7th EIS | Speaker Bios

Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation

Mr Carlos Moedas


Carlos Moedas was born in Beja (Portugal) in 1970. He graduated in Civil Engineering from the Higher Technical Institute (IST) in 1993 and completed the final year of studies at the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris (France). He worked in engineering for the Suez-Lyonnaise des Eaux group in France until 1998.

He obtained an MBA from Harvard Business School (USA) in 2000, after which he returned to Europe to work in mergers and acquisitions at investment bank Goldman Sachs in London (UK).

He returned to Portugal in 2004 as Managing Director of Aguirre Newman and member of the Executive Board of Aguirre Newman in Spain. In 2008, he founded his own investment company, Crimson Investment management.

In 2011, he's elected for the National Parliament and was called for the government to Secretary of State to the Prime Minister of Portugal in charge of the Portuguese Adjustment Programme.

In 2014, he became Member of the European Commission, as Commissioner in charge of Research, Science and Innovation.

Commissioner for Regional Policy

Ms Corina Crețu


Corina Crețu was born in Romania in 1967. She studied at the Academy of Economic Studies, Department of Cybernetics, graduating in 1989, the year of the Romanian Revolution. She started a career in journalism, working as a reporter and political commentator for several newspapers, before joining the Spokesperson's office of the Romania’s first democratically elected President, Ion Iliescu, in 1992.

Four years later, she became a member of the Romanian Social Democratic Party, and led its Press department while it remained in Opposition. When President Iliescu returned to office in 2000, she became his Spokesperson and the Head of the Public Communication Department of the Presidency. In the same year she was elected Member of Parliament in the Chamber of Deputies and, in 2004, in the Senate. In 2005, she was part of the Romanian delegation to the European Parliament, and she was elected Member of the European Parliament (sitting with the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats) in 2007, following the accession of Romania to the European Union.

She was re-elected as MEP in 2009 and in 2014. In 2013, she was elected Vice-President of the Romanian Social Democratic Party and in 2014, she was elected Vice-President of the European Parliament. Starting with November 2014 Member of European Commission.

Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Oettinger

Mr Michael Hager


Michael Hager is the Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Oettinger in charge of Digital Economy and Society since November 2014. From March 2013 to October 2014, he was his Head of Cabinet in the energy portfolio; previously he was from 2010 a member of Cabinet Oettinger

President of the European Committee of the Regions

Mr Markku Markkula


Markku Markkula was elected President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) in February 2015 for a two and a half year term of office. Since joining the CoR in 2010 he has held several influential positions such as the first Vice-Chair of the CoR's EPP Group and Chair of the CoR's EPP Task Force on Europe 2020.

He is a member of the National Coalition Party in Finland having held numerous political chairmanships throughout his career starting with the local and national Student Unions in Espoo City and the Uusimaa region and is a long standing member of the Board of the Party. A member of Espoo City Council since 1980, he held its presidency in 1990-92 and 2010. He is currently a member of the Board of Helsinki Regional Council and Chairman of Espoo City Planning Board.

President Markkula is a former member of the Finnish Parliament (1995-2003). During this time he served as a member of two permanent parliamentary committees: the Committee for Science, Education and Culture, and the Committee for the Future. As an MP his international role included the Presidency of EPTA Council, European Parliamentary Technology Assessment Network.

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Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport

Mr Tibor Navracsics


Tibor Navracsics holds degrees in law from the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of Budapest's ELTE University and a PhD in political sciences. In 1999 he became an Associate professor at the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, ELTE. Between 1997–2000, he assumed the position of the Secretary-General of the Hungarian Political Science Association and he was also Head of the Department of the Prime-Minister's Office until 2002. In 2003 he became Chef de Cabinet to the President of the Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Union and between 2006–2010 he was an elected Member of Parliament as well as a Member of the Parliamentary Committee for Constitutional, Judicial and Procedural Affairs. He also served as Fidesz National Assembly representative from 2006 until October 2014.
Between 2010 and 2014 he was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Administration and Justice. In 2014 he also assumed the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In November 2014, Tibor Navracsics became European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.

European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society

Mr Günther H. Oettinger


Günther H. Oettinger is European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society since 1st November 2014. On 10 February 2010 he became European Commissioner for Energy and from 1st July – 31st October 2014, he was Vice-president of the European Commission. From 2005-2010, he was Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg (Germany) and, since 1984, a member of the regional Parliament ("Landtag"). He was the leader of the CDU Landtag group from January 1991 to April 2005.
A lawyer by training, Günther H. Oettinger became actively involved in politics during his adolescence. He is a member of the Federal Executive Committee and of the Steering Committee of the CDU Deutschlands.

Professor of Safety Science at TU Delft

Prof Dr Pieter van Gelder


Prof. dr.ir. Pieter van Gelder is full-time professor of safety science at the faculty of technology, policy and management of Delft University of Technology and director of the TU Delft Safety and Security Institute. He has been involved in research and education on safety and reliability since 1991. His research interests are in risk-analysis and optimisation of systems, processes and structures. He teaches 4th and 5th year courses at TU Delft and conducts research on new methods and techniques in risk analysis. Van Gelder has authored and co-authored 300+ conference -, journal papers, and several books in the field of risk and safety.

Head of Unit, Health and Well-being DG CONNECT

Mr Pēteris Zilgalvis


Pēteris Zilgalvis is the Head of Unit for eHealth and Well Being in DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CNECT) in the European Commission. He was the Visiting EU Fellow at St. Antony's College, University of Oxford for 2013-14, where he is also an Associate of the Political Economy of Financial Markets Programme and is a Senior Common Room Member 2014-17. From 2005 until 2010, he was Head of the Governance and Ethics Unit, Directorate Science, Economy and Society at DG Research, European Commission. From 1997 to 2005, he was Deputy Head of the Bioethics Department of the Council of Europe, in its Directorate General of Legal Affairs, and Co-Secretary of the Intergovernmental Steering Committee on Bioethics (CDBI). In addition, he has held various positions in the Latvian civil service (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Environment). He was Senior Environmental Law Advisor to the World Bank/Russian Federation Environmental Management Project and was Regional Environmental Specialist for the Baltic Countries at the World Bank. P. Zilgalvis studied political science (cum laude) at the University of California, Los Angeles. At the Law Centre of the University of Southern California he obtained his JD (Doctor of Jurisprudence) and received the Darling Foundation academic scholarship. He completed the High Potentials Leadership Program at Harvard Business School. He is a member of the California State Bar. He has published over 30 publications on innovation law and policy, European and environmental law, economy and finance, and bioethics in English, Latvian, and French.

President of CCDRC

Ms Ana Abrunhosa


Ana Abrunhosa is the President of CCDRC since May 2014. She has a degree, a Master and a PhD in Economics from the Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, where she has been a lecturer since 1995. She teaches various subjects: Introduction to Economics, Microeconomics, Regional Economics, European Economics, Economic Integration, Introduction to Management, among others.
She has published several articles in national and international magazines and books, mainly on regional development, economics of innovation and management of innovation.
In the recent years, she has been highly committed to the development of Centro region of Portugal, as Vice President of CCDRC (October 2008 - February 2010) and as Voting Member of the Executive Committee of Centro Region’s Operational Programme 2007-2013, that manages the European Regional Development Fund in the Centro Region of Portugal (February 2010 – May 2014).

Chairperson and founder of APOZ and friends

Ms Evgeniya Adarska


My name is Evgeniya Adarska, I am founder and chairperson of the largest oncological patient organisation in Bulgaria – APOZ and friends. APOZ and friends is an organisation which aim to develop the community service in healthcare, particularly oncological diseases. To assist and support all people with cancer during their treatment, to support them with medicines and consumables, learn them to eat healthy food, supporting the disabled and those people with cancer who need care. Rehabilitation, adaptation, training and retraining, health and social management of cancer patients, prevention and successful treatment. Organizing campaigns, checking groups who are expose to risk. Introduction of the latest developments in medicine related cancer. APOZ also represent people with cancer and protect their human rights in front of state and local municipal institutions.