Meet the TRAINERS
EU Strategic Communications expert
Patrick VastenaekelsEU Strategic Communications expert
As a communication expert, he has been responsible for over 25 years for the design and implementation of numerous public information campaigns, notably for the European institutions. Mr Vastenaekels was one of the founders of Mostra (now ICF Next), the Brussels-based agency specialising in European communication campaigns, and with around 150 employees from some 20 countries. He was responsible for the agency’s development and later served as its managing director.
EU institutional anthropologist, interculturalist
Ljiljana SimicEU institutional anthropologist, interculturalist
Phd researcher in the field of international scientific multidisciplinary studies on intercultural EU image and its branding. Organisational Development consultant and trainer for EU institutions, EU Agencies, EU Delegations. Cross cultural and diversity advisers for private, public sector and NGO sector. As a trainers and consultants she has experience from many countries in team development strategies, intercultural communication, change management etc. Long - term experience with EU institutions positioned to advise, anticipate and evaluate working in multicultural teams and diversity issues. Co-author, editor in several academic books on Cross cultural Management, Cultural diversity and Cultural policies.
EU-Africa public affairs & strategic communications consultant @ Meridia Partners, STRATEGEUM
Annie MutambaEU-Africa public affairs & strategic communications consultant @ Meridia Partners, STRATEGEUM
Annie Mutamba began her career in Washington, at the Africa Policy Information Center, the oldest organisation in the United States focusing on African issues. She went on to specialise in European affairs and for 10 years was in charge of institutional communication programmes at the European Chemical Industry Council in Brussels. In 2013, she founded the first consultancy firm specialised in EU-Africa institutional relations and lobbying.
Managing Director @ GOPA Com
Antoine RivetManaging Director @ GOPA Com
Antoine Rivet is GOPA Com.’s Managing Director and a communication enthusiast. After working in the development and cooperation world, he embarked on a career change to specialise in public sector communication, and quickly grew from consultant to Managing Director of the cosmopolitan Brussels-based agency today. Antoine and the people at GOPA Com. are passionate about the European project and focus their work with European institutions to develop solutions to build bridges between citizens.
Director of Group Corporate Affairs @ Imperial Brands
Alan HardacreDirector of Group Corporate Affairs @ Imperial Brands
Dr Alan Hardacre is the Director of Corporate Affairs with Imperial Brands based in Brussels, Belgium. In this role he is responsible for developing and driving a sustainable global Corporate Affairs strategy. A major element of this is how the company works in the EU. Prior to this he was a lecturer in the ‘European Decision-Making’ Unit at the European Institute for Public Administration (EIPA). Alan holds a BA (Hons) in Modern European Studies from Loughborough University (UK) and a DEA de Science Politique from the Institut d'Études Politiques de Lyon. In 2008, he was awarded his PhD in International Economic and Political Relations from Loughborough University.
Programme Coordinator of the Executive Master in European Public Affairs and Communication
Laura LeprêtreProgramme Coordinator of the Executive Master in European Public Affairs and Communication
Project manager and expert in education, Laura is the coordinator of the Executive Master since September 2015.
Quentin Galland, Hague Corporate Affairs
Quentin GallandQuentin Galland, Hague Corporate Affairs
Quentin Galland, Hague Corporate Affairs Quentin is Senior Advisor, European Affairs at Hague Corporate Affairs. Trained lobbyist, he has an MA in Political Science (UCL, BE), completed by an EM in Communication and European Affairs (IHECS, BE). Quentin has developed his public affairs and corporate communication skills working for several European trade associations (wine, chemical and railway operators) and operating in several public affairs companies where he advised corporations and associations on agri-tech, health, energy and resource efficiency related issues. At Hague Corporate Affairs, Quentin oversees and implements public affairs strategies on projects pertaining to innovative agri-tech and health, at both European and Washington D.C. levels. Next to his career as a lobbyist, Quentin lectures at IHECS on case studies applied to EU public affairs.
Communications/Media Relations Professional
Martin ToddCommunications/Media Relations Professional
Martin Todd is a professional journalist, with extensive experience in communication and coaching in media relations. He currently works as a communication consultant for the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU). His responsibilities include developing and implementing EPSU’s communication strategy. This involves supporting the organisation’s advocacy efforts, developing press material and implementing online and audiovisual campaigns. Martin recently served as secretary of the Brussels branch of the National Union of Journalists (UK & Ireland). He has been employed by several consultancy firms working in communication and for industry associations, helping to create and run strategic communication programmes. Originally trained as a journalist at the London College of Communication, Martin Todd has worked for many business and industry publications specialised in science and aviation.
Social Media Officer @ALDE GROUP EU PARLIAMENT
Olivier SchotteSocial Media Officer @ALDE GROUP EU PARLIAMENT
A digital native, Olivier has been studying Political Science for five years at ULB before spending a fruitful year at IHECS Academy. He's now working as a social media officer for the ALDE Group in the European Parliament. His daily routine? Creating social media content, making it attractive and spreading it on all channels and to the right audience!
Business Development Director @ Tipik Communications Agency
Gokce KalayciBusiness Development Director @ Tipik Communications Agency
Gokce Kalayci started her career as a journalist during her BA studies on International Relations. After a few years of working as a journalist for different types of media, she got her MA degree on European Studies. Meanwhile, in 2002, she started working in the field of EU communications. After a few years of designing and managing communications campaigns, she has been recruited by a Brussels-based institutional communications agency, where she led the conceptualisation of various communications projects for the EU and other international organisations. Since April 2018, she has been working at Tipik Communications Agency, one of the top five communications agencies in Europe specialised in public sector communications and particularly those of the EU
PhD in Information and Communication at CELSA (Paris IV-Sorbonne) and at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL).
Nicolas BaygertPhD in Information and Communication at CELSA (Paris IV-Sorbonne) and at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL).
Nicolas BAYGERT holds a PhD in Information and Communication at CELSA (Paris IV-Sorbonne) and at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL). Nicolas teaches at Sciences Po Paris, the Brussels School of International Studies (University of Kent), the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and at the Institute for Higher Social Communication Studies (IHECS), where he leads PROTAGORAS, a Think Tank dedicated to political and public communication. Nicolas has a broad experience in EU public affairs: after working for a Think Thank (CEPS) and for a communication and PA agency, he joined the European Commission as communication and press officer. Since 2012, he has been working as an external consultant, providing strategic advice on political communication and PA. Nicolas keeps a blog on political communication and regularly intervenes in the media to analyse Belgian and European politics. His research interests focus on the concept of political consumerism and the emerging issues of democratic leadership, confronted with online activism and protest parties.
Communications professional and former television journalist
Mark RogersonCommunications professional and former television journalist
Mark Rogerson is a communications professional and former television journalist with in-depth understanding of both the public and private sectors. He has developed and coordinated a range of public relations, communications and crisis management programmes for clients throughout the EU including the European Commission, the European Court of Auditors, the European Parliament, GW Pharmaceuticals plc and The London International Financial Futures Exchange. Before he began his career in public relations, Mark's background was as a broadcast journalist with the BBC. He was a producer and presenter on Radio 4's The Financial World Tonight, after which he worked as Economics Correspondent for BBC Television News. He was also a reporter on The Money Programme, BBC 2's award-winning weekly business magazine. From 2015 to 2019 he was Spokesperson for the European Court of Auditors.
Daniela CuciureanuFinancial services
Daniela Cuciureanu has over 10 years of experience in Public Affairs and Communication. She has been living and working in Brussels since 2010 and has worked for the Brunswick Group (public affairs consultancy), Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Daniela has designed and implemented complex public affairs strategies in Brussels and in the main capitals of EU Member States, focusing on financial services legislation. She has followed multiple co-decision procedures, briefed senior executives on legislative changes, drafted policy positions and directly engaged with senior representatives of EU institutions. Before coming to Brussels, Daniela worked for the PR firm Golin in Bucharest Romania and as a domestic politics advisor for the President of Romania. Daniela Cuciureanu has a BA in Political Science from the University of Bucharest and an MA in European Public Affairs from the University of Maastricht.
Creative Facilitator & Trainer
Christopher MalapitanCreative Facilitator & Trainer
Christopher Malapitan is an independent creative facilitator and trainer based in Brussels. With many years of experience working in creative industries, he supports communities and teams to explore and unlock what drives them. From big-picture thinking to storytelling, from body movement to collaborative arts-based approaches, he applies a unique blend of innovative processes and practises to his facilitation work. www.chrismalapitan.com
Director for Global Policies and Sustainability at the European Environmental Bureau (EBB)
Patrizia HeideggerDirector for Global Policies and Sustainability at the European Environmental Bureau (EBB)
Patrizia Heidegger is Director for Global Policies and Sustainability at the European Environmental Bureau, Europe’s largest federation of environmental citizens organisations. She has been working as an advocate for global justice at the intersection of human rights, environment and development for more than 13 years working mainly in and with non-profit organisations in Europe and Asia. For the EEB, she is part of a European Commission expert group, follows intergovernmental processes at UN level and implements advocacy and awareness-raising projects across the EU. She was previously Executive Director of another Brussels-based coalition of environmental, human and labour rights organisations, and has been working as a Parliamentary Advisor for the German Green Party. Patrizia has graduated in Political Science and holds an LL.M in International Human Rights Law. She has been working as a lecturer at IHECS and at the University of Munich, and has given speeches on various environmental topics around the world.
Yacine El Laoui
Political adviser @S&D Group – European Parliament
Yacine El LaouiPolitical adviser @S&D Group – European Parliament
Yacine El laoui has been studying finance for 4 years at the BBA INSEEC in Lyon. In 2014 he joined the IHECS Academy to follow the Executive Master European Public Affairs and Communication. Since then, he joined the political secretariat of the Socialist and Democrats Group in the European Parliament. After working for 5 years in different departments of the S&D political secretariat, he is today the administrator of the PETITIONS committee for the Group. Since march 2020, he has been elected city councillor in France, in his home town of Nouzonville and its district. Yacine tries to feed off each other his local mandate and his position in the EU.
Speaker on European Affairs
Paul CulleySpeaker on European Affairs
Since 2016 - speaker, lecturer and facilitator for students and specialists in European affairs. 2010 - 2015 - Director of General Policy in the Cabinet of Secretary-General of the Council of the EU. 2005 - 2010 - Director of Trade and International Development in the Secretariat of the Council of the EU. 1986 - 2010 – a range of responsibilities in the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU in the areas of agriculture, public health and the single market.
News Researcher @ The Washington Post
Quentin ArièsNews Researcher @ The Washington Post
Quentin Ariès has been a journalist in Brussels since 2014. After learning his craft at Politico Europe, where he followed Brexit and lobbying and where he contributed to the ‘Brussels Playbook’, he now works as a freelance journalist. Current publications include The Washington Post and Contexte. He is also Chair of Cafébabel, the participatory European magazine. He graduated from Sciences Po Grenoble (Grenoble Institute of Political Studies) and University of Kent.
Fondation Robert Schuman, Head of the Brussels office
Eric MauriceFondation Robert Schuman, Head of the Brussels office
ric Maurice joined the Fondation Robert Schuman, a French think tank in 2018, as head of the Brussels office. Before that he was a journalist for almost 20 years. He spent a long time at Courrier international, a weekly newsmagazine, where he held different positions, including editor in chief of Presseurop, a European project for a multilingual news website on European affairs. He arrived in Brussels in 2015 to join EUobserver, where he also was editor in chief, until he decided to take a professional turn and look at the EU from another perspective. He holds a master of Contemporary History of International Relations from the Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne University and graduated from the Paris Ecole Supérieure de Journalisme. He is also an alumni from the Executive Course in European Studies of France's Ecole Nationale d’Administration.