Leela Koenig

Head of Academy Programme Humanitarian Negotiations


  • Diplomatic practice
  • Humanitarian negotiation
  • Personal effectiveness

Leela Koenig joined Clingendael in March 2018. She is currently focusing on the Clingendael Institute’s work in the humanitarian sector and develops training programmes for humanitarian negotiators and mediators. Alongside this work, she delivers debating and communication training for diplomats. 

Before joining Clingendael, Leela worked for 5 years as head of a department in an international education charity based in London that developed and delivered training programmes in debating and public speaking to thousands of people each year. In the 7 years before that, Leela developed and taught debating skills in over 30 countries including The Netherlands where she also worked as a lecturer in strategic debating at The Hague University of Applied Sciences.

She won the best speaker prizes at the European Universities Debating Championships two years in a row and the best speaker prize at the World Universities Debating Championships.  

Leela completed a BA in Philosophy from Leiden University during which she also interned for the Dutch Scientific Council of Government Policy, an MA in Applied Ethics from Utrecht University during which she was also the Chief Adjudicator of the European Universities Debating Championships and an MA in Political Science from Central European University in Budapest specialising in Social and Political Theory during which she was an associate editor of the Monash Debate Review, the only peer-reviewed publication on debating.