Staff changes at the ESF Transnational Platform

Staff changes at the ESF Transnational Platform


The ESF Transnational Platform (ESF TP) has gone though a number of staff changes in recent months. Toby Johnson has left the TP and has been replaced as Team Leader by Valentina Caimi who was previously policy adviser. Meanwhile, five new members have joined the team.

Toby Johnson worked for AIEDL for 17 years: first as a social economy expert, then as the Team Leader for the ESF Transnational Platform. His colleagues at the ESF TP will miss his leadership, commitment, expertise, energy, inspiration and humour and wish him all the best for his retirement.

Valentina Caimi has recently been appointed Team Leader for the ESF Transnational Platform. Valentina has over 20 years of experience in EU policy advice and advocacy, project management and team leadership, in EU institutions, NGOs, social economy organisations, local authorities and vocational training institutions, in Milan and Brussels. The ESF has been the red thread of her professional career. She graduated in Political Science with a thesis on the ESF and the Community Initiatives Adapt and Employment. Her first job was as Project Officer at a regional vocational training institution using the ESF and other EU funds and programmes. At Caritas Ambrosiana, she led the European Office for some years and was the transnational coordinator of two large Equal projects on social economy. In Brussels, she worked for seven years as Policy and Advocacy Adviser at the Social Platform, leading members’ policy and advocacy work on the EU budget and deputising for the Director. She also worked at the European Parliament as Political Adviser on employment and social affairs for the Greens/EFA political group, where she had the chance to participate in the trialogue negotiations concerning the Omnibus regulation.

Alexander Elu started working for the ESF TP in March 2019 as Policy Adviser and Thematic Networks Coordinator (TN Employment and TN Inclusion). Alexander has worked on economic, employment and social protection policies at different levels - national administration (Spanish Economic and Social Committee), EU institutions (European Commission, DG EMPL) and academia. Before joining the ESF TP, Alexander worked on social policy development and advocacy at Eurodiaconia, a European network of NGOs, with a special focus on social services and access to employment.

Justin Toland started working for the ESF TP in January 2019 as Publication Manager and Editor. Justin has more than 20 years' experience as a journalist and editor. He has worked with AEIDL since 2008, most recently as Senior Editor on the LIFE contract.

Stephen Nottingham started working for the ESF TP in January 2019 as Journalist and Proof-reader. Stephen joined AEIDL as a freelance journalist in January 2013 to work on the LIFE contract writing brochures, publications and news stories.

Prody Mwemena Mumba started working for the ESF TP in February as Social Media Expert. Prody is a Communications professional with 10 years experience. From 2015 to 2017 she managed the Social Media channels of the European Commission’s LIFE Programme. More recently she has been initiating new media relations and keeps up with the latest social media trends for AEIDL. Prody is also a Social Media Expert for the fi-compass programme and the “Buying for social impact” project.

Ruw Jayasuriya recently joined AEIDL as Administration and Event officer for the ESF Transnational Platform on a free-lance basis. She has over 10 years of experience in finance and administration in the NGO sector in Brussels. She previously worked for the entertainment arm of the BBC in London before moving to Brussels. She also currently teaches English.

The ESF TP central team also includes:

  • Yves Boisselier, Web Strategist.
  • Anita Cortés, Graphic designer.
  • Marianne Geater, Journalist and Communication Officer.
  • Nicolás Oliveri Ibaldi, Thematic Networks Coordinator (TN Migrants and TN Simplification) and Event Officer.
  • Aleksandra Kowalska, Thematic Networks Coordinator (TN Social Economy and TN Public Administration and Governance).
  • Sophia Spiliotopoulou, Contract Manager.
  • Mihael Topolovec, Thematic Networks Coordinator (TN Youth Employment, TN Partnership and TN Learning & Skills) and Project Officer in the frame of the Long Term Unemployment project.