Our team

At the Brussels Headquarters, there is a small and dedicated team.


Stephan Burger

Programme Officer – European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM)

Stephan joined NEF as a Programme Officer in October 2017. He has previously worked in the NGO sector in the areas of development cooperation, human rights and EU social policy. Before joining the EPIM team, he was a Policy and Membership Development Officer with Eurodiaconia, where he was co-responsible for the Roma inclusion and migration portfolio. Stephan studied history and philosophy in Germany and the UK. He speaks German, Dutch and English.


Fanny Georges

Programme Officer – European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM)

Fanny is working as Programme Officer for EPIM and joined NEF in June 2015. She holds a Master degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology with a specialisation in Migration, Minorities and Multiculturalism from the University of Leuven and a Bachelor degree in Arts & Culture from the University of Maastricht.

Throughout her studies and professional life, Fanny has developed a passionate interest for the fields of migration and integration. Before joining EPIM, she worked for the King Baudouin Foundation, for FEDASIL and was a cultural mediator on a voluntary basis with Romanian Roma migrants.


Luisa Marino

Programme Manager

Luisa joined NEF in 2015. She coordinates the European Foundations’ Initiative on Dementia (EFID) and the Transnational Forum on Integrated Community Care (TransForm). She was previously Project Manager at the European Network of Science Centres and Museums (Ecsite) where she managed a portfolio of science in society-related projects funded by the European Commission.

Previously, Luisa worked in the area of development cooperation and at the European Parliament as Accredited Parliamentary Assistant. Luisa holds a Master’s degree in Political Science and International Relations, she speaks Italian, English, Spanish and French.


Peggy Sailler

Peggy Saïller

NEF Executive Director

‘Cruise captain’, oversees the general direction of the boat

Before joining NEF as Executive Director in 2007, Peggy worked in the humanitarian sector for 7 years, in the fields of migration and post conflict, for the Red Cross, the Intergovernmental Organisation for Migration, in Afghanistan, the Caribbean and in Geneva. She started her professional path in the area of economic development with the Economic Mission of Chile in Paris and holds a Master in Foreign Trade.


Roy Virah-Sawmy

Fund Assistant- Civitates

Roy joined NEF in March 2017 as a trainee.  Since January 2018, Roy is the Fund Assistant for Civitates. He holds a LLB, English and French Law from the University of Kent, Canterbury and a LLM in Human Rights Law and International Law from the Brussels School of International Studies(University of Kent).

Roy previously worked in the legal field in his home country, Mauritius and also has experience in journalism.  He had the opportunity to live in Mauritius, England and France.  His personal and professional life led him to Brussels.


Sarah Sommer

Senior Programme Manager – European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM)

Sarah worked as NEF Communication Officer before becoming Senior Programme Manager for EPIM. She holds a BA in International Political Management from the University of Applied Sciences Bremen and a Master of Arts (with Distinction) in International Relations from the Brussels School of International Studies (University of Kent).

Previously, Sarah has worked in Hannover, Berlin and Brussels for the German Bundestag, the German Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs, the German trade union ver.di and the German Embassy at Brussels, concentrating on labour market, social and migration policy. She is a native German speaker with excellent English and a basic working knowledge of French and Spanish.


Sara Bensaude De Castro Freire

Programme Manager – Children and Violence Evaluation Challenge Fund (CVECF)

Sara is the Programme Manager of the Children and Evaluation Challenge Fund since June 2013. She was previously the coordinator of scientific projects at the International Union of Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE).

Sara also worked with various NGOs, including Médecins du Monde, Oxfam and Panos Institute, in sub-Saharan Africa where her work mainly related to community based approaches and responses to HIV/AIDS and sexual violence. Sara holds a Masters in Anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, and a Masters in Public Health and Development from the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium.


Sophie Ngo-Diep

Programme Manager – European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM)

Sophie joined EPIM as Programme Manager in September 2016. Previously, Sophie was the Regional Network Developer and Funding Coordinator of the Migration and Development Civil Society (MADE) programme at the International Catholic Migration Commission.

Before that, she worked for 3 years on refugee resettlement and integration. Sophie also worked for the EU Delegation to Cambodia, the European Association for the Defence of Human Rights and volunteered for the Belgian Red Cross. She holds a Master in European Policies and Public Affairs from Sciences Po Strasbourg, a Master in Political Science from Pantheon Sorbonne and a Degree in Economics and Management from Paris-Dauphine.[at]


Giulia Barnhisel

Communications and Advocacy Officer

Giulia joined NEF for the first time in 2015, and in 2018, she re-enters the team as a Communications and Advocacy Officer, splitting her time between a variety of NEF programmes. With experience in political mobilisation and community organising, Giulia has worked as a Campaign Manager for a US Congressional candidate and as a Field Organizer focused on youth and minority voting rights in Denver, Colorado. She has also served a Gender Coordinator while at the UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Madagascar, and is passionate about inclusion, empowerment, and grassroots organising.


Anna Striethorst

Anna Striethorst

European Programme Manager – Ariadne Network

With over 15 years’ experience in politics and advocacy, Anna joined NEF in March 2018 as the European Programme Manager for Ariadne – European Funders for Social Change and Human Rights. Prior to that, she served as senior policy officer at the Roma Initiatives Office at the Open Society Foundations (OSF) in Budapest, where she led advocacy towards the European Union and national governments, and as policy officer at the European Union office of a German political foundation in Brussels.

Anna holds a postgraduate degree in political science, European and international law, and Slavonic languages. She has completed the Executive Education Programme on negotiation at Harvard University.