Young European Leadership’s contributors come from all over Europe and beyond. Our backgrounds are as diverse as where we come from and where we currently live.

Eloïse Ryon 🇫🇷 | President of YEL

Originally from a legal background, Eloïse specialized in European affairs through her Master degrees at the College of Europe (Promotion Hannah Arendt) and currently at SciencesPo Paris. After two years as Delegations Director, she became YEL Chief Executive Officer in 2020 and YEL President from April 2021.

Eloïse Ryon has a particular interest on European strategic autonomy, the power of digitalisation to foster change and the energy transition. She has been involved in youth empowerment activities throughout her studies through her involvement in different NGOs and student associations such as Amnesty International and ELSA (European Law Student Association). Her drive to have the voices of Youth heard has led her to Young European Leadership after her participation at the Young European Council simulation in Brussels in 2015.

Pauline Kühlwein 🇩🇪 | YEL’s Delegation Director & VP Strategy

Pauline is YEL’s Delegation Director and VP Strategy. If she is not volunteering for YEL, she is working in the Financial Sector in Luxembourg and Studies Business Administrator in her Masters Degree. In her work in YEL, she enjoys most the interaction with all the other passionate and driven Young Europeans from all over Europe. She is certain that the diversity we have in our Community is a great representation of the EU and helps to understand the different approaches and needs we have in the EU.

Sonia Stoyanova 🇧🇬 | YEL’s Secretary General

Sonia is YEL’s Communications Officers and Secretary General. She is finishing her BA in European Studies with a focus on European law. As a Communications Officer, Sonia is responsible for our social media channels, namely Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Her background and understanding of European institutions help her convey the importance of European values to our community.

Josias Knöppler 🇩🇪 | YEL’s Treasurer

Josias is working as a Delegation Officer and Treasurer at YEL. With an engineering background and originally coming from industry, Josias now professionally consults companies on business and organisational issues. At YEL, the Delegation Officers take care of and assist the delegations. In addition, Josias is passionate about the further development of the organisation and the issues of sustainability and democracy.

TEAM MEMBERS 👇

» Delegations & Community Team

Agnese Cigliano 🇮🇹 | YEL’s Community Officer (Alumni network & Regional coordinator)

Agnese is a lawyer working in business intelligence for an international consultancy firm. Being passionate about human rights and sustainable development, she has been part of several advocacy projects at international level. Most recently, she has been involved in the protection of citizenship rights as electoral observer. She strongly believes in amplifying the voice of youth in decision making platforms and most of her projects work towards this mission. Agnese decided to join the Young European Leadership as Community Officer to develop a network of young professionals and explore the potential of community building at European level. She is strongly committed to connect with YEL alumni and promote active citizenship among European youth. 

Jing-Jie Chen 🇹🇼 | YEL’s Delegations Officer

Jing-Jie Chen is the Delegations Officer at YEL. He holds a BA in diplomacy from National Chengchi University, Taiwan and is currently finishing a dual masters programme in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action (Sciences Po Paris) and War Studies (King’s College London). With great passion for international human rights mechanism, he is also an Advocacy Officer at Pour le Brésil and Research Lead at KCL Policy Research Centre on Gender, Migration and Justice. 

Konstantin Solarski 🇲🇰 | YEL’s Delegations Officer

Konstantin is YEL’s Delegation Officer. As an International Relations student, he is a Macedonian ambassador at two organizations that works on European and global political developments. With his experience in civil society and the volunteer field, he has been a founder, organizer and trainer of many events, activities, and conferences. Besides, he is passionate about globalization, economic development, and ecological sustainability.  As a Delegation Officer, Konstantin works to bring all events and the organization itself closer to the delegates and to help them to reach their full potential.

» Communications

Giannina Raffo 🇮🇹 🇻🇪 | YEL’s Communications Officer

Giannina is a passionate communication specialist inspired by producing powerful digital campaigns and delivering impactful advocacy strategies. Her 8+ years of experience promoting communication for social change, has allowed her to develop award-winning campaigns around the world, and to partner with institutions such as the World Bank, Google, Y20, EU, Organization of American States and American Express.

Disha Arora 🇮🇳 | YEL’s Communications Officer

Disha Arora is an award-winning feminist documentary filmmaker and development communications specialist from India. Disha is committed to challenging social systems and ideologies which promote gender-based discrimination. Over the past nine years, Disha has worked with a number of grassroots and international nonprofits to find the best way to tell their stories of impact and build their unique identities. She wanted to join YEL due to its forward-looking approach of amplifying the voices of youth across the continent as they create their own futures.

Alisha Houlihan 🇮🇪  | YEL’s Communications Officer

As a Communication Officer, Alisha supports the strategic planning of YEL’s social media activities, including the planning of impactful digital campaigns using various platforms to spark new ideas for content creators. Alisha has run social media accounts for renowned European organizations, and recently she developed a campaign to promote young people to vote in the European May 2019 elections.

Yoann Duperthuy 🇫🇷 | YEL’s Communications Officer

Yoann is part of YEL’s comms team. He is a French citizen living in Dublin for almost 2 years. He is a business school graduate. He has an extensive PR and communications background, and has worked in the media and the tech industries, and in the public sector. He is passionate about politics, international relations and political PR.

» Partnerships

Maria-Alexandra Constantinescu 🇷🇴 | YEL’s Partnerships Officer

Maria is a LL.M. Graduate in Global Governance and European Integration, passionate about Sustainability and Social Responsibility, solution-oriented and fierce volunteer who believes that education is the key to a better society. Maria is specialized in EU law, but besides that she has been volunteering with various global organizations, such as Teach for All (Romania and Portugal) where she has learned that leadership is the way to go in a world where youngsters need more empowerment and opportunities.

Christian Neubacher 🇺🇸 🇸🇪 | YEL’s Partnerships Officer

Christian is a part of YEL’s Delegations Team. He is a Swedish-American currently pursuing a Master’s degree at Columbia University, focusing his studies on European trade policy. Prior to starting his Master’s Christian worked as a teacher in Sweden, and is very passionate about furthering transatlantic relations 

Tamara O’Chieng | YEL’s Partnerships Officer

As a Partnership Officer, Tamara supports the management of existing partners, by utilising and leveraging the relationship for the benefit of YEL’s mission as well as demonstrating the value we bring as an organisation. She has worked on various diverse impactful projects that have made her hone her skills in problem solving, research, data analysis, and project management. She also has diverse skills having worked in sales and marketing, within a startup, a structured environment, within a remote team, and written technical articles.

Pia Zekay | YEL’s Partnerships/Funding Officer

Pia studied Political Science in Germany and Switzerland and currently works at an Austrian research institute focusing on European security policies. As a part of the Partnerships Team, she is responsible for identifying and acquiring funding opportunities for YEL. Pia believes that youth empowerment and participation are key to a fair and inclusive future for all. 

💡 Read a Foreword from YEL’s First President, Tillmann Heidelk

Tillmann Heidelk

Tillmann is co-founder and President of YEL. He holds a PhD in Economics and worked several years for the World Bank. Now Tillmann works at the European Commission, focussing on evaluating scientific input to policy making in order to contribute to decision making on priorities and resource allocation as well as to enhance accountability.

Diana Carter

Diana is passionate about empowering young people, in particular in driving initiatives to tackle climate change. As Treasurer and Board member of YEL, Diana helps to guide and support the team. Diana holds a masters in Management from HEC Paris, and a BA in Economics and Management from the University of Oxford. She currently works at the nexus of business and technology, enabling companies of all sizes to use cloud CRM to achieve their business goals. Diana speaks English, French, Spanish and some German.