Brussels international center for research and human rights (BIC) is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental research organization based in the capital of Europe that is committed to facilitating multilevel responses to conflict and its effects on individuals.
We use our array of research background and experience to produce valuable insights into policy debates and political action taking place in the Mena region and the Sahel stretches. As an organization we utilize our interdisciplinary strengths to analyze fragile political transitions in war-affected settings and activate rehabilitation and reintegration efforts across cultural boundaries. We feel it is important to continually be mindful of both sides of the story and different perspectives while interpreting them into local contexts.
Our goal is to promote human rights issues through drawing connections, making insights created through interdisciplinary analysis and to help build partnerships between different regions and sectors. In this way, we are using our insights, which has research on its core, to inform our social outreach and democratic development programs. These take the lessons learned through our research and make them usable for individuals and governments. The BIC-RHR builds connections. Between concepts, people and sectors. We hope that these bridges will aid in the promotion of peaceful and more resilient societies.
After spending many years in the world of high-level politics as an advisor in election marketing strategy, Jean-François Fechino led a parallel career in consulting for business development. This experience led him to become a specialist in the field, particularly in Corporate Social Responsibility. For the past three years, he was the head of the International Institute for Peace, Justice and Human Rights in Geneva, prior to heading the Brussels International Center for Research and Human Rights. Languages: French and English.
Ramadan whose interest lie at the politics of the Middle-East, North Africa and the Gulf, has built his expertise in a directive and comprehensive way, focusing on human rights, security and development in the aforementioned regions. He has been involved in a number of projects pertaining to elections observations and has also advised several institutions and policy center in Europe. In addition to this, Ramadan enjoys an extensive political and parliamentary relation in many international forums and is expert in European Affairs to many Arab media. In addition to his Bachelor in Physical Education from the University of Mostaganem in Algeria and a specialty in Civil Society Organizations at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Languages: Arab, French and English
Ambassador Marc Otte, born April 26, 1947, is a Belgian diplomat. He has served in Washington DC and Kinshasa (RDC) and was Consul General in Los Angeles as well as ambassador to Israel. He was also director for strategic affairs and disarmament and director for policy planning at the Belgian MFA. From 1999 to 2003, he was advisor for security and defense policy to the High Representative for EU foreign and security policy and from 2003 to 2011, EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process. He was director general of the Royal Institute for International Relations/Egmont for the last four years. He is currently Belgian Special Envoy for Syria and vice-President of the European Institute for Peace. He has written several articles and contributed to books on European defense and security as well as on the Middle East.
Dr. Abderrahim worked for 12 years at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations (IRIS Paris) where he was in charge of the Maghreb and issues related to political Islam. Held the position of Associate Dean at California University from 2010 to 2013. His field of research focuses on political systems in the Arab world. His latest book is entitled “Daesh, History, Issues and Practices of the Islamic State Organization”.
Fernando Aguiar is a research and policy officer for the Brussels International Center for Research and Human Rights. He has built his expertise in a multifaceted analytical approach, ranging from political communication and strategy, international security, gender and conflict. His exposure to policy making and diplomatic relations at the EU Institutions has provided a solid basis for his analytical understanding of contemporary issues, particularly in applying a gender analytical lens to a diverse range of topics. He has a master in International Relations, with a specialization in Conflict and Security from the University of Kent. In addition to his native Portuguese, Fernando speaks English, Spanish and French.
Kate Jackson is a passionate advocate for mental health, multiculturalism and community well-being. She has recently completed a Masters degree in International Relations with a specialization in Migration from the University of Kent. Kate has a keen understanding of human interactions, and community growth and development. Before coming to Brussels, she worked as an English teacher in Europe and Asia and has been involved in a number of human rights and community development initiatives. She has worked in mental health clinics, cultural exchange centres and human rights organizations. Kate speakers English, German and French.
Holder of a degree in journalism and media in Brussels. He has more than five years’ experience in program coordination, communication, media and public relations. He has extensive experience in the management of materials for media Coverage and social networking pages. He worked as a TV program coordinator for more than two years, and was involved in the diplomatic field as a public relations officer at the UAE embassy in Brussels. Yousif speaks Arabic, English and French
Ben Lowings is a Master’s graduate in International Relations with International Conflict and Security from the University of Kent. Ben gained his Bachelor’s in Philosophy from the University of Durham, where he became interested in issues of international ethics. He built experience working with international development organizations on vocational training and education programs in Tanzania and Chile, before acquiring further experience in civil society advocacy towards the European Union in Brussels. Ben maintains a high interest in civil liberties and social cohesion, and is applying this passion to his current research on human rights issues in North Africa. Ben speaks English and Spanish.
Rafke Risseeuw studied Arabic and Islamic studies in addition to a MA in European Studies. Having spent significant periods of time in the Middle East, her experience- based trajectory served as a motor for research and a quest for understanding. A special interest in issues regarding structural inequalities, identity politics en social cultural definition of gender roles; she currently works as member of research department of the Brussels International Center where she is focusing on EU-Gulf & Iran relations and Counter Terrorism. Rafke is a native Dutch and speaks English, French, German and Arabic.
Mohammed Sami is a Palestinian national residing in Brussels. Holder of a bachelor degree in International Affairs from Vesalius College. As a Middle East Analyst, his field of focus is the Arab Spring with emphasis on the Syrian Crisis. Mohammed speaks fluent Arabic, English and Dutch.
Brandon has spent five years working in the fields of diplomacy, human rights, and development, and specializes in research related to conflict, migration, and International Humanitarian law. He currently works full-time as the Policy and Advocacy Officer for Global Security and Development for ONE, where he focuses on state fragility and development. He offers strategic counsel, and expertise concerning security in Africa, to BIC as needed. He graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Duke University and a M.A. in International Development at the University of Kent. Brandon speaks English and French.