Neophytos Papadopoulos is the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth. During the period 16 Sept ’20 – 09 Sept ’21 he was appointed acting permanent secretary and then permanent secretary at the Shipping Deputy Ministry. He worked as a telecoms engineer at Cyprus Telecoms Authority [1994-2002] and served as the Director of the Office of the Commissioner for Electronic Communications and Postal Regulation [2002 – 15 Sept ’20]. He holds the titles of BEng in Electrical Engineering & Electronics and PhD in Digital Communications from the University of Manchester Institute of Science & Technology – UK. Additionally, he holds an MBA from the Cyprus International Institute of Management. He has extensive experience in matters of leadership and management, policy and strategy formulation and implementation.
Dr Aravella Zachariou coordinator of the National Secretariat. She is the Head of the Unit of Education for Sustainable Development in Pedagogical Institute (Cyprus Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth). Her research interests focus on formal and non-formal ESD, ESD competences and professional development. She has a number of publications on ESD in international scientific journals and she is author and co-author in a series of books and materials on EE/ESD. Since 2017 she is the Chair of the UNECE ESD Steering Committee. She is also chairing the Mediterranean Strategy for ESD and she is leading the task force Climate Change and Education (Cyprus Regional Initiative for Climate Change in EMMEC). Her research work has been presented in a series of worldwide, international, european and national conferences.
Mariza Hadjisotiriou is an Administrative Officer at the Office of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth of the Republic of Cyprus since 2010. She served the Ministry of Education from several posts, such as the Minister’s Office and the Department for the Management of European Funds acting as Coordinator. In 2012, she served as liaison officer at the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Dr Ioannis Savvides serves public education in Cyprus for more than thirty years from the positions of the Teacher, Deputy Headteacher, Headteacher and Inspector of Primary Education. He is currently the Head of the European and International Affairs, Adult Education and Lifelong Learning Office at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth. He holds a Diploma of Teacher (Pedagogical Academy of Cyprus), a Bachelor’s Degree in Education (University of Cyprus) and a Master’s degree in Organization, Planning and Management of Education (Reading University, UK). He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Evaluation of the University of Cyprus.
Alexandros Flourentzou holds a BA Degree in Political Science (University of Mannheim, Germany), an MA Degree in Conflict Resolution (University of Bradford, UK) and another MA Degree in Educational Administration & Evaluation (University of Cyprus). Before joining the European and International Affairs Office of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth as an educational planning officer, Alexandros worked as a communication officer in the private sector and as a parliamentary associate at the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus. During his academic and professional career, Alexandros has acquired experience in peace education, problem-solving, interpersonal and presentation skills, specific social skills such as teamwork in a multicultural environment and awareness of gender and diversity issues, as well as some practical skills in mediation and negotiation. He is fluent in Greek (native language), English and German.
Vivian Konnari is a diplomat at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus. She holds a BA in International Relations and Politics from the University of Kent, an MA in Political Science and International History from the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales (IUHEI) as well an MLAW in Law from the University of Nicosia. Vivian is currently in the Ministry’s Multilateral Affairs and International Organization Department, covering amongst others, issues pertaining to green diplomacy.
Nicos Vasiliou is the Head of the Schengen Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which mainly deals with the visa policy. Even though Cyprus isn’t a part of the Schengen Area yet, it has adopted the same visa requirements as Schengen countries and the main objective of the department is the monitoring and implementation of the common European Visa Policy in Cyprus. Nicos also served as Consul General at the Consulate General of the Republic of Cyprus in Krasnodar, Russia and has a long Practical experience in the area of visa policy, including risk analysis and knowledge of the entire visa application handling procedure. He holds an Associate degree in Travel and Tourism Management, a BSc in Management and a MA in Economics, both from the City University of New York.
Maria Modestou is an Administrative Officer at the Ministry of Interior of Cyprus since July 2007, initially posted at the European Funds Unit and currently within the Ministry’s Permanent Secretariat. In between, she also served as Justice and Home Affairs Counsellor at the Permanent Representation of Cyprus to the EU. Maria holds a BA in Political Science with a minor in Sociology and an MA in Contemporary European Studies. Beside her native Greek, she is fluent in English and has a working knowledge of French.
Olga Theocharous, after completing her studies in England in 1985 acquiring a BSc degree in Hotel Management, returned to Cyprus and started her career in the National Tourism Authority of Cyprus. Since 1985 she has been posted in different Departments of the Deputy Ministry of Tourism (ex – Cyprus Tourism Organization), including the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Licensing of Tourist Enterprises, the Strategic Development and the Directorate for Management of Investment, Development and Investment Projects. In those positions, she undertook duties in the areas of tourism strategy development, tourism enterprises licensing, sustainability, product development, investment, etc. She also has a vast experience in the implementation of EU programs. Between 1988 and 1995, she acquired the Tourist Guide diploma and a postgraduate degree in Business Administration. Currently at the Cyprus Deputy Ministry of Tourism, she is the Head of Tourist Accommodation Development and Tourism Sustainability Division. Mrs Theocharous is the UN-World Tourism Organisation focal point in Cyprus since 2006.
Michalis Pouros after completing his studies in United States in 2000 acquiring a BSBA and an MBA, returned to Cyprus and worked in various Marketing positions in the private sector. Since 2005, he is working for the National Tourism Authority of Cyprus, passing from various positions and covering a great area of tourism marketing issues. Currently at the Cyprus Deputy Ministry of Tourism, he is responsible for the Exhibitions’ sector, the Hospitality sector and the Advertising sector where the focus is on digital media. He believes that promoting Cyprus as a destination is an everyday challenge but it is also a pleasure to introduce your country to visitors and invite them to explore a beautiful island.
Dr. Nicoletta Paphitou has been working at the Cyprus Deputy Ministry of Tourism since 2004, focusing on the fields of strategic tourism planning, product development, and specialised marketing of special interest forms of tourism. Nicoletta is currently coordinating the Special Interests’ Sector, which also includes the Cyprus Convention Bureau. She also represents the Deputy Ministry in the marketing group of the European Travel Commission. She holds a BSc in Political Sciences (major) and Sociology (minor) from the University of Cyprus, an MSc in European Studies from The London School of Economics and Political Science and a PhD in Social Anthropology of Tourism from the University of Kent.
Maria Aspri is the Head of the Office of the Commissioner for the Citizen. She worked as an Administrative Officer at the Corporate Communications Department of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (1997-2019) before being transferred to her current post. She holds a BA in Public Relations with Languages and a MA in Communications and Technology. She is fluent in Greek and English, has very good knowledge of German and good knowledge of French.
Koula Sophianou joined the Diplomatic Service of the Republic of Cyprus in 1998. She has served in several Cypriot missions abroad – in Athens, Brussels and New York -dealing with bilateral, consular and multilateral matters. During her tenure in New York she held the Presidency of the Society of Foreign Consuls for the period July 2011- June 2012. On January 2014 Ms Sophianou assumed the post of the Director of the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs until September 2016 when she was assigned to the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Madrid to serve as the Head of Mission. On October 2020, she returned back to Cyprus to assume the post of Deputy Director at the Diplomatic Office of the President. She studied at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, where she received both her Bachelor’s (as a recipient of a CASP scholarship) in Communication with concentration in Public Relations, and Spanish (1991-1995) and Master of Arts degrees in Spanish (1995-1997), with honors. During her graduate years, she worked as an instructor of Spanish at the Foreign Languages Department. She is the recipient of the 2012 Emerging Voice Award of Purdue University’s College of Liberal Arts. Ms Sophianou speaks Greek, English and Spanish fluently and has knowledge of French and Italian. She comes from Famagusta, Cyprus.
Anastasia Adamidou is Senior Officer at the Press and Information Office (PIO) of the Republic of Cyprus with long experience in government news writing, media relations and event organization. She is member of the Cyprus News Agency Board of Directors. She is a sociology graduate with post graduate studies in media and crisis communication and a fluent speaker of English and German.
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