Meet FEPS Team
Ania SKRZYPEK, (Skrzypek-Claassens), born in Warsaw in 1979, is Director for Research and Training at the Foundations for European Progressive Studies (FEPS). She holds Ph.D. cum laude in political sciences from the University of Warsaw, which degree she obtained for her thesis “Cooperation of the socialist and social democratic parties in uniting Europe. From Liaison Bureau to PES. 1957 – 2007.” (also published in book format in 2010).
Before joining FEPS in 2009, A. Skrzypek worked as younger researcher at the Faculty of Journalism and Political Sciences at the University of Warsaw (2003 – 2009) and also served as twice consecutively elected Secretary General of Young European Socialists (ECOSY, 2005-2009).
She is an author of over 80 published papers and articles, available in English, German, French and Polish. Among her responsibilities at FEPS, she is in charge of the Next Left Research Programme, she co-coordinates FEPS Young Academics Network (FEPS YAN), as also she contributes to the FEPS projects of: Next Social Europe, European Transnational Parties and Democratic Empowerment, Ones to Watch, New Global Progressive Construct Convention and the Annual FEPS - Policy Network Oxford Debates.
Johan joins FEPS in December 2017 as Head of Office of President Maria Joao Rodrigues. Over the 11 preceding years, his career’s common theme has been three-fold: (1) related to the EU, its institutions and its policies; (2) aimed at reconciling different stakeholders’ expectations, cultures and ways to work; and (3) project driven. He first served as public relations and public affairs consultant for Porter Novelli consulting from 2006 until 2008, then as project and policy officer for the European Disability Forum from 2008 until 2010, before being hired as project manager and policy outreach officer for the Institut for European Studies of the Université libre de Bruxelles (IEE-ULB). As from 2015 onwards he was appointed executive director for research of the same IEE-ULB. Johan holds a “Diplôme de l'Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Bordeaux" (France), a "Diplom Sozialwissenschaftler” from the Universität Stuttgart (Germany) and an MA in European Studies from the Jagiellonian University Krakow (Poland). He speaks French, English, Flemish (Dutch) and German.
David supervises and coordinates FEPS' scientific quality and consultancy capacity, ensuring the policy-relevance and impact of FEPS’ activities. He oversees the economic and social policy portfolios.
Before joining FEPS in 2017, David worked as research fellow at CEPS and at the Jacques Delors Institute, covering EU investment policy, economic governance and welfare policy.
David teaches European Economic Governance at the ULB Institute for European Studies and held teaching positions at the Paris College of Art (visiting professor, microeconomics) and at Bocconi University (teaching assistant, macroeconomics). He was also Senior Academic Assistant at the College of Europe, Department for European Economic Studies and worked as consultant on public finance at the Council of Europe, Social Cohesion Division.
David holds a PhD in Public Economics from the DEFAP Graduate School in Public Economics (Milan) and carried out study visits at the University of Nottingham, Bocconi University and University of Zaragoza. Internships at the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations in New York and at the United Nations - Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa complement his education.
Before joining FEPS in September 2019, Ainara worked for 10 years as communication specialist and multimedia journalist. In Brussels since 2012, she worked as Communications Director at the Women Political Leaders Global Forum; as Communications Coordinator at the European Parliament (Audiovisual Unit) and as Communications Advisor of the Member of the European Parliament and Vice-President of S&D Group Maria Joâo Rodrigues. As a freelance she has also extensive experience as a radio/press/TV journalist and anchor, moderator of conferences and political debates and communication consultant, with a specialization on EU affairs and welfare, employment and gender issues.
Ainara holds a Master in Journalism from Autonomous University of Barcelona. In the early years of her career, she worked as a Brussels-based multimedia correspondent for the Catalan News Agency and, in Spain, as a reporter and video-journalist for the different TV and radio channels.
Roberto was born in Barakaldo (Vizcaya), Spain, in 1988. He completed his studies in Administrative Management in Bilbao where he achieved outstanding scores in Accountancy and in Public Administration.
Before working at FEPS he was awarded the Schuman Traineeship at the European Parliament in October 2013. During his traineeship he worked at the Directorate General for Finances until February 2014.
His work at FEPS includes all the responsibilities related to the financial matters, among them the budget and the accountancy of the foundation. He has been working at FEPS since July 2014.
François is the Head of Office to President Maria Joao Rodrigues. He advises and supports her in all strategic, political and statutory work at FEPS.
François joined FEPS in September 2020. Previously, he worked for several years at the European Youth Forum, mainly as Policy & Advocacy Director, where he led various projects and campaigns aimed at building a more sustainable, democratic and socially just Europe, engaging with key institutions at the European Union, the Council of Europe and the United Nations levels.
He holds a political science degree from the Université Libre de Bruxelles and a degree in European studies from the College of Europe in Bruges.
position: Special Advisor on the European Green Dealbiography
Special Adviser to the Foundation of European Progressive Studies (FEPS) on the European Green Deal. He is a former Member of the European Parliament and former sustainability adviser at the European Political Strategy Centre, the European Commission’s in-house think tank.
He has acquired extensive knowledge and policy experience in a large number of areas that are now at the very core of the European Green Deal such as transport and mobility, and its links with other systems such as energy and food, as well as circular economy and sustainable finance, and sustainable development more generally. As a former deputy mayor of and city councillor of Leuven, he has also gained substantial expertise at local level.
He holds a degree from KULeuven in contemporary history and in international relations, and obtained in 2018 an Executive MBA degree at the Vlerick Business School.
He is a Certified Expert in Sustainable Finance (Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, December 2020) and received certificates on Design Thinking and Creativity for Business (Insead, September 2020) and on Energy Innovation and Emerging Technologies (Stanford University, October 2020).
He is currently also a Fellow at the KULeuven Public Governance Institute.
Since January 2019, he is the Chairman of the Board of STUK art centre, House for Dance, Image and Sound in Leuven, Belgium.
As Engagement and Programme Manager at FEPS, Maria is responsible for designing and leading the foundation’s engagement programme with key European partners, as well as coordinating its flagship annual high-level conference Call to Europe and the youth lighthouse initiative Millennials and Gen Z Dialogue on Europe. Maria divides her work between managing FEPS’s relationship with strategic partners and sister organisations and representing FEPS externally with a view to reinforcing the foundations representation and views.
Prior to joining FEPS in 2015, Maria engaged in a diverse range of EU affairs work experiences, having worked for two S&D members of the European Parliament, the Financial Times (Mergemarket Group) and Vodafone.
Maria holds a Law Degree by the University of Lisbon, a post-graduation in European Legal Practice by Leibniz Universität Hannover, a Master of Arts in European Political and Governance Studies at the College of Europe and a Executive Master in Management at Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management.
Graduated in Journalism at Complutense University (Madrid, Spain), she also holds a Master in Political and Electoral Communication Management from Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona.
Elena worked as a journalist at the digital edition of the Spanish newspaper El Mundo and the website of Radio Televisión Española. She also did an internship at the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
She moved to Brussels in September 2011, where she did a Schuman traineeship at DG Communication in the European Parliament. Later she worked during one year and a half as a Communications Assistant for a Spanish Socialdemocrat MEP.
Elena joined FEPS in January 2014 where she is in charge of online communication: website, social media, newsletter etc.
Hedwig joined the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) in May 2016 as Senior Policy Advisor working predominantly on migration and the Balkans.
She holds a PhD in History of International Relations from the University of Florence and an MSc in History of International Relations from the London School of Economics.
From 2006 to 2015 she worked at the Fondazione Italianieuropei, where she was in charge of the foundation’s international relations and activities. She has also taught Politics and Economics of the European Union, and Italian history and politics in academic programmes for US students spending a semester in Italy.
Graduated in Political Sciences at Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium), Céline also holds a Master in European Studies-Transnational and Global Perspectives from Katoliek Universiteit Leuven KUL (Belgium).
She began at FEPS, as Junior Officer in March 2016 and is now in charge of the organisation of the project “New Global Progressive Construct Convention”.
Justin joined FEPS in summer 2018 to lead the digital policy portfolio. He previously worked as policy officer in the Secretariat-General of the European Commission. He started in the Directorate for Better Regulation, and then proceeded to take on the digital policy portfolio in the President’s and Vice-President’s Briefing Unit. After that, he became a policy coordinator working on digital and single market policy files.
In the past years, Justin has been among others involved in drafting the European Commission’s mid-term review of the Digital Single Market Strategy, and in policy on standards and standard-essential patents, audio-visual media, Internet governance, the collaborative economy, product liability and the internal market for goods.
During his studies, Justin gained work experience at the law firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek and at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Justin holds a Master in European Competition Law and Regulation from the University of Amsterdam, as well as Bachelor’s Degrees in Law and International Relations from the University of Groningen.
Vassilis Ntousas is the Senior International Relations Policy Advisor at the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) in Brussels and an Academy Associate at Chatham House in London. His research interests lie in European foreign policy and the EU’s global engagement. Previously, he held the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Academy fellowship at Chatham House, where his research focused on the role of the EU in renewing the multilateral system. From 2015-2019, he led the international research and activity programme of FEPS, covering the world’s major regions. He is the author of several policy papers and regularly comments on global affairs for international media outlets. Vassilis holds an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and a BA in International Relations and Politics from the University of Sheffield.
Socio-economic project officer, Euléane holds a joint Master degree in European studies from the Universities of Göttingen and Uppsala. Prior to joining FEPS, she worked on international cooperation development projects in Germany.
During her studies, she gained work experience at a French institute, the European University Institute and EACEA. She has a keen interest in higher education, social justice and diplomacy.
Susanne Pfeil is Project Officer with the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), where she coordinates various international projects and activities.
Susanne has a Master’s degree in International Relations (Diplomacy) from the University of Birmingham. Her Master thesis focused on mediation in German foreign policy and the Iran nuclear deal. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Intercultural European and American Studies from the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg.
Prior to joining FEPS, Susanne worked at the European Institute of Peace (EIP) where she gained experience in EU Affairs in Brussels, international peace and security. Susanne is a CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management) peer, trained in workplace crisis intervention strategies. She has a keen interest in conflict resolution and preventive diplomacy. She speaks German, English and Spanish, some French and is learning Dutch.
Laeticia works as a Policy Adviser on Gender Equality at FEPS. She holds a Master degree in European Studies from Maastricht University. Additionally, she completed a post-academic specialisation course in Université Libre de Bruxelles on “Migration, Ethnic Diversity and Intercultural Relationships”, which she concluded by looking at the impacts of the refugees crisis on EU migration policy. Before joining FEPS she also worked for the Cabinet of Karl-Heinz Lambertz in the European Committee of the Regions and for two Belgian MEPs.
Sophie joined FEPS in March 2021 as Office Coordinator in order to ensure the smooth running of office tasks and event support.
She has over 12 years of experience in office management thanks to her previous role at the UK Research Office.
Sophie holds a degree in Applied Foreign Languages in English and Spanish from the Catholic University of Lille and a Master’s degree in translation from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Institut Supérieur de Traduction et Interprétation).
Before joining FEPS in April 2021, Stefano worked in the Educational Team of the Historical Archives of the European Union in Florence and as freelance writer and video-maker. In 2020, he completed a Schuman Traineeship in the Media and Communication Team of the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli.
Passionate about journalism, photography and video-making, Stefano holds a master’s degree in International Relations and European Studies from the “Cesare Alfieri” Political Science School of the University of Florence.