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Jovan Kurbalija
Executive Director

Dr Jovan Kurbalija is the Executive Director of DiploFoundation and Head of the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP). He was a member of the UN Working Group on Internet Governance (2004‒2005), special advisor to the Chairman of the UN Internet Governance Forum (2006‒2010), and a member of the High Level Multistakeholder Committee for NETmundial (2013‒2014). In 2018-2019, he served as co-Executive Director of the Secretariat of the United Nations (UN) High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation.

A former diplomat, Jovan has a professional and academic background in international law, diplomacy, and information technology. He has been a pioneer in the field of cyber diplomacy since 1992 when he established the Unit for Information Technology and Diplomacy at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Malta, and later, DiploFoundation.

Since 1997, Jovan’s research and articles on cyber diplomacy have shaped research and policy discussion on the impact of the Internet on diplomacy and international relations. His book, An Introduction to Internet Governance, has been translated into 9 languages and is used as a textbook for academic courses worldwide. He lectures on e-diplomacy and Internet governance in academic and training institutions in many countries, including Austria (Diplomatic Academy of Vienna), Belgium (College of Europe), Switzerland (University of St Gallen), Malta (University of Malta), and the United States (University of Southern California).

His publishes regular articles on DiploFoundation’s blog, and the Huffington Post


Technology for Development

15 Dec 21 - 15 Dec 21

IGF 2021 Introductory Sessions

02 Nov 21 - 03 Nov 21

Data Tour | 12 Tours to Navigate Digital Geneva

24 Jun 21 - 24 Jun 21

Switzerland, Online

[Webinar] Yellow Day and Green Diplomacy

11 Feb 21 - 11 Feb 21


6th Geneva Engage Awards

18 Feb 21 - 18 Feb 21


#MeetingTomorrow: Digital Geneva 2040

07 Dec 20 - 07 Dec 20


Data 2025 V.2.0 – Conference

23 Nov 20 - 23 Nov 20


Digital Security and Economic Recovery

26 Nov 20 - 26 Nov 20


Data 2025 – Conference

19 Mar 20 -


CyberMediation conference

19 Nov 19 -


The UN World Data Forum 2018

22 Oct 18 - 24 Oct 18

United Arab Emirates

The Battle for the Global Internet

27 Sep 18 -

United States

Invest in Cybersecurity workshop

05 Jun 18 -


Diplo & GIP at RightsCon Toronto 2018

16 May 18 - 18 May 18


Geneva Internet L@w Summer School 2018

18 Jun 18 - 29 Jun 18


Diplo at State of the Net Conference

29 Jan 18 -

United States

Diplo director at ITAPA 2017

14 Nov 17 - 15 Nov 17


3rd Geneva Engage Awards

11 Dec 17 -


Governing the Future of the Internet

25 Sep 17 -

United States

Diplo & GIP at WSIS Forum 2017

12 Jun 17 - 16 Jun 17


2nd Geneva Engage Awards

08 Feb 17 -


Diplo and the GIP at COBISS 2016 Conference

22 Nov 16 - 23 Nov 16


Fundamental Science and Society

07 Jul 16 - 08 Jul 16


ISOC – GIP Digital Watch Webinar

09 Feb 16 -


Cybersecurity: a Strategic View

15 Jan 15 -


Asia Cyber Diplomacy Workshop

28 Aug 15 - 29 Aug 15


Vienna Cyber Diplomacy Day

26 Jun 15 -


Jurisdiction in the Internet era

06 Nov 14 -


Education Diplomacy Day

07 Oct 14 -


PRAU Roundtable on Cyber Security

23 Sep 14 -

South Africa

From Telegraph to Twitter

30 Jun 14 -


Diplo @ African Internet/ICT Week

04 Dec 13 - 06 Dec 13


[Webinar] E-participation

21 May 13 -


Arab Internet Governance Consultations

05 Mar 13 -

United Arab Emirates

Panel on “Diplomacy 2.0”

28 Feb 13 -


Geneva E-diplomacy Day

16 Nov 12 -


ICT policy and IG workshop in Addis Ababa

06 Apr 11 - 08 Apr 11


Can the United Nations be Taught?

06 Nov 09 -


Panel Discussion with MEDAC Alumni

13 Apr 07 -



5 reasons and 5 concerns for the IGF Leadership Panel

26 November 2021

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has reached a critical turning point. As the reform discussions mature, it is time to take the next steps. To remain the ‘same’ in terms of its mission, IGF must change in terms...

How can Mediterranean wisdom shape our digital future?

26 November 2021

Prepared on the occasion of the inaugural Day of the Mediterranean (28 November) Today, as we revisit many fundamentals of society and discuss the future of humanity, many historical roads lead to the greater Mediter...

10 lessons from 10 years of teaching digital diplomacy at the College of Europe

12 November 2021

In 2011, I taught my first course on digital diplomacy at the College of Europe. Since then – except for 2020 due to pandemic lockdowns –I’ve spent two days in Bruges every fall to introduce and discuss three as...

4 aspects of e-politeness in 2021

29 October 2021

This text on e-politeness is dedicated to those who have been waiting for me to reply to their e-mail for weeks, and to those who did not reply to my e-mails for weeks; to those on whose great blog posts I did not l...



The Rise of TechPlomacy in the Bay area

Tech diplomacy is becoming a necessity for countries worldwide. Countries need to capture the nexus between technology innovation and economic developments. To be effectively present in the Bay Area, countries need to use innovative diplomatic approaches. This report d... Read more...

poster, San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge


Language and Diplomacy

Language and Diplomacy is a collection of papers presented at the February 2000 Second International Conference on Knowledge and Diplomacy and the January 2001 Conference on Language and Diplomacy. The book examines traditional aspects of language in diplomacy: diploma... Read more...

, Language and Diplomacy


Knowledge and Diplomacy – Preface

The book covers a wide range of topics - beginning with a general introduction to the concept of knowledge management, the interplay between development and diplomacy, the importance of institutional memory of diplomatic services for diplomatic activities, practical ex... Read more...

kapiti college, Kapiti College


Global Inviolability of the Internet Root Zone (Briefing Paper #1)

Dr Kurbalija explains the internet root zone, and highlights the context and controversy of questions about its inviolability. Possible solutions identified by him include legal elements (customary law, diplomatic law, common heritage of mankind), 'software' inviolabil... Read more...

Policy brief 1


Evolution of Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities

Excerpt from the lecture 1: Principles and concepts, evolution and instruments; Online course on Diplomatic Law: Privileges and Immunities.... Read more...

A group of prehistoric men with spears waiting to hear the message from another prehistoric man who is coming their way


E-diplomacy and Diplomatic Law in the Internet Era

Peacetime Regime for State Activities in Cyberspace (ed by Katharine Ziolkowski) covers in a multi-disciplinary approach the technical, legal, policy and diplomacy aspects of State activities in cyberspace during peacetime. It consists of 23 chapters of academic natur... Read more...