Members of the advisory board are prominent individuals from the worlds of politics, faith and academia who identify with IFFSE’s mission.
Their principal role is to provide counsel to the leadership of IFFSE, especially on strategic and programmatic questions.
They are not paid and do not have formal, constitutional responsibilities.

Dr Dritan Abazović
Advisory Board Member

Dr. Dritan Abazović is a Montenegrin politician, President of the United Reform Action party since May 2017, member of the Parliament of Montenegro, from 2012 until 2020, since April 2022 he assumed the office of the Prime Minister of Montenegro. More

Mr Evarist Bartolo
Advisory Board Member

Evarist Bartolo was appointed Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Malta on 15 January 2020. Born on 14 October 1952, Bartolo is married to Gillian and they have two children.In 1975, he graduated from the University of Malta with a B.A. (Hons) degree in English Literature and continued his studies in journalism at Stanford University. He also read for a Master’s in Education at the University of Cardiff. More

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Heiner Bielefeldt
Advisory Board Member

Heiner Bielefeldt (*1958) is a Full Professor of Human Rights and Human Rights Politics at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (since October 2009).

Before taking the newly established chair for Human Rights, he was Director of the German Institute for Human Rights (based in Berlin), which is the officially accredited National Human Rights Institution of Germany. Between August 2010 and October 2016, Bielefeldt served as the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. When discharging this mandate, he conducted fact-finding missions in different parts of the world and presented thematic reports to the UN General Assembly as well as the UN Human Rights Council. More

Ambassador Sam Brownback
Advisory Board Member
Sam Brownback formerly served as Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom and continues to work with coalitions around the globe to promote and protect the fundamental human right to religious liberty. As a fellow for the Center for Religious Liberty (The Center) for the 2021-2022 academic year, he will teach a course in international religious liberty at Catholic Law in the spring of 2022. More

Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Gilead
Advisory Board Member

General Amos Gilead is the Executive Director of the Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS) at IDC Herzliya and is the Chairman of the Institute’s Annual Herzliya Conference Series. Concurrently, General Gilead teaches security and intelligence studies at IDC Herzliya’s Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy & Strategy.

Prior to assuming his current position in February 2017, General Gilead led a distinguished career for more than three decades in the IDF and in the Israeli Defense Establishment, his last position being Director of Policy and Political-Military Affairs at the Ministry of Defense. In that position, which he held for more than 13 years, General Gilead managed Israel’s international defense and political-military relations and played a key role in developing Israel’s defense relations with key Sunni-Arab nations. More

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt
Speaker of the Advisory Board

Pinchas Goldschmidt (born 21 July 1963) has been the Chief Rabbi of Moscow, Russia since 1993 serving at the Moscow Choral Synagogue. He also founded and heads the Moscow Rabbinical Court of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) since 1989, and since 2011 serves as President of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER) which unites over seven hundred communal rabbis from Dublin to Khabarovsk. More

Dr. Daniel Höltgen
Advisory Board Member

Dr.Dr. Daniel Höltgen (55) has been the Council of Europe’s Director of Communications since 2010. In addition, was appointed to the newly created position of Special Representative of the Secretary General on antisemitism. More

Archbishop Antje Jackelén
Advisory Board Member

Antje Jackelén is Archbishop of the Church of Sweden since 2014 and before that bishop of the diocese of Lund. She was Professor of Systematic Theology/Religion and Science at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, USA, from 2003 to 2007. More

Alexander Graf Lambsdorff
Advisory Board Member

Alexander Graf Lambsdorff is Deputy Leader for International Affairs of the liberal group (FDP) in the German Bundestag.
He is responsible for foreign policy, defence and security, European affairs as well as development and human rights. He is the Chairman of the German-Israeli Parliamentary Group and a member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

From 2004-2017 he served as Member of the European Parliament and was elected as that body´s Vice President for democracy and human rights in 2014. In addition to foreign policy, he focused on economic issues and trade. Lambsdorff served as Chief Observer of several EU election observation missions in Asia and Africa. More

Armin Laschet
Advisory Board Member

Laschet has been a member of the German Bundestag since October 26, 2021 and
Vice President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe since
January 24, 2022. More

Joseph Lieberman
Advisory Board Member
American attorney and politician who was a longtime member of the U.S. Senate (1989–2013). Elected originally as a Democrat, he won reelection in 2006 as an independent after losing the Democratic Party primary. In 2000 he was the Democratic vice presidential nominee—the first Jewish candidate on a major party presidential ticket.More

Prof. Alberto Melloni
Advisory Board Member

Full Professor of History of Christianity at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. Chairholder of the UNESCO Chair on Religious Pluralism and Peace at the University of Bologna. Chair of the G20 Interfaith Forum 2021. He has been an Accademico dei Lincei since 2017. Since 2020, he has been one of the European Commission’s Chief Scientific Advisors. More

Cem Özdemir
Advisory Board Member

By profession, a trained educator, Cem Özdemir completed his studies in social pedagogy at the Protestant University of Applied Social Sciences in Reutlingen in 1994.

Since December 2021, he is the Minister of Food and Agriculture in the Scholz cabinet. In 1994, he was the first member of the German parliament of Turkish origin to be elected to the German Bundestag for Bündnis90/Die Grünen. From 2004 to 2009, Cem Özdemir was a member of the European Parliament and foreign policy spokesman for his parliamentary group. From 2008 to January 2018, he was the Federal Chairman and top candidate of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen in the 2017 Bundestag elections More

Yahya Pallavicini
Advisory Board Member

Born in 1965 in Lausanne in Switzerland to a Japanese mother and Italian father, both descendants of aristocratic families. His father, Shaykh Abd al-Wahid Pallavicini (1926-2017) converted to Islam in Lausanne through the mediation of sidi Ibrahim Titus Burckhardt (1908-1984) and within the Sufi order of Shaykh Ahmad al-‘Alawi (1869-1934), the first religious guide of the Grand Mosque of Paris in 1926... More

Andrea Riccardi
Advisory Board Member

Andrea Riccardi (Rome, 1950) has taught Contemporary History at the University of Bari, and at La Sapienza and La Terza University in Rome. He has been granted honorary degrees by numerous universities: the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), Cardinal Herrera University – CEU of Valencia (Spain), Georgetown University in Washington (USA), the University of Augsburg (Germany), and IAE Jean Moulin University Lyon 3 (“en raison de services éminents à la paix et à l’Université). More

Archbishop Prof. Dr. theol. Dr. phil. Thomas Schirrmacher
Advisory Board Member

Archbishop Prof. Dr. theol. Dr. phil. Thomas Schirrmacher (born 1960) is Secretary-General of the World Evangelical Alliance, which represents Protestant churches belonging to 143 National Evangelical Alliances with altogether 600 million members. Before he served WEA in different leadership roles the last two decades, the latest being the Associate Secretary-General for Theological Concerns and Intrafaith and Interfaith Relations. He has been ordained and consecrated in the Anglican tradition and is archbishop of the Communio Messianica. More

Manuel Valls
Advisory Board Member

Manuel Valls is a French politician who was Prime Minister from 2014 to 2016, under the Presidency of François Hollande. Born in Barcelona in 1962 to a Swiss mother and a Spanish father - the painter Xavier Valls - Manuel Valls has dedicated his entire life to public service. More