Team

Rick Zedník, Chief Executive Officer

Rick’s management career spans more than two decades in media, most recently as CEO of EurActiv.com, the independent EU policy news network. Previously, Rick directed marketing for The Wall Street Journal Europe. A dual citizen of the USA and Slovakia, he was co-founding editor of The Slovak Spectator newspaper in Bratislava. Rick holds an MBA from Harvard, a master’s from Columbia Journalism School, and a bachelor’s in political science from Trinity College (Connecticut). He has written for more than 20 publications, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

You can contact him at rick@wpleaders.org in English, French or Slovak.

Alexandra Rosén, Senior Director

Alexandra is Senior Director at WPL. She previously worked as Public Affairs Consultant and head of office of a European Commission accredited Technology Platform. Alexandra holds a Masters degree in Political Science from the University of Uppsala, Sweden. She also studied in Germany and Russia and completed an internship within the UN structure in New York.

You can contact her at alexandra@wpleaders.org in English, German, Russian and Swedish.

Ahinara Bascuñana, Communications Director

Ahinara is the Communications Director at WPL. She previously worked as a reporter, TV anchor, and moderator of conferences and political debates. She also worked at the European Parliament’s communication service and as a communication consultant for non-governmental organisations. She received her education in Journalism in Barcelona and Utrecht.

You can contact her at ahinara@wpleaders.org in English, Spanish, French and Catalan.

Andrea Garnero, Policy Advisor

Andrea is an economist at the OECD and provides advice to WPL. He holds a PhD in Labour Economics. Previously he was assistant for economic and international affairs to the Italian Prime Minister and junior economist at the European Commission.

Aretha Francis, Communications and Advocacy Advisor

Aretha Francis is the Communications and Advocacy Manager at WPL. She previously worked as a freelance journalist for several international Media and assisted the Spokesperson of the European Parliament. She received her education as a journalist in Barcelona and Milan.

You can contact her at aretha@wpleaders.org in English, Catalan, Spanish, French, Dutch or Italian.

Claudine Hitimana, Project Manager

Claudine Hitimana is Project Manager at WPL. She holds a Master’s Degree in Journalism and Communications Sciences. Born in Rwanda, she is living since 2011 in Brussels and she collaborates with several women’s organizations. Before WPL, she worked for international organisations such as German Agro Action and IFDC Rwanda.

You can contact her at claudine@wpleaders.org in Kirwanda, French, English and German.

Erik Boman, Accountant

Erik is responsible for WIP’s finances.  He has plenty of experience in providing accounting services to Brussels-based organizations with a European or international focus.  He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cambridge, and is half Swedish and half American.

You can reach him at erik@abatis.eu in English, Swedish, French and Dutch.

Hala Hanna: Senior Policy and Strategy Advisor

Hala is a public policy expert, with experience in strategy, management, programme development and public-private partnerships through her work at the World Economic Forum (WFL). Her experience also includes advising governments in Africa and the Middle East on governance, public sector reform and donor engagement as part of her work with the World Bank, the UN, and Harvard University. Hala holds a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University and a Masters in International Development from American University, DC. She was a Global Leadership Fellow of the WFL.

You can contact her at hala@wpleaders.org in English, French or Arabic.

Jarka Chloupková, Special Senior Advisor

During the previous two decades, she worked at the EU institutions. She also has experience from working for national governments. Jarka holds a PhD degree (University of Copenhagen), MSc degree (University of London), and Ing degree (Mendel University). She has been a Fulbright scholar in the USA. In addition, she writes on policy issues, moderates conferences and lectures students.

You can contact her at jarka@wpleaders.org in English, Czech, Slovak, German, French and basic Russian.

Kholoud Wattar Kassem, Special Senior Advisor

Kholoud is WIP Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. In addition, Kholoud is President and Founder of “Mothers from Lebanon”, social organization socio-political researcher; candidate of the Lebanese parliament 2013-2014; council member at the WAAUB. She holds a bachelor degree in Sociology/Anthropology, diplomas in child psychology, international negotiation and diplomatic consultancy, in addition to a masters in political sociology.

You can contact her at kholoud@wpleaders.org in English and Arabic.

Narod Haroutunian, Policy Manager

Narod is a Policy Manager at WPL. Narod grew up in Lebanon where she obtained her Bachelor in International Affairs from the Lebanese American University. She is currently pursuing a dual degree MSc in Social Sciences & MA in European Studies at Europa-Universität Flensburg. She has also undertaken an internship in New York at an NGO, affiliated with the UN, known as World Youth Alliance.

You can contact her at narod@wpleaders.org in English, French, Arabic and Armenian.

Pamela Rodríguez, Regional Manager for Latin America

Pamela Rodríguez  is the Regional Manager for Latin America at WPL. She has experience in international cooperation, project management and international relations. She previously worked at the International Cooperation Agency.  Pamela grew up in Ecuador where she studied Business Administration and Development Project Management.

You can contact her at pamela@wpleaders.org in English, French and Spanish.

Suenia Lagares, Executive Assistant and Database Manager

Suenia is the WPL Database Manager. Prior to joining WPL, she worked as an administrative manager and executive assistant in Brazil. She holds a bachelor degree in Business Administration from the University of Wales and post-graduation courses in International Relations from the University of Brasília, Brazil. 

You can contact her at suenia@wpleaders.org in English, French and Portuguese.

Thomas Fillis, Policy Advisor

Thomas is a Communications Strategist in the European Commission who provides advice to WPL. Having previously worked as Regional Manager for Europe and Asia at WPL, Thomas has worked for a German Member of the European Parliament, and in private sector consulting. Prior to this, Thomas ran an international office in Berlin. A native of Liverpool, and has studied at Universities in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.

You can contact him at thomas@wpleaders.org in English, German and French.