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David Nyheim

Acting Director / Co-Founder


David is the Chief Executive of ECAS and Managing Partner.  He is also the Chairman of INCAS Consulting Ltd. (Malta).  He has extensive experience in dialogue process design and facilitation, stabilisation strategy development, early warning and risk assessment, and work on armed violence reduction. Prior to joining ECAS, he served for six years as the Director of the Forum for Early Warning and Early Response (FEWER) and held several policy and research positions in the European Commission and universities (Belgium and United Kingdom). As a consultant, David has worked for governments, United Nations agencies, and corporations in the North Caucasus, West and East Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and the Pacific. He is trained in political science (McGill), public health (Louvain and LSHTM), and economics (London School of Economics). Based in Malta, David is fluent in English, French, Norwegian, and Italian; and proficient in Spanish.


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Margaux Portron

Deputy Director


Margaux Portron is  a researcher in Critical theory working in the UK and in France. Currently working on drone warfare, she has devoted a significant amount of her research to the artistic responses to a type of conflict otherwise largely undocumented. Her interests lie in the democratic project present (or absent) behind so-called “distance” warfare. She completed a Master’s degree in Art and Politics from Goldsmiths, University of London and is finishing her phD at Paris 8 University and Queen Mary, University of London.


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Manali Jagtap-Nyheim

Advisor / Co-Founder


Manali Jagtap-Nyheim is a political and fine artist that lives and works in the United Kingdom and India.  An award-winning graphic designer and fine artist, Manali Jagtap moved to the United Kingdom in 2001. Since then, she has worked with the Forum on Early Warning and Early Response (FEWER) and International Conflict and Security (INCAS) Consulting Ltd. on projects aimed at sensitising audiences on the impacts of conflict. Her political artwork spans the interconnection between the politics of identity and identity politics “He can read, he can write, and he can shoot” – at Deptford X, transference projects “The Wishing Thread” at the Telegraph Hill Festival), human rights in story-telling “Gagados Ancient Tales”, and the politics of food “The Mahatma Thali” at Ganapati South India Restaurant. Manali completed her first degree at Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai (2000) and holds a Masters degree in Arts and Politics from Goldsmiths University, London (2010).


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Tanya Vella

Senior Advisor


Former Ambassador of Malta to Tunisia and Spain, Tanya Vella graduated in law from the University of Malta and holds a Masters in International Law from University College London. Her diplomatic career spanning over 30 years includes several years working at United Nations Headquarters in New York, at UNESCO Paris and at Malta's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has organised several exhibitions and been part of negotiating teams and UNESCO campaigns against destruction of cultural heritage in war and peacetime, return of cultural property and legal protection of the underwater cultural heritage. She was commissioned to draft the cultural heritage law of Bosnia Herzegovina following the Dayton Peace Accords. Tanya also served as Member of the World Heritage Committee and UNESCO`s Executive Board and lectured on economic social and cultural rights. She is passionate about the power of art to influence political processes and transform societies.  She has just completed a sabbatical year at Bellas Artes in Complutense University, Madrid exploring themes of social exclusion, gender violence and plural identities.


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