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Announcing Keynote Speaker & Featured Guests at KPAC20


This year, we are honored to welcome Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin of Ireland as the Keynote Speaker for the KPSRL 2020 Annual Conference. Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin is the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism.

Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin 

Special Rapporteur, Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin, is a University Regents Professor at the University of Minnesota; holder of the Robina Chair in Law, Public Policy, and Society; and Faculty Director of the Human Rights Center at the University of Minnesota Law School. She is concurrently a professor of law at the Queen’s University of Belfast, School of Law.

Her first book, The Politics of Force (Blackstaff Press, 2000), examined the use of force by state agents during the conflict in Northern Ireland and contained a unique empirically-based analysis of all conflict-related deaths in the jurisdiction by state agents. The theoretical and policy focus of the research was located in an examination of the relationship between international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

Ms. Ní Aoláin served as a representative of the prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at domestic war crimes trials in Bosnia (1996-97). In 2003, she was appointed by the Secretary General of the United Nations as Special Expert on promoting gender equality in times of conflict and peacemaking. In 2011, she was appointed jointly by the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights and UN WOMEN to prepare a Study on Reparations for Conflict Related Sexual Violence. In 2015, she was appointed by the International Criminal Court’s Trust Fund for Victims to lead an Expert Review on Reparations to victims in the Court’s first case.

She is an elected member of the Executive Committee for the Belfast-based Committee on the Administration of Justice, and is also a member of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties. She is Board Chair of the Open Society Foundations Women Program, and serves on the Board of the Center for Victims of Torture National Advisory Council.











The conference will commence with an opening address by David Mwambari, of King’s College London and the African Leadership Centre. Dr. Mwambari, a dynamic public intellectual and KMF recipient, has been a guide and inspiration to many leaders (both established and aspiring) within the Security & Justice community.

David Mwambari

David Mwambari is a Lecturer of African Security and Leadership Studies at The African Leadership Centre in the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy, King’s College London (UK). He is a by-fellow at Churchill College Cambridge University (UK) and a Diaspora Fellow at the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (Senegal). He is core-faculty at the Oxford Consortium for Human Rights (UK and USA). He was previously an FWO postdoctoral research fellow at Ghent University (Belgium) and taught at the United States International University–Africa (Kenya), Shawnee State University (USA), Syracuse University (USA) and La Trobe University (Australia).

His research interests span leadership, peace and security, the politics of knowledge production and the politics of memory in fragile contexts in Eastern and Central Africa. His publications have appeared in peer-reviewed journals including International Journal of Qualitative Methods, African Conflict & Peacebuilding Review, and The Journal of Leadership and Developing Societies. He is a co-author of “Beyond History: African Agency in Development, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution”, published by Rowman and Littlefield International. He has implemented several grant projects, including one from The Knowledge Management Fund for a project with South Sudan partners. He has published essays in the Elephant, African Arguments and Al Jazeera.











We also have the privilege of featuring Marriët Schuurman, Director of the Department for Stabilization and Humanitarian Aid, in the day’s program. Mrs. Schuurman will provide the welcoming address as well as feature in a number of session panels throughout the day.

Marriët Schuurman

Marriët Schuurman is the Director of the department of Stability and Humanitarian Aid at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, responsible for its 4 divisions working on Peacebuilding & Rule of Law, Stability &Security, Migration and Humanitarian Affairs. She is a member of the Advisory Groups of the UN Peace Building Fund, CERF and the Security and Rule of Law Knowledge Platform. She is also an Advisory Board member of Women in International Security (WIIS, Brussels). Previously, she served as Human Rights Ambassador of the Ministry, and led the Task Force for the Dutch membership of the UN Security Council, in 2018. Between 2014 and 2017, she served as NATO’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security, and until 2014, as the Dutch Ambassador to the Republic of North Macedonia.

She also served as Deputy Chief of Mission and Head of Cooperation in the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Sudan and she held the position of Head of the Great Lakes Unit in the Sub-Sahara Africa Department. Previous assignments for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs include Deputy Head of Cooperation in the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Lusaka, policy officer in the Ministry’s humanitarian aid division and political officer in the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Moscow.

Marriët Schuurman has held several board positions including the Presidency of the Works Council of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Presidency of the Dutch language school in Lusaka as well as the Presidency of the Council of the University of Amsterdam.

Marriët Schuurman holds a Master’s degree in Translation Studies from the University of Amsterdam with a minor in International Law. In 2016, she was granted a doctorate honoris causa in Public Service by the University of Maryland. She was born in Creil (North-East Polder, Netherlands).