Advisory Board

International Advisory Board

Members of the International Advisory Board provide counsel on the strategic vision of InZone and help shape the implementation of its work program. They offer a wide array of experiences and perspectives to  support InZone in dealing with the complexities of multilingual humanitarian communication and higher education in fragile contexts. 

Current members (in alphabetical order) are:

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Mona Baker

Professor of Translation Studies

Address: Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies 
School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures 
University of Manchester 
Oxford Road 
M13 9PL, UK

Professor Baker’s main research interest at the moment is examining the role played by translators and interpreters in mediating conflict. The underlying assumption of her work is that whoever undertakes it, and whatever form it takes, translation is never a by-product of social and political developments. It is part and parcel of the very process that makes these developments possible in the first place. Translation is also not innocent. It is not about "building bridges" or "enabling communication" as is commonly assumed, but about the active circulation and promotion of narratives. Morally speaking, it is neither inherently good nor inherently bad in itself - it depends on the nature of the narratives it promotes and in which it is embedded, and of course on the narrative location of the person assessing it.

In all types of conflict, but particularly in an international conflict such as the war on Iraq and the so-called war on terror, translation is central to the ability of all parties to legitimize their version of events, their narratives. Since this type of conflict is played out in the international arena and cannot simply be resolved by appealing to local constituencies at home, each party to the conflict has to rely on various processes of translation to elaborate and promote a particular narrative. Professor Baker is interested in studying the way in which translation functions in this context, including the selection of texts to be translated, the type of people involved in translating them (irrespective of whether they are professional translators), and the various agendas they serve. This includes researching the use of translation by powerful, well-funded institutions as well as its use by various groups of peace activists and humanitarian organisations with little or no funding and no access to major media outlets.

Research Specialisation:

  • Translation and Conflict, Translation and War
  • Ethics in Translation Research and Translator/Interpreter Training
  • Application of Narrative Theory to Translation and Interpreting
  • Framing & Contextualization Processes in Translation and Interpreting
  • Activist Communities in Translation Studies (e.g. Babels, Tlaxcala, Translators for Peace, ECOS, etc.)
  • Corpus-based Translation Studies

Related publications include:

  • Translation and Conflict: A Narrative Account (Routledge 2006)
  • Narratives of Terrorism and Security: ‘Accurate’ Translations, Suspicious Frames (Critical Studies on Terrorism, 2010)
  • Interpreters and Translators in the War Zone: Narrated and Narrators (The Translator, 2010)
  • Translation as an Alternative Space for Political Action (under review, Social Movement Studies)
  • Ethics in Interpreter and Translation Training: Critical Perspectives (with Carol Maier, The Interpreter and Translator Trainer, 2011)
  • Translation and Activism: Emerging Patterns of Narrative Community (The Massachusetts Review, 2006)
  • Reframing Conflict in Translation (Social Semiotics 2007)
  • Resisting State Terror: Communities of Activist Translators and Interpreters (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)
  • Ethics of Renarration (interview with Andrew Chesterman, Cultus 2008)
  • Contextualization in Translator- and Interpreter-mediated Events (Journal of Pragmatics, 2006)
  • Narratives in and of Translation (SKASE Journal of Translation and Interpretation, 2005)


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Charles Beer

President of Pro Helvetia and Lecturer at HETS

Charles Beer is President of Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council, and lecturer at the School of Social Work (HETS), Geneva. From March 2003 to December 2013, he was State Councillor and served as President of the Republic and Canton of Geneva in 2007 and 2013. As Director of the Department of Education, Culture and Sport of Geneva, his responsibilities encompassed tertiary education, including Geneva University, social policy, youth and family welfare. During his three terms of office, he was instrumental in advancing social integration as well as the development of Geneva at regional and international levels. In this capacity, he participated in the opening of the InZone office at the United Nations Office at Nairobi on 25 July 2013.

As a social worker by training, a trade union official for over fifteen years and a member of the Geneva government for over a decade, it has been his conviction that a commitment to greater social justice is fundamental both at the local and global levels. The University of Geneva, its Faculty of Translation and Interpreting, and InZone in particular, constitute an asset of major potential on the path to social justice.

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Olga Cosmidou

Director General of DG Interpretation and Conferences, European Parliament

Olga Cosmidou has been Director of DG Interpretation and Conferences at the European Parliament since its creation on 1 January 2008. She was Director of the same service for 13 years (1994 to 2007) and, before that, Head of the Greek Interpretation Unit (1980 to 1994), which she created for the accession of Greece to the European Communities. 
Having previously been a lecturer at the University of Corfu (Interpretation/Translation) from 1978 to 1980, she has always been sensitive to the relationship between universities and interpretation services. As a result, she co-founded the EMCI (European Masters in Conference Interpreting) and HINTS (a worlwide network of heads of interpreting services).

Her previous professional activities include: translator for the Greek Railways, freelance translator and interpreter, language teacher, translator and news presenter in French for radio and television broadcasters in Greece. She studied Greek and French Literature (University of Athens), Law (Athens), Interpretation (University of Geneva) and obtained a Masters’ Degree in International Relations (ULB).

She speaks Greek, English, French, Italian, German and Spanish. She has lectured and written articles relating to interpretation, multilingualism and languages within the European Union.

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Bakary Diallo

CEO/Rector at the African Virtual University (AVU)

Dr. Diallo has been working in the education sector for the past 25 years as an academic, a consultant, a project administrator, a researcher and a secondary school teacher. He joined the African Virtual University (AVU), an Intergovernmental Organization based in Nairobi Kenya, which specializes in Open Distance and eLearning, in August 2005. He held several senior positions within the organization before his appointment as the CEO/Rector in August 2007. His major achievement at AVU consists of leading the organization to become a respected player in open education and in the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in education in Africa. 

The university successfully regained the confidence of stakeholders and adopted a business model that led to sustainability, increased impact and recognition in Africa and beyond. Under his leadership AVU attracted US $ 30 million to support capacity building in African countries and generated US $ 1.2 million from business sales. The AVU has also made dramatic advances in the level and quality of programs offered, and outreach to the African continent through the OER@AVU repository. This knowledge-based repository was voted “Best Emerging OCWC Initiative” in 2011 and the “Most Progressive” in 2012 by the US based AVU Atomic Physics textbook won the OCW Consortium Text Course Award for Excellence 2013. The repository has attracted more than 2 Million visitors from 201 countries.

Prior to joining the AVU, Dr. Diallo worked at the University of Ottawa as a part-time lecturer at the Faculty of Education and as a Consultant for Integration of ICT in Education at the Center for University Teaching. He taught at the Secondary Level in Senegal before joining the University of Ottawa in 1997. He holds a Master’s Degree and a PhD with a focus on the Integration of ICTs in higher education institutions from the University of Ottawa, Canada. Dr. Diallo advises on and is a member of several global organizations and initiatives including the Open Education Consortium, the International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (IJ-SoTL), and the European Research Network for Emerging Technologies. He is also a frequent speaker at international conferences.

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Moss Lenga

Focal Point, African Project for Interpreter Training, UNON

Moss currently serves as Focal Point for “the African Project”, intended to establish a network of training institutions across Africa offering post-graduate programmes in Translation, Conference Interpreting and Public Service Interpreting.

Moss is also an interpreter trainer at the University of Nairobi, Kenya and has worked as a professional conference interpreter since 1975, first at the United Nations in Geneva and then at the ACP Group in Brussels.

In addition to his work as conference interpreter, Moss was Assistant General Secretary at the Administrative, Finance, Human Resources and Conferences Department of the ACP Group from 2005 to 2010.

He holds a BA in Conference Interpreting from the University of Mons Hainaut and an MA in International Politics from the Free University of Brussels (VUB). His areas of interest include development issues and political dialogue. 

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Harriet Martin

Harriet Martin is an author and journalist now based in Yangon after four years in Khartoum. She is currently the freelance correspondent for the Aljazeera English TV network.  Following the publication of her book Kings of Peace, Pawns of War: the untold story of peace-making (foreword by Kofi Annan, Continuum 2006) she lectured widely on international peace making.  During her twelve years in Geneva she worked mainly in communications for many UN agencies, including as a speech writer and political advisor for the director general of UNOG. Harriet began her career as a war correspondent in Bosnia where she wrote for, amongst others, the Financial Times and the Economist before moving back to London for a stint at the BBC.


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Tony Morris

Chief Learning Officer, UNHCR Global Learning Centre

Tony Morris is an experienced educator and practitioner with experience in a wide range of humanitarian contexts. In both full-time and consultant capacities, Tony has worked for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, UN organizations, the World Bank and many international NGOs. This work has been conducted in various countries including Cambodia, Pakistan, East Timor, Afghanistan, Philippines, China, India, Iran, Kenya, and Rwanda, as well as in Geneva.

The design, implementation, evaluation and management of training are particular areas of Tony’s expertise. Among other topics, he has led training programmes in refugee law, international humanitarian law, human rights law, the human rights-based approach to programming, community development, advocacy practice, adult education and learning methodologies, as well as training programme design and evaluation.

Tony has also led operational delegations and teams in the field and in grassroots community-based contexts. He has conducted research and advocacy on various refugee issues of concern including the protection of asylum seekers.

As a university academic in Australia, Tony has published articles and written reports on refugee and human rights issues, as well as on organizational development issues. He has a PhD from the University of Sydney, where he investigated a series of case studies that involved non-state actors using a human rights-based approach to international advocacy on refugee issues. 

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Barbara Moser-Mercer

Full Professor - Director of InZone

Barbara Moser-Mercer is Professor of conference interpreting and founder and Director of InZone, University of Geneva. Her research focuses on cognitive and cognitive neuro-science aspects of the interpreting process and on the human performance dimension of skill development and expertise, and on pedagogical approaches to digital learning in fragile contexts. She has co-developed the Virtualinstitute©, a virtual learning environment specifically designed for the acquisition of complex skills, which she has been leveraging in partnership with ICRC, ILO, UNHCR, and UNAMA for enhancing interpreting skills of interpreters working in conflict zones and to advance formal and non-formal higher education in emergencies (HEiE).  She was a member of the European Union's High Level Group on Multilingualism, coordinated the European Masters in Conference Interpreting, funded by the European Parliament and the European Commission. She is also an active conference interpreter and member of AIIC.

Research Interests

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Ian Newton

Chief Interpreter, ILO

Having trained as an interpreter and exercised that profession as a free-lance and staff-member within the European and United Nations organizations, Ian Newton subsequently became a manager in conference and documentation services. He teaches conference interpretation at the University of Geneva and has also been an active participant in the UN-sponsored International Annual Meeting on Language Arrangements, Documentation and Publications (IAMLADP), as a member of the Task Force on the Status of the Language Professions, the Task Force on e-Learning, the University Contacts Group, as well as the Task Force on Interpretation Services. He is a member of the Association internationale des Interprètes de Conférence (AIIC).

Current activities:

  • Chief Interpreter, International Labour Office (ILO), Geneva.
  • Chargé d'enseignement, University of Geneva (Coordinator of: General Consecutive Master Classes, Pedagogical Group)

Past activities:

  • Deputy Chief, Document and Publications Production, Printing and Distribution Branch, ILO
  • Head, Official Correspondence and Organization of Meetings Section, ILO
  • Staff Interpreter, ILO
  • Free-lance interpreter, based in Brussels and Geneva
  • Staff Interpreter, European Commission, Brussels

Ian Newton holds an MA in Modern and Mediaeval Languages from the University of Cambridge, Christ's College and trained as an internee in conference interpretation at the European Commission.

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Cynthia Odier

Founder and Director, Flux Laboratory

Cynthia Odier is the Founder and Director of Flux Laboratory, an experimental, multidisciplinary space which nurtures creative work and reflection through encounters with the world of dance, art, philosophy, music, technology, the media and business.

A former dancer, Cynthia founded the Fluxum Foundation in 2002 and opened Flux Laboratory in 2003. Since then, Flux has collaborated with the Merce Cunningham Dance Theatre, Giorgio Mancini, Nicolas Musin, and Marc Perrenoud and staged works at the Venice Biennale, the Shanghai Expo, the Geneva Museum of Art and History, the Ariana Museum, and the Ballet of the Geneva Grand Théâtre.

Cynthia Odier also created the FLUX School, an interdisciplinary project focused around urban art for young people between 16 and 25 facing social difficulties.

Cynthia Odier is committed to numerous other causes, and is a past or present member of boards or committees of the Lausanne Dance Prize, Cinemas for Africa, the FIFDH (International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights), No Difference, and SOS Enfants.

She is also a member of the International Dance Council CID.

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Doris Schopper

Director of CERAH

Doris Schopper is Professor at the medical faculty of the University of Geneva and Director of the Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action (CERAH) since July 2011.

She obtained a medical degree at the University of Geneva (1978), trained as a specialist in Internal Medicine (1986) and completed a Doctorate in Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health (1992).

Between 1982 and 1990 Doris Schopper spent several years with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in the field. She was president of the Swiss branch of MSF (1991-1998) and twice president of the MSF International Council during this period. In 2001 Doris Schopper was asked to constitute an Ethics Review Board coordinating the ethical review of MSF research proposals and providing advice on ethical matters to the organization.

Doris Schopper also worked as health policy advisor in the Global Programme on AIDS at WHO headquarters in Geneva (1992-1995). Further international work includes two years as senior policy advisor at the Swiss Tropical Institute and developing several policies and strategies for WHO (e.g. guideline for policy makers on national policies for violence and injury prevention; strategy for mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Europe; WHO-wide strategy on child and adolescent help).

Professor Schopper has also been responsible for the development of health policies and strategies at the national and regional level in Switzerland (e.g. Swiss National Cancer Control Programme 2005-2010; framework to prevent obesity at the national level; comprehensive health policy for the Canton of Geneva). She has been a member of the Board of Pro Victimis Foundation-Geneva since 2003, and its president since 2010. 

In November 2012 Doris Schopper became a member of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). 

Her main fields of interest are:

  • Public health in humanitarian contexts
  • Development and analysis of health policy
  • Ethics in humanitarian contexts
  • Ethics of humanitarian medical intervention
  • HIV-AIDS, cancer


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Jean-Dominique Vassalli

Rector Emeritus, University of Geneva

Born in Geneva, Jean-Dominique Vassalli obtained his Swiss Federal Diploma of Medicine at the University of Geneva in 1972 and his PhD at Rockefeller University in 1977. In 1984, he obtained his Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Geneva. In 1986, he became professor of developmental biology in the Faculty of Medicine. In 1994, he was appointed Vice Dean of the Faculty of medicine until 1999. He subsequently was nominated Vice-Rector for the University of Geneva until 2003, and oversaw the technology transfer and Vaud-Geneva collaboration programs. He then presided the Basic Medical Sciences Section of the Faculty of Medicine and was appointed Rector of the University of Geneva in 2007.

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Craig Zelizer

Associate Director, MA in Conflict Resolution

Dr. Zelizer is the Associate Director of Conflict Resolution Program. His areas of expertise include working with youth from violent conflict regions, civil society development and capacity building in transitional societies, program evaluation and design, conflict sensitivity and conflict mainstreaming, the connection between trauma and conflict, the role of the private sector in peacebuilding, and arts and peacebuilding. He has published several articles and recently co-edited the book Building Peace, Practical Reflections from the Field (Kumarian Press, 2009).

Dr. Zelizer is one of the co-founders of the Alliance for Conflict Transformation, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to building peace through innovative research and practice. He has worked for or served as a consultant with the United States Institute of Peace, USAID, International Research & Exchange Board, Catholic Relief Services, and Rotary International. Professor Zelizer received a number of fellowships and awards, including serving as a Fulbright Junior Scholar in Hungary for two years and as a National Security Education Program Fellow in Bosnia-Herzegovina. To date he has worked in over 18 countries.

Dr. Zelizer currently serves on the Editorial Boards of the African Peace and Conflict Journal, the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, and the Journal of Conflictology. He is the founder of the Peace and Collaborative Development Network, an online network connecting 22,000 professionals in the fields of peacebuilding and development.