Mariam Khotenashvili

Executive Director

Mariam is TEPSA’s Executive Director. She is responsible for the daily management of the association. Mariam is in close contact with the TEPSA Board and member institutes regarding TEPSA’s strategic and annual planning. Mariam manages various EU-funded projects such as InDivEU and DiCE. She liaises with TEPSA’s member institutes, promoting visibility of their research findings and helping to bridge academic research with policy-making. Mariam also contributes to the coordination of the biannual TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conferences.

Her background combines research coordination, policy advocacy, project management and academic work. Her fields of expertise include EU foreign and development policies and in particular the European Neighbourhood Policy. Mariam holds Master’s degrees in EU International Relations and Diplomacy (College of Europe) and in Conflict Studies and Human Rights (Utrecht University). Prior to joining TEPSA Mariam worked for Transparency International Georgia and ALDA – The European Association for Local Democracy and undertook traineeships at the European Commission’s DG DEVCO and at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

You can contact Mariam Khotenashvili at mariam.khotenashvili[at]tepsa.eu

Giulia Bonacquisti

Programme Manager

Giulia Bonacquisti is TEPSA’s Programme Manager. She oversees the management of several EU-funded projects and coordinates TEPSA’s teaching and professional training programmes. She is the author and coordinator of TEPSA’s video series ‘EU History Explained’. Additionally, she is involved in the implementation of a number of activities aimed at communicating the EU to citizens and civil society, and she oversees TEPSA’s supply of external expertise to EU institutions. Throughout her work, she is in constant contact with TEPSA’s member institutes in order to ensure the coordination of their joint activities and to promote their research. She is also involved in the coordination of the biannual TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conferences.

Giulia holds a Master Degree in Political Sciences and European Studies from Roma Tre University (Italy) and an Advanced Master in European Integration from the Institute of European Studies of Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium). Her fields of specialisation are European Foreign Policy, with a particular focus on the European Neighbourhood Policy, and the history of European integration. Prior to joining TEPSA, she worked at EU-Logos, a Brussels-based think tank where she was in charge of the EU external relations dossier. She is a member of the European Neighbourhood Policy Working Group at Université Saint-Louis (Belgium). She has written for institutes and reviews dealing with EU-related topics such as AffarInternazionali, EU-Logos and the Centre of Excellence Altiero Spinelli, and for the Huffington Post Italy.

You can contact Giulia Bonacquisti at giulia.bonacquisti[at]tepsa.eu

Abdallah Bahlit

Financial Manager

Abdallah Bahlit is TEPSA’s Financial Manager. He manages TEPSA’s financial affairs both in the context of the organisation as a whole and in the context of individual projects, where he works closely with TEPSA’s Project Managers.

Abdallah is an Experienced Administrator in banking with a demonstrated history of working in the performing arts industry and event management. He is also Finance and Administration Manager at ECAS, where he supports the daily financial management of the organisation, as well as an Administrator at IETM (International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts) in Brussels. Previously he has been Administrative Assistant at ECAS and has 12 years’ experience in banking and telecommunication management. Abdallah holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Accounting and is currently studying for a Master’s degree in Management at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).

You can contact Abdallah Bahlit at financialmanager[at]tepsa.eu.

Hugh Evans

Communications Manager

Hugh is TEPSA’s Communications Manager, coordinating TEPSA’s communications and dissemination activities. His role includes communicating TEPSA’s key EU-funded projects and managing TEPSA’s day-to-day communications activities via the organisation’s key channels. This includes facilitating collaboration within the TEPSA Network, fostering press relations, designing and preparing newsletters, social media campaigns and other communications materials including audiovisuals. 

Hugh holds an MA in Modern European Studies from University College London, specialising in European integration and democracy theory, as well as disinformation and election meddling. His undergraduate studies were in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at Balliol College, University of Oxford. Before joining TEPSA, Hugh worked in Digital Communications, and undertook a long-term traineeship in the Communications department of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).

You can contact Hugh Evans at hugh.evans[at]tepsa.eu

Lorenzo Mariani

Project Manager

Lorenzo is Project Manager at TEPSA. He manages several EU-funded projects including RECLAIM, focused on raising citizens’ awareness on disinformation, and ACTEU aimed at investigating persistent problems of declining trust, legitimacy, and representation in Europe. Within the scope of these projects he implements activities such as events, content creation, and liaises with TEPSA Member Institutes as well as other consortium partners. Lorenzo also contributes to the coordination of TEPSA’s biannual Pre-Presidency Conferences (PPCs).

Before joining TEPSA, Lorenzo worked for six years as researcher at the International Affairs Institute (IAI) where he worked mainly on research projects dealing with China’s domestic and foreign affairs, and Inter-Korean relations. He has been Korea Foundation Fellow from 2017 to 2018 and member of international research networks such as the European Think Tank Network on China (ETNC) and the European Experts Group on Korea. He graduated in International Relations at the University of Bologna and earned a master’s degree in China Studies from Zhejiang University. During his academic career, he was an exchange student at Peking University (Beijing) and at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (Seoul).

You can contact Lorenzo Mariani at lorenzo.mariani[at]tepsa.eu

Eva Ribera

Project Manager

Eva is TEPSA’s project officer. She works primarily on the implementation of ongoing TEPSA projects, including our EU-Bridge Operating Grant, where she coordinates the organisation, logistics and overall development. Additionally, she assists in activities of external communications and in the supply of external academic expertise to the European Parliament.

Eva holds a MA in International Relations (Security, Peace and Conflicts) from the Free University of Brussels and a BA in Social Sciences from the Bordeaux Montaigne University. Through her research works, she further specialised in gender-just peace, transitional justice and collective action in the Western Balkans. 

Before joining TEPSA as project assistant in October 2021, Eva was a long-term trainee at the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, where she worked on issues related to the rule of law and fundamental rights. She was also a research assistant for a European-wide academic project and worked on European public affairs for the corporate sector. 

You can contact Eva Ribera at eva.ribera[at]tepsa.eu

Sonia Chabane

Junior Project Manager

Sonia (she/her) is a Junior Project Manager at TEPSA. She coordinates TEPSA’s newly awarded project RADAR, on Raising Awareness on Disinformation, Achieving Resilience. Additionally, she manages the supply of external academic expertise to Subcommittees of the European Parliament, especially on matters of human rights, foreign affairs, the EU enlargement, Southern Neighbourhood and the Greater Middle East.

Sonia holds three Master’s degrees with a research specialisation. One from the Global Campus of Human Rights with a regional focus on the ‘Arab world’ and a Dual M.A in the Governance of International Relations from Sciences Po Toulouse. In the last six years, Sonia developed expertise at the intersection of forced migration, human rights mechanisms and violations, new technologies and the political economy of humanitarian and development assistance in Turkey, the Maghreb, Machrek and the Gulf.

Before TEPSA, Sonia’s background has been strengthened by international experience in research institutes (CNRS, Istanbul Policy Center), academia (Yeditepe, Saint-Joseph of Beirut, University College London), think tanks (European Horizons, Turkish Heritage Organization), and non-governmental organisations. Learning from these spaces, Sonia grew interested in actionable research and bridging the ‘knowledge gap’ between academia and policymaking. She now aims to do so within the scope of the European Union.

You can contact Sonia Chabane at sonia.chabane[at]tepsa.eu

Olivia Serra Calvo

Communications and Events Assistant

Olivia is TEPSA’s Communications and Events Assistant. She contributes to the coordination of communications and dissemination activities. In her role she will be assisting in the communication of TEPSA’s key EU-funded projects and the day-to-day related activities. She will also assist in the implementation of TEPSA’s ongoing projects.

Olivia holds a LLM in Law and Politics of International Security from the Vrije University of Amsterdam. She also holds a BA in International Relations from Ramon Llull University – Blanquerna in Barcelona, where she specialized in Foreign Policy and European Union. In her research activities she has focused on human rights, international security, and European affairs.

Before joining TEPSA, she worked as an executive assistant at the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP) in Brussels. Currently she is part of a youth organization, the European Student Think Tank (EST), where she is the Director of Communications. Before joining TEPSA, she was also a member of the Working Group on Human Rights at the same organization, producing research articles and infographics.

You can contact Olivia Serra Calvo at olivia.serra[at]tepsa.eu