EMPA globe

Student Directory

Executive MPA Class of 2017-2019





Richard Harris 



Richard is a former educator and filmmaker now consulting schools on educational marketing and communication. 


Leila Pedersen


Associate Director, New America

Leila is a creative strategist with 10 years of organisational development, public policy, social impact, fundraising, and communication experience. She is currently an Associate Director at New America where she runs a fellowship for social entrepreneurs in California. Her research interests include economic development and civic innovation. Prior to joining New America, Leila established and led statewide programmes for national nonprofits like Common Cause and EMILY’s List. Her work has been featured in the Washington Post, LA Times, SF Chronicle, and other outlets. Leila holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley where she studied Political Psychology. 



Justin Randle


National Health Service, England 

Justin is currently a manager of policy and strategy in the national cancer team of NHS England. He has held a number of senior policy roles in the Victorian Public Service, Australia, including leading the group responsible for international education; the state’s largest services export industry. Justin has also served as an adviser to ministers in Australia, most recently the Minister for Health in the Victorian Government. During that time, he worked on the strategic vision for the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre and led significant policy reforms such as the legalisation of medicinal cannabis. His career has also involved consulting to United Nations agencies in New York and the Middle East. In his spare time, Justin takes an interest in new technologies and media and has produced community television and podcasts. Justin holds a Bachelor of Arts from Monash University. 



Maya Stuart-Fox


Assistant Secretary, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Australia 

Maya is an experienced public service manager who has led policy and programme teams to deliver national initiatives in climate change and indigenous economic development. 


Misha Zelinsky


Assistant National Secretary, Australian Workers’ Union

Misha is the Assistant National Secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union, Australia’s largest blue-collar union with nearly 100,000 members. Misha is a graduate from the University of Wollongong, graduating in 2007 with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce (Economics). Misha began his career as a criminal defence lawyer for the Aboriginal Legal Service, an indigenous legal aid service. After two years of practice, Misha then chose to follow his passion for public policy and economics, becoming a ministerial advisor to Minister Terenzini (Housing, Small Business, Vet. Affairs) in the NSW State Labor Government. Misha joined the AWU as the lead economics and policy advisor in the national office of the AWU, before being elected National Vice President. In 2016, Misha was elected as Assistant National Secretary and in 2017 he was re-elected unopposed. Misha has been responsible for many national campaigns and has successfully coordinated union and government efforts in promoting gas reservation, climate change responses, manufacturing policy, co-investment schemes and anti-dumping. Misha is a director of Cbus Super, an industry superannuation fund with $40 billion under management. 



Khalid Ahadov


Chairman of the Management Board, International Bank of Azerbaijan

Khalid is the CEO and Chairman of the Management Board of the largest bank (state-owned) in the country. 




Benjamin Defrenne


Co-founder, Speaky

Speaky is a social network designed to engage users as they learn and share languages online. It connects millions of language learners around the world and provides a shared platform for them to practice together. Life at Speaky, the startup Benjamin co-founded, is full of challenges and excitement. From the beginning, the company has been focusing on growth and has accomplished tremendous results in a short period of time. Thousands of people are sending millions of messages everyday, practicing languages from all over the world. Aside from being a web and mobile developer, Benjamin’s main responsibilities are product management and the user experience. Understanding the needs of the users, managing a team and bringing new ideas to life is a fascinating job! 


Fiel Vanthemsche


Diplomat, Deputy Chief of Unit Career Development, Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation

Fiel is a Belgian diplomat currently working out of the HQ in Brussels at the Career Development Unit of our HR Office. The unit covers all recruitment and promotion processes, training and development opportunities and employee evaluation. As the Deputy head of Unit, he also covers more horizontal issues such as gender, diversity, change management and communication. As a diplomat, he has spent 7 years overseas; 3 years in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and 4 years in Jordan. In Kinshasa, he focused on human rights and Eastern Congo conflict dynamics. In Jordan, he mainly worked on humanitarian issues related to the Syria crisis; Jordanian politics, including economic policy and Jordan's reaction to the Arab Spring; and as the Belgian Embassy in Jordan also covers Iraq, a fair share of his time was dedicated to Iraq, its politics and its relationship with Belgium. 



Samiul Chowdhury


Senior Policy Advisor, Home Office, UK 

Samiul is a Senior Policy Advisor in the Home Secretary’s Policy Unit in the Home Office, UK. Previously, he worked as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Department for International Trade and led the development of the UK Government’s new outward investment strategy. Prior to that, Samiul held roles in the Department for Transport as a government economist advising on high speed rail infrastructure policy and renewable transport fuel policy. Samiul has also worked in the Ministry of Justice and served as the deputy private secretary to the Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice and to the Minister for Youth Justice. Samiul also holds a BSc Economics degree from Loughborough University and provides pro bono advice to small local community charities on impact evaluation designs.


Peter Mumford


Director Asia, Eurasia Group

Peter is currently Director Asia at Eurasia Group, the world's leading political risks consultancy, based out of their Singapore office. He leads EG's analysis and advice services on a wide range of companies on Southeast Asia and Asia-wide trade issues, as well as regularly briefing firms on developments elsewhere in the region. Prior to that, Peter worked in the British foreign service for 15 years, most of which was spent in Asia (China and ASEAN).


Nicolas Rollason


Partner, Kingsley Napley LLP

Nicolas is a partner and head of the business immigration team at Kingsley Napley LLP, a London law firm. He has over 20 years experience in advising global corporations and individuals on UK and EU immigration law and policy. He has been a consultant to the OECD and ILO on skilled migration issues and leads his firm’s policy responses to a range of government consultations on immigration. 


Andrew Weber

British, American

Partner, Orchard Global Asset Management LLP

With over 20 years' experience in investment banking, credit investments and work out, Andrew is specialised in providing unique financial solutions to corporations and financial institutions globally. 



Gregory Eidsness


Director, Business Development, International Financial Consulting Ltd 

Greg is Director of Business Development with International Financial Consulting Ltd, a global advisory firm specializing in international trade, investment, and economic development. Prior to IFCL, Greg served as Director of International Market Development at Trade & Invest British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. A leader in the field of trade and investment facilitation, Greg designed and implemented British Columbia’s market expansion strategy in Asia and the Americas. Greg has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia and a Graduate Diploma in Negotiation from Simon Fraser University. 

Devon Ostrom

Devon Ostrom 



Devon is a curator, artist and advocate with two decades of experience in creating projects that bridge sectors, cities and neighbourhoods. Typically involving large assemblages of organizations, collaborations include the Pan Am Path, Arrivals Canada, Streetscape, Housepaint at the Royal Ontario Museum, Hype at the Art Gallery of Ontario and a mural and research project at Kingston Penitentiary. A co-founder of Manifesto Festival, Devon was also a founder of Beautifulcity.ca, a successful campaign that put a levy on billboards to fund art in Toronto. Devon co-taught Arts Advocacy at the University of Toronto and holds an MA in Curating from Goldsmiths. More info: http://www.ostrom.ca 



Gang Ji


Global Partner & Vice-President of Greater China, Roland Berger Strategy Consulting Firm

Gang Ji is a Partner and Vice-President of Roalnd Berger Strategy Consultancy (Greater China), based in the Shanghai office. He has 17 years of consulting and corporate experience with a great variety of projects ranging from the design of regional reform strategies, corporate strategy, growth strategy and business tranformation, to organisational design, turnaround and operation excellence covering the public sector, energy, industry goods, FMCG, and retail. He recently worked on diverse topics such as regional economic competitiveness, the 'one belt and one road' China national strategy, a free trade zone, and NGOs' management optimisation. Gang Ji holds an Executive Master in Change Mnangement from INSEAD Business School, and a Management Master Degree from NOEMA  (former Reims) Business School in France, as well as a Bachelor degree from Beijing Foreign Studies University in China. Mr Ji has worked and studied in South America, the US, Spain, France and Singapore. 


Xuan (Michael) Zheng


Senior Technical Specialist, Bank of England

Michael has professional experience in prudential regulation of financial institutions, derivatives trading controls, valuation of complex financial instruments, legal entity controls and governance, and financial regulation and policy.



Jose L. Niño-Amézquita


Research Associate, CRePIB

Jose L. Niño-Amézquita works as a Research Associate at the Regional Research Centre for Competitiveness and Innovation of Boyaca, Tunja, Colombia (CRePIB). Jose holds a Bachelor in Economics and a Ph.D. in Regional Studies. He has over 10 years of professional and consultative experience in the public sector as well as in the non-governmental sector. His work focuses on the role of territorial entities and their functions. He also analyses the integration of continuous and non-continuous territories, perspective used for the territorial internationalisation and the territorialisation of national public policies. Currently he works at the TeIntA project, an NGO that advises territorial actors in the construction and implementation of their international agenda. 



Janus Munk 


Head of Office, Government of Greenland, Ministry of Industry, Labour, Trade and Energy

Janus Munk is a Danish national living in Nuuk, Greenland, where he works for the Greenland Government as the Head of Office in the Labour Market Division in the Ministry of Industry, Labour, Trade and Energy. He worked two and a half years as Head of section in the Industry Division where he conducted socio-economic impact assessments related to tourism development strategies, coordinated consultations with stakeholders on mining related issues, and partook in negotiating social benefit agreements with mining companies. Since April 2017 he has been the Head of Office and acting Deputy Head of Division in the Labour Market Division, where he oversees the division’s spending and initiates policy reforms on labour market issues. He holds a Master of Social Sciences from Roskilde University in Denmark, and has experience working in environmental consulting as a field officer and at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a trainee.



Isabelle Brun 

French, Belgian

Technical Advisor (Engineer), Council of Europe Development Bank

For over 10 years Isabelle has worked as a Project Manager in the construction industry, mostly abroad (in Europe and in South Africa), on large civil work projects such as tunnels, bridges and hospitals.  After taking an Executive MBA at London Business School, Isabelle joined the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) as a Technical Advisor, where she appraises and monitors projects for which the CEB provides financing. Isabelle handles large infrastructure projects as well as MSME financing programmes; this calls on her technical and financial expertise, involves significant travelling within countries of operation (in Europe), and enables her to tackle economic and policy aspects. 


Djamila Delannon


Project Finance Officer, UNESCO

As a Finance Project officer at UNESCO for more than three years, Djamila is in charge of asset management and monitoring for all 65 field offices located in different parts of the world. She is involved in core projects aiming to strengthen and streamline financial control and processes. Previously she worked as an accountant for a start-up with a strong concern over balancing profitability with social and environmental responsibility. Djamila had the opportunity to undertake sustainable financial practices during a joint mission with French Municipalities. A recent graduate of a Master of Science in Accounting Control and Audit, Djamila is looking forward to the transformative policy thought of the EMPA and fully participating in the achievement of SDG#10 within the United Nations. 


Diane Pochard

French, Mexican

Digital Engagement Product Manager, World Economic Forum

Diane has a journalism and business background with more than 10 years' experience in the private sector. Her main area of focus is in the digital industry, where she uses technology to create positive social impact and improve the state of society. Diane is passionate about technology and social innovation.


Guillaume Valette-Valla


Secretary General, High Authority for Transparency, France

After passing the Paris Bar exam, Guillaume worked as a solicitor in a law firm for a couple of months. He soon discovered that his interest in social issues far exceeded his need for money. Guillaume decided to take the very competitive national examination of the French National School for the Judiciary. After passing this post-graduate examination he was appointed as a Judge at the Paris Court — a court focused on juvenile matters. His experience working as a judge in the Justice Department has helped him develop a keen awareness for a number of social issues that threaten the human rights and liberties of citizens. For three years he served as the head of the Juvenile Public Prosecution Office, a department which is responsible for handling a number of different issues including juvenile crimes and child protection. After being a lawyer and judicial aide within the Prime Minister’s Cabinet, he has been appointed as the General Secretary of the High Authority for Transparency, an 'independent administrative authority' of 70 people whom he has managed for the last four years. 



Caroline Abi Saleh

Greek, Lebanese 

Senior Consultant, PWC

Caroline is a senior consultant with PwC's Government and Public Sector consulting practice in the Middle East. She has worked with a number of public sector entities with a focus on public policy development, strategy and organisational design, innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, fund establishment, and economic analysis. 



Marlon Tabora Munoz 


Ambassador of Honduras to the US

Prior to becoming Ambassador in April 2017, Marlon served as Executive Director for Central America and Belize at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) between 2015-2017 and 2010-2013. He was President of the Central Bank of Honduras and chair of the Economic Cabinet from January 2014 to January 2016. In 2010 he served as Chief of Staff and Vice-Minister of the Presidency of Honduras. 



Susan Carroll


Head of Communications, Governance & Training, European Commission, Executive Agency for SMEs

Susan Carroll is Head of Communications, Governance and Training at the European Commission's Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME) in Brussels. She spent 10 years as a journalist working in Dublin, London, Sydney, Singapore and Brussels before starting her career in the European Commission as a press officer in the Dublin Representation. At EASME, she leads a team responsible for delivering parts of the COSME programme, which is aimed at boosting competitiveness in European SMEs. The focus is mainly on communication activities, as well as governance and learning and development activities for the Enterprise Europe Network. 


Cairen Power


Civil Servant, Irish Civil Service

Cairen is a manager in government policy with significant public service experience (10 years+) including diplomatic service and lecturing in EU policymaking and multi-level governance. She has a career history that demonstrates familiarity and comfort with working in demanding domestic and international environments. She was part of Ireland’s Presidency of the EU team in 2014 and negotiated EU financial services legislation on behalf of EU member states. She worked at the European Parliament and also represented Ireland in negotiating macro-economic financial instruments at EU level. She is currently managing the policy development and design of Ireland’s Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund and developing innovation funding solutions.



Barak Greenapple


Political and Economic Advisor, The Office of the Quartet, Jerusalem

Barak has served as the Political and Economic Advisor at the Office of the Quartet in Jerusalem since November 2015, leading Israeli stakeholder management along with a portfolio of economic projects. He has vast experience promoting the economic relations of Israel with Palestine, Jordan and the broader region, serving as an economic officer in the Coordination and Liaison Unit with the Palestinians at the Israeli Ministry of Defense (COGAT), as Senior Director of Economic Projects Department at the Ministry of Regional Cooperation (Government of Israel), Project Manager and Senior Analyst at the Peres Center for Peace, and as a private consultant to governments, international organisations and NGOs. Barak holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Accounting and an MBA specializing in Financial Management, both from Tel Aviv University. Barak is also a graduate of the International Visitor Leadership Programme of the U.S. Department of State.



Erica Mattellone 


Evaluation Specialist (Cambodia, Malaysia and Myanmar), UNICEF

Erica is an Evaluation Specialist at UNICEF where she is responsible for the planning and implementation of research and evaluation to achieve better results for children and women in Cambodia, Malaysia and Myanmar. She has more than 14 years of strategic planning, programme management, monitoring and evaluation experience in international development and humanitarian assistance. She has worked in various international and non-profit organisations across a variety of countries throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and the United States. She is strongly committed to the use of evidence to inform decision making, innovation and new technologies, and is a staunch supporter of children and women’s rights. A national of Italy, Erica is fluent in four languages. She currently lives in Phnom Penh with her husband and their son. 



Pablo Gonzalez Del Real Ysita


General Director of Debt Issuance, Ministry of Finance, Mexico

Currently responsible for planning and executing the federal government’s debt issuance programme in the domestic and external markets, the oil hedging programme, among other activities related to the development of the local market.



Amal Chafai


General Manager, DeepSight

Amal has worked primarily in the marketing and media fields, as well as in market and social research. Amal is currently the founder and the general manager of DeepSight, a boutique market research and consultancy company specialized in marketing and social research. Previously Amal spent over 20 years working as a senior consultant in research institutes and as Marketing Director in different companies, mostly Unilever Maghreb and the Moroccan Public Broadcaster. Her most exciting work experiences are related to public matters such as education, women rights, and public service. Research and consultancy in public policies has a great potential in Amal’s home country, Morocco – a developing country that is facing many issues regarding most public services. The EMPA programme will help her acquire the skills to comprehensively and efficiently address public service and public policies challenges. Amal graduated from HEC University of Montréal with an MSc in Marketing. 




Lola Talabi-Oni

Nigerian, Canadian

Technical Adviser to the Statistician-General, Nigeria

Lola has over 14 years of research and analytics, consumer & industry insight, marketing, and entrepreneurial experience spanning across three countries: Canada, the United States, and Nigeria. Her professional experiences include stints with IBM Global Business Services, Goodwin Procter LLP, Cadbury Nigeria, & LTC-JWT Nigeria. In 2008 she founded BRENTT Consulting Ltd, a research firm, and also serves as co-Founder at mRes, an online survey administration service. In 2014, Ms. Talabi-Oni also served as a member of the World Economic Forum Africa 2014 (Abuja 2014) secretariat team on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria. In her current role she advises the Statistician-General on macro-economics, donor agencies, and social statistics. 




Moctar Ben Karidjo


Head of Quality of Service and Obligations Control, ARTP Niger

Moctar has 11 years’ experience working in the telecommunications field, specifically in quality of service monitoring, troubleshooting, fine-tuning mobile radio networks, and opinion inquiry. Moctar has also been implementing, for nearly three years, Niger Republic Government policies relative to the telecoms sector. 




Manav Kumar


Consultant, Seema AS

Manav has a military background with a specialization in leadership, logistics and resource management. He is currently working as a consultant in the field of diversity leadership. 



Katarzyna Szwarc


Senior Regulatory Analyst, Intercontinental Exchange

Katarzyna is a regulatory and public affairs professional with a legal background. Having started as the head of Regulatory Affairs at the Polish Energy Exchange in Warsaw, Poland, she is now the Senior Advisor on regulation and regulatory affairs at one of the biggest energy trading venues globally.


Kazimierz Ujazdowski


Justice and Home Affairs Counsellor, Permanent Representation of Poland to the European Union

Since 2016, Kazimierz has been working at PL Permanent Representation to the EU where he is responsible for criminal justice matters within the area of justice and home affairs. He previously worked at the Ministry of Justice in Warsaw as a legislator. Kazimierz graduated from the Law Faculty of the University of Warsaw. 



Gabriel Alvarez


Communications Manager, Interact Programme

Gabriel has been working for 10 years as a communications specialist in the field of EU affairs.


Manuel Alvarez Ortega


Head of Product Management, EDMI Meters

Manuel has been working in the Smart Energy and Internet of Things (IoT) industries for the last 12 years, assuming various business and technical roles all along the value chain, from systems integration, to field force management, supply chain and logistics, service management, telecommunications, management consulting and nowadays product management. Currently he is involved in the UK government’s Smart Metering Programme in which the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is requiring energy companies to install 53 million gas and electricity meters at 30 million domestic and smaller non-domestic properties. This programme aims to deploy the data and communications infrastructure which will be the corner stone of the nation’s Smart Grid and plays an important role in Britain’s transition to a low-carbon economy. 



Marcel  Kagi


Legal & International Affairs Officer, Federal Office of Civil Aviation, Switzerland

Marcel is currently employed as a Legal and International Affairs Officer at the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) of Switzerland. He is in charge of the coordination and representation of Swiss interests in international decision-making processes in the area of civil aviation safety and the definition of the respective strategies. In addition, Marcel is responsible for national and international regulatory development in the area of emerging technologies, such as commercial drones and aviation related aspects of space transportation. In his previous position as Advisor at the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations in New York, he represented Switzerland in the administrative and budgetary committee (Fifth Committee) of the UN General Assembly. Marcel holds a master’s degree in political science and law from the University of Bern, Switzerland. 



Vehbi Geray Bilimer


Lawyer, PAE Law Office, Turkey

Vehbi is the partner in charge of the administrative law practice at Pelister Atayilmaz Enkur Law Office in Istanbul, Turkey.