His Excellency Nickolay Mladenov is the Director General of the Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy (AGDA), since February 2022.
As the Director General, His Excellency works with the Board of Trustees to consolidate the status of the Academy as a global thought leader in diplomatic studies. Being the head of the Academy’s international faculty, he works to ensure the highest standards of diplomatic education in nurturing the next generation of Emirati diplomats.
With a career spanning over 20 years in Middle East and European politics, His Excellency served as the UN Secretary General’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Envoy to the Middle East Quartet between 2015 and 2020. He focused on preventive diplomacy, led efforts of the Quartet on the Middle East on issuing a report on concrete steps to help preserve the possibility of a two-state solution, and supported emerging Arab Israeli ties.
Between 2013 and 2015 His Excellency served as United Nations Special Representative for Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). His role involved brokering agreements, including on oil revenue sharing between Baghdad and Erbil and helping the country form a national unity government in the aftermath of ISIL’s takeover of Mosul.
For more than a decade His Excellency Mladenov was active in Bulgarian politics, both in government and opposition. He served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2010 to 2013 and as the Minister of Defense from 2009 to 2010. In both positions, he dealt with a multitude of international crises and promoted landmark reform legislation, while overseeing complex budget optimisations and institutional restructuring.
His Excellency was also a Member of the European Parliament from 2007 to 2009, where he worked on key consumer protection and internal market dossiers and on increasing the transparency of Europe’s defense market. He also led the EU Election Observation Mission to Ghana for the parliamentary and presidential elections in 2008.
His Excellency Mladenov was a Member of the Bulgarian Parliament for Varna (2001-2005). He was heavily active in civil society, where he established the European Institute in Sofia, the Sofia Platform, worked with children’s rights groups and has consulted for the World Bank, NDI, IRI and other organisations in South Europe, as well as the Middle East.
In February 2021, he was awarded the Grand Star of the Order of Jerusalem by President Mahmoud Abbas.
His Excellency Mladenov was educated at King’s College London, where he obtained an MA in War Studies and prior to that he graduated from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia, where he majored in International Relations.
He is also a Segal Distinguished Visiting Fellow with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.