Sarah brings more than thirty years’ international experience, spanning thirty countries, in sustainable development, policy coherence for sustainable development and building bridges between civil society, NGOs, public and private sectors to develop collaborative solutions for social impact and sustainability and mobilising coalitions and networks for people, planet & partnership. She is co-founder of Natural Capital Services, an international social enterprise consulting organisation, working on international, regional, local sustainable development trade/agricultural, community & rural initiatives in the NGO, public and private sectors on policy and legislation for the SDGs, corporate governance, social & environmental justice. Sarah has served on the task force of the Government of Kenya, Ministry of Health in the development of Kenya’s first menstrual health policy. She has also collaborated with the Irish government on developing Ireland’s SDGs National Stakeholder Forum & served as Coordinator of Coalition 2030, Ireland’s largest civil society SDGs coalition.
Stéphanie GhislainTrade & Animal Welfare, Programme Leader - Eurogroup for Animals
Stephanie Ghislain leads the “Trade & Animal Welfare” Programme at Eurogroup for Animals, the pan-European animal advocacy organisation representing 70 members based in the EU and beyond. Eurogroup for Animals’ “Trade & Animal Welfare” Programme acts as a constructive partner to EU decision makers offering WTO compatible solutions to problems identified in connection with trade and animal welfare. Before joining Eurogroup for Animals, Stephanie worked six years in a consulting firm, primarily advising companies and governments on EU trade policy. She was Eurogroup for Animals’ representative on the Commission’s Expert Group on Trade Negotiations and sits on the EU Domestic Advisory Groups (DAGs) created under the trade agreements with Ukraine, Canada, Japan and Singapore.
Jacob Bjelskov JørgensenPolicy Adviser & Project Manager - Nyt Europa
Jacob Bjelskov Jørgensen works as a Policy Advisor at the Danish NGO Nyt Europa, which focuses on various aspects of sustainability, including implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in both the EU and national contexts. Jacob’s main areas of focus are climate, biodiversity, and economics. He’s been actively involved in engaging citizens at local and national levels in Denmark, leading campaigns to raise awareness about SDGs, the EU, and climate issues.
Jacob is well-versed in navigating political intricacies and employs a strategic approach to politics and decision-making. Whether he’s interacting with stakeholders, running awareness campaigns, or advocating for important causes, his dedication to making a positive impact in the political sphere remains strong. He is committed to driving constructive change and shaping a better future through insightful strategies and well-informed political initiatives
Hilmi TekogluCivic Space Policy Officer - SOLIDAR
Hilmi Tekoglu is the Civic Space Policy Officer at SOLIDAR. In this organisation, he coordinates SOLIDAR’s work in creating and mobilizing pan-European stakeholder networks and organizing a European Civil Society Forum for the Green and Just Transition under the Real Deal project. Additionally, he is also responsible for SOLIDAR’s work on civic space and participatory democracy, which includes monitoring the shrinking civic space in 7 European countries.
Prior to joining SOLIDAR, Hilmi started to engage with civil society professionally by taking part in the EU-funded Civic Space technical programme in 2015. Within the scope of Civic Space programme, he focused on strengthening the role of civil society in the Turkish Cypriot community, disseminating EU values, promoting trust, dialogue, and cooperation among the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities. Later, he coordinated the ‘Strengthening Asylum in Cyprus’ project in partnership with UNHCR, providing social and legal support for refugees and asylum seekers in the northern part of Cyprus. As part of this role, he implemented local level advocacy actions for social inclusion, protection, and access to fundamental rights.
Bernhard ZlanabitnigSDG Watch Austria
Bernhard is director of the EU-Umweltbüro in Vienna, a green NGO, as well as Vice-President of the European Environmental Bureau/EEB, Europe’s largest environment umbrella organization based in Brussels and member of the Steering Committee of SDG Watch Austria. Main areas of work are environmental legislation and its implementation, both on the European and national level, circular economy, renewable energies, biodiversity and sustainable development as well as advocacy and lobbying.
In his free time, he enjoys (ski) mountaineering, jogging and all kinds of cultural activities.
Laura de BonfilsSecretary General - Social Platform
Laura de Bonfils is currently working at the Social Platform as Secretary General, formerly Head of Policy and Advocacy. Before taking her new role, she was the Social Policy Coordinator at SOLIDAR, where she coordinated the work for building Social Europe focusing on social rights social inclusion and employment, monitoring the European Semester and the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR). Prior to this she was the International Policy, Advocacy and Fundraising Manager at Volonteurope while also working at the UK charity Volunteering Matters, focusing on volunteering, active citizenship and combatting inequalities.
Prior to this she worked as a freelance researcher in social policy with a focus on equality, employment and migration. She worked at the European Institute for Gender Equality in Vilnius from 2012 to 2013, co-authoring the first edition of the Gender Equality Index. She has also experience working in several communications teams in non-profit organisations as well as working as a journalist for several Italian media, and as a Communications Officer for international events and theatre performances. She holds an MSc in Gender, Media and Culture at the London School of Economics and Political Science and an MA in Publishing and Journalism at LUMSA University in Rome.
Nelya RakhimovaSustainable Development Specialist and Board Member - Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP)
Dr. Nelya Rakhimova is a sustainable development advocate, educator, and policy analyst. She is a founder of Open School for Sustainable Development (Openshkola), chair of the Coalition for Sustainable Development of Russia (CSDR), project manager at SDG LENS, Board member of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, ECE-RCEM Governing Body Member with representation to MGoS Coordination Mechanism. She has experience working with UN DESA, UNDP, and UNSSC. She joined SDG Watch Europe as a member of GCAP Europe Regional Council.
Manuela GervasiSenior Policy Officer for Sustainable Development and Public Participation - European Environmental Bureau
As Senior Policy Officer for Sustainable Development & Public Participation, Manuela leads the coordination of REAL DEAL for the EEB, a Horizon2020 project which focuses on stepping up citizens’ participation in the European Green Deal. Previously, she worked at the United Nations Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (Canada) on the cities and biodiversity work programme and contributed to the UN Habitat Policy Issues Papers supporting the New Urban Agenda. She has experience with networks of cities and regions for environment, climate and energy in Europe and Asia, including a background as a researcher on participatory democracy at local level. Manuela has a master’s degree in Environmental Governance awarded by the Institute for the Advanced Studies of Sustainability of the United Nations University in Tokyo and another in Urban Planning and Policy from the Polytechnic of Milan.
Robert KrižaničDirector - Institute Povod
Robert Križanič is a Director of the Institute Povod based in Slovenia, an organisation which has been working on the issues of development and international cooperation and partnership since 2001.
The main themes of his work are sustainability, migrations, intercultural dialogue and international partnership. Robert is coordinating the informal cross-sectoral Coalition 2030 in Slovenia to monitor and promote implementation of the SDGs. He is also a National Coordinator of the Anna Lindh Foundation, the main platform for the cooperation of the civil society in the Euro-Mediterranean region, which consists of 42 countries under the framework of the Union for Mediterranean.
He is also a member of the Facilitation team for Action for Sustainable development, A4SD.
Tímea TüttőInternational Affairs Co-Lead - V4SDG
Tímea Tüttő is a sustainability enthusiast and activist, passionate about addressing the climate and biodiversity crises, as well as advocating for youth voices in decision-making processes. After studying in Russia, she obtained an MA degree in International Relations from the Corvinus University of Budapest. In July 2021, she became the International Affairs Co-Lead of V4SDG, a youth-led NGO aiming to enhance cooperation for the implementation of the SDGs in the Visegrad Group (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) and beyond. She has experience in supporting the climate crisis portfolio of Youth and Environment Europe, campaigning on climate justice, and in providing technical and programme support in the field of natural resources management, biodiversity, and climate change at a United Nations Specialised Agency.
WORK STRAND LEADERS
Inge NiestroyAssociate at IISD and EU liaison
This could be you!At the moment we are looking for a new facilitator for Work Strand 3
Patrizia HeideggerDirector of Global Policies and Sustainability at EEB
Former Members of the Steering Committee
Patrizia HeideggerDirector of Global Policies and Sustainability at the EEB
Patrizia has joined the Steering Group in 2017. She leads the EEB’s work on sustainable development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), follows intergovernmental processes at the UN, and supports projects on environmental democracy as well as environmental justice.
She was previously Executive Director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, a global coalition of 19 environmental, human and labour rights organisations seeking to prevent unsustainable industrial practices in developing countries as well as illegal waste shipments. She has experience working on human rights and development issues in South Asia.
Ingo RitzDirector at GCAP
Ingo Ritz is the Director of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP). The global movement against inequalities and poverty has 8,600 member organisations from civil society working together in national coalitions in 58 countries around the globe. GCAP uses the Agenda 2030 and the SDGs as a framework for the just transition needed for people and planet. Ritz is economist and worked 20 years with grassroots organisations in Bangladesh and India for women’s rights, the right to food, education and against the shrinking space of civil society.
Leida RijnhoutProgramme Coordinator Resource Justice & Sustainability at FoeE
Leida Rijnhout is programme coordinator of Resource Justice and Sustainability at Friends of the Earth Europe. Since 2001 she facilitated and coordinated the global NGO community to realise their active engagement in United Nations processes on Sustainable Development and Environment. She was heavily involved at and in the preparations of the Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 (Johannesburg), at Rio+20 in 2012 (Rio de Janeiro), the development of the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda (SDGs) and the UN Environment Assemblies. She is the initiator of SDG Watch and is still member of the Steering group. As representative for this alliance she is also member of the EU Multi Stakeholder Platform on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, chaired by EU Vice President Frans Timmermans.
Deirdre de BurcaAdvocacy Co-ordinator at IFP
Deirdre currently works as an Advocacy Co-ordinator for a development network. She previously worked as a Director of Advocacy for World Vision’s EU office
She was also a member of the EU Steering Committee of Concord’s Beyond 2015 EU Taskforce which played an important role in influencing the position of the EU and its Member States during the UN negotiations on Agenda 2030. Deirdre was also one of the founding members of SDG Watch Europe.
Barbara CaraccioloSustainable Development Coordinator at SOLIDAR
Barbara Caracciolo is Sustainable Development Coordinator at SOLIDAR. She leads SOLIDAR advocacy and campaign work on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with a focus on Decent Work, as well as on the EU-Latin America relations. Passionate about universal labour and social rights, between 2009 and 2013, Barbara was SOLIDAR coordinator of the Decent Work Decent Life Campaign and lead the network’s campaign and advocacy work for an international instrument on Decent work for Domestic Workers and on Universal Social Protection floors.
Alison ColemanPolicy Officer - Anti-Corruption in Development at Transparency International
Alison has been working on issues related to Sustainable Development, at both the EU and international level for the previous 8 years. Having worked with both environmental and social justice NGOs she has an in-depth knowledge of issues related to a number of sustainable development goals, and appreciates the importance of tackling Agenda 2030 as a whole.
Alison has worked with Transparency International since 2014 working on anti-corruption and transparency policies related to development. Alison has a BSc in zoology and ecology, and an MSc in Environmental Science Policy Planning.
Fanny VoitzwinklerHead of EU Office at GHA
After graduating in Conflict Studies and Human Rights, Fanny Voitzwinkler worked on minority rights projects for the European Centre for Minority Issues in Kosovo, on peacebuilding and conflict transformation in the United Nations Africa Peacekeeping Operations in New York, on emergency health aid with the Palestinian Medical Relief Society in the occupied Palestinian territories, on children’s rights campaigns for the Council of Europe and on multilateral relations with the European Commission. In 2011 she created the Global Health Advocates’ Brussels office. She develops and implements the strategy of GHA at EU level, where she leads a team of 4 Advocacy & Policy Managers and Officers.
Ingeborg NiestroyAssociate at IISD and EU liaison
Ingeborg has two decades experience in European and international policy-making and multi-stakeholder relations, inter alia as Director of the European network of advisory councils for environmental policy and sustainable development (EEAC). In this function she was strongly involved in the Rio+20 process and has worked in various capacities on the Agenda 2030 implementation ever since. She has (co-)authored, lead and collaborated in a number of studies on governance for sustainable development, including regulatory/sustainability impact assessment. She is Associate of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and brings in the science-policy interface to SDG Watch as facilitator of Strand 2 ‘Monitoring and Reporting’. She is representative of SDG Watch in the management committee of the EU Multi Stakeholder Platform on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
Marie-Luise AbshagenReferentin Nachhaltige Entwicklung - Forum Umwelt & Entwicklung
Marie-Luise Abshagen works with the German NGO Forum on Environment and Development as a Policy Officer on Sustainable Development. She holds a Master of Arts in East Asian Studies and Political Science, studied in Leipzig (Germany), Tübingen (Germany) and Taipei (Taiwan) and has lived in the USA, Taiwan, China and South Korea. For many years, Ms Abshagen has been engaged in human rights work and the achievement of sustainable development. In Germany, she is a member of two advisory boards on “New Alliance for Sustainability Policies” and “(Right-wing) Radicalization and Nature Conservation”
Klára HajduSenior Policy Officer - CEEweb for Biodiversity
Klára has experience in international and EU biodiversity and resource policies, and a special interest in holistic approaches for sustainable development. She has been involved in European campaigns and coalitions, like the Resource Cap Coalition proactively calling for progressive resource use and climate policies. Klára was an initiator and a co-leader of the People’s Budget campaign since its kick-off in 2016, which demands the sustainability proofing of the future EU Budget and its alignment with the SDGs. The campaign brings together dozens of organisations from various fields working on the EU budget under the sustainability umbrella. Klára is based in Budapest working at CEEweb for Biodiversity, a regional network in Central and Easter Europe since 2000.
Nadège LharaigProgramme Manager - Alliance for Gender Equality in Europe
Nadège works for the Alliance for GEnder Equality in Europe, supporting initiatives on gender equality and women’s rights in the European Union. During her time at SDG Watch Europe, she was a Policy Offcier at the European Environmental Bureau focusing on on sustainable development and the gender and environment nexus. Before joining the EEB, she worked on social issues both in NGOs and multinational companies with a strong focus on gender, education and access to energy. Nadège is originally from France and speaks French, English and Spanish.She holds a master’s degree in Public Policy and Social Change from Sciences Po Grenoble and an MBA from the Sorbonne Business School.
Agata MeysnerInternational Affairs Lead - V4SDG
Agata Meysner is an activist and an environmentalist driven by empowering young people to become changemakers in their communities. She is currently the International Affairs Lead at V4SDG, the first youth network accelerating cooperation for the implementation of the SDGs in the Visegrad Group (Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary). Agata has experience in youth engagement and representation in decision-making processes, multi-stakeholder collaborations as well as EU advocacy and campaigning on climate and environmental issues. After studying and working in Poland, the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium, she is currently pursuing an MSc in Public Policy at the University College London (UCL) focusing on circular economy and resource efficiency.
Constantinos MachairasTREASURER - GLOBAL CALL TO ACTION AGAINST POVERTY (GCAP)
Constantinos Machairas is the Executive Director of Organization Earth, a Greek CSO offering non-formal education regarding sustainable urban lifestyles and organizing collective actions concerning the implementation of Agenda 2030. He also serves as the General Secretary of IFOAM AgriBioMediterraneo, the regional group consisting of the members from the Med countries of the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movement (IFOAM). Since November 2016, Constantinos has been the President of the Hellenic Platform for Development, the umbrella-organization for the coalition of Greek NGOs. For the last ten years, he’s been active within Greek Civil Society, holding various roles and positions, such as member of the Board at ActionAid Hellas, at Vocational Training Center Margarita whose mission is to improve the lives of people with light and mild intellectual disabilities and at the recently established UN Global Compact Greece.
Julie RosenkildeNyt Europa Director
Julie Rosenkilde is director of the Danish NGO Nyt Europa, who are focusing on the SDG implementation in an EU and national context. Julie has a master’s in International Development Studies and Public Administration (doing her thesis on the SDG-negotiations process in the UN) from Roskilde University in Denmark and a MA in Political Communication from Goldsmiths University of London. Since the adoption of the SDG in 2015, Julie has been working on the SDG agenda. She has the years been working with engaging especially citizens on a national and local level in Denmark. She has been leading awareness raising campaigns about the SDGs and made concrete engagement activities for citizens, on how they can actively engage in the SDG agenda, from debating in open conferences to games being used in Schools. Furthermore Julie, has put the SDG-EU agenda on a national level, and have pushed for a strong national position on the EU relations to the SDGs. She will work on strengthening national involvement in a strong EU adoption and action plan for the SDGs in different international fora.
Carlos Roldán MejíasSocial Policy Coordinator - SOLIDAR
Carlos Roldán Mejías is the social policy coordinator of SOLIDAR since October 2020. In this organisation, he coordinates SOLIDAR work on EU social policy in particular on employment, social inclusion, migration, capacity building, access to social rights and the monitoring of the European Semester and the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights.
He holds a degree in Social Psychology and a master’s degree in school counselling, both from Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain), as well as a master’s degree in Spanish as a second language from Universidad Nebrija (Spain), where he developed his research work on intercultural teaching competence. In addition to that, He has carried out exchanges at Université de Liège (Belgium) and University of Ottawa (Canada).
Prior to join SOLIDAR, he was during two years the coordinator of Fundación Cives, in Spain, an organization which has as a goal the promotion of civic education based on democratic values, solidarity, the SGDs & Human Rights. Within CIVES, he was engaged in research on civic education and hate speech, as well as in providing capacity building and trainings on global citizenship education, gender equality, the Agenda 2030 and intercultural education, among other topics.
Before that, Carlos was engaged to the Spanish NGO Liga Española de la Educación y la Cultura Popular where he was a project officer at the Cross-Cultural and Migration Department for 4 years, supporting the coordination of projects linked to the inclusion of migrants in the Spanish society, and an international aid worker for 3 years in Peru and El Salvador. Thanks to that, he had the chance to work directly with local organisations from both countries in the development of international cooperation projects linked to intercultural bilingual education and teacher’s training, culture of peace, gender equality, citizen participation and the promotion and defence of children’s rights, among other issues.
Jeffrey MoxomSDG Watch Europe Coordinator - European Environmental Bureau