Staff

ENC is a young and dynamic independent think tank, consisting of three full time researchers and project managers, one research assistant and two rotating internships, fundraising and external advisors. If you are interested in joining our team, please send us an email

Team

samuel doveri vesterbye
Samuel Doveri Vesterbye is Managing Director with a specialty in Turkey and the Middle East. He oversees ENC research projects and events, including Academic Council Members and regional research coordination. He has worked with EU projects related to foreign affairs and research on Turkey since 2012 through partnerships and cooperation with the European Parliament, business associations, the European External Action Service and various international think tanks. Prior to that he was a journalist in Turkey and Belgium covering Foreign Affairs, Energy and the Middle East. He graduated in Middle Eastern and Central Asian Security Studies with a focus on inter-regional trade and security from the University of St Andrews. He is fluent in English, Italian, Danish, French and Spanish.
Andreas Marazis is Project Manager and Researcher specializing in the Eastern Partnership countries and in Central Asia. His research is concerned with the post-Soviet space, particularly socio-political developments in Central Asia and the South Caucasus. Andreas Marazis is also affiliated researcher at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and associate researcher for EUCAM. Before joining ENC, Andreas worked as a Junior Researcher and EUCAM Programme Officer for FRIDE, and as Project Manager for Eurasian Dialogue. Andreas holds a MLitt in Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian Security Studies from the University of St. Andrews (Scotland, UK) and an MA in Black Sea Cultural Studies from the International Hellenic University (Thessaloniki, Greece). He is fluent in English and Greek and intermediate level in Russian.
Andreas Marazis
Ravshan Abdullaev
Ravshan Abdullaev is Researcher specialising in the post-Soviet space. Before joining ENC, he was the Director of Tajikistan largest civil society organisation – Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia – for five years with a focus on access to justice, promoting good governance and local youth development. He also held a position as an editor of the monthly magazine Tajikistan – Economic Review and has worked as a reporter for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting. He worked, as an evaluator for the media sustainability index and civil society sustainability index in Tajikistan, while providing consultation services for The World Bank, OSCE and USAID between 2012 and 2015. Ravsan holds a diploma in International Economics from the Technological University of Tajikistan and a degree in World Economy from the Tajik-Russian Modern University in Dushanbe. He is fluent in Tajik, Russian, English and Persian.
Ezgi Zengin is responsible for social media and communications at the ENC. She studies International Relations at TOBB University of Economics and Technology in Ankara, Turkey, where she focuses on issues of foreign policy analysis, terrorism, non-governmental organizations and peace studies. She is fluent in Turkish and English.
Elise Bernier
Elise Bernier is a research assistant at the ENC. She holds an MA in International Relations from Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), focusing on security and conflict resolution. Prior to this position, she has been working at the Embassy of Belgium in Hanoi, Vietnam. She is fluent in French, English and Italian.
Roberta Maccari is a Funding and Research Assistant at European Neighbourhood Council. Prior to joining ENC team she studied in Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. She holds a MA in European Studies with specialization in European Politics and International Relations from Maastricht University (the Netherlands) and a BA in Political and Administrative Sciences from University of Trieste (Italy). She focuses her research on state-building in the Western Balkans, the Enlargement Process and the European Neighbourhood Partnership. She is fluent in Italian and English and intermediate level in German.

External Advisors

 Stepan Grigoryan
Stepan Grigoryan
ENC External Advisor and Chairman of the Board of the Yerevan-based Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation (ACGRC).
Areas of Expertise: International Relations, Regional Development, Globalisation, Human Rights, Civil Society.
Country: Armenia
Professional Background: Mr. Grigoryan served for two years (1998-2000) as advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia as well as Permanent Representative of the Republic of Armenia in the Collective Security Agreement of CIS between1996-1999. He also served as Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Minister of Armenia in the Russia Federation (1995-1998) and he was Member of the Armenian Parliament from 1990 till 1995.
Andrea Mogni
ENC External Advisor and Senior Consultant at the Advocacy Firm Alber and Geiger and Senior Expert at the Global Governance Institute.
Areas of Expertise: trade, economic relations, international relations, development, third country funding.
Country: Belgium
Professional Background: Dr. Mogni was Senior Policy Coordinator and Senior Financial Expert at the EEAS where he dealt with programming and financing instruments with neighbouring countries and countries in transition. Earlier he covered EU relations with the OECD, UN, IFIs and regional economic or-ganizations and banks. Dr. Mogni served in the EU Delegation and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Andrea Mogni
Kakha Gogolashvili
Kakha Gogolashvili
ENC External Advisor and Director of EU Studies at the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (GFSIS).
Areas of Expertise: European Integration, International relations, Economics, Conflicts Resolution.
Country: Georgia
Professional Background: Mr. Gogolashvili served for eleven years in the Georgian Foreign Service as the acting Head of Mission to the EU, as well as the Director of Department for Relations with the EU. Since the early 2000s, he has actively been advising the Georgian Government on European Integration, while serving as the Chairman of EaP Civil Society Forum Georgia National Platform.
Nika Chitadze
ENC External Advisor and Director of the Black Sea Region Geopolitical Research Center International Black Sea University and President of George C. Marshall Alumni Union, Georgia International and Security Research Center.
Areas of Expertise: International Relations, Black Sea region, Democracy, Security.
Country: Georgia
Professional Background: Mr. Chitadze served inter alia as advisor to the Deputy Minister of Defence (1998-1999) and as senior specialist for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1997-1998) in Georgia. He is the author of more than one hundred twenty policy and scholarly researches and articles including five books.
Nika Chitadze
Jean-Paul Rouiller
Jean-Paul Rouiller
ENC External Advisor and Director of the Geneva Centre for Training and Analysis of Terrorism (GCSP).
Areas of Expertise: Counter-terrorism, terrorism, radical Islam.
Country: Switzerland
Professional Background: Mr. Rouiller prior to his post at GCSP he worked for the Swiss Federal Office of Police (Fedpol) from December 2003 to January 2010, creating the first Counter-terrorism Unit within the Swiss Federal Criminal Police (SFCP). He then developed the structures and concepts of the first counter-terrorism analysis unit of the SFCP (in charge of intelligence collection and risk analysis in the field of counter terrorism and terrorism). For three years (2000-2003) he worked at the Office of the Coordinator of Intelligence Services of Ambassador Jacques Pitteloud, as Adviser on Homeland Security. He also served in the Swiss Intelligence Service from 1994 till 2000 where he took responsibility for all terrorism files; which include inter alia, Radical Islamic organizations, the ‘ethno-nationalists’ groups (e.g. IRA, PKK, LTTE or ETA) and the remnants of the far-left (e.g. 17N phantom group in Greece).
Sultan Akimbekov
ENC External Advisor and Director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics (Kazakhstan)
Areas of Expertise: Political and social developments in Eurasia, security, regional politics and economics
Country: Kazakhstan
Professional Background: Dr. Akimbekov received his BA degree in history from the Kazakhstan State University and conducted his post-graduate studies in the Institute of Sociology in Moscow. He received his Ph.D. in history from al-Farabi Kazakh State University in 1999. He has authored several books on political and social developments in Eurasia and advises the Kazakh President as the head of the Institute of World Economics and Politics.
 Sultan Akimbekov
 Levan Tsutskiridze
Levan Tsutskiridze
ENC External Advisor and the Executive Director of the regional office of the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) in the Eastern European Neighborhood.
Areas of Expertise: Foreign and security affairs, political institution building and democratic development.
Country: Netherlands
Professional Background: Dr. Tsutskiridze holds a master’s degree in international relations from the School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University. Tsutskiridze is the Executive Director of the regional office of the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) in the Eastern European Neighborhood. In his earlier career, Levan Tsutskiridze worked as the Rector of the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs where in 2007 he founded the School of Law and Politics. Levan Tsutskiridze also contributed to the onset of internationally recognized public administration reforms in 2003-2006 when he worked as the manager of the reform of the civil registration system in Georgia; Earlier, he also served at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as the Head of Project Coordination Unit and worked with Open Society Foundation on developing and piloting early concepts for the introduction of decentralized education management systems in Georgia.
Pavlos Efthymiou
ENC External Advisor and the strategy and external relations adviser of the Hellenic Entrepreneurs Association (EENE) in Greece.
Areas of Expertise: European security and defence, EU – Mediterranean security policy, EU conflict prevention and peace promotion, EU foreign policy and external action, EU border management and security, EU counter-terrorism, and Chinese global influence.
Country: United Kingdom
Professional Background: Mr. Efthymiou has his doctorate on European Security at the University of Cambridge. He holds an MPhil in International Relations from the same University and a first-class honours BSc in Politics with Economics from the University of Bath in the UK. Dr. Efthymiou has worked with a number of think tanks in Athens, London and Brussels, and has been working with the China-UK Development Council (CUDC) since 2012 where he has done extensive project organization and management. He has taught in numerous academic programs in the UK and Europe, including competitive programs of leading Cambridge and Oxford University Colleges. He has work experience in diplomacy, business and policy consulting, and systematically writes op-eds on current events. His side-passion is innovative, startup entrepreneurship which he tries to support and encourage in Greece and Europe.
 Edward Lemon
Edward Lemon
ENC External Advisor and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University in USA.
Areas of Expertise: Religious extremism, Central Asia, foreign fighters, authoritarianism, security.
Country: United States
Professional Background: Dr. Lemon recently completed his PhD at the University of Exeter, where he wrote his thesis about Islamic extremism in Tajikistan. In particular, he focused on the ways in which the Tajik government pursues opponents living abroad. In October 2016, he will take up the position of Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University. He has conducted extensive field research on religious freedom, migration, terrorism and political Islam in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. His research has appeared in Central Asian Affairs, Foreign Affairs, The RUSI Journal, Caucasus Survey and Review of Middle East Studies.
Jos Boonstra 
ENC External Advisor and Europe-Central Asia Monitoring (EUCAM) Coordinator (Groningen, Netherlands).
Areas of expertise: Democratisation, Rule of law, Human Rights, EaP, Central Asia, Security Sector Reform.
Country: Netherlands
Professional Background: Until December 2015, Jos Boonstra was Head of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia programme at FRIDE in Madrid and Brussels and prior to that he managed a program at the Centre for European Security Studies (CESS) in Groningen.
Jos Boonstra
 Parviz Mullojanov
Parviz Mullojanov
ENC External Advisor and Chairman of the Board of the OSI (Soros Foundation) inTajikistan and senior adviser of the International Alert office in Tajikistan.
Areas of Expertise: Human rights, Islamic studies.
Country: Tajikistan
Professional Background: Dr. Mullajanov received his PhD in Islamic studies at the University of Basel in Switzerland. Dr. Mullojanov is a former member of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue, a peaceful international civil initiative during the civil war in Tajikistan and former member of the EUCAM (EU and Central Asia Monitoring) research group. He worked for various international agencies and organizations such as Human Rights Watch in Helsinki, UNCHR, UNDP and ADB.
Talant Sultanov
ENC External Advisor and Director of the Center for Silk Road Studies (Kyrgyz Republic)
Areas of expertise: Economic development, international relations, international finance, Eurasian affairs, Central Asia, digital societies, innovations and ICT
Country: Kyrgyz Republic
Professional Background: Talant Sultanov is a Chair of the Internet Society Kyrgyz Chapter, a Board member at the Bank of Asia in Kyrgyzstan and a Trustee at the Microcredit Foundation “Humo” in Tajikistan. Prior to his current positions, Mr. Sultanov has served as the Director of the National Institute for Strategic Studies of the Kyrgyz Republic. He has also worked as the CFO of the American University of Central Asia. Previously, Mr. Sultanov worked at the World Bank (Washington, D.C. and Almaty), and in Project Finance at Kazkommertsbank in Almaty. Mr. Sultanov is an alumnus of Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Executive Education (2016). He holds a MA in Finance from Columbia University (2006) and a BA Summa Cum Laude from San Francisco State University (1999), where he graduated as the Top Student in the International Relations Program.
Cristina Mazur

Cristina Mazur

ENC External Advisor
Areas of Expertise: Trade, Energy and Foreign Affairs
Country: Republic of Moldova
Professional Background: Cristina gained unique experience as a member of the key negotiation team for the Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) with the EU while working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova. She also served for three years as diplomat in the Moldovan Mission to the EU and four years in the Ministry of Economy and Trade of the Republic of Moldova. This has given her an in-depth knowledge in the areas of trade and trade-related issues, energy, EU assistance instruments, and financial services. Cristina holds a Master Degree in Financial and Banking Administration. In addition to her native Romanian, Cristina speaks English, French, and Russian, and has a basic understanding of Dutch and Italian.