About OM

Orient Matters

We support public and private organizations in their activities in the West of Asia.

Our approach combines academic expertise with long-standing consulting work in and about the region.

For our projects, we draw on a broad network of renowned international and local experts. We also participate in policy-oriented research and, for this purpose, cooperate with leading institutes and universities.

The Orient Matters. To us. To you. Hence our promise: short lines of communication and a prudent approach to your concerns.

Our Team

Dr. Christian
Achrainer

Senior Associate

Christian is an analyst and consultant who specializes in foreign policy, development issues, and authoritarianism / human rights in Egypt and the Arab world.

He worked as an independent researcher and consultant in Cairo (2015-2020) and was a research fellow at the MENA section of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP, 2009-2015). Christian has a doctorate in political science from the Philipps-Universität Marburg with a dissertation on the diversification of Egyptian foreign affairs in the period 2013-2017. He speaks German, (Egyptian) Arabic, and English.

Bianca
Balint

Junior Consultant

Bianca focuses on foreign policy and development, with a special interest in Iran.

Before joining OM, she worked for the Goethe-Institute as well as the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce in Tehran and the German Corporation for International Cooperation in Berlin. Bianca studies towards a degree in sociology, politics, and economics at Zeppelin University. She speaks German, English, Hungarian, and Spanish and is currently learning Persian.

Dr. David
Jalilvand

Managing Director

David is an analyst and consultant, specializing in the interplay between geopolitics, economics, and energy/climate in Iran and the broader West of Asia.

Before founding OM in 2019, he worked for the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Berlin, where he headed the Iran project, among other responsibilities. David received his doctorate in political science from the Freie Universität Berlin with a dissertation on the nexus between politics, economics, and energy in Iran. He speaks German, English, and Persian.

Angela
Laudenbacher

Consultant

Angela’s work concentrates on security policy as well as on the activities of Arab donor organizations in international development cooperation.

Previously, she worked with the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) as well as the Bundeswehr Centre for Public Affairs. Angela studied politics and public administration at the University of Konstanz, the Anglo-American University in Prague, and the Freie Universität Berlin. She is fluent in German and English and reads French.

Mareike
Transfeld

Senior Associate

Mareike is an analyst and consultant focusing on Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula.

She is the Co-Founder and Director of Yemen Policy Center and researches local security governance as well as processes of state fragmentation. Previously, she was a Resident Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin. Mareike is currently completing her PhD at the Freie Universität’s Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies (BGSMCS). She speaks Arabic, English, French, and German.

Tariq
Suleiman

Research Assitant

Tariq is OM’s Arabic language researcher, collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data from both primary and secondary sources.

Born and raised in Egypt, he is an MA student at Berlin’s Humboldt University. He speaks Arabic, English, and German.

Dr. Christian
Achrainer

Senior Associate

Christian is an analyst and consultant who specializes in foreign policy, development issues, and authoritarianism / human rights in Egypt and the Arab world.

He worked as an independent researcher and consultant in Cairo (2015-2020) and was a research fellow at the MENA section of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP, 2009-2015). Christian has a doctorate in political science from the Philipps-Universität Marburg with a dissertation on the diversification of Egyptian foreign affairs in the period 2013-2017. He speaks German, (Egyptian) Arabic, and English.

Bianca
Balint

Junior Consultant

Bianca focuses on foreign policy and development, with a special interest in Iran.

Before joining OM, she worked for the Goethe-Institute as well as the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce in Tehran and the German Corporation for International Cooperation in Berlin. Bianca studies towards a degree in sociology, politics, and economics at Zeppelin University. She speaks German, English, Hungarian, and Spanish and is currently learning Persian.

Dr. David
Jalilvand

Managing Director

David is an analyst and consultant, specializing in the interplay between geopolitics, economics, and energy/climate in Iran and the broader West of Asia.

Before founding OM in 2019, he worked for the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Berlin, where he headed the Iran project, among other responsibilities. David received his doctorate in political science from the Freie Universität Berlin with a dissertation on the nexus between politics, economics, and energy in Iran. He speaks German, English, and Persian.

Angela
Laudenbacher

Consultant

Angela’s work concentrates on security policy as well as on the activities of Arab donor organizations in international development cooperation.

Previously, she worked with the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) as well as the Bundeswehr Centre for Public Affairs. Angela studied politics and public administration at the University of Konstanz, the Anglo-American University in Prague, and the Freie Universität Berlin. She is fluent in German and English and reads French.

Mareike
Transfeld

Senior Associate

Mareike is an analyst and consultant focusing on Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula.

She is the Co-Founder and Director of Yemen Policy Center and researches local security governance as well as processes of state fragmentation. Previously, she was a Resident Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin. Mareike is currently completing her PhD at the Freie Universität’s Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies (BGSMCS). She speaks Arabic, English, French, and German.

Tariq
Suleiman

Research Assistant

Tariq is OM’s Arabic language researcher, collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data from both primary and secondary sources.

Born and raised in Egypt, he is an MA student at Berlin’s Humboldt University. He speaks Arabic, English, and German.

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The Orient Matters. To us. To you.

The Orient Matters.
To us. To you.