETH Zurich. In that role, Eemeli is responsible for the development and management of the program, including its curriculum, administration, and strategic partnerships. Eemeli previously worked as Programme Management Officer at CMI, a peace mediation organization founded by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate President Martti Ahtisaari. At CMI, Eemeli specialized in the provision of mediation support to African regional and sub-regional organizations as well as the establishment of track 1-1.5 mediation and dialogue initiatives in several countries in East, West, and Central Africa.

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