Hanna Shelest is a is a freelance consultant on International Affairs in Ukraine. She is currently working with the MFA on a study of Ukrainian-Middle East policy. She previously worked as a Senior Researcher at the National Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of Ukraine, Odessa Branch, focussing on security and conflict studies in the Black sea and Middle East regions. She is a recognized expert in this sphere and widely published in different countries. She was recognised for her work on peace and conflict resolution in 2010 when she became the first person to be selected for the Rotary Peace Fellowship from a Post-Soviet country. In 2010 Hanna was also nominated as a Black Sea Young Reformer.
Hanna has also worked as a media consultant to the Governor´s office, as a university lecturer and lobbyist. In addition, as a student she started the first In-Ukraine Model United Nations, Odessa National University Model United Nations. She has since been involved with getting young people involved in politics, organising different programs and conferences for them.
Hanna's action plan in 2012 was to increase the influence and cooperation between think tanks and the Ukrainian government in the sphere foreign policy. She began this process by initiating an e-project titled "Setting recommendations to the Agenda of the Ukrainian Chairmanship in the OSCE in 2013", which united 50 experts from many think tanks, civil activists and human rights organisations through several large-scale conferences. A final report including their recommendations was published in English and Ukrainian and presented to the Ukrainian MFA through a number of working meetings. Many of their recommendation were made policy priorities and MFA also that similar recommendations are applied to update the OSCE Maastricht Strategy: this was completed in April 2013. A final report including their recommendations was published in English and Ukrainian and presented to the Ukrainian MFA through a number of working meetings and many of their recommendation were made policy priorities. Since the 2013-14 crisis Hanna has been working to make the voice of civil society heard in policymaking process related to reconciliation and redevelopment. She has launched an annual project called Prisma that brings together experts from different regions to write policy briefs, including recommendations, which are then presented during a roundtable with representatives from the MFA. Hanna is now in the process of launching the first Ukrainian English language journal in International Affairs – UA: Ukraine Analytical.