Giles Merritt

Secretary General
 
A former Brussels Correspondent of the Financial Times, Giles is a journalist, author and broadcaster who has specialised in the study and analysis of European public policy issues since 1978. Since 1984, Merritt has been a columnist for the International Herald Tribune and Project Syndicate and his articles range widely across EU political and economic issues. Merritt began his newspaper career in 1968, when he joined the Financial Times. From 1972 he was successively FT staff correspondent in Paris, Dublin/Belfast and Brussels, until leaving the newspaper in 1983. In 1982 he published "World Out of Work", an award-winning assessment of the unemployment crisis in industrialised countries, and in 1991 "Eastern Europe & the USSR: The Challenge of Freedom", published in four languages.

Email Giles at: giles.merritt@friendsofeurope.org
Tel: +32 2 893 98 19

Geert Cami

Co-Founder & Director
 
Geert Cami co-founded Friends of Europe in 1999. Prior to that, he worked for in the Information and Communications Unit of the then newly set-up European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO), where he was responsible for the setting up of media events (exhibitions, seminars, press conferences, concerts, television debates, Humanitarian Days in Member States, etc). He also headed Forum Europe and produced music programmes at the BRTN (Belgian Public Radio) as well as special television reports for international organisations as NATO and CSCE.

Email Geert at: geert.cami@friendsofeurope.org
Tel: +32 2 893 98 19

Nathalie Furrer

Director
 
Nathalie Furrer is the Director of Friends of Europe. In this role she manages the experienced team and develops the overall programme of the think tank, liaises with members, partners and the press. She also coordinates all debates and publications, as well as other initiatives co-organised by Friends of Europe on subjects ranking from energy, EU-China relations and the financial market to Latin America and EU health strategy. Prior to joining Friends of Europe she was working in an institute for public policy research organising international conferences throughout Europe. Nathalie graduated in Political Science from the University of Geneva and has a Masters in Communication from the Sorbonne in Paris. In addition to her native French, she is fluent in English and Italian and has a good knowledge of German.

Email Nathalie at: nathalie.furrer@friendsofeurope.org
Tel: +32 2 893 98 13
@NathalieFurrer
           

Shada Islam

Director of Policy
 
Shada Islam is responsible for policy oversight of Friends of Europe’s initiatives, activities and publications. She has special responsibility for the Asia Programme and for the Development Policy Forum. Shada is the former Europe correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review and has previously worked on Asian issues at the European Policy Centre. She is closely involved with initiatives to promote Asia-Europe exchanges including within the context of ASEM (Asia Europe Meetings). As a journalist, Shada also worked extensively on development questions including relations between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states as well as on world trade, including the Doha Round. Shada continues to write on EU foreign and security policy, EU-Asia relations and trade and development issues for leading Asian, European and international publications.

Email Shada at: shada.islam@friendsofeurope.org
Tel: +32 2 893 98 15
@shada_islam

Nigel Olisa

Senior Manager Business Development and Membership
  Email Nigel at: nigel.olisa@friendsofeurope.org
Tel: +32 2 893 98 11

Lindsay Digneffe

Programme Manager

  Development Policy Forum
Life Quality Europe

Lindsay manages Friends of Europe’s Life Quality Europe pillar and its Development Policy Forum, undertakes research and contributes to Friends of Europe’s policy papers. In addition, she is in charge of successfully coordinating all events and publications that fall under both pillars. She completed her BA (2008) and MA (2009) degrees in European and International Politics at Maastricht University and soon after began her career at Friends of Europe. Lindsay is a true Belgian, fluent in Dutch, French, German and English.  
   
Email Lindsay at: lindsay.digneffe@friendsofeurope.org
Tel: +32 2 893 98 22

Patricia Díaz

Programme Manager

 

Global Europe
Asia Programme
            
Patricia is a Programme Manager at Friends of Europe, where she oversees and provides leadership for all activities and projects of the Global Europe pillar. Since joining in 2011, she has been particularly involved in the planning and management of the Asia Programme’s initiatives, including the Europe-China Forum. Her research focuses on geopolitical and trade policy issues, with a particular emphasis on EU-Asia relations. She has experience in the non-profit, government, and private sectors. Prior to joining Friends of Europe, she worked at the Political Section of the EU Delegation to India. She holds a Master degree in EU International Relations from the London School of Economics (LSE) and a BA in Social Science from the University College Utrecht (UCU). She is a graduate of Li Po Chun, the United World College (UWC) of Hong Kong.                          
            
Email Patricia at: patricia.diaz@friendsofeurope.org
Tel: +32 2 893 98 21
@PatriciaDiazMdM

Danuta Slusarska

Programme Executive

 

Greening Europe
Competitive Europe
 
Danuta Slusarska is Programme Executive at Friends of Europe. In this role, she manages Greening Europe Forum and Competitive Europe programmes and is responsible for coordinating Friends of Europe’s research, publications and initiatives in the fields of energy, climate, environment and industrial policies. Prior to joining Friends of Europe, she worked at the European Economic and Social Committee, the Representation Office of the Valencian Region in Brussels and the Embassy of Poland in Morocco. She graduated in Political Science at the University of Granada, Spain, and holds an MA in European and International Studies from Sciences Po Bordeaux, France. In addition to her native Polish, she is fluent in English, French, Spanish, and has a good knowledge of Russian.
  
Email Danuta at: danuta.slusarska@friendsofeurope.org
Tel: +32 (0)2 893 98 23

Aiichiro Yamamoto

Associate Fellow and Principal Representative to the EU, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
 
Aiichiro Yamamoto is currently Principal Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the European Union, based at Friends of Europe. JICA is the development aid agency of the Government of Japan, established in 1974 and operating in over 130 developing countries with an annual budget of approx. €10bn. He joined JICA in 1979, and has filled numerous posts both in Tokyo and overseas, including a post as Senior Assistant to JICA’s Director-General of Africa Department 2005-2007. His tasks included monitoring international aid trends and donor coordination on Africa as well as promoting the “One Village One Product” movement, which is to promote community-based business activities and to create a pro-poor value chain for small producers in Africa.

Email Aiichiro at: aiichiro.yamamoto@friendsofeurope.org
Tel: +32 2 893 98 18

Laetitia Garcia Moreno

Events Manager

  Email Laetitia at:laetitia.garcia_moreno@friendsofeurope.org
Tel: +32 2 893 98 14

Andrea Ghianda

Outreach and Events Manager

 
Andrea coordinates the communication of Friends of Europe events, publications and activities. He studied Political Science at the Università degli Studi di Pavia in Italy, where he was also a member of a political communication research team. He worked for two years as Project Coordinator for an Italian company in the field of marketing and event organisation. Additionally, he also worked for two years as Project Coordinator at the European Security Round Table in Brussels. He speaks English, French and Italian.

Email Andrea at: andrea.ghianda@friendsofeurope.org
Tel: +32 2 893 98 17
@AndreaGhianda

Kristina Camilleri

Partnership Executive           
 
Kristina Camilleri-Grygolec is partnership executive at Friends of Europe where she focuses on business development, developing tailor-made partnership proposals, and defining programmes for new initiatives. She completed her BA (2011) and MA (2012) degrees in philosophy at K.U. Leuven and soon after began her career at the European policy journal Europe’s World, gaining extensive knowledge on European policy and the working of the European Institutions. Kristina is a native English speaker, is fluent in Maltese and has knowledge of Dutch.

Email Kristina at: kristina.camilleri@friendsofeurope.org
Tel: +32 2 893 98 12

Daniela Michielotto

Personal Assistant to the Secretary General and to the Co-Founder & Director

  Email Daniela at: daniela.michielotto@friendsofeurope.org
Tel: +32 2 893 98 19

Patrick Janssens

Financial Director

  Email Patrick at: patrick.janssens@friendsofeurope.org
Tel: +32 2 300 89 52
 

Sophie Laurent

Senior Accounting Executive


 

Email Sophie at: sophie.laurent@friendsofeurope.org
Tel: +32 2 300 89 51

Cristina Frauca Hernandez

Publications & Communications Assistant

  Email Cristina at: cristina.frauca_hernandez@friendsofeurope.org
Tel: +32 (0)2 893 98 25

Françoise Soudaz

Junior Project Executive

           
  Email Françoise at: francoise.soudaz@friendsofeurope.org
Tel: +32 (0)2 893 98 10

Oreste Giorgio Spinelli

Website Assistant

 

                         

Email Oreste at: oreste.spienlli@friendsofeurope.org
Tel: +32 (0)2 893 98 12

Andrea Cembrero

Programme Assistant            

 

Global Europe

Asia Programme


Email Andrea at: andrea.cembrero_bonet@friendsofeurope.org
Tel: +32 (0)2 893 98 24

Jenni Heikka

Programme Assistant
  Greening Europe
Competitive Europe
                      

Email Jenni: jenni.heikka@friendsofeurope.org
Tel: +32 (0)2 893 98 26