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Speakers

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Natalia ALONSO CANO

Ms. Natalia Alonso Cano joined UNDRR bringing over 25 years of professional experience in international development and partnerships. An agronomic engineer, she has worked 9 years overseas, in India, the Dominican Republic, for the European Union and others. Previously, Ms. Cano was also Senior Adviser at UNICEF EU Office, Deputy Director at Oxfam International as well as Plan International and Amnesty International.
Yasemin AKTAS

Yasemin AKTAS

Dr. Aktas serves as Deputy Director at the UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings (UKCMB) and is an Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team (EEFIT) member, where she works on the impact of geophysical and climate-induced hazards on heritage settings.
Faisal AL SUHAIL

Faisal AL SUHAIL

Faisal Al Suhail is Crisis management & Resilience coordinator at the BE Permanent Representation to the EU. He is currently chair of the Integrated Political Crisis Response (IPCR) Roundtables, the Council’s crisis management instrument.
Danica ANKH

Danica ANKH

Danica Ankh is the civil Protection Counsellor since 2016 and was Cochairing PROCIV and PROCIV CER during the Slovenian Presidency of the EU Council in the second semester of 2021. She also spent another five years in the Notification Centre of the Republic of Slovenia as a senior government official and one year as the Deputy Head.
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Raed ARAFAT

Being specialized in anaesthesia and critical care and having a European Master in disaster medicine, Dr. Raed Arafat is the founder of Mobile Emergency Service for Resuscitation and Extrication (SMURD) and author of several scientific books and articles. Dr. Raed Arafat has received academic titles and prestigious distinctions from national and international organisations. He currently serves as State Secretary at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Romania.
Tom BARNIG

Tom BARNIG

Tom Barnig is director of operations responsible for the organisation and coordination of the operational division and activities of Luxembourg fire and rescue services. He also supervises the national PSAP 112 and operational engagement in international civil protection. He started his career in the fire brigade of Luxembourg City in 2014, with a volunteer firefighter and paramedic background.
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Claudia BERCHTOLD

Claudia Berchtold, PhD, is the Head of Sustainable Systems Transformation and Risk Reduction at the Unit for Public Technology and Innovation Planning at Fraunhofer INT. She coordinates the Green Deal Wildfire Risk Management Coordination and Support Action (CSA) Firelogue.
Nora BERGER-KERN

Nora BERGER-KERN

Nora Berger-Kern is a Policy Analyst for DG ECHO in the team “Contingency Planning, Analysis and Situational Awareness” in the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC). With a background in Political Science, Sociology and Peace and Conflict Studies, she is working on foresight and anticipation of crises with a focus on human-made disasters, as well as the future of EU crisis management.
 Grzegorz BOROWIEC

Grzegorz BOROWIEC

COL. Grzegorz Borowiec is a UCPM expert, fire officer with extensive experience in international missions as a module’s leader: Sweden (Fire – 2018), Lebanon (Blast – 2020), Türkiye (Fire – 2021), France (Fire – 2022), Türkiye (Earthquake – 2023) and Greece (Fire – 2023).
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Cristina BRĂILESCU

Cristina Brăilescu is Team leader in the Prevention and Preparedness Capacity Building Unit of the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO). She has over 17 years of experience in the European Commission. Cristina oversees the UCPM Peer Review programme and capacity building grants.
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Antonella CAVALLO

Antonella Cavallo is Program Manager for rescEU, CBRN capabilities and strategic reserves and ERCC Liaison Officer at DG ECHO. Prior, Antonella worked in the South Australian Civil Protection in emergency relief and the private sector in Italy, France, Germany and the US. Being an industrial engineer with a PhD in disaster resilience and complexity management she is passionate about team empowerment and inclusion.
Zahi CHAHINE

Zahi CHAHINE

As the Head of the Disaster Risk Management Unit at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Chahine is spearheading national efforts to enhance Lebanon's resilience to withstand natural and manmade disasters. Mr. Chahine is also the National Technical focal point for the international Sendai Framework for disaster risk reduction, and the National focal point for the ERCC mechanism of support.
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Theodoros CHATZIVASILEIADIS

Theodoros Chatzivasileiadis is an Assistant Professor in Economics and Finance of Climate Adaptation at TU Delft, focussing on the economic effects of households’ and firms’ climate adaptation.
Lorena CHAZARRETA-ABALOS

Lorena CHAZARRETA-ABALOS

Ms. Lorena Chazarreta-Abalos joined OCHA in 2002. She occupied various functions related to: International coordination, training, simulation exercises and information management and technology. In her current role in the “Coordination Platforms Unit”, she manages the Virtual OSOCC, supports the GDACS Secretariat, and assists in coordinating the organisation of the annual HNPW (www.hnpw.org) since 2015.
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Nathan CLARK

Nathan Clark is Assistant Professor in Crisis Governance at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Department of Organisation Sciences. He is an expert in areas of innovation and crisis management with extensive experience in EU and national funding research programmes. He was the Scientific Coordinator for the H2020 project LINKS and currently leads research in the Horizon Europe SYNERGIES project.
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Eléonore COLIN

Eléonore Colin has a background in political science and war studies. She started her career working on EU external policy before joining the Emergency Response Coordination Centre of DG ECHO in 2020. She has worked on the response to various crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian war on Ukraine and several evacuation operations.
Massimo COCCO

Massimo COCCO

Massimo Cocco is a Director of Research at the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica, Rome. His research interests are focused on the physics of earthquakes and faults. He is currently one of the principal Investigators of the FEAR (Fault activation and EArthquake Rupture) ERC Synergy project and has been the Executive Director of EPOS ERIC from 2018 to 2021.
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Irene CORTÉS CALVO

Irene Cortés Calvo, currently serves as Director General of the Civil Protection Agency of the Regional Ministry of Development and the Environment. Taught in Political Science and Administration, she is also General Director of Women's Affairs of the Junta de Castilla y León became a member of the Castilla y León Parliament for her province.
Luigi D'ANGELO

Luigi D'ANGELO

Luigi D'Angelo covers the position of Director at the Civil Protection Department-Prime Minister Office. He is an expert in planning and management of emergencies, and he was deployed as leader of some European Union Civil Protection Teams.
Hans DAS

Hans DAS

Since February 2024, Hans Das is the Deputy Director-General and Chief Operations Officer of the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) of the European Commission following his position as Director for Emergency Management and rescEU. A holder of a PhD in public international law, Hans served in positions concerning Bosnia and Herzegovina and as consultant to the UN in Kosovo before joining the European Commission in 2004.
 Luca DELL'ORO Link item title.

Luca DELL'ORO

Luca Dell'Oro has accumulated 20 years of professional experience at the UN. Since 2018, he is the Chief of the Disaster Risk Management and Climate Resilience Section of the United Nations Satellite Centre (UNOSAT) at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). He holds a master's degree in environmental engineering and a professional master's degree in Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation.
Giovanni DE SIERVO

Giovanni DE SIERVO

Giovanni De Siervo is an expert on humanitarian aid and disaster risk management. He is serving as Policy Adviser on International relations, humanitarian affairs and risk management at the Department of Civil Protection of the Italian Government (IDPC).
Daniela DI BUCCI

Daniela DI BUCCI

Daniela Di Bucci is a structural geologist with a Habilitation as Full Professor of Structural Geology. She currently serves at the International Relations and Activities Unit of the Italian Civil Protection Department and is an expert in geo-hazards and the relationship between the scientific community and policy makers in the field of disaster risk reduction and civil protection with more than 110 publications.
Mario DI GENNARO

Mario DI GENNARO

Mario Di Gennaro is Director of the Johanniter EU Competence Centre for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance in Germany since 2020. Prior to this, he worked for 30 years for the Red Cross and the ICRC. In the last four years at Johanniter, he has significantly expanded the department and projects such as EU MODEX, KnowEMS with DG ECHO or AGILE in Horizon Europe are coordinated in the department.
Sonja DOBO

Sonja DOBO

Sonja Dobo, a marine ecotoxicologist, has worked at MSB since 2010 on oil spill preparedness and response. She leads the National Cooperation Group (NSO), adapting strategies to evolving risks, supporting actors at sea and shore. Sonja represents Sweden's shore perspective in HELCOM Response.
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Luis DOÑAS

Luis Doñas is a journalist and political scientist specializing in international relations and humanitarian affairs. He served in the Chilean Ministry of National Defence in strategic management and analysis of peace operations and the defence agenda for DRR. Currently, Doñas serves as Head of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation at the National Disaster Prevention and Response Service (SENAPRED).
Susanna EKSTRÖMER

Susanna EKSTRÖMER

Susanna Ekströmer has worked at MSB since 2007. For a number of years, she has been Sweden's representative in the EU's CBRN Advisory Group. Today, she works as Senior Coordinator for EU and global affairs in the Executive Staff to support the department’s management at the Civil Protection Department. She is also a First deputy at Knowledge Network Board.
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Geir ELLINGSEN

Geir Ellingsen is a Norwegian UCPM expert with a background in military and civil protection from regional to National level. He is a previously seconded national expert to DG ECHO and has been an active expert in the UCPM since 2011 and a trainer for UCPM experts over several years. He has deployed within the UCPM both as Team leader and ERCC Liaison Officer.
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Adam ELMAN

Adam has over 18 years of experience in driving positive transformational change for some of the world's most influential companies. As Google’s Head of Sustainability for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, he works at the intersection of the physical, digital, and natural worlds, coordinating with Google's real-world and digital infrastructure teams, from real estate and supply chains to data centers and products.
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Burcu ERTAŞ DENIZ

Dr Burcu Ertaş Deniz is Geological Engineer, with a master's degree and doctorate in the same department at METU. Burcu is currently working at the Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Ankara in the field of preparing and executing projects on Disaster Risk Reduction. She is also working on an initiative to strengthen cultural heritage due to the climate change-based disasters in Turkey.
Carola FREY

Carola FREY

Carola Frey is an expert with in-depth knowledge and practical experience in the Strategic Analysis and Cooperation Department of the Euro-Atlantic Resilience Center, where she coordinates the International Relations and Protocol Section. Since 2021, she is a Ph.D. candidate on the topic of China's foreign policy in the new world order using foresight methods.
Patricia GASPAR

Patricia GASPAR

Ms. Gaspar served in the Portuguese Navy between 1996 and 2000 and, in July 2000, joined the National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection (ANEPC). At ANEPC, she served in the International Relations Office, was National Operations Assistant, District Operational Commander and Deputy National Commander. Between October 2019 and March 2024, Patricia Gaspar was State Secretary for Home Affairs, having since returned to ANEPC.
Elena Giral

Elena GIRAL

Elena Giral is an architect and urban planner, specialised in shelter and settlements in emergencies and participatory projects. She is the program coordinator of the rescEU emergency shelter capacity in the European Commission – DG ECHO
Peter GLERUM

Peter GLERUM

Peter Glerum works since 2005 mainly in the sphere of the European Civil Protection first employed by the Dutch Government, later as a consultant and now as MSB employee. He is an expert on flooding, part of the Dutch Risk Reduction and Surge Support team leaders pool and has a been leading a DG ECHO funded project on developing a flood rescue modules.
Sofía GONZÁLEZ LÓPEZ

Sofía GONZÁLEZ LÓPEZ

Sofía González is a geographer with a master's degree in land planning and expert in Natural Risks and Disaster Risk Management and has been working in the Spanish civil protection as a senior expert since 1990. She has been a senior expert at the Spanish Civil Protection Presidency, actively participating in the design, development and execution of different events and providing support in any other matter related to the Presidency.
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Agostino GORETTI

Dr. Agostino Goretti is a senior DRM expert at the International Unit of the Italian Civil Protection Department, managing and implementing technical assistance projects on Disaster Risk Assessment and Management in Western Balkans, Türkiye, EU Eastern Neighbouring Countries and EU Southern Neighbouring Countries. He holds a PhD in Structural Engineering from La Sapienza University of Rome.
Vanessa GRAY

Vanessa GRAY

Vanessa Gray is Head of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau’s (BDT) Division for Environment and Emergency Telecommunications. She is responsible for developing and overseeing projects and technical assistance on disaster preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery including the development of national emergency telecommunication plans (NETPs) as well as workshops and capacity building exercises for disaster management.
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Heli HAAPASAARI

Heli has worked with oil spill preparedness and response for 30 years. She works for the national competent marine pollution response authority. Heli is member of the National Advisory Board for Pollution Response and represents Finland in EMSA CTG MPPR and is the HoD in HELCOM Response.
Nadia HADAD

Nadia HADAD

Nadia Hadad is the Vice President of the Brussels City Advisory Council of Persons with Disabilities. She is a Co-chair of the Board of the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) and a member of the Executive Committee of the European Disability Forum (EDF). Nadia has a degree in Electromechanical Engineering and Philosophy.
Jon HALL

Jon HALL

Jon is an emergency & disaster professional, a former fire chief and public sector executive director. He is the founder of the Resilience Advisors Network (RAN) specialising in International civil protection arrangements and disaster risk reduction. He now facilitates the Crisis Management Innovation Network Europe (CMINE), a broader network of some 2000 European crisis and innovation practitioners.
Frédéric HARRAULT

Frédéric HARRAULT

Lieutenant-Colonel Frédéric HARRAULT has 25 years' experience in firefighting and civil protection. He joined the Ministry of the Interior National operational crisis centre (COGIC), then the European and International Relations Unit of the French Civil Protection Department, in charge of bilateral cooperation in the Mediterranean region. He is now fully involved in the UCPM as national training coordinator and trainer.
Fredrik HASSEL

Fredrik HASSEL

Fredrik Hassel is a Senior Advisor, at Saab. Before this assignment he served as Deputy Director General at The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (2007 – 2019) and as Head of Staff at the Swedish Emergency Management Agency (2001 – 2007). Mr. Hassel has also served as political Advisor to the Minister for Defence in Sweden (1999 – 2001). He has a military degree and served as an infantry officer.
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Louise HAXTHAUSEN

Louise Haxthausen (Denmark) was appointed as UNESCO Representative to the European Union and Director of the UNESCO Liaison Office in Brussels in February 2019. She joined UNESCO in 1993, as Associate Expert in the Human Rights Division at UNESCO Headquarters (Paris). She has an academic background in political science and international public law.
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Armine HAYRAPETYAN

Armine Hayrapetyan is the Acting head of the Crisis Management State Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of Armenia, Colonel of the Rescue Service. Since 2019, she has been appointed as the National Focal Point for the Sendai Framework for DRR in Armenia. In 2021, she co-chaired the work on the roadmap 2021-2030 for a disaster-resilient European and Central Asian Region by 2030.
Marion HEYMEL

Marion HEYMEL

Marion Heymel holds the 1st and 2nd state examination for English and History. In the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance she is responsible for further development of volunteer work to strengthen civil protection. She is Head of the office of the "Helping Hand award" of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. In her free time, she is a volunteer firefighter.
David Horobin

David Horobin

As Head of Crisis Management, Mr. Horobin specialises in contemporary crisis management courses for decision makers. He served as the Head of Crisis Management and Security at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) (2011 - 2017). Mr. Horobin holds various fellowships and certifications and possesses an MSc in Transport Engineering from Imperial College, London and a BSc in Social Science.
Angela Iglesias Rodrigo

Angela Iglesias Rodrigo

Angela Iglesias Rodrigo is a forestry engineer specialized in civil protection and forest fires. She has close to two decades of experience at operational, management and research level in several companies and regions in Spain and in the central government since 2009. She has been part of national and international missions and exercises also under the umbrella of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism and participation in several forums and working groups in and outside Spain.
Laura Indriliunaite

Laura INDRILIUNAITE

Laura Indriliunaite is policy coordinator at the Civil Protection Policy unit of the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations. Laura is in charge of the disaster resilience portfolio and played an active role in developing the Union disaster resilience goals adopted in 2023.
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Juha-Pekka JÄPÖLÄ

J-P is a Project Officer at DG ECHO currently coordinating the Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network’s science pillar. He holds a Bachelor and a Master of Administrative Sciences from the University of Tampere, a police officer’s degree, and is currently writing a PhD in Applied Economics at the University of Antwerp on behavioural climate change aspects of humanitarian aid and disaster risk management.
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Vasilis KALOGIROU

Vasilis Kalogirou works at the EU Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA), where he is contributing to the definition and management of the Agency’s R&I portfolio, as well as the market development in the area of Emergency Management and Humanitarian Aid.
Johan KARLSSON

Johan KARLSSON

Johan Karlsson is the Managing Director of Better Shelter, a non-profit organisation founded in partnership with the IKEA Foundation and UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). Johan has an executive MBA from the Stockholm School of Economics and an MFA in Industrial Design from Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design.
Michael KARNITSCHNIG

Michael KARNITSCHNIG

Michael Karnitschnig serves as Director for External Relations in the Secretariat General of the Commission. His team shapes and coordinates external action across the institution, from the EU response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine via strategic relations with the US and China to EU enlargement. Before joining the Commission in early 2000, Michael worked in the Austrian Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence.
Joel KAUPPINEN

Joel KAUPPINEN

Joel Kauppinen is Senior Specialist at the Finnish Association of Fire Officers. With an M.Phil in Geography and firefighter training, he focuses on developing rescue services. He is specialized in Arctic environment and has developed digital services.
Anna KOSTERKIEWICZ

Anna KOSTERKIEWICZ

Anna Kosterkiewicz is a Logistics Leader at Humanosh EMT Poland. She is an experienced paramedic at the Children's Trauma Centre and previously in intensive care units and EMS teams. For 14 months she was Head of the Polish Ambulance Station in Ukraine and local coordinator of Medical Evacuation to European countries during the Russian war of aggression.
Claire KOWALESKI

Claire KOWALESKI

Claire is a French fire brigade colonel with 30 years of experience and a strong operational experience within the EU civil protection mechanism. She is currently working at DG ECHO notably at developing an EU aerial forest firefighting fleet (rescEU) or setting up innovative projects such as the prepositioning programme.
Eirini Krampi

Eirini KRAMPI

As the Director of International Relations at the Ministry for Climate Crisis and Civil Protection in Greece, Eirini Krampi is involved in disaster management and emergency response planning. With extensive engagement in European and national forums, she has participated in multiple projects over the last 13 years. Her dedication to civil protection, backed by specialized training from the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism, underscores her commitment to advancing disaster preparedness and response efforts.

Colin KUEHNHANNS

Colin is a Policy Analyst at the Competence Centre for Behavioural Insights (CBBI) of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. Colin holds a PhD in Economics with a thesis on behavioural economics focusing on biases in political decision making as well as the use of behavioural insights in policy. His current projects include tax compliance, social identity, and disaster preparedness.
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Monique KUGLITSCH

Dr. Monique Kuglitsch is the Innovation Manager at Fraunhofer HHI and Chair of the ITU/WMO/UNEP Focus Group on AI for Natural Disaster Management. She also serves as an Expert in the Working Group on AI Capacity Building for the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development. As a researcher, she has investigated past climate change, extreme weather events, and regional climate model projections.
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Daniel KULL

As Director for Development Partnerships at WMO, Daniel Kull is responsible for resource mobilization, partnerships and project management. Previously, he led disaster risk management projects at the World Bank, IFRC, IIASA, SDC and Swiss Re, and earned a M.Sc. in water resource engineering.
Karsten Christoph LINDENSTROMBERG

Karsten Christoph LINDENSTROMBERG

Christoph Lindenstromberg specialised in psychotherapy and trauma therapy, focussing mainly on supporting law enforcement, fire and rescue services. With Johanniter he developed and implemented an Emergency Medical Team Type 1 mobile, being the first one classified in Europe and from an NGO. He also modelled a concept for a Crisis Intervention and Psychosocial Support Cell (CIPSS) for the European rescEU EMT project.
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Giulia MACI

Giulia Maci is an urban planner specialised in gender-sensitive city development, youth engagement and community-based action planning with work experience in more than 20 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Currently she works as urban specialist at Cities Alliance – UNOPS in Brussels, coordinating the work in the Euro-Mediterranean Region.
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Tomislav MAREVIĆ

Tomislav Marević is a disaster management expert. He brings rich experience and a focus on improvement. With rich professional experience and volunteer background, he excels in operational management and global missions, ensuring effective crisis response.
Erwan Marteil_image bio

Erwan MARTEIL

Erwan Marteil is the Head of Unit for DG ECHO B3 – Prevention and Preparedness Capacity Building. After studying in Paris (political sciences in Sciences Po, Development and Economic Law at the Sorbonne), he began his career in the European Commission in 1996. Following a period in Brussels with DG Environment, then DG Competition, he has spent 11 years of his career abroad – in Afghanistan, Turkey and in Geneva (migration and refugee counsellor).
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Michela MATUELLA

Michela Matuella is the Director of the Emergency Response Coordination Centre within DG ECHO. She was previously Acting Director for the Western Balkans from 2021 to 2023 and Head of the Unit for Albania, North Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement negotiations of the European Commission from 2014 until 2021. She was a member of the Cabinet of the Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy (2012-2014). She holds a degree in Political Economy and an MSc in Development studies.
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Cristina MARUGÁN

Cristina Marugán is Head of International Affairs at the Spanish Directorate-General for Civil Protection and Emergencies. She coordinates all activities of the DGPCE concerning both bilateral and multilateral relationships. She is the Spanish delegate at the PROCIV preparatory group of the Council and at the Committee for Civil Protection, as well as the person representing the DGPCE as focal point for the Sendai Framework for DRR. Recently, she coordinated the Spanish EU Presidency 2023 in the field of Civil Protection, which included acting as Chair of PROCIV. Ms. Marugan holds a Master Degree in Law and a Master Degree in Social Work and Public Intervention.
Carlos MENDES

Carlos MENDES

Carlos Mendes is the Deputy Director for Prevention and Risk Management in the Portuguese National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection. Currently, he is also the Portuguese Sendai Focal Point and national representative in the EC Disaster Prevention and Risk Management Expert Group and in the EC Early Warning Systems Expert Group. His activities are mainly focussed on prevention and preparedness, at a strategic level, including the implementation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy.
Jenny MOLIN

Jenny MOLIN

Jenny Molin is a gender expert committed to enhance gender equality and inclusion in the humanitarian, DRM, and peace support sector. In her current role at the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), she is supporting international capacity strengthening operations to integrate a gender equality and human rights perspective into DRM efforts.
Romana NAGLIČ

Romana NAGLIČ

Romana Naglič, B. Sc. in Computer and Information Science, is a Senior IT adviser at the SI ACPDR Informatics Department. She is responsible for several 112 projects and development solutions, now mainly concerned with implementing ‘Reverse 112’ and application 'Floods 2023'. She is also involved in managing, adapting, designing and implementing several web applications for special needs of the ACPDR staff.
Ivars NAKURTS

Ivars NAKURTS

Ivars Nakurts is the Deputy Chief of the State Fire and Rescue Service at the Ministry of the Interior, Latvia. He holds a Professional Master's Degree in Labour Protection, and Master of Natural Sciences in Chemistry, from the University of Latvia.
Hugo NIJKAMP

Hugo NIJKAMP

Hugo Nijkamp, a marine biologist has led Sea Alarm since 2000 and gained unique experience in marine oil spill preparedness and response, bridging governmental, industry and NGO interests as an independent and impartial facilitator and innovator.
Magnus NILHOLM

Magnus NILHOLM

Magnus Nilholm is Head of emergency preparedness in Ringerike municipality in Buskerud County. He has a background in emergency preparedness, health management, quality management and financial management. His work history includes the Swedish Armed Forces-special forces/paratroopers, United nation protection forces, technical services, head of health services, and organisational development consultancy.
Hannah NOHLEN

Hannah NOHLEN

Hannah Nohlen is a behaviour scientist and joined the European Commission in 2020 as a policy analyst in the Competence Centre on Behavioural Insight. She works on the application of behavioural insights to support evidence-based policy. Together with her colleagues, she conducts behavioural research in various policy areas.
Kati ORRU

Kati ORRU

Kati Orru is an Associate Professor of Sociology of Sustainability at University of Tartu, where she leads interdisciplinary Risk & Resilience Research Group. Her research focuses on crisis management and social well-being and vulnerability. In H2020 BuildERS project she led and in Horizon Europe SYNERGIES and UCPM ROADMAP2 projects she leads research on inclusive disaster governance and addressing societal vulnerabilities.
Mariangela PELLICCIA

Mariangela PELLICCIA

Mariangela Pelliccia is working as a member of the Training, Exercises, and Exchanges of Experts team at the Directorate General for Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations. She has been the officer responsible for the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) full-scale exercise programme since 2016 and fully in charge of the project's implementation since 2021.
Grazyna PIESIEWICZ

Grazyna PIESIEWICZ

Grazyna Piesiewicz is head of unit C1 in DG CONNECT, Open Science and Digital Modelling. In this capacity she leads the implementation of the Destination Earth initiative to build the digital replica (the digital twin) of the Earth System, which promises to revolutionize our approach to climate change and environmental resilience.
Eduard PLANA BACH

Eduard PLANA BACH

Eduard Plana Bach, is a Senior Expert and head of Forest Policy and Risk Governance at the Forest Science and Technology Centre of Catalonia. He holds a Msc in Forest Science, and Msc in Wildfire Risk Management. His expertise is in socioenvironmental dimension of forestry policies, integrated wildfire risk management and risk communication and governance.
Roman PRYMUSH

Roman PRYMUSH

Roman Prymush graduated from Khmelnytskyi University of Management and Law as a lawyer and holds a PhD in Public Administration. Having worked in several positions in Khmelnytskyi Region and as Deputy Mayor of the region from 2020 to 2021, he is currently Deputy Head of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine for Digital Development, Digital Transformation and Digitalization.
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Mari RANTANEN

Mari Rantanen is trained as a police officer, paramedic, nurse and practical nurse. Rantanen first entered Parliament in 2019. Since then, she has served in the Administration Committee, the Transport and Communications Committee, the Legal Affairs Committee and the Intelligence Oversight Committee. Rantanen chaired the Administration Committee 2022-2023. She has been a member of Helsinki City Council since 2017. Mari Rantanen has been a Member of the Government since June 2023 working as Minister of the Interior of Finland.
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Gordon RATTRAY

Gordon Rattray is a Programme Coordinator with the European Disability Forum (EDF) working on the response to the Ukraine war and advocating disability-inclusive humanitarian action, climate action and disaster risk reduction (DRR).
Christian RESCH.

Christian RESCH

Christian Resch is the Managing Director of the Disaster Competence Network Austria, facilitating knowledge and technology transfer in disaster risk reduction. He is also a Professional Military CBRN Defense Officer, Fire Service Officer, Union Civil Protection Mechanism Expert, and UNDAC member.
Maxime RIGAL

Maxime RIGAL

Major Rigal is an 18-year experienced officer in the field of civil protection. After being a volunteer firefighter for 8 years, he started his career as an officer in the army within the military units of the French Civil Protection. For 7 years he acquired experience as a leader in managing teams and commanding them on field operations. In 2012 he left the army to become a professional firefighting officer at the Lyon Fire and Rescue Service. Now working at the Fire Chief’s cabinet, he oversees European and international relations and is the executive officer for European Projects. He is also an incident commander at a local level and is an expert of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism.
Raffaella RUSSO

Raffaella RUSSO

Raffaella Russo, a Senior Scientist and Senior Project Manager with an MSc in Economics and Finance, specialises in several key areas. Currently, she plays an active role in numerous European and Italian-funded initiatives, with a primary focus on socioeconomic stressors, trust within social contexts, social acceptance issues, and assessing the socio-economic impact associated with the adoption of new technologies across various domains.
Jakub RYZENKO

Jakub RYZENKO

Space policy and crisis management expert. Since 2013 he heads the Crisis Information Centre at SRC, which develops space- and UAV-related innovative solutions and provides operational support for crisis management institutions in Poland.
Brigitta SÁFÁR

Brigitta SÁFÁR

Brigitta Sáfár is Head of Disaster Management of the Hungarian Red Cross, also known as senior scientific researcher. Due to her background as a psychologist, her main research area is human behaviour and resilience of individuals and communities affected by disasters and other emergency situations.
Cătălin – Vasile ȘAMȘODAN

Cătălin – Vasile ȘAMȘODAN

Colonel ȘAMȘODAN Cătălin – Vasile, is head of the Training Office of IGSU in Romania. He is EUCPM trained, member of multiple different EU modules (GFFFV,CBRN,USAR), peer certifier. He has participated in 3 international missions and several EU exercises. Currently he is completing a PhD in wildfire management.
Marzia SANTINI

Marzia SANTINI

Marzia Santini is leading the European Crisis Management Laboratory of the European Commission Joint Research Centre. She is chairing the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) and works for integrating knowledge and providing science advice for early action and anticipation of complex crises.
Tessa SCHMEDDING

Tessa SCHMEDDING

Tessa Schmedding is the Partnerships Specialist at the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia. Over the last four years, she has dedicated efforts to bolstering disaster resilience across the region, particularly through EU-related initiatives, policies, and collaborative engagements. Prior to her role at UNDRR, she worked on advocating for gender equality at UN Women and renewable energy at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the European parliamentary network of the European Forum for Renewable Energy Sources (EUFORES).
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Henri SCHWAIGER

Henri Schwaiger is a project coordinator and duty officer at the International Division of the Federal Agency for Technical Relief with more than 9 years of experience in working in international projects (6x cycles of Modules Tabletop Exercises), preparing for and coordinating international deployments of THW modules & capacities, member of different COM working groups.
Daniel SEMPERE-TORRES

Daniel SEMPERE-TORRES

Daniel Sempere-Torres is a Professor at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - Barcelona Tech, (UPC). He is also Director of the Centre of Applied Research in Hydrometeorology (UPC-CRAHI). At the moment he is co-coordinating the Mission Climate Adaptation project CLIMAAX.
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Mirnesa SOFTIC

Mirnesa Softic is working as an Expert Advisor at Operational Communication Centre of Bosnia and Herzegovina – 112, the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mirnesa is national contact point for cooperation with EU Civil Protection Mechanism. Mirnesa is telecommunication engineer, graduated at The University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Traffic and Communications.
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Zuzana STANTON-GEDDES

Zuzana Stanton-Geddes is a Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist at the World Bank with over 15 years of professional experience working on countries in Europe and East Asia. She holds degrees from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and the University of Cambridge.
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Fredrik STANY

Fredric Stany is an analyst at MSB working with issues concerning the development of the Swedish civil defence and security of supply systems. Fredric has previous experiences from organisations such as Saab Auotmobile, the Swedish Standards Institute, and Save the Children Sweden.
Cathelijne STOOF

Cathelijne STOOF

Cathelijne Stoof is a pyrogeography researcher at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, working on integrated fire management based on four axes of diversity: cross-geography, cross-risk, linking science and practice, and embracing social diversity. Dr. Stoof is the national delegate of The Netherlands to the EU Expert Group of Forest Fires and coordinator of the Innovative Training Network PyroLife, that trains 15 early career researchers to become our new generation of integrated fire management experts.
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Saku SUTELAINEN

Saku Sutelainen a Senior Specialist of occupational mental health for first responders. He has worked fourteen years in Helsinki Fire and Rescue Services as a firefighter and paramedic. He was also leader of MentalFireFit project over five years.
Orhan TATAR

Orhan TATAR

Orhan Tatar is a distinguished expert in disaster management, focusing on earthquake geology, earthquake disaster management, and risk reduction. He began his academic journey at ÇukurovaUniversity in Türkiye, later earning his PhD from Keele University, England and conducting postdoctoral research at the University of Liverpool in England. Since 2002, he has served as a Professor of Geology. He currently serves as the General Director of AFAD Earthquake and Risk Reduction (Disaster and Emergency Management Authority of Türkiye).
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Inger-Johanne TJOFLAAT

Inger-Johanne Tjoflaat is a Norwegian crisis management consultant and social anthropologist with extensive humanitarian experience at the UN. UCPM expert since 2012 and trainer since 2015, she specializes in critical infrastructure and has served in multiple UNDAC and UCPM missions, including in leadership roles.
Christopher TOPPING

Christopher TOPPING

Christopher Topping is Head of Civil Security from Space Programme Office for the European Space Agency. He led the Rapid and Resilient Crisis Response (R3) Accelerator initiative, which have a focus in developing space enabled solutions for civil protection and crisis management. He has over 25 years of experience in the satellite sector.
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Andrea TORETI

Andrea Toreti is a senior scientist at the European Commission, Joint Research Centre. He is the coordinator of the European and global drought observatory of the Copernicus Emergency Management Service. Andrea graduated in Mathematics at the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ (Italy) and got a PhD in Climate Sciences at the University of Bern (Switzerland). His research focuses on climate extremes; climate variability; climate change including impacts and adaptation. He has published more than 70 papers on these topics and got several awards for his contributions. Andrea is currently a member of the UNCCD Science Policy Interface and the MedCLIVAR steering committee. He is also the co-chair of the modelling group of the UN Focus Group on AI for natural disaster management, and of the EU ad-hoc Task Group on water scarcity and drought.
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Silvia TORRESAN

Silvia Torresan is senior scientist and co-director of the Risk Assessment and Adaptation Strategies (RAAS) division at the Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change (CMCC). Her research focuses on methodologies for the assessment multi-hazard risks to inform climate adaptation.
Saeid VAGHEFI

Saeid VAGHEFI

Saeid Vaghefi is a climate scientist at the University of Zürich with a focus on climate claims fact-checking and greenwashing. He is also a visiting researcher at the University of Oxford working on sustainable finance. He also serves at WMO as an AI consultant, where he is leading the development of two pilot projects called AskWMO AI assistant and Earth Observation through Large Language Models.
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Arabela VAHTARIĆ

Arabela Vahtarić has been the Head of International Relations and Project Preparation of the Civil Protection Directorate of the Ministry of Interior since 2005. Her primary area of responsibility is the coordination of international relations in civil protection through facilitating the implementation of bilateral and multilateral agreements; she represents the Croatian Civil Protection Directorate in the working bodies of the EU, NATO, UN and regional initiatives.
Seppe VAN DEN STEEN

Seppe VAN DEN STEEN

Seppe Van den Steen is an attaché working for the Federal Health Department of Belgium in crisis management. Since May 2022 he has been involved in the RescEU for Ukraine project during which he has helped guide donations of private companies to Ukraine.
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Irina VESTAG

Irina Vestag is a Lieutenant-Colonel, psychologist officer in the Emergency Situations Inspectorate "Banat" of Timis County and associate professor at the West University of Timisoara, Faculty of Sociology and Psychology, Department of Social Work. She has been practicing in the field of emergency situations since 2009.
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Gaia VINCE

Gaia Vince is an author, researcher and broadcaster exploring the interplay between human systems and the planetary environment. She is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Anthropocene Institute at UCL and a host of BBC programmes. Her first book, Adventures In The Anthropocene won the Royal Society Science Book of the Year Prize. Her latest book, Nomad Century: How To Survive The Climate Upheaval, explores global migration and planetary restoration in a radical call to arms.
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Gaetano VIVO

Gaetano Vivo is a Deputy Head of Unit at the European Commission's Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Operations (DG ECHO). Gaetano has 20 years of experience working on disaster and climate resilience, including in post-disaster and crisis situations. Previously he worked for the World Bank as a Team Leader for investment projects in Latin American and Caribbean countries and for the Civil Protection Department of the Italian Government.
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Maike VOLLMER

Maike Vollmer holds a diploma in Geography and a PhD in security studies. She is a senior researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Technological Trend Analysis – INT in Euskirchen, Germany. She is working on innovation management in resilience and disaster management, in EU projects and national initiatives. Currently, she coordinates the EU Horizon 2020 project RiskPACC, which develops solutions to strengthen two-way communication between civil protection authorities and citizens.
Pieter WYNANT

Pieter WYNANT

Pieter Wynant is currently the chair of the Councils Civil Protection working party (PROCIV) under the Belgian Presidency. As the deputy head of the international relations department of the Belgian Civil Protection, he has been the Belgian delegate in PROCIV for 8 years and the representative of the Civil Protection in BFAST, the Belgian organisation responsible for providing international assistance.
Stefan ZOTTI

Stefan ZOTTI

Stefan Zotti is team leader for cultural heritage policy in the European Commission, DG EAC. Before rejoining the Commission 2020 he was Director of the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research, between 2010 and 2013. He served as cabinet member of Commissioner Hahn.
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Axel HAGELSTAM

Axel has been Director for Planning and Analysis at the Finnish National Emergency Supply Agency (NESA) since August 2021. There he is responsible for strategic foresight and analysis, situational awareness and international, EU and NATO cooperation. From 2020 he was Senior Adviser and Head of Strategic Support at NESA, before taking up his current position.
Cynthia Spishak

Cynthia SPISHAK

Cynthia Spishak serves as the Associate Administrator of FEMA’s Office of Policy and Program Analysis. As a career member of the Senior Executive Service (SES), Ms. Spishak has advanced the agency’s disaster response and preparedness efforts through her leadership across all major FEMA programs including Response and Recovery, Resilience, Continuity, and Mission Support.
Marie Sattler

Marie SATTLER

Marie Sattler is the head of the international relations unit of the Luxembourg Fire and Rescue Corps. Responsible for regional, European and international relations, she believes that cooperation is key to further strengthening disaster management. As a volunteer firefighter and paramedic, civil protection is more than a job, it’s a calling.
Ana Valdes

Ana VALDES

Ana Isabel is an Institutional Communication Specialist, currently working at the Coordination Center for Disaster Prevention in Central America and the Dominican Republic (CEPREDENAC), as a consultant, conducting communication processes and visibility for CEPREDENAC, additionally supporting efforts to strengthen strategic alliances for the organisation. Focused on user engagement for institutional positioning through social networks, developing digital campaigns, and creating both printed and digital materials to promote education for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
Miguel ALMEIDA

Miguel ALMEIDA

Miguel Almeida is a senior researcher at ADAI/University of Coimbra (Portugal), he holds a PhD in wildfires. He has been involved in various projects and has authored several publications, including the reports published by JRC on the major wildfires in Europe in 2021 and 2022.
Bengt Sundelius

Bengt Sundelius

Bengt Sundelius is Strategic Advisor to the Director General of the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) and Professor Emeritus at the Swedish Defence University. He has served as Chief Scientist of the Swedish Emergency Management Agency and as Director of Research for Security Studies at the Swedish National Defence Research Agency. He has published and lectured widely on societal security and crisis management studies and has served on EU based commissions such as ESRAB and ESRIF.
Nejc Smole

Nejc Smole

Nejc Smole is the mayor of the Municipality of Medvode, deputy president of the Central Slovenia region, and the co-chairman of the Association of Municipalities of Slovenia. As a long-standing volunteer, he believes that a strong community is the right answer to the challenges of our time.
Annika ELMGART

Annika ELMGART

Annika Elmgart assumed her position as Head of Civil Preparedness Department at the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) in January 2021. Prior to her current position, she served as Head of Security of Supply Section. Ms Elmgart held the position as Head of the Crises preparedness section at the Public Health Authority 2016-2018. She has an extensive background from different positions at Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Justice. Between 2007-2011 she was posted to Brussels as Defence Counsellor to the Swedish Representation to EU.
Ali Al-Jaberi

Ali Al-Jaberi

Ali Al-Jaberi has chaired high-level events in over a dozen countries. He is the winner of multiple public speaking awards, including the National Debating Championship of the Netherlands. A former Europe correspondent for Associated Press TV, Ali has a strong background in journalism. He was editor of a foremost current affairs program on national Dutch radio and foreign reporter for Dutch-language newspapers.
Christina ANDERSSON

Christina ANDERSSON

Christina has a background as a journalist. Working with risk communication the last 15 years at MSB, Christina has introduced and continued to develop the work with risk communication at the agency. She was Project manager for the brochure ‘If Crisis or War Comes’ that was distributed to Swedish households in 2018 (and an updated version for November 2024.) Initiator and project manager for the annual Swedish Preparedness Week since 2017 and project manager for the EU-project preparEU Pilot that started in February 2024 in order to support Union Disaster Resilience Goal 2 (Prepare) with an EU-added value.
Athanasios BALAFAS

Athanasios BALAFAS

Lt. Fire General Athanasios Balafas, currently the Chief of Staff at Hellenic Fire Service, has extensive experience in operational firefighting and rescue, including leading the 1st Special Rescue Unit. He holds a university degree in Physical Education and Athletics, a postgraduate degree in disaster management, and various certifications in emergency response. Balafas has served as an instructor and participated in numerous national and EU exercises and missions.
Agnė BILOTAITĖ

Agnė BILOTAITĖ

Minister Bilotaitė is currently serving her fourth term as a Member of the Lithuanian Parliament. Today, in her capacity as the Minister of the Interior, Ms Bilotaitė is in charge of public security, migration, public administration and civil service, and regional policy. The main priorities in the field of civil protection for Minister Bilotaitė are the following: reinforcing preparedness and response to any crisis scenario, ensuring protection of critical infrastructure, and increasing awareness and resilience of society.
Florin CHIREA

Florin CHIREA

Colonel Florin Chirea is Head of Community Protection and Resilience Service - IGSU, Romania and Team Leader of the Romanian GFFF-V module. He has more than 15 years of experience, with four international missions in Greece, twice decorated for bravery and promoted.
Fabrizio CURZIO

Fabrizio CURZIO

Head of the Civil Protection Department of the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers since 2021. He previously served in the same position from 2015 to 2017, then, until 2019 He was advisor to Italian Prime Minister for civil protection issues. From 2019 to 2021 He served as Head of “Casa Italia” Department of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers dedicated to post earthquake reconstruction. As Head of the Civil Protection Department, he directly managed all the major emergencies that affected the country and, at the same time, ensured the leadership and coordination of Italian operations in international emergencies.
Ebru Baybara DEMIR

Ebru Baybara DEMIR

Chef Ebru Baybara Demir, the winner of the 2023 Basque Culinary World Prize (BCWP), which is called the Nobel of the gastronomy, became the first chef to bring this honoured award to Turkey. Recognized for her remarkable contributions to social gastronomy over the past two decades, Chef Baybara Demir has been acknowledged for her innovative solutions to societal challenges and needs, especially the socioeconomic repercussions of the migrant crisis, combating the impact of climate change on soil rejuvenation, and promoting local development through the perspective of gastronomy.
Adrian EFROS

Adrian EFROS

Karin HELMSTAEDT

Karin HELMSTAEDT

Karin Helmstaedt is a Canadian journalist, TV host and reporter based in Berlin. She joined Germany’s global TV broadcaster Deutsche Welle in 1999 and has been a regular on-camera personality ever since, presenting a variety of news and culture magazine formats as well as live panels and events. Karin is also a moderator and consultant for high-level conferences and events around Europe. Her cross-cultural background and experience with issues like sustainability, ESG, and Europe’s green transition are appreciated by clients from a broad range of sectors.
Shada ISLAM

Shada ISLAM

Shada Islam is an influential Brussels-based specialist on European Union affairs who works independently as a commentator, advisor, analyst, strategist and media trainer. Her areas of interest and specification include Europe, Asia, Africa, Geopolitics, Trade, Migration, Inclusion, Diversity and Women’s Empowerment. She runs her own Brussels-based global strategy and advisory media company, New Horizons Project.
Artur Malantowicz

Artur MALANTOWICZ

Artur Malantowicz, PhD, is a geographer and political scientist, who for the past 12 years has worked in the crisis management sector, in the context of both humanitarian and civil protection operations. He currently leads a team coordinating the development of the Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network in DG ECHO.
Bella NOSTOROVA

Bella NOSTOROVA

Bella Nestorova leads the ‘Disaster risk and resilience’ team at the Civil Protection Policy unit of DG ECHO. Previously, Bella worked on international cooperation and on sustainable development at the European Commission and other international organisations.
Maciej POPOWSKI

Maciej POPOWSKI

Ambassador Popowski is a Polish diplomat with more than 30 years of professional experience. He was Director for EU affairs at the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in 2001-2008 served as Deputy Head of the Permanent Representation of Poland to the European Union. Between 2003-2008 he was Poland's first permanent representative to the EU's Political and Security Committee. He then joined the European Commission as Director in Directorate-General for Development. In 2009-2011 he served as Head of Cabinet of the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek. From 2011 until 2015 he was Deputy Secretary-General of the European External Action Service. In April 2016, Mr Popowski joined the European Commission's Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, serving as its Deputy Director-General and, from September 2020 until January 2023, as acting Director-General.
Annelies VERLINDEN

Annelies VERLINDEN

Annelies Verlinden was appointed Minister of Home Affairs, Institutional Reforms and Democratic Renewal in October 2020 the De Croo government. Among other duties, she is also responsible for managing major national incidents, like the floods in the south of Belgium that took place in the summer of 2021. Her policymaking in Home Affairs includes civil security, the support of the prevention and security policy of municipalities, private security, registration and updating of the Belgian National Register. In her capacity as minister, Ms Verlinden was competent for adopting the ministerial (and, later on, under the so-called Pandemic Law, royal) decrees containing measures to limit the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on public health. She drafted and proposed a specific law, as a permanent legal basis, for taking this kind of restrictive measures during a pandemic. That ‘Pandemic Law’ was adopted by parliament in 2021.