What do our Fellows say about their experience

Government Fellows

Eponon Boahinin Iann Franck-Maxime’s

« Le Centre regorge d’un vivier impressionnant d’experts sur les différentes thématiques en matière de sécurité et de gouvernance. Et en tant que Government Fellow, j’ai pu évoluer en totale immersion dans cet environnement académique et professionnel très à la pointe des enjeux sécuritaires, de gouvernance et de leadership. Côtoyer et échanger au quotidien avec différents acteurs, experts, chercheurs, diplomates, militaires, praticiens, ainsi que d’autres Fellows dont les analyses, les expériences et le regard nourrissent et enrichissent l’approche globale du Centre, ne peut que vous conforter dans vos propres analyses et mises en perspectives en lien avec les spécificités de chaque région. »

Eponon Boahinin Iann Franck-Maxime’s, Secrétaire des Affaires Etrangères, Chargé d’études à la Direction de la Communication et des Relations Publiques, Ivory Coast - Government Fellow 2020

Jean-Marc Halter

« This is a unique place, searching for creative solutions and bringing together extraordinary people. This is indeed an important contribution to more peace in our world. »

Maj. Gen. Jean-Marc Halter, Former Chief of the Swiss Armed Forces Joint Staff and currently Defense Attaché in Paris – Government Fellow 2018

Pablo Carrillo

« Having just concluded a five-week long residency with the GCSP as a Government Fellow, I leave inspired by those around me at the GCSP who are committed to working with others very different from themselves to make the world a safer, better place. Who value the voices of those with perspectives fundamentally different from their own, precisely because they are different and especially those that arise a world away. As I return to Washington and the private sector, I reflect that the best educational experiences are made great on the basis of those with whom you interact—faculty and students, management and alumni. They are also made great in what they teach you about yourself. As I long-since suspected when I was first introduced to the organization, the GCSP is one such organization. »

Pablo Carrillo, former Chief of Staff for Senator McCain and currently Of Counsel, Defense & Maritime Security Public Policy Practice Group, Squire Patton Boggs and General Counsel and Legislative Director to the US National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence – Government Fellow 2017, now Executive-in-Residence

Ambassador (Rtd.) Peter Mulrean

« Participating in the Global Fellowship Initiative (GFI) has been an extraordinary experience because GCSP offers the platform, people and dynamic atmosphere to foster creative approaches to whatever you are working on. My fellow GFI fellows came from five continents and made for lively discussion throughout my stay. In addition, as I began to develop my own work, they constituted an amazing sounding board for new ideas, bringing such varied perspectives and vast experience to the table. Those types of discussions, which GCSP encourages at every turn, are the crucible of innovation. » 

Ambassador (Rtd.) Peter Mulrean, Former Ambassador to Haiti and former Director of UNRWA (UN Agency for Palestine Refugees) Representative Office in New York – Government Fellow 2017

Harisa Véronique Totozafy

« The Global Fellowship Initiative of GCSP is a programme I have never experienced before. These three months have exceeded my expectations. »

Harisa Véronique Totozafy, Foreign Service Officer, Department of Multilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Madagascar - Government Fellow 2016

Ambassador Bénédict de Cerjat

« The GCSP and in particular its Global Fellowship Initiative are great Platforms for the exchange of experiences between Executives of Governments, Parliaments, NGOs, Business and Media. I enjoyed a lot being part of the great team of the GCSP Fellows. And I will be pleased to continue to contribute to the development of the Centre as an Alumni. Working for a few months in such a dynamic environment, a few hundred meters from the International Geneva (UN Headquarters, UNHCR, ITU, WTO, WHO, ICRC, etc.) is a fantastic opportunity to open up your mind, to learn to think and act differently in turbulent times. »

Ambassador Bénédict de Cerjat, Ambassador of Switzerland to Pakistan and to Afghanistan – Government Fellow 2016

Ambassador Richard B. Norland

« I found that GCSP – with a dynamic teaching and administrative staff, and talented participants in its various classroom, research and dialogue activities – brings together an unusually broad range of nationalities and professionals from across the diplomatic, military, private sector and NGO spectrum. Finding a “common language” in addressing international challenges comes easily, as there is little opportunity for “group-think” given the diversity of those on hand. There is a special premium placed on breaking down “silos” and maximizing inter-disciplinary study and communication. There is a huge emphasis on transparency, manifested physically in the glass walls of the building itself and its classrooms and offices. This translates immediately into enhanced contact and the development of trust between the individuals in attendance at GCSP. »

Ambassador Richard B. Norland, former Foreign Policy Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford and currently U.S. Ambassador to Libya - Government Fellow 2016




Laurent Sierro

« A combination of food components gathered to bring a coherent culinary outcome out. That is what the Global Fellowship Initiative (GFI) at the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP) looks like. The key to apprehend complex issues is quite often an amount of short-term hooks and longer term background items which give another note to the topic. Like the mix of fast and energetic gestures and then slow cooking to optimize the quality of the product would be required in a kitchen. Getting so many different perspectives in the same room, by enlarging the debate around security, is moreover a true source of emulation. Once you have tasted that mixture, you are willing to go on with it and to know which rare product will be the next to be added to that GFI lab. »

Laurent Sierro, United Nations Correspondent in Geneva, Keystone-ATS - Journalist-in-Residence 2020

Lauren Anderson

« One of the aspects I didn’t fully appreciate until arriving at the GCSP is the richness and gifts that come from engaging with, and supporting, our fellow Global Fellowship Initiative colleagues. I knew I would be working on how to prevent and counter violent extremism and looking at that through a gender lens. But I didn’t anticipate how much I would collaborate with GCSP and GFI colleagues. Participating in the richly diverse academics of the GCSP was exceptional. I felt welcomed, appreciated, and quickly absorbed into the family that is the GCSP – a family that will be mine well into the future. I’m very grateful for the opportunity and very grateful for the generosity I was shown by everyone. I’ve participated in programs around the world over the past 20 years, but my GCSP experience will forever remain a very special highlight. »

Lauren C. Anderson, Founder and CEO of LC Anderson International Consulting and former FBI Executive - Executive-in-Residence 2019

Dr Farah Hariri

« As an Executive-in-Residence at GCSP, I have been on a journey for discovering intersections of global trends shaping our future. Whether through discussions and meetings with other fellow experts from different fields or through the variety of seminars and courses exploring today and tomorrow’s challenges, GCSP creates synergies. Those links that are needed to better understand our world’s complexity. GCSP is the platform that fed my imagination with sparkling ideas during my career transition phase and filled me with positive feelings. »

Dr Farah Hariri, Senior Solutions Architect, NVIDIA and former Senior Fellow, Physics Department, CERN - Executive-in-Residence 2019

Eric Marclay

« Its multidirectional diffusion of “Knowledge”, both vertical and horizontal, makes GCSP a unique place to create, test and apply not only theories and concepts, but even more critical, and here lies its distinctiveness, to acquire keys understanding on contemporary issues and foresight on tomorrow’s one, and to develop practical tools contributing to a more serene world, if not yet at peace! Creativity, Dynamism, Opportunity, the list could certainly be longer, but it is on this solid tripod that I have capitalized in recent months. Personal and professional enrichment has given me new tools, new ideas, and a new perspective: a springboard to embark in a new challenge. And you? When do you join us at GCSP? »

Eric Marclay, Senior Advisor, Humanitarian Affairs, Agency for Development and Cooperation, FDFA and former Regional Director – East Africa, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) - Executive-in-Residence 2018

S. Michele Nix

« GCSP fellows have something important in common. We share a common desire for a better and safer world. We hold a common belief that no country, no people, no industry can succeed in isolation. In an interdependent global society such as ours, we understand that the security and prosperity of one nation depends on the security and prosperity of us all. We are inextricably linked. This connectedness can be empowering. But also, as my cohort of fellows and I often discussed, multiple challenges are overwhelming every country’s capacity for global engagement.  »

S. Michele Nix, Former Senior Strategist and Chief Communications Officer, Ridge Global – Executive-in-Residence 2017, now Associate Fellow

Joaquin Molina

« The combination of very different professionals present at the GCSP any given day – from peace negotiators and diplomats to bankers, artists, journalist, NGO activists, experience military officers, medical doctors, internet gurus and test pilots – combined with an ever present spirit of freedom and intellectual curiosity results in an amazing enriching experience. The context is so inspiring that you are constantly reminded about all the potential that each of us has, as well as about the importance of realizing that potential for the public good. Complexity stops being daunting and turns into an intellectual challenge that you are happy to face. Being surrounded by that quantity and quality of brainpower, you also understand how important it is to mobilize those resources to be able to face current and future challenges in a globalised world that presents so many opportunities and threats. »

Joaquin Molina, Senior Policy Advisor, NATO – Executive-in-Residence 2016-2017

Thierry Regenass

« A transition can be a challenging period of unsettling introspection. Having the possibility to experience it in such an environment is structuring and reassuring, allows for fruitful contacts, and gives a sense of purpose and direction. It is thus not by chance that many GFI in transition find their next challenge while they are in residence, as this was the case for me. »

Thierry Regenass, Former Director of Member Associations and Development at FIFA and currently Head of Conferences Services for the Foundation for Buildings of International Organisations - Executive-in-Residence 2016

Jyoti Guptara

« Marinating in this environment has broadened my horizons, inspired me to develop more personal excellence, and given me the confidence to take an even more active role in engaging with the 21st century’s challenges. »

Jyoti Guptara, Bestselling author, journalist, storytelling consultant & coach - Novelist-in-Residence 2015


Doctoral Fellows

Dr Fiifi Edu-Afful

« The GCSP ability to bring all together give credence to the African proverb that states that “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” GCSP is going far by bringing experts and practitioners from a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment together. Truly knowledge indeed meets experience and you are promised nothing less at GCSP. »

Dr Fiifi Edu-Afful, Research Fellow and Deputy Program Head of the Peace Support Operations Programme at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) - Doctoral Fellow 2018-2019


Young Leader in Foreign and Security Policy

Priscilla Plat

« Not only does this fellowship program provide its participants with executive courses, conferences, seminars, workshops and the chance to participate in regional or issue-specific collaborative designs but it also offers exclusive networking connections. Furthermore, these occasions induce incoming participants to show up and improve their communication skills, which we know is essential to maintain excellent abilities in that area. »

Priscilla H. Plat, M.A. Candidate, Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University - Digital Young Leader in Foreign and Security Policy 2020

Laylo Merali

« I’ve had the honour and privilege of being part of GCSP’s community, and the Fellowship that I’ve recently completed—Young Leader in Foreign and Security Policy—is an important chapter in my career story. It’s been the bridge that pulls together different aspects of my work to date and lays the pathway for the future. This has been the blend that GCSP is unique in making possible: the arts and sciences, individuals and institutions, numbers and concepts—and yes, “where knowledge meets experience”. […] COVID-19 prompted two detours, both of them satisfactory. The first one linked with my GCSP Fellowship: presenting and writing on an increasingly important challenge: “COVID-19 and cyber (in)security: what’s at stake for states?”. The second was outside the GCSP context, namely a private campaign to deliver humanitarian support in remote areas of Tajikistan affected by COVID-19. »

Laylo Merali, Humanitarian assistance and security professional - Young Leader in Foreign and Security Policy 2019-2020