European Venture Philanthropy Association

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



Kurt Peleman

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 in Thailand, 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.

Research and Policy Team


Dr. Lisa Hehenberger

- Research and Policy Director

Lisa is the Research and Policy Director of EVPA and runs EVPA's Knowledge Centre that conducts and publishes research, organises workshops, participates in practitioner and academic conferences, and collects and disseminates data and knowledge. She also coordinates EVPA’s policy initiatives, facilitating the dual transfer of knowledge between policy makers and practitioners. Lisa is a member of the European Commission’s Expert Group on Social Business (GECES), a member of the French National Advisory Board and the Impact Measurement Working Group of the Taskforce on Social Impact Investment established by the G8. 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.


Priscilla Boiardi

- Research Manager

Priscilla Boiardi joined EVPA in April 2014 as Research Manager. Priscilla 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, and was responsible for the Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum for Belgium. During her years as a researcher, Priscilla had the opportunity to present her work to policy makers, fellow academics and practitioners. Priscilla holds a MSc (Hons) in Economics and Management of Public Administrations and International Institutions from the Bocconi University in Milan. She is an Italian national and speaks Italian, English and Spanish.


Elinor de Pret

- Public Affairs Manager

Elinor joined EVPA in March 2014 as Public Affairs Manager. Elinor has almost 10 years of public affairs experience, including her work for the European Commission in China and for an EU public affairs consultancy in Brussels (focusing on telecom, ICT and competition). Her experience is coupled with a strong interest and an extensive network in the VP/SI space. Elinor is a board member of SI2 Fund, a Belgian impact fund providing growth capital to European for-profit social enterprises, as well as a member of the Belgian Ashoka Support Network (ASN) since 2010. She holds a Master degree in Business Engineering, a Master of Arts in European Economics from the College of Europe, attended the Oxford Impact Investing Executive Programme in 2013 and completed the Certificate in Management of Social Enterprises at the ULg in 2014. Elinor is a Belgian national and speaks French, English, Dutch and Spanish.


Alessia Gianoncelli

- Research and Policy Analyst

Alessia joined EVPA in June 2014 as part of the Knowledge Centre. She holds a bachelor degree in Economics Environment and Territory and a master’s degree in Economics Institutions and Territory from the University of Turin. She also holds a French Master2 in International Administration and Management of Territories - specialising in Territorial Projects - from the University Paris-Est Créteil. Alessia previously worked as an intern for the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Paris and for Unioncamere Piemonte in Brussels. Since 2008 she has been member of SeiPiù, a non-profit association based in the disadvantaged area of Via Arquata in Turin, collaborating with them as project manager since 2013. Alessia is an Italian national and speaks Italian, French, English and some Spanish.

Community Communication Team


Christine Castille

- Membership Services Manager

Christine is a Belgian national and joined EVPA in May 2013 as Membership Services Manager. 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 organisations. Previously Christine worked in Colombia assisting farmers in obtaining financial resources to increase their production. Christine speaks fluent English, French, Spanish and Dutch.


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.


Linde Wolters

- Communication Manager

Linde is a Dutch national and joined EVPA in May 2014. She has over six years of experience in communications in both the private and not-for-profit sector. For three years she worked in communications and public affairs for an Australian not-for-profit member association representing communications agencies. Most recently she was a corporate communications consultant in Hong Kong. Linde speaks fluent English, French and Dutch.

Market Development Team


Ewa Konczal

- Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) Manager

Ewa joined EVPA in May 2014 as the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) Manager. She is responsible for increasing the knowledge about venture philanthropy, social investment and relevant EU policies in Central and Eastern Europe. Ewa is Polish and has over 15 years of experience in social entrepreneurship field as Country Representative of Ashoka in Poland and in the past few years as Director for Central and Eastern Europe. Prior to her work with Ashoka, Ewa worked in India with Global March Against Child Labor and in Egypt with AIESEC and Egyptian-Polish Businessman Association that she co-founded. Together with her partner, she has set up the Magic Mountain Foundation, an organisation using mountain sports as a tool for change for youth and adults with intellectual disabilities and other disadvantages. Ewa is the recipient of the AIESEC Alumni Entrepreneurship & Leadership Award. Ewa has a master degree in marketing and management.


Federica Saccia

- Market Development Manager

Federica joined EVPA as Market Development Manager in June 2014. She is responsible for increasing the knowledge about venture philanthropy, social investment and relevant EU policies in Southern Europe. Previously she coordinated the Clearly Social Angels investor network in London, working closely with social entrepreneurs and supporting investors throughout due diligence. For over three years Federica was responsible for planning and delivering investment readiness programs and impact investing events at ClearlySo. She worked in an advisory capacity for a number of organisations in the social sector and in the arts to improve their marketing strategy. Federica graduated in Business Administration from Bocconi University and holds a MA in Logistics and Tourism management. She is fluent in English and Italian.

Operations Team


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).


Natasha Medvedeva

- Office Manager

Natasha is the Office Manager at EVPA. She 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.