Behind the scenes – Meet the staff of the College of Europe Development Office!

Who is behind the Executive Education and consultancy services of the College of Europe?

The Development Office is the department in charge of managing the College’s training offer and its other services for professionals. The office manages technical assistance and research projects as well as professional training on EU affairs, including tailor-made courses, Executive Education, and e-Learning. The service works very closely with the European Institutions, international organizations and national governments and authorities to support the mission of the College of Europe to contribute to the integration of Europe.

The College of Europe Development Office is constituted of a dynamic and diverse team of 14 people: the Director, a project coordinator, project managers, project assistants and a communications team. One of the project assistants is also responsible of the administrative coordination of the office and assists the Director.

The Office is led by Mr Jesús BALLESTEROS (ES). Jesús joined the College in 2004, and since then he has developed a broad expertise in project management, from proposals to implementation. In particular, he is an expert in project design and quality control of service contracts and in developing and managing study tours and training on EU affairs. He can count also on more than six years of experience in legal practice, particularly in the field of trade law. At the College of Europe he is in charge of the overall management of the Development Office, being responsible for the business and strategic management of the department, supervising the quality of the work of the staff and liaising with external partners.

Cesare ZEGRETTI (IT) joined the office in 2016 as Project Coordinator. He assists the Director in ensuring that the office’s operational efficiency is maximised and strategic outputs are reached. He also oversees the development of new initiatives, liaises with external partners, and coordinates the implementation of projects.

Marta PIASENTIN (IT) is a Senior Project Manager with more than seven years of continuous professional experience in preparing technical and financial proposals in the framework of tendering procedures. Her fields of expertise include Project Cycle Management (PCM), Logical Framework Approach and EU funding opportunities. At the Development Office, Marta is in charge, among other things, of organizing training courses to support learning and development of staff employed by the EU institutions, bodies and agencies, under a multi-year framework contract. Furthermore, she is responsible for the planning, design and implementation of several executive education courses organized each year by the College: the flagship programme Intensive Seminar on the EU that in 2018 will run for the 25th time, the  EU Project Management and the Monitoring and Evaluation courses.

Cristina MACOVEI (RO), Project Manager, has more than 10 years of professional experience in project management and coordination, research and administration. In particular, she has extensive experience in coordinating research networks and has undertaken research on regional integration and labour rights, among other topics. She is charge of two summer Executive Education courses: the one-week course on EU Competition Law, followed by a new three-day course on Competition Policy & High-Tech Markets. Cristina also manages several tailor-made training courses, including the Competition Summer School for Chinese Officials (taking place in Bruges every year since 2013). Finally she manages several Framework contracts of the European Commission on various EU-related topics (Impact Assessment of EU policies, Judicial cooperation in civil matters, Intellectual Property Law).

Claire LAWRENCE (FR/IE) joined the College in 2016 as Project Manager. She has extensive experience in managing donor-funded technical assistance and capacity building projects in the governance and public affairs areas, including project management, trade policies and local development. Among other things, Claire currently manages a EU-funded project to support the implementation of the EU-Algeria Association Agreement, and a series tailor-made courses on EU affairs (including monetary policy, EU decision making, negotiation, project management and comitology) for the personnel of several Ministries of France. She also works on the organization of the two-week course on the Energy Union, launched in 2016 and is responsible for the course on Negotiations in Practice.

A Junior Project Manager with a broad understanding of human rights matters and an in-depth knowledge on EU Affairs, Katherine MICCINILLI (GB/IT) is responsible for the organization of the yearly Trade Policy Executive Education course and of the Energy Union course together with Claire. With Claire she also manages the requests for services within a framework contract on Market Access and Trade; in particular she worked on an assignment related to the promotion of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Responsible Business Conduct (RBC) in Latin America and the Caribbean. Katherine also manages the EU-funded technical assistance project to Support the Diplomatic School in Armenia, and is responsible for organizing training courses on different aspects related to IPA II to support the Ministry for European Union Affairs in Turkey.

Typhaine RAMPILLON (FR) joined the team in 2016 as Junior Project Manager. She is responsible for the implementation of several courses on EU affairs for diplomats and targeted audiences in Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Argentina, within an EU-funded project aimed at raising awareness of the EU’s foreign policy, and to civil servants from various countries within a multi-year framework contract with the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. Furthermore, Typhaine ensures the smooth running of a multi-year project aiming at promoting cooperation and open dialogue between the EU and the League of Arab States. Finally, she is responsible of the Executive Education course Managing Migration in Europe: Challenge and Response.

In 2017 a new Junior Project Manager joined the team: Sara HURTEKANT (BE), an Alumna of the College with extensive expertise in macro-economic governance, external and diplomatic representation for the EU and negotiation skills. She is responsible for the preparation of two Executive Education courses: EU Diplomacy & Diplomatic Skills and EU Economic Governance, and of the implementation of the Intensive Seminar on the EU, together with Marta. Among other courses, she coordinates a series of training seminars for GCC officials in Saudi Arabia, and organises study tours for staff of the Brazilian Institute of Governmental relations.


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