15 November 2005

Biographical Note

Secretary-General Appoints Tomas Mastnak Director of Office of Alliance of Civilizations

NEW YORK, 14 November (UN Headquarters) -- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has named Tomas Mastnak as the Director of the Office of the Alliance for Civilizations.  He will take office towards the end of December.  Shamil Idriss has also been named Deputy Director of the Office and is officer-in-charge.

Professor Tomas Mastnak, a Slovenian national, is Director of Research at the Institute for Philosophy at the Scientific Research Centre of the Slovene Academy of Sciences and Arts.  After finishing his studies at the University of Ljubljana, he conducted his post-doctoral research at Edinburgh University, Cambridge University, and the Johns Hopkins University.  He has been a research fellow at the European University Institute, Oxford University, American University of Cairo, Harvard University, and New York University.

His most recent book is Crusading Peace:  Christendom, the Muslim World, Western Political Order (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2002; Arabic translation, Cairo: al-Majlis al-A'lá lil-Thaqafah, 2004).  He is the author of a wide range of books and articles in the history of political thought and political theory.  In the past 15 years, his main area of research has been the emergence and articulation of conflictual relations between East and West, Christendom and the Muslim world, and between Europe and the non-European world.

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