Our VIsion

We are a cross-border dialogue forum and network promoting cooperation and solutions to common challenges, in the face of ruptures to relationships, multilateralism and systems of liberal democracy. Through informal discussion, we are helping to spread understanding of fast-moving changes, share best practise and brainstorm recommendations. Our vision of a better future include these three elements.

  • Renewed transatlantic coordination & global leadership on the big challenges & opportunities 
  • UK, EU & US cooperating closely as partners in peace, progress and security
  • Resilient democracies adapted to 21st century realities and able to deliver for all citizens, empower and unite communities, safeguard the environment, and protect our rights, values and societies from interference & insecurity

Since the launch of Keeping Channels Open in 2020, many people from around the world have generously contributed their time and expertise based on deep commitment to the cause of cooperation, historic relationships and mutual security and prosperity. A list of core team members, advisors, contributors and participants is below.

Our TEAM

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Sandra Khadhouri

Founder & Director, Keeping Channels Open
Political & Communications Adviser

  Sandra Khadhouri has worked in politics, communications, conflict and campaigns for many years on behalf of international organisations such as NATO, ICC, UN, EU, OSCE, IOM, AU and UK Government. Roles involved providing political communications advice to governments, organisations and civil society in conflict countries, with specialties in public information, international law and human rights. She has also worked on many elections in technical support. Prior to this, Sandra was a journalist for 10 years at CNN, Euronews and Sky News and produced foreign documentaries. She has written a novel set in Afghanistan called Kabul Traffic. In recent years, Sandra provided support to campaign groups and pro-EU political parties including hosting events and giving interviews. She holds a Masters in International Law from King’s College and post-graduate diploma in Broadcast Journalism.

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Head of Outreach, Keeping Channels Open

Thérése O Donoghue joined the KCO team in February 2022 to boost our interaction with partners and stakeholders, and carry out valuable research. She has worked in public affairs and public and international policy in Brussels and Dublin. She previously worked with NOVE, a Public Affairs and Communications agency in Brussels. She also enjoyed roles with IBEC, Ireland’s largest business member organisation, and in Áras an Uachtaráin, the Irish President’s Office. This included a focus on communications including writing speeches and devising public information, stakeholder engagement, research and policy papers, and event & project management.

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Andrew Bruce

Analyst, Keeping Channels Open
Foreign Policy and Elections Support Specialist

  Andrew Bruce has worked in foreign policy and democracy support for over 20 years, including for the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the Human Rights and Multilateral Affairs Division of DG External Relations in the European Commission and the UN Department of Political Affairs. He has managed the deployment of many international election observation missions worldwide and has written, or contributed to, a number of publications on elections and conflict prevention. He now combines this work with teaching students at an inner-city school in South London. Andrew holds a Master’s Degree in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford.

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Jules Maaten

Friedrich Naumann Foundation
Regional Director of the European Dialogue

Jules Maaten is Regional Director of the European Dialogue Programme for Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF), managing the Brussels, Madrid and Prague offices including projects in UK, France, Italy and Hungary. This follows several senior roles at FNF including Head of International Regions & Deputy Head of the International Department at FNF Headquarters in Potsdam; Regional Head of the Subsahara Africa Region in Johannesburg, and Country Director of FNF Philippines in Manila. From 1999 to 2009 he was a Member of the European Parliament, and from 1992-1999, Secretary General of the Liberal International based in London – the world federation of liberal and progressive democratic political parties.

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Nele Fabian

Friedrich Naumann Foundation
European Affairs Manager

 

Dr. Nele Fabian joined the FNF Brussels team in April 2020 and is responsible for all projects related to the economy, innovation, and sustainability as well as the EU’s relationship with the United Kingdom. Ms. Fabian’s academic background is in Social Science and Chinese Studies. She holds a PhD (funded by a scholarship from FNF) in Modern Chinese History from Ruhr University Bochum, Germany with a focus on historical waste management solutions and the circular economy. Before joining FNF, Ms Fabian worked as an editorial manager and developmental editor in interdisciplinary academic publishing.

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Jane Chablani

Researcher, Keeping Channels Open
Producer and Documentary Maker

  Jane Chablani is an award-winning producer and director of documentary films. Originally from Canada, she has lived in London for the past 20 years working on documentary films on wide-ranging subjects such as travelling through the Sahara desert with Michael Palin to a ground-breaking legal case in art restitution. She has made films for the BBC, Discovery Channel, Channel 4 and National Geographic. She has also served as a Trustee for Future Brilliance, an NGO promoting peace and stability in conflict zones such as Afghanistan. Future Brilliance focuses on job creation, enterprise development and building bilateral ties between developing countries to promote trade and investment.

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Simon Thomson

Rapporteur, Keeping Channels Open
Strategic Communications Expert

  Simon Thomson is an award-winning former BBC News and European correspondent, film maker and campaigner, and a former parliamentary candidate. In recent years, Simon was Head of International and Regional Media for the People’s Vote Campaign for a second referendum on EU membership, leading communications strategy and media relations. As a BBC journalist, Simon reported and filmed around the world, and reported on EU institutions producing acclaimed films on European history for young people. Simon is an experienced and dedicated media trainer and works with a variety of clients in the business, charity and public sectors. He has also set up a European educational charity – Bridge International Dialogue.

Sarah Hearn

US Project Partner, Keeping Channels Open
Professor in Global Governance, New York University

  Sarah Hearn is a professor of public service at New York University’s Graduate School of Public Service, where she teaches globalization and global governance. She joined NYU in 2013, working first at the Center on International Cooperation as Associate Director and Senior Fellow. Sarah is also a consultant to international organizations and to the financial services industry. She has published reports for the OECD, UN and World Bank on making multilateralism work, and is a regular panellist at conferences on reforming global governance in Africa, China, Europe, India and US. Recently, her work has focused on what populism means for global institutions and developing nations. Prior to NYU, she worked for over a decade in the UK Government, including senior roles in the Department for International Development, Foreign Office and Stabilization Unit, with postings in London, Africa and Asia. She was also a Special Adviser at the UN and a Director of Programmes in NATO, seconded from the UK. Sarah has an M.Phil. from Oxford University. In 2012, she was awarded an OBE for services to Afghanistan.


Contributors & Participants


We thank the many participants in our dialogues from the worlds of politics, governance, academia and civil society, and from across the EU, UK, US and beyond including:

Howard Dean  Fmr Vermont Governor, DNC Chair & US Presidential Candidate
Joao Vale de Almeida, EU Ambassador to UK
Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby  UK Ambassador to EU
Anthony Gardner, Former US Ambassador to EU
Radek Sikorski  MEP, Chair of Delegation to US, European Parliament; fmr Polish Defence Minister
Olaf Henricson-Bell, Director, EU Secretariat, UK Cabinet Office
Angus Lapsley, Director of Euro-Atlantic Security, UK FCDO
Hilary Benn  Labour MP, Chair Cttee on Future Rltns w/ EU, fmr Secy Intl Development
Nicola Beer, MEP and Vice President of the European Parliament
Ivan Rogers, Former UK Permanent Representative to the EU
Stephen Doughty Labour MP, Shadow Minister for Intl. Development
Catherine West  Labour MP, Shadow Minister for Europe & Americas
Jonathan Faull  Fmr Director General, European Commission
Dario Nardella  President of Eurocities & Mayor of Florence
Tom Tugendhat  Conservative MP; Chair, Foreign Affairs Select Cttee
Peter Ricketts  Hse of Lords, fmr UK National Security Adviser, Perm Sec & Ambassador
Dominic Grieve  Fmr Conservative MP & Attorney General
David Lidington  Fmr UK Minister & Conservative MP; Chair, Kønigswinter
Graham Watson  Fmr Liberal Democrat MEP & Head of ALDE
Alexander Downer  Fmr Australian Foreign Minister; Director, Policy Exchange
Ben Rhodes  Fmr US Depy National Security Adviser
Fiona Hill  Fmr US Security & Presidential Adviser; Brookings
Ian Kelly Fmr US Ambassador to Georgia
Terry Reintke  MEP, Vice Chair Greens-European Alliance; Chair UK-EU Friendship Gp
Thomas Hacker Member of Bundestag (FDP)
Svenja Hahn German MEP (FDP)
Alex Hall Hall  Fmr UK Ambassador & Brexit Counsellor at UK Embassy, Washington
David O’ Sullivan  Fmr EU Ambassador to US
Kees Klompenhouwer, Fmr Dutch Ambassador to Ukraine
Jonathan Powell  Founder Inter Mediate, fmr UK PM Chief of Staff
Michiel Rijsberman EU Committee of the Regions; Member of Flevoland Council
Bobby McDonagh  Fmr Irish Perm. Rep. to EU & Ambassador
Amanda Sloat  Adviser at US State Dept; Brookings Inst.
Laura Thornton, Director, Alliance for Security Democracy, German Marshall Fund
Michael Meyer-Resende, Executive Director, Democracy Reporting International
General Jean Paul Perruche Fmr Director General of EU Military Staff
Shota Gvineria Fmr Georgian Ambassador and Hybrid Expert, Baltic Defence College
Thomas Wright  Director, Centre US & Europe, Brookings Inst.
Richard Youngs  Senior Fellow Carnegie Europe; author
Paul Taylor  Senior Fellow for Peace, Security and Defence, Friends of Europe
Alice Stollmeyer Director, Defend Democracy
Nicolai Von Ondarzai German Council on Foreign Relations
J. Scott Marcus  Senior Fellow, Bruegel
Goran Neralic European Liberal Forum
Ken Godfrey  Director, European Partnership For Democracy
Ian Bond Director of Foreign Policy, Centre for European Reform
Erik Brattberg  Director, Europe Program, Carnegie Endowment
Reza Afshar CEO Independent Diplomat; Fmr UK diplomat
Jamie Shea Fmr NATO Depy Asst Secy General, fmr NATO Spokesman
Hans Stein Director, Representation of North Rhine Westphalia to EU
Richard Corbett Fmr Leader of Labour Party MEPs; Depy. Chef de Cabinet to Sec-Gen of European Parliament
Clare Moody Fmr Labour MEP
Dick Newby Leader of Lib Dems in Hse of Lords
Irina von Wiese Fmr Liberal Democrat MEP
Molly Scott-Cato Green Party politician; Fmr MEP; Vice Chair, European Movement UK
Sajjad Karim Fmr Conservative MEP
Nathaniel Copsey  Head of Future of Europe dept, UK FCDO
Ailsa Terry Director G7 Dept, UK FCDO
Myles Wickstead Fmr UK Ambassador & Head of Development in E. Africa
Susanne Oberhauser Head, European Parliament Office to UK
John Kerr Member Hse of Lords; Fmr UK diplomat & Ambassador
Agathe Piquet, NextEUK project, Queen Mary’s, London University
Fabien Zuleeg CEO, European Policy Centre
Mike Buckley Director, Labour for Europe
Tina Tsournatzi Head of EU Strategic Communications
Sandra Cavallo Coordinator on Disinformation, European Commission
Anneli Anohen Fmr Head of EU East Stratcom Task Force, EEAS
Nathalie Tocci Director, Istituto Affari Internazionali; Adviser to EU VP/HR on Foreign Affairs
Isabel Hilton Writer & Broadcaster, Founder of ChinaDialogue
Alice Billon-Galland  Research Fellow on Europe, Chatham House
Stefan Lehne  Carnegie Europe; Austrian diplomat
Jay Van Bavel  Professor of Psychology, New York Univ
Jiore Craig  Vice President GQR; US campaign adviser
Garvan Walshe CEO Article 7 Strategies
Alexander Gorlach  Writer & theologian; Harvard, Cambridge Univ
Femi Oluwole  Campaigner & lawyer
Bobby Duffy  Director, Policy Institute, Kings College, London
Peter Kellner  Fmr President, YouGov
Marc Sundemann Senior Fellow, Euractiv Media Network
Tom Moylan  Communications Adviser, European Commission
Georgina Wright Montaigne Institute
Sam Lowe Centre for European Reform; Member UK Govt Strategic Trade Advisory Gp
Torrey Taussig Research Director, Europe & Transatlantic Rltns, Harvard Kennedy School
Edward Lucas Writer & Russia expert
Vincenzo le Voci Secy General, Club of Venice
Tim Dixon Co-Founder, More in Common
Anthony Zacharzewski President, Democratic Society
Erika Widegren Chief Executive, Re-Imagine Europa
Laura May Skillen Director, International Mediation Inst.
Cat Tully Founder, School of International Futures
Stephen Farry Deputy Leader, Alliance Party, Northern Ireland
Lincoln Mitchell  Professor Political Science, Columbia Univ.
Sharon Spooner Chair, Pro-Europa; trade expert
Darta Tentere, Policy Coordinator, European Commissioner for Financial Services
Colonel Serhii Vereshchak, Defence Counsellor, Mission of Ukraine to the EU
Patrick Costello, CEO, Project for American Security
Oksana Zolotaryova, Director-General for International Law, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry
Margarita Šniutytė-Daugėlienė, Lithuanian National Member, Eurojust
David Scheffer, Former US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes
Aarif Abraham, Barrister; Director, Accountability Unit; Counsel, Justice for Ukraine
Andrew Cayley QC, Chief Inspector, CPS; Fmr Senior Attorney – ICC & ICTY; Fmr Chief Prosecutor, Khmer Rouge Tribunal
Lode Willems, Fmr Belgian Ambassador to UK,Germany
Katja Ziegler, Professor of Intl Law, Leicester Law School/FCDO, Europe Research Group
Louise Harvey, Fmr UK diplomat & President of British Chamber of Commerce; FTI Consulting
Benedikt Wiedenhofer BusinessEurope
Lloyd Broad Head of Intl & European Affairs, Birmingham City Council
Nick Collier Director, City of London Office, Brussels
Marco Fugaccia European Policy Adviser, City of London
Marian McNeir Fmr Mayor of Bath; Twinning coordinator
Paul Davies Head of Brussels Office, Bristol Council & Bath
Karen Murgatroyd Head of Intl Relations, Leeds City Council
Craig Egner European Policy Adviser, Scottish Government
David Tripp Head of Brussels Office, Welsh Government
Helen Wales Chair, Wales for Europe
Isabelle van de Gejutche & Tania Mahmoud British Council
Philipp Dietachmair & Olga Alexeeva European Cultural Foundation
Nick Crosby Strategic Communications expert
Alex Gunter Political Coordinator, Alliance4Europe/UK Pro-European Network