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Meet FEPS Team

  • Laeticia THISSEN

    position: FEPS Policy Adviser

    email: laeticia.thissen@feps-europe.eu


    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.

  • Christine RUGURIKA

    position: Administrative and Events Officer

    email: christine.rugurika@feps-europe.eu


    Christine joined FEPS in January 2019, she is part of the Events team.
    She has worked most of her time in events planning and management
    She likes working in an international environment too.
    In her spare time she likes writing fictional stories, theatre and radio.

  • Roberto PAREDES

    position: Financial Advisor

    email: roberto.paredes@feps-europe.eu


    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.

  • Vassilis NTOUSAS

    position: Senior Policy Advisor - International Relations

    email: vassilis.ntousas@feps-europe.eu


    Vassilis is International Relations Senior Policy Advisor at the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), where he coordinates various international projects and activities and conducts political research.

    Vassilis received his MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics in 2011, specialising mainly in foreign policy analysis and international security issues. He had previously received a First Class Honours for his BA in International Relations and Politics from the University of Sheffield in 2008.

    Prior to joining FEPS, Vassilis worked as senior communications and political advisor at the Municipality of Thessaloniki, Greece, providing advice in the areas of international affairs and intercity diplomatic relations. He has extensive experience in strategic and tactical political communications, with a particular focus on crafting comprehensive, tailor-made messaging, engagement and outreach strategies.

    Vassilis began his career in Brussels taking part in a traineeship at the Secretariat General of the European Commission, where he carried out political analysis on the proceeding of various committees of the European Parliament, related to international affairs. Following this, he worked as a public affairs consultant at APCO Worldwide, representing a variety of high-profile clients, advising on policy-making and regulatory processes within the EU institutional landscape.

  • Justin NOGAREDE

    position: Digital Policy Adviser

    email: justin.nogarede@feps-europe.eu


    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.

  • Céline GUEDES

    position: Project Officer

    email: celine-guedes@feps-europe.eu


    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”.

  • Hedwig GIUSTO

    position: Senior Policy Advisor

    email: hedwig.giusto@feps-europe.eu


    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.

  • Elena GIL

    position: New Media Advisor

    email: elena.gil@feps-europe.eu


    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.

  • Maria FREITAS

    position: Senior Policy Advisor

    email: maria.freitas@feps-europe.eu


    Maria joined FEPS in April 2015 and is responsible for projects pertaining issues of democratic participation, populism and new political movements. At FEPS she is also leading the Millennial Dialogue, a global youth engagement initiative that aims to create a better understanding of the priorities and values of the Millennial generation and their interaction with politics, political systems and institutions.

    She has over 3 years experience in EU Affairs in Brussels, having worked at the European Parliament, first with Member of European Parliament, Luis Paulo Alves, representing the Azores and then with the Parliament’s Chairman of the International Trade Committee, Vital Moreira.

    Maria holds a law degree from the Lisbon University and a Master of Arts of European Political and Administrative Studies from the College of Europe in 2014.

    Maria brings on board significant experience in European Union policy and politics as well as advocacy outreach and engagement strategies.

    Before joining FEPS Maria worked at PaRR Global, the Financial Times’ competition law consultancy as a junior analyst. Maria also worked at Vodafone where she covered the European Commission’s Digital Single Market Strategy and Telecoms Single Market negotiations.

  • Catherine DE NORRE

    position: Administrative and Events Officer

    email: catherine.denorre@feps-europe.eu


    Catherine is Administrative and Events Officer at FEPS since January 2019.

    She is graduated in law and holds a Masters in Political and Social Sciences/ International Relations from the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve.

    She previously worked for an animal welfare NGO as Personal Assistant to the Secretary General and Events Officer.

  • Alain BLOEDT

    position: Senior Communication Advisor and The Progressive Post Editor in Chief

    email: alain.bloedt@feps-europe.eu


    Born in Abidjan on December 31, 1976 and holds a Masters in Eurojournalism, Alain Bloëdt is a journalist and former spokesman of the European Commission.

    His mission at FEPS is to develop communication and deepen relations with national foundations. Growing up in Pau, France, Alain began by studying history there, specialising on Britain's European policy; research which brought him on a six month Erasmus programme in Wales. Trained in journalism at Laval University, Québec and the Robert Schuman University in Strasbourg, he worked for Canadian media then for Agence Europe in Brussels and finally had the opportunity to work for two MEPs in their constituency offices in the South-West of France.

    In 2005, he returned to Brussels and worked for the cabinet of the President of the European Commission. He joined FEPS in February 2011.

  • Charlotte BILLINGHAM

    position: Senior Policy Advisor

    email: charlotte.billingham@feps-europe.eu


    Charlotte has been working at FEPS since its creation at the beginning of 2008 and leads the portfolio on climate change and energy.

    In addition to that she also coordinates some of the other projects at FEPS and is the central liaison point with the member organisations, also dealing with structural and legal matters regarding the Foundation.

    Previously, Charlotte assisted in the constituency office of Richard Corbett MEP. She also taught English as a foreign language for the British Council in south-west France as part of her university course and then also after graduating in Mexico, each for one year.

    Charlotte grew up in Sheffield, England. She graduated in European Studies and French at the University of Leeds in 2006.


    position: Director of Operations

    email: johan.robberecht@feps-europe.eu


    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 RINALDI

    position: Director of Studies and Policy

    email: david.rinaldi@feps-europe.eu


    David recently joined FEPS to lead the economic policy portfolio. He previously 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 Studied) and held teaching positions at the Paris College of Art (visiting professor, microeconomics) and at Bocconi University (teaching assistant, macroeconomics). He was also Academic Assistant at the College of Europe, Department for European Economic Studies to coordinate the activities of the specialisation on European Economic Integration and Business and worked as consultant on public finance at the Council of Europe, Social Cohesion Division.

    David holds a PhD in Economics from the DEFAP Graduate School in Public Economics in 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.

    The full list of publication is available on Academia.edu and ResearchGate. His op-eds are to be found on The Progressive Post, Europe is Talking and on the Huffington Post Italia.


    position: Director for Research and Training

    email: ania.skrzypek@feps-europe.eu


    Ania SKRZYPEK, (Skrzypek-Claassens), born in Warsaw in 1979, is Senior Research Fellow 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.