Jürgen Siebel, Executive Director of Cedefop

Jürgen Siebel joined Cedefop from the private sector in September 2019. As Executive Director, he is responsible for managing the Agency’s operations in accordance with the strategic direction of its tripartite Management Board.

Cesare Onestini, Director, ETF

Cesare Onestini is the Director of the European Training Foundation since 1 September 2017.
Mr Onestini combines a background in education and training policy with extensive experience in policy development and management at the highest level in the European Union.

Margaritis Schinas, Vice President, European Commission

Margaritis Schinas took office as Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life in the Von der Leyen Commission in December 2019. In this capacity, he oversees the EU’s policies for migration, security union, social rights, skills, education, culture, youth, health and dialogue with churches, religious associations and non-confessional organisations.

Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights

Nicolas Schmit took up office as European Commissioner responsible for Jobs and Social Rights in December 2019. Prior to this, and following a long career of public service in his native Luxembourg, he took up duty as Permanent Representative of Luxembourg to the EU in 1998 for a six-year term. In 2004, he was appointed Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Immigration.

Blaženka Divjak, Minister for Science and Education, Croatia

Prof. Blaženka Divjak, PhD, is the Croatian Minister of Science and Education appointed in July 2017. She holds a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Zagreb and she is Full Professor with Tenure at the Faculty of Organization and Informatics, University of Zagreb (since 2015).

Anja Karliczek, Federal Minister for Education and Research, Germany


Born in Ibbenbüren on 29 April 1971
Roman Catholic, married, three children

1981    Goethe-Gymnasium school Ibbenbüren
1990    Abitur school leaving certificate then Training as bank clerk
1993    Training in hotel management
since 1994    Managerial work in Hotel Teutoburger Wald

Niki Kerameus, Minister for Education and Religious Affairs, Greece

Niki Kerameus is the Minister of Education and Religious Affairs of the Hellenic Republic. She serves as a Member of the Hellenic Parliament since January 2015. Ms. Kerameus is a lawyer practicing mainly in the field of international arbitration, with significant experience in Greece, France and the U.S.A. She is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and the University Paris II - graduated first in both and summa cum laude.



Külli All

Külli All is a deputy head of adult education department at Estonian Ministry of Education and Research. She has experience in taking part in different  research projects, teaching in VET and HE institutions, organising and managing work-related training at private institution.

Dana Bachmann

Dana Bachmann joined the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission in January 2015 as Head of unit in charge of Vocational Education and Training, Apprenticeships and Adult Learning.

Mara Brugia

Mara Brugia is 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.

Nino Buić

Nino Buić, holds a University Degree from University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. He has a strong background of more than 14 years in the field of VET. Currently holds a position of an Assistant Director for EU Affairs, International Cooperation and Projects in Agency for VET and Adult Education in Croatia.

Ilze Buligina

Ilze Buligina holds the PhD degree in public administration from the University of Latvia and MA degree in social sciences from Maastricht University. Currently she works at the Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia.



Paul Downes Alptuğ Çalik

Birth Date: 21.07.1979
email: alptugcalik@yahoo.com
Graduate: Bilkent University Management Department.

Work Experience: Prime Ministry Expert (2005-2017) (until prime ministry is closed).
Expert in Ministry of Family and Work Affairs ( This Ministry is responsible of İŞKUR) 2017-2020.

Stelina Chatzichristou

Stelina Chatzichristou is an expert in the department for Skills and Labour Market at Cedefop. Her main areas of work are skills anticipation and governance, green skills and skill developments in sectors. She is also the coordinator of the Skills Panorama team. Before joining Cedefop, Stelina worked in the private sector as a researcher and policy analyst.

Arjen Deij

I have been working for ETF since the very beginning, working in many partner countries and especially having a focus on the reform of qualification systems. I have also worked in QCA in the UK on secondment from ETF.

Barbara Dorn

Dr. Barbara Dorn is chair of the CEDEFOP Governing Board and Director Education/Vocational Training of the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (BDA) - the leading organization dealing with social policy on behalf of the entire German private sector.

Anastasia FetsiAnastasia Fetsi

Since January 2015 Anastasia Fetsi is Head of the Operations Department in the European Training Foundation (ETF). She is an economist and has a long experience on skills development policies in transition economies.


Manuela Geleng

Manuela Geleng works for the European Commission where she is currently the Director for Skills in the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. Previously, Manuela Geleng has held several other managerial positions in the Commission.

Nikolaos Georgiadis

Nikos Georgiadis holds a PhD in Political Sciences and Media. He has worked as a VET practitioner in the UK and as advisor for VET and adult learning in various Greek ministries. He was Deputy president of the Greek organisation for the certification of IVET qualifications and national representative in EU tools (substitute member EQF AG- ECVET User’s Group).


Katarina Grgec

Katarina Grgec is the Head of Sector for Development of Education at the Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia. She is a teacher of English and German and for the last ten years she has been working at the Ministry.
She has been a member of working group on Schools at the European level for many years and representative of Croatia in various European bodies and groups dealing mostly with teachers and trainers.

Irina Jemeljanova

Irina Jemeljanova is an expert in Cedefop since 2005. She worked on several important projects, such the study visits programme (2007-13), the ECVET, the support to professional development of teachers and trainers in vocational education and training (VET), and thematic country reviews on apprenticeship. She represented Cedefop on the ET2020 Working groups on Schools and on VET, with the focus on teachers and trainers. She coordinated the thematic country reviews on apprenticeship in Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Slovenia in 2014-18. As of 2020, she is member of the VET policies and systems team.


George Kostakis

George Kostakis is an expert at the European centre for the development of vocational training (Cedefop).  George coordinates the VET policies and systems team in Cedefop which provides information on VET systems in Europe and monitors developments and implementation of VET policies at European level.

Dmitrijs Kulss

Cedefop expert since 2013. Interested in VET policies and systems, and key competences.

Jao Costa António Leite

Born on the 19th May 1961
Teacher since 1983
Vice-President of the Institute for
Employment and Vocational Training (IEFP)
Teachers’ Union In-service Training Centre Director, from 1993 to 2000.

Mara BrugiaMary Lyons

Mary Lyons is Director of National Innovation at SOLAS. She has worked as a researcher, lecturer and a skills development specialist with a wide range of learner profiles and sectors. Her current role involves leading innovation with the FET sector in the areas of workforce development, continuing professional development and technology enhanced learning.

Shanti GeorgeCristina Mereuta

Cristina Mereuta is a Labour Market Specialist at the European Training Foundation (ETF), the EU Agency specialised in human capital development in the Neighbourhood region.Her responsibilities include research and capacity development activities focused on the identification of skills needs, skills anticipation and matching systems, transition from school to work and measurement of skills mismatches.

Mladen Perazić

Mr Mladen Perazić, PhD in economic science, performs the duty of Director of Education and Quality Department since 2003 and Lecturer (Associated Professor) at University ‘’Mediteran’’ in Podgorica since 2012. He is continuously engaged in managing educational activities and coordination of CEM role in reforming process of National educational system of Montenegro; Designing of low and sub-low regulations; Business education; International cooperation; Human resources development.

Iraklis Pliakis

Iraklis Pliakis is a Cedefop expert. Working in the Department for VET systems and institutions since 2017, Iraklis is a member of the Cedefop VET Policies and Systems team reporting on and analysing European training policies.

Anastasia Pouliou

Anastasia Pouliou is a Cedefop support expert. Working in the Department for VET systems and institutions, she is responsible for qualifications, and synergies between EU tools and learning outcomes for education and training. She has peer reviewed the study on the application of learning outcomes approaches in European countries and was the co-author of the European handbook on defining, writing and applying learning outcomes for IVET qualifications.

Irene Psifidou

A doctoral comparative education specialist by training, her current job as Expert at Cedefop’s department for learning and employability is to apply  robust scientific research and principles in the development of evidence-based EU education and training policies. She is currently leading the Agency’s projects on the professional development of VET teachers and trainers and tackling early leaving from education and training, and she is coordinating the European virtual community of ambassadors. One of her milestones is the creation of Cedefop’s “VET toolkit for tackling early leaving”.

Antonio Ranieri

Antonio Ranieri, Head of Department for Learning and Employability at Cedefop, manages a team of European experts working in VET policy analysis and research. The mission of the Department is to support the development and implementation of European policies aimed at increasing attractiveness, effectiveness and inclusiveness of vocational education and training in EU Member States.

Lidia Salvatore

Lidia Salvatore is 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 (Investing in skills pays off: the economic and social cost of low-skilled adults in the EU) and she is currently responsible for managing and carrying out analysis and research on empowering adults through upskilling and reskilling pathways.

Sabine Schüller

Sabine Schüller has been working for the Federal Ministry of Education and Research since 1998. Since 2011 she is responsible for the implementation of the German national qualifications framework. In that function shealso is a member of the EQF Advisory Group.

Eduard Staudecker

Eduard Staudecker is an employee of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture in Austria. He holds two academic degrees. He graduated at the Teacher Training College and at the Vienna University of Business and Economics in the field of economics. His professional career started with the work as a teacher for lower secondary schools. He worked several years as a project manager for the Austrian Leonardo da Vinci Agency and then in the field of student administration and the ERASMUS program for an Austrian university in a leading function.

Sampo Suihko

2017 – , General Director, Omnia, the Joint Authority of Education in the Espoo Region (Finland)

-Strategy development and overseeing the implementation of Action Plans. Management, leadership, planning, organization and supervision of activities of Omnia, a Mandated Body and public sector organization. Services offered range from regional development and projects to education and training and directly reach over 40 000 learners in the public and private sectors. Omnia implements the EFQM framework. The number of staff 1000. Omnia is a UNEVOC nominated Center of Excellence (CoE) in VET.

Sigrid Ester Tani

Educational background
2001 Tartu University BA in Political Science
2003 Tartu University Master in Interpreting

Work experience
2015 -   Tartu Vocational Education Centre

Peter Thiele

Peter Thiele is Deputy Director for VET policy at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
He represents Germany in several
international, European and national VET strategy and programme committees, and heads the BMBF Division for Vocational Continuing Training Policy, covering basic policy issues,skills strategy, innovation and digitalisation in CVET and several innovation programmes.

Giuseppina Tucci

Giuseppina is the current Secretary General of the Organising Bureau of European School Student Union and coordinates the European Apprentices Network. Before joining the Secretariat, Giuseppina was an OBESSU Board Member and member of the working group on Vocational Education and Training.

Ludovic Voet

Before being elected as Confederal Secretary at the ETUC’s May 2019 Congress, Ludovic Voet was national youth leader of the Belgian union CSC from 2015. Ludovic’s responsibilities at the ETUC cover sustainable development and climate change, migration, youth policy, non-standard work and the platform economy, education and training, and equality and non-discrimination, plus organising.

Loukas Zahilas

Dr Loukas Zahilas is Head of the Department for VET Systems and Institutions (DSI) at Cedefop, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training. He studied Chemistry and Information Technologies and he has a PhD in educational policies (qualifications frameworks). After a six-year stint in the pharmaceutical industry he has concentrated his efforts entirely on education and training.

Georgios Zisimos

Georgios Zisimos is currently working at the European Training Foundation (ETF) in Turin as Senior officer in EU Education and Training Policies. He is coordinating the ETFs work on Copenhagen process. He is also coordinating the initiative on Vocational Excellence in ETF.
From 2010-2014, he served as Member of the Cabinet of the EU Commissioner responsible for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, Youth and Sport. He was in charge of the Education portfolio.