Press Releases

    SG/A/954
    BIO/3713
    15 November 2005

    Biographical Note

    Secretary-General Appoints Shamil Idriss Deputy Director of Office of Alliance of Civilizations

    NEW YORK, 14 November (UN Headquarters) -- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has named Shamil Idriss as Deputy Director of the Office of the Alliance of Civilizations.  Mr. Idriss is currently Officer-in-charge until Tomas Mastnak takes up his functions as Director towards the end of December.

    Shamil Idriss, a United States national, was Senior Adviser for Islamic-Western Relations Programs for the international conflict resolution organization, Search for Common Ground (SFCG).  He serves on the Coordinating Committee and the Secretariat of the World Economic Forum's Council of 100 Leaders, which convenes political, corporate, religious, and academic leaders from predominantly Muslim countries, the United States and western Europe to initiate projects that foster Islamic-Western understanding.

    Prior to his current position, Mr. Idriss served as SFCG's Chief Operating Officer from 2000 to 2004, managing the organization's global operations and its headquarters in Washington, D.C.  He coordinated some of the first projects under SFCG's United States-Iran initiative, an effort to improve American-Iranian relations that started with facilitation of the first public visit of Americans to Iran since the 1979 revolution -- the American National Wrestling Team's visit to Tehran in 1999.  From 1999 to 2000, he served as Director of SFCG's Burundi Program, managing projects of Hutu-Tutsi ethnic cooperation, including the first independent multi-ethnic radio outlet in Burundi, Studio Ijambo.

    Mr. Idriss sits on the Boards of the Alliance for International Conflict Prevention and Resolution (AICPR), Soliya, and the Arab-West Skills Summit.  He has conducted mediations for the Washington, D.C., Department of Human Rights and Minority Business Development, and has facilitated workshops with prison inmates on alternatives to violence in conflict management.  Mr. Idriss has published articles in German, South African, Arab, and American journals and newspapers.

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