Our Team

Sotiris Petropoulos

Co-founder

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.
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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.
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Alexandra has studied Public Administration and holds an MSc in Health Care Policy and Management from University of Birmingham.

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.

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She studied Business Economics at AUTh.

Georgia Pantiora                                                                     

Project Manager

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.

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Georgia studied International and European Studies at Panteion University and she holds a MA in Environmental Governance and Sustainable Development.

Mairi Diamanti                                                                                                                     

Transnational Giving Europe/Finance & Contracts

My experience as a volunteer and my experience as an employee in organisations providing support for/to refugee populations has been the spark for me to understand how important the existence of Civil Society is and what the potential results that its empowerment can bring to every modern challenge. Setting new goals globally for the economy, the society and the environment, we must acknowledge the contribution of the NPO ecosystem to the major changes needed for an inclusive and sustainable future. As part of a team that highlights the momentum of new ideas and good intentions, I hope through my work to contribute to their promotion and help any new initiative that aims to a better version of our world.

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Mairi has studied Economics and she is working towards a Master’s Degree in Bioeconomy, Circular Economy and Sustainable Development.

Marilena Menti

Assistant Project Manager

Incubator, Accelerator/ Social Media/ Website                 

Having a previous volunteer and professional experience in charitable foundations and non-profit organizations, during my studies, I had the opportunity to meet and engage with different stakeholders of the Greek Civil Society. Both my academic and professional background, as well as my passion for the non-profit sector, led me to HIGGS, an organization that contributes significantly to their goals and vision. As a member of HIGGS team, I wish to become a part of a creative civil society with innovative ideas and projects.

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She studied Classics at the University of Athens with parallel studies on Marketing at the American College of Greece and Cultural Management at the University of Sussex.

Elena Founargiotaki                                                                                                                                         

Assistant Manager

Institutional Funding

Through volunteering opportunities, I was exposed to the power and the impact of Non-Profit Organizations in our community. Since then, I have been dedicated to supporting and empowering Civil Society, through both a professional and volunteering role, with the vision of increasing youth engagement in the community, tacking discrimination and developing a more sustainable way of life. Through HIGGS I hope to intensify this effort and be able to promote the vital role and potential of NGOs in solving key issues in our society.

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Elena holds a bachelor’s degree in International and European Studies

Theodora Vounidi                                                                                                                                               

Administrative Officer

My devotion for humans was the trigger for my involvement with Civil Society. Through my volunteer experience, especially during my student years, I realized the challenges and issues that NPOs are called to face in Greece, on the demanding path to achieving their goals. At HIGGS, I hope to contribute in the effort to support their “struggle” for a better society that benefits everyone.

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Theodora has studied Political, Social and Cultural Studies in the Department of Balkan, Slavic and Eastern Studies, UoM, with a Master’s Degree in Southeast European Studies, NKUA