Heads of University Management & Administration Network in Europe

Annual Conference Chair, speakers and moderators

Marianna Bom

Annual Conference Chair; Chief Financial Officer, Aalto University, FI

Marianna Bom is the Chief Financial Officer of Aalto University, responsible for the University’s financial management, campus and real estate development as well as administration of the group companies owned by the University.

Prior to joining Aalto University, she held several senior financial executive positions in the corporate sector. She holds an MSc. (Econ) from Helsinki School of Economics.

She is passionate about developing the University’s leadership and administration, bringing the best practices from the corporate sector to Aalto University, without sacrificing the unique traditions of the three historic institutions that formed the University in 2010.

Nadine Burquel

Director General, HUMANE, BE

Nadine is the Director General of HUMANE. She works closely with the Chair and the governing bodies on HUMANE’s strategic developments. She manages the HUMANE Office to offer the membership an attractive portfolio of professional development and networking activities. She has been involved with HUMANE since its foundation in the mid-nineties, until December 2022 as Executive Director of the three residential schools (the Barcelona Winter School, the Berlin Summer School and the Asia School).

Nadine has extensive director level experience, having worked with multiple international non-profit organisations, university networks and international boards. She has wide knowledge of leadership, governance and management in higher education institutions, and the global trends in the higher education sector. As EFMD Director of Business School Services she was responsible for a wide portfolio of large global events and communities of practices, interacting with business schools and universities in the wider Europe, North and Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, the Gulf, as well as North and South America. More recently in Maastricht University she was strategic adviser to the leadership of the School of Business and Economics, advising on international accreditation, the internationalisation strategy, and delivering societal impact.

She has significant experience with EU (higher) education policy and programmes since the early days of the Erasmus programme. She has a strong track record of EU projects, leading large EU-funded European university networks and providing technical assistance to the European Commission. She is high level EU policy expert, working at system level in Brussels and beyond, carrying out capacity building and evaluations of EU interventions, having worked with EU Delegations in many countries.

Paul Greatrix

President, HUMANE; Registrar, University of Nottingham, UK

Dr Paul Greatrix is Registrar at the University of Nottingham, a post he was appointed to in January 2007. Prior to this he was Deputy Registrar at the University of Warwick. Earlier positions at Warwick included Director of Student and Ancillary Services, Acting Registrar, Interim Director of the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth and Senior Assistant Registrar with responsibility for quality issues. Before joining Warwick in 1998 he was at the University of East Anglia for six years, where he also worked on quality matters, and Staffordshire University.

As Registrar he is responsible to the Vice-Chancellor for the academic administration of the University. As well as being Secretary to the statutory bodies of the University and a member of University Executive Board, the Registrar manages the provision of a broad range of professional services for prospective students, current students and staff.

He was Chair of the HUMANE General Assembly for a period before being elected to the HUMANE Board in 2021. Since October 2023, Paul is the President of HUMANE.

Paul read English Language at the University of Edinburgh, and holds a PhD from the School of Education at the University of East Anglia.

Until recently he blogged regularly for Wonkhe as Registrarism but continues to produce a podcast ‘University Registrars Talking About Stuff.

Thomas Achen

Senior Strategist at Faculty Office LTH, Lund University, SE

Thomas Achen holds a MSc in Public Administration from Roskilde University, Denmark and a PhD in Technology and Social Change from Linköping University, Sweden. He has been a Research Lecturer at the Centre for Ethics and Law at Copenhagen University, Denmark and a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Politics and Ethics at Linköping University, Sweden.

Furthermore, Achen has been the Head both of Studies and Program at the Environmental Science Program at Linköping University, Sweden. For 3 years, Achen was the Head of Department of Social and Welfare Studies at Linköping University.

Since then, Achen has held various administrative posts such as being the Head of Administration at the Faculty of Law, Lund University (2009-2013) and Head of Administration at Kristianstad University (2013-2016) both in Sweden. In 2017, Achen took up a position as Acting Head of the Section for Legal and Record Management at Lund University to then move on to become the Head of Student Affairs (2018) at Lund University.

He joined the Lund University Faculty of Engineering in 2020 to become the Head of Educational Services. Thereafter, he was the Acting Head of the Section for Research, Cooperation, and Innovation at Lund University. In 2024, Thomas returned to the Faculty of Engineering for a position as Senior Strategist and Site Manager for the Faculty of Engineering at the Helsingborg Campus at the brink of the Strait of Öresund.

Thomas Achen is a HUMANE alumni from the 2010 Winter School in Valencia, Spain

Helen Barlow

Associate Director of HR, University of Sheffield, UK

Helen joined the University of Sheffield in 2001 and has carried out a variety of roles within the Human Resources Department. During the course of her employment her focus has been on business partnering, change management and industrial relations, working across the University with leaders and staff in all five University Faculties and the Professional Services departments.

Helen was appointed to her current role as Associate Director of HR (Business Partnering and Employee Relations) in 2021. She leads a team of HR Managers and Advisers, organised into Faculty facing and Professional Services teams, who provide support on a wide range of strategic and operational employment issues to all staff and managers across the University. Helen also has responsibility for industrial relations matters, working closely with the Trade Unions.

Helen’s career in HR spans over 20 years. Prior to joining the University she worked in retail management in the private sector. She is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and has a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies and Media and Cultural Studies from the University of Birmingham.

Moritz Bosse Biskup

Managing Director at Zentralbereich Neuenheimer Feld (ZNF), University of Heidelberg, DE

As of 2017, Dr. Biskup is Executive Director of Central Services Neuenheimer Feld – a major operational unit at Heidelberg University, tasked with providing site and laboratory services for the faculties delivering programmes in natural, life and engineering sciences as well as medicine at the university’s Neuenheimer Feld campus. Additionally, he fulfils the duties of Heidelberg University’s senior radiation protection expert.

After receiving his doctoral degree in natural sciences in 2006 and further five years of research experience as postdoctoral and independent researcher, he transitioned into an administrative role at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in 2012 and became Head of Administration for KIT’s Division II – Informatics, Economics, and Society in 2015. While his current service post is majorly focused on ensuring safe operations, service delivery and site development, he still follows state and national HE development with avid interest.

Arnold Boon

University Director, Copenhagen Business School, DK

Arnold Boon is since 2022 the University Director at Copenhagen Business School. He is a strategic leader with solid management skills and experience from higher education and research institutions. He previously was University Director and member of the Senior Management Team at Aarhus University. He is responsible for the University administration, including finance, HR, it and digital transformation, student administration, research support and compliance. He is also responsible for real estate and campus development at the university. He has more than 18 years of experience with financial management and a wide experience in leading major change projects, digital transformation, continuous process improvement and organizational changes. He has an extensive network in higher education in Denmark and in Europe.

Earlier positions include Faculty Director at the University of Copenhagen at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (2006-2015), Chief Financial Officer at the Danish Institute of Food and Veterinary Research (2004-2006), Head of Budget department at the Danish Agency for Food, Fisheries and Agri business (2002-2004), Executive Officer at the Danish Agency for Food Fisheries and Agri business (2000-2002), Executive Officer at the Institute of Agricultural Sciences (1999-2000) and Researcher at the Danish Institute of Agricultural and Fisheries Economics (1991-1998).

Jacobine Buizer-Voskamp

Managing Director strategic theme Dynamics of Youth, Utrecht University, NL

Jacobine Buizer-Voskamp works as a managing director of one of the four strategic themes of Utrecht University, the Netherlands, Dynamics of Youth.

Utrecht University focuses its research on four strategic themes. Inspired by societal issues, researchers from different disciplines integrate their expertise to answer crucial questions for future generations. Dynamics of Youth aims to contribute to a better world for youth: children, adolescents, and young adults. Recognising the urgency of the complex and important issues facing young people, we invest in improving their well-being, prosperity, and resilience.

Jacobine focusses on collaboration and making connections. She wishes to be a pivot in the further development of the strategic theme as an accelerator for collaboration in research, education, outreach, and innovation between knowledge institutions and public and private partners in the broad field of youth.

Her expertise entails policy & strategy, management & coordination, and team development.

Will Chicken

Director of Professional Services, University of Edinburgh Business School, UK

Will joined the University of Edinburgh Business School in 2016, initially as Head of Operations before moving into the role of Director of Professional Services. In his current position, Will is part of the School Executive and takes a leading role in the strategy, organisation and management of the School.

Prior to joining the School, Will worked as Head of Operations for Sky where he gained significant experience in leading large scale customer operations.

Before moving into operations, Will worked in a number of different HR roles both at Sky and previously EDF Energy where he developed his interest in organisational development and talent management.

Anna Grotberg

EY-Parthenon Partner, Ernst & Young LLP, UK

Anna leads EY-Parthenon’s EMEIA Education Practice, having joined as a Consultant in 2013; she has 15+ years’ experience in the education sector both in strategic advisory and also as a frontline teacher in both the US & UK, as well as developing and implementing education policy at the national level in the UK where we was a policy adviser to the Rt. Hon. Michael Gove MP when he held the education brief.

Anna has led numerous (150+) engagements across the European and Global Education Sector. In particular, she has significant experience in early years, international schools, higher education and different services models – particularly software into schools and higher education.

Within Higher Education, Anna has worked on some of the largest private transactions in Europe (Galileo, AD, Laureate), supported institutions like the Royal College of Art on their growth strategy and worked with UK public universities in financial distress. She regularly supports teams in the Middle East with higher education work including ministries of education surrounding the expansion of the sector.

Anna holds a BA Hons in Political Science from Yale University. She received her M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management.

Bruno Hensler

Executive Director of Administration | Resources & Services, Member of the President’s Board, University of St. Gallen, CH

Dr. Bruno Hensler is since 2017 the Executive Director of Administration and Member of the President’s Board at the University of St. Gallen. During his professional career his focus has been on the general management of international universities and Higher Education as well as on resources allocation and corporate steering systems. He has significant experience in strategic [digital] business transformation models and impact evaluation. His expertise also includes service, marketing and communication management in the area of education & tourism.

Before becoming Head of Administration, Dr. Bruno Hensler was for six years Principal / Headmaster at the International Boarding School Kloster Disentis (GKD) in Switzerland. From 2013 to 2016 he was assistant lecturer at the University of St.Gallen in Contextual Studies for the Bachelor and Master Level. Prior to joining the University of St Gallen he was from 2007 to 2020 a guest lecturer for Finance & Marketing in Tourism at the University of Pisa in Italy.

He previously worked as Head of Corporate Development and Teaching Innovation at KS Kaderschulen in St Gallen and as Head of the Boarding Section at the International Hochalpinen Institut Ftan in Switzerland. He also did research and consulting work in Agriculture and worked as a Full Time Primary School Teacher.

He holds a PhD from the University of St Gallen.

Tiina Kosunen

Head – Conference and Events Services, University of Helsinki, FI

I am Tiina Kosunen from the University of Helsinki Finland and all-around in academic administration since 1992. Currently I lead the brilliant conference and event services team, which is tasked with providing meeting and event services at Think Corner, supporting more than 100 conferences organised at the University every year, and coordinating main University events, such as the opening of the academic year and the University’s anniversary celebrations.

We also contribute to the organisation of faculty-specific graduation ceremonies and conferment ceremonies – in other words, you can always find us where the party is! My passion is to act as an excellent development partner. I am an experienced and enthusiastic development and management professional. My background is deeply rooted in co-operating with people, and I have a demonstrated track record in team-building and event-organising. I have held several positions within the University of Helsinki, where my tasks have included a wide variety ranging from successfully creating and implementing new services into acting as a product owner in building digital applications. I enjoy working in a changing environment and with new agendas – and I truly loved my Winter School experience in 2009 in Valencia!

My expertise include
• Higher Education Policy
• International Human Resources Management
• Internationalisation Strategy, Processes and Implementation
• Change Facilitation and Change Management
• Service Design
• Coaching and Training
• Conference and Event Management

Remco Kouwenhoven

Director Alumni relations and Philanthropy, Ubbo Emmius Fonds, University of Groningen, NL

Remco was formally trained as an economist and worked several years at university and as a regional economic policy consultant. He has 14 years of active service to the community in the form of a membership of the city council of Groningen and deputy mayor of Haren.

After a 25 year career outside of academia, 2019 offered him the opportunity to return to his Alma mater, where he is now director of Alumni Engagement and Philanthropy.

Samantha Lancet Grant

Director of Communications, University College London, UK

Samantha Lancet-Grant is Director of Communications at UCL (University College London). UCL is the 9th best university in the world according to the QS World University Rankings 2024, with 10 subject areas ranked in the global top 10.

At UCL, Sam leads communications to UCL’s internal community of over 60, 000 students and staff, as well as external communications and stakeholder engagement through the UCL media relations and public affairs functions. She is also the university lead for crisis communications planning and delivery.

Prior to joining UCL, Sam led communications for His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS). Sam oversaw the Service’s communications response to COVID, playing a major role in HMPPS’ management of the pandemic across 117 prisons in England and Wales. This work led to her team winning the ‘Best In-House Communications Team’ category at UK COVID Comms Awards 2020 and at the UK Corporate Comms Awards 2021.

Sam worked in a variety of other roles for the UK Government including as the Head of the Global Communications Network at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Here she oversaw communications delivery and capability across a global network of over 400 communicators at British Embassies and High Commissions around the world.

Neil McGillivray

Chief Operating Officer, The Bayes Centre, University of Edinburgh, UK

Originally joining the University of Edinburgh as a Youth Apprentice in August 1994, Neil has been Chief Operating Officer of the Bayes Centre since August 2018. Leading on strategy development, resourcing and the implementation of services and activities in support of the institution’s Edinburgh & South East City Region Deal commitment, Neil plays a key role in embedding the objectives of the programme across the contributing academic units and professional services groups.

Providing leadership in the design and implementation of a unique portfolio of innovative programmes, he is focussed on strengthening the alignment of academic and research strategy with the wider Data-Driven Innovation initiative. Neil convenes the Bayes Executive Group and is a member of various other University strategic management and leadership groups.

Appointed as Edinburgh’s Alan Turing Institute University Liaison Manager in October 2020, Neil has a breath of cross-disciplinary expertise in resource management, strategic planning, transformational change, benefits realisation, academic liaison and curriculum development. He has previously served in senior University of Edinburgh Director of Professional Services positions, and as a seconded Service Excellence Programme Lead in Student Administration & Support.

Neil is also a member of the HUMANE Residential Schools Alumni Steering Committee.

Alex Pellacani


Board Member HUMANE; Director General, University of Trento, IT

Alex Pellacani graduated in Economics in 1995, is certified chartered accountant since 2000 and has been appointed as member of the Board of HUMANE in June 2022.

He is currently the Managing Director of the University of Trento, a role he was appointed to in 2016. The University of Trento counts around 16,000 students, close to 1.600 employees, about equally divided in academic and non academic staff.

As Managing Director, he is responsible for the implementation of the strategies and objectives defined by the governing bodies of the University. He has the overall responsibility for the management and organisation of the support services.

Among his professional roles, Alex Pellacani held the position of Chief Financial Officer of the University of Trento from 2008 to 2015. He has broad experience in accounting and finance management processes. Based on his technical background, he has been involved as a national board member for the definition of the accounting and reporting principles in the Higher Education Sector established by the Italian Ministry of University and Research.

Prior to joining University of Trento, he worked for major multinational consulting firms, including Arthur Andersen, Deloitte and Accenture. In particular, in Accenture he was manager in the Global Business Solutions Division, responsible for consulting projects in the areas of administration, finance and management control.

Elisa Rosso


Director Innovation and Internationalisation, University of Turin, IT

Head of Research, Innovation and Internationalization Division at the University of Turin, Elisa has responsibilities in research projects and policies, technology and knowledge transfer, innovation management, patents and business startups, European, national and regional funds, attraction of international students and international relations.

Elisa holds a Ph.D in Comparative Social Research at the University of Turin and she has extensive experience in public policy in socio-economic, urban development and strategic planning. Prior to join University of Turin in 2022, she has been Director of European Funds, Economic Development and Strategic Planning for the City of Turin, scientific technical expert for the Ministry of University and Research, Secretary General of the Foundation Center for Conservation of Cultural Heritage La Venaria Reale and senior advisor of Torino Social Impact, a project to develop a territorial ecosystem for social entrepreneurship and impact investors.

Oliver Schmidt


Head of International Cooperation and Projects, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, DE

Oliver is Head of International Cooperation and Projects, one of four divisions within the International Affairs business unit at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). He leads a team of project managers, advisors, and coordinators and oversees institution-wide research and internationalization projects of strategic dimension to KIT. In this context, he and his team are responsible for KIT’s participation in the European university alliances Eucor – The European Campus and EPICUR. His expertise also comprises analyses and development of internationalization strategies as well as the implementation of strategic partnerships.

Oliver joined KIT in 2014 as coordinator for scientific cooperation with Asia and the Arabian countries. His work experience covers more than 15 years in the field of international research management and higher education marketing. Before working for KIT, Oliver organized international networking fairs and events for Baden-Württemberg Universities all over the world.

He holds a degree in International Cultural and Business Studies from the University of Passau.

Riitta Silvennoinen


Chief Human Resources Officer, Aalto University, FI

Riitta Silvennoinen, MSc (Econ.), MBA, is responsible for the human resources management department, including competence and leadership development.

Her previous position was as Nokia’s VP, Global HR Centre of Expertise. She has been employed by Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks and Nokia Networks in a variety of human resources management roles since 1997.

Prior to this, she worked at the Helsinki School of Economics’ International Centre.

Andrea Silvestri


General Director, University of Turin, IT

Since 2021 Andrea Silvestri is the General Director of the University of Turin, the third in Italy by size, with 82,000 students and 4,500 staff.

As the University General Director, he is responsible for the overall organization and management of the services, leading the University staff, and managing the University infrastructures and financial resources.

Prior to joining the University of Turin, Andrea developed his professional career in the consultancy sector, in the mega events organisation (Olympic Winter Games) and in the philanthropic institutions, with different roles in Italian and European organisations.

He has been part of the governance of the European association of foundations (Philea, formerly EFC) and is currently a member of the Supervisory Board at the European Cultural Foundation.

Elmer Sterken


Former Rector Magnificus of the University of Groningen, NL

Elmer Sterken is a Dutch macroeconomist. He is a professor of monetary economics and was Rector Magnificus of the University of Groningen from March 2011 to August 2019.

From September 2019 to May 2020, Elmer Sterken was interim director of the Royal Dutch Institute Rome. From 2019 to 2023, Elmer Sterken was a member of the board of the Coimbra Group. Since 2021 he has been a member of the Supervisory Board of the Groninger Museum, chairman of the Supervisory Board of the University of Humanistic Studies and member of the Central Planning Commission (CPC), the supervisory body of the Central Planning Bureau (CPB).

Since September 2022, Sterken has been dean of the Honors College of the University of Groningen. As of March 2023 Sterken is member of the Supervisory Board of the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Nic Van Craen

General Manager, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, BE

Nic Van Craen is general manager of the Free University Brussels (VUB). He holds overall responsibility for the administrative, logistical and financial management of the university and is advisor to the rector and his vice-rectors towards policy making and the university strategy.

He started working at the university in 1996 as policy advisor for the student services and became coordinator of that department in 2000. In 2003 he became financial manager responsible for budgeting and financial policy and joined the Winter School in 2004 when he was still a junior member of the executive committee of the university.

In 2011 he installed the department of strategy and policy making for the then appointed rector and became general manager in 2013.

He has been involved in several strategic projects for the university and has mandates in different university linked organisations as incubators, student services and the development of new research campuses.

He has got main interests in impact-driven policy making, entrepreneurship and multidisciplinary approach, revenue creation, data driven intelligence and institutional risk. His aim is to install the right eco-system on which education, research and services to society of the university can flourish

Bart van de Laar

Programme Leader International Affairs, Utrecht University, NL

Bart van de Laar oversees the Utrecht University international strategy, including partnerships, student and staff journey and the universities warm welcome for all.

Bart is an inclusive innovator at the interface of science and society with an keen eye for international collaboration. Impact-driven, he contributes to transparency and trust through clear structures.

He brings over twenty-five years’ experience in national and international programmes in higher education (Utrecht University, University of Groningen and Surf Foundation).

Alumnus of the 2018 HUMANE Asia Pacific school.

Leon van de Zande

Secretary General, University of Amsterdam, NL

Leon van de Zande is Secretary General and head of administration of the University of Amsterdam since November 2023.

He is secretary to the Executive Board and responsible for the professional services in the university.

He obtained a degree in Dutch Language and Literature at Utrecht University and has been working at that university since 1995 in different positions: since 2009 as director of the Academic Affairs Office and Student Services and between 2016 and 2022 as Secretary General.

Stephan Van Galen

Secretary General, University of Groningen, NL

Dr. Stephan van Galen has been the Secretary-General of the University of Groningen since September 2015. He is secretary to the Executive Board (President, Rector Magnificus, and Vice President), the College of Deans, and the Supervisory Board. In his role as director he is responsible for all University Services departments, excluding the library and IT. He is responsible for 750 FTE.

The University of Groningen has 7,000 FTE staff, 37,000 students and a budget of 900M Euro. He started his career in 2000 as a senior policy officer at the Association of Universities in The Netherlands (VSNU). In 2003 he became General Secretary of the Accreditation Organization of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO), where he was director for strategy and administration.

Stephan read Imperial History at King’s College London and continued his studies at Leiden University and the School of Oriental and African Studies. The title of his 2008 Leiden PhD thesis was ‘Arakan and Bengal. The rise and decline of the Mrauk U kingdom (Burma) between 1500-1700’.

Karen Vandevelde

HR Director, Antwerp University, BE

Karen Vandevelde is the HR Director at Antwerp University since 2018, after a long career as research policy advisor at Ghent University (2006-2018). She oversees the implementation of HR policies as well as their operational processes, including recruitment & selection, career development, appraisal & rewards systems and academic leadership. She represents Antwerp University in the HR Working group of the Flemish Rectors’ Conference (VLIR), in the Research Policy working group & Academic Careers working group of YERUN, and in the formal national negotiation committee of the government, union representatives and institutions.

Many of her pet projects are to be situated at the intersection of research policies and HR policies. She has taken on the role of Advisor or Expert in a number of working groups for the Flemish Council for Science and Innovation, the Flemish Royal Academy of Science and the Arts, the OECD (Careers of Doctorate Holders project), the European Commission (DG RTD) and a number of consultancy-led projects related to research policy, HR and researchers’ careers.

Karen is committed to making universities a great place to work, despite the increasing pressures on academics in terms of career insecurity, competitive funding acquisition, leadership challenges and work-life balance. In order to keep challenging her own career choices, she enjoys being a mentor in the postdoc career mentoring programmes of Antwerp University as well as Ghent University.

Karen holds a MA Degree from Ghent University (1996) and a PhD Degree in Arts (2001) from the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Ian Wright

Director of Human Resources, University of Sheffield, UK

Ian joined the University of Sheffield in 2008 and has undertaken a variety of roles within the Human Resources Department since then including roles in policy and systems development, reward, industrial relations, business partnering and organisation development.

He was appointed as Director of HR in 2020, playing a key role in the University’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and joining the University’s Executive Board. Ian’s leadership responsibility spans the four key areas of service provision in the University’s HR function; Business Partnering and Employee Relations; Organisation Development and Employee Engagement; HR & Recruitment Services and Reward. He also has executive responsibility for Health & Safety at the University.

Ian is a member of the Universities HR Executive (in the UK) and chairs one of the regional groups. He is also a Trustee of the University of Sheffield Pension Scheme.

Ian’s career in HR spans nearly 30 years and prior to joining the University he worked in a wide range of private and public sector employers including in the software industry, a local authority, professional services and retail/catering organisations. Ian is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and has a Bachelor’s degree in Management Studies with French from the University of Bradford.