Find out more about our Board

Get to know our Board members by reading their biographies below.

Kristen Davis, CEO and Founder, CinqC

After more than 25 years in global media, working with organisations including Future Publishing, Ziff-Davis and The International New York Times, Kristen Davis has witnessed the amazing opportunities – and also the deep disruption – that technology has brought to our businesses, society, culture, planet and institutions. 

In 2016, she created CinqC to apply the experience, insight, resilience and agility she has gathered, using technology to advance media to sectors in both the private and public domain. Today, she supports start-ups, large organizations, innovation labs and incubators around the globe seeking to use technology to positively evolve and impact our ever-changing world through new services, products, regulations and policies.

Ms. Davis is proud to be a mentor and coach at the Katapult Accelerator in Oslo, and she regularly works with companies and accelerators in Estonia, the most digitally advanced democracy on Earth.

She is also an external assessor for the Google Digital News Innovation Fund, and chairwoman of the U.S. board of Apopo, an N.G.O. that trains rats to save lives by detecting landmines and tuberculosis


Stephen Dunbar-Johnson, President International, The New York Times Company

Stephen Dunbar-Johnson is the president, international of The New York Times Company with responsibility for revenue oversight and the strategic development of the Times Company’s international digital and print business. 

Mr. Dunbar-Johnson was appointed president, international of The New York Times Company in October 2013 to lead its global expansion. Previously, he was publisher of The International Herald Tribune (IHT), a position he assumed in January 2008. Prior to that, he was executive vice president of the IHT with responsibility for worldwide commercial operations and strategic development. He oversaw the IHT’s expansion in Asia, the growth of its advertising revenue streams, the development of its conference business, new product development and the restructure of the newspaper’s cost base. 

Before that, he held the position of senior vice president and commercial director, with primary responsibility for newspaper revenue streams. He also played a key role in the integration of advertising and other aspects of the IHT’s commercial operations when The New York Times took full ownership of the IHT in 2003. 

Before joining the IHT, Mr. Dunbar-Johnson was U.K. advertising director of The Financial Times for 12 years, holding various positions in the paper’s advertising department, including manager in France and vice president of advertising in the Americas, based in New York. 

Mr. Dunbar-Johnson was educated at Worth School and Kent University in England. He has completed an executive management program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Sulzberger program at the Columbia School of Journalism


Yannis Harizopoulos, Partner, McKinsey & Company Greece

Biography coming soon.


Anthony Kefalas, Vice-Chair, Consultant and author of McKinsey strategy plan

Anthony Kefalas is a British (LSE) and USA (WSU) educated doctoral economist. He has served as senior researcher at KEPE, as adviser to the ministers of economics and industry and to the president of OAE, as director of SELPE and ESIP, as editor of the bi-monthly “Agora”, as contributor to major Greek newspapers and periodicals (especially for “Oikonomikos Tachydromos”, Express, Proto Thema etc.)-- in Greece as well as abroad  (Newsweek, IHT)-- as an economic adviser to the NBG and the Federation of Greek Industries (SEB) and as adviser to numerous well-known Greek and non-Greek companies—including Delta/Vivartia, Citibank, McDonald’s, Hoechtief, Orelikon etc.  He has taught economics at Queen’s College (in London), at WSU and the Un. of Oakland (in the USA) and at the Un. of Maryland (European Campus) and Pierce-Deree (in Greece). 

He has published more than 1500 articles on the Greek economy and is the author of four books. His latest book “Aspects of Industrialization: Greece 1945-2010” was published in July by the Sideris Editions and reflects his strong interest in economic policy as well as in the history of Greek enterprises (past and present) and has been given as a textbook at the Economic University of Athens.   


Corinne Momal-Vanian, executive director, Kofi Annan Foundation

Corinne Momal-Vanian is executive director of the Kofi Annan Foundation. Previously, she worked in various senior positions and a variety of countries for the United Nations, most recently as director of conference management in the United Nations Office at Geneva from 2015 to 2020, and previously as director of information from 2010 to 2015.

Ms. Momal-Vanian served as special assistant to Kofi Annan in 2005 and 2006, traveling with him to some 20 countries as he worked to resolve crises, defuse tensions, highlight the plight of communities and individuals suffering from discrimination and abuses, build international cooperation and strengthen support for development and justice. She worked for a total of six years in the executive office of the secretary  general, after serving in two regional economic and social commissions of the United Nations.

Passionate about justice, gender equality, inclusion, innovation and learning, Ms. Momal-Vanian chaired the Steering Group of the International Gender Champions from 2016 to 2019, and was a co-organizer of the three editions of TEDxPlaceDesNations.

A French citizen, she holds a master’s degree in business administration from HEC Paris Graduate School of Management, and an advanced degree in international relations from Sciences Po. She recently completed an executive certificate in management and leadership at the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management.


Crystal Patterson, Head of Global Civic Partnerships, Facebook

With more than 15 years of experience in politics, policy and elections, Crystal Patterson leads Facebook's global civic partnerships team, with a focus on civic participation and elections integrity. 

A native of northeast Ohio and a graduate of Northwestern University, Ms. Patterson is based in Washington, D.C.


Abhijit Pawar, CEO, AP Globale & Delivering Change Foundation

Abhijit Pawar is a passionate entrepreneur, philanthropist and a visionary.

He is the Founder and Chairman of AP Globale, a purpose driven,impact focused group with diversified business interests across agriculture, angel investments, advisory and consulting, education, infrastructure, manufacturing, media, philanthropy, private equity, real estate, technology, and trading.

He is the founder of Delivering Change Foundation, Tanishka Foundation, Young Inspirators Network (YIN), Chairman of the Poona School and Home for the Blind and Trustee of the Sakal Social Foundation, Sakal Relief Fund and Sakal India Foundation.

He has been an Executive Committee Member of Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) and Member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). Abhijit holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is patron of arts, culture and music.

Alexander Rhodes, head of Mishcon Purpose, Mishcon de Reya

Alexander Rhodes is head of Mishcon Purpose at Mishcon de Reya. He provides strategic environmental, social and governance (ESG) advice, alongside purpose-driven insights to help clients navigate the opportunities and risks presented by a rapidly changing world.

With more than 15 years of legal and global consultancy experience, Mr. Rhodes is a trusted advisor to a predominantly international client base. He acts on behalf of families in relation to their personal, business and philanthropic interests, as well as businesses seeking to transition to more sustainable and resilient ways of working. He is privileged to have worked closely with governments and global leaders in their efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

A seasoned litigator, Mr. Rhodes has particular expertise in the resolution of complex multi-jurisdictional disputes and public affairs. As a trustee and advisor, his long-term preoccupation has been balancing the imperatives of environmental conservation and human development.

Mr. Rhodes was the founding C.E.O. of the charity Stop Ivory and head of the secretariat to the intergovernmental Elephant Protection Initiative. He is currently a trustee and co-chair of the Strategic Projects Committee of the Tusk Trust. He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a conservation fellow of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). In 2018, the ZSL named him Conservationist of the Year in recognition of his work to support African governments in their efforts to combat the illegal ivory trade and in elephant conservation.


Annika Savill, Executive Head, United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF)

As executive head of the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), Annika Savill manages a United Nations secretary general's trust fund that strengthens the voice of civil society, promotes the rule of law and human rights, and encourages the participation of all groups in democratic processes.

Initiatives range from empowering Syrian women refugees in frontline states to working with civil society to support the peace process in Colombia; from strengthening democratic practices in Ukraine to motivating marginalized youths in Tunisia. Since it was established in 2006, UNDEF has disbursed over $160 million to projects covering over 100 countries in post-conflict, transition and consolidation phases of democratization.

Before joining UNDEF, Ms. Savill served in the executive office of the U.N. secretary general from 1997 to 2008, working under Ban Ki-moon and Kofi A. Annan as the secretary general's speechwriter and a senior member of his communications team. Prior to joining the United Nations, she had a 15-year career as an international journalist, serving with The Associated Press, Reuters and The Independent in London, where she was a founding member and diplomatic editor.

Ms. Savill has written about democratic processes in a number of societies in transition. She is the winner of two UN 21 Awards for organizational innovation.


Irina Bokova, Chair, and former Director-General, UNESCO 

Irina Bokova, born in Sofia, Bulgaria, has been two terms the Director-General of UNESCO from 2009 to 2017. She is the first woman to lead the Organisation.


Having graduated from Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Irina Bokova was a Fellow at the University of Maryland, Washington, and followed an executive program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


Before being elected as Director General of UNESCO, from 2005 to 2009 Irina Bokova was Ambassador of Bulgaria to France, Monaco and UNESCO and Personal Representative of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria to the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie.


As Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova was actively engaged in the UN efforts to adopt Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, particularly Goal 4 on “Inclusive and equitable quality education and life-long learning for all », gender equality, the protection of the world’s cultural heritage against the destruction by extremists in Mali, Syria and Iraq. As a result, the UN Security Council adopted in 2017 the landmark Resolution 2347 declaring for the first time the link between peace and security on one hand, and the protection of cultural heritage.


Irina Bokova was on the Forbes List of the world's most influential women for 2016.


She has received state distinctions from more than 40 countries across the world and is Doctor honoris causa of leading universities across the world, such as King’s College and University of Edinburgh, UK, Paris-Sud Saclay, France, Boston University, US, Catholic University of Milan, Italy, Tonji University, China, among others.


In 2020 she is also elected International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in the category of Scientific, Cultural and Non-profit Leadership.


Currently, she is a Member of the Board of “Ban Ki Moon Centre for Global Citizens”, Member of the Concordia Leadership Council, New York, Global Champion of UN “Education Cannot Wait” Fund, Member of the Strategic Committee of the Paris School of International Affairs /PSIA/, SciencePo, and Lecturer on cultural diplomacy, Visiting Lecturer at the University of Geneva,  Miwon Scholar of Peace Studies at Kyung-Hee University, Seoul,  Member of Leaders For Peace, France, Member of the Board of Open Diplomacy Institute and  l’Institut de relations internationales et stratégiques (IRIS), Paris, Member of the International Advisory Council of the Beijing Forum at the University of Beijing, among other activities.


Nathan Gardels, Co-Founder and Senior Advisor, Berggruen Institute

Nathan Gardels is the editor in chief of Noema magazine. He is also the co-founder of and
a senior adviser to the Berggruen Institute.

Mr. Gardals previously served as editor in chief of The WorldPost, a partnership with The
Washington Post, as well as editor in chief of Global Viewpoint Network and Nobel Laureates
Plus, both services of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate/Tribune Media.

From 1985 to 2014 he also was editor of New Perspectives Quarterly, the journal of social and
political thought published by Blackwell/Oxford.


Marina Papatsoni, Director General, Business Development and Corporate Affairs, TEMES S.A. 


As Director-General of TEMES S.A., a premier developer of premium destinations, Marina Papatsoni has been instrumental in building the purpose-driven brand of Costa Navarino, the company’s flagship development in Messinia, where she has strong family roots. Ms. Papatsoni has played a key role in putting this previously little-known part of Greece on the global tourism map also as Head of TEMES’ Aviation Development Department, overseeing the rapid growth of international flights to the regional capital, Kalamata. 

A longtime proponent of sustainability, Ms. Papatsoni is on the Steering Committee of the Navarino Environmental Observatory (NEO), the fruit of cooperation between Stockholm University, the Academy of Athens and TEMES. These and other environmental initiatives have earned Costa Navarino numerous international awards, including the WTTC’s “Best Sustainable Destination”.

She is also co-founder and Managing Director of Greka Icons S.A., a TEMES group member that is today a leading exporter of authentic food products inspired by the culinary history of the Peloponnese.

After completing her studies and working in the USA, she held executive positions at Intracom Holdings and Adel Saatchi & Saatchi before joining TEMES.

Driven by a personal passion to help the vulnerable, Ms. Papatsoni is closely involved in initiatives to tackle women trafficking, the exploitation of migrants and the plight of stray animals.  

Having visited more than 70 countries, she is a regular contributor to travel magazines and has authored a book of poetry.


Burak Cakmak, Co-Founder, The Digital Fashion Group

Burak Cakmak is a strategic catalyst with extensive experience in corporate, academic and non-profit organisations building innovation driven sustainable solutions.

He is the co-founder of, a strategic fashion consultancy and The Digital Fashion Group, a European collaboration between fashion and technology.

Most recently he served 5 years as the Dean of Fashion at Parsons School of Design where he led the implementation of a new innovative curriculum for fashion design and business programs. During his tenure, he leveraged his expertise in sustainable design to emphasise socially conscious and transformational design to formulate the educational approach and training of the next generation of creators. His experience includes directional roles at corporate and non-profit institutions including Swarovski Group, Gap Inc and Kering’s luxury brands.  Under his leadership, he oversaw implementation of best-practice industry standards across all business functions, including raw material sourcing, supply chain management, manufacturing, and retail operations.

He sits on the board of ‘Nest’, a non-profit organisation building a new handworker economy, and is on the expert panels for innovation focused initiatives the Global Change Award, Kering’s K-Generation Award and LVMH Prize.

He has been invited to speak at a number of prominent, globally recognized conferences including the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, WebSummit and Fashion Asia Hong Kong. He has served on expert juries including the CFDA + Lexus Fashion* Initiative, and Open Style Lab and has lectured as a visiting professor at SKEMA Business School in France and China.

Achilles Tsaltas.jpg

Achilles Tsaltas, President, Democracy and Culture Foundation

Achilles Tsaltas is president of the Democracy & Culture Foundation, the independent, nonprofit entity that organizes the Athens Democracy Forum in association with The New York Times and other related activities.

With over 30 years of experience in media, Mr. Tsaltas has been responsible for creating and managing strategic partnerships with some of the world’s most renowned corporations.

Born in Australia of Greek origin, Mr. Tsaltas started his media career in 1989 in the advertising department at News Corporation. During his tenure, he launched the business magazine Business Asia, and relaunched the paper’s The Australian Magazine.

Mr. Tsaltas moved to Hong Kong in 1999 to join The International Herald Tribune as deputy managing director, successfully launching print sites and publishing partnerships throughout Asia. In 2004, he moved to Paris as vice president, international circulation and served in a number of executive roles in his two decades of service with The New York Times Company, ultimately relocating to London to become vice president, international conferences in 2014.

In 2019, Mr. Tsaltas established the Democracy & Culture Foundation. With a mission to empower society through citizen engagement and better governance, the Foundation develops, programs and convenes the two conferences he conceived at The Times – the Athens Democracy Forum and Art for Tomorrow.

He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Sydney and a master’s degree in sociology from the University of New South Wales. He also completed the Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program at the Columbia School of Journalism.


© 2020 by Democracy and Culture Foundation

Privacy policy

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • YouTube