Meet the 2018 Evaluation Committee

The Evaluation Committee is a multi-stakeholder group of 10 professionals drawn from the fields of sustainable, fair and ethical trade and public policy. They are selected through an open application process. The members of the Evaluation Committee serve on a voluntary basis; they do not receive any financial compensation for their participation. The Evaluation Committee is managed by ITC, with support from the Award Secretariat and the European Commission where necessary.

The Evaluation Committee carries out the main part of the assessment process. Based on its review and deliberations, the Committee prepares a shortlist of outstanding applications. The Committee’s analysis is based on the evaluation criteria and methodology that were specifically developed through a consultative multi-stakeholder process. The Evaluation Committee also has the power to nominate candidates for ‘Special Mentions’. The Special Mentions nominees will be selected from the pool of shortlisted applications.

Peter Defranceschi, Head of Brussels Office, ICLEI

Peter Defranceschihas been working for over twelve years for ICLEI, an international organization of local governments committed to integrated sustainable development. He is heading the ICLEI Office in Brussels representing urban sustainability issues vis-à-vis the European institutions and other strategic stakeholders.

Since he joined ICLEI, Peter has been working on International and European projects related to sustainable public procurement, climate change (mitigation and adaptation), biodiversity, water, mobility, food and migration. He has given over 50 trainings on sustainable public procurement. Several international projects looked at social considerations in public procurement, with a particular focus on fair trade.

Peter has a law degree and a specialization on human rights and democratization. Before joining ICLEI he has been working in international organizations in the field of human rights in Latin America and Europe. 

Dr. Bob Doherty, Professor of Marketing and Chair of Agrifood, University of York

Dr. Bob Doherty is Professor of Marketing and Chair of Agrifood at the University of York and leads a 4-year interdisciplinary research programme on food resilience titled ‘IKnowFood’ (GFS funded). Bob is also the research theme leader for food in the York Environmental Sustainability Research Institute (YESI).

Bob specializes in research on the management aspects of fair trade and social enterprise organizations competing in the food industry. He is currently a trustee on the board of the Fairtrade Foundation. Prior to moving into academia Bob spent 5-years as the Head of Sales and Marketing at the Fairtrade pioneer Divine Chocolate Ltd.

Elke Tillmann - Member of the Board of Oxfam-Wereldwinkels

Elke Tillmann is a sustainable development expert working on projects in supply chain management. She gained experience in regional development and public transport organizations on cross border mobility, socio- economic urban development, innovation and demographic change. This often involves identifying initiatives that foster cooperation  among stakeholders.

Elke studied applied geography at the Technical University Aachen and management at the University of Leuven. During her studies she stayed in Spain, the US and Chile. With her academic interest in trade and sustainability standards she also participated in seminars organised by the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies.

Fair Trade is Elke’s passion. For more than 20 years, she has been engaged in Fair Trade, also serving as a board member of umbrella organizations of worldshops, first in Germany and now in Belgium.

Karolina Zurek, Senior Adviser, Swedish National Board of Trade

Karolina Zurek is a senior adviser at the National Board of Trade Sweden, working with trade and sustainable development. She delivers policy analysis and legal advice on trade policy and trade regulation. She is also engaged in trade-related technical assistance in developing countries delivered by the Board. Previously, she worked on regulatory reform and trade-related governance adjustments in Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia and Kosovo. She holds a PhD in law from the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. She does research and teaching in EU law, international economic law, trade law as well as business and human rights in Sweden and abroad.

Sébastien Leclef - Project Officer, World Fair Trade Organization Europe

Sébastien Leclef is a graduate from the Université libre de Bruxelles (Belgium, 2005). He worked in an economic research institute (CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research) in Poland for 7 years, including a 4-year term in the Management Board as Vice-President, where he was responsible for research projects acquisition and overall management. He coordinated large research grants in areas related to the EU neighbourhood policy, trade policy, labour market and migration. In 2013, Sebastien joined the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) in Brussels to coordinate the “Vote for Fair Trade” campaign, leading the efforts of a coalition of 22 European Fair Trade organizations in advocating for Fair Trade at the European level before and after the European Parliament elections of 2014. In March 2016, Sebastien joined the World Fair Trade Organization – Europe (WFTO-Europe) office to serve as Interim Regional Coordinator (maternity cover for Francesca Giubilo) until January 2017. Among other things, he contributed to preparing the project “Trade Fair Live Fair” with the European Fair Trade movement, successfully evaluated by the European Commission and which he will now manage at WFTO-Europe. Sebastien is also a Board member of the Belgian Fair Trade Federation (BFTF) since 2017. He speaks English, French and Polish.

Veronica Rubio - Lawyer

Veronica Rubio is a Lawyer specialized in international trade and human rights. For the last 17 years she has worked promoting sustainable supply chains, social corporate responsibility and small farmers’ access to the international fair trade markets.

She has solid experience in developing certification standards and Code of Conducts. Notably, in 2008 she led the development of the Social Certification Standard for Rainforest produces commissioned by the Brazilian Government in the Amazon region and in 2014 she led the development of BSCI Code of Conduct and related concept materials towards the creation of BSCI 2.0.

Her regional experience covers Latin America, Europe and ASEAN countries. She is a Spanish native speaker and is fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Italian.

Dr. Evita Schmieg, Associate Researcher, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)

Dr. Evita Schmieg is an associate researcher in the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, SWP) and heads the project „Trade and Development in the Context of the Sustainable Development Goals“ financed by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. Beforehand, she headed the trade division in that ministry from 2002 to 2013. 

​Her long standing professional experience includes three years in the European Commission, Brussels. Dr. Evita Schmieg is an economist and holds a PhD from the University of Leipzig. As a researcher, she advises the German government and parliament as well as the European Commission and European Parliament and is author of a range of publications in the areas European, international and transatlantic trade, the link between trade and development and sustainability issues, trade and regional integration.

Dr. Margarita Starkeviciute - Member, EU institutions’ advisory boards on the digital economy and financial services

Dr. Margarita Starkeviciute is a member of EU institutions’ advisory boards on the digital economy and financial services and doing research as an external expert to EU institutions. She is a member of Lithuania’s Culture and Arts Council.

She has PhD in social science (economics) and prior was the Associate Professor at the International Business School, Vilnius University (Lithuania). She is an author of a number of books and research papers on the growth of the economy, financial markets, human development and combining two educational aptitudes in her academic career – lecturing and research.

Dr Starkeviciute, a former member of the European Parliament, was drafting EU legislation in the fields of EU economic and monetary affairs, budget and budget control, and took a part in negotiations with international institutions and high ranking EU and non-EU countries officials.

Dr. Matthew Anderson, Senior Lecturer in Business Ethics, University of Portsmouth

Dr. Matthew Anderson is a Senior Lecturer in Business Ethics at the University of Portsmouth. He received his PhD in Social and Economic History from the University of Birmingham in 2009. His research interests cover the intersection between business, government and civil society. His most recent publications include A History of Fair Trade in Contemporary Britain: From Civil Society Campaigns to Corporate Compliance (2015). He is currently investigating the role of civil society advocacy as a driver of political and regulatory change.

Laura Ruggeri, Licensing & Product Certification, Fairtrade Italia

Laura Ruggeri has been working in the last 5 years in the Fairtrade certification system and is now responsible for Product Certification and Licensing with Fairtrade Italia.

She developed an international experience in the field of certification for sustainability (fair trade, organic, preservation of biodiversity) travelling and working in different locations in Europe and Latin America, and focusing on M&E, analysis and auditing. She served as Certification Analyst and Auditor with FLOCERT before moving to Fairtrade Italia.

Her background includes a Master’s Degree in Economics (Local development, cooperation, international markets; Hons) followed by a LLP in Organic Agriculture (Hons).

The EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award is an initiative of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade implemented by the International Trade Centre.