Our team


Nicolae Ratiu

Chairman of The Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation,
Managing Director of Regent House Properties Ltd

Educated in the United Kingdom at Marlborough College, and the United States, New York University, with a BSc in Marine Transportation and economics. As Chairman of The Ratiu Foundation, a British registered charity (est. 1979) with headquarters in Manchester Square, London, Nicolae chairs a board of 5 Ratiu family members who award annually up to 50 grants, worth c. GBP 200,000, in various fields (study, research, projects, travel etc.) both in the UK and Romania. A businessman and philanthropist, Nicolae is also trustee of charities in Romania and the UK: The Romanian Cultural Centre in London, Pro Patrimonio (The National Trust of Romania), ADEPT, The Relief Fund for Romania and the Ratiu Center for Democracy. In addition, through the Ratiu Foundation, Nicolae supports major cultural and educational programs in UK, Romania and US, among which are: The Ion Ratiu Chair of Romanian Studies at Georgetown University, Washington; The annual Ion Ratiu Democracy Award and Fellowship in Washington; The Ion Ratiu Award for Investigative Journalism; The Elisabeth Pilkington Ratiu Award for Advances in Mental Health.



Professor Chris Alden teaches International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) where he is Deputy Head of the Department (PhD and Research). He is also Director of LSE IDEAS. He is a Research Associate with South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA).
He is author/co-author of numerous books, including Apartheid’s Last Stand – the Rise and Fall of the South African Security State (Palgrave 1996), Mozambique and the Construction of the New African State (Palgrave 2003), South Africa’s Post-Apartheid Foreign Policy (Adelphi Paper IISS 2003), China in Africa (Zed 2007), Land, Liberation and Compromise in Southern Africa (Palgrave/Macmillan 2009) The South and World Politics (Palgrave 2010), Foreign Policy Analysis – New Approaches 2nd edition (Routledge 2017), and co-editor of China and Mozambique: from Comrades to Capitalist (Johannesburg: Jacana 2014), China Returns to Africa (Hurst 2008), China and Africa – Building Peace and Security Cooperation on the Continent (Palgrave 2017), New Directions in Africa-China Studies (Routledge 2019) as well as having written numerous articles in internationally recognised journals.
Professor Alden has held fellowships at Cambridge University, Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo; Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto; Ecole Normale Superieure (Cachan), Paris; CERI, Paris; and University of Pretoria.

Pamela Roussos Ratiu

executive director, ratiu family charitable foundation

Pamela Ratiu is executive director to Romania of U.K. registered Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation and of the Ratiu Forum, a project run in partnership with the London School of Economics IDEAS Think Tank. Her expertise covers management, event concept, public relations and partnership development. Pamela has 30 years of experience in international management for both the public and private sector, actively supporting sustainable non-profit organizational development in Transylvania. Pamela joined Ratiu Democracy Centre in 2004 and has actively supported the partnership with Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in offering the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award to those fighting for democracy around the world. She has also initiated the Ratiu Dialogues on Democracy, a series of lectures that aim to strengthen discussions and visions on democracy, reuniting professionals with diverse backgrounds who share an interest in current challenges facing Balkan nations, with a particular emphasis on Romania. Pamela Ratiu is also coordinating the sustainability initiatives run by the Ratiu foundations in Romania to support the local community projects of the Ratiu Democracy Centre. Throughout the years she developed a sustainability ecosystem in Turda, seat of the Ratiu family. This includes social businesses in the field of hospitality and creates local employment opportunities. Contact: pratiu@ratiuforum.com

Stuart Austin

CSEEP Programme Manager

Stuart is working closely with the Ratiu Forum team. Stuart studied History BA at the University of Kent, then completed an MSc in History of International Relations at LSE – specialising in the Cold War, the Balkans, and the Rise and Fall of Communism in Europe. After working in a number of government departments, Stuart joined LSE IDEAS in early 2020, as research assistant to the Engelsberg Chair for History and International Affairs – most recently Prof Margaret MacMillan. Following the end of the Engelsberg series in Summer 2022, he was also appointed Editor of publications.

Emilia Knight


A senior executive with a substantial record of strategic business development in international markets. Dr Knight holds a Ph.D. in linguistics and an Executive MBA. As Centre Manager of LSE IDEAS, she is in charge of the day-to-day running of the centre.  She oversees all financial arrangements concerning the centre and is in overall charge of information, events and external communication. She has previously worked as Marketing Manager, Publishing for Apple UK and later joined Adobe as their Marketing Director, Europe. She went on to establish the Business Software Alliance in Europe to combat software piracy and protect intellectual property.

Dana Stoica

Communication and Events Consultant

Dana supports the Ratiu Foundations with communication and event expertise since 2013. She leverages her journalism and PR background to design impactful strategies for the Ratiu Forum recurrent programs. Her experience includes communicating and managing CSR initiatives in the areas of digital education, vocational training, and environmental protection. She fosters engagement for the Forum among a variety of stakeholders through strategic communication and integrated campaigns. 

Doinita Seruna


Doinița has worked for the Ratiu Center for Democracy since 2007, where she coordinated events. She then transitioned to the role of office manager and subsequently took over the HR coordinator role, acting as a mediator and ensuring adherence to departmental procedures. She graduated from Babeș-Bolyai University’s Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
She also has previous work experience in sales and marketing within the online and print advertising industry.
In 2023, following a series of intensive courses, Doinita earned certification in Human Resource Management and Business Communication from the British Academy of Business and Communication, achieving the highest grade.

Nicoleta Bucur


Nicoleta has an Art and Design background and a bachelor degree in Science Education, and has been working with the Ratiu foundations since 2007. Starting as a Program Manager, she focused afterwards on design, handling various projects – from concept development and branding, to graphic illustration and web design. She holds a postgraduate certificate in graphic and web design obtained in Milan, where she has also worked as an e-learning specialist and as a graphic designer for various fashion press offices.

Vladd Coker


Vladd’s job description:
Meet and Greet (sometimes over enthusiastically).
Oversees activities in the courtyard.
Chases all cats.
Exercise visiting professors who spend far too much time at their computers.
His favorite book? The “Iliad”, of course.

Alexandru Parasca


Alexandru is a student at the Faculty of Political, Administrative, and Communication Sciences at Babeș-Bolyai University. His main areas of study are International Relations, Leadership, and Political
Theory. He has experience as an assistant manager at the Potaissa Art Association and as a volunteer at the Bread of Life Orphanage and Feeding Centers Foundation. Since October 2023, he has been volunteering at the Rațiu Forum, where he assists with events and supports the administration of the Foundation’s archive.


Professor Christopher Coker



Christopher Coker was Director of LSE IDEAS, LSE’s foreign policy think tank.
His publications include Rebooting Clausewitz (Hurst, 2015), Men at War: what fiction has to tell us about conflict from the Iliad to Catch 22 (Hurst, 2014); The Improbable War: China, the US and the logic of Great Power War (Hurst, 2015); Future War (Polity, 2016), and The Rise of the Civilizational State (Polity, 2019). His most recent book is Why War? (2020).
He was Professor of International Relations at LSE, retiring in 2019. He was a former twice serving member of the Council of the Royal United Services Institute, a former NATO Fellow and a regular lecturer at Defence Colleges in the UK, US. Rome, Singapore, and Tokyo. He had also been a Visiting Fellow at the National Institute for Defence Studies In Tokyo, the Rajaratnam School for International Studies Singapore, the Political Science Dept in Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok and the Norwegian and Swedish Defence Colleges.