Co-Founders and Co-Chairmen

Vladimir Yakunin, Founding President of the WPF Dialogue of Civilizations

Vladimir Yakunin, Founding President of the WPF "Dialogue of Civilizations"

Born on June 30, 1948 in Russia.

Vladimir Ivanovich Yakunin graduated from the Leningrad Institute of Mechanics as a Mechanical Engineer in 1972 and began his career as a junior research scientist at the State Institute of Applied Chemistry. After completing military service in the Soviet Army, he worked consecutively as an engineer and senior engineer at the Administration of the State Committee of the Council of Ministers of the USSR for Foreign Trade and was also head of department at the Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Between 1985 and 1991, Mr. Yakunin was Second and then First Secretary of the USSR’s Permanent Representative Office at the United Nations. He was then Chairman of the Board at the International Centre for Business Cooperation before becoming head of the North-Western Federal District Inspectorate of the Senior Control Department of the President of the Russian Federation.

Mr. Yakunin became Deputy Minister of Transport in October 2000 and first Deputy Minister of Railways in February 2002. In October 2003, the Board of Russian Railways unanimously appointed Yakunin First Vice-President of the Company.

2005-2015 - President of "Russian Railways" JSC.

Mr. Yakunin is Doctor of Political Sciences and Head of the Department of State Politics, Faculty of Political Science, Lomonosov Moscow State University.

In 2013 he founded the Endowment for the World Public Forum - Dialogue of Civilizations – DofC in Geneva, Switzerland.

Fred Dallmayr, Сo-Chairman of the WPF Dialogue of Civilizations

Fred Dallmayr, Сo-Chairman of the WPF "Dialogue of Civilizations"

Fred Dallmayr is Co-chairman of WPF "Dialogue of Civilizations" and Packey J. Dee Professor in the Departments of Philosophy and Political Science at the University of Notre Dame.

He holds a Doctor of Law degree from the University of Munich (1955) and a Ph.D. in political science from Duke University (1960).

He has been a visiting professor at Hamburg University in Germany and at the New School for Social Research in New York, and a Fellow at Nuffield College in Oxford. He has been teaching at Notre Dame University since 1978. During 1991-92 he was in India on a Fulbright research grant.

Among his recent publications are: Between Freiburg And Frankfurt (1991); The Other Heidegger (1993); Beyond Orientalism: Essays On Cross-Cultural Encounter (1996; Japanese translation 2001); Alternative Visions: Paths In The Global Village (1998: Persian translation 2005); Achieving Our World: Toward a Global and Plural Democracy (2001); Dialogue Among Civilizations: Some Exemplary Voices (2002; Italian translation forthcoming); Hegel: Modernity And Politics (new ed. 2002); Peace Talks - Who Will Listen (2004); Small Wonder: Global Power and Its Discontents (2005) and In Search of the Good Life: A Pedagogy for Troubled Times (2007).

He is past president of the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy (SACP). He is also a member of the Scientific Committee of "RESET - Dialogue on Civilizations."

Profile at the University of Notre Dame website

Alfred Gusenbauer, Сo-Chairman of the WPF Dialogue of Civilizations

Alfred Gusenbauer, Сo-Chairman of the WPF "Dialogue of Civilizations"

Born February 8, 1960

Alfred Gusenbauer was Chancellor of Austria from January 2007 to December 2008 and the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) from 2000 to 2008.

Gusenbauer was born in Sankt Pölten in the state of Lower Austria. He was educated at a high school in Wieselburg and studied political science, philosophy and jurisprudence at the University of Vienna, where he gained a doctorate in political science. He has spent his whole professional life in politics, either as an employee of the SPÖ or as a parliamentary representative. He was a senior research fellow in the economic policy department of the Lower Austria Chamber of Labour from 1990 to 1999.

Gusenbauer was federal leader of the SPÖ youth wing, the Socialist Youth (SJ) from 1984 to 1990, vice-president of the Socialist Youth International (IUSY) from 1985 to 1989 and vice-president of the Socialist International in 1989.

In 1991, Gusenbauer was elected SPÖ chairman in Ybbs an der Donau and a member of the Lower Austria party executive. In the same year he was elected to the Bundesrat, the upper house of the Austrian Parliament, as a Deputy for Lower Austria. He was a member of the Austrian delegation to the parliamentary meeting of the Council of Europe in 1991 and was chairman of the social committee of the Council of Europe from 1995 to 1998.

In the Bundesrat, Gusenbauer was Chairman of the Committee for Development Co-operation from 1996 to 1999. In 2000, he was elected leader of the SPÖ Group in the Bundesrat and also as Secretary-General of the SPÖ.

Alfred Gusenbauer became Chancellor on January 11, 2007 and remained on this position till December 2008.

Alfred Gusenbauer is the Laureate of the International Prize “Dialogue of Civilizations” for 2008.

Walter Schwimmer, Co-Chairman, World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilizations, Chairman of the WPF International Coordinating Committee

Walter Schwimmer, Co-Chairman, World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations, Chairman of the WPF International Coordinating Committee

Walter Schwimmer was born on June 16, 1942 in Vienna, Austria where he also grew up and attended primary and secondary school. He studied law at Vienna University where he graduated doctor of law in 1964. He engaged himself in the movement of Young Christian Workers (YCW) and in the Austrian Federation of Workers and Employees  (ÖAAB, branch of Austrian People’s Party – ÖVP). He started his professional career in the legal department of the Union of Private Employees. He did his military service in the Austrian Federal Army from 1965 to 1966.

In 1971 he was elected as the at this time youngest member of the Austrian Parliament (Nationalrat). He was re-elected seven times to the parliament. He served as Vice-Chairman of the parliamentary group of the Austrian People's Party from 1986 to 1994, Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Social Affairs from 1978 to 1989, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Health from 1989 to 1994, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Justice in 1995 and Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Housing and Construction from 1995 to 1999.

He was also the Chairman of the Inter-Parliamentary Union friendship group Austria-Israel of the Austrian Parliament from 1976 to 1999, Member of the National Board of the Austria-Israel Association from 1973 to 1999, Vice-President from 1977 to 1981, Acting President (after the assassination of the former President, Heinz Nittel) from 1981 to 1982 and President from 1982 to August 1999.

When the Berlin Wall fell and the division of Europe into West and East came to an end, Walter Schwimmer started to work for the integration of the new democracies as equal partners into Pan-European structures. He became Member of the Austrian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in 1991. He was one of the leading members of the Assembly, Chairman of the Group of the European People's Party-Christian Democrats since 1996, Member of the Bureau, President of the Sub-Committee on International Economic Relations, Vice-President of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Vice-President of the Assembly in 1996 and rapporteur on various issues including monitoring of member states (Romania, Slovakia, Turkey).

In June 1999, he was elected Secretary General of the Council of Europe (September 1999 - August 2004). During his term of office the Council of Europe grew through the admission of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia-Montenegro and the membership of Monaco was prepared. One of his political priorities was the inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue. He established close relations with the League of Arab States and was the first Secretary General of the Council of Europe to attend a ministerial conference and a summit of heads of state of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation.

In 2005, after his mandate in the Council of Europe was ended, Walter Schwimmer was invited by Vladimir I. Yakunin, the president and founder of WPFDC, to join the World Public Forum – Dialogue of Civilizations and chair its International Coordination Committee. In October 2013, during the 11th annual Rhodes Forum of WPFDC he was appointed at the meeting of the founders Co-Chairman of the organization.

Walter Schwimmer is the author of several books and articles, in particular of “The European Dream”, published also in German (“Der Traum Europa”), Italian (“Sognare Europa”), Russian (“Мечты O Европе”) and Serbian (“San Evropa”).

Nicholas F. S. Papanicolaou, Сo-Founder of the WPF Dialogue of Civilizations

Nicholas F. S. Papanicolaou, Сo-Founder of the WPF "Dialogue of Civilizations"

Mr. Papanicolaou was born in Athens, Greece in 1949. He graduated cum laude from Williston Academy, Easthampton, MA in 1967 and from Harvard Univesrity in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. He also holds an MBA degree from Columbia University (class of 1972).

Mr. Papanicolaou was vice president of the Onassis Organisation in New York, and later also Joint Chairman and controlling shareholder of Aston Martin Lagonda Holdings Ltd., the holding company of the British car manufacturer.

He is president of Lion Finance S.A. , a family corporation engaged in shipping and luxury marina investments.

Mr. Papanicolaou has been decorated with the grand cross of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem.

Jagdish Kapur (16.02.1920 – 19.11.2010), Co-Chairman and Co-Founder of the WPF Dialogue of Civilizations

Jagdish Kapur (16.02.1920 – 19.11.2010), Co-Chairman and Co-Founder of the WPF "Dialogue of Civilizations"

Entrepreneur, solar scientist, futurist, founder chairman of Kapur Surya Foundation and Kapur Solar Farms. Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, “World Affairs” Journal.

Jagdish Chandra Kapur was born in 1920, he graduated from the Punjab University and did post graduate studies at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in India and at the Cornell University in the United States.

Mr. Kapur has widely contributed to the issues of the human future and has presented a number of keynote address to regional, national and international conferences on a variety of subjects including engineering, technology, urban perspectives, rural development and the human future. He is the author of “India in the Year 2000”; “India: An Uncommitted Society”; “Future of Man: Eastern and the Western View”; “Human Condition Today (Ed)”, and over 50 major papers and articles on issues relating to the future. His most recent book is “Our Future: Consumerism or Humanism”.

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