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President, Executive & Consultants

Elizabeth Hanson | President

Elizabeth (Liz) Hanson is Scientific Leader of  Nationellt kompetenscentrum anhöriga (Swedish National Family Care Competence Centre), a centre of excellence in the area of family (informal) care. She is a Professor at the Linnaeus University, Department of Health and Care Sciences, Kalmar, South-East Sweden and a Visiting Reader at the University of Sheffield, School of Nursing. Elizabeth is a nurse by background with long-standing interests in family  care support and empowerment in research and practice, including  the role of Information and Communication Technologies to help carers and older people with long-standing conditions living at home.

Sari Tervonen | Vice-President for Carers Associations

Sari Tervonen is the Executive Director of Carers Finland, an association involved in both advocacy activities and the provision of support to carers, care recipients as well as volunteers in ithe field of nformal care. The Carers Finland network currently consists of 69 local member associations with 12,000 members. Carers Finland also coordinates the Finnish Carers Network of disability and patient organsations.

Sari can rely on 25 years of experience in NGO work, in advocacy and development work, at national and international level. Previously, Sari has held responsibilities as Executive Director of the Finnish Epilepsy Association, Chief of Development in the Finnish Alzheimer's Association, Planner in the Central Association for Social Welfare and Health as well as Regional Secretary of the Finnish MS Association. She  has gained working experience in home services and guiding of people with learning disabilities. She has also been a member of the National Insurance Institution and the Committee of the Funding Center for Social Welfare and Health Organisations.

Sari holds a Master’s Degree in Education and a Certificate in Management and Leadership. She is currently pursuing a MBA at the University of Tampere/University of Technology.

Ivar Paimre | Treasurer 

Ivar is a Board member of the NGO Estonian Carers. He has been involved in advocacy work, the provision of training courses, the development of a national network on assistive approaches to support tools and services targeted at the local informal carers movement.

Ivar is also involved in policy dialogues at national level regarding the rights and recognition of informal carers in Estonia - he is a member of the Steering Committee on the Welfare Action Plan 2016-2023, which focuses on adequate social protection, employment and social welfare. He is also a member of the Working Group on special care services and deinstitutionalisation. He is a member of the Task Force on reducing the burden of care, which seeks to map out and address the issues related to care and caring, through need-based social and health care services.

At international level, Ivar have played a prominent role in initiatives aiming to improve the quality of life of informal carers – he has been the coordinator of the Informcare information hub in Estonia since 2013; has acted as the Project Manager the MYCELF – More You Care in Estonia, Latvia, Finland“ and  the Carer’s HoW – home as workplace, safe and accesible projects.

Bruno Alves | Executive Member

Bruno Alves is the President and co-founder of Carers Portugal – Cuidadores Portugal. He is the co-coordinator of the innovation, research hub and the international relations center. He is an active promoter of multi-level partnerships in the innovation ecosystem, at national and local levels, namely through the project Porto4Ageing.  He has been the co-coordinator of the Informcare Portuguese platform since 2013.

Bruno is a Professor, co-designer and co-coordinator of 16 post-graduatie programs in the Jean Piaget Institute, Portugal. He holds a PhD in Medicine and is a specialist in Higher Education, Health Psychology, Organizational Psychology - with an Advanced specialization in Neuropsychology. He is currently pursuing a MBA at the European Business School of Barcelona, Spain.

At European level, Bruno has been active in various Advisory Board of Horizon2020-funded projects, such as ICT4LIFE, and AAL projects, such as ALL4ALL – Fraunhofer Portugal Research.

Valentina Hlebec | Executive member 

Valentina is a Professor and a researcher, as well as the principal investigator in the research program on the Quality of Life of Social groups, at the Institute for Social Sciences at Faculty of Social Sciences in the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Valentina has been a driving force in the scientific management of the Faculty, as the Director of the Institute for Social Sciences, the Vice-Dean for research and doctoral studies, and as head of the Department of Sociology.

Valentina is a member of  the Expert Group on the Gender Equality Index at the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) where she conveys the voice of the Eurocarers network.

Valentina has extensive expertise in social methodology, cognitive laboratory techniques, development and evaluation of instruments for quality measurement. She has acquired thorough knowledge in the fields of social welfare and informal/formal social care. Her research experience covers projects, focused on reducing old-age social exclusion and active and healthy aging, addressing the needs of informal carers.

Anita Vatland | Executive member 

Anita Vatland is the chairman of Pårørendealliansen, an umbrella organization for the Carers regardless of the diagnosis or condition of the person or relatives. Vatland has long experience from working with the health sector and has a background as a civil economist.

Chloe Wright | Executive Member

Chloe Wright is Policy and Public Affairs Manager at Carers UK - managing the charity's public affairs, policy, media and extensive research programme of work. She is one of the UK’s leading experts in carers’ policy with her knowledge including work-related rights and entitlements, an in-depth knowledge of health and social care systems and welfare programmes in the UK.

Chloe's oversight of research includes leading on Carers UK’s annual State of Caring survey including views and experiences of over 6,100 carers. Chloe has secured a number of key policy and legislative successes in relation to carers. She led Carer’s UK’s response to two major pieces of legislation – the Care Act 2014 and the Children and Families Act 2014 securing improvements to carers’ rights in both pieces of legislation.

 Before joining Carers UK, Chloe spent four years working for a Member of the UK Parliament - she worked on health and social care policy and was part of the shadow health team.

Christine Marking | Consultant 

Christine Marking is a Dutch clinical psychologist, with a specialisation in psycho-gerontology and social gerontology. She has worked previously as a psychologist in a nursing home in Amsterdam, where she was mainly involved with assessment and treatment aspects of psycho-geriatric patients as well as managing support groups for carers and relatives.

After moving to Brussels in 1988 she became Marketing Manager with Market Research Intelligence Company, performing market research in the area of pharmaceuticals, and from there moved to the European Commission, where she worked as a consultant with the ageing unit of Directorate General V (Health and Social Affairs) of the European Commission.

Two years later, she joined Eurolink Age, a European-wide network of older people’s advocacy organisations, representing the interests of older people at EU policy level, and responsible for the co-operation with a number of social and health advocacy groups and became its Director in 1997. As one of the initiators and driving forces behind the creation of AGE - the European Older People’s Platform, she was appointed its first Director when AGE started its activities in January 2001.

In September 2002 she joined Weber Shandwick | Adamson as Director of the Pharmaceuticals and Health Care Practice.

Since September 2003, Christine runs Marking Public Affairs sprl in Brussels, which advises on a variety of EU health and social policy related projects and issues.

The Secretariat


Francesca Centola  - Project Officer

After a Master Degree in international relations and diplomatic studies, Francesca specialised her education in international protection of human rights. She has great familiarity with European Union’s decision making process and funding opportunities, as she has worked for three years in the euro project field for a European network of NGOs and local authorities whose aim is to create more inclusive and fair societies.

In her previous job she was Transnational Project Coordinator of EU funded projects on human rights topics (gender equality, integration). She was in charge of the whole project life cycle, financial management included.

She has experience of institutional world (she has been a consultant for a United Nations Institute) and civil society (she has worked for Amnesty International and as human rights researcher). 

In her new position as Project Officer, Francesca is currently coordinating Eurocarers activities on young carers and she is involved in research and advocacy on gender equality and human rights issues.

Francesca speaks Italian, English and French.

Claire Champeix | Policy Officer 

Claire has extensive experience of policy work, research and project coordination in the social field at local and European levels. She has worked with social NGOs at the European level for more than 13 years, and contributed to efficient lobbying and awareness raising strategies aimed at developing social cohesion.

In her previous job, she coordinated a project gathering NGOs, local authorities, services providers, Foundations, as well as international organisations aiming at fostering the transition from institutional to community-based care for children and dependent people in the European Union. Previously, she has been active in promoting the rights and the participation of people experiencing poverty, discrimination and social exclusion. She has also been working with local authorities for 7 years. Claire studied Political Sciences and Sociology.

Olivier Jacqmain | Senior Communication Officer

Olivier is a creative content and communication specialist. He has been working as a communication consultant for NGO's for the last 4 years. Prior to that, Olivier has been active in Civil Society Organisations in the health and social sectors for more than 15 years. He has designed, developed and implemented successful communication campaigns and strategies at UN and EU levels.
Olivier holds a master's degree in translation. He has been conducting a wide range of publications throughout the production chain, from writing, editing and proofreading in English, French and Spanish to conceptualizing and designing. He also has a significant track record in the development of visual identities and conception of visual elements and global campaigns' deliverables.

Nadia Kamel | Project Officer

Nadia has over 10 years of professional experience gained in her previous role as Scientific Officer for a large European scientific and medical society, responsible for providing clear evidence-based policy recommendations for advancing standards for care, education and research for improved respiratory health. She holds a Master’s degree in life sciences and has experience as project partner in several EU research projects ranging from the engineering to the medical field. She has also provided considerable support to the activities of various health and research advocacy alliances at EU-level. Before that she worked in different functions with several engineering associations at EU-level and as environmental coordinator for a Swedish fuels company.

Riika Lempiainen | Administrative and Financial Officer

Riika has worked in different administrative functions in Belgium since 2005 gaining an extensive experience in finance and human resources management and general office administration. She has a Master Degree in history and economics.

In her previous job, she was finance and HR manager for the Brussels chapter of a global geotechnical consulting company responsible of the accounting and financial reporting, human resources and general management including legal and administrative support to staff. Previously she has worked as office manager for an NGO in humanitarian aid, as recruiter for service sector and as administrator in cultural field.

Stecy Yghemonos | Director

Stecy has extensive experience of business development, and project design and management, and has worked in the social and health fields for more than 13 years. He has played a leading role in international ventures aiming to promote and defend important rights such as universal and equitable access to health, the achievement of MDGs, press freedom, children’s rights and participative democracy.

In his previous job he was Manager for a not-for-profit organisation which fostered learning between countries in what works to improve health and tackle health inequalities, particularly through action on the social determinants of health. He built up the portfolio of work, including in the framework of the EU Employment and Social Investment (EaSI) programme, to develop and lead several initiatives which brought together partners and stakeholders to improve health. He has worked with several parts of the EU institutions, World Health Organization and Civil Society.