European Venture Philanthropy Association

EVPA is kindly supported by: Omidyar Network Adessium Foundation BMW Foundation



Elena Balestra

- Community Manager

Elena is the Community Manager at EVPA. She has previously worked at EVPA as a research analyst for the Knowledge Centre and before that at Fondazione per l’Ambiente in Turin as a project manager and events organiser. She holds a Bachelor in Development and Cooperation, and an MA in International Markets. She speaks Italian, English, French and Spanish. Email:


Priscilla Boiardi

- Research Manager

Priscilla Boiardi is the Research Manager of EVPA and an Italian national. She has more than 6 years of research experience, first as a Research Associate at the Vlerick Business School and then as a PhD candidate at the Catholic University of Leuven. She has a strong expertise in research for business and public bodies, both qualitative and quantitative. Priscilla holds a MSc (Hons) in Economics and Management of Public Administrations and International Institutions from the Bocconi University in Milan and speaks Italian, English and Spanish. Email:


Christine Castille

- Community and Communication Director

Christine is a Belgian national and joined EVPA in May 2013 as Membership Services Director. She has a 10 years experience in senior management positions in the Belgian foundation sector and for 7 years she led a young not-for-profit association in improving management competencies in social purpose organizations. Previously Christine worked in Colombia assisting farmers in obtaining financial resources to increase their production. Christine speaks fluently English, French, Spanish and Dutch. Email:


Els Depoortere

- Operations Director

Els is a Belgian national who joined EVPA in May 2013 as Office Manager. She has a master's degree in Economics from the University in Leuven (KUL) as well as a post graduate in French Language and Literature from the Pascal Blaise university in Clermond-Ferrand, France. She has done several jobs in Office and Event Management in the cultural sector. During the last 5 years she was Human Resources Manager in a fast growing Belgian marketing company (Square Melon). Email :


Elinor de Pret

- Public Affairs Manager

Elinor joined EVPA in March 2014 as Public Affairs Manager, after having worked for the European Commission in China and for an EU public affairs consultancy in Brussels. She holds a Master degree in Business Engineering (FUNDP), a Master of Arts in European Economics from the College of Europe and the HEC-ULg University Certificate in Management of Social Enterprises. Elinor is a Belgian national, speaks French, English, Dutch, Spanish and is conversant in Mandarin Chinese. Email:


Dr. Lisa Hehenberger

- Research and Policy Director

Lisa is the Research Director of EVPA and runs EVPA's Knowledge Centre. Lisa is a member of the European Commission’s Expert Group on Social Business (GECES), a member of the French Government’s Advisory Board to the G8 Social Impact Investment Task Force and the G8 Impact Measurement Working Group. She is a Research fellow at the Centre for Globalization and Strategy at IESE Business School, and a member of the Scientific Board of SDA Bocconi School of Management’s Impact Investing Lab. Lisa has a PhD in Management from IESE Business School and a Master's degree in Business and Economics from Stockholm School of Economics and HEC (CEMS). Previously she worked in investment banking at UBS Warburg and GB Investment Banking in London, Madrid and Barcelona. Lisa is a Swedish national, based in Barcelona, and speaks five languages. Email:


Natasha Medvedeva

- Community Intern

Natasha joined the EVPA team as a Community intern in March 2014. She has an MSc in International Business Economics and Management from the KU Leuven-Hogeschool Universiteit Brussels. Natasha has three years of experience in account management in the educational sector in Russia. She speaks Russian, English and some French. Email:


Kurt Peleman

- Chief Executive Officer

Kurt joined EVPA as new CEO in April 2012. Kurt is a Belgium national with outstanding work experience in both the non-profit and social entrepreneurial sector. He previously worked for Médecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) for which he managed field programs inThailand, Kenya, Russia, Bosnia and Angola and later became CEO of MSF-Norway. In 2000, he became the first 'philanthropy consultant' in Belgium, with a specific focus on venture philanthropy. After 5 years as a consultant, Kurt managed programs for the city of Antwerp and the Foundation for Future Generations. Since 2010, he was responsible for Ashoka in Belgium. Email:


Cristina Umani

- Market Development Director

Cristina joined EVPA as Market Development Coordinator in June 2013. Cristina previously worked for more than 3 years at BMW Financial Services in Munich and Guyancourt (France) as an expert on anti-money laundering and anti-fraud management for the European markets. Among diverse placements in the profit (e.g. Siemens AG) as well as in the non-profit (e.g. CARE Deutschland-Luxemburg e.V.) sectors, Cristina volunteered at the Peruvian NGO MINKA Perú focusing on the economic and social development of small- and microenterprises. After graduating in sociology from Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich, Cristina worked for BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt. For the latter Cristina still acts as the Brussels representative. She is a German national and speaks German, French, English, Italian and Spanish. Email:


Carine Valette

- Knowledge Centre Intern

Carine is a French national. She joined EVPA in February 2014 as a Knowledge Centre intern. She holds a bachelor in political sciences from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques  of Grenoble, where she is  still currently studying in order to get a master’s degree in European Governance. She studied in France and in Sweden and previously worked as an intern for a local association called CIDEM (Committee for  Euro-Mediterranean Development Initiative). She speaks French, English, Spanish and has some notions of Swedish. Email: