Geoffrey Mamdani is a case handler with DG Competition’s Digital Single Market Task Force. He previously worked in the State Aid Policy unit of DG Competition, where he was responsible for policy in a range of fields, including the rescue and restructuring of banks and non-financial firms in difficulty. Geoffrey Mamdani was a lecturer at BPP Law School in the UK from 2006 to 2009 and practised as a lawyer with the international law firm Simmons & Simmons from 2001 to 2005.
Arlene McCarthy OBE, Special Advisor to the Chairman of Bloomberg and Associate Deputy Chair for Europe, Sovereign Strategy. She is a former Chair of the EP Internal Market Committee (2006-2009) and Vice-Chair of the Economic Committee (2009-2014). She led on several key legislative dossiers including market abuse and banking reform as well as lead negotiator on MiFID/MiFIR and benchmarks. She also worked on copyright, IP and digital issues and is a former Governor of the European Internet Foundation. She led the Parliament’s negotiations on new laws, among others, on mobile phone roaming and unfair commercial practices. She was awarded an OBE in the Queens Honours list 2015 for Parliamentary and Political services. Arlene is also an advisory board member of Global Witness NGO.
David James McAllister is a German politician of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, notably affiliated to the European People Party. He is Chair of the Delegation for relations with the United States as well as member of Conference of Delegation Chair, Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Delegation for relations with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly of the European Parliament. In 2010 David McAllister was elected Minister President of the state of Lower Saxony and, until February 2013, he headed a coalition government with the liberal FDP. A lawyer by profession, David McAllister has served as the chairman of the CDU parliamentary group in the Landtag (Parliament) of Lower Saxony from 2003 to 2010 and was elected chairman of the state party in 2008.
Neil McMillan is Director of Advocacy and Political Affairs at EuroCommerce, the principal representative of the retail and wholesale in the EU. Previously, he was a Partner at Brunswick LLP and dealt with public and government affairs for a range of clients. Neil McMillan worked for 30 years in the British public and diplomatic service, including in Brussels and Geneva. His last job in government was as Director in the Prime Minister’s European and Global Affairs Secretariat in London. He chaired the 1997 WTO talks which agreed liberalisation of basic telecoms services in over 70 countries.
Edward McMillan-Scott is a British Politician. He has been member of the European Parliament since 1984, and currently, since 2004, he is one of the European Parliament Vice-Presidents, and equally Vice President of the ALDE group. Known as a pro-European British, and a Human Rights and Democracy defender, he founded the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) after the fall of the Berlin Wall, with the objective of promoting democracy and civil society all over the world.
Gonzalo de Mendoza Asensi
Gonzalo de Mendoza Asensi is a member of the Cabinet of the Commission for Climate Action and Energy. He is responsible for Energy projects and interconnections, relations with the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. His area of competence within the Cabinet includes energy interconnections, shale gas, oil and coal research, science and innovation, nuclear energy and nuclear safeguards.
Pierre Meulien joined IMI as Executive Director in September 2015. Previously, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Genome Canada, a not-for-profit organisation that connects ideas and people across public and private sectors to find new uses for genomics and invests in large-scale science and technology to fuel innovation in key sectors, including health. Before joining Genome Canada in 2010, he served as Chief Scientific Officer for Genome British Columbia, where he promoted the organisation’s scientific strategy and he was founding CEO of the Dublin Molecular Medicine Centre which linked the three medical schools and six teaching hospitals in Dublin to build a critical mass in molecular medicine and translational research. Pierre Meulien also has experience of working in industry, having worked at Aventis Pasteur in Canada and France, and at French biotechnology company Transgene. He has a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Edinburgh and worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.
Alexander was appointed Kaspersky Lab’s Managing Director Europe in July 2013, taking responsibility for managing the commercial and marketing targets of all Kaspersky Lab’s European offices. He joined Kaspersky Lab in 2006 as Business Development Manager for Italy and Israel, before becoming Managing Director of Kaspersky Lab Italy and the Mediterranean in April 2008. Since 2011 he has worked as Head of Kaspersky Lab‘s Global Partnerships and Sponsorships, developing the company’s global sponsorship projects, the biggest of which is the partnership with Ferrari. At the beginning of 2013, Alexander was appointed Kaspersky Lab’s Deputy Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Business Operations Europe, and quickly made a positive impact in this new role. He graduated from Moscow State University with a degree in engineering with mathematics and cybernetics.
Joaquim Nunes de Almeida
Joaquim Nunes de Almeida is the director for public procurement in DG Internal Market and Services of the European Commission. He was Head of Unit in DG Home, responsible for police cooperation and access to information after being in charge of counter-terrorism in the same capacity. Formerly, he was a member of the Cabinet of Commissioner António Vitorino and prior to that, he was an assistant to the Director-General of DG Internal Market, John Mogg. His career in the Commission started in 1995. He worked for competition and corporate law firms in Brussels and Lisbon from 1989 to 1994.
Following his BA graduation in International Relations at the University of Malta and a MA in European Public Affairs at the University of Maastricht, Martin Ohridski began his career in the social NGO sector in Brussels where he worked as a Public Affairs Officer, consultant and project manager. He was a Board Member of the Society of European Affairs Professionals (SEAP) and an accredited lobbyist with the European Parliament. Martin moved to the European civil service in 2008 when he joined the Crisis Management Unit within the Secretariat General of the European Commission. He worked for five years as Team Leader responsible for providing coordination and support in order to ensure that the Commission is able to respond effectively to internal operational disruptions – Business Continuity- and crises that require action at a Community level. He currently works as Policy Officer in the SG Transparency Unit where he contributes to the implementation and development of the Commission’s wider policy on transparency and lobbying regulation, with particular regard to the management of the ”Transparency Register” and the relations with interest representatives.
Fergal O’ Regan
Fergal O’ Regan is Head of Unit at the European Ombudsman, the EU body which carries out inquiries in relation to allegations of maladministration by European institutions and agencies. Prior to joining the Ombudsman’s services in 2006, he worked at a major Brussels-based law firm for more than eight years, specialising in EU competition law. He is also a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe and gives lectures in a number of other third level institutes on matters concerning both the work of the Ombudsman and EU law in general. Fergal O’ Regan has also been Chair of the Brussels Branch of the Institute of International and European Affairs. He holds a degree in European Law from the College of Europe as well as two others law degrees from the Universite d’Aix-Marseille and the Universidad de Deusto, Bilbao.
Tomasz Orlowski, Head of Section and Counsellor on EU Foreign Policy and External Action, Permanent Representation of Poland to the EU.
Aidan O’Sullivan joined the new Ombudsman’s cabinet as an advisor at the start of her mandate in October 2013. He was recently appointed Head of Cabinet. Previously he spent four years in the European Parliament as a parliamentary assistant. Prior to that, he worked in the private sector for ten years as an IT consultant. He graduated with a B.Sc. (1998) and a Masters (2005) from Dublin City University.
Hugo Paemen served, from 1995 to 1999, as Head of the European Commission’s Washington Delegation. From 1987 until 1995 he occupied the function of Deputy Director-General for External Relations at the European Commission, and, in that capacity, that of its chief negotiator during the Uruguay Round, which resulted in a number of international trade agreements and eventually led to the creation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). From 1985 to 1987 he was the official spokesman of the European Commission, headed by Jaques Delors, and, from 1978 to 1985, ‘chef de cabinet’ of Vice-president Viscount Davignon. He is currently co-Chairman of the TransAtlantic Business Council (“TABC”). Hugo Paemen has held a number of lecturing positions on European Policy and Integration Problems, including at Georgetown University (Washington D.C), the College of Europe in Natolin (Poland) and the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium). He authored “From the GATT to the WTO: the European Community in the Uruguay Round”, and has contributed to several publications writing articles relating to current diplomatic and trade issues, including the TTIP. He co-authored: “A New Era for Transatlantic Leadership, A Report from the Transatlantic Task Force on Trade and Investment” (2012).
Elena Peresso is a member of Cabinet of Karel De Gucht, EU Trade Commissioner, and is in charge of the relations with the European Parliament, the development and social angles to EU trade and commercial relations with African, Latin American, Caribbean and Pacific partners. She previously worked as a member of the Cabinet of the Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid. Between 2005-2009, Elena Peresso was an official in the Council Secretariat in different functions relating to the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy. Prior to that, she served as a World Bank official in Brussels, the West Bank and Gaza and spent her early years in Brussels working for a European electricity industry organisation. She has a Masters degree in political studies from the College of Europe in Bruges and is from Malta.
Szymon Polak is the First Secretary of the Permanent Representation of Poland to the European Union. After studying political sciences and international relations, he graduated from the National School of Public Administration in Warsaw and joined the Polish civil service as a Chief Specialist for energy policies in the Office of the Committee for European Integration. In 2010 he was appointed as Head of the Energy Policy Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 2012 onwards, Szymon Polak is responsible for external dimension of energy policy and shale gas issues for the Permanent Representation of Poland to the EU.
Serena Pontoglio is Policy Officer in the Energy Efficiency Unit at the European Commission DG ENER. Mrs Pontoglio previously worked as a Scientific Officer at DG RTD and at the European Research Council. Mrs Pontoglio has also been a research fellow at the National Research Council of Italy (CNR). She holds a Ph.D in Emission trading and innovation from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan as well as a Master, in Management of Environmental Resources from the Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca.
Andrew Powrie-Smith is Communications Director at EFPIA, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations. He previously worked for ABPI, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, where he served as a Director responsible for the creation and delivery of the association’s reputational strategy, as well as for the management of the ABPI Scotland office team. Andrew Powrie-Smith is also a former Director of the British Lung Foundation Scotland and Northern Ireland where he played a key role in the campaign for clinical standards on COPD, the development of British Lung Foundation Nurses in Scotland and the growth of patient support groups. Previously, he worked in the UK and abroad for the British Red Cross, Amnesty International and Scope.
Arnoldas Pranckevičius is Adviser for the EP President Schulz Cabinet for External relations on matters concerning the Eastern Partnership, Russia, the Baltic/Nordic dimension, the Western Balkans and Asia. Prior to this engagement, he advised EP President Jerzy Buzek on Eastern policy, EU Enlargement strategies, as well as on security and defence issues. He worked as an Administrator for both the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Inter-parliamentary Delegation of the European Parliament. Before joining the European Institutions, Arnoldas Pranckevičius worked as an Adviser for the President of Lithuania. He holds a Master in European Studies from the Institut d’Etudes politiques of Paris, a Bachelor in International relations from the Colgate University, as well as a degree in Journalism from the Vilniaus Universitetas.
Julia Reda is the delegate of the German Pirate Party in the European Parliament, representing a young worldwide movement of people who believe in using technology for the empowerment of all. She is Vice-Chair of the Greens/EFA group and a co-founder of the Parliament’s Digital Agenda Intergroup. As rapporteur for the review of the 2001 copyright directive, she is advocating for a European copyright that is adapted to the digital era, that is easy to understand and enables the free exchange of culture and knowledge across borders. Julia Reda is the president of Young Pirates of Europe and one of the youngest members of the current European Parliament.
Odile Renaud-Basso is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Caisse des Dépôts, Director of Savings Funds and Member of the Caisse des Dépôts Management Committees. Previously, she was Deputy Director of the Office of the Prime Minister of France and Deputy head of cabinet of the President of the European Council. From 2005 to 2010, Odile Renaud-Basso was Director at the European Commission DG ECFIN, while between 2001 and 2005 she worked at the French Treasury as Head of the International Department and as Head of the Financial regulation Division. Graduate of the “Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris” and former student of the “Ecole Nationale d’Administration”, she started her career as an Auditor at the “Cour des Comptes” of the French Republic in 1990.
Roberto Ridolfi is Director for Sustainable Growth and Development at DG DEVCO, European Commission. Twice Ambassador/ Head of delegation to the European Union, Mr Ridolfi was first in Suva where he served from 2005 to 2007. There he was in charge of all the relations of the European Union with 15 countries and territories as well as with the Pacific Forum. Later, in 2011 he was appointed in Uganda by HRVP C. Ashton where he served till September. In between, during his duty as Head of Unit of Europe Aid F3, he managed programmes dealing with Environment, Food security, migration and asylum as well as the One-Billion-Euro Food Facility in 50 countries. Mr Ridolfi joined the European Commission in 1994 and took up duty in the European Delegation to Malawi as infrastructure and development advisor dealing with infrastructure, transport and health.
Rolf Riemenschneider, Ph.D., is Head of Sector Internet of Things at the European Commission, Directorate Communications Networks, Content and Technology. He received the Dipl.-Ing. degree from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, in 1990 focusing on microwave technologies and optical communications. Before joining the Commission in 2002 he worked as an engineer for consulting and project management on behalf of the German government in the Microsystems programme. In the European Commission, he is involved in the research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 where he manages research and innovation project and policies in the following areas: Advanced Computing, Cyber Physical Systems, Factories of the Future and Internet of Things. From 2009-2015, he managed the ICT activities of the Public-Private Partnership Factories of the Future. Since 2015, he coordinates the Focus Area of Internet of Things as part of the cross-cutting activities in Horizon 2020 inside CONNECT and with DG MOVE, DG AGRI, DG RTD, and contributes to the future strategy of the Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation.
Anu Ritz works at the Directorate General for Justice and Consumers of the European Commission. Before joining the Commission in 2005, Mrs Ritz was working in the financial sector. Since 2014, Mrs Ritz is part of the Non-discrimination policies and Roma coordination unit and is responsible for coordinating the work of the EU Platform of Diversity Charters, part of a platform aiming at supporting voluntary initiatives promoting diversity management in the workplace.
Irene Roche Laguna
Irene Roche Laguna worked as an Assistant Professor of European and Constitutional Law at the University of Valencia (Spain) before joining the European Court of Justice in 2002 and the European Commission in 2004. She has worked in the areas of State Aid, online and postal services and on the coordination of Single Market Governance issues in DG MARKT. Irene Roche now is a Legal Officer in the Unit dealing with the Digital Single Market in general and the E-commerce Directive in particular, in DG CONNECT.
Pascal Rogard is Counsellor for Telecommunications and Information Society for the Permanent Representation of France to the European Union. Previously, as Head Of Office at the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry of the French Republic he was in charge of competitiveness and innovation issues. He has also worked on economic regulatory affairs and in cartels controls with special regard to the relations with the European Commission. He started his career in DG TRADE Where he was in charge of bilateral and multilateral negotiations. Pascal Rogard is also Delegation Chief to the European Bank of Investments and has published several publications on EU economy and regulatory-related matters.
Dariusz Rosati is a Polish politician, academic, and a two-term Member of the European Parliament for the European People’s Party. He is a Member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, as well as of the Committee on Budgets. Dariusz Rosati received his Master’s in Economics degree and a Ph.D. in Economics from the Warsaw School of Economics. He is currently a Professor of Economics at his Alma Mater Studiorum, as well as at the Lazarski School of Commerce and Law. He has also gained experience in international organisations such as the UNIDO, the World Bank, and the Economic Commission of the United Nations in Geneva. An avid supporter of a united Europe, he has authored numerous publications on the European Integration.
Heide Rühle is a German MEP of the Greens- European Free Alliance who was first elected to the European Parliament in 1999. She is currently a member of the Committee on the Internal Market Consumer Protection and a substitute member of the Committee on Regional Development. She has been rapporteur for both the report on new developments in public procurement, the so-called the “Rühle-Report”, and the report on “modernisation of EU public procurement”, as well as member of the negotiation team in the informal trialogue on the public procurement legislation. Ms Rühle held different positions within the Green party both on the regional and the national level: she was Chairwoman of the Greens in Baden-Württemberg between 1987 and 1990, Chairwoman of the Federal Executive from 1990 to 1991, as well as Political Affairs Officer in the Federal Executive of the Greens and of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen from 1991 to 1998. Furthermore, she has been a member of the Greens’ party council in Baden-Württemberg since 2003. Heide Rühle is a member of the German Association for Nature and Environmental Protection, the United Services Trade Union and Europa Deutchland.
Annica Ryngbeck is a Policy & Advocacy Adviser at Social Platform, the largest alliance of representative European federations and networks of non-governmental organisations active in the social sector. Social Platform and its members are committed to the advancement of the principle of equality, solidarity, non-discrimination and promotion and respect of fundamental rights for all in Europe. Annica has more than ten years of professional experience of policy, advocacy and representation. Her expertise make up a broad and long knowledge of equality, anti-discrimination, empowerment, leadership and participatory democracy. She holds a B.A. and a M.A. in International Migration and Ethnic Relation from Malmö University in Sweden.
*Please note that the biographies are updated until the day in which the event was held