Our Team

Sotiris Petropoulos


During my PhD studies, I came across the Civil Society and Nonprofit Organizations. Since 2009, I am focusing on the NPO ecosystem, in particular through the research program “Thales-Evaluation of Greek Nonprofit Organizations”. In 2012, I started organizing a series of capacity-building seminars directed to organizations throughout Greece. Having met people from more than 200 Nonprofit Organizations, I can maintain my positive attitude and smile since all the elements for fascinating initiatives are out there. My aspiration is to support as much as possible the Greek ecosystem.
Sotiris holds a Bachelor’s degree in Shipping, an MA in International Political Economy and a PhD focusing on Regionalism in the Developing World.

Alexandra Emirza

Deputy Director

The first contact with the NPO ecosystem starts with my participation in the high school environmental volunteer team. Upon completion of my academic studies, I worked in private and Nonprofit Organisations where I gained experience in conducting economic studies and mainly in the preparation, analysis and monitoring of programs funded by national and international donors. Since 2012, I have been a key lecturer in capacity building trainings and regularly I evaluate projects, since measuring social impact is a long standing goal. Being a HIGGS member I hope to put my knowledge and experience to the service of all those who try to make the world better.
Alexandra has studied Public Administration and holds an MSc in Health Care Policy and Management from University of Birmingham.

Michalis Vasilakis

Advocacy Manager

My first contact with volunteering was in Zimbabwe, where I worked for an organisation providing  counselling services to the local community. Along the way, I had the opportunity to work with various organisations in Greece and at the same time participate in many European and international networks which gave me inspiration and motivation to continue my career. Concluding more than 10 years of active participation and work in Civil Society in different types of initiatives (LGBTQI+, Environmental, Refugee/Immigration, Youth Work), has created a suitable mosaic of experiences that could become the basis for exchange and cooperation with all organizations. In HIGGS, we aim to broaden our alliances, work collaboratively and collectively in order to establish a safe and productive environment for the development and action of Civil Society organisations.
Michael studied Social Theology at the National Kapodistrian University, with a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from Edinburgh University and a Diploma in Human Resource Management from the National Kapodistrian University.

Lena Panagiotarea

Project Manager

Major Projects / Speed Dating Event / Civil Society Conference

From the first month of my university studies, I came in contact with an International university student union (AIESEC) where I worked voluntarily for 4 consecutive years, 2 of them as a member of the Board of the local committee of the university. Upon completion of my studies, I return to my hometown (Athens) and begin my professional journey, initially in companies in Project Management positions having in my responsibility the management of large-scale programs and since 2014 in non-profit organizations, initially as the Head of a newly established NGO at that time and then, as a freelancer providing my consulting services to NGOs on strategic planning and project management issues. At HIGGS, having the main role of managing large scale projects, I am sure that I will offer and receive a lot of knowledge and experience, in this new path.
She studied Business Economics at AUTh.

Georgia Pantiora

Project Manager/Green & Social Entrepreneurship Incubator

My involvement with volunteering started during my undergraduate studies, where I was initially interested in understanding more deeply Civil Society. My work experience in various NPOs, over recent years, as well as the daily contact with young people, full of vision and ideas, have been an inspiration to contribute to society, aiming at establishing a sustainable and prosperous future, without discrimination. At HIGGS, this inspiration turns into practice and I hope, from my end, to offer adequate support to joint efforts of NPOs’ empowerment and effectively address the increasing challenges.
Georgia studied International and European Studies at Panteion University and she holds a MA in Environmental Governance and Sustainable Development.

Anastasia Psoma

Project Manager Accelerator

I came in contact with the NGO sector almost from the beginning of my career and I quickly realized that this is the field in which I want to offer and be active. For the last 12 years I have been working in Greece and abroad, securing resources and promoting the work of important organisations and initiatives. I believe in empowering people and the value of “planting trees in the shade of which we know we will never sit down”. Through my role at HIGGS, I hope to contribute to strengthening the capabilities and increasing the effectiveness of many remarkable organizations in the Greek NGO ecosystem.
Anastasia studied Business Administration at the University of Macedonia with a Master’s degree in “Marketing, Advertising & Public Relations” from the University of Sheffield. She also holds a Diploma in Fundraising from the Institute of Fundraising (UK) and a Diploma in Digital & Social Media from Deree.

Emilia Douka

Assistant Project Manager

During my studies, I came across the nonprofit organizations, as I had a strong interest in better understanding the social reality and the environmental challenges. The combination of my multifarious knowledge, as well as my dedication to the most vulnerable members of our society, were a unique asset which provided me the opportunity to work in remarkable organizations in Greece and abroad that their principles, values and activities have a positive impact on society, culture, environment and contribute to develop sustainability. HIGGS also works in this direction and a step beyond, as through its innovative educational activities it contributes to the empowerment and development of Civil Society and Nonprofit Organizations for a sustainable present and future. I am delighted to be part of HIGGS’ team so that through my knowledge and personal abilities I can contribute to its vision and initiatives.
Emilia studied Interior Architecture, Decorative Arts & Design at the Technological Educational Institute (T.E.I.) of Athens, with a Master’s degree in Strategic Design, Innovation and Design of the Product – Service System from Poli.Design-Politecnico di Milano, Italy. She attended the Social Value & SROI Practitioner Training from Social Value UK.

Katerina Papagiannopoulou

Assistant Communications Project Manager

My first contact with the NPO ecosystem was right after my undergraduate studies. I started working in non-profit organizations and after a short time I joined in volunteer teams. Over the years I have worked in environmental and humanitarian NGOs, focusing in public awareness projects. Through these projects, people learn more information about NGOs, they understand their goals, values and needs, they come one step closer to their work and learn ways to support them and be part of the solution. At HIGGS, I will have the opportunity to work with more organizations and I hope through my knowledge and experiences I will be able to help increase social impact.
Katerina studied Political Science and International Relations in the University of Peloponnese and now she continues her Master degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship Management at Open University of Greece.

Afroditi Giota

Assistant Manager

During my first academic years, I caught the volunteering “bug”, a factor that remains stable through the years up until now. Having participated on a volunteering basis in multiple student entities and becoming an intern afterwards in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, my main motive was always to achieve personal growth, positive impact, being inspired and inspire my surroundings with my deeds. Having attended the “Philanthropy 2.0” event organized a couple of months ago by HIGGS, helped me gain a new perspective on Philanthropy, a domain that I aspire to serve. The excellent organization of this event, the promotion of knowledge exchange among Civil Society entities and the holistic approach that the programmes of HIGGS promote, have been an absolute driving motivation for me and my work.
Christina holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication & Mass Media from the National Kapodistrian University of Athens and a Master’s degree in Social Innovation & Development Strategies from the University of Peloponnese and the National Centre for Social Research.

Christina Kourmpeli

Assistant Manager

My inclusion in the HIGGS team started during my undergraduate studies, on the occasion of my internship, which was my first real contact with Civil Society. My return here was by no means accidental. Having been professionally involved in corporate volunteering, and project coordination and communication, I discovered both the willingness of people to give and the lack of knowledge regarding possible ways of giving. I also realised the importance of people engaging with organisations to learn about their work, as well as the importance of communicating the results of their actions and using the recorded impact to provide much-needed support to society. At HIGGS, I will have the opportunity to support organisations in their efforts to improve their work, thus contributing to the development and improvement of our society.


Christina holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication & Mass Media from the National Kapodistrian University of Athens and a Master’s degree in Social Innovation & Development Strategies from the University of Peloponnese and the National Centre for Social Research.

Tasos Batzonis

Assistant Manager EU Projects

I became actively involved in volunteering and CSOs during my studies. Initially, taking part and supporting local projects, and then volunteering in various organizations, mainly abroad.
My substantial involvement through participating in and organizing European Programmes (Erasmus+, European Solidarity Corps, etc.) in the last years made me realize the importance of CSOs and the impact they can create on an individual and collective level.
My professional career in the context of supporting communities and projects led me with great pleasure to join the HIGGS team. I hope that my involvement in European project management will strengthen the organization’s efforts to create infrastructure at the European level aiming at empowering CSOs.


Tasos studied Accounting and Finance at the University of Thessaly.

Anna Tsekani

Assistant Manager EU Projects

My first contact with HIGGS and therefore with the ecosystem of CSOs, was during my internship, where I had the chance to work extensively with HIGGS’s spheres of activity and particularly with the European Programmes. HIGGS provide me the chance to understand the organizations of Civil Society as well as the larger European network better and to participate in my own manner to this social chain.


Anna studied Political Science and International Relations at the University of Peloponnese and Psychology at Cardiff Metropolitan University.