BTI blog authors

To BTI blog

On the BTI blog, BTI experts and journalists provide insights into current democracy and governance issues in developing and transition countries.

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Abdullahi Murtala

Abdullahi Murtala is an Assistant Editor with HumAngle, based in Nigeria. He heads the Armed violence and climate security desk. Murtala writes on trends associated with security and the impact of climate change in Nigeria and Lake Chad. 

Alex Vatanka

Middle East Institute
Director Iran Program
Alex Vatanka is the director of the Iran program and a senior fellow at the Frontier Europe Program at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C. His most recent book is "The Battle of the Ayatollahs in Iran: The United States, Foreign Policy and Political Rivalry Since 1979."

Ali Fathollah-Nejad

Political Analyst
Ali Fathollah-Nejad is a German-Iranian political scientist and analyst. He is a McCloy Fellow on Global Trends of the American Council on Germany and an Associate Fellow with the American University of Beirut's Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs. He contributes to the BTI as country expert.

Alison Singer

Michigan State University
PhD Candidate
Alison Singer is a freelance writer for environmental organizations such as the Worldwatch Institute and the Climate Institute. Currently, she is PhD candidate in Community Sustainability at Michigan State University.

Amal S. Obeidi

University of Benghazi
Associate Professor
Amal Obeidi is associate professor of comparative politics at the University of Benghazi, Libya, and associate researcher at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. She is BTI country expert on Libya.

Amine Ghali

Al Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center
Amine Ghali is the Director of Al Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center (KADEM). He is working on issues of democracy, reform and transition in the Arab region.

Anas El Gomati

Sadeq Institute
Founder and Director
Anas El Gomati is founder and director of the Sadeq Institute, Libya’s first independent public policy think tank, a former visiting fellow at the Carnegie Middle East Centre and former visiting lecturer at the NATO Defence college.

Anna Gwiazda

King's College London
Dr. Anna Gwiazda is a lecturer in comparative politics in the Department of Political Economy at King's College London. Before joining King’s in September 2010, Anna worked at Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin. Her most book Democracy in Poland (London: Routledge, 2015) examines the quality of democracy in Poland from the collapse of communism in 1989 up to the 2011 parliamentary election. Anna Gwiazda is BTI country expert for Poland.

Anna Hengge

Heidelberg University
Anna Hengge is pursuing an MA in Political Science with a special focus on polarization and democratic backsliding. She is part of Professor Aurel Croissant‘s research team at the Institute of Political Science at Heidelberg University.

Anna Jordanova

Association of International Affairs (AMO), Prague
Associate Fellow
Anna Jordanova is an Associate Fellow at the Association of International Affairs in Prague and a Ph.D. student at Charles University, Czechia. She focuses on the current developments in Central Asia, especially in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.

Aurel Croissant

University of Heidelberg
Professor of Political Science
Aurel Croissant is Professor of Political Science at the Institute of Political Science, Ruprecht-Karls-University, Heidelberg. He is the BTI's regional coordinator for Asia and Oceania. His main research interests include the comparative analysis of political structures and processes in East- and Southeast Asia, the theoretical and empirical analysis of democracy, civil-military relations, terrorism and political violence.

Awol Kassim Allo

Keele University
Senior Lecturer
Awol Allo is senior lecturer in Law at Keele University. Prior, he was fellow in human rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Bert Hoffmann

Lead Researcher, German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA)
and Professor of Political Science at Freie Universität Berlin

Carolina Moehlecke

School of International Relations, Fundação Getulio Vargas
Adjunct Professor
Carolina Moehlecke is an adjunct professor at the School of International Relations at Fundação Getulio Vargas (Brazil) and a PhD candidate in the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on the role of private businesses in the emergence and diffusion of international regulation in areas like environmental protection and public health.

Christian Achrainer

Independent Consultant, Analyst and Lecturer
Christian Achrainer is an independent consultant, analyst and lecturer based in Cairo. He primarily researches on current developments in Egypt and writes his dissertation on Egypt's external relations (University of Marburg).

Christian Hanelt

Bertelsmann Stiftung
Senior Expert
Christian Hanelt is Senior Expert for Europe's Neighborhood and the Middle East. His areas of expertise include the Israeli-Arab conflict, the EU's relations with the Gulf States (GCC), political, social, and economic developments in the Arab world, and the causes of flight and migration.

Christina Maags

School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Christina Maags is lecturer in Chinese politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Prior to joining SOAS, she completed a PhD in Political Science at the University of Frankfurt and studied in Oxford, Frankfurt and Bonn. Moreover, she has been a visiting fellow at the Australian National University.

Claire Elder

University of Oxford
Doctoral Candidate in Politics and International Relations
Claire Elder is a doctoral candidate in Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. She is also a consulting political analyst, having worked previously for International Crisis Group (ICG) on Somaliland/Somalia.

Claudia Härterich

Transformation Index BTI
Project Manager
Claudia Härterich is Project Manager at the Bertelsmann Stiftung's Transformation Index (BTI).

Claudio Fuentes

Universidad Diego Portales
Claudio Fuentes, Ph.D. political science, is a professor at the School of Political Science at the Universidad Diego Portales (UDP) in Santiago de Chile. He is a coordinator of the UDP Constitutional Lab.

Cora Jungbluth

Bertelsmann Stiftung
Senior Expert
Dr. Cora Jungbluth is senior expert for international trade and investment in the Bertelsmann Stiftung's Europe program. She specializes in macroeconomic analyses on Asia with a focus on regional trade agreements, global value chains and international investment.

Corina Murafa

Energy & Climate Policy Expert

Craig Willy

Craig James Willy is a Brussels-based EU affairs writer.

Dalia Ghanem

Carnegie Middle East Center
Resident Scholar
Dalia Ghanem is an Algerian resident scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut. Her work examines political and extremist violence, radicalization, Islamism, and jihadism with an emphasis on Algeria.

Damin Jung

The Korea Times
Politics & Defense Reporter
Damin Jung is politics and defense reporter at The Korea Times.

Dandy Rafitrandi

Centre for Strategic and International Studies (Jakarta)
Dandy Rafitrandi is a researcher at the Department of Economics, Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Jakarta, Indonesia. His research agenda focuses on the intersection of international economics, digital economy, and ASEAN. Currently, he undertakes several projects related to trade agreements and international cooperation, and the digital economy ecosystem. He also served as a lecturer at Prasetiya Mulya University.

Dane Taleski

Centre for Southeast European Studies at the University of Graz
Visiting Fellow
Dane Taleski is Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Southeast European Studies at the University of Graz, where he focuses on the transformation of wartime networks into political parties in Western Balkan post-conflict countries and its impact on party competition, peacebuilding and democratization. Dane Taleski has served as executive director of two think tanks and was a member of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia’s executive board (2009–2013). He holds a PhD in political science from the Central European University in Budapest. He was a Civil Society Scholar with the Open Society Foundations (2014) and has been a member of the Transformation Thinkers network since 2005.

Daniel Kapellmann

Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst
Daniel Kapellmann is a Mexican Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst for FireEye and Consultant for ITU Digital Inclusion Division. As a former Fulbright scholar, he holds an Information Management master’s degree from the University of Washington specialized in Information Security & Risk Management.

Daniela Arregui Coka

Bertelsmann Stiftung
Junior Project Manager

Dariusz Kalan

Dariusz Kalan is a Central Europe correspondent for international media and an analyst based in Bratislava.
Dragan Koprivica

Dragan Koprivica

Center for Democratic Transition
Executive Director
Dragan Koprivica is Executive director of Center for Democratic Transition (CDT), one of the most prominent good governance advocacy NGOs in Montenegro.

Eduardo Mello

Fundação Getulio Vargas
Assistant Professor of Politics and International Relations
Eduardo Mello is assistant professor of politics and international relations at Fundação Getulio Vargas, Brazil. His research interests include governance, poverty reduction, the political economy of education, electoral clientelism, the provision of public goods, and political corruption. He received his Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.

Elham Manea

University of Zuerich
Associate Professor
Elham Manea is associate professor for Political Science at the University of Zuerich. She works as a consultant for governmental and international organizations, for instance the World Bank, Freedom House or the United States Agency for International Development. She is BTI expert on Yemen.

Eromo Egbejule

Eromo Egbejule is a Nigerian journalist. He has written for The Africa Report magazine, Reuters, The Guardian, Times of London, Financial Times, Al-Jazeera and other global media outlets.

Eva Seiwert

Graduate School of East Asian Studies (GEAS), Freie Universität Berlin
Doctoral Candidate
Eva Seiwert is a doctoral candidate at the Graduate School of East Asian Studies (GEAS) at the Freie Universität Berlin. Her research focuses on China’s foreign policy towards Central Asia, in particular within the context of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

Fabian Stroetges

Durham University
Doctoral Researcher
Fabian Stroetges is doctoral researcher at Durham University’s School of Government and International Affairs and BTI country expert for Tunisia.

Falk Hartig

Goethe University Frankfurt
Postdoctoral Researcher and Journalist
Falk Hartig is a sinologist and journalist working on contemporary China. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Goethe University Frankfurt, analyzing China’s international affairs and non-cohesive means of global engagement.

Filip Reyntjens

Institute of Development Policy, University of Antwerp
Emeritus Professor of Law and Politics
Filip Reyntjens is professor emeritus of Law and Politics at the Institute of Development Policy, University of Antwerp. His research and work focuses on the Great Lakes region of Africa.

Gabriel Salvia

Center for the Opening and the Development of Latin America (CADAL)
Gabriel C. Salvia is Chairman of the Center for the Opening and the Development of Latin America (CADAL). He has also worked as a journalist and human rights activist since 1992. CADAL ( is one of the leading reform-oriented think tanks in Argentina. It is a non-profit, non-partisan, private foundation with the mission of promoting democratic values, and Spanish publisher of the BTI in Spanish.
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Gianluca Grimalda

Institute for the World Economy Kiel
Senior Researcher
Gianluca Grimalda is senior researcher at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and member of the steering committee of the International Panel on Social Progress.

Hakan Demir

MiGAZIN, Journal for Migration and Integration in Germany

Hannah Kickert

Bertelsmann Stiftung and Sciences Po Paris
BTI Intern and MA Student

Hans-Joachim Spanger

Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF)
Associate Fellow
Hans-Joachim Spanger is associate fellow at the Leibniz Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF), visiting professor at the National Research University - University of Economics in Moscow and regional coordinator for Post-Soviet Eurasia for the Transformation Index (BTI).

Héctor Briceño

Central University of Venezuela
Héctor Briceño is a researcher at the Center for Development Studies of the Central University of Venezuela (Cendes-UCV) and guest researcher at the University of Rostock. He holds a PhD in Political Science. His topics of interest are Democracy, Political Parties and Elections.

Iryna Solonenko

European University Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder
Iryna Solonenko is researcher at the European University Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder and associate fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). She is BTI country expert on Ukraine.

Jake Benford

Bertelsmann Stiftung
Senior Project Manager
Jake Benford is a member of Bertelsmann Stiftung's Europe Programme, where he currently focusses on economic cohesion in the EU as well as more broadly on relations with the UK.

Jan Claudius Völkel

Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI)
Regional Coordinator
Jan Claudius Völkel is BTI regional coordinator for the Middle East & North Africa and Academic Dean at IES Abroad Freiburg.

Jan Hofmeyr

Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR)
Head of Policy and Research
Jan Hofmeyr heads the Research and Policy Programme at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) in Cape Town. Opinions expressed here are his own and not that of the Institute.

Jens Poggenpohl

Freelance Journalist

Jess Smee

Jess Smee is a Berlin-based journalist who writes for The Guardian newspaper among others. She is contributor and editor for the Bertelsmann Stiftung's SGI News and BTI Blog.

Jil Kamerling

Heidelberg University
Jil Kamerling is researcher at the Institute of Political Science at Heidelberg University with a primary interest in institutions in autocracies, diffusion and authoritarian learning. Together with Tanja Eschenauer-Engler and Prof. Aurel Croissant, Jil co-created the The Political Roles of the Military (PRM) dataset (

Jonathan Fisher

University of Birmingham
Jonathan Fisher is reader in African Politics at the University of Birmingham and visiting fellow at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS) at Stellenbosch University. He studied at University College London and the University of Oxford and has worked in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda. His research - which has been funded by the AHRC, British Academy, ESRC and Facebook, among others - focuses on the nature and characteristics of authoritarian states in Africa.

Jos Boonstra

Head of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia Program

Julia Renner-Mugono

University of Münster
Dr. Julia Renner-Mugono is postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Münster. Her research interests include resource conflicts, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and global dynamics of resource distribution. She is BTI regional coordinator for Eastern and Southern Africa. She is associate fellow at the Peace Academy Rhineland-Palatinate and member of the Peace and Conflict Research Association (AfK).

Julian Dierkes

Institute of Asian Research of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver
Associate Professor
Dr. Julian Dierkes is an associate professor at the Institute of Asian Research of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. His research focuses on the political development and mining policy in Mongolia. Dierkes is one of 246 country experts who worked on the latest edition of the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index, BTI 2016. He blogs at 

Juliane Matthey

Reporters Without Borders
Press Officer
Juliane Matthey is press officer at Reporters Without Borders.

Karola Klatt

Karola Klatt is a science journalist and an editor for the Bertelsmann Stiftung's SGI News and BTI Blog.

Konstantin Krome

Heidelberg University
Konstantin Krome pursues an MA in Political Science, focusing in area studies of the Middle East. He is part of Professor Aurel Croissant's research team at Heidelberg University.

Leonid Litra

New Europe Center Kyiv
Senior Research Fellow
Leonid Litra is Senior Research Fellow at the think tank New Europe Center in Kyiv, Ukraine, and BTI expert on Moldova. He previously worked for various think tanks in Kyiv and Chisinau and published on topics related to the post-Soviet area, European integration and frozen conflicts.

Lloyd M. Sachikonye

Institute of Development Studies
Lloyd M. Sachikonye is Professor at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Zimbabwe, where he researches employment policy, democratization and governance. Sachikonye has advised the African Union, the International Labour Organization (2007–2009) and the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa (2011–2012). He serves on the editorial boards of nine international journals, including Africa Development and the Review of African Political Economy. Lloyd holds a PhD in political science from the University of Leeds and has been a member of the Transformation Thinkers network since 2005.

Ludwig Schulz

German Orient Institute
Ludwig Schulz is head of the Turkey department of the German Orient Institute Berlin and project manager at the Center for Applied Policy Research (C.A.P.) Munich.

Maja Bovcon

Verisk Maplecroft
Senior Analyst
Maja Bovcon is senior analyst at Verisk Maplecroft, a global risk analytics and strategic consulting firm based in UK. Her research focusses on the political, economic, social and security situation in West African countries. She holds a PhD in politics and international relations from the University of Oxford.

Manuela Andreoni

Manuela Andreoni is a journalist from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She has worked for newspapers, magazines and television programms in Brazil and abroad, such as The Sunday Times, The Globe and Mail, O Globo, Agência Pública, BBC Panorama. She currently is a reporter at Columbia Journalism Investigations.

Marco Bünte

Monash University Malaysia
Associate Professor
Dr. Marco Bünte is Associate Professor of Politics at the School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash University Malaysia. He is one of 250 country experts who worked on the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index, BTI 2016.

Marina Vulović

German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)
Research Associate
Marina Vulović (PhD) is an associate in the project "Geostrategic Competition for the EU in the Western Balkans" at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP).

Mark Turner

University of New South Wales
Visiting Professor
Mark Turner is a visiting professor at the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra. He is one of 250 country experts who are currently working on the forthcoming edition of the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index BTI 2016 which will be released at the end of February 2016.

Markus Karbaum

Dr. Karbaum Consulting & Coaching
Managing Director
Dr. Markus Karbaum is consultant and coach with a special focus on Cambodia's political, economic and social development.

Martin Plaut

Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Journalist and Senior Research Fellow
Martin Plaut is a freelance journalist and senior research fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies focusing on the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa. He is the former Africa editor of BBC World Service News.

Mat Youkee

Mat Youkee is a freelance journalist and a political analyst covering Latin America from Bogotá, Colombia.

Michael Brüntrup

German Institute of Development and Sustainability
Senior Researcher
Michael Brüntrup is a Senior Researcher at the German Institute of Development and Sustainability.

Michael Gahler

European Parliament
Michael Gahler has been a Member of the European Parliament of the German CDU in the European People's Party since 1999 and is Vice President of the European Movement Germany. He is a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and security policy spokesman for the EPP Group in the European Parliament.

Mikayel Zolyan

Regional Studies Center, Yerevan
Political Analyst

Miriam Kosmehl

Bertelsmann Stiftung
Senior Expert
Miriam Kosmehl has been Senior Expert in the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Europe’s Future Program since 2017 working on the Eastern Partnership region from Berlin.

Nic Cheeseman

University of Birmingham
Professor of Democracy and International Development
Nic Cheeseman is Professor of Democracy at the University of Birmingham. He mainly works on democracy, elections and development and has published research on Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Professor Cheeseman is the author or editor of more than ten books, including Democracy in Africa (2015), Institutions and Democracy in Africa (2017), How to Rig an Election (2018), Coalitional Presidentialism in Comparative Perspective (2018), Authoritarian Africa (2020) and most recently The Moral Economy of Elections in Africa (2020).

Nick Ross

Australian National University
Researcher, PhD Student
Nick Ross is a PhD student at the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University. He works as researcher for the Association for Inclusive Peace, and has consulted with or advised the United Nations, national governments, civil society, and non-state armed groups in Myanmar, Afghanistan, Kenya and Colombia.

Nicole Beardsworth

Lecturer in Politics, University of the Witwatersrand
Honorary Research Fellow, University of Warwick
Nicole Beardsworth is a lecturer in politics at the University of the Witwatersrand and an honorary research fellow at the University of Warwick. Nicole holds a PhD in Politics from the University of Warwick, an MA in International Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand and an MSc in African Studies from the University of Oxford. Her PhD research focused on opposition parties and electoral coordination in Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Her broader research is on the history and politics of sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on political parties, governance, democratization and elections in Southern and Eastern Africa. Nicole is a regular writer for several academic blogs and newspapers, and a contributor to the BTI.

Noory Okthariza

Centre for Strategic and International Studies (Jakarta)
Noory Okthariza is researcher at the Department of Politics and Social Change, Centre for Strategic and International Studies Indonesia. He is an adjunct lecturer at the Department of Political Science, UPN Veteran Jakarta. He specializes on party politics, election, and political Islam in Indonesia.

O’Brien Kaaba

Lecturer, University of Zambia
Senior Research Fellow, Southern African Institute for Policy and Research (SAIPAR)
Dr. O’Brien Kaaba, is a lecturer in law at the University of Zambia and a senior research fellow at the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research (SAIPAR). He has formerly served as elections manager for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) in Zambia, political specialist for the US Department of State at the American Embassy in Lusaka (Zambia) and as a human rights and rule of law advisor for the German development cooperation agency GIZ in Zambia. O’Brien is a co-editor of the book Democracy and Electoral Politics in Zambia published in 2020.

Pablo Nemiña

Latin American Social Sciences Institute (FLACSO - Argentina)
Research Fellow
Pablo Nemiña is research fellow at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council, the International Relations Department at the Latin American Social Sciences Institute (FLACSO - Argentina) and the National University of San Martín, where he teaches and researches about political economy of international finance.

Paul Esber

University of Sydney
PhD Candidate
Phd Candidate at the University of Sydney

Pavel Havlíček

AMO Research Center
Research Fellow
Pavel Havlíček is Research Fellow at the Association for International Affairs (AMO) Research Center in Prague. His research focuses on Eastern Europe, especially Ukraine and Russia, and the Eastern Partnership. He also deals with questions of strategic communication and disinformation as well as democratization and civil society support.

Pavin Chachavalpongpun

Kyoto University
Associate Professor
Pavin Chachavalpongpun is associate professor at Kyoto University’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies.
Peter Birle

Peter Birle

Ibero-American Institute
Research Director
Peter Birle is director of the research division and the research and publications department of the Ibero-American Institute in Berlin. He is BTI country expert on Brazil.

Peter Thiery

University of Heidelberg
Senior Research Fellow
Dr. Peter Thiery is senior researcher at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Heidelberg. His research focuses on democracy, the rule of law and transformation processes in Latin America. Since 2002, he has contributed to the development of the BTI and his the BTI's regional coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean. He also participated in several research projects at Universities of Munich and Würzburg, and was fellow at the Centre for Global Cooperation Research in Duisburg.

Piotr Buras

European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)
Director, Warsaw Office
Piotr Buras heads the Warsaw office of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). He is a journalist, author and expert in German and European politics and has worked as a columnist and Berlin correspondent for “Gazeta Wyborcza”, the biggest Polish daily.

Rabi Karmacharya

Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal
Executive Director
Rabi Karmacharya is a social entrepreneur with over 18 years of experience in the private and development sectors. He established one of Nepal’s first successful software-outsourcing companies. He went on to found Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal with the aim of giving all children access to high-quality learning opportunities through the use of technology in classrooms.  Rabi holds electrical-engineering and computer-science degrees from MIT, and has been a member of the Transformation Thinkers network since 2012.

Raffaella Ravinetto

Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM), Antwerp
Senior Researcher and Policy Advisor
Raffaella Ravinetto is a senior researcher and policy advisor at the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) in Antwerp, Belgium. Currently, she is in charge of a portfolio of research, policy support, networking and advocacy on medicines in low- and middle-income countries, and of a North-South network on research standards and ethics in low- and middle-income countries at ITM's Public Health Department.

Raphael Bossong

German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)
Senior Associate
Raphael Bossong is senior associate at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin. He focuses on internal security affairs, border security and the impact of the migration crisis on the EU.

Rasheed Draman

African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs
Executive Director
Rasheed Draman is Executive Director of the African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA) in Accra. He has been focusing on governance and institutional issues for the past 15 years and has worked with more than 30 parliaments and governments in Africa. He has served as the Director of Africa Programmes at the Parliamentary Centre (2006–2013) and as a consultant for the Africa Branch and the Multilateral Programs Branch of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). He holds a PhD in Political Science from Carleton University, Ottawa and has been a member of the Transformation Thinkers network since 2005.

Richard J. Heydarian

Academic, author, policy adviser
Richard Javad Heydarian is an Asia-based academic, author and policy adviser. As a columnist, he has written for the world’s leading publications, including The New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, Foreign Affairs. He is an Associate Professor at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and has delivered lectures at the world’s leading universities, including Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, and Leiden University. His latest books are “The Rise of Duterte: A Populist Revolt against Elite Democracy” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) and “The Indo-Pacific: Trump, China, and the New Global Struggle for Mastery” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). His forthcoming book is “Confronting China” (Melbourne University Press).

Richard R. Dion

Governance and Communications Consultant
Richard R. Dion is a governance and communications consultant based in Germany. Formerly a regional director at the EITI International Secretariat, he has evaluated the EITI in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Guinea for the GIZ.

Robert Schwarz

Bertelsmann Transformation Index
Senior Project Manager

Rolf J. Langhammer

Kiel Institute for the World Economy
Senior Fellow
Rolf J. Langhammer is Senior Fellow at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and Senior Policy Fellow for China in the Global Economy at the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS). He is member of the BTI Board, an interdisciplinary group of transformation and development experts.

Roma Rajpal Weiss

Freelance journalist
Roma Rajpal Weiß is a freelance journalist and blogger from India, currently based in Bonn, Germany. She writes for the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s SGI News and BTI Blog.

Sabine Donner

Transformation Index BTI
Senior Expert
Sabine Donner is Senior Expert at the Bertelsmann Stiftung and directs the BTI project “Shaping Change – Strategies of Development and Transformation”.

Sally Broughtom Micova

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Fellow in Media Governance and Policy
Sally Broughtom Micova is LSE Fellow in Media Governance and Policy and Deputy Director of the LSE Media Policy Project in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she completed her PhD in December 2013. Before entering academia she was head of Media Development and Spokesperson for the OSCE Mission to Skopje for several years.

Sandra Weiss

Sandra Weiss is a political scientist and former diplomat. Since 1998 she has been reporting from Latin America as a correspondent for German and international media. She currently lives in Mexico.

Sean Carey

School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester
Honorary Senior Research Fellow
Sean Carey is honorary senior research fellow in the School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester and fellow of the Young Foundation. He has written on Mauritius for The Guardian, The Independent, New African and African Business.

Seda Gürkan

Leiden University
Assistant Professor
Seda Gürkan works as Assistant Professor in European Approaches to Security, Diplomacy and Global Affairs at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA), Leiden University. She is a country expert for Turkey at the Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI).

Serhat Ünaldi

Bertelsmann Stiftung
Project Manager

Shamil Shams

Shamil Shams works as a reporter and editor for Deutsche Welle in Bonn, Germany.

Sophia Boddenberg

Freelance Journalist
Sophia Boddenberg studied journalism and social and political sciences in Latin America. As a freelance journalist she reports from Latin American countries, covering politics, women’s rights, indigenous populations and environmental conflicts.

Stanley Azuakola

Civic Monitor
Executive Director
Stanley Azuakola is founder and executive director of Civic Monitor, a Nigerian non-profit that works to facilitate a more engaged and informed citizenry in Africa.

Stefan Ehlert

Stefan Ehlert is from Gütersloh in East Westphalia in Germany. With his family, the historian and journalist lives as a freelance Africa correspondent in Maputo, Mozambique. He works for the epd, Deutschlandfunk, ARD radio and the Schwäbische Zeitung, among others. From 2001 to 2007 he reported on East and Central Africa from Nairobi. Since 2008, he has also reported on North and West Africa for the ARD radio studio Rabat. After a radio traineeship in Hamburg, he was a reporter and editor of the "Berliner Zeitung" in the late 1990s. Ehlert authored the biography "Wangari Maathai - Mother of the Trees. Africa's first Nobel Peace Prize winner".

Stephan Giersdorf

University of Heidelberg
Research Fellow
Dr. Stephan Giersdorf is a research fellow at the University of Heidelberg. His research interests include democratization studies, authoritarian regimes, civil society studies and quantitative conflict research. His regional focus is on South and South East Asia.

Susanne Schultz

Bertelsmann Stiftung
Project Manager
Susanne Schultz is project manager in the "Making Fair Migration a Reality" project at the Bertelsmann Stiftung. She holds a PhD in Migration and West Africa and is an Associated Research Fellow at the Center on Migration, Citizenship and Development (COMCAD).

Sylvia Croese

University of Cape Town
Research Fellow
Sylvia Croese is a research fellow at the African Centre for Cities and at the Department of Sociology at the University of Cape Town. She conducts research on urban governance and development in Africa. In addition, she is also a contributor to

Szabolcs Panyi

Direkt 36
Szabolcs Panyi is a journalist at Direkt36, a non-profit investigative journalism center in Budapest, Hungary. He covers corruption and national security related stories with a focus on Russian and Chinese influence in Central Eastern Europe. He received the Soma Award for the best Hungarian investigative journalism in 2015 and 2016, the Quality Journalism Award in 2017, and was shortlisted for the European Press Prize in 2018.

Tamirace Fakhoury

Lebanese American University in Beirut
Assistant Professor
Tamirace Fakhoury is an assistant professor of political science at the Lebanese American University in Beirut and currently a Humboldt fellow at the GIGA Institute of Middle East Studies in Hamburg, Germany. Her latest article in Current History, “Lebanon’s Perilous Balancing Act”, discusses the country’s governance dilemmas in the wake of the Syrian conflict. Tamirace Fakhoury is one of 250 country experts of the Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI) 2016.

Tanja Eschenauer-Engler

Heidelberg University
Tanja Eschenauer-Engler is a researcher at the Institute of Political Science at Heidelberg University. Her work focuses on civil-military relations, armed forces in autocracies, and military coups. From 2015 to 2019, she worked in the „Dictator's Endgame“ project. Together with Jil Kamerling and Prof. Aurel Croissant, she co-created the The Political Roles of the Military (PRM) dataset.
Ted Piccone

Ted Piccone

World Justice Project (WJP)
Chief Engagement Officer
Ted Piccone is Chief Engagement Officer at the World Justice Project (WJP) and member of the BTI's Advisory Board.
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Thomas de Waal

Carnegie Europe
Senior Fellow
Thomas de Waal is a senior fellow with Carnegie Europe based in London. He is the author of several books on the Caucasus, including “The Caucasus: An Introduction” and “Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan Through Peace and War.”

Thomas Kalinowski

Ewha Womans University
Associate Professor
Thomas Kalinowski is associate professor at Ewha Womans University’s Graduate School of International Studies in Seoul and a long-time BTI expert of South Korean society, economy and corruption.

Thomas Rausch

Bertelsmann Stiftung
Senior Project Manager

Tilman Lüdke

Arnold-Bergstraesser Institute (ABI)
Senior Researcher
Tilman Lüdke is Senior Researcher at the Arnold-Bergstraesser Institute (ABI) and a BTI country expert on Turkey. His main research interests are the relations between Germany and the Middle East in historical perspective, political Islam, nationalism in the Middle East and the history of the Cyprus Conflict.

Tsedale Lemma

Addis Standard
Tsedale Lemma is founder and editor-in-chief of the Addis Standard, an English publication that reports critically on domestic and foreign sociopolitical and socioeconomic current affairs impacting Ethiopia.

Ulad Vialichka

Transformation Thinker, Belarus

Una Bergmane

Foreign Policy Research Institute
Baltic Sea Fellow
Una Bergmane is Baltic Sea fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia and a postdoctoral researcher at Helsinki University. She holds a PhD from Sciences Po Paris. In the past, she was a Fox International Fellow at Yale University, a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University and a teaching fellow at the London School of Economics. Her main research interest includes the collapse of the Soviet Union as well as the post-Cold War international dynamics in the Baltic Sea region.

Vít Dostál

Association for International Affairs (AMO)
Executive Director
Vít Dostál is the Executive Director of AMO. He focuses on Czech foreign and European policy, Central European cooperation, and Polish foreign and domestic policy.

Viviana García Pinzón

German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA); University of Marburg
Research Fellow and Doctoral Student
Viviana García Pinzónis a research fellow and doctoral student at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA) and at the Phillips Universität Marburg. Her dissertation addresses violence, social order and urban governance in secondary cities in Colombia and El Salvador. Her research interests are security and peace, governance, illegal markets, regional security, and comparative politics, with a focus on Latin America.
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Yannik John

Transformation Index BTI
Project Manager
Yannik joined the BTI team as a project manager in 2022. He studied political science and history at the University of Mainz and Madrid. Over the course of his master's degree, Yannik specialized in international relations and public economics. The question of how transformation processes towards democracy and an inclusive market economy can be achieved in a sustainable way is one of the driving forces behind his work.
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