Bassma Kodmani

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Person.png Bassma Kodmani   SourcewatchRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Bassma Kodmani.jpg
Born29 April 1958
Damascus, Syria
ResidenceParis,  France
Alma materSciences Po
Member ofEuropean Council on Foreign Relations
A Syrian/French "trusted lieutenant of the Anglo-American democracy-promotion industry". who attended 2 Bilderbergs; in 2008 before the start of the 2011 regime change proxy war, and in 2012.

Employment.png Spokesperson

In office
September 15, 2011 - 2012
EmployerSyrian National Council

Bassma Kodmani is a French-Syrian academic. She was the executive director of the Arab Reform Initiative, a research program initiated by the powerful US Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Before that, Kodmani was working for the Ford Foundation in Cairo, where she was director of their governance and international co-operation program.

During the Syrian regime change proxy war started in 2011, Kodmani was a member of the executive bureau and head of foreign affairs of the Syrian National Council, "a trusted lieutenant of the Anglo-American democracy-promotion industry."[1]

She attended the 2008 Bilderberg conference, where Kodmani was listed as French; by the 2012 conference, her Frenchness had fallen away and she was listed simply as "international" – her homeland had become the world of international relations.

Early life

Bassma Kodmani was born in Damascus, Syria in 1958. As a child she attended the "Ecole Franciscaine", a French Christian school in Damascus.[2] Her father used to work at the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a diplomat. Following the defeat of the 1967 war, he had a skirmish[clarification needed] with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and was subsequently jailed for 6 months.[3] This prompted him to leave Syria with his family and move to Lebanon where they stayed for 3 years from 1968 to 1971. In 1971, they moved in London where Bassma Kodmani's father had found a job at the United Nations.[4]

Bassma Kodmani studied at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris where she obtained a PhD degree in Political Science. Because of her feeling of belonging to the Arab world, she dismissed a career in French foreign service and decided to focus on the study of international relations.


She worked at the Institut Français des Relations Internationales (IFRI) in Paris where she set up and directed the Middle East Program from 1981 to 1998.

Between 1999 and 2005, she led the Governance and International Cooperation program for the Middle East and North Africa at the Ford Foundation. She then became a senior adviser on international cooperation to the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS).

In September 2005, Kodmani was made the executive director of the Arab Reform Initiative (ARI) – a research programme initiated[5] by the powerful US Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Around the same time, in February 2005, US-Syrian relations collapsed, and President Bush recalled his ambassador from Damascus. US funding increased massively, and a lot of opposition projects date from this period.[6]

Her connections to the deep state was analyzed in 2011 by Charlie Skelton:

More specifically, the ARI was initiated by a group within the CFR called the "US/Middle East Project" – a body of senior diplomats, intelligence officers and financiers, the stated aim of which is to undertake regional "policy analysis" in order "to prevent conflict and promote stability". The US/Middle East Project pursues these goals under the guidance of an international board chaired by former national security adviser General Brent Scowcroft.

As spokesperson for the Syrian National Council, she multiple times called for foreign military intervention[7] and no-fly-zones under the guise of peacekeepers.

Sitting alongside Scowcroft of the international board is his fellow geo-strategist, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who succeeded him as the national security adviser, and Peter Sutherland, the chairman of Goldman Sachs International. So, as early as 2005, we've got a senior wing of the western intelligence/banking establishment selecting Kodmani to run a Middle East research project. In September of that year, Kodmani was made full-time director of the programme. Earlier in 2005, the CFR assigned "financial oversight" of the project to the Centre for European Reform (CER)[8]. In come the British.

The CER is overseen by Lord Kerr, the deputy chairman of Royal Dutch Shell. Kerr is a former head of the diplomatic service and is a senior adviser at Chatham House (a thinktank showcasing the best brains of the British diplomatic establishment).

In charge of the CER on a day-to-day basis is Charles Grant[9], former defence editor of the Economist, and these days a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, a "pan-European thinktank" packed with diplomats, industrialists, professors and prime ministers. On its list of members[10] you'll find the name: "Bassma Kodmani (France/Syria) – Executive Director, Arab Reform Initiative".

Another name on the list: George Soros – the financier whose non-profit "Open Society Foundations" is a primary funding source of the ECFR[11]. At this level, the worlds of banking, diplomacy, industry, intelligence and the various policy institutes and foundations all mesh together, and there, in the middle of it all, is Kodmani.

The point is, Kodmani is not some random "pro-democracy activist" who happens to have found herself in front of a microphone. She has impeccable international diplomacy credentials: she holds the position of research director at the Académie Diplomatique Internationale[12] – "an independent and neutral institution dedicated to promoting modern diplomacy". The Académie is headed by Jean-Claude Cousseran, a former head of the DGSE – the French foreign intelligence service.

A picture is emerging of Kodmani as a trusted lieutenant of the Anglo-American democracy-promotion industry. Her "province of origin" (according to the SNC website[13]) is Damascus, but she has close and long-standing professional relationships with precisely those powers she's calling upon to intervene in Syria.

And many of her spokesmen colleagues are equally well-connected.[14]

She resigned from that role in 2012. In 2016, she joined the delegation of the opposition in the Geneva peace talks on Syria. She is also the co-founder and treasurer of the Initiative for a New Syria, an NGO based in Paris which "supports democratic civil society in Syria." She serves on the Advisory Boards of the European Council on Foreign Relations, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Middle East Center and International IDEA in Stockholm.[15] }}


Events Participated in

Bilderberg/20085 June 20088 June 2008US
The 56th Bilderberg, Chantilly, Virginia, 139 guests
Bilderberg/201231 May 20123 June 2012US
The 58th Bilderberg, in Chantilly, Virginia. Unusually just 4 years after an earlier Bilderberg meeting there.