A leading Parliamentarian on the global stage, he has been Chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Group for Human Rights in Iran; Chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Group of Justice for Sergei Magnitsky; Chair of the All-Party Save Darfur Parliamentary Coalition; Chair, Canadian section, of the Parliamentarians for Global Action and Member of its international council. An international human rights lawyer, Professor Cotler has served as Counsel to prisoners of conscience including Andrei Sakharov & Nathan Sharansky (former Soviet Union), Nelson Mandela (South Africa), Jacobo Timmerman (Latin America), Professor Saad Eddin Ibrahim (Egypt) and he was Chair of the International Commission of Inquiry into the Fate and Whereabouts of Raoul Wallenberg. He was a Member of the International Legal Team of Chinese Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo, and more recently became international legal counsel to imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, Venezuelan political prisoner Leopoldo López, and Shi’ite Cleric Ayatollah Boroujerdi in Iran. A feature article on him in Canada’s national magazine – Maclean’s – referred to him as "Counsel for the Oppressed", while the Oslo Freedom Forum characterized him as "Freedom’s Counsel."
is a senior resident fellow at GMF, where he advises on GMF programs to strengthen leadership development and strategies for engagement in the transatlantic region, as well as GMF’s Leadership, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiative. He is also head of Global Security Ventures for the Gen Next Foundation. Kifayat joined GMF following a 15 year public service career at the White House, State Department, and Treasury Department. Kifayat served as Secretary of State John Kerry’s acting special representative to Muslim communities, creating initiatives to broaden and deepen U.S. diplomatic engagement with Muslim communities worldwide. As senior advisor to the under secretary of state for public diplomacy and inaugural director of the Global Strategic Engagement Center (GSEC), he led initiatives to help advance to use of social media tools by the State Department. He developed and led initiatives at the Treasury Department to promote financial cooperation between the United States and key partners in the Middle East, G8, and Asia. He served as an alternate executive director of the African Development Bank Group, shaping bank activities that included the establishment of an anti-corruption unit. He served twice on the National Security Council staff coordinating counterterrorism and economic issues across the Middle East and Africa.
recently retired as the Deputy Chief Information Officer at the Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, where he managed an international communications and IT network with 80 overseas and 50 domestic nodes. Formerly, he was with the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), where he managed all IT and Information Security Offices. BBG oversees the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and several other foreign language Federal Government broadcasting entities. He founded, secured Congressional funding, and managed the BBG’s Internet Anti-Censorship Program, overseeing a technical staff of networking engineers, computer programmers, and contractors that concentrated on developing technical countermeasures to foreign government's Internet filtering and censorship efforts. He established this program as a critical component in getting the video, audio, and web pages of the broadcasters to audiences into countries such as China and Iran. He partnered with numerous human rights organizations, commercial and non-profits focusing on Internet Freedom, and traditional media; he laid the groundwork for the close collaboration of these actors in furthering the cause of an open and free Internet.
is presently the Director of the Graduate Program in U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security at The American University, Washington, DC. Today, this program has 15 faculty members and over 100 students. He is twice recipient of the University’s award for distinguished teaching. From 2015 to 2017, he held a special service appointment in cyber security and digital media in the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. Prior to joining State, he was senior advisor for democracy and technology at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Novotny has also held senior executive positions at the Civilian Research and Development Foundation, Hughes Electronics, and Lockheed Martin Corporation. He received his MA and PhD degrees in international relations and computer science from Georgetown University and his diploma in management studies at the University of Oxford.