NEW DIPLOMACY was launched in 2015 to address the policy challenges facing global and regional policymakers in the eastern and southern neighbourhoods of the European Union, not least the insecurity in the post-Soviet space and the crises of democracy and instability in the Middle East. The founders are a group of policy analysts and media professionals, each with several decades’ experience leading projects in promoting EU integration and closer Euro-Atlantic relations, and in strengthening civil society in the post-Soviet space.

NEW DIPLOMACY, z.s. is a non-profit association registered in Prague, Czech Republic.

Email: Jeff Lovitt 

The founders of NEW DIPLOMACY are:

Jeff Lovitt (Chair)

Jeff Lovitt is the founding Chair of New Diplomacy. He has conceived and managed projects linking up civil society actors in the Middle East, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia with independent think-tanks in Central Europe. Since October 2022, he has been Chief of Party on Zinc Network's Central Europe Media Program (CEMP), leading efforts to strengthen the financial sustainability of independent media. In 2016-2021, he has worked with the Council of Europe as lead author and editor of two studies (the first of which, Civil Participation in Political Decision-Making in the Six Eastern Partnership Countries – Part One. Laws and Policies, was published in May 2016; the second, Civil Participation in Political Decision-Making in the Eastern Partnership Countries – Part Two: Practice and Implementation, in April 2017), and as author of the Participatory Democracy Academy, implemented in Ukraine since 2018, and subsequently in many countries, including Georgia, Serbia, and Turkey. He has trained and mentored local government officials and NGO leaders in Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine to foster closer engagement in local decision-making.

He also conceived the first Open Government Partnership (OGP) Balkans Dialogue conference, held in Albania in 2015, and is a member of the International Experts Panel (IEP) that oversees the Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). From 2016-2020, he provided risk monitor consultancy (Europe and Central Asia) to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). He was a member of the Advisory Group on Media Freedom in the Eastern Partnership countries, chaired by the Latvian Presidency of the EU Council in 2015 and by the European Commission in 2017.

In March 2014, he organised in Prague with the NATO Public Diplomacy Division, the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Moscow-based Centre for European Security a week-long security seminar on NATO-Russia relations for students from the post-Soviet space, taking place just weeks after Russia's annexation of Crimea. In 2012 and again in 2014, he was co-Chair of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum. From 2005-2015, he was Executive Director of PASOS – Policy Association for an Open Society, a network of independent think-tanks in Europe and Central Asia. From 2000-2005, he was Director of Communications at the international secretariat of Transparency International (TI).

From 1995-1998, he was Central Europe correspondent for The European newspaper. From 1987-1995, he was an editor and journalist in London for The European, the Sunday TimesNew StatesmanTribune, and other titles. He is the author and editor of a range of publications on EU policymaking, including Democracy’s New Champions. European Democracy Assistance after EU Enlargement (2008), How to Win Respect and Influence Policymakers.Principles for Effective Quality Controls in the Work of Independent Think-tanks (2011), The Right Approach to Europe. An Advocacy Handbook for Civil Society: Understanding and Influencing EU Policymaking (2012), and the European Integration Index 2017 for Eastern Partnership Countries.

More information is available at

Dr. Leila Alieva is the President of the Centre for National and International Studies (CNIS) in Baku, Azerbaijan, and in 2015-2017 was an Academic Visitor at St Anthony’s College, Oxford University. Since 2018, she has been an Affiliate at the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies, University of Oxford. She directed the independent Center for Strategic and International Studies in Baku (1995-1997), and founded CNIS in 2005. She has held fellowships at Harvard University (1993-1994), UC Berkeley (2000), Woodrow Wilson Center (Kennan Institute) (1995), SAIS - Johns Hopkins University (2001), NATO Defense College (2005) in Rome, Italy, and National Endowment for Democracy in Washington DC (2007). 

Her research on the issues of security, EU and NATO integration, multilateralism, energy security, conflicts and politics in the region have been published by the Oxford University Press, Sharpe, Journal of Democracy, and others. She has served on the editorial board of a number of journals, including NATO PFP “Connections”. She has edited a number of books, including The Baku Oil and Local Communities: a History (2009), Soviet Legacies 22 Years After: Reversed or Reinforced? (2013), Oil Factor in Conflict and Democracy Deficit in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia (2014). 

She is regularly interviewed by foreign news and informational agencies, such as the BBC, Reuters, and US National Public Radio on politics, conflicts and security issues. In 2014, she was the Working Group 1 (Democracy, Human Rights, Good Governance & Stability) Co-ordinator on the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum.

Krzysztof Bobiński is the President of Unia & Polska, a think-tank in Warsaw, and previously worked for the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM). From 1976-2000, he was the Warsaw correspondent of the Financial Times, covering the period of martial law, the rise of Solidarity, and the fall of communism. He has also reported for the BBC, Washington Post, and European Voice, was later the publisher of Unia & Polska magazine, and was actively engaged in Poland’s negotiations to join the European Union.

In 2013, President Bronislaw Komorowski awarded him the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Poland’s Rebirth for outstanding services in supporting democratic changes in Poland, for his reporting on the situation in Poland during martial law, and for his journalistic achievements. He is one of the contributing authors to European Foreign Policies: Does Europe Still Matter? (Europe Today, 2010), and is an Associated Editor of the Europe section of Europe’s World, published by Friends of Europe. He served as co-chair of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in 2013 and again in 2015. 

Jan Piekło was the Ambassador of Poland to Ukraine from September 2016 until January 2019, and in 2020 he was appointed President of the Board of Villa Decius, a meeting venue in Krakow, Poland, which hosts conferences and seminars on science and culture, and cultural dialogue and human rights. From 2005 until taking up his position as Ambassador, he was based in Poland and Ukraine as Executive Director of the Polish-Ukrainian Cooperation Foundation (PAUCI), where he managed trans-border projects with Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, and Armenia. Having been fired as a journalist during the period of martial law in Poland, he practised as a psychotherapist working with adolescent patients. From 1982 to 1988, he contributed to clandestine Solidarity print publications.

As a journalist, he covered the Romanian revolution of 1989 and from 1991-1997 the wars in former Yugoslavia. He was editor of Tygodnik Powszechny, a leading weekly of the Polish anti-Communist opposition. In September 1997, he was OSCE supervisor for the local elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina. From July 2000, he was editor of the online magazine FORUM, dedicated to Christian-Jewish relations and co-operation. He received the SDP (Polish Journalists Association) Award for “introducing into the Internet the important issues of dialogue and cooperation of people of different backgrounds, traditions and value systems".

His most recent novel, Scent of the Angel, published in Polish and Ukrainian, is based on his work experience in the Balkans and Eastern Europe. In 2001-2002, he was Coordinator of the Polish-American education project entitled The Bridges of Tolerance, and until 2005 he served as Director of the Institute Bridges to the East.  In 2014, he was EU co-ordinator of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum.