Steering Group and Strand Facilitators

Steering Group

Marie-Luise Abshagen

Marie-Luise Abshagen

Referentin Nachhaltige Entwicklung - Forum Umwelt & Entwicklung

Marie-Luise Abshagen works with the German NGO Forum on Environment and Development as a Policy Officer on Sustainable Development. She holds a Master of Arts in East Asian Studies and Political Science, studied in Leipzig (Germany), Tübingen (Germany) and Taipei (Taiwan) and has lived in the USA, Taiwan, China and South Korea. For many years, Ms Abshagen has been engaged in human rights work and the achievement of sustainable development. In Germany, she is a member of two advisory boards on “New Alliance for Sustainability Policies” and “(Right-wing) Radicalization and Nature Conservation”

Stéphanie Ghislain

Stéphanie Ghislain

Trade & Animal Welfare, Programme Leader - Eurogroup for Animals

Stephanie Ghislain leads the “Trade & Animal Welfare” Programme at Eurogroup for Animals, the pan-European animal advocacy organisation representing 70 members based in the EU and beyond. Eurogroup for Animals’ “Trade & Animal Welfare” Programme acts as a constructive partner to EU decision makers offering WTO compatible solutions to problems identified in connection with trade and animal welfare. Before joining Eurogroup for Animals, Stephanie worked six years in a consulting firm, primarily advising companies and governments on EU trade policy. She was Eurogroup for Animals’ representative on the Commission’s Expert Group on Trade Negotiations and sits on the EU Domestic Advisory Groups (DAGs) created under the trade agreements with Ukraine, Canada, Japan and Singapore.

Sarah Franklyn

Sarah Franklyn

Independent

Sarah brings more than thirty years’ international experience, spanning thirty countries, in sustainable development, policy coherence for sustainable development and building bridges between civil society, NGOs, public and private sectors to develop collaborative solutions for social impact and sustainability and mobilising coalitions and networks for people, planet & partnership.   She is co-founder of Natural Capital Services, an international social enterprise consulting organisation, working on international, regional, local sustainable development trade/agricultural, community & rural initiatives in the NGO, public and private sectors on policy and legislation for the SDGs, corporate governance, social & environmental justice. Sarah has served on the task force of the Government of Kenya, Ministry of Health in the development of Kenya’s first menstrual health policy.  She has also collaborated with the Irish government on developing Ireland’s SDGs National Stakeholder Forum & served as Coordinator of Coalition 2030, Ireland’s largest civil society SDGs coalition.  

Julie Rosenkilde

Julie Rosenkilde

Nyt Europa Director

Julie Rosenkilde is director of the Danish NGO Nyt Europa, who are focusing on the SDG implementation in an EU and national context. Julie has a master’s in International Development Studies and Public Administration (doing her thesis on the SDG-negotiations process in the UN) from Roskilde University in Denmark and a MA in Political Communication from Goldsmiths University of London.  Since the adoption of the SDG in 2015, Julie has been working on the SDG agenda. She has the years been working with engaging especially citizens on a national and local level in Denmark. She has been leading awareness raising campaigns about the SDGs and made concrete engagement activities for citizens, on how they can actively engage in the SDG agenda, from debating in open conferences to games being used in Schools. Furthermore Julie, has put the SDG-EU agenda on a national level, and have pushed for a strong national position on the EU relations to the SDGs. She will work on strengthening national involvement in a strong EU adoption and action plan for the SDGs in different international fora.

Nadège Lharaig

Nadège Lharaig

Make Europe Sustainable for all project manager at EEB

Nadège works for the European Environmental Bureau focusing on policy and advocacy on sustainable development and the gender and environment nexus. She holds a master’s degree in Public Policy and Social Change from Sciences Po Grenoble and an MBA from the Sorbonne Business School. Before joining the EEB, she worked on social issues both in NGOs and multinational companies with a strong focus on gender, education and access to energy. Nadège is originally from France and speaks French, English and Spanish.

Bernhard Zlanabitnig

Bernhard Zlanabitnig

SDG Watch Austria

Bernhard is director of the EU-Umweltbüro in Vienna, a green NGO, as well as Vice-President of the European Environmental Bureau/EEB, Europe’s largest environment umbrella organization based in Brussels and member of the Steering Committee of SDG Watch Austria. Main areas of work are environmental legislation and its implementation, both on the European and national level, circular economy, renewable energies, biodiversity and sustainable development as well as advocacy and lobbying.

In his free time, he enjoys (ski) mountaineering, jogging and all kinds of cultural activities.

Constantinos Machairas

Constantinos Machairas

Treasurer - Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP)

Constantinos Machairas is the Executive Director of Organization Earth, a Greek CSO offering non-formal education regarding sustainable urban lifestyles and organizing collective actions concerning the implementation of Agenda 2030. He also serves as the General Secretary of IFOAM AgriBioMediterraneo, the regional group consisting of the members from the Med countries of the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movement (IFOAM). Since November 2016, Constantinos has been the President of the Hellenic Platform for Development, the umbrella-organization for the coalition of Greek NGOs. For the last ten years, he’s been active within Greek Civil Society, holding various roles and positions, such as member of the Board at ActionAid Hellas, at Vocational Training Center Margarita whose mission is to improve the lives of people with light and mild intellectual disabilities and at the recently established UN Global Compact Greece.

Laura de Bonfils

Laura de Bonfils

Policy and Advocacy Coordinator - Social Plattform

Laura de Bonfils is currently working at the Social Platform as policy and advocacy coordinator. Before taking her new role, she was the Social Policy Coordinator at SOLIDAR, where she coordinated the work for building Social Europe focusing on social rights social inclusion and employment, monitoring the European Semester and the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR). Prior to this she was the International Policy, Advocacy and Fundraising Manager at Volonteurope while also working at the UK charity Volunteering Matters, focusing on volunteering, active citizenship and combatting inequalities.

Prior to this she worked as a freelance researcher in social policy with a focus on equality, employment and migration. She worked at the European Institute for Gender Equality in Vilnius from 2012 to 2013, co-authoring the first edition of the Gender Equality Index. She has also experience working in several communications teams in non-profit organisations as well as working as a journalist for several Italian media, and as a Communications Officer for international events and theatre performances. She holds an MSc in Gender, Media and Culture at the London School of Economics and Political Science and an MA in Publishing and Journalism at LUMSA University in Rome.

Agata Meysner

Agata Meysner

International Affairs Lead - V4SDG

Agata Meysner is an activist and an environmentalist driven by empowering young people to become changemakers in their communities. She is currently the International Affairs Lead at V4SDG, the first youth network accelerating cooperation for the implementation of the SDGs in the Visegrad Group (Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary).

Agata has experience in youth engagement and representation in decision-making processes, multi-stakeholder collaborations as well as EU advocacy and campaigning on climate and environmental issues. After studying and working in Poland, the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium, she is currently pursuing an MSc in Public Policy at the University College London (UCL) focusing on circular economy and resource efficiency.

Carlos Roldán Mejías

Carlos Roldán Mejías

Social Policy Coordinator - SOLIDAR

Carlos Roldán Mejías is the social policy coordinator of SOLIDAR since October 2020. In this organisation, he coordinates SOLIDAR work on EU social policy in particular on employment, social inclusion, migration, capacity building, access to social rights and the monitoring of the European Semester and the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

He holds a degree in Social Psychology and a master’s degree in school counselling, both from Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain), as well as a master’s degree in Spanish as a second language from Universidad Nebrija (Spain), where he developed his research work on intercultural teaching competence. In addition to that, He has carried out exchanges at Université de Liège (Belgium) and University of Ottawa (Canada).

Prior to join SOLIDAR, he was during two years the coordinator of Fundación Cives, in Spain, an organization which has as a goal the promotion of civic education based on democratic values, solidarity, the SGDs & Human Rights. Within CIVES, he was engaged in research on civic education and hate speech, as well as in providing capacity building and trainings on global citizenship education, gender equality, the Agenda 2030 and intercultural education, among other topics.

Before that, Carlos was engaged to the Spanish NGO Liga Española de la Educación y la Cultura Popular where he was a project officer at the Cross-Cultural and Migration Department for 4 years, supporting the coordination of projects linked to the inclusion of migrants in the Spanish society, and an international aid worker for 3 years in Peru and El Salvador. Thanks to that, he had the chance to work directly with local organisations from both countries in the development of international cooperation projects linked to intercultural bilingual education and teacher’s training, culture of peace, gender equality, citizen participation and the promotion and defence of children’s rights, among other issues.

WORK STRAND LEADERS

Strand 1

Nadège Lharaig

Nadège Lharaig

Make Europe Sustainable for all project manager at EEB

Strand 2

Inge Niestroy

Inge Niestroy

Associate at IISD and EU liaison

Strand 3

This could be you!

This could be you!

At the moment we are looking for a new facilitator for Work Strand 3

Strand 1

Sarah Franklyn

Sarah Franklyn

Independent

Strand 2

Patrizia Heidegger

Patrizia Heidegger

Director of Global Policies and Sustainability at EEB

Former Members of the Steering Committee

Ingo Ritz

Ingo Ritz

Director at GCAP

Ingo Ritz is the Director of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP). The global movement against inequalities and poverty has 8,600 member organisations from civil society working together in national coalitions in 58 countries around the globe. GCAP uses the Agenda 2030 and the SDGs as a framework for the just transition needed for people and planet. Ritz is economist and worked 20 years with grassroots organisations in Bangladesh and India for women’s rights, the right to food, education and against the shrinking space of civil society.

 Deirdre de Burca

Deirdre de Burca

Advocacy Co-ordinator at IFP

Deirdre currently works as an Advocacy Co-ordinator for a development network. She previously worked as a Director of Advocacy for World Vision’s EU office

She was also a member of the EU Steering Committee of Concord’s Beyond 2015 EU Taskforce which played an important role in influencing the position of the EU and its Member States during the UN negotiations on Agenda 2030. Deirdre was also one of the founding members of SDG Watch Europe.

Patrizia Heidegger

Patrizia Heidegger

Director of Global Policies and Sustainability at the EEB

Patrizia has joined the Steering Group in 2017. She leads the EEB’s work on sustainable development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), follows intergovernmental processes at the UN, and supports projects on environmental democracy as well as environmental justice.

She was previously Executive Director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, a global coalition of 19 environmental, human and labour rights organisations seeking to prevent unsustainable industrial practices in developing countries as well as illegal waste shipments. She has experience working on human rights and development issues in South Asia.

Leida Rijnhout

Leida Rijnhout

Programme Coordinator Resource Justice & Sustainability at FoeE

Leida Rijnhout is programme coordinator of Resource Justice and Sustainability at Friends of the Earth Europe. Since 2001 she facilitated and coordinated the global NGO community to realise their active engagement in United Nations processes on Sustainable Development and Environment. She was heavily involved at and in the preparations of the Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 (Johannesburg), at Rio+20 in 2012 (Rio de Janeiro), the development of the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda (SDGs) and the UN Environment Assemblies. She is the initiator of SDG Watch and is still member of the Steering group. As representative for this alliance she is also member of the EU Multi Stakeholder Platform on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, chaired by EU Vice President Frans Timmermans.

 Barbara Caracciolo

Barbara Caracciolo

Sustainable Development Coordinator at SOLIDAR

Barbara Caracciolo is Sustainable Development Coordinator at SOLIDAR. She leads SOLIDAR advocacy and campaign work on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with a focus on Decent Work, as well as on the EU-Latin America relations. Passionate about universal labour and social rights, between 2009 and 2013, Barbara was SOLIDAR coordinator of the Decent Work Decent Life Campaign and lead the network’s campaign and advocacy work for an international instrument on Decent work for Domestic Workers and on Universal Social Protection floors.

Fanny Voitzwinkler

Fanny Voitzwinkler

Head of EU Office at GHA

After graduating in Conflict Studies and Human Rights, Fanny Voitzwinkler worked on minority rights projects for the European Centre for Minority Issues in Kosovo, on peacebuilding and conflict transformation in the United Nations Africa Peacekeeping Operations in New York, on emergency health aid with the Palestinian Medical Relief Society in the occupied Palestinian territories, on children’s rights campaigns for the Council of Europe and on multilateral relations with the European Commission. In 2011 she created the Global Health Advocates’ Brussels office. She develops and implements the strategy of GHA at EU level, where she leads a team of 4 Advocacy & Policy Managers and Officers.

Alison Coleman

Alison Coleman

Policy Officer - Anti-Corruption in Development at Transparency International

Alison has been working on issues related to Sustainable Development, at both the EU and international level for the previous 8 years. Having worked with both environmental and social justice NGOs she has an in-depth knowledge of issues related to a number of sustainable development goals, and appreciates the importance of tackling Agenda 2030 as a whole.

Alison has worked with Transparency International since 2014 working on anti-corruption and transparency policies related to development. Alison has a BSc in zoology and ecology, and an MSc in Environmental Science Policy Planning.

Ingeborg Niestroy

Ingeborg Niestroy

Associate at IISD and EU liaison

Ingeborg has two decades experience in European and international policy-making and multi-stakeholder relations, inter alia as Director of the European network of advisory councils for environmental policy and sustainable development (EEAC). In this function she was strongly involved in the Rio+20 process and has worked in various capacities on the Agenda 2030 implementation ever since. She has (co-)authored, lead and collaborated in a number of studies on governance for sustainable development, including regulatory/sustainability impact assessment. She is Associate of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and brings in the science-policy interface to SDG Watch as facilitator of Strand 2 ‘Monitoring and Reporting’. She is representative of SDG Watch in the management committee of the EU Multi Stakeholder Platform on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Klára Hajdu

Klára Hajdu

Senior Policy Officer - CEEweb for Biodiversity

I have experience in international and EU biodiversity and resource policies, and special interest in holistic approaches for sustainable development. I have been involved in European campaigns and coalitions, like the Resource Cap Coalition proactively calling for progressive resource use and climate policies. I was an initiator and a co-leader of the People’s Budget campaign since its kick-off in 2016, which demands the sustainability proofing of the future EU Budget and its alignment with the SDGs. The campaign brings together dozens of organisations from various fields working on the EU budget under the sustainability umbrella. I am based in Budapest working at CEEweb for Biodiversity, a regional network in Central and Easter Europe since 2000.

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