Expert Team: Board of Directors

Professor Gyimah-Boadi is President of IFIT’s Board of Directors. He is co-founder and Board chair of Afrobarometer: an independent pan-African research network that provides data on African citizens’ values, evaluations, and experiences and that has become the global reference for high-quality data and analysis on African democracy, governance, economy, and society. He is also co-founder and former executive director of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), which has long played an instrumental role in Ghana’s democratisation process.

Professor Gyimah-Boadi has received a myriad of international awards, including the 2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Peace and Social Justice and the African Studies Association’s 2018 Distinguished Africanist Award in recognition of a lifetime of distinguished contributions to the field. He was named as one of the “100 Most Influential Africans of 2021″ by New African Magazine.

A former professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Ghana, Legon, Professor Gyimah-Boadi is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Democracy and has served on the advisory boards of many initiatives, including the Ibrahim Index of African Governance. He has held faculty positions at various universities in the United States, including the School of International Service of the American University (Washington, D.C.), and fellowships at the Center for Democracy, Rule of Law and Development (Stanford University), the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the U.S. Institute of Peace, and the International Forum for Democratic Development (all in Washington, D.C.).

Professor Gyimah-Boadi received his doctorate from the University of California (Davis) and undergraduate degree from the University of Ghana, Legon. He has published more than a dozen books and monographs, several influential peer-reviewed journal articles, and more than 30 book chapters. Some of his best-known works include his co-authored book Public Opinion, Democracy, and Market Reform in Africa (2005, Cambridge University Press) and his edited volume on Democratic Reform in Africa: Quality of Progress (2004, Lynne Rienner). He is a member of the U.S. Academy of Sciences and Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences.   

Dr. Leslie Vinjamuri is the Vice President of the IFIT Board of Directors. She is Head of the US & the Americas Programme and Dean of the Queen Elizabeth II Academy at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs. She is also an Associate Professor of International Relations and Chair of the International Relations Speaker Series at SOAS University of London.  

Leslie speaks, writes and lectures on the politics of international intervention, international order and the US role in the world.  She holds a grant from the British Academy on the Future of Internationalism. Leslie is co-editor of Human Rights Futures (Cambridge University Press, 2017).  Leslie was a contributor to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences project on New Dilemmas in Ethics, Technology, and War. Her publications have appeared in journals such as International Security, the Annual Review of Political Science, International Theory, Ethics and International Affairs, the International Journal of Transitional Justice and Survival as well as numerous edited volumes. 

Leslie is on the Editorial Board of the Cambridge Studies in International Relations, a book series for Cambridge University Press.   

Previously, Leslie was Director of the Centre on Conflict, Rights and Justice, a Centre that she co-founded at SOAS in 2010. From 2015-2018, Leslie was on the Council of Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, where she was also an Associate Fellow with their US Programme.

Leslie is a Visiting Senior Fellow at LSE IDEAS and also on the Advisory Board of LSE IDEAS, a Centre in the LSE’s Institute of Global Affairs that acts as the School’s foreign policy think tank. She is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  

Jon Greenwald is Secretary of the IFIT Board of Directors. He served 30 years as a senior U.S. diplomat, focusing on East-West matters, the Middle East, counter-terrorism, the European Union and international law. Upon leaving government, he coordinated foreign policy issues for the 2000 U.S. presidential campaign of Senator Bill Bradley and from 2001 to May 2017 was Vice President in charge of research for the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, widely regarded as the world’s leading conflict prevention and conflict resolution non-governmental organisation. 

Greenwald has taught diplomacy at Lawrence University (Appleton, Wisconsin), served as the U.S. State Department’s nominee on the panel that completed adjudication of 21,000 Holocaust-era claims in 2017 for Austria’s National Fund for the Victims of National Socialism; authored Berlin Witness: An American Diplomat’s Chronicle of East Germany’s Revolution (a memoir of his time at the U.S. embassy as the Berlin Wall fell that the Penn State University Press published in 1993); and contributed articles to journals and newspapers such as the Financial Times and Los Angeles Times. He presently directs and funds an initiative to bring young Israelis and Palestinians to study together at leading university preparatory schools. In January 2022, President Biden appointed Greenwald as a Commissioner on the U.S. Commission for Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad.

Mark Freeman is the Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Integrated Transitions (IFIT), a non-governmental organisation that recently celebrated its tenth anniversary as a global peacebuilding innovator. 

A leading expert in political transitions and high-level peace negotiations with more than 25 years of experience, Mr Freeman is regularly consulted for advice on crisis management and conflict resolution. He has worked in countries including Ukraine, Venezuela, Colombia, Afghanistan, Bolivia, Bosnia, Burundi, DRC, The Gambia, El Salvador, Kenya, Mauritania, Morocco, Nepal, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, and Zimbabwe. 

Prior to founding IFIT, Mr. Freeman was Chief of External Relations and a member of the Senior Management Team at the International Crisis Group, a leading global conflict prevention organisation. He also helped launch the International Center for Transitional Justice and served as its first Director of International Affairs. Earlier in his career he worked at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in New York and as a corporate lawyer in Toronto.

A widely recognised thought leader in international law and human rights, Mr. Freeman is the co-author of Negotiating Transitional Justice (Cambridge, 2020), which draws upon his years as an adviser inside the Colombian peace talks in Havana. He is also the author of Necessary Evils: Amnesties and the Search for Justice (Cambridge, 2010) and Truth Commissions and Procedural Fairness (Cambridge, 2006), and the co-author of International Human Rights Law: Essentials of Canadian Law (Irwin Law, 2004).

Mr. Freeman holds a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University, a Juris Doctor from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, and a Master of Laws from Columbia Law School where he was a Human Rights Fellow and James Kent Scholar. He has been a Lecturer-in-Law at KU Leuven and the University of Ottawa, and a Visiting Professor at Queen’s University Faculty of Law.

Mr. Freeman is a member of the International Panel of Experts of the International Commission on Missing Persons and an Advisor to Schmidt Futures‘ International Strategy Forum. A Canadian and Belgian citizen, Mr. Freeman speaks English, French, Spanish, Italian and Catalan.

Working languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian, and Catalan