Mara Brugia has been the Deputy Director of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, Cedefop, since September 2014. She was the Acting Executive Director from June 2018 until August 2019.
She has been involved in vocational education and training since 1994.
As Head of Department from 2004 to 2014 in Cedefop, she managed teams of experts working in European VET policy analysis, adult and work-based learning, with specific focus on apprenticeship-type learning and the European tools for recognition and transparency of qualifications, such as the European qualifications framework.
She holds a university degree in Economics and a master in Economics, politics and law of the European Union. Her mother tongue is Italian (born in Perugia) and she is fluent in English, French, Greek and Spanish.
Alison Crabb, Head of Unit “Skills Agenda", European Commission, Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.
Working in the European Commission since 1999, Alison Crabb currently heads the Skills agenda Unit in DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.
Her team works with Member States, social partners and other stakeholders to help adults across Europe upgrade their skills, and make skills and qualifications more easily understood across borders.
The European Skills agenda includes the flagship initiative ‘Pact for skills’ and a proposal on individual learning accounts – both aiming to open up upskilling and reskilling opportunities for adults.
Alison is also responsible for one of the EU’s best-known tools supporting learning and working across borders, the European qualifications framework.
Cynthia has been responsible for lifelong guidance at Cedefop, in the Learning and employability strand of the Department for VET and skills, since 2020.
She is also coordinator of CareersNet, Cedefop’s network of independent experts in lifelong guidance and career development, and of the Centre’s inventory of lifelong guidance systems and practices.
Cynthia was previously responsible for research activities in the area of social inclusion at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, participating in a working group and studies in civic competence, early school leaving and young people’s career aspirations, and later conducted project work on school leadership in Europe. She holds a BA in Sociology and an MA in International and comparative education.
Nataša Kranjc is a Director-General at the Upper secondary, short-cycle higher vocational and adult education Directorate under the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport in Slovenia.
She graduated from the Faculty of Pedagogical Sciences in Maribor and continued her studies at the University of Ljubljana, where she completed her studies in the field of adult learning.
She gained extensive experience teaching adults, as well as working in projects on intensifying digital learning in Slovenia to increase the quality and accessibility for adult learners.
The Institute of Republic of Slovenia for Vocational Education and Training and the National Education Institute of Slovenia are among the institutions she has collaborated with.
Patrycja Lipińska has worked as an expert at the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) since 2005. She is responsible for research and policy analysis on VET financing.
Her current projects include financing CVET/adult learning with a focus on demand-side schemes, financial and non-financial instruments supporting training performance in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, individual learning accounts and integrated/coordinated support policies and systems for CVET/adult learning.
She holds master degrees in Economics from the University of Gdańsk, Poland and the University of Exeter, UK.
Robert is a senior adviser at BusinessEurope, responsible for issues concerning migration and mobility, education and skills, social dialogue and the European Labour Authority.
Prior to joining BusinessEurope, Robert worked as a political adviser for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) party.
He attended Keele University in the UK and holds a PhD in Industrial relations and human resource management, focusing on a comparative study of the demand for EU migrant workers in Sweden and the UK. He also holds an MA in European industrial relations and human resource management, and a BA in Human geography and human resource management.
Antonio Ranieri is Head of the Department for VET and skills at Cedefop. He manages a team of European experts working in research and policy analysis on vocational education and training (VET).
An economist by training, Antonio has taught regional economics at the University of Rome since 2002. He also lectured at the National High School of Public Administration on cost-benefit analysis and public expenditure.
Prior to joining Cedefop, in 2010, he was Head of Research and Studies at the public services authority of the Municipality of Rome.
Until 2007, he was Head of Area at CLES, an independent centre of studies on labour market and economic development based in Rome. In this capacity, he coordinated several key projects of the organisation, including monitoring and evaluation of large-scale EU-funded programmes, research projects on the green economy, job and enterprise creation, labour market analysis and skills development.
Felix Rohn's career started by exploring the markets of central and eastern Europe as they emerged in the early 1990s.
Equipped with this experience, he proceeded to worked in a project team for the monitoring and assessment of the EU Phare programme, which paved the way for the EU enlargement of 2004.
In 1998 he became a civil servant in the European Commission, where he worked in the policy fields of enterprise, higher education, and vocational education and training, before moving to skills and qualifications, his present focus. In DG Enterprise he drafted the first EU funding guide for the tourism sector. In DG Education and Culture he worked for the Tempus programme in eastern Europe, and for the Leonardo da Vinci programme, coordinating the work of national agencies.
Today, in charge of the Blueprint for sectoral cooperation on skills and working in the Pact for skills team, he is at the interface between the skills and qualifications unit in DG Employment and sectoral units in other DGs in the Commission.
Agnes Roman has been a senior policy coordinator on education policy issues at the European Trade Union Committee of Education (ETUCE) since 2010.
She has also acted as an advisor to the European Trade Union confederation (ETUC) on lifelong learning and VET policy since 2012.
She represents the European trade unions in several bodies and groups of the European Commission and agencies, such as the Cedefop Management Board, ACVT, DGVT, EQF, and EQAVET.
Lidia Salvatore is an expert for adult learning and continuing vocational training at Cedefop. She was responsible for Cedefop publication and research conducted under the Economic and social cost of low-skilled adults in Europe project and is currently responsible for managing and carrying out analysis and research on empowering adults through upskilling and reskilling pathways.
Lidia holds a bachelor degree in Political science and a master degree in EU economics and politics, both from the University of Bologna in Italy; she also studied in Australia at the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney.
Prior to Cedefop Lidia worked for five years as a research officer in Eurofound, the European Union agency for the improvement of living and working conditions, where she contributed to designing, initiating and carrying out research and comparative analysis in the field of youth employment policies.
Jürgen Siebel joined Cedefop from the private sector in September 2019 as Executive Director.
Out of Thessaloniki Cedefop supports the development of European vocational education and training policies and contributes to their implementation.
As Executive Director, he is responsible for managing the Agency’s operations in accordance with the strategic direction of its tripartite Management Board.
Before joining Cedefop, Jürgen served for more than 20 years as an HR manager with global governance or business-partner responsibilities at Siemens.
Jürgen earned his MSc in Economics at the University of Hamburg, and a PhD in Business administration from the University of Vienna.
Ernesto Villalba has been working at Cedefop since 2011. He is currently responsible for Cedefop’s work on validation of non-formal and informal learning.
He has worked, together with the Commission, on the monitoring, implementation and evaluation of the 2012 Council Recommendation on validation, as well as on several updates of the European inventory and the European guidelines.
Ernesto has served in different committees and working groups of the European Commission, the OECD, and UNESCO. He holds a PhD in International and comparative education from Stockholm University and he is on the editorial board of the European Journal of Education
Luka Živić holds a master and a bachelor degree in European studies from University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences, Slovenia.
He currently works as Counsellor for education, youth and sport at the Permanent Representation of Slovenia to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium.
During the 2021 Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU, he serves as Chair of the Education Committee and the Working Party on Sport.
Among his many roles in the past in relation to EU affairs, he was also Adviser to the Minister for Education, Science and Sport in 2016 and 2017, advising the Minister and State Secretary in the areas of higher education, research and innovation, as well as EU cohesion policy.