DAG is led by Ram Manikkalingam, an experienced Sri Lankan mediator, working with a dynamic international team and supported by a wide network of influential organisations and individuals. DAG staff combine NGO, INGO, government and academic experience, and our teams have a wide-ranging combination of gender, age and nationality. DAG prioritises increasing diversity in the field of mediation, and especially promotes representation of women and people from different social identities (sexual orientation, gender, ability, race, religion etc).



Paula de Castro has worked as an analyst and programme manager for organisations like the Spanish Ministry of Defence (Directorate of Strategic and Security Affairs), the European Institute of Peace and the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs think tank. She has worked on research and policy-oriented projects related to conflict resolution and EU foreign policy. Paula holds a Masters in International Relations and is a Marshall Memorial Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Shaun holds a master’s degree (with distinction) in International Relations and Democratic Politics from the University of Westminster in London. His research paid particular focus to Russian political history. Shaun joins us from the private sector with experience in coordinating teams in finance, administration and project support. Shaun is in charge of DAG’s financial administration and office management, and assists in the management of DAG’s budgets and grants.

Rocío began her career as a journalist in Spain and moved to Cairo in 2012 where she reported on Egypt and the Middle East for the following five years. She completed a Master in International Politics at Leiden University, focusing particularly on security and human rights. She also holds a bachelor´s degree (with honours) in Audiovisual communication from the Complutense University of Madrid.

Nicolás holds a BSc + MSc joint degree in Economics (valedictorian) from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and the Université Paris-Dauphine and a MSc in International Security (summa cum laude) from Sciences Po. He has also been a visiting student at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. An enthusiastic traveller, Nicolás has lived in four continents, biked across South America, and sailed from Portugal to Polynesia. Nicolás has worked in the private, government, and not-for-profit sectors. He joined DAG in 2022.

Amaya completed a BSc in Molecular Science and Technology (cum laude) at Leiden University/ Delft University of Technology and a MSc in Conflict Resolution and Governance (cum laude) at the University of Amsterdam, focussing on collective identity and repertoires in social movements. Prior to joining DAG, she worked on chemical weapons disarmament and refugee integration in the Netherlands.

Lucas holds a BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (First Class) from the University of Warwick and a MSc in Conflict Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he was president of the Association for International Peace and Security. Prior to joining DAG, he collaborated with International Crisis Group and a Colombian electoral observation organisation. Lucas is also an accredited mediator with field experience researching rebel-to-party transitions.

Nicky joined DAG after working as independent researcher on local conflict in the Netherlands, and as a lecturer in Conflict Studies and Political Science at the University of Amsterdam, focussing on environmental security and peacebuilding and the political economy of conflict. She holds a B.A. in Cognitive Neurobiological Psychology from the University of Utrecht and a M.Sc. in Conflict Resolution and Governance from the University of Amsterdam.


Board of Directors

Angela Kane


Former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs and former UN Under-Secretary-General for Management

Brian Burgoon

Professor of International Political Economy and Academic Director of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam (Secretary and Treasurer)

Leoni Cuelenaere

Former Ambassador of the Netherlands to Bangladesh, Rwanda, Yemen and Sri Lanka

Board of Advisors

Comfort Ero

President and CEO, International Crisis Group  

Jeffrey Feltman

Former UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs

Álvaro de Soto

Former UN Envoy to El Salvador, Cyprus, Israel/Palestine

Former Advisors

Lakhdar Brahimi

Former UN Special Envoy to Syria

Wegger Strømmen

Norwegian Ambassador to the United Kingdom

Peter Maurer

President of the International Committee of the Red Cross

Nicholas Stewart QC

Ely Place Chambers

David Petrasek

Associate Professor, Graduate Institute of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa