On Sunday 26th of June we have celebrated yet another big moment of our students’ life: Graduation Day! The theme of the day was: Refugees. We were honored to welcome some very important guests to our Graduation Day: The Hon. Spyridon Galinos (Mayor of the Greek Island of Lesvos), The Hon. Athar Sultan-Khan (Chef de Cabinet of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) since 2002) and H.E. Ambassador Alexandros Alexandris (honorary Dean of GSD and in 2013 appointed Permanent Representative and Ambassador of Greece to the United Nations in Geneva). For more pictures of our Graduation Day 2016 and other GSD events, please visit our Flickr website.
The Hon. Spyridon Galinos – GSD honoris causa Master in International Relations 2016
Spyros Galinos, Mayor of the Greek Island of Lesvos, is a true hero for our modern age. With the tragic influx to Lesvos of many thousands of refugees fleeing war and destitution in Syria and further afield, Mayor Galinos has led the compassionate and welcoming response of the extraordinary people of Lesvos. Resigning from other activities to devote himself to Lesvos, in 2014 Galinos was elected Mayor of Lesvos. In October 2014 he was elected President of AMC North Aegean. Spyors Galinos is the son of the National Resistance hero, for many years MEP of Lesvos, Mimis Galinos. The people of Lesvos, along with their determined Mayor, for their compassion in the face of a massive and historic Refugee Crisis, were nominated for the Nobel Prize for Peace by the Geneva School of Diplomacy.
The Hon. Athar Sultan-Khan – GSD honoris causa Doctor in International Relations 2016
Athar Sultan-Khan has been the Chef de Cabinet of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) since 2002. He advises the High Commissioner as well as coordinating senior management in both headquarters and field operations. He holds a wide range of diplomatic, political and operational authority. Mr Sultan-Khan’s 36 years of UN experience has seen him serve sensitive operations in Iraq, Syria, Somalia and Afghanistan. For many years he managed humanitarian efforts in the Western Sahara refugee situation. He also served as senior officer in Algeria; for the Middle East and North Africa; and as a senior UNHCR Representative in Malaysia and for South-East Asia. In Yemen he played a key role in persuading the Government to sign the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol, thus protecting the rights of Somali and Eritrean refugees.
H.E. Ambassador Alexandros Alexandris – GSD honoris causa Doctor in International Relations 206
His Excellency Ambassador Alexandros Alexandris is the honorary Dean of the Geneva School of Diplomacy & International Relations (2016). In 2013 he was appointed Permanent Representative and Ambassador of Greece to the United Nations in Geneva. Born in Istanbul, Ambassador Alexandris is a renowned scholar of Greco-Turkish Relations. Prior to Geneva he held diplomatic posts. As Greek Consul General in Istanbul; as Consul General in Toronto, Canada; as Greek Embassy Counselor in Cyprus; as Deputy Permanent Representative in ICAO in Montreal; as Embassy Attache in Turkey; and in the Diplomatic Cabinet of the President of Greece.