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Women in Diplomacy – Building a Network for a Better World – Speakers (versione originale)

The Speakers

(in alphabetical order)


Lucia Annunziata

Lucia Annunziata is an international affairs columnist for La Stampa and hosts a weekly interview show on Rai – Channel 3. She is a member of the Aspen Institute. Recipient of Harvard University Nieman Fellowship.

She has been Chairman of Italian Public Television RAI Radio Televisione Italiana; managing editor of Ap.Biscom, the Italian branch of the Associated Press; managing editor of TG3, the third largest Italian newscast.

For the Italian newspaper La Repubblica has worked as correspondent in Central and Latin America and in the Middle East; for Corriere della Sera in Washington and the Balkans. She is the author of the following books: “1977 – L’ultimo foto di famiglia” (2007); “La Sinistra, l’America, la guerra” (2005); “No” (2002), against the war in Iraq; “La Crepa” (1998); “Bassa Intensità” (1982); and “Lavorare stanca” (1977).

She has received many awards: Il Premiolino for her correspondence during the war in Iraq; the Max David for her career as a war correspondent; the Malaparte Prize for her book “Bassa Intensità”; and the Saint Vincent Prize for “La Crepa”.


Oksana Antonenko

Oksana Antonenko is the Senior Political Counsellor at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London. At EBRD she is responsible for providing political assessment of Russia, Turkey, Armenia, Slovakia and Hungary.

Oksana joined EBRD in 2011 after spending 15 years at the International Institute for Strategic Studies where she was a Senior Fellow overseeing IISS work in Russia, Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Western CIS. Oksana’s research focused on domestic political evolutions, security challenges and foreign policy issues in Eurasia. She published extensively on regional topics including Russia’s relations with the EU and NATO, arms control issues, protracted conflicts in Eurasia, energy security and regional cooperation in the Black Sea area. In 2004-2006 Oksana Antonenko facilitated track one and half Georgian-South Ossetian Dialogue, she worked on conflicts in Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabach as well as across Russia’s Northern Caucasus region.

Oksana Antonenko has numerous publications in IISS Strategic Survey, Survival and The Military Balance. She co-edited a book on EU-Russian relations and published widely on Russia-NATO relations. Oksana Antonenko was a member of Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative (EASI) working group on Missile Defence Cooperation.

Oksana hold degrees in Political Economy from Moscow State University and in Public Policy from John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


Giancarlo Aragona

Ambassador Aragona graduated in 1964 from Messina University and entered the Italian Diplomatic Service in 1969.

His distinguished career brought him to Vienna, Freiburg, Lagos, London, Brussels, Moscow and at the Italian MFA, where he worked in several Directorate General.

In September 2009 he was appointed by NATO’s Secretary General as a Member of the Group of Experts, chaired by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, entrusted with the preparation of the New Strategic Concept of the Atlantic Alliance.

Since January 2012 he has worked as Chairman of the Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI).


Michelle Bachelet

Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, was born in Santiago, Chile, on 29 September 1951. She is trained as a doctor, with graduate studies in Military Sciences.

Michelle Bachelet studied German, in Leipzig, and then enrolled at Humboldt University medical school in Berlin.

She graduated as a surgeon in 1982. She also joined different political organizations working to restore democracy to Chile.

In 1994, she joined the Health Ministry as a consultant on Primary Care and Healthcare Services Management issues.

Michelle Bachelet was chosen by the Central Committee of the Socialist Party to run for the city council of the Santiago-area district of Las Condes in 1996. In 1998, she was chosen by the party’s Central Committee to join its Political Committee, where she remained until 11 March 2000.

She worked as Ricardo Lagos’ campaign manager.

In 2000, Michelle Bachelet was named Minister of Health in President Ricardo Lagos’ administration.

On 7 January 2002, President Lagos reshuffled his Cabinet and moved Michelle Bachelet to head of the Defence Ministry. She was the first woman both in Chile and in Latin America to hold such a position.

In a run-off presidential election held on 15 February 2006, Michelle Bachelet won 53.49 percent of the vote and thus became the first woman to be elected President in the history of the Republic of Chile. She held this office for four years, serving her full term.

In April 2010, former President Michelle Bachelet founded and headed Dialoga Foundation, as a way to contribute to and support a renovation of ideas, action, and leadership in Chile.


Sihem Badi

Sihem Badi was Born in June 12 1967 in Tozeur, Southern Tunisia. She is a member of the Congress for the Republic Party.

She has had a long academic career studying in the Secondary School of Chebi in Tozuer, the Faculty of Medicine in Tunis, and the University of Paris. Her current work has been with the Doctor’s Governing Body in Paris, France in charge of the Multidisciplinary Cabinet.

She is single, and she was a candidate to serve as member of the Constituent Assembly from the Congress of the Republic Party’s list in France.

She has been nominated to serve as the Minister of Women’s Affairs.


Elisabetta Belloni

· Born in Rome September 1st 1958

· 1982 Graduated with a Political Science degree from Luiss University in Rome

· 1985 Joined the Foreign Service and began professional training course at the Diplomatic Institute as Third Secretary

· 1986 Second Secretary at the General Directorate of Political Affairs Office Latin America

· August 1986 seconded to UNIDO in Vienna

· 1998 – 1990 General Directorate of Political Affairs – Conference Office on Security and Cooperation in Europe CSCE. Deputy Head of CSBM (Confidence and Security Building Measures) Delegation at the Vienna negotiations

· 1992 Member of the Italian delegation at the Helsinki meeting on the follow-up to CSCE

· 1993-1996 First Secretary of Trade at the Italian Permanent Diplomatic Mission at the International Organisations in Vienna

· 1996-1999 First Secretary at the Italian Embassy in Bratislava

· 1998 Named Second Counsellor

· 1999 Posted to the General Directorate of Political Affairs, Russian and CSI Office

· 2000 Appointed Head of the Secretariat of the General Directorate of European Countries

· 2001– 2002 Head of the Office for the Countries of Central Eastern Europe

· 2002 appointed Embassy Counsellor

· 2002–2004 Head of the Secretariat of the Secretary of State

· 2004 Appointed Head of the Foreign Ministry Crisis Unit

· 2007 Named Minister Plenipotentiary

· 2008 Appointed Director of Directorate General for Development Cooperation

Languages spoken: English, French, Spanish, and basic command of German


Joyce Victoria Bigio

Joyce Victoria Bigio has dual Italian-American citizenship and holds a degree in Economics and Commerce from the University of Virginia, with a major in Accounting.

Ms. Bigio has experience in a wide range of activities, including audit, management, governance,restructuring, reporting and consulting in a wide range of industry sectors.

She is currently Managing Partner of the consulting firm International Accounting Solutions.

Following graduation from university in 1976, Ms. Bigio went on to gain experience at several prestigious firms, including Arthur Andersen, Euromobiliare, The Waste Management Group, American International Bakeries and Sotheby’s Italia.

She also currently serves on the board of a number of companies, such as Simmel Difesa, Europa Donna – Umberto Veronesi Foundation, and Faraone Business Advisory.

Ms. Bigio has been an independent member of the Board of Directors of Fiat S.p.A. since 4 April 2012.


Emma Bonino

Emma Bonino is Vice-Chair of the Italian Senate.

She has been Minister for International Trade and European Affairs. First elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 1976, she has served either in the Italian or in the European Parliament continuously since then, except when she was European Commissioner.

Between 1994 and 1999, she was European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, Fisheries, Consumer Policy, Consumer Health Protection and Food Safety.

As European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, Emma Bonino was responsible for managing the European Union’s Emergency Aid Program (ECHO), which had an average budget in excess of 800 million Euro per year, of which almost one-third was channelled through United Nations agencies. As such, she forged deep ties with all other actors in the humanitarian field, including High Commissioner Ogata and her deputy, the late Sergio Vieira de Mello, leading to the “Humanitarian Summit” in Madrid she organised in December 1995. Her major contribution to the humanitarian doctrine of these years has been her firm conviction that the delivery of humanitarian aid must go hand in hand with political action, in an integrated approach designed to ensure that humanitarian and human rights principles are respected at all times and do not become an alibi for inaction.

As European Commissioner, Emma Bonino confronted the major man-made crises of the 1990s, which resulted in millions of refugees and displaced persons, including in the Great Lakes Region and in the Balkans. Her frequent field-visits drew international attention to the crises in these regions, which she maintained required a political, not only humanitarian, response. In particular, her alarm call on the massacres being perpetrated in Srebrenica, and then the deportations in Kosovo, awakened the world’s attention. In December 1997, as one of the promoters of the campaign, she signed on behalf of the European Commission the Ottawa Anti-Personnel Mines Convention.

At the same time, as part of her EU portfolio as European Commissioner, she managed complex cross-border and international issues which came under her competence: as Fisheries Commissioner she was responsible for the successful resolution of the fisheries dispute between Canada and Spain and then between Morocco and the EU, and as Commissioner for Consumer Policy, Consumer Health Protection and Food Safety, she oversaw the European Commission response to the Mad Cow Crisis.

In January 2005, Emma Bonino was elected Chair of the “Comitato dei Garanti”, composed of senior politicians and former Prime Ministers, appointed by the Italian Government.

The Comitato supervises the disbursement of funds pledged by individuals for Tsunami Relief in 2005 in Italy, which to date have amounted to more than 50 million Euro.

Emma Bonino currently divides her time between Europe and Cairo, Egypt, where she is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the American University of Cairo; her time in Egypt has focused her expertise in human rights and humanitarian issues in the Middle East and North Africa. As part of her work in the region, in January 2004, she headed the political process that led to the Sana’a Inter-Governmental Regional Conference on Democracy, Human Rights and the Role of the ICC, organised by the Government of Yemen and the NGO No Peace Without Justice. The Sana’a Conference, an unprecedented meeting of Governments and Civil Society from Arab and neighbouring countries, was a critical part of an ongoing awakening of democratic aspirations in the Middle East and North Africa, recognising that democracy is not just representative institutions, but respect for fundamental principles, particularly the rule of law and human rights.

Since July 2003, Emma Bonino has also been campaigning for ratification of the Maputo Protocol on “Women’s Rights in Africa” to the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights as a comprehensive framework for the realisation of women’s rights in Africa.

This is part of consistent work on sensitive political and cultural issues related to human rights, including “Stop FGM”, the international campaign for the abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation; “A Flower for the Women of Kabul” in 1998, an international action on discrimination against women in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan; and, already since her early political career in Italy, with her colleagues in the Radical Party, the 1970s Civil Rights and Women’s Rights Campaigns; her 1980s humanitarian commitments, including the creation in 1982 of “Italian Parliamentarians Against Hunger”, which resulted in a tenfold increase in the Italian financial commitment to development assistance, and her campaign for Civil and Political Rights in Eastern Europe.

Emma Bonino’s other major international commitments have included the European Parliament’s 2004 delegation to the Darfur region of Sudan and her November 2002 appointment as Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission to Ecuador’s Presidential Elections. In October 2002, she was also the Head of the Italian Government Delegation at the Inter-Governmental Conference of the Community of Democracies in Seoul. In 1999, she was appointed Board Member of the International Crisis Group.

Emma Bonino’s conviction that the rule of law is a pre-requisite for the protection of vulnerable people also finds expression in her long-standing commitment to the development and strengthening of the international criminal justice system. Since 1993, she has led the campaign for the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda, and for the establishment of the International Criminal Court. While she was EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs, Emma Bonino was the Head of the European Commission Delegation to the Rome Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court in 1998, at which the Rome Statute was adopted.


Diana Bracco

President & Representative of the Milan Chamber of Commerce

Diana Bracco is Chairman & Managing Director of the Bracco Group, a healthcare multinational with revenues of approx 1 billion Euros, of which more than 65% from international sales, and 2800 employees. Through its subsidiary Bracco Imaging, Bracco is a leading international player in diagnostic imaging active in more than 80 countries worldwide.

She is Vice President of Confindustria, the Italian industrialists’ association, and is also the head of the Research&Innovation and Expo 2015 Projects. From June 2005 to June 2009 she was appointed President of Assolombarda. Formerly she acted as the President of Federchimica.

She is Vice President of the Milan Chamber of Commerce, President of the Sodalitas Foundation for the Development of Social Enterprises, and President of the Milan for Expo 2015 Foundation.

She graduated in Chemistry from the University of Pavia, which also awarded her an Honorary Degree in Pharmacy in 2001. In 2004 she received an honorary degree in Medicine from the Catholic University of Sacred Heart in Rome.

A Knight of the Italian Order of Merit for Labour, Mrs. Bracco was decorated with the Milan City’s Gold Medal in 2002. In 2004 she was awarded the title of Knight Grand Cross of the Republic of Italy.


Majlinda Bregu

Personal Data

Nationality : Albanian

Date of Birth : 19.05.1974

Marital status: Married, 2 children

Native Language : Albanian

Other Languages : English, Italian, Spanish

Political Activities: March 2007 – ongoing

Minister of European Integration

March 2007 – ongoing: Council of Ministers, Spokesperson

July 2005 – ongoing: Member of the Parliament, Democratic Party (DP)

July 2005 – March 2007 :

– Head of Albanian Parliamentary Delegation to European Parliament

– Member of Health and Social Issues Parliamentary Commission

– Head of the subcommission on Minors and Gender Equality

April 2004 : Member of National Council, Democratic Party

January 2004: Coordinator of the Social Policies at the Political Orientation Committee, DP

February 2007 : Spokesperson during the Local Elections’ Campaign

Personal experience

September 2005 – ongoing: Invited professor, University of Tirana, Faculty of Social Studies. “Research Methods&Gender issues”

2004 – 2005: National Coordinator of Gender Institute, University of Tirana

1992 – 2005: Professor, University of Tirana, Faculty of Social Sciences. “Research Methods & Gender issues”

Media programming and production Academic career

2001 – 2004: Ph.D. University of Urbino, Italy in “Sociology of cultural phenomena’s and normative process”

2001 – 2003: Master Degree in Social Policy Studies, University of Tirana.

1992 – 1996: Diploma in Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Policy Studies, University of Tirana

1997 – 2004: Internships and medium length courses at Mc Gill University, Montreal, Canada; NOVA Institute for Research and Social Policy Oslo, Norway; Viadrina University, Germany.


Ertharin Cousin

As the U.S. Representative in Rome, she played a significant role in advocating for improved collaboration among, and promoting gender parity and mainstreaming in, the three Rome-based food and agriculture agencies – the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agriculture Development and the World Food Programme. During her tenure, she actively participated in reforming the Committee on World Food Security, enlarging the multi-stakeholder platform and helping to introduce a results-based framework. In 2011, she also assumed the presidency of the International Development Law Organization’s Assembly of Parties.

She worked in the Administration of U.S. President Bill Clinton for four years, including serving as White House Liaison to the State Department, and received a White House appointment to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development.

Cousin served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Feeding America (then known as America’s Second Harvest), the largest domestic hunger organization in the United States. She led the organization’s response to Hurricane Katrina, an effort that resulted in the distribution of various relief supplies, including food, to those in need across the Gulf Coast region of the United States.

Cousin has significant background in the retail food sector, leading government communications and community affairs for two large U.S. grocery chains, Albertsons Foods and Jewell Foods. While working for Albertsons, she served as President and Chair of the company’s corporate foundation, managing the organization’s philanthropic activities.

Cousin is a native of Chicago and a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Georgia School of Law. She is a published author and accomplished speaker on food insecurity and chronic malnutrition. She is based in Rome, Italy.


Marta Dassù

Marta Dassù was Director General for International Activities of Aspen Institute Italia until her appointment as Under-Secretary. She remains Editor-in-Chief of the journal “Aspenia”.

She has been a member of the Scientific Committee of Confindustria and is a member of the Trilateral Commission.

She sits on the Board of Directors of IAI (Istituto Affari Internazionali) of Rome as well as of the following institutes: the Turin-based Centro di Alti Studi sulla Cina contemporanea, the Istituto di Studi diplomatici of Rome, and IFRI (Institut Francais des Relations Internationales) in Paris.

She headed the “Strategic Reflection Group ” of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2007, and was International Relations Advisor to Prime Ministers Massimo D’Alema and Giuliano Amato.

She was inducted into the Légion d’Honneur in 2003.

She taught International Relations at Rome’s “La Sapienza” University in 2001 and 2002.

She is an editorial contributor to daily newspaper “La Stampa”.

She has written or edited various studies and essays on international relations, among which “The Refom Decade in China: from Hope to Dismay” (Kegan Paul International, London), and is the author of “Mondo privato e altre storie” (Bollati Boringhieri, 2009).


Staffan de Mistura

Born on 25 January 1947 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Studies: Political Science Doctorate, University of Sapienza, Rome. Post graduate courses in “Hot Negotiations, Development Economics – Crisis Management in Conflict Areas”

Languages: Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, Swedish and colloquial Arabic

Work Experience:

1971–1972 Southern Sudan: World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations, Project Officer. Main task: Organize convoys of food aid to villages isolated by internal conflict

1972–1974 Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). United Nations. Fund raising officer for multi bilateral projects

1974–1976 New York: FAO Liaison Officer with the United Nations

1976–1985 Rome: Deputy Chief of Cabinet of Director – General of FAO

1985–1986 Sudan – UNICEF: Head of national vaccination campaign: during that period rate of coverage increased from 32 per cent to 71 per cent

1986–1987 Sudan WFP: Director of Operations

[1984 Special Assignment: Ethiopia. Organized and implemented operation “San Bernardo” with a massive airdrop operation using both NATO and Warsaw Pact air assets to reach 870,000 starving Ethiopians]

[1986 Special Assignment: Sudan. Organized food airlift to besieged city of Juba (with the assistance of Mother Theresa of Calcutta)]

1987-1988 On loan from the UN to World Wildlife Fund of Italy (WWF) as Director General. Main task: to re-launch the environmental campaign of WWF and its fund raising – in one year. With three different campaigns membership went up from 183,000 to 376,000.

1988-1997 On various troubleshooting assignments for the UN System including:

· Solving the Embassy crisis in Tirana (Albania) when 3,200 people occupied four foreign Embassies to escape from the communist regime

· Organizing food aid operation in Afghanistan to populations affected by Soviet/Mujahidin conflict

· Organizing assistance to Kurdish population after the Gulf war

· Team Leader of Special Mission searching for Shi’ a population escaped in Southern Iraq marshlands after the bloody repression by Saddam Hussein following the first Gulf war.

· Team Leader of UNICEF Mission to break the siege of Dubrovnik ( which was besieged for three months and 4,570 people were evacuated).

· Team Leader of UNICEF’s winter relief operation to assist the people of the besieged city of Sarajevo

· Director of Public Affairs and UNICEF Team Leader in Somalia during the humanitarian crisis and UN intervention in 1992-1993 Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq

1997-1999 Rome: Director of UN Information Center.

· During that period was mainly involved in Missions in Kosovo and acted as UN Civilian Administrator of the contested and volatile city of Metrovica

· Team Leader of the Special Mission to Iraq related to the “Crisis of the Presidential Palaces”

2000-2004 Personal Representative of the Secretary-General in Lebanon Main task: Preventive diplomacy in tense southern Lebanon between Syria/Hezbollah, Israel

2006-2007 Executive Director of the UN System Staff College in Turin, Italy Main task: Train UN Staff prior to their assignments in conflict environment

2007-2009 UN Special Representative of Secretary-General in Iraq In charge of all UN Operations in the country (730 staff members and 11 locations)

2009-2010 Rome Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Programme

2010-2011, Kabul –Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Afghanistan: In charge of all United Nations operations in that country.


Patricia Espinosa Cantellano

Ambassador Patricia Espinosa was appointed Secretary of Foreign Affairs on December 1st, 2006.

She has been a member of the Mexican Foreign Service since September 16th, 1981, and was promoted to Ambassador in January 2000.

From June 2002 until November 2006, she served as Ambassador to Austria, Slovenia and Slovakia and as Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna, and from 2001 through 2002, as Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany.

She was Director General of Regional Organizations of the Americas at the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, from 1997 until 1999, National Coordinator for the Rio Group, the Ibero-American Summit, and the Latin America and Caribbean – European Union Summit.

She was assigned to the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the United Nations in New York, from 1993 through 1997. In September 1997 she completed her tenure as President of the 3rd Committee, at the 51st Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

She was Director of International Organizations at the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, from 1991 to 1993.

From 1989 to 1991, she served as Chief of Cabinet to the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs.

From 1982 to 1988, she was responsible for economic affairs at the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the United Nations in Geneva.


Elsa Fornero

Minister of Labour, Social Policies and Equal Opportunities.

Professor of Political Economy at the University of Turin, Faculty of Economics.

Scientific Coordinator of CeRP – “Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies”.

Honorary fellow of Collegio Carlo Alberto.

Research fellow of Netspar “Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement”.

Member of the editorial board of the “Rivista Italiana degli Economisti”.

Member of the Scientific Council of the “Observatoire de l’Epargne Européenne”, Paris.

She is the author of many publications about public and private pension systems, pension reforms, population aging, households saving, retiring choices and life insurance.

Her research has been recently focused on financial literacy and financial education.Awards In 2011 she was awarded “La Mela d’Oro Prize” about “Women: innovation and human capital” by “Marisa Bellisario Foundation”.

In 2003, jointly with Olivia Mitchell, she was awarded the INA International Prize for the Economics, Finance and Statistics of private insurance by “Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei”.

In 2001, jointly with Ignazio Musu, she received the “Saint Vincent Price for Economics”.


Franco Frattini

Franco Frattini is the President of SIOI- Italian Society for International Organization.

He has been Minister for Civil Service and Coordination of Information and Security Services from 2001 to 2002; Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security from 2004 to 2008 and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2008 to 2011.


Enrico Giovannini

President of Istat since August 4th, 2009.

He is President of the Statistical Advisory Board for the Human Development Report of the United Nations, Member of the Partnership Group of the European Statistical Committee and Chairman of the Board of the World Bank International Project for the measurement of purchasing power parity.

From January 2001 to July 2009, he was Chief Statistician and Director of the Statistics Directorate of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, where he designed and implemented a thorough reform of the statistical system, organised the “World Forum on “Statistics, Knowledge and Politics” and launched the Global Project on the “Measurement of Progress in Society”.

He has authored numerous publications and has been a member of important national and international committees, such as the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Committee, established by the French President Nikolas Sarkozy. He has also been President of the Global Council of the World Economic Forum on the “Evaluation of Societal Progress”.

For his work on the measurement of social welfare, in 2010, he was awarded the Gold Medal of the President of the Republic by the Pio Manzù International Centre and became a member of the Club of Rome. He is full professor of statistical economics at University of Rome “Tor Vergata”.


Sylvie Goulard

Sylvie Goulard was elected to the European Parliament in June 2009 and represents the West region of France (MoDem). She is ALDE Coordinator of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, a full member of the Special Committee for the Financial, Economic and Social Crisis and a substitute member of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. She is currently rapporteur for the European Systemic Risk Board report and working closely with the other rapporteurs on the European Financial Supervision package.

Sylvie’s professional life began working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the legal department. She was part of the French team participating in the negotiations regarding the reunifica