Bernard Aronson is a Founder and Managing Partner of ACON Investments. Prior to co-founding ACON in 1996, Mr. Aronson was International Advisor to Goldman Sachs for Latin America. From 1989 through 1993, Mr. Aronson served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs under Presidents Bush and Clinton. Following his tenure, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the State Department’s highest honor. Mr. Aronson serves on the Board of Directors of the following ACON fund portfolio companies: ACON Franchise Holdings and Sequitur Energy Resources. Mr. Aronson has previously served on numerous boards of ACON fund/investment vehicle portfolio companies, including among others, Mariner Energy (NYSE: ME) and Northern Tier Energy (NYSE: NTI). Outside of ACON, Mr. Aronson previously served on several public company boards and currently serves on the board of Lindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:LIND). In addition, Mr. Aronson is a Director for the National Democratic Institute, The Nature Conservancy (Maryland/DC Chapter), and the Amazon Conservation Team, as well as a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Diplomats. Mr. Aronson has published opinion pieces in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New Republic and The Huffington Post, among other publications. In February 2015, Mr. Aronson was asked to serve as an unpaid consultant to the U.S. State Department on the Colombian peace process. Mr. Aronson’s role at ACON as a founding partner, member of the general partners of the firm’s U.S. and Latin American private equity funds and principal of the U.S. funds remains unchanged.
Mr. Aronson holds a B.A. with Honors in Humanities from The University of Chicago.
Jean Arnault (born in 1951 in France) is the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Colombia and Head of the UN Mission in Colombia, established by the Security Council in January 2016 to verify implementation of the Agreement on the Definitive and Bilateral Ceasefire and Cessation of Hostilities and Laying down of Arms signed by the Government of Colombia and the "Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo" (FARC-EP) on 24 June 2016.
Prior to this appointment, Mr Arnault was the UN Secretary-General's Delegate to the Sub-Commission on End of Conflict issues in the Colombia Peace Talks, in which he served from August 2015 to April 2016.
From November 2014 to June 2015 he was a member of the High-Level Panel on Peace Operations appointed by the UN Secretary-General to review and make recommendations on UN field operations in the areas of prevention, mediation, peacebuilding and peacekeeping.
He previously served as United Nations Special Adviser to the Group of Friends of Democratic Pakistan from 2008 to 2009; Special Representative of the Secretary General in Georgia and Head of the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) from 2006 to 2008; Special Representative of the Secretary General in Afghanistan and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) from 2004 to 2006, where he was also Deputy in 2002-2003. He served as Representative of the Secretary General for Burundi and Head of the UN Office in Burundi (UNOB) from 2000 to 2001; and Special Representative of the Secretary General for Guatemala and Head of the UN verification mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA) from 1997 to 2000. He was Observer and then Mediator in the Guatemala peace negotiations from 1992 to 1996, when the Guatemalan Peace Accords were signed; and Senior Political Affairs Officer in Namibia, Afghanistan and Western Sahara from 1989 to 1991.
Arnault studied Philosophy, Linguistics and Political Science and graduated in Philosophy from University of Sorbonne-Paris I. He holds a postgraduate diploma in conference interpretation from the Polytechnic of Central London-University of Westminster. In 2001, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for International Studies at Princeton University where he focused on lessons for mediators from peace processes in the 90s. See "Good Agreement, Bad Agreement? an Implementation Perspective, 2001" 
He is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Centre on International Cooperation of New York University, a member of the Council of the University for Peace (UPeace) headquartered in Costa Rica, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum (New York).
Eamon Gilmore is one of the Government leaders who led Ireland from deep recession to economic recovery.
He was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade from 2011 until July 2014, and steering Ireland from an IMF bailout, to become the fastest growing economy in the European Union.
He led Ireland’s successful Presidency of the European Union; was President of the EU’s General Affairs Council and was Chairperson-in-Office of the OSCE.
While serving as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon managed the Northern Ireland Peace Process on behalf of the Irish Government; oversaw and renewed Ireland’s development aid programme and developed a new Government policy to actively engage with the 70 million members of the Irish Diaspora throughout the world.
He was one of the longest serving members of the Irish Parliament and he has served as a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Originally from a small farm in the West of Ireland, Eamon graduated from the National University of Ireland, and he worked as a trade union organiser, before his entry to Parliament. During his 7 year tenure as Leader, Eamon led the Irish labour Party to its best ever parliamentary and presidential election results.
Eamon is now actively involved in European and International Affairs, through his human rights and peace work, and through public speaking and teaching. He has lectured on governance, political economy and conflict resolution in several universities and think tanks in Ireland and abroad.
Eamon was named one of Foreign Policy magazine's Top 100 Leading Global Thinkers in December 2015 for championing Same Sex Marriage in Ireland.
In November 2015 Eamon was appointed as HRVP’s Special Envoy for the Peace Process in Colombia. He will work with both Colombian and EU stakeholders to support the peace process, especially in the implementation phase.
He was recently conferred with an Honorary Doctorate in Laws by his Alma Mater, NUI Galway, and he has been awarded the Legion d'Honneur by the Government of France.
Ben-Ami was born in Tangiers, Tangier International Zone, on 17 July 1943, and immigrated to Israel in 1955. He was educated at Tel Aviv University and St Antony's College, Oxford from which he received a D.Phil. in history. Ben-Ami speaks fluent Hebrew, Spanish, French and English.
He was a historian at Tel Aviv University from the mid-1970s, serving as head of the School of History from 1982 to 1986. He later turned his attention to the history of Israel and the Middle East, leaving a legacy of expertise in Spanish inter-war year politics.
From 1987 until 1991, before he entered politics, he was the Israeli ambassador to Spain. In 1996 he was elected to the Knesset on Labour's list.
When the One Israel-led government of Ehud Barak took office in July 1999, Ben-Ami became the Minister of Internal Security, responsible for the Israel Police. In August 2000, when David Levy resigned as Foreign Ministerduring talks with Palestinian leaders in the United States, Barak designated Ben-Ami to be the acting Foreign Minister and he was officially appointed to the role in November 2000.
Ben-Ami remained Foreign Minister and Security Minister until March 2001, when, having won elections, Ariel Sharon took over from Barak. Ben-Ami refused to serve in the Sharon government and resigned from the Knesset in August 2002.
In their report published in 2003, the Or Commission held him responsible for the behavior of security forces during the October 2000 riots in which Israeli police killed 12 Israeli Arabs and one Palestinian, and failed to predict and control rioting which resulted in the death of a Jewish Israeli. The report recommended that Ben-Ami be disqualified from serving as Internal Security Minister in the future. Despite the disqualification, Ben-Ami was not considered to be a hard-liner in Israeli relations with the Palestinians and during his time in the Barak government, he was a political rival of Shimon Peres.
Ben-Ami is currently Vice-President of the Toledo International Centre for Peace (TICpax), which, according to its mission statement, "seeks to contribute to the prevention and resolution of violent or potentially violent international or intranational conflicts and to the consolidation of peace, within a framework of respect and promotion of Human Rights and democratic values."
His latest book is Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli–Arab Tragedy (Oxford, 2006) challenges many of the founding myths in Israel's modern history especially related to the war of independence. Ben-Ami backed the Meretz party for the 2009 Knesset elections.
He currently serves as vice president of the Toledo International Centre for Peace of which he is a co-founder. Through the Center, he has been involved in conflict resolution processes such as among others, in Colombia, Dominican Republic ( the tensions with Haiti ), Bolivia ( intercultural issues ), Russia-Georgia, Libya ; Spanish Sahara, and Israel-the Arab world. He is now also the co-chair ( together with ex-chief of Mossad Efraim Halevi ) of an Israeli commission for strategic planning. He has lectured extensively in international conferences in Europe, Russia, the U.S. and Latin America.
Jonathan was Chief of Staff to Tony Blair from 1997 to 2007 and the chief British government negotiator on Northern Ireland during that time in office.
Jonathan was a British diplomat from 1979 to 1996 working on the negotiations to return Hong Kong to China in the early 1980s, the CSCE human rights talks, CDE arms control talks with the Soviet Union in the mid 1980s, and the ‘Two plus Four’’ talks on German reunification in the late 1980s.
Since leaving government Jonathan has written, Great Hatred Little Room: Negotiating Peace in Northern Ireland and The New Machiavelli: How to wield power in the modern world.
Jonathan has also participated in a number of negotiations between governments and insurgent groups in Europe and Asia working closely with Martin Griffiths at the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue.
Dag Halvor Nylander is a Norwegian diplomat, who is currently the Personal Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on the Border Controversy between Guyana and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. He was appointed to this position on 27 February 2017.
Nylander is a graduate of the University of Oslo with a degree in law. A career diplomat, he has represented his government in various capacities. From 2012 to 2016, he was Norway’s Special Envoy to the Colombia peace process and also served as Head of Norway’s Mission in Bogota from 2006 to 2008. He represented his country as a delegate to the United Nations from 2001 to 2004 and at Norway’s Embassy in Buenos Aires from 1999 to 2001.
Idun Tvedt is the Norwegian special representative for the peace process between the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. Prior to this she spent four years as part of the Norwegian facilitation team in the peace process between the Government of Colombia and the FARC-EP. She is the focal point for transitional justice in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ury has worked as a negotiation adviser and mediator in conflicts in the Middle East, the Balkans, the former Soviet Union, Indonesia, Yugoslavia, Chechnya, and Venezuela among other countries.
Ury founded and served as the director of the Harvard Nuclear Negotiation Project. In 1982, the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency requested that the Harvard Negotiation Project compile a report applying its understanding of human communication to the issue of superpower restraint in order to reduce the risk of a war started by accident, terrorism, mistake, runaway escalation, or misperception. Together with Richard Smoke, Ury interviewed U.S. and Soviet specialists and government officials, and published the report for the government in 1984. The report was the basis for Ury's book Beyond the Hotline. During this time, he also acted as a consultant to the Crisis Management Center at the White House, working to create Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers in Washington and Moscow, which were the subject of the first arms control agreement signed by President Ronald Reagan and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev.
Together with former President Jimmy Carter, Ury co-founded the International Negotiation Network, which worked to end civil wars around the world.The International Negotiation Network was led by a council that included Carter and Desmond Tutu. Other notable people involved with the Network include Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Sonny Ramphal, and Sir Brian Urquhart.
Ury teaches negotiation to international corporate executives and labor leaders in order to reach mutually profitable agreements with customers, suppliers, unions and joint-venture partners.
In 2001, Ury co-founded the e-Parliament with Nicholas Dunlop. The website serves as a global forum for international elected officials to work on issues of common interest. The e-Parliament has given birth to the Climate Parliament, which links thousands of elected officials from 50 different countries to work together informally on issues of renewable energy and climate.
Joaquín Villalobos (born 1951 in San Salvador) is an international authority on security and conflict resolution, and was formerly a Salvadoran guerrilla leader and politician.
Villalobos was one of the main leaders of the People's Revolutionary Army, or Ejército Revolucionario del Pueblo, a group that emerged in El Salvador in the early 1970s as a loose federation of cells with roots in various Marxist and left-wing Catholic groups. The ERP was one of the five organizations that joined together in 1980 to form the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front during the Salvadoran Civil War, in which left-wing guerrillas fought El Salvador’s military-dominated and US-backed right-wing government. An economics student and left-wing activist, Villalobos joined the ERP in 1971, at the age of 19. He has since been accused of involvement in the killing in 1975 of Roque Dalton, the revolutionary poet and fellow ERP leader who was shot by his comrades after a power struggle in the group led to accusations that he was a CIA spy. At the time, the killing led to splits and recriminations within the ERP and criticism from other leftists, but after 1980 Villalobos rose to become one of the FMLN’s main military strategists. The ERP under his leadership has been described as “the most efficient military organisation on the Salvadoran left” during the civil war, with Villalobos developing a “reputation for brash strategic brilliance”. The Financial Times described Villalobos as "The true master of 20th-century Latin American guerrilla warfare", above Che Guevara.
He subsequently played a major role in the negotiations that ended the civil war, presenting himself as the conciliatory face of the ERP. In 1992, the year in which the peace agreement was signed, The New York Times described him as a “feared military commander with a reputation for ruthlessness”, but also noted his admission of errors in the rebels’ tactics and his stated regret for many of the killings they had been involved in.
As a result of the 1992 peace accords, the FMLN was legalized as a political party. Villalobos remained a member until 1995, when he and other former leaders of the ERP split from the FMLN to form a new centrist political party, the Democratic Party, which signed a deal with the then government accepting a series of neoliberal reforms.
Villalobos became an outspoken critic of the left in Latin American countries.
In the 1990s, Villalobos went to England to study at St Antony's College, Oxford on a scholarship funded by the British Foreign Office. He obtained a Master's Degree from St Antony's College and is now a Visiting Scholar there.
Villalobos has advised various governments and politicians on security and conflict resolution. He has served as a consultant on peacemaking efforts in countries including Colombia, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Afghanistan, Bosnia,and Northern Ireland. He has also advised the UN, served as an advisor to the Center of Cooperation Initiatives for Development at the University of Alcalá de Henares and as a member of the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington DC, USA. Villalobos has also been asked for his advice with respect to Islamic State.
In 2015, Villalobos was named one of the fifty most influential iberoamerican intellectuals.
In December 2016, Villalobos, along with Jonathan Powell, Bill Ury and Shlomo Ben-Ami, was awarded a medal by President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, in recognition of his contribution to the successful Colombian peace process.