Bassma Kodmani is an Advisor to ORG’s Sustainable Security Programme. She is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Arab Reform Initiative, a network of independent Arab research and policy institutes working to promote democracy in the Arab world. She has also been a senior adviser on international cooperation to the French national research council (CNRS) and from 1999 to 2005 she headed the Governance and International Cooperation Program at the Ford Foundation office for the Middle East and North Africa. Here she had special responsibility for initiating and supporting joint Israeli-Palestinian projects, including track II meetings. Previously, she established and directed the Middle East Program at the Institut Français des Relations Internationales (IFRI) in Paris and was Associate Professor of International Relations at Paris University.
A Syrian national, from September 2011 to August 2012 she served as Head of Foreign Relations and spokesperson for the Syrian National Council, the opposition political coalition seeking democratic change in Syria. She subsequently founded the Initiative for a New Syria, an NGO working with Syrian civil society.