Our Members

Richard Allan

Member of the Executive Board

Richard Allan has spent half his career working in the public sector (healthcare and politics), and the other half working in the private sector (internet hardware and social media). He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and a member of the House of Lords (the second chamber of the UK Parliament). Richard has worked on most of the “hot” technology policy issues including privacy and data use, content regulation, the conduct of politics online, competition, tax and connectivity. Richard studied archaeology and he has worked as an excavator on ancient sites in a number of countries. Richard also has an MSc in Information Technology and he spent several years building information systems for the UK’s National Health Service. Richard began his political career in 1993 as a local councilor and he was elected to the UK Parliament in 1997. Richard stepped down from Parliament in 2005 and moved to the technology sector, working at Cisco Systems (2005-9) and Facebook Inc (2009-2019).

Petra de Place Bak

Student Researcher

Petra de Place Bak is a student assistant at the DATALAB, Center for Digital Social Research at Aarhus University. In 2021 she joined DATALAB where she assists the researchers in tasks related to EDMO. She holds a BA in Communication studies from the Danish School of Media and Journalism and is currently studying a MA in Cognitive Semiotics at Aarhus University.

Alina Bârgăoanu

Member of the Advisory Board

Alina Bârgăoanu, Professor, dean of the College of Communication and Public Relations, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest; President of the board of the European Institute of Romania; Visiting Scholar, Center for European Studies at Harvard University (2018-2019); member of the High-Level Expert Group on Fake News and Online Disinformation, European Commission (2018); columnist on disinformation and tech-related subjects (Gandul national newspaper); interests: digital disinformation, strategic communication, regulatory responses to disinformation, tech regulation.

Anja Bechmann

Member of the Executive Board, Research

Anja Bechmann is Professor at the Department of Media Studies, Aarhus University and director of DATALAB – Center for Digital Social Research and the EU Center of Excellence for Research in Social Media and Information Disorder (EU REMID). Her research examines social media communication and collective behavior using large-scale data collection and applied machine learning. Bechmann’s field of research are disinformation, digital sociology, privacy, critical algorithmic and AI studies and digital news studies, and her research has published in high ranked journals and publishers such as New, Media & Society, Information Society, First Monday, Routledge and MIT Press. She is Co- Chair of the Association of Internet Researchers Ethics Committee appointed member of the Academy of Technical Sciences and board member of the Danish Council for Digital Security. She was member of the High Level Expert Group on Fake News and Disinformation under the EU Commission and Thinker in Residence 2019 on Democracy & Disinformation at The Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts. Her expertise and network will be crucial to facilitate the mapping of disinformation research and relevant academic institutions and organisations.

Kalina Bontcheva

Member of the Advisory Board

Prof. Dr. Kalina Bontcheva leads the Natural Language Processing Group at the Department of Computer Science, University of Sheffield. She is also a member of Sheffield’s Center for Freedom of the Media and Senior Research Leader at the Big Data and Smart Society Institute in Bulgaria. Between 2014 and 2016 Bontcheva conceived and lead the PHEME project, which was amongst the first EU projects to study computational methods for the detection and tracking of disinformation in social media. She is currently the scientific director of the WeVerify project. Since 2015 Bontcheva has been working also on real-time social media analysis around United Kingdom general elections and referenda and on monitoring and analysis of online abuse towards UK politicians. Most recently she coauthored an ITU/UNESCO study, Balancing Act: Countering Digital Disinformation while Respecting Freedom of Expression and two UNESCO policy briefs on Combating the Disinfodemic: Working for Truth in the Time of COVID-19.

Elda Brogi

Member of the Executive Board, Coordinator Policy Analysis and Research

Dr Elda Brogi, is the Scientific Coordinator of the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) at the European University Institute in Florence.  In particular, she coordinates and supervises the flagship project of the Centre, the Media Pluralism Monitor, a tool designed to collect and analyse data to identify potential risks to media pluralism in EU Member States. She also teaches Communication Law at the University of Florence. She has served as a member of several expert committees at the Council of Europe: the Committee of experts on media pluralism and transparency of media ownership (MSI-MED), the Committee of experts on protection of journalism and safety of journalists (MSI-JO) in 2014-2015, and she is currently member of the MSI-REF Committee of Experts on Media Environment and Reform, and co-rapporteur on the draft recommendation by the Committee of Ministers to member States on election communication and media coverage of electoral campaigns. Member of the Advisory council for the 2017 “World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development” Report, UNESCO.  She holds a degree in Law (University of Florence), a Ph.D. in Public Law and Constitutional Law (University La Sapienza, Rome).

Tommaso Canetta

Fact-checking Coordinator

Tommaso Canetta is the deputy Director of Pagella Politica. He has a master’s degree in Law, with specialization in International and European Law, and a master in Journalism. He has been a professional journalist since 2012 and a fact-checker since 2016, when he started to work for Pagella Politica.

Maja Cappello

Member of the Advisory Board

Maja Cappello joined the European Audiovisual Observatory in Strasbourg as Head of the Department for Legal Information in 2014. Set up in December 1992, the Observatory’s mission is to gather and diffuse information on the audiovisual industry in Europe. The Observatory operates within the legal framework of the Council of Europe as a European public service body comprising 41 member states and the EU, represented by the European Commission. Before joining the Observatory, Maja Cappello worked for the Italian regulator AGCOM from 1998 and was Head of AGCOM’s Digital Rights Unit of the Media Services Directorate. She was also Vice President of EPRA (European Platform of Regulatory Authorities) from 2011 to 2014. Italian-Norwegian mother tongue, she is author of articles and speeches in the areas of audiovisual media services, media pluralism, copyright and consumer protection and holds an LLM in EU law and a PhD in European social law after graduating in Law in 1994. She has been lecturing in Media law at University level (Bachelor, Master and PhD) since 2001.

Louise Carnapete

Project Assistant

Louise Carnapete started as a trainee at the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO), within the School of Transnational Governance at the European University Institute (EUI). She speaks French, English, German, Portuguese and Italian. She worked as a research assistant for SciencesPo Paris and for the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development within various international and interdisciplinary projects. She gained insight into European politics and disinformation challenges as an intern at the French embassy in Portugal during European elections and as a data analyst for a Dutch fact-checking organization during the German parliamentary elections. She holds a bi-national BA in History and Sociology from the Bielefeld University and from the University of Paris VII – Denis Diderot and recently graduated in Contemporary European Studies with a MA from the University of Bath, Humboldt University of Berlin, and the University of Siena.

Silvia Cavasola

Project Manager

Silvia Cavasola, PhD, has been Project manager at Pagella Politica since 2018, coordinating European projects and international collaborations. She had previously covered a similar role at the World Tourism Organization – UNWTO (2016-18, Madrid). With a background in political science, she has also been a research consultant to the Italian National Research Center (CNR) and the Active Citizenship Foundation (Fondaca).

Madeleine de Cock Buning

Chair of the Advisory Board

Prof. Dr. de Cock Buning is coordinator of the Cluster on Digital Politics, Economy and Societies at the School of Transnational Governance of the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence and chaired professor of Copyright and Media Law at the Faculty of Law (UU) in Utrecht, The Netherlands. De Cock Buning was Chair of the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group (HLEG) on fake news and disinformation (2018), chair of the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA) (2016 & 2017) and was President of the Board of Commissioners at the Dutch Media Authority (2009-2019). She was Honorary Judge of the Court of Appeal in The Hague (2010-2020) and was a panelist of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) (2001-2018). Next to her chairs in Italy and the Netherlands, Prof. Dr. Madeleine de Cock Buning is Vice President Public Policy EMEA at Netflix.

Radovan Geist

Member of the Advisory Board

Radovan Geist is the co-founder and Publisher of EURACTIV Slovakia. Working in media since 2002, he is a regular commentator for Slovak & European media. His weekly columns on European issues are published by dailies Dennik N and Pravda. With PhD degree in political science, he is an external lecturer at the Comenius University in Bratislava, Department of Political Science, teaching on political philosophy, authoritarianism and democratic backsliding. His research interests include analysis of political and media discourse, and the impact of EU membership on Visegrad countries (here).

Lisa Ginsborg

Training and Research

Dr Lisa Ginsborg works at the European University Institute (EUI) School of Transnational Governance on the Thematic Cluster on Digital Politics Economy and Society and is a Lecturer in International Human Rights at New York University (NYU) Florence. She has worked as a Post-Doctoral Researcher at University College Dublin (UCD) and at the EUI-based Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom in the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies; as a Teaching Fellow at the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC); and was a visiting researcher at NYU School of Law and at the Sydney Centre for International Law at the University of Sydney. Previously she worked in the legal department of the International Secretariat of Amnesty International (2006–2009) and in the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) (2005–2006). She has worked as a consultant for a number of human rights organizations and as a lecturer on human rights undergraduate and postgraduate courses. She holds a PhD in Public International Law from the EUI and an MSc in Political Sociology from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Paula Gori

Secretary-General, Coordinator

Paula Gori is the Secretary-General and Coordinator of EDMO. She joined the School of Transnational Governance at the European University Institute in 2017 where she is a member of the management team. Prior she was the Coordinator of the Florence School of Regulation – Communications and Media, which offers training, policy and research activities on electronic communications regulation and competition and she collaborated with the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom, which she coordinated during the initial set-up phase back in 2012. She was for several years the Scientific Coordinator of the Annual Conference on Postal and Delivery Economics and she is one of the authors of the report for the European Commission on European Union competences in respect of media pluralism and media freedom. Paula has a legal background and is a qualified civil mediator.

Claes H. de Vreese

Member of the Advisory Board

Claes H. de Vreese is Distinguished University Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Society with a special focus on Media and Democracy, University of Amsterdam (UvA). He (co-)directs the UvA Platform Information, Communication and the Data Society (ICDS) and the Humane AI initiative. He is the founding Director of the Center for Politics and Communication (www.polcomm.org). He was the President of the International Communication Association ICA (20/21). His research interests include the role of data and artificial intelligence in democratic processes, microtargeting, comparative journalism research, the effects of news, public opinion and European integration. He is recipient of the Swanson Career Achievement Award (ICA, 2018), the NeFCA Career Award (2019), and he is an elected Fellow of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, the International Communication Association, and the Royal Holland Society of Sciences. He has published 150+ articles in international peer-reviewed journals and several books with university presses. He has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University, Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Zurich, and University of Southern Denmark. He has lectured in a dozen countries and frequently appears in (inter)national news media. He was the Editor in Chief of Political Communication (2014-2020) and he will be the inaugural director of the Centre for Digital Democracy at the University of Southern Denmark.

Christophe Leclercq

Member of the Advisory Board

Christophe Leclercq is a respected media professional and commentator on policy issues, he can see through the economic and political aspects of fake news, and regulation of social media platforms. As a media entrepreneur, who supported initiatives in Central Europe, and as voluntary advisor to press associations, he strongly supports the ethics of journalism. Fondation EURACTIV is a think-and-do tank focusing on the media sector’s health. Mr Leclercq is its Executive Chair and also initiated Stars4media, an exchange and training programme for young media professionals in Europe. The think-tank also offers policies regarding Europe’s media sector, and ways to overcome the current crisis. French, based in Brussels, born 1962, married to a Brit (3 children), speaks French, English, German.

Sonia Livingstone

Member of the Advisory Board

Sonia Livingstone DPhil (Oxon), OBE, FBA, FBPS, FAcSS, FRSA, is a professor in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Sonia has published 20 books on media audiences, especially children and young people’s risks and opportunities, media literacy and rights in the digital environment. Her forthcoming book is “Parenting for a Digital Future: How hopes and fears about technology shape children’s lives” (Oxford University Press). Recipient of many honours, she has advised the UK government, European Commission, European Parliament, UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, OECD, ITU and UNICEF, among others, on children’s internet safety and rights in the digital environment. Sonia served as chair of the LSE’s Truth, Trust and Technology Commission, Special Advisor to the House of Lords’ Select Committee on Communications, Expert Advisor to the Council of Europe, President of the International Communication Association, and Executive Board member of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety. Sonia currently directs the Digital Futures Commission (with the 5Rights Foundation) and the Global Kids Online project (with UNICEF). She is Deputy Director of UKRI-funded Nurture Network and leads work packages for H2020-funded projects: ySKILLS (Youth Skills) and CO:RE (Children Online: Research and Evidence).

Laura Loguercio


Laura Loguercio is an Italian journalist currently working for the fact-checking website Pagella Politica. Previously, she interned at an online magazine set at the United Nations Headquarters and worked in the video desk of a Milan-based news agency. Laura holds a BA in Philosophy and an Msc in Corporate Communication. In 2020 she was awarded with a Fulbright Scholarship.

Miguel Poiares Maduro

Chair of the Executive Board

Miguel Poiares Maduro is Professor of the School of Transnational Governance at the European University Institute. Before, he was Professor at the Law Department and at the Robert Schuman Centre of the European University Institute where he was the Founding Director of the Global Governance Programme (from 2010 to 2013). From 2013 to 2015 he was Minister Deputy to the Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Development in Portugal. Until 2009 he was Advocate General at the European Court of Justice. From June 2016 to May 2017 he was Chairman of the new Governance and Review Committee of FIFA. He was a member of the EU High Level Group on Media Freedom and Pluralism. He is a Doctor of Laws by the European University Institute (Florence) and was the first winner of the Rowe and Maw Prize and winner of the Prize Obiettivo Europa (for the best PhD thesis at the EUI). He co-edited with Joseph Weiler the Special Book Review Issue of the European Law Journal. He is the author of We the Court: The European Court of Justice and the European Economic Constitution (Oxford, Hart Publishing, 1997). He has been honoured by the President of the Portuguese Republic with the Order of Sant’Iago da Espada for literary, scientific and artistic merit. In 2010 he was awarded the Gulbenkian Science Prize.

Elena Maggi

Project Associate

Elena Maggi works at the European University Institute (EUI) School of Transnational Governance as Project Associate for the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO). Until June 2020 she was Policy and Communications Advisor at the European Cleaning and Facility Services Industry (EFCI) and gained professional experience in EU public affairs and project management in different European institutions and organisation including Culture Action Europe and DG EPRS at the European Parliament. She holds a MSc in European Studies from the London School of Economics and a Double BSc in Philosophy and Political Sciences from the Paris I-Panthéon Sorbonne University.

Giacomo Mazzone

Member of the Advisory Board

Giacomo Mazzone is Manager of the Public Service Broadcasting and Media with over 35 years’ experience in the news, sport and international relations sectors. Trained as a journalist, with a great deal of experience in international companies and organizations (RAI, Euronews, Eurosport, and then EBU European Broadcasting Union). He has worked for all traditional media (press, radio, general interest TV) and later in the then-called new media (all-news channels, Internet portals). In RAI he has been a journalist in the newsroom of RAI 2 for 15 years. Then has been among the founders of the Euronews project (1992-1997), where he managed special events coverage and partnerships, and later was appointed director of European Affairs and of the relations with EU institutions. Called back to Italy in 1997 to manage the launch of RAI all-news channel RAINEWS 24 then was in charge of RAI’s international relations until he left for EBU in Geneva in 2002. Since 2013 he is also representative of WBU (World Broadcasting Unions) into the GAC of ICANN and has been member of the MAG IGF (Internet Governance Forum) on behalf of the media sector (2014-2016). He has published a dozen books on news, media and internet. Married with 2 children, living in Geneva.

Clare Melford

Member of the Advisory Board

Clare Melford is the Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer of The Global Disinformation Index, a not-for-profit that aims to disrupt, defund and down-rank disinformation. An experienced CEO in the commercial and not-for-profit sectors, Clare was formerly CEO of the International Business Leaders Forum and MD of MTV Networks, Nordics. She has worked on startups in e-commerce, fin-tech and ed-tech. Currently, Clare also serves on the Advisory Board for the European Digital Media Observatory, a project that supports the independent community working to combat disinformation. Clare was a founding board member of Girls not Brides, the global coalition to end child marriage.

Iva Nenadić

Policy Analysis and Research

Dr. Iva Nenadić is a Research Associate at the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom, where she coordinates and supervises the implementation of the Media Pluralism Monitor in the areas of Political Independence and Social Inclusiveness, and co-authors the Media Pluralism Monitor report. She teaches courses in Media Policy and Regulation, and Data-driven Strategic Communication at the Faculty of Political Science of the Zagreb University. Since 2019, Iva has also been involved in the European multi-stakeholder project Governing Platforms, which aims to design proposals to regulate online platforms’ operations while safeguarding fundamental rights and promoting transparency. As an expert and researcher, she took part in the European Election Monitoring Center, a political communication project on European Parliament elections in May 2019. In 2015/2016, over the course of her PhD in communication studies, Iva was a visiting researcher at Stuttgart Media University in Germany, where she collaborated on projects exploring the digital transformation of the media industry and journalism education. In 2014, she co-edited comprehensive publication “Common Media Pressing Issues in Six SEE Countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia)”. She participated in MEDIANE, joint Programme of the EU and the Council of Europe promoting diversity inclusiveness, and in projects promoting media literacy. Prior to her academic work, Iva worked for a number of news media in Croatia as a journalist, editor, and producer.

Pier Luigi Parcu

Member of the Advisory Board

Pier Luigi Parcu is a part-time Professor at the European University Institute (EUI) from 2010. He is currently Area Director of the FSR Communications & Media, Director of the Florence Competition Programme and Director of the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom. Since 2004 he has been Chairman of a consultancy company specialized in antitrust and regulation. From 2000 to 2003, he was CEO of the public company running the Italian Electricity Grid (GRTN). From 1991 to 2000 he was the Director of Investigation at the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM). Previously, he served as Chief Economist at the Italian Security and Exchange Commission (CONSOB) and as Economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). His research interest in the area of law and economics focuses on the interaction between regulation and antitrust in shaping firms’ behaviour. Most recently he is writing on innovation, standardization and platforms. As regards research in the media area, Professor Parcu’s interests focus primarily on the effects of media concentration on pluralism and freedom of expression and on the influence of online business models on legacy media and professional journalism.

Sally Reynolds

Member of the Advisory Board

An Irish national with a background in remedial linguistics, Sally first worked in radio and television in Ireland as a presenter and producer for the national broadcaster, RTE specialising in educational programming. From 1990 onwards, she worked in technology enhanced learning networks in Ireland, Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium. She is a Director of ATiT which she co-founded in 1999 where she leads on dissemination and event management, media literacy, and media education from primary through to continuing education and has considerable experience in all levels of European project management from concept through to validation. Sally is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the European not-for-profit Media & Learning Association which promotes and stimulates the use of media as a way to enhance innovation and creativity in teaching and learning across all levels of education in Europe. In this role, Sally is responsible for the management of the association and its activities including conferences, webinars and the MEDEA Awards. Through her work with ATiT and the Media & Learning Association, Sally has been involved for many years in media education and media literacy initiatives of one sort or another. Sally is an experienced media producer, event manager and European dissemination strategist.

Gianni Riotta

Member of the Advisory Board

Gianni Riotta is Pirelli Visiting Professor at Princeton University and Dean of the Master of Communication Luiss University, Rome, where he founded Datalab, member of the European Union Soma Project against disinformation. He is Executive Vice President of the Council for the United States and Italy. Columnist for La Stampa, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, he was Editor-in-Chief at Tg1 Rai and Sole 24 Ore, Deputy Editor at La Stampa and Corriere della Sera. Previously a correspondent and columnist for Corriere della Sera based in New York. In 2015 Riotta founded the digital start up Catchy. Gianni Riotta is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He contributes to the BBC World Service. His columns have been published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, Le Monde, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Guardian, El Pais, Suddeutsche Zeitung, Foreign Affairs. His books have been translated into many languages. Foreign Policy and Prospect included Riotta in their ranking “World 100 global thinkers”. Gianni Riotta graduated in Logics at Università Palermo and holds an MS from Columbia University, Graduate School of Journalism. An international web influencer Gianni Riotta tweets @riotta , is active Facebook riotta.it, Instagram @gianniriotta and the website www.riotta.it .

Nikos Sarris

Member of the Executive Board, Technical Coordinator

Nikos Sarris joined ATC in 2004 as a Senior IT Consultant. Between 2013 and 2020 he headed the Innovation lab and since then is the Head of technologies against disinformation, while being a Senior Researcher at MKLab of ITI-CERTH and a member of MeVer. He received his PhD from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2003 and his Master of Engineering degree from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in 1995. Nikos has been working for more than 20 years in R&D projects as a researcher, project manager and coordinator of large multinational consortia. He has authored numerous publications for international journals and conferences. In the latest years he has been involved in media related projects focusing on the semantic analysis and ‘understanding’ of multimedia news content. He has managed two related products on behalf of ATC: TruthNest and Truly Media, the latter in cooperation with Deutsche Welle. Nikos is the coordinator of the EC-funded SOMA project tasked to empower the European Observatory against Disinformation.

Giovanni Sartor

Member of the Advisory Board

Part-time professor at Faculty of Law at the University of Bologna and at the EUI. Appointed in 2006, contract renewed until 2024. Giovanni Sartor is currently Principal Investigator for the ERC (Europen Research Council) Advanced project COMPULAW, started on 1 November 2019, to be completed on 31 October 2024. He is a part-time professor in legal informatics at the University of Bologna and part-time professor in Legal informatics and Legal Theory at the European University Institute. He obtained a Ph.D. at the EUI,  researcher at the Italian National Council of Research (ITTIG, Florence), chair in Jurisprudence at Queen’s University of Belfast, and was Marie-Curie professor at the EUI. He has been President of the International Association for Artificial Intelligence and Law. He has published widely on artificial intelligence and law, computational logic, legal theory/philosophy, and computer law.

Roeland Scholtalbers


Roeland Scholtalbers works as Communications Specialist at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. The European University Institute (EUI) provides advanced academic training in the social sciences for doctoral and post-doctoral researchers, and fosters research in fields of particular relevance for the development of Europe. Scholtalbers divides his time between the EUI’s Communications Service and the Institute’s School of Transnational Governance. Until August 2019, Scholtalbers was Director of Communications at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, where he led initiatives in the areas of internal and external communications, events and patronage. Previously, he worked in communications roles at the international alliance of Catholic development agencies CIDSE and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. Scholtalbers started his career at the Centre for the Study of Political Change (CIRCaP) at the University of Siena, Italy.

Garifalia Sebou


Garifalia Sebou has been working with ATC since 2007. She holds a BSc Degree in Political Science & Public Administration from the University of Athens. She is working in the ATC Innovation Lab as a Project Dissemination Manager overseeing the unit’s dissemination, marketing and internet marketing activities. She has been involved in EU R&D and National funded projects since 2008. She is currently involved in the field of business applications, user requirements capture, specifications analysis, project management and dissemination/marketing activities in European and National R&D projects.

Mathias Holm Sørensen

Project manager

Mathias Holm Sørensen is a research assistant at the DATALAB, Center for Digital Social Research at Aarhus University. In 2020 he joined DATALAB full time where he both coordinates and conducts research on the H2020 projects SOMA and NGI Forward and on EDMO. His research is centered around social media and digital information disorder issues. He holds a BA in Media Studies and a MA in Rhetorics both from Aarhus University.

Jochen Spangenberg

Member of the Advisory Board

Jochen Spangenberg is Deputy Head, Research and Cooperation Projects, at Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle. The unit operates at the intersection of journalism, IT, and media science. In addition to strategic and management issues, Jochen’s topical focus over the past years has been on social newsgathering, analysis and verification of digital / user-generated content, and the use of eyewitness media for news reporting. Jochen furthermore coordinates all verification projects and activities of the unit. Previously, Jochen was Chief Operating Officer and Editor-in-Chief at a new media company, and worked for BBC News & Current Affairs in radio and TV. Jochen also lectures at the Free University Berlin in Media & Communication Sciences, and is an advisor as well as occasional teacher for Lie Detectors, an NGO that brings media literacy into classrooms. He is the author of the book The BBC in Transition and a number of articles, papers and book chapters.

Lauri Tierala

Programme Director

Lauri Tierala works at the European University Institute (EUI) School of Transnational Governance as Programme Director for the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO). Until December 2021, he was a Partner and Senior Advisor at Miltton, a public affairs and communications consultancy. Before that has doing global and European public affairs for Finnair, an airline. Lauri has a long record of European policymaking, having worked earlier in at e.g., the European Parliament and European Movement and as a special advisor on EU affairs to e.g. the Prime Minister of Finland. He holds a M.Soc.Sc. from the University of Helsinki.

Rebekah Tromble

Member of the Advisory Board

Dr. Rebekah Tromble is Director of the Institute for Data, Democracy & Politics and Associate Professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs and at George Washington University. Her research focuses on political communication, digital research methodology, and research ethics, with particular interests in political discourse on social media, as well as the impacts of exposure to online disinformation and abusive content. Dr. Tromble is currently leading a team of international researchers from both the social and computer sciences to investigate the “health” of political conversations on Twitter. She is also a member of the Social Science One European Advisory Committee. Dr. Tromble consults regularly for industry and policymakers, particularly on topics of digital platform accountability, responsible data use, and best practices for combatting the effects of misinformation.

Danae Tsabouraki


Danae Tsabouraki has been working at the ATC Innovation Lab since 2011 as a Junior Researcher and since 2018 as a Project Manager in EU R&D funded projects in the media sector. Danae holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law and a Master’s degree in Sociology of Law from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (UoA), as well as a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB). She has been practicing law since 2012, mainly in the fields of commercial and corporate law (intellectual property, data protection, contracts, competition law, etc.). Her interests lie among others in the areas of socio-legal research in response to technological innovations, online content regulation, media literacy, and disinformation. Danae is a member of the Athens Bar Association.

Stratos Tzoannos

Senior Expert/Analyst

Stratos Tzoannos currently holds the position of head of Engineering at ATC Innovation Lab (ATH division). He has worked as a Senior Software Engineer, Team Leader and Product Manager, with 15 years of experience in a wide range of contexts and technologies. He has successfully designed, led and developed large scale research and commercial projects. He holds a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from National Technical University of Athens and an MBA degree from Athens University of Economics and Business. His focus is to stay close to the cutting-edge technologies and to integrate them into real-world use cases, delivering the best of user experience.

Peggy Valcke

Member of the Advisory Board

Peggy Valcke is research professor of law & technology at KU Leuven, member of the management board of CiTiP (Centre for IT & IP Law) and of Leuven.AI, and principal investigator in the Security & Privacy Department of imec. She has taken up positions as visiting and part-time professor at Tilburg University (Netherlands; 2009-2018); Bocconi University Milan (Italy; 2018-2019), the European University Institute in Florence (Italy; 2014), and Central European University in Budapest (Hungary; 2006). Peggy combines academic, policy and regulatory experience in relation to digital technologies and the law. She started her academic career in 1996 at KU Leuven, where she currently teaches courses on ICT law, electronic communications law, media law, technology & law, and interdisciplinary study of law, at graduate and postgraduate level, to students with varying backgrounds (law, computer science, engineering, communications science, biomedical sciences). From 2004 to 2008, she served as part-time policy advisor in the cabinet of the Flemish media minister. In 2008-2009, she coordinated the EU study on “Indicators for Media Pluralism in the Member States – Towards a Risk-Based Approach”. This study resulted in the first prototype of the EU Media Pluralism Monitor, which is now implemented on an annual basis by EUI’s Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF). Since 2008, Peggy has been assessor of the Belgian Competition Authority and expert member of the Flemish Media Regulator. She is also actively involved in shaping the debate on AI ethics and regulation in Belgium and Europe. She currently serves as vice-chair of the Council of Europe’s Ad Hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence (CAHAI) and as co-director of the Flemish Centre on Data & Society.

Paul Verschure

Member of the Advisory Board

Dr. Paul F.M.J. Verschure is a Research Professor with the Catalan Institute of Advanced Studies, Director of the Synthetic Perceptive, Emotive and Cognitive Systems Laboratory (specs-lab.com) at the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology and the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalunya. Paul has received his MA and Ph.D. in Psychology and pursued his research at different leading international institutes: The Neurosciences Institute and The Salk Institute, both in San Diego, the Univ. of Amsterdam, Univ. of Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology- ETH. Paul’s research spans Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual and Mixed Reality and the application areas of Neurorehabilitation, Education, and Cultural Heritage. His scientific aim is to develop a unified theory of mind and brain, to validate this theory using empirical and synthetic methods and by applying it to technologies that support and advance the human condition. SPECS comprises a multidisciplinary team of 30 doctoral and post-doctoral researchers including psychologists, engineers and biologists which have widely published their results in leading journals. Paul co-chairs the annual Living Machines conference and Barcelona Cognition, Brain and Technology summer school. Paul also hosts the Convergent Science Network podcast and has completed 15 Ironman races.

Jessica Gabriele Walter


Jessica Gabriele Walter is postdoctoral researcher at the DATALAB, Center for Digital Social Research at Aarhus University. Here, she is part of research projects with a focus on on-line disinformation and predictors of social media behavior. She studied social sciences at University of Mannheim and the Indiana University in Bloomington from 2004 to 2010. In 2018 she obtained a PhD from University of Mannheim with her thesis focusing on how instruments that aim at measuring gender role attitudes in social surveys, can be improved. From 2010 to 2020 she worked as pre- and later post-doctoral researcher at GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Mannheim where she conceptualized, implemented and documented the German General Social Survey (ALLBUS). This expertise in survey methodology will play an important role in the work of mapping disinformation research activities in the EU.

Wout van Wijk

Member of the Advisory Board

Wout van Wijk is Executive Director at News Media Europe, representing over 2500 European news media brands in print and online, on radio and television. News Media Europe is committed to maintaining and promoting the freedom of the press, to upholding and enhancing the freedom to publish, and to championing the news brands underpinning democracy. Prior to this, Wout held the position of senior EU affairs manager at Huawei Technologies in their Brussels office, where he led their public outreach on Cyber Security and Data Privacy Protection. Wout also worked with the European Commission on Trust and Security related policy and research. He started his career as a Government Affairs manager for the trade association of Europe’s direct marketing industry, FEDMA where he worked on data protection and privacy issues. Wout holds an Msc in Communication Studies from the Twente University, The Netherlands and an MA in European Public Affairs from Maastricht University, The Netherlands.

Giovanni Zagni

Member of the Executive Board, Fact-checking Director

Giovanni Zagni, PhD, joined Pagella Politica in 2015 and is currently its Director. A journalist, he is a member of the Technical Table on pluralism and correctness of information established by the Italian Authority for communications (AGCom), and has been part of the Monitoring Unit on Disinformation around Covid-19 established by the Italian government in April 2020. He has given lectures on fact-checking and disinformation/misinformation-related topics in various Italian universities and public events. He is an alumnus of the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa and holds a PhD in Romance philology from the University of Siena.