Our collaborators

Our team of collaborators has been developing the launch of Culture Solutions since 2019.

They bring their expertise and experience on a voluntary basis to develop cS activities and fundraise.

Alexandra Gil Taboas

Training and Knowledge Sharing and Business Development teams

alexandra.culturesolutionseu@gmail.com

Alexandra Gil is an independent consultant in the fields of international relations, cultural cooperation, events organization and EU project management. She coordinates the AECID training component of the EU-funded project “PROCULTURA”. In 2019, Alexandra was responsible for the organisation of the “Ibero-American Forum on Cultural Diplomacy of the Cities and the Agenda 2030”, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Panama. She has worked on other assignments for the UNESCO, the Embassy of Spain in Senegal (where she co-managed EUNIC’s video mapping project “Dakar, carrefour de cultures”), FIIAPP, the European Commission, the Consulate General of Spain in Havana and the UNDP. 

Alexandra did her master’s degree on “EU International Relations and Diplomacy” at the College of Europe, in Bruges. Her thesis studied the evolution of the European Cultural cooperation in the Maghreb after the Arab Spring. Prior to that, she studied at the Diplomatic School of Spain, and passed her bachelor’s degree in “Advertising and Public Relations”. She also holds two University specialisations in creative economy and cultural management, and in conflict resolution and peacekeeping. Alexandra’s native languages are Spanish and Galician. She’s also fluent in English and French and has an intermediate level of Portuguese.

Alex Issa 

alex.culturesolutionseu@gmail.com

Alex Issa holds a PhD in Political Science and International Relations from Sciences Po Paris. He held the position of Research Analyst for the Middle East and North Africa at France Médias Monde (France24, RFI, Monte Carlo Doualiya) for a year and a half, and is currently a lecturer in International Relations at Sciences Po Paris, ESCP Business School and Inalco. As a political scientist and a policy analyst, he works on the Middle Eastern affairs, development and social policies, peacekeeping and conflict resolution, as well as on diplomacy and the European Neighborhood policy.

Ana Laura Martins

Special Assistant and Research team 

laura.culturesolutionseu@gmail.com

Ana Laura Martins is a young professional who recently completed her Master’s in Military History, which followed a degree in History (with a Minor in European Studies). Her academic interests focused on the socio-cultural and geopolitical fields. She is currently a Junior Collaborator at culture Solutions Europe, where she integrates the communications team, undertakes fundraising intelligence tasks and assists the board. Simultaneously, she is working at the General Library of the University of Coimbra, where she directly assists the board and organizes cultural activities, such as series of debates, exhibitions and conferences. At the same time she manages their presence on social media and is in charge of bringing younger audiences and the Library closer. She is part of Ludi Conimbrigensis, a project that aims to provide children and teenagers with direct contact with Classical culture. She participated in a university program, buddy, helping international students settling in.

Antonios Vlassis 

Research team

Antonios Vlassis is Senior Researcher in the Center for International Relations Studies (CEFIR), University of Liège and Lecturer at the Department of Political Science, University of Liège. His research and teaching fields deal with cultural policies, cultural diplomacy, global cultural politics and cultural globalisation. His scientific contributions have appeared, among others, in European Foreign Affairs Review, International Communication Gazette, Media, Culture & Society, European Journal of Communication, Third World Quarterly, International Journal of Cultural Policy, Études internationales.

He is the author of Gouvernance mondiale et culture: de l’exception à la diversité (Presses universitaires de Liège, 2015) and co-editor (with Pr. Oriane Caligaro) of the special issue ‘European policy of culture: between economic paradigm and rhetoric of cultural exception’ (scientific journal: Politique européenne, 2017). He is currently working on the governance of the interface ‘culture/online platforms’ and he is co-editor of “La culture à l’ère du numérique : plateformes, normes et politiques” (Presses universitaires de Liège, 2020).

Celia Zayas

Training and Knowledge Sharing and Research teams

celia.culturesolutionseu@gmail.com

Celia is a young professional, recent graduate in European Studies. Her professional experience at the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe and at the EU Delegation in Cuba has approached her to the praxis of cultural diplomacy and culture for development and human rights through intercultural dialogue. These and her experience as a junior collaborator in culture Solutions, helped her to develop skills in project management, training, research, partner relations and communication, along with understanding of European international cultural relations and its nexus with development, human rights and gender equality.

She has created and implemented cultural initiatives for engaging with young people in her local community, a Cuba-Spain online musical project and an awareness-raising campaign on gender-based violence through cartoons in the EMEA region. She has also experience in arts performance, having received some minor awards in photography and writing contests. Her interests vary from culture for development, artivism, intercultural dialogue, people-to-people relations, cultural heritage, arts and identity, human rights and gender equality, and her geographic areas of interest and experience are Latin America and Caribbean and the Southern Mediterranean and Africa.

Constance Bobotsi

Who’s who coordinator and Research team

constance.culturesolutionseu@gmail.com

Constance Bobotsi is a Junior Collaborator at culture Solutions, where she researches cultural diplomacy, EU external education policy, and culture in the EU’s external action, as well as coordinates culture Solutions’ Who is Who Brussels database initiative. She works at the European Institute of Public Administration, organising and facilitating training courses on EU external action for EU officials and diplomats. Before joining culture Solutions, she studied EU International Relations and Diplomacy at the College of Europe as a European Neighbourhood Policy scholar of the European Commission, delving into questions of external education policy, relations with the Western Balkans and Eastern neighbours, and diplomatic transformation. Constance is a First Class graduate from the University of Warwick, where she combined her studies on European politics and International Relations with active engagement on campus and in the local community.

Diane Lafont de Sentenac

Research team 

Her experiences in international organisations (UNESCO, EU, OECD, OSCE) convinced Diane Lafont de Sentenac of the crucial role played by culture in all aspects of international relations. She holds an MA in EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges and a Master’s in International Affairs in Sciences Po Paris, where she focused on EU’s actorness in multilateralism and the transatlantic relationship. Award winner of the Jacques Delors Prize 2018, her Master Thesis on EU intercultural relations with the Western Balkans studied the impact of EU cultural diplomacy on enlargement policies.

Domenico Valenza

Research and Business Development teams

domenico.culturesolutionseu@gmail.com

Domenico Valenza is a policy analyst and consultant in EU affairs and a researcher and lecturer in cultural policy and international cultural relations. He is currently a Research Fellow at the United Nations University and a PhD candidate at Ghent University. His research focuses on EU foreign policy, public diplomacy, cultural relations, and the mainstreaming of the cultural dimension in EU institutions’ and member states’ policy areas (digitalisation, environment, security, youth). His areas of interest are the post-Soviet space (EU Eastern neighbourhood, Russia and Central Asia) and West Africa, where he contributed to the implementation of a regional project on violence against women (2013-5) as a project officer at No Peace Without Justice. Domenico also worked at the College of Europe (2016-8) as a Senior Academic Assistant in Bruges, Belgium, and was a Visiting Researcher at the Higher School of Economics (2019), Moscow. He speaks Italian, English, French and Russian.

Dorina Xheraj-Subashi

Research team

dorina.culturesolutionseu@gmail.com

Dorina Xheraj-Subashi comes from Albania. She is a museologist and cultural practitioner working in Aleksander Moisiu University, Durres.  In her 10 years of engagement with museum, heritage, interpretation and education, she has been actively promoting heritage creating several exhibitions. She is passionate preserving culture heritage, and holds a small collection of Albanian material culture.

In 2018, she started the cultural campaign “My heritage-Heritage4All” in the framework of European Year of Culture, as a contributor for breaking cultural prejudices by sharing cultural objects. Also during lockdown 2020 initiated the digital campaign #PostcardfromMuseum #KartolineNgaMuzeu as a way for interaction with virtual audience and students. She is very active in museum/heritage European network, research and cultural activism and advocacy.

Francesca Pozzebon

Business Development coordinator

francesca.culturesolutionseu@gmail.com

Francesca is a junior professional working in the field of culture and international cooperation, combining an academic and professional background focused on culture as a vector and enabler of human development, with a keen interest for the arts and its place within international relations.

Her extensive international experience includes posts within the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development and the Italian Cultural Institute in Montreal, as well as the British Council’s EU Office, where she managed key advocacy activities for the Crafting Futures global programme. Her most recent experience as an international volunteer working with Syrian refugees and local youth in Gaziantep, Turkey, strengthened her interest and belief in culture as a fundamental element to foster mutual understanding and social cohesion.

She holds a MA in International Relations and Development Policies from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, with a dissertation focused on cultural diversity and enhancing the promotion and protection of cultural rights.

Gabrielle Bernoville

Research and Who’s who teams

gabrielle.culturesolutionseu@gmail.com

Gabrielle Bernoville is a graduate of the College of Europe and Sciences Po majoring in European Affairs, with work experience in Latin America, the United Kingdom, and Europe. Currently undertaking a Blue Book Traineeship at the European Commission (DGEAC Unit D.1 Cultural Policy), Gabrielle also serves as a Junior Researcher of Culture Solutions and as the Director of the Public Relations and Communications Department of European Horizons.

Ina Kokinova

Web editor and Research team

ina.culturesolutionseu@gmail.com

Ina is in her last year of a double bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Protocol, Event Management and Corporate Communication. She is currently writing her thesis on the Cultural Diplomacy of the European Union with a special attention to the relations with China. Ina is in charge of culture Solutions’ web editing and also contributes to the communications and research teams. Her area of interest is digitalisation and internet and she recently carried out a research on UNESCO’s promotion of cultural diversity in the digital era as part of a specialisation at the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy.

Simultaneously, Ina is part of the association Equipo Europa which promotes the European values among the youth and fosters their political participation. At Equipo Europa Ina is the communications coordinator, the leader of the working group on European identity and a researcher in the working group on cyber security. After leaving her home in Bulgaria Ina has lived in Spain and the United Kingdom, and apart from fluency in Spanish and English, she also has an advanced level of Chinese and an intermediate of Russian and Italian.

Nicole McNeilly

Training and Knowledge Sharing coordinator

nicole.culturesolutionseu@gmail.com

As a researcher, evaluator, facilitator and project manager based in the Netherlands, hailing from Northern Ireland and with professional experience in regions including Russia, Europe, the UK and South Asia, Nicole McNeilly is an internationally-experienced cultural professional and a skilled intercultural communicator. Her strengths lie in policy, research and evaluation, and she has worked with organisations including the British Council, Arts Council England and Europeana Foundation. 

She has a unique sector perspective stemming from her training as a musician and composer and complemented by her later study on cultural policy and governance. In her MA, she investigated the role of equality legislation as implicit cultural policy in Northern Ireland’s post-conflict context. Nicole’s professional research interests lie across culture, the creative industries and heritage, and in contemporary debates around digitisation, accessibility, and equality and diversity. She is a regular contributor to Dutch and Russian contemporary art platforms.

Romane Ruffenach

Communications coordinator

romane.culturesolutionseu@gmail.com

She holds a Master’s degree in Communication and Marketing from both Baruch College (New-York) and ISEG Business School (Paris). She has rich professional experience in the fields of Communication and Marketing and is fully committed to using her skills to promote the development of powerful strategies in EU internal and external relations.

She has lived for two years in the United-States (San-Francisco and NYC) and has been volunteering there for a women’s rights NGO as well as in a homeless one. Today, she chose to engage for a cause that deeply animates her: the development of the international cultural relations of her homeland, the EU.

Yelena Kharitonova

Yelena Kharitonova is the founder of Caravan Cultural CreArt, a Maastrich-based agency and consultancy firm aimed at providing education opportunities for young international creatives. Since 1999 she has played a crucial role in a range of various international organisations (from EU Institutions, the International Diplomacy Council, ENCATC) as well as in other  projects in the field international relations, intercultural dialogue, transnational cooperation and cultural policies. 

Her experiences also include projects in cultural heritage, fashion and creative industries. She holds not only a MA in Heritage and Cultural Management but also a MA in European Public Affairs from Maastricht University and a BA in International Studies and Diplomacy from the Washington International University. She has lived in several different countries (The Netherlands, the USA, Belgium or Kazakhstan) and earned various specialisation certificates in Lobbying and Business Representation, Cultural Management, Cultural external relations, and International Negotiations. 

Yelena is fully dedicated to the development of better and more integrated EU policies of international cultural relations.