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Gerald Knaus (Austria) is ESI's founding chairman. After having studied in Oxford, Brussels and Bologna, he taught economics at university in Ukraine in 1993/94 and spent five years working for NGOs and international organisations in Bulgaria and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
From 2001 to 2004, he was the director of the Lessons Learned Unit of the EU Pillar of the UN Mission in Kosovo. In 2011, he co-authored, alongside Rory Stewart, the book "Can Intervention Work?" He has also co-authored more than 80 ESI reports as well as scripts for 12 TV documentaries on South East Europe. He is a founding member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and was for five years an Associate Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School, where he was a Visiting Fellow in 2010/2011 lecturing on state building and intervention. Since August 2016 he is a Mercator-IPC Senior Fellow in Istanbul. He writes his blog on www.rumeliobserver.eu.