Speakers

Mark Voyger

Senior lecturer in Russian an Eastern European Studies at The
Baltic Defence College, Tartu, Estonia

Mr. Mark Voyger has been teaching Russian and Eastern European politics and security as the Senior Lecturer in Russian and Eastern European Studies at the Baltic Defence College in Tartu, Estonia since April 2018. Between 2013 and 2018 he served as the Special Advisor for Russian and Eurasian Affairs to the Commanding General of US Army Europe in Wiesbaden, Germany, and as the Cultural Advisor and Senior Russia Expert at NATO’s Allied Land Command in Izmir, Turkey. In the period 2009 – 2013 he was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as an advisor and social scientist to the US Army. He also worked for Governor Mitt Romney’s Presidential campaigns – the Executive Department (2007-2008) and the Russia Advisory Group (2011-2012).


Mr. Voyger holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University with a focus on Russia-NATO relations, and a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and he has done Ph.D. research in Middle Eastern Studies at Cambridge University, UK.


Mr. Voyger’s areas of academic and professional expertise include Eastern European, Balkan and Middle Eastern politics and security issues, Russian foreign and security policy, Russian military strategies and doctrine, hybrid warfare, as well as trans-national Islamist ideologies and movements.


Mr. Voyger is fluent in Russian, Bulgarian, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and Turkish and proficient in Ukrainian, German and Portuguese.

Janis Berzins

Senior Fellow

Dr. Berzins is the director of the Center for Security and Strategic Research (CSSR) at the National Defense Academy of Latvia. He is one of the leading specialists on Russian military strategy in the world. His work focuses on the juxtaposition between the theoretical developments of Russian Military Thought and the operational reality on the ground. This includes both the hybrid and conventional aspects of warfare, such as influence, information, and psychological operations. Dr. Berzins has lectured as a guest in the United States, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Singapore, Belgium, Brazil, Estonia and Lithuania at various academic and defense institutions. They include the New York University, the Johns Hopkins University, the George C. Marshall Center European Center for Security Studies, the Swedish Defense University, the Swedish Defense Research Agency, the Norwegian Military Academy, the US Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group, the NATO’s Special Operations Command Europe, the NATO/SHAPE Brunssum Headquarters, among others.

Dr. Berzins has advised the United Kingdom House of Commons’ Defense Select Committee, the Parliamednt of Singapore, the Swedish Government and the Polish Government. He has advised the Ministry of Defense of Singapore about Strategic Communications and influence, information, and psychological operations. He has also provided expertise about Russia’s doctrine for the US Department of Defense and Russia’s strategic issues for the private sector.

Carlos Branco

Major General of the Portuguese Army (retired).
He has extensive experience on politico-military affairs and international relations gained in various international assignments. He served with the UN, in the Balkans, before Dayton, as military observer. After, he served in the EUROFOR HQ, in Florence, as Chief of the Intelligence Analysis Section. In 2001, he was assigned to the Military Division of the DPKO, UN Head Quarters (HQ), in New York, as Peacekeeping Affairs Officers for the UN missions in the Middle East (Lebanon, Syria, Israel and Iraq/Kuwait border). He still was Battalion, Regiment Commander and Airborne Brigade Deputy Commander and COMISAF spokesperson, in Afghanistan. In 2008, he took the position of Deputy Director of the National Defence Institute and Army Director of Doctrine before being selected for the position of Director of Cooperation & Regional Security in the International Military Staff, at the NATO HQ. In this function, he was responsible for the strategic planning of NATO military cooperation with all NATO’s partners. And later, he was Deputy Director, at the War College, with the research and development portfolio. In this latter quality, he was Chief Editor of the War College Scientific publications. He was scientific co-director of a post graduated course on Media and Crisis Management, at the Instituto Superior das Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa (Lisbon). He is PhD candidate in International Relations, at NOVA FCSH, and researcher at IPRI.

Andriy Karakuts

PhD in History

Director in the consulting agency “Centre for Applied Research”, first deputy director in the NGO “Centre for International Security”, 2015-2018 – senior research fellow at the National Institute for Strategic Studies, 2011-2018 – associate professor at the Donetsk National University. Education – Donetsk National University (“International Relations”), George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies (“Program on Advanced Security Studies”).

Alexandros Papaioannou

Master’s Degree in European Politics and Administration

Studied International Relations at the London School of Economics and holds a Master’s Degree in European Politics and Administration from the College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium. He joined the Greek Foreign Service and has served in the Embassies in Rome, Moscow, the Holy See, Tunis, as well as the Permanent Representation to the European Union. He has also worked at the Cabinets of Foreign Minister George A. Papandreou and Deputy Minister for International Economic Affairs and Development Aid, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis. He has worked for several years as a Policy Advisor at the Policy Planning Unit in the Office of the NATO Secretary General. He is currently working at the NATO International Staff, Political Affairs and Security Policy Division, primarily dealing with relations with the EU. He is also a Visiting professor, European Political and Governance Studies Department, College of Europe, Bruges.
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