Massimiliano Montanari

Executive Director

Massimiliano Montanari – formerly of the United Nations – is the Executive Director of Save the Dream. His experience is with international policies, diplomacy, social innovation and design of multisectoral programmes. In countries and organizations where he worked, Massimiliano has given priority to the development of common languages among different sectors and regional cooperation grounded on the principle of shared responsibilities for the promotion of common goods, such as security, justice and development.

Massimiliano, who also serves as CEO of the ICSS Group has previously served in various roles at the ICSS, including as Chief Executive Officer of the ICSS INSIGHT (2018-2020) and Chief of Cabinet of ICSS President (2014-2016). During his tenure he has undertaken the creation of several initiatives to empower youth and civil society through the use of sport and sport values, including and particularly Save the Dream.

Before joining the ICSS and Save the Dream, Massimiliano held a number of positions at the United Nations. He worked as the Head of the International Centre for Public-Private Security Policies, lead the International Permanent Observatory on Major Events Security and previously worked at the Terrorism Prevention Branch of UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as well as taking part in UN Task Forces and programmes addressing issues such as violent extremism, war crimes prosecution and security in post-conflict zones.

He holds a master’s degree in International Advanced Legal Studies, a university degree in Political Sciences and a post-graduate degree in International Relations.

Bahruz Balayev, PhD

Head, Global Outreach 

Bahruz Balayev, PhD, is a former Edward S. Mason Fellow at Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has over 15 years of experience working with youth on empowerment, adaptive leadership and effective decision-making. He previously held positions in various NGOs in the U.S. and Eastern Europe such as Oxfam International in New York.

He received his J.S.D. and LL.M. (Masters in Law) in Human Rights and International Law from St. Thomas University Law School as well as a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University. He is fluent in four languages (English, Russian, Azerbaijani, and Turkish).

Bahruz also serves as Acting Director, Legacy & Innovation at ICSS Insight.

Siham Alawami

Director, Special Projects

Siham Alawami is a public relations and communications professional. She spent 32 years at OPEC as a PR specialist. She has contributed to the development of TV programs and campaigns to promote the City of Vienna and its relations within the various Gulf countries as well as creating an understanding among the youth of Vienna. She has also worked as a print and television journalist and holds a Master’s degree in European Integration and European Studies from Webster University in Vienna.

Shabnam Hajiyeva

Senior Officer, Global Outreach 

Shabnam Hajiyeva started her professional career at Save the Dream in 2016 with responsibilities in the field of communication and social media. She holds a Master Degree in International Communication from IULM University in Milan, Italy.

Carol Jimenez

Senior Programme Manager

Carol Jimenez has over 10 years of experience in international development. She has worked with different international organisations, particularly UN bodies, as well as government agencies and NGOs, exposing her to politically and socially challenging, post-conflict settings in countries such as Colombia, Kosovo and Laos and providing her with the skills to adapt to different scenarios and support vulnerable groups from diverse ethnicities and social backgrounds.

Carol has experience in leading complex programs to support, amongst others, child education, child protection, gender equality, sport for development, peace, security, and human rights.

She is fluent in four languages (Spanish, English, French and Portuguese), and has two Masters degrees in international relations and political science.