Our Team

Martin Kahanec

Martin Kahanec Acting Director, Shattuck CCNR

Professor and Acting Head of the School of Public Policy at the Central European University in Budapest. Founder and Scientific Director of CELSI, Bratislava. Affiliated Scholar at the Global Labor Organization; Centre for Population, Development, and Labour Economics (POP), MERIT, United Nations University, Maastricht; and the University of Economics in Bratislava. Visiting Research Fellow and former Deputy Program Director "Migration", leader of the research sub-area EU Enlargement and the Labor Markets and Deputy Director of Research (2009) at the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) in Bonn, Germany. Visiting Research Fellow at Harvard University's Labor and Worklife Program 2014/15. Chairperson of the Slovak Economic Association and member of Academia Europaea, the European Academy of Humanities, Letters and Sciences. His main research interests are labor and population economics, migration, EU mobility, ethnicity, and reforms in European labor markets. Martin Kahanec has published in peer-reviewed academic journals, contributed chapters in collected volumes including the Oxford Handbook of Economic Inequality (OxfordUP) and the International Handbook on the Economics of Migration (Edward Elgar), and he has edited several scientific book volumes and journal special issues. Associate Editor of the International Journal of Manpower; founding Managing Editor of the IZA Journal of European Labor Studies (2012-2016), included in Scopus under his leadership; and former member of the Editorial Board of Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research. Martin Kahanec has held several advisory positions and leading roles in a number of scientific and policy projects with the World Bank, the European Commission, European Parliament, European Court of Auditors, OECD, and other international and national institutions. He earned his Ph.D. in Economics in 2006 from the Center for Economic Research (CentER), Tilburg University, the Netherlands. Contact him at [email protected]

AlHakam Shaar

AlHakam Shaar Fellow, Shattuck CCNR

AlHakam Shaar is Holbrooke Fellow for The Aleppo Project at the Shattuck Center on Conflict, Negotiations, and Recovery at Central European University in Budapest. Since he joined the Aleppo Project in January 2015, he has collaborated with Aleppians of all walks of life, including urban planners, cultural heritage experts and civil society actors, and worked closely with graduate students of public policy researching problems that are most likely to face post-war Aleppo. AlHakam was lecturer of English at Isik University, Istanbul and holds a Masters in TESOL from the University of Aleppo. His fascination with Aleppo’s heritage started at the age of ten when his family renovated and moved to an Old Aleppo house.

Contact him at [email protected]

Bashar Swaid

Bashar Swaid Fellow, Shattuck CCNR

Bashar Swaid is a member of the Architectural and Technological Design Laboratory at the University of Calabria. For the past twelve years he has worked on interdisciplinary issues like urban development, rehabilitation of historical Islamic cities, and parametric and algorithmic architecture. He led a team preparing the detailed master plans dealing with informal settlements, expansion and industrial areas in Damascus and Aleppo between 2006 and 2012. Bashar is a co-founder of Al Diwan engineering consulting office in Aleppo, and he chaired the supervision team for constructing the new industrial city (Al-Belleramon) in Aleppo from 2010-2013. Bashar holds a European Ph.D. in architectural and urban composition from the University of Calabria, a masters in planning and environment from the University of Al-Baath, and a bachelor’s of architecture engineering and a diploma in city planning from the University of Aleppo. His research interests deal with bio-inspired design solutions for emerging complex adaptive systems such as the historical contexts, where he developed an innovative evolutionary technique for filling the destroyed urban gaps in Aleppo. Bashar taught courses on urban and architectural design in many public and private Syrian universities from 2007 to 2013. He participated in many international conferences and published papers in Arabic and English.

Contact him at [email protected]

Erika Kuenne

Erika Kuenne Fellow, Shattuck CCNR

Erika is a U.S. Foreign Service Officer and has worked for the U.S. Department of State since 2005. Her most recent assignment was to Belgrade, Serbia, where she served as Cultural Attache. Before her position in Belgrade, Erika served as an Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer in Beijing, China, and as a Consular Officer in Shenyang, China. Prior to joining the State Department, she worked at the Colorado Court of Appeals as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Marsha Piccone, and prior to that she worked at the University of Colorado’s Office of International Programs, where she assisted international students.  She has a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Colorado and a JD from the University of Denver College of Law. Contact her at [email protected] 

Researchers & Interns

Abduhalim Albakkor

A former literature student at Al-Ba’th University in Homs, Abduhalim got displaced from Baba Amr shortly after the uprising and later became a refugee in Turkey, where he graduated with honours from Istanbul Sehir University’s Department of Sociology and worked as a fellow researcher at Koc University’s Migration Research Center. Currently he is pursuing an MA in Gender Studies at CEU in Budapest, Hungary. Contact him at [email protected]

Connor Kusilek

Connor Kusilek is a first year Master’s student at the CEU School of International Relations and a volunteer archivist at the Open Society Archives in Budapest. Originally from North Carolina, he earned his undergraduate degree in History with a minor in Peace Studies from Appalachian State University. In his hometown of Raleigh, he worked as an intern for the refugee resettlement agency USCRI where he helped to teach classes on American workplace culture and integration. His primary interest is in the use of historical narratives by authoritarian regimes to justify conflict, with emphasis on the events of Yugoslavia’s dissolution in the 90’s. He has lived in Poznan, Poland for studies and Yerevan, Armenia for an AIESEC exchange where he worked with the women’s rights NGO Society Without Violence to assist the construction of a training program for new interns and hires. His current work with the Aleppo Project seeks to examine the lessons learned from post-conflict reconciliation in Sarajevo and Grozny, and their potential application in Aleppo. Contact him at [email protected]

Celeste Koppe

Celeste Koppe is a Master's student of Political Science at CEU. Before coming to Budapest, she was the Coordinator of the American Corner Tunis, a library and cultural center in Tunis, Tunisia. She has also lived in Amman, Jordan and Rabat, Morocco while studying Arabic and carrying out archival research. Celeste holds a B.A. in history from Carleton College, and her recent interests are civil society, regime change, and terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa.  Contact her at: [email protected]

Elsayed Elsehamy

ElSayed is currently a first-year MA student enrolled at Central European University's Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology. He previously studied at Cairo Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CILAS) for the 2016-2017 academic year, after which he had a Humanities co-fellowship (2017-2018) and served as the director of CILAS's Translation Lab. His research interests include governmentality, displacement, dispossession and state configurations, with a particular interest in post-colonial thought. Reciting Arabic poetry keeps him alive. Contact him at: [email protected]

Adnan Samman

Adnan Samman Intern, Shattuck CCNR

Adnan Samman is a visual artist and architecture student from Syria. Before commencing his studies in Budapest, Adnan lived in Jordan, where he helped developing Refugee Phrasebook; a Berlin based project that eased integration of thousands of asylum seekers in Europe with a free domain, interactive dictionary. Refugee Phrasebook later progressed to win the prestigious Prix Ars Electronica Award of Distinction, previously won by Wikileaks. Now Adnan continues to work on his art as well as Syria Before 2011; an Instagram platform that he founded in 2018, attempting to celebrate Syria's better times through hand-picked photographs. Contact him at: [email protected]

Previous Members

Anna Lisa Knaack

Anna Lisa Knaack Intern, Shattuck CCNR

Anna Lisa Knaack is a Geography student at Giessen University in Germany. She is currently working with the Aleppo Project on a research project on markets in Aleppo. She has experience working with qualitative and quantitative social research and with mapping programs like ArcGIS and QGIS. Her current interests include turning survey data into maps as well as post-war reconstruction strategies for informal settlements. Contact her at: [email protected]

Robert Templer

Robert Templer Former Director, Shattuck CCNR

Robert Templer is the director of Higher Education Alliance for Refugees (HEAR). He is the founder and former director of CCNR and the Aleppo project at Central European University. He has worked on public policy and conflict issues for the past twenty years. He was the Director of the Asia Program at the International Crisis Group between 2001 and 2012, establishing more than a dozen research programs across the region. He led a Crisis Group team that investigated war crimes in Sri Lanka and headed the organization's research on Myanmar. He has worked in more than twenty countries in Asia producing nearly 400 reports covering issues as diverse as nuclear proliferation and emerging religious movements. He has focused on post-conflict policing, corruption and constitutional development. He was the Indochina correspondent for Agence France-Presse from 2003-2007 before spending four years as a visiting scholar and Freedom Forum Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of Shadows and Wind: A View of Modern Vietnam (Abacus, 1999) and has written extensively for publications around the world including the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The New Republic and The Far Eastern Economic Review. At SPP, Robert Templer teaches courses on conflict resolution and political transitions with a focus on Asia, as well as practical courses on policy development and advocacy.

Riham Wahba

Riham Wahba Intern, Shattuck CCNR

Riham Wahba, is a first year MPA student at the CEU School of Public Policy. Prior to CEU, Wahba worked as a programs director at Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, a human rights grassroots organization based in Cairo. A graduate from the American University in Cairo, Wahba holds a BA in Economics. Her current research interests include incorporating data analysis with policy making as well as post-war resolution and policing in war torn societies. Contact her at [email protected] [email protected]

Armenak Tokmajyan

Armenak Tokmajyan Fellow, CCNR

Armenak Tokmajyan holds a Master’s degree in Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research from the University of Tampere, Finland. He accomplished his Bachelor’s degree in Syria, University of Kalamoon. He worked at UNHCR Aleppo Field office in the Protection Unit (2012). Before joining the Centre for Conflict, Negotiation and Recovery (CCNR) he worked as a visiting researcher at Åland Islands Peace Research Institute (summer 2014) and Tampere Peace Research Institute (autumn 2014). Armenak Tokmajyan’s main research interest includes peace and conflict dynamics in Syria. His Master’s thesis, Conflict Transformation in Syria, explains how the Syrian conflict transformed from one type of conflict to another between 2011 and late 2013. In addition to his thesis, He is the author of many papers such as ‘Militarization of the Syrian revolution: was this the wrong choice’ (2015),Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, ‘Hezbollah's Military Intervention in Syria: political choice or religious obligation?’ (2014) Journal of Approaching Religion. You can find the full list of his publications at uta-fi.academia.edu/armenakTokmajyan.

You can contact him at [email protected]

Nora Palandjian

Nora Palandjian Intern, Shattuck CCNR

Nora Palandjian is a first year MPA student at the CEU School of Public Policy. She has significant experience planning international academic and cultural exchange programs for students and faculty. Prior to coming to CEU, Palandjian worked at the Bard College Center for Civic Engagement as the Al-Quds Bard Partnership Program Associate, Network Program Manager, and Administrative Director of the 2016 Study of the US Institute on Civic Engagement for student leaders from the Middle East and North Africa. A graduate of Bard College, Palandjian holds a BA in human rights and anthropology. Her current research interests include the use of media in human rights investigations and the role of higher education in emergencies.

Contact her at [email protected]

Meghan Moore

Meghan Moore Fellow, CCNR

Meghan Moore is a U.S. Foreign Service Officer and has worked for the U.S. Department of State since 2003. Her most recent assignment was to Budapest, Hungary, where she served as Consular Section Chief. Prior to her position in Budapest, Meghan served in Karachi, Pakistan, Washington, D.C., Bogota, Colombia, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and temporarily in Port au Prince, Haiti. Before joining the State Department, Meghan was a community development and regulatory compliance officer at a locally-owned commercial bank in Anchorage, Alaska. Meghan holds a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Southern California and a M.A. in African Area Studies with a focus on political development from the University of California Los Angeles.

Meghan can be contacted at [email protected]

Yahya Al-Abdullah

Yahya Al-Abdullah Researcher, Shattuck CCNR

Yahya is a second year MPA student at the School of Public Policy at Central European University in Budapest. In his study, Yahya focuses on migration and education policies and how education can facilitate the integration of refugees and migrants in the host communities. He Was a lecturer of English at Isik University, Istanbul and holds a Master's in TESOL from the University of Aleppo. Also, Yahya worked as a volunteer teacher and teacher trainer for the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in Aleppo. His main passion, as an Aleppian in exile, is working on the collective memory of the city and its intangible cultural heritage.

Contact him at [email protected]

Ilona Ilma Ilyes

Ilona Ilma Ilyes Coordinator, CCNR

Ilona Ilma Ilyes is coordinator of the Center for Conflict, Negotiation and Recovery at the School of Public Policy. Prior to joining SPP Ilona was working in Antananarivo, Madagascar, with the SchoolNet Madagascar NGO on environmental education and TIC in secondary schools. Currently she continues her volunteering activity with the Hungarian Volunteer Sending Foundation in Budapest. Previously she had been working for the Central European regional office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Hungary on the annual Age, Gender, Diversity Mainstreaming (AGDM) project and on drafting comments to the new legislation on asylum in Hungary. Ilona holds a BA in Law and History/International Relations from the Babes-Bolyai University, Romania and an MA in International Relations and European Studies from CEU. She speaks Hungarian, Romanian, English, French and German.

Tammy Paltchikov

Tammy Paltchikov Holbrooke Fellow, Shattuck CCNR

Tammy Paltchikov is a U.S. Foreign Service Officer and has worked for the U.S. Department of State since 2008. Her most recent assignment was to Sofia, Bulgaria, where she served as Educational and Cultural Attache. Before her position in Sofia, Tammy served as a Public Affairs officer in Peshawar, Pakistan, and a Consular officer in Almaty, Kazakhstan and Nassau, Bahamas. Prior to joining the State Department, she worked as the Assistant Director of the Office of International Programs at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). In that capacity, she worked with foreign students and international visitors, arranging their cultural, business, and educational programs in the U.S. She has a bachelor’s degree in Slavic Area Studies and an M.A. in Public Affairs, both from UAH. In 1992-93, she was an exchange student at Belarus State University and she completed a specialized Russian language course at Moscow State University in 1997. Contact her at [email protected]

Jay Heung

Jay Heung Fellow, CCNR

Jay Heung is a U.S. Foreign Service Officer and has worked for the U.S. Department of State since 2005. His most recent assignment was to Budapest, Hungary, where he served as Economic Section Chief and then Acting Political and Economic Counselor. Prior to his position in Budapest Jay served as a Consular Officer in Bogotá, Colombia, and an Economic Officer in The Hague, The Netherlands. Before joining the State Department, Jay was a management consultant for several Washington D.C.-based companies and also worked in international business development for Rockwell International and Boeing. Jay holds a B.A. in economics and B.S. in international relations from the University of Oregon, and a M.A. in economics and M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Anna Costa

Anna Costa Intern, Shattuck CCNR

Anna Costa is a first year Mundus Mapp student at the School of Public Policy at the Central European University in Budapest. She previously studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies where she graduated in Development Studies and Law. She was simultaneously engaged as president of Student Hub at SOAS student society where she organised volunteering opportunities for other students. Her recent interests of studies are terrorism, counterterrorism and post conflict resolution. This year she is involved in a policy project that focuses on the access of Syrian refugees to tertiary education.

Contact her at [email protected]

Michele MacMillan

Michele MacMillan Intern, Shattuck CCNR

Michele is currently a Mundus MAPP student at the School of Public Policy at Central European University in Budapest. Her background is in grassroots organizations, participatory education and youth empowerment. Her recent experience has been teaching English in Catania, Italy and Hanoi, Vietnam. She holds a Cambridge CELTA and have taught a variety of levels and ages. Previously, she has worked in non-profits center around youth advocacy and leadership. Her research interests include human rights, post-conflict reconstruction and counter terrorism measures. This year she is collaborating on a project connecting Syrian refugees with access to higher education.

Contact her at [email protected]

The Aleppo ProjectOur Team