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Yannis G. Valinakis is currently President of the Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence at the University of Athens, Jean Monnet Professor ad Personam, and a member of the Executive Board of the Centre for European Studies in Brussels. He was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (2004-2009), responsible for Political and European Affairs and Member of Parliament (for the Dodecanese Region, 2007-2009). Born in Athens in 1955, he studied Law at the University of Athens and Political Science at the University of Heidelberg. He completed his postgraduate studies at the University of Sorbonne - Paris I (DEA in International Politics, DEA in Defense Policy, DEA in History of International Relations) and received his Ph.D. (with honours) from the same University, in 1981. He became Assistant Professor at the University of Thrace Law School in 1983, Professor of International Relations at Athens University in 1992, Jean Monnet Professor in European Diplomacy in 1996 Dean of the Law School at Neapolis University and Jean Monnet Professor Ad Personam in 2013.

Professor Valinakis has taught at the National Defense School, the Centre for Diplomatic Studies, the National School of Public Administration and at various Greek and foreign universities. He has published widely in five languages in the fields of European and International affairs and Strategic Studies. He served as Director General (1990-1998) of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) and Director General of the Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence (2000-2004). He worked as Resident Fellow at the Institute for East-West Studies in New York (1982-1983), as Senior Fellow at the Institute for Security Studies of the European Union (Paris 1997-1998), Visiting Senior Fellow at the European Institute (London School of Economics (2011-2012), and other prominent research institutions. He has also worked as a senior consultant to international organizations (such as the EU, the WEU and BSEC) and to Greek and other governmental bodies. In 2013 he was honored by the European Commission with Jean Monnet Chair ad Personam, in 1995 with the Jean Monnet Chair in European Diplomacy and in 2000 and in 2010 with the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence.