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.

Michalis Vasilakis

Advocacy and Communications 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.
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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

Christina Kourmpeli

Assistant Manager

Incubator, Accelerator, GSE Incubator/ Social Media

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.

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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.