Meet the European Secretariat!
Valentin Dupouey-Sterdyniak - Secretary General
Valentin was born in Nancy (France) and, as an Erasmus Generation member, has lived, studied, volunteered and work in the UK, Slovenia and Denmark before settling to Belgium. He completed a Masters Degree in Sports Management, focusing on EU Sports Policy. He has worked and volunteered in various NGOs in the field of sport, youth and learning mobility for the past 7 years. Besides his work at JEF Europe, he's volunteering for the Erasmus Student Network and the European Youth Forum. In his spare time, he plays badminton intensively and shares some thoughts on his blog.
He's been appointed as new Secretary General of JEF Europe in April 2016. During the next two years, his main objective will be to strengthen JEF Europe and its sections throughout Europe, to help them develop to ensure JEF's political impact grows even stronger at all levels.
He is in charge of the daily leadership and management of the organisation and the staff team based in Brussels.
Sonja Afanasjeva - Project officer
Sonja, originally from a small Estonian capital Tallinn, is a truly international citizen. After having lived in four different countries, from Russia to Switzerland, she is now excited to explore the heart of Europe – Brussels.
Sonja holds a Master in Law Degree from the University of Zürich and KU Leuven, and has dedicated her last academic years to deepening her understanding of EU law and policies. After having an internship at the European Parliament, she realised the importance of raising awareness of the European project among European citizens and enhancing participation of youth in the EU policy-making. She is a true believer in stronger Europe and wants to see young generation more active and engaged in the European life. To contribute to that goal she is also leading Brussels Model European Union, an annual international simulation of EU decision-making process.
Having witnessed the complexities of the EU mechanisms from the inside, she finds it her goal to bring Europe closer to its citizens and to raise the participation of young people in the democratic European life.
Sonja will support the Secretariat in the coordination of the LADDER project.
Chloé Berthelemy - Policy Officer
Chloé is coming from Reims in France but she rather identifies as a European citizen and finds this true, meaningful sense of belonging when she lives abroad, discovering new places, cultural habits, experiences and people. This is why she studied and worked in four countries across the world, she enjoys speaking in a curious mix of several languages and always tries to find opportunities to escape from her national ties.
Chloé is supporting the Executive Board with regards to its policy and advocacy work, is currently working on the implementation of the latest Erasmus+ projects the Secretariat is carrying out, and she is supporting with writing new operating grant and project applications.
Marine Betrancourt - Communication Officer
Marine is from Lyon (France) where she studied political sciences and public law. True European, she interned Monash Europe & EU Centre at Monash University in Melbourne for a better taste of Europe from down under and has been involved for years within AEGEE/ European Students’ Forum, as well as various European youth projects. She has also been part of two youth-led webmedia.
She further developed a strong interest in gender equality and digital stakes as part of different media and youth activism initiatives.
Casey McKenzie - Policy and Project Assistant Intern
Casey coming from Chicago, Illinois and has been living in Europe for the past four years. Casey identifies himself as a world citizen and through his time living on the continent has come to understand the importance of a United Europe.
Casey holds a Masters degree in International Relations and European Studies and is currently pursuing a second degree in EU Public Policy. Having just recently completed a traineeship at European parliament, he is looking forward to applying what he has learned to the benefit of JEF.
During his internship with JEF, he will support the Secretariat in particular with regards to its policy-related work, help with the implementation of JEF projects, as well as support the office in its daily tasks.
Zoey Stambolliu - European Voluntary Service
Zoey is coming from Athens of Greece. A genuine supporter of the idea of a European Federation, she has been involved in JEF for 5 years now. She holds a Masters degree of European Political and Administrative Studies from the College of Europe. Her field of interest is EU migration policy. She has volunteered with various NGOs in refugee camps in Greece while during her studies she focused her research on the reform of the Dublin System. Her Erasmus experience but also her internships for the EU Delegation in Tirana and different national institutions have reinforced her support for the creation of an EU Federation.
As European Voluntary Service she will be supporting the implementation of Europe at School activities in Belgium and all across Europe.