Dr Matthias Ries has been leading the working group since March 2023. Before that, among other things, he was a specialist of the Civil Peace Service (ZFD) in Jerusalem and worked for the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) as a ZFD programme manager and subsequently as a portfolio manager in Afghanistan. Matthias Ries is a trained mediator and completed his doctorate at the University of Heidelberg on the Israeli-Palestinian secret negotiations in Norway.
FriEnt is a network of governmental organisations, church-based development agencies, political foundations, and civil society coalitions. In dialogue with member organisations and international partners, FriEnt pools experience and knowledge, peace policy expertise and consultation with the aim of influencing political processes and the formation of agendas as well as developing and strengthening peacebuilding further.