Helen Zille is the Premier of the Western Cape, a member of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, leader of South Africa's opposition Democratic Alliance (LI full member), and a former Mayor of Cape Town.
Zille trained as a journalist and was active as an anti-apartheid activist, being one of the journalists who exposed the truth behind the death of Black Consciousness leader, Steve Biko, in the late 1970s. She also worked with the Black Sash and other pro-democracy groups during the 1980s. In the political arena, Zille has worked in all three tiers of government – as the Western Cape province's education MEC (1999–2004), as a Member of Parliament (2004–2006), as Mayor of Cape Town (2006–2009), and as Premier of the Western Cape (2009–present).
Zille's work as mayor, and in particular her successes in tackling crime, drug abuse and unemployment in Cape Town, led to her selection as World Mayor of the Year in 2008 - from a field of 820 candidates. She was also chosen as Newsmaker of the year 2006 by the National Press Club in July 2007, and is a former finalist in the South African Woman of the Year Award. Zille speaks English, Afrikaans, and Xhosa as well as German.
Hans van Baalen was born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, on June 17th 1960. He studied International Law and International Relations at Leyden University. He served in the Royal Netherlands Army as an Officer for International Civil-Military Co-operation (CIMIC). At present he holds the rank of Reserve Colonel. In 1988 he joined Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu as a Management Consultant. He left Deloitte in 1998 as Chief Executive Officer of Public Affairs Consultants, to start a career in politics as a Member of Parliament for VVD, the Dutch Party for Freedom and Democracy (full LI member). Since 2009, he is a Member of the European Parliament for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and European leader of VVD. November 2015, he was elected President of the ALDE Party. December 2016, Hans van Baalen was appointed Member of the Curatorium of the Friedrich-Naumann-Foundation.
Van Baalen joined VVD in 1986. In 1988 he became a Member and subsequently Chairman of the Dutch Group of Liberal International. From 1993 until 1998 he was International Secretary on the National Executive Committee of VVD and was VVD National Campaign Manager for the 1998 and the 2003 general elections. In May 1998 he was presented with the VVD Thorbecke Award.
In September of 1999 Hans van Baalen succeeded Frits Bolkestein as a Member of the House of Representatives of the States’ General, the Lower House of Dutch Parliament. After the May 2002 general election in which he lost his parliamentary seat, Reserve Officer Hans van Baalen went on a tour of duty to Bosnia for humanitarian relief work. In the January 2003 general election, he recaptured his seat in Dutch Parliament. Hans van Baalen was Parliamentary Spokesman for VVD on Foreign & European Affairs and Defence. He was subsequently Chairman of the Standing Committees on Foreign Affairs and on Defence and of the Netherlands-Belgian Parliamentary Exchange Commission. He was a Member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. In 2009 he led VVD in the European elections and was installed as an MEP in Strasbourg on July 14th 2009. Hans van Baalen is a Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Subcommittee on Security and Defence and a Substitute Member of the International Trade Committee. He is Chairman of the EP delegation to South Africa.
Hans van Baalen became a Fellow of the 21st Century Trust in 1988, now the Salzburg Seminar. He has been a Member of the ELDR Party Council since 1993, a Vice-President of Liberal International since 1997 and a Member of the LI Human Rights Committee since 1999. From 1999 until 2000 he was Special Rapporteur of LI on the Roma in Central and Eastern Europe. Hans van Baalen chaired the ELDR Manifesto Committee for the European elections in 2004 and was an Alternate Member of the EU Convention on the Future of Europe. In 2005 he was elected President of the Supervisory Committee of the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (IMD).
Hans van Baalen became a Bureau Member of LI at the 50th Congress in Ottawa, October 2000, was re-elected at the 51st Congress in Budapest, March 2002, and again at the 52th Congress in Dakar, October 2003. He was elected Deputy President of Liberal International at the 53rd LI Congress in Sofia, Bulgaria, May 2005, re-elected at the 54th LI Congress in Marrakech, Morocco, October 2006, and again re-elected at the 55th LI Congress in Belfast, Northern Ireland, May 2008. At the 56th LI Congress in Cairo, Egypt, October 2009, he was elected President of Liberal International. He was re-elected unanimously at the 57th LI Congress in Manila, the Philippines, June 2011, where he also received the Friedrich Naumann Foundation Medal for his long term dedication to liberalism. At the 58th LI Congress in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, October 2012, Hans van Baalen was again by acclamation re-elected for a third and last consecutive term as President of Liberal International.
At the 59th Congress of LI in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, April 2014, Hans van Baalen handed over the Presidency of LI to Juli Minoves. Hans van Baalen was appointed by the Rotterdam Congress President of Honour for his extraordinary merits to Liberalism and to Liberal International for the last 25 years. He also received the Chilean Order of Bernardo O'Higgins in the rank of Commander for his active role in supporting the return of democracy to Chile during military rule and for his promotion of Chilean liberals in Liberal International since the 1989 Paris Congress, which was the first Liberal International Congress Hans van Baalen attended.
Hans van Baalen is married to Ineke Sybesma, Director of the Netherlands Victim Support Fund. They were married in Istanbul. They have a son called Robert who was born on May 14th 2006.
John Thomas Alderdice, Baron Alderdice (born 28 March 1955) is a Northern Ireland politician.
He was Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly 1998-2004, leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland 1987-1998, and since 1996 sits in the House of Lords as a Liberal Democrat. He was elected President of Liberal International in 2005 and served until Liberal International's Cairo congress in 2009.He was educated at Ballymena Academy and the Queen's University of Belfast (QUB). He worked part-time as a consultant psychiatrist in psychotherapy in the NHS from 1988 until he retired from psychiatric practice in 2010. He also lectured at Queen's University's Faculty of Medicine between 1991 and 1999.
The Alliance Party was formed in 1970 as an alternative to sectarian politics. Alderdice was on the Executive Committee of the party between 1984 and 1998, the Chair Policy Committee between 1985 and 1987, the party Vice-chair in 1987 before becoming the party leader ahead of the 1987 general election and contested Belfast East for the party. He received 32.1% of the vote, the highest percentage achieved by Alliance in an individual seat in a Westminster election until Naomi Long's historic victory for the party in Belfast East inthe 2010 general election.
In 1988, in Alliance's keynote post-Anglo Irish Agreement document, "Governing with Consent", Alderdice called for a devolved power-sharing government based on a voluntary coalition elected by a qualified majority vote. Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, Alliance's vote stabilised at between 6% and 8%. He was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly for Belfast East in 1998 and became the Assembly's first speaker, serving until 2004.
Alderdice was a Belfast City Councillor from 1989 until 1997. He resigned as party leader to take the position of Speaker. He has been a member of the Independent Monitoring Commission since 2004. Alderdice was created a life peer in 1996 as Baron Alderdice of Knock in the City of Belfast; he was one of the youngest ever life peers. He sits in the House of Lords as a Liberal Democrat. On 10 June 2010, he was elected to the new position of Convenor of the Liberal Democrat Peers, a role in which he chairs the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party in the House of Lords.
Baroness Kishwer Falkner is a Vice-President on the LI Bureau and a Member of the House of Lords in the contingent of LI full member Liberal Democrats (United Kingdom), where she is the spokesperson on foreign affairs. She is a Chancellor of the Northampton University and she has Fellowships at St. Anthony’s College, University of Oxford and Harvard University. In 2005 she served as a member of the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Tackling Muslim Extremism. She has worked as the Liberal Democrats’ Director of International Affairs.
Political career 2005 - 2009 Member of the German Bundestag European policy spokesman of the FDP parliamentary group Chairman of the Parliamentary Friendship Group for Relations with Belgium and Luxembourg
2002 - 2005 Member of the German Bundestag Development policy spokesman of the FDP parliamentary group
Since 2001 Member of the FDP National Executive since 2005 Vice-President of the European Liberal Democrats (ELDR)
2004 - 2010 President of the FDP Berlin
2005 - 2009 Chairman of the FDP Federal Committee on International Politics
2005 - 2007 President of the German Group of Liberal International (DGLI)
from April 2010 Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office
Robert Woodthorpe Browne was born in Little Gaddesden, England in 1943. He has a notable background in the Liberal Democrats and currently serves as Chairman of the party's International Relations Committee.
He has studied at Poitiers and Barcelona Universities and holds a BA (Hons) from London University. He speaks English, French, Spanish and German. He is the Past Secretary of British German Association and Treasurer of British Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce, as well as Council Member of the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House). He has been politically active since 1960, when he joined Liberal Party UK and chaired various Young Liberal Branches. He has stood as MP for Westminster in 1979, 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2005 (against Tony Blair in Sedgefield); for Strasbourg 1979 and 1999 (East of England Region). He is the former Chairman, now Vice-President of the Parliamentary Candidates Association and the Former Deputy Treasurer of the Liberal Democrats. His engagement in field of international liberal cooperation has been extensive and he is the Former Chairman, now Deputy Chairman and Vice-President of the British Group of Liberal International as well as Council Member of ELDR.
Mr. Woodthorpe Browne was elected Vice-President in the LI Bureau during the 56th Congress in Cairo in 2009, Egypt and Treasurer of the Bureau during the 57th Congress in Manila, the Philippines in 2011. He was re-elected Treasurer at the 58th Congress in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire in October 2012.
Dzhevdet Chakarov was born on August 8, 1960 in Asenovgrad, Bulgaria. He is a Member of Parliament, representing the Movement for Rights and Freedoms party (MRF) of Bulgaria.
Dzhevdet Chakarov studied surgery at the Medical University of Plovdid. After graduation he worked as a surgeon at the local hospital in the town of Luky 1986-1988 and later as the Senior Assistant Professor in a Common Surgery at the Medical University of Plovdid 1988-2001. He has published several scientific researches and publications concerning different aspects of the surgery, microbiology and social medicine. He speaks Turkish, English and Russian. In 2001 Dr. Chakarov was elected Member of the Bulgarian Parliament. His parliamentary activities include: Chairman of the Environment and Water Committee; member of Health Care Committee; as well as member of Delegation to the Assembly of the West-European Union and the US Congress. He has also served as Minister of Environment from 2005-2009. Presently, Dr. Chakarov is Vice-chairperson of the Committee of Environment and Waters in Bulgarian Parliament and he is also member of the Committee overseening Eurofunds management.
Dr. Chakarov was elected Vice-President of the LI Bureau during the 53rd Congress in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2005 and has been re-elected on the four consecutive LI Congresses since, including the 57th Congress in Manila, Philippines 2011.
Manfred R Eisenbach was born in Oberlahnstein on December 25th, 1947. He has a notable background in the Free Democratic Party (FDP Germany), which he joined in 1968, and currently serves as Chairman of the party's International Party Relations Committee. He is also a co-opted board member of the FDP and Secretary-General of the German Group of LI (DGLI).
After finishing Eichendorff Grammar School at his hometown Koblenz with honours, and his military service with the Bundeswehr Grenadiers as lieutenant of the reserve, he studied law and economics at Munich, Geneva and Bonn Universities. Manfred graduated in both law and economics with honours.
Mr Eisenbach speaks German, English and French. He is Treasurer of the German British Society and Chairman of the Society for Freedom & Liberty as well as Honorary Auditor of the European Movement of Germany and of the Kiwanis International District Germany.
He is member of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) and the German Atlantic Association. He started his professional carrier as tutor at Bonn University in 1972 and in 1973 joined the staff of Professor Werner Maihofer MP, Federal FDP Minister without portfolio, as junior parliamentary assistant. Between 1974 and 1980 he served in various FDP parliamentary staff positions as senior political advisor in the field of transportation, telecommunication, and technology and research.
After the general elections in 1980 he became head of the FDP Bundestag joint whips’ office, and director of the FDP Bundestag central office, a position he held for 10 years before being appointed COO and Managing Director of FDP Bundestag parliamentary group after the all-German general elections following German Reunification in 1990.
He resigned in 2004 to starting his own independent consultancy firm in politics, political communication, public affairs and economics, ESC EisenbachStrategyConsulting, Berlin. Additionally, he is heading Universum Kommunikation GmbH-LLC, Berlin/Wiesbaden, as managing director. He has been politically active since the early 1970s in various FDP standing expert committees (Foreign Relations, Security and Third World; Cultural Affairs; Party Reform), was heading the FDP fundraising business in 2005/6 and is still supporting the FDP Treasurer in his fundraising activities as FDP fundraising steering committee member.
His engagement in the field of international liberal cooperation has been extensive and he is a long-standing member of LI Executive Committee and ALDE (former ELDR) Council.
Mr Manfred R Eisenbach was elected Treasurer at the 60th Congress at Mexico City in 2015.