Abu Dhabi: The Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy (AGDA) on Tuesday announced the appointment of Nickolay Mladenov, a former diplomat and former UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, as the director of the institution’s Research and Analysis Department.
Bernardino León, Director-General, AGDA, said: “We are proud to have among us His Excellency NickolayMladenov, who I am confident will add tremendous value to our institution. As a veteran former diplomat, he brings a wealth of experience and solid understanding in Middle East and European affairs that will immensely enrich our future diplomats. Not to mention that his unique ideas and insights will play a catalyst, in enabling AGDA to fulfil its goals and reach its full potential.”
Mladenov’s current role involves supervision of projects that contribute to domestic and international debates, on issues relevant to the UAE’s foreign policy. He said: “I am thrilled to join the Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy, at such an exciting time… Fostering a greater understanding between cultures, supporting fair economic and social development, and conflict prevention, are just some of the areas where bilateral and multilateral diplomacy will need to focus on in the future. I hope to be able to contribute to making AGDA a leading academic, training and research institution in these areas.”
Mladenov’s career has included serving as a member of the European Parliament. In 2013, he was appointed representative for Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, by the former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He served as the UN Secretary General’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Envoy to the Middle East Quartet between 2015 and 2020, playing a critical role in advancing peace diplomacy in the region, preserving the idea of a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and providing support for the emerging Arab-Israeli diplomatic relations.
Also, for more than a decade, Mladenov was active in Bulgarian politics. He served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2010 to 2013 and as the Minister of Defence from 2009 to 2010.
Moreover, he was honoured this year with ‘Grand Star of the Order of Jerusalem’ by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and is a Segal Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.