HQ Staff

Rupak Chattopadhyay [President and CEO] has been President and CEO of the Forum of Federations since 2011. He was previously a member of the Consultative Group on the Study of Intergovernmental Relations and Dispute Resolution Mechanisms, Inter-State Council, Government of India. In 2004/5 he was Advisor to the Chairman of the Observer Research Foundation. He is on the editorial board or the Indian Journal of Public Administration and is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Federal Studies at the University of Kent. Over the last two decades he has contributed as an expert in support of political and constitutional reforms in Ethiopia, Mexico, Myanmar, Philippines, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and Yemen. He holds master’s degrees in economics and political science from the University of Ottawa and the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and did his doctoral work in political science at the University of Toronto. Rupak has authored, co-authored and edited a number of books and papers on federalism including Unity in Diversity: Learning from Each Other (Viva Books 2008), Finance and Governance of Capital Cities in Federal Systems (McGill Queens UP 2009) and Governance and Finance of Metropolitan Area in Federal Countries (Oxford UP 2013). Recently he co-authored a comparative study on Apex Level Intergovernmental relations (World Bank 2019) for submission to the Fifteenth Finance Commission of India.Email:

Charles Cloutier [Chief Operating Officer] Over the past 20 years, Charles has worked for various international/community development organizations such as the Canadian Council for International Cooperation, Oxfam Canada and CUSO. He was also Regional Director in the Outaouais for Transcontinental Media where he was responsible for the publication of 7 weekly community newspapers. He was a founding member of the Franco Ontarian theatre La Nouvelle Scene and sits on the Board of a Credit Union. Charles is a graduate of the University of Ottawa and University of Laval where he earned his Chartered Accountant designation. He has run programs in Indonesia, Haiti and Tunisia. Email:

Sheela Embounou [Vice President, Monitoring] brings to the Forum over 25 years experience in program and financial management.  She is currently the Forum’s gender focal point and oversees the Forum’s programs in Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. She formerly oversaw the Forum’s support to the Nepal Constituent Assembly. She was previously Senior Director for Finance and Operations at the Forum. Prior to joining the Forum, she worked for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Republic of Congo, Ghana and Kenya.  She graduated from the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth majoring in Human Geography. Email:

Felix Knüpling [Vice President, Programs] joined the Forum in 2007 and worked at headquarters in Ottawa until 2013. He is currently based in Berlin, Germany, and oversees and manages the Forum projects. Also, Felix has provided expert advice on federal reform in various emerging federations, such as Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. Prior to joining the Forum, Felix worked for the German parliament – the Bundestag – and at the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO in Brussels. Felix holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Free University Berlin and a BA in International Relations from University of Kent. He has co-edited several books on federalism, among them “Das teilen beherrschen” (“Managing fiscal federalism”) (with Sabine Kropp, and others, Baden Baden 2015) and “Changing Federal Constitutions” (with Arthur Benz; Opladen/Toronto 2012). Email:

Diana Chebenova [Senior Director] oversees and manages Forum’s policy programs and partnerships relations with Forum’s partner countries and organizations. She is also in charge of Forum’s programs in South America and internships/young professionals programs. Diana has managed Forum’s project in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, India, Spain and Russia run in a variety of policy areas, including fiscal management, education, local governance, intergovernmental relations, health care and others. She was previously Director for Research and Publications and Director for South America Programs and Partnerships. Prior to joining the Forum she worked at the Inter-American Agency for Co-operation and Development of the Organization of American States in Washington D.C. Diana holds Master’s Degree in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University and MA in Commerce from the University of Economics of Bratislava. She speaks Slovak, English, Spanish, Russian, and has working knowledge of Portuguese and French. Email:

Shawn Houlihan [Senior Director] has an MA in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a BA and Master of Development Economics from Dalhousie University. He spent five years in Ethiopia (1993-1998) in governance and civil service reform. He also has extensive experience in Sudan, for Canada and for the United National Development Programme. He worked as a consultant for the Canadian International Development Agency on matters of governance, capacity development and conflict management, including on the Middle East, Horn of Africa, Pan Africa and Southern Africa. Shawn is currently based in Adis Ababa, Ethiopia.

John Light [Senior Director] spent over a decade working at the Canadian Parliament. John served as senior staff to Ministers in several portfolios: Transport, Foreign Affairs and Regional Affairs. John had responsibility for advising the Minister on Federal/Provincial/Municipal relations. John has a bachelors degree in marketing and expertise in communications and Canadian federal/provincial/municipal relations which he oversees as part of his responsibilities at the Forum of Federations. Before politics, John worked both as a caregiver for special needs children and a sales manager in business. Email:

Phillip Gonzalez [Regional Director, Asia and Australia] Phillip has over 10 years’ experience and has contributed as a governance expert in support of constitutional and democratic reform in Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines.
Phillip has worked extensively across Asia with political leaders and various stakeholders on issues of multilevel governance, providing technical training in devolved and federal governance; supporting efforts towards democratic devolution. Additionally, he has also worked on governance projects in Brazil, Canada, Ethiopia, India, Sri Lanka, Russia and Ukraine where he has provided technical advice and implemented projects with partners to provide options for complex policy issues and governance questions. Phillip has a Master’s degree in International Relations from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. He received his Bachelor’s degree from La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. He has previously worked at the Canadian Foundation for the Americas as well as the Australian High Commission in Ottawa. He is fluent in English and Spanish.

Donna Duffett [Senior Project Officer] joined the Forum in 2015. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in History from Carleton University and has over 15 years of administrative experience. She has recently moved back to Ottawa from Qatar where she worked as an events administrator for Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)  School of the Arts for seven years. Her other experiences include working as a project administrator on the TCCCS/Iris program and working as an office administration for various consulting firms.Email:

Fauziah Pruner [Finance Officer]  joined the Forum of Federations in January 2009 is responsible for corporate accounting and financial reporting. She is a Certified General Accountant and has extensive experience in both private and public sectors. Email:

Liam Whittington [Program Manager] is a researcher and analyst who has held positions for policy research organisations in Washington DC, Vienna, and the UK. He has contributed to research and development projects in a range of countries operating in a variety of different policy areas, including education, security, local governance, international development, and civil service organisation, and has experience of conducting public spending reviews. Liam is a Research Fellow of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (Washington DC) and has published a number of articles on a range of international policy issues. He holds a First Class Honours degree in Medieval and Modern History from the University of Birmingham (UK), and an MA in International Relations from the University of Nottingham (UK).

Driss Boutakhoust [Project Officer and Accountant] joined the Forum of Federations in November 2016. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting & a Master’s degree in Human resources. He has over 5 years of administration experience. Email:

Olakunle Adeniran [Project Officer] has been with the Forum of Federations since October 2016. He holds a Master’s degree in Conflict Studies from the University of Ottawa and Saint Paul University and a BSc in International Law and Diplomacy. His research focus is on gender equality and non-violent means of resolving conflict. Olakunle has academic training in Arbitration with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) and Third Party Neutral training in Mediation and Facilitation with the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution. He has had volunteering opportunities with the Liberal Party of Canada and Oxfam Canada. He is also an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution.

Elizabeth Lisa Nganwa [CORE Project Officer] joined the forum in 2016. She is the project officer for the Africa desk. She also handles the Human Resources desk, program administration, and financial reporting for HQ. She graduated with HONS. Psychology and minors in Criminology and Gender Equity.

George Stairs [Project Officer] has been working at the Forum of Federations since September 2016. Previously he has worked in several different government departments during his time as a student. He completed his M.A. in International Affairs: Conflict Analysis and Conflict Resolution at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs in 2016 through a Master’s Research Project on Tunisia’s democratization process post-Arab Spring. He has been known to write occasionally for the student-run website, as their Associate Editor for Peace and Security. He has presented conference papers on a variety of topics and most recently had his chapter “The Amplification of the Sunni-Shia Divide through Contemporary Communications Technology: Fear and Loathing in the Modern Middle East,” in IGI Global’s Impact of Communication and the Media on Ethnic Conflict. His languages are English and French, and he speaks a little German. Email:

Laurenne Garneau [International Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Advisor]. Based in Ottawa, Laurenne provides technical expertise in support to the Forum’s team in Myanmar. Laurenne brings decades of experience in international cooperation as a former Government of Canada’s professional. As a Canadian diplomat, she worked closely with foreign government representatives including two years in Myanmar on governance, economic development and gender equality issues; three years in the Philippines on local governance and women’s economic empowerment; and four years in Indonesia on environmental and natural resources governance in the context of decentralization. Laurenne’s experience includes more than 10 years in gender equality research, policy development and provision of technical advice. She is a member of the International Association for Feminist Economics and the Quebec-based Femmes, Politique, Démocratie. She holds a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. in Economics from Université du Québec à Montréal

Brazil Office

Constantino Cronemberger Mendes [Country Director, Brazil] is an economist specialized in public sector economy. He holds a doctorate in Economics from the University of Brasilia (UnB), Brazil. Constantino is a researcher at the Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA) where the Forum Office is housed. He is the coordinator of the Federative Development Studies and general-coordinator of the IPEA’s Interdepartmental Working Group for the same subject. He has taught college classes in Brazil and performed as visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley, USA. Constantino has published articles, chapters and books on federal governance, such as regional development policies, long-term territorial planning, public spending and local delivery of public services. His recent studies have recently been awarded the first place in a contest held by the Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management.

Ethiopia Office

Maeregu Habtemariam Kazentet [Regional Director, East Africa Region].Maeregu studied agriculture at a diploma level and has a BA in Economics (Hons) from India and MA in International Development Planning and Management from Germany. He has served the government of Ethiopia from the lowest structure (Wereda) up to key positions at federal government level for more than 15 years. He was a State Minister of the Ministry of Federal Affairs where one of his main responsibilities was strengthening the federal system of government and managing conflicts within the nation. Maeregu was actively involved in organizing the 5th International Conference on Federalism in Ethiopia in 2010.

Dassa Bulcha [Senior Program Director, Ethiopia Country Office] is a constitutional lawyer and governance expert who also has extensive experience in areas of program management and policy analysis. He has played leading roles in the development and implementation of different democratic governance programs in Ethiopia.

Mr. Dassa Bulcha was a former Judge of the Oromia State Supreme Court, Ethiopia, where he served as its President for two years (2018-2020). He co-founded the Oromia Legal Training and Research Institute and served as its first Director (for four years). He was actively involved in the design process and led the implementation of the Comprehensive Justice Reform Program in Ethiopia, between 2005 and 2010. Mr. Bulcha served as Program Director at the Forum of Federations’ Ethiopia Office (2010-2011). From 2012 -2018 he worked as Senior Governance Program Analyst at UNDP Ethiopia.

Mr. Bulcha has a Master of Laws (LLM) in Comparative Constitutional Law from Alabama University (USA) and LLM in International Law from Addis Ababa University as well as a Bachelor of Law (LLB) from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.

Aynekulu Desta [Director of Finance and Admin] , holds MBA in finance and BA in accounting. He has been working as Finance Director, Finance and Systems Manager and Financial Controller in Save the Children, OXFAM GB and Technoserve Inc., respectively. He is member of the Ethiopian Professional Accountants and Auditors Association and has previously served this association as member of the Board. He has taken various trainings in internal control, auditing, financial management, project management, grant management, procurement, corruption prevention and many accounting soft wares. He also has excellent experience in working with government offices, NGOs and Civil Society partners. Further, he has been travelling to many countries for training and support services and thus he has long experience of working with different social set ups and different cultures.

Yakob Bekele, [Senior Program Manager] at Forum’s Ethiopia office, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in Federalism. Before joining the Forum, he worked for various government institutions including the Secretariat of the House of Federation (HOF) and the former Ministry of Federal Affairs of the FDRE. He has more than 12 years of experience in the areas of intergovernmental relations (IGR) and intergovernmental fiscal transfers (IGFT). While he was at the Secretariat of the HOF he played a leading role in initiating and coordinating the development of new IGR and IGFT laws.

Emebet Ayelign [M and E Specialist], holds MA in Management of Vocational Education at AAU, MA in Sociology at IGNOU and BA in Business Education from AAU. She joined FoF in November2017.She has 15 years of experience as Finance and Admin Officer for Action aid Ethiopia, Program officer at Pro- Pride, MEAL officer at Hiwot Ethiopia and Pact Ethiopia, MEAL coordinator at Save the Children International. And teaching of Business courses and research methodology in Government and Private University and colleges.
She has 10 years of experience working in M and E field and having ample experience in doing research, project planning, and program coordination, coordination of monitoring and evaluation tasks, data management and report writing and data quality audit (DQA) of different thematic areas such as Education, Child protection, HIV/AIDS, Governance, Livelihood, ARH/RH and NRH funded by different donors.

Sosena Mualtu (Gender Specialist) joined FoF in November 2018. She holds an MA in Gender Studies from Addis Ababa University, a BSc in Geography from Bahir Dar University and a BSc in Health Education and Promotion from Jimma University. She has more than ten years of experience in the field of gender, education and livelihoods. She also has extensive knowledge and experience on gender mainstreaming in agriculture, health, education, and livelihood promotion activities. Prior to the Forum of Federations, she had worked as Gender and Social Behavioral Change and Communication (SBCC) Advisor for Population Services International (PSI), as Gender Assistant Advisor at the Institute of International Education-CNFA and Gender Advisor at CARE Ethiopia. Before these she also worked as Program Officer at World Learning Ethiopia and Project Officer at the Organization for Women in self-Employment. Currently, she is a volunteer board member of Young Women Christian Association (YWCA).
Her expertise is basically centered on coordination, project management, technical assistance, capacity building, gender analysis, reporting, monitoring and evaluation of gender-related programs/ projects. Email:

Medhanit Teklu Dibaba [Administration and Financial Officer] has BA in Computer Science and Information Technology from Adama University and is currently studying her MA in Business Administration at St. Mary’s University. Medhanit has more than five years’ experience in Ethiopis College as an assistant Dean, as Printing and Production Department Head, as Marketing and Communication Department Head and associate Registrar. Prior to that had worked as an assistant CEO in Cheetah Consulting Architects PLC. She joined the Forum’s Ethiopia Office in June 2016 as Administration Assistance, and assists in planning and organizing activities of the Office.

Endale Girma [Facilitator] has a Diploma in Auto-mechanics and close to ten years of work experience. He renders safe and timely transportation services and assists with logistical tasks at the Forum’s Ethiopia Country Office.

Fikirte Debebe Cherentet [Office Assistant] she gives cleaning and clerical support to ensure efficiency and effectiveness with in the Forum’s Ethiopia Country Office.

Hayat Jemal [Intern] is a graduate from Addis Ababa University, School of Law. As an associate at The People’s Accolade Law Magazine, she has good experience in developing story content ideas, publicity strategies, sourcing for materials, monitor news-gathering operations. Her career goal is to work in the academic’s area as an educator. Now, she is assisting Forum Ethiopia as a Communication Intern.

India Office

Vikas Kumar [Program Manager, India] holds a Masters degree from Jamia Millia Islamia in Political Science, a Post Graduate Diploma in Conflict Transformation and Peace building from Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi. His primary skill and experience lies in research. Mr Kumar had regularly visited remotest villages of five different states of India to conduct survey and implement projects while working for Digital Empowerment Foundation and Association for Democratic Reforms. Mr. Kumar’s has been writing independently on issues related to Health, Education, Human Rights and Sustainable Rural Development in India. Previously, Mr. Kumar has worked as researcher with University Of Delhi to assess the importance of Rajya Sabha in Indian parliamentary system.

Ravi Dhingra [Country Director, India] AS (Retd), Former Chief Secretary, Himachal Pradesh. Appointed as an Independent Director, SJVN. He was also a Senior Consultant with National Disaster Management Authority, National Security Council Secretariat and Srikrishna Committee on Andhra Pradesh. Joined Indian Administrative Service in 1972 and has worked in the State & Central Governments in important positions like Chief Secretary-HP, Chairman- HP Electricity Board and Secretary, Govt India, Ministry of Home Affairs, Inter State Council Secretariat. Former Board Member of the Forum of Federations, Canada & Chairman of the Strategic Council of the Forum .The Council represents 9 member countries. Has done pioneering work as the First Managing Director of H.P. Civil Supplies Corporation. Set up the Corporation. Was also Executive Director, Industrial Development Corporation.

Jordan Office

Tala KHRAIS [Senior Project Manager] joined the Forum of Federations in January 2020. Over the past 15 years, she worked in coordination, management, and technical assistance of European funded projects/programs implemented in public sector of Jordan, including ministries of Agriculture, Political and Parliamentary Affairs, and Planning and International Cooperation, University of Jordan and Royal Scientific Society. Prior to joining the Forum, she worked for three years as an expert for the LOGOReP (Local Government Resilience Programme)-funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, contributing to the capacity building of Jordanian municipalities, and its local and municipal councils in many areas including: local governance, local economic development, citizen participation, gender mainstreaming, and scenario planning.
Tala holds M.Sc. in Agriculture and Environmental Sciences from McGill University, and she happens to be interested in strengthening the role of women in rural and agricultural areas, and in resilience to climate change. She recently published a paper on “Promotion of the Practice of Rainwater Harvesting at the House Hold Level Among Women in the Bedouin Community of Jordan, (2018)”, a CIHEAM-Union for Mediterranean co-publication,
She also pursued academic training in European political studies at College of Europe (Belgium) and in local governance and local economic development at the Hague Academy for local governance (the Netherlands), and recently presented a conference paper on “Decentralisation and Local Governance for Fostering Peace and Social Solidarity – Case Study of Jordan and Yemen” at the Varieties of Peace Asia Conference, Jakarta (2019).

Haneen Mraiyan [Project Officer] holds a M.A. Graduate in Democratic Governance, Democracy and Human Rights in the MENA (EIUC). She has been working in the humanitarian sector, specifically with refugees, since 2014 with international organizations. She is highly passionate about Women’s Rights in the MENA region.

Stephanie Alramadneh Project [Officer-Finance and Administration] joined the Forum in October 2020 as a Finance and Administration Officer. She holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Reading. Previously, she worked at Collateral Repair Project, a grassroots nonprofit organization that supports and empowers urban refugees in Amman, Jordan. This experience created a passion for her to work with organizations that empower and support individuals around the Middle East.

Morocco Office

Hayat Lahbaili  [Country Director, Morocco] is a doctoral student in Public Finances and public law. She is a former civil servant of the Ministry of Home Affairs and has over 24 years of experience in the field of social development, economy, country planning and urban affairs.  Hayat is an activist of the Democratic Movement and Feminist Movement and a national coordinator in NGO’s working on gender-sensitive budget in Morocco.

Younes EL Allaoui  [RBM Officer] joined the Forum in January 2017. He holds a master’s degree in fiscal, financial and accounting engineering. Since 2014, he has built project management experience in various fields, as well as budgetary and financial monitoring. M. El Allaoui is also a member of the “Fight Against Drugs Association” (RDR Fez) in Fez.

Nepal Office

Sagar Manandhar [Program Manager-Consultant] manages the Forum’s Nepal’s country office. He holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration and is currently completing a Masters in Economics and a Bachelor in Law from the Tribhuvan University in Nepal. Before coming to the Forum, Sagar was in investment banking and credit administration in Nepal.


Azairah Mortel [Program Assistant] holds a degree in Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Major in Legal Management (BSBA-LM) and a postgraduate degree as a Juris Doctor (J.D.). She was a public servant who served as a Chairman of the Sangguniang Kabataan or youth council, the governing body of the youth assembly of a village or a district in the Philippines. During her studies as BSBA-LM, she was an Associate Vice President of Finance of the Alliance of Legal Management Associations of the Philippines. She also served her training with the Committee on Food Security of the House of Representatives. As a Juris Doctor, she had her internship with the Department of Justice and a private law office. After her tenure as a public servant, her passion for public service did not end and she has conducted various donation drives for the needy.

Erwin Bulang [Program Assistant] holds a Bachelor’s Degree on Philosophy from the University of the Philippines and is currently taking up Juris Doctor degree at the San Sebastian College Recoletos – College of Law in Manila. He previously worked in the Department of National Defense as a Defense Research Analyst from 2017 until 2019. He became a Project Development Officer for the Center for Federalism and Constitutional Reform under the Department of the Interior and Local Government on 2019 until 2020. From there, he campaigned for fundamental reforms and surgical amendments to the present Philippine Constitution. He is now a Research Assistant for the Forum and is closely working with the Philippine government to promote the better practice of decentralized governance in the area of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in the Philippines.

Tunisia Office

Leila Haououi-Khouni [Regional Director, MENA] is assistant Professor of Environmental and Macro Economics at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion, Universite de Tunis (ISG). She holds a Masters degree in Economic Sciences from the University of Tunis. Her doctoral work on « Les déterminants du choix d’un régime de change dans les pays émergents » was done at the Université Lumière, Lyon2 and co-directed by J. P ALLEGRET (Lyon2) and Mr AYADI (Université de Tunis). Leila is a member of a team piloting a partnership project “Responsible entrepreneurship” between the German Cooperation (GIZ) and the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (ISG). She worked with the United Nations Volunteer Program in Africa.

Inès Dhifallah [Project Officer]  graduated with a Master in Business Administration, Ines Dhifallah has developed an experience in the management of development projects in Tunisia. She began her career as a temporary worker at the French Embassy in Tunisia and later joined IACE (Institut Arabe des Chefs d’entreprises), a business think-tank working to improve the business climate and promote the private sector in Tunisia, through international cooperation projects, developing its expertise in project management, communication, advocacy and public relations. She has been coordinator of the National Business Agenda, a project aimed at establishing and organizing public-private dialogue. In this context, she contributed to the establishment of the first platform for the resolution of administrative blockages for the benefit of business leaders. She also has experience in communication and media through her experience as a senior reporter in Le Manager, one of the most prestigious business magazines in Tunisia.

Ikram Mechlaoui [Project Officer] has graduated from the Faculty of Letters, Arts and Humanities of Manouba where she obtained her BA Degree in English Language, Literature and Civilization and where she started a Master’s Degree in Linguistics later. During her studies, Ikram has had various experiences in Teaching, Patent Translation and Design and Sale Services. In 2013, she was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship and was placed at State University of New York in Cobleskill as a Teacher, Cultural Ambassador and Student. Following this enriching international experience she had at SUNY Cobleskill, Ikram was back to her country Tunisia to choose a career in socio-economic development with international organizations. Prior to her joining the Forum of Federations as a Project Support, she has worked with INJAZ Tunisia, member of Junior Achievement Worldwide (JAW) as a Program Manager and Education for Employment Tunisia, member of Education of Employment MENA as a Program Manager as well working on both organizations on Entrepreneurship and Soft Skills Programs for future entrepreneurs.

Wafa Seddik graduate of the Higher School of Commerce of Tunis and holder of a Research Master in Banking, Finance and International Trade which she obtained in 2017. She started her career as a project coordinator in a company whose activities are in the aeronautical field. She joined the Forum in 2020

Yemen Office

Muaamar Batawil [Senior Advisor, Yemen] is the Forum’s Senior Advisor for Yemen. In 2012-2014, he was the Forum’s local program officer to help implement the project “Supporting the National Dialogue Conference and the Consolidation of Democracy in Yemen”, funded by the Government of Canada. Subsequently, Muammar worked as a political specialist for two years in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Sana’a office. He was also a staffer in the office of the former Yemeni Prime Minister for more than a year. Muaamar is originally from Hadramout, Yemen, and received a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in political science and international relations from St. Cloud State University, Minnesota. He is currently completing his Master degree in public policies at University of Regina, Canada. Muaamar is fluent in Arabic and English.

Senior Advisors

Sujit Choudhry [Senior Advisor] is an internationally recognized authority on comparative constitutional law and politics, who has spoken in over thirty countries, and combines a wide-ranging research agenda with in-depth field experience as an advisor to constitution building processes, including in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Myanmar, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Ukraine and Yemen.

Choudhry has been a constitutional advisor for over 20 years in a broad variety of contexts (including during ceasefires and conditions of political violence). His experience includes: technical advice to multi-party dialogues, facilitating public dialogue sessions with civil society groups and other stakeholders, leading stakeholder consultations, performing detailed advisory work with technical experts; training civil servants and bureaucrats; engaging party leaders and parliamentarians; and drafting technical reports and memoranda in the field.

Choudhry has published over 100 articles, book chapters, working papers and reports. His books include The Migration of Constitutional Ideas (Cambridge, 2006), Constitutional Design for Divided Societies: Integration or Accommodation? (Oxford, 2008), The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution (Oxford, 2016), Constitution Making (Edward Elgar, 2016), Territory and Power in Constitutional Transitions (Oxford, 2019) and Security Sector Reform in Constitutional Transitions (Oxford, 2019).

Fatima Guerreiro is a Fiscal Auditor of the Ministry of Finance of the State of Bahia, Brazil. She holds a Masters (LLM) in International Economic Law from Warwick University, UK, a Certificate in Tax Law from the Federal University of Bahia and a BA in Law from the Catholic University of Salvador, Brazil. Fatima manages the Fiscal Forum of the Brazilian States (FFEB), an organization of the ministries of finances of the Brazilian states that seeks to strengthen inter-governmental relations and improve fiscal federalism in Brazil. She co-ordinates the program of studies of FFEB supported by the Federal School of Public Finance Administration. Fatima also led a process which concluded with an agreement of technical co-operation between the Brazilian States and the Forum of Federations. She also worked on the conception of Brazilian states tax legislation and on the design of theoretical basis on fiscal issues for the Brazilian States. Fatima’s work is conducted with or in parallel to CONFAZ – Council of Ministers of Finance of the States, a body in charge of tax policies.

André Juneau is a fellow at the Queen’s University Institute of Intergovernmental Relations in Kingston, Ontario, and was its Director from 2010 to 2013. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority where he served as interim CEO from September 2017 to July 2018. He is a past president of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada. He was previously Canada’s resident board member at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. In the Canadian public service, he served as assistant deputy minister in immigration, in health, and in intergovernmental relations. He was appointed in 2000 as a deputy secretary to the Cabinet for operations. From 2002 to 2006, he served as the first deputy minister of Infrastructure, and starting in 2004, Infrastructure and Communities.

André Lecours is full Professor in the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa. His main research interests are Canadian politics, European politics, nationalism (with a focus on Quebec, Scotland, Flanders, Catalonia and the Basque country) and federalism. He is the editor of New Institutionalism. Theory and Analysis published by the University of Toronto Press in 2005, the author of Basque Nationalism and the Spanish State (University of Nevada Press, 2007), and the co-author (with Daniel Béland) of Nationalism and Social Policy. The Politics of Territorial Solidarity (Oxford University Press, 2008).

Neophytos Loizides is Professor in International Conflict Analysis at the University of Kent and the Director of the Conflict Analysis Research Centre (CARC). He has previously taught at Queen’s University Belfast and Princeton University and held  fellowships at the University of Essex and the Kennedy School of Government. His research focuses on political institution building within violently divided societies, power-sharing and other formal or informal mechanisms aiming to mitigate protracted disputes. Professor Loizides is the author of The Politics of Majority Nationalism: Framing Peace, Stalemates, and Crises, Designing Peace: Cyprus and Institutional Innovations in Divided Societies, and Mediating Power-Sharing (with Feargal Cochrane and Thibaud Bodson). He has authored more than forty academic articles and book chapters in the areas of conflict regulation, forced displacement and political accommodation in deeply divided societies including most recently work published in the European Journal of Political Research, the International Journal of Constitutional Law, Political Psychology, Ethnic and Racial Studies, and International Migration.  He has also consulted various governmental bodies and international organizations including the Council of Europe and the Organization of American States and has contributed commentaries to international media such as the Guardian, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.

Htet Min Lwin [Senior Advisor] used to head the Forum’s country office in Myanmar. As a student, he was actively involved in student and youth affairs and he served as public relations officer for All Burma Federation of Students’ Union, Mandalay Division. His previous positions include research associate (2012) in Myanmar Egress for politics and socio-economic research programs, senior program officer (2012-2014) at Myanmar Peace Center. As a junior member of peace negotiation dialogues, he attended Oslo Forum (2013) and “Democratization, Peace and Global Governance for Mid-level Professionals” in GCSP, Geneva. Though trained as a medical doctor in University of Medicine, Mandalay, he holds a master’s degree in political science from Central European University, Hungary. His interests are in the fields of religion and politics, federalism, culture and Burmese political philosophy.

Rekha Saxena [Honorary Senior Advisor] teaches at the Department of Political Science, University of Delhi. She has published over eleven books. Her recent publications include: Varieties of Federal Governance: Major Contemporary Models, Foundation: Cambridge University Press, India (2010), Mapping Canadian Federalism for India, Konark (2002), Situating Federalism: Mechanisms of Intergovernmental Relations in Canada and India, Manohar (2006), India at the Polls: Parliamentary Elections in the Federal Phase, Orient Longman (2003), Indian Politics: Constitutional Design and Institutional Functioning, Prentice Hall India (2011), Federalizing India in the Age of Globalization, Primus (2013), Indian Judiciary :the changing Landscape, Manohar (2007) and Indian Parliament: The Changing Landscape, Manohar (2014).

Leslie Seidle is a public policy consultant based in Montreal and a senior advisor with the Forum of Federations. He directs the research program Canada’s Changing Federal Community for the Institute for Research on Public Policy. He previously held a number of senior positions in the Government of Canada, including director general of Strategic Policy and Research, Intergovernmental Affairs in the Privy Council Office. He is the author of Rethinking the Delivery of Public Services to Citizens (1995) and numerous articles on immigration, federalism, constitutional reform, public management and electoral reform. Dr. Seidle has edited/co-edited 13 books, including Immigrant Integration in Federal Countries (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2012) and Belonging? Diversity, Recognition and Shared Citizenship in Canada (IRPP, 2007).

Shakti Sinha is the Honorary Director of the Vadodara-based think tank, the Atal Bihari Institute of Policy Research & International Studies (Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda). Earlier, he was the Director of the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, New Delhi, a national institution. He is a Distinguished Fellow at the India Foundation (New Delhi), and is also a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), Singapore.  He has a master’s in public policy from George Mason University, and a master’s in history from Delhi University. He was a member of the Indian Administrative Service from 1979 to 2013. He has held positions at different levels at the union, provincial and local levels. Internationally, he headed the United Nation’s governance & development team in Afghanistan (2006-09) coordinating donor support to the Afghan government, and was earlier Senior Advisor to India’s Executive Director on the World Bank board (2000-2004), representing Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Sri Lanka.

Mr Sinha has worked at think tanks in India (Director, India Foundation; Visiting Senior Fellow, Observer Research Foundation), at Singapore (Research Fellow, Institute of South Asian Studies). He has worked on federalism in Aghanistan, Somalia and Myanmar and lectured on it in Sri Lanka and Nepal. He is the author of a recently published book, ‘Vajpayee: The Years That Changed Indian.’. He has edited eight books, the most recent one being an authoritative account of different facets of India-China relations (One Mountain Two Tigers: India, China and the High Himalayas). He has written many book chapters, working papers, policy briefs, columns etc. on political economy of India, evolution of federalism in India, governance, foreign policy & strategic affairs, for global and Indian publications.