Prof. Dr. Volker Perthes has been Executive chairman and director of Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Berlin since 2005. Received his doctorate from the University of Duisburg in 1990 and his habilitation in 1999. Assistant professor at the American University of Beirut from 1991-1993; joined SWP in 1992 and headed the Research Group “Middle East and Africa” for several years. Currently a non-resident professor at Humboldt University Berlin. Serves on various national and international bodies such as the Advisory Research Council of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) (as chairman), the International Advisory Council of the Shanghai Institute for International Studies (SIIS). In 2015/2016 also served as UN Assistant Secretary General and Senior Advisor to the UN Special Envoy for Syria. Frequent commentator in German and international media.