Advisory Board

Sandra Pralong, Ph.D.

Sandra Pralong, Ph.D., is, since September 2015, a State Advisor and member of the Cabinet of the President of Romania, responsible for relations with Romanians abroad (a 5,5 million-strong Diaspora). She held a similar position in a previous Presidential Administration when, between 1998 and 2000, she helped open up the Romanian state’s relations with its citizens who had fled the Communist regime. With established credentials in public policies for diaspora engagement, values-based leadership and strategic communications, human rights advocacy, civil society development and overseas development assistance (ODA), Sandra is a former UN executive (UNDP, UNFPA), international foundation executive (Open Society Foundation) and international media executive (Director of Promotion for Newsweek in New York). In addition, she shared her expertise on several occasions as a visiting professor at the University of Bucharest and the University of Niamey (Niger, West Africa). She is the author of several books, academic research papers and essays, and is a public speaker, a trainer and a coach. Sandra holds a Ph.D. in Political Science (‘Magna cum Laude’ from the Institut d’Études Politiques in
Paris, France), an MA in Business Management (from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland), an MALD in International Relations (from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University,
Boston, USA), and an M.Phil. in Political Philosophy (from Columbia University, NY, USA) as well as a recent Master’s Degree in Cognitive Sciences (from the University of Bucharest, Romania).

Professor Alexander Evans OBE FRHistS

Alexander Evans is a Professor in Practice in Public Policy at the LSE and a Visiting Senior Fellow at LSE IDEAS. A British diplomat, he has worked as an advisor to the Prime Minister in 10 Downing Street, Strategy Director in the Cabinet Office, and Director Cyber in the Foreign Office. He led the UN Security Council expert mission on Daesh, Al Qaida and the Taiban and has been British Deputy and Acting High Commissioner to India and (briefly) to Pakistan. He served in the U.S. government as a senior adviser to Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. He was formerly a senior fellow at Yale, a Gwilym Gibbon fellow at Nuffield College Oxford and Henry Kissinger Chair at the Library of Congress.

John Florescu

John M. Florescu has had a distinguished career as media entrepreneur, television producer and businessman with broad experience in the United States and Europe. A journalist by training, Mr. Florescu is the son of the distinguished historian Radu
Florescu and the grandson of a prominent pre-war Romanian diplomat of the same name. Fluent in French and working Romanian, he comes from one of Romania’s oldest families with roots going back more than 500 years. For 20 years, Mr. Florescu served as executive producer for the late Sir David. From Washington and Los Angeles, Mr. Florescu has produced over 180 television specials, documentaries/ interviews for PBS, HBO, A&E, History Channel, Discovery-Times, Disney Channel, CBS Cable and other broadcasters in the US and overseas. He was Co-Executive Producer of Talking with David Frost, one of the longest running news/public affairs interview programs in PBS history. Mr. Florescu has served Executive producer for interviews with six past U.S. Presidents and also with several foreign heads of state including Mikhail Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher, Nelson Mandela and several Middle Eastern leaders including Benjamin Netanyahu. With all the world’s living Nobel laureates present in Stockholm, he also produced for PBS “The Great Nobel Debate” on the
90 th anniversary of the award. While in Romania, Mr. Florescu produced “The King Who Tricked Hitler,” (2016) about King Michael of Romania (at the time, the only living Head of State from WW 11) and two programs on Donald Trump and Senator Clinton (2016/2017), and “Queen Marie: Heart of Romania.” (2018). He produced “King Michael: The Journey Home.” (2021). In 2022, the produced the 2 part “The Mystery of Dacian Gold” (2022) and the upcoming 6-part series, “Marcel Iures Presents Romanian
Enigmas” (2023). 

Recipient of a number of awards, Mr. Florescu’s recent films
have run worldwide on the HISTORY channel and on Amazon Prime. In the 1980s, Mr. Florescu created and served as Executive Producer of the PBS series Great Confrontations at the Oxford Union, a 4-part public affairs debate series that brought together the world’s best student debaters with world statesmen including the former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Having lived in and out of Romania for 20 years, Mr. Florescu advised the late
Senator Edward Kennedy on Romanian political affairs as well as many US and Western businesses entering the then-booming East European region. He contributed editorials about Eastern Europe for The Boston Globe, The Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle; participated in academic symposium on Romanian topics; advised on studies on Romania by the Council on Foreign Relations; served in 1991 as a US delegate with NDI during the first democratic elections. Mr. Florescu holds a B.A. (Magna Cum Laude, 1976) in History from Boston College. From 1974 to 1975, he studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) at Oxford University, where he served as the first American editor of the university newspaper, The Cherwell. Mr. Florescu has two boys in NYC and a daughter and son in Romania.

Dr. Slobodan G. Markovich

Dr. Slobodan G. Markovich, MBE is Full Professor at the School of Political Science of the University of Belgrade where he lectures Political Anthropology, Political History of South-East Europe and Image of European Other. He is also Full Professor at the Institute for European Studies in Belgrade. He has been Research Associate at LSEE/LSE since 2012, and at LSE IDEAS since 2018. He has been the head of the Centre for British Studies at the School of Political Science in Belgrade since 2017. His published monographs include a book on Freud’s pessimism: Pessimistic Anthropology of Sigmund Freud (Belgrade, 2012), on Serbian economist, politician and diplomat Chedomille Miyatovich. A Victorian among Serbs (Belgrade, 2006), and a monograph on British-(Balkan)Serbian relations: British Perceptions of Serbia and the Balkans 1903-1906 (Paris, 2000, in English). His (co-)edited collections of papers in English include: British-Serbian Relations from the 18th to the 21st Centuries (Belgrade, 2018), Problems of Identities in the Balkans (Belgrade, 2006), and Challenges to New Democracies in the Balkans (Belgrade, 2004). He has been the coordinator of annual meetings “Psychoanalysis and Culture” since 2016.His research interests include: Construction of Ethnic/National and Religious Identities in the Balkans, British-Balkan Relations, psychoanalytic anthropology, and History of European Pessimism.

John Lloyd

John Lloyd co-founded The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford in 2006, where he was Director of Journalism and a Senior Research Fellow. He is a Contributing editor at The Financial Times, and Chairman of the School of Civic Education (Russia). Lloyd was a freelance reporter in Belfast in the early 1970s. He was a reporter on LBC Radio, worked at London Weekend TV as a reporter on the London Programme and producer on Weekend World. At the Financial Times he has been Labour Editor,Labour and Industrial Editor, East Europe Editor, Moscow Bureau Chief; and founding editor of the FT Weekend Magazine. He has edited both Time Out and the New Statesman.


Richard Ralph is a retired professional British diplomat. He joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office after graduating from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in politics and international relations in 1969. In the course of his career he served in the British embassies in Laos, Portugal, Zimbabwe, and Washington, before being appointed successively ambassador to Latvia, Governor of the Falkland Islands, ambassador to Romania and Moldova, and, finally, ambassador to Peru.

Prof Carol Capiță

Prof Carol Capiță graduated from the University of Bucharest, Faculty of History-Philosophy, in 1988. After a brief period as a Secondary School teacher (both in rural and urban schools), he became a staff member of his alma mater since 1990. He holds a PhD in Ancient History and a PhD in Educational Sciences. His interests (in the field of Education) lie in the area of curriculum development, the use of sources in History teaching, and the initial teacher training of History teachers. He published a number of articles on the Didactics of History, as well as being co-author (with Laura Capiţă) of two books on the Didactics of History, various teaching materials for the initial and continuing teacher training, and several History textbooks. He worked as an independent expert with the Council of Europe for the last 16 years.

Dennis Deletant

Dennis Deletant served as Visiting Ion Rațiu Professor of Romanian Studies in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Washington DC from August 2011 to July 2020. He is Emeritus Professor of Romanian Studies at University College, London, where he taught in the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, between 1969 and 2011, and was Professor of Romanian Studies at the University of Amsterdam (on secondment from UCL) between 2003 and 2010.

He was appointed to the board of the British Government’s ‘Know-How Fund for Central and Eastern Europe’ in 1990 and was actively involved in its work in Romania and in the Republic of Moldova until 1999 when the board was disbanded. The establishment of the Fund was influenced by the desire of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher that Britain should play a leading role in helping the nations of the former Soviet bloc to make the transition from communism to democracy, through the transfer of expertise, economic and political. For his work on the Fund, he was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1995. He was awarded ‘Ordinul pentru merit’ (Order of Merit) with the rank of commander for services to Romanian democracy on 1 December 2000 by President Emil Constantinescu of Romania and ‘The Star of Romania’, Romania’s highest civilian honour, by President Klaus Iohannis on 26 October 2016 for his activity in the promotion of Romanian history, language and culture.

He is the author of several monographs and volumes of studies on the recent history of Romania, among them Ceauşescu and the Securitate: Coercion and Dissent in Romania, 1965-89, London: Hurst & Co., 1995; New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1996; Communist Terror in Romania: Gheorghiu-Dej and the Police State, 1948-65, London: Hurst & Co.; New York: St Martin’s Press, 1999; Hitler’s Forgotten Ally. Ion Antonescu and his Regime, Romania, 1940-1944, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006; and British Clandestine Activities in Romania during the Second World War, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. His most recent study in English, Romania under Communism: Paradox and Degeneration, was published in October 2018 (Oxford; New York: Routledge).

Ovidiu Vanghele

Ovidiu Vanghele started his career in 2002 at MEDIAFAX Agency. During his ten years in the press agency he gradually became interested in more detailed subjects, closer to investigative journalism. He then joined the Pro TV news team. Less than a year later, he chose to leave mainstream media, founding the Center for Investigative Media, the entity he heads ever since. In the last seven years, Ovidiu published several press investigations tracing millions of euro spent pointlessly, illegally or simply stolen. His best known investigations focused on the abuses from mental health centers, the Romanian Academy monetary frauds, the National Railway Company’s contracts. Most of these also became judiciary investigations. He has spent almost the entire 2016 documenting, together with Ana Poenariu (Rise Project), the series “Toți oamenii generalului”, tracking the personal and financial development of Gabriel Oprea. In 2017, together with Vlad Stoicescu (, he set up a journalism platform aimed to better understand the relationship between the Churches in Romania and state institutions. Funded by its readers, the online project “Let there be light!” is, to many, an example of how journalism can survive in these tough times. He also teaches journalism at the University of Bucharest.

Alison Mutler

Alison Mutler studied Romanian literature and language at the University of London and graduated in 1987. She first reported from Romania, Bulgaria and Moldova before communism ended, and was in Romania, working for British television station ITV during the 1989 anti-communist revolt.  She moved to Romania in 1991 and joined the Associated Press which she left last year after 25 years. She has been president of the now defunct Foreign Press Association. She is now a correspondent for Romanian startup news site, She occasionally freelances for Coda Story and Radio Free Europe among others.

Dr Raul Cârstocea

Dr Raul Cârstocea is a lecturer in Twentieth-Century European History at Maynooth University, Ireland. He has previously worked as a lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Leicester, as a lecturer in European Studies at Europa Universität Flensburg, as a senior research associate at the European Centre for Minority Issues, and as a teaching fellow at University College London. He has held research fellowships at the Imre Kértesz Kolleg Jena, the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Amsterdam, and at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies. His research interests focus on antisemitism, Jewish history, nationalism, fascism, and the Holocaust, and more broadly on state formation and nation-building processes in the XIX and XX century Central and Eastern Europe and their consequences for minority groups. 



Wojciech Przybylski is the editor-in-chief of Visegrad Insight and chairman of Res Publica Foundation in Warsaw. Previously Wojciech has been the editor-in-chief of Eurozine – a magazine representing a network of European cultural journals, and – a Polish journal Res Publica Nowa. He has launched and leads the ‘New Europe 100’ project that is networking and bringing forward a community of successful innovators from CEE across the fields of business, research media, NGO and public administration run jointly by Res Publica, Financial Times and Google. He is a member of the advisory board of the European Forum of New Ideas. His expertise includes European and transatlantic affairs as well as policies related to innovation and culture. He has been publishing in Foreign Policy, Politico Europe, Journal of Democracy, EUObserver, VoxEurop, Hospodarskenoviny, Internazzionale, Gazeta Wyborcza, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna and several others. His new book ‘Understanding Central Europe’ (co-ed. with Marcin Moskalewicz) has been published in 2017 by Routledge.



Andrew Noble is a British diplomat who has served twice in the British Embassy in Romania. As Press Attache in the communist era Embassy (1983-86), and as Ambassador (2018 to October 2023), he has developed a profound respect and affection for this country. He has travelled widely in Romania and led an active Embassy through five years of significant change in Romania. Andrew joined HM Diplomatic Service in 1982, after studying Modern and Medieval Languages at Gonville and Caius College Cambridge. In a diplomatic career of over 40 years, he also served as British Ambassador to Algeria, Deputy Ambassador in Germany and Greece, and as Head of the Political Section in the British High Commission in Pretoria/Cape Town in Mandela’s South Africa.  Andrew was appointed LVO by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his involvement in the State Visit to South Africa in 1995. Andrew is thrilled to be involved in the Ratiu Forum, not least since the early years of his career were dominated by the Cold War and ever since he has dealt with democratic transition, whether in Europe or Africa. He has been closely involved throughout his career with British security policy. Andrew speaks Romanian, German and French fluently and has also learned modern Greek, Afrikaans and some Arabic. Andrew is also a Trustee of Hospice Casa Sperantei, a member of the Advisory Board of ADEPT and a member of the International Consultative Board of the New Strategy Centre in Bucharest, Romania. He is married with four children and is an active amateur musician.