Committed to connecting the world



Konstantinos Aravossis
Secretary General, Forests at the Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy

​Prof. Konstantinos Aravossis is Secretary General of Forests at the Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy. Prior to that he was Secretary General of Natural Environment & Water. He is a Mechanical Engineer (Technical University of Aachen -Germany) with an M.Sc. in Management Science from Imperial College - University of London. He has further been awarded a PhD by the National Technical University of Athens, focusing on Operations Research. He is Professor of “Planning, Management and Assessment of Technological and Environmental Investments at the NTUA (National Technical University of Athens) , Professor at the ATHENS MBA (NTUA - Athens University of Economics) since 1997. He is the Coordinator of the “Environmental Economics and Sustainable Development Research Group” of the Sector of Industrial Management and Operations Research of the Mechanical Engineering School. He was the Environmental Advisor to the President of the greek New Democracy political party and current Prime Minister. He was President of the greek Branch of the Waste to Energy Research and Technology Council ( coordinated by Columbia University and associate researcher of the Earth Engineering Center -Columbia University as well as visiting Professor at Imperial College-London. He was President of the Coordinating Committee of the Institute of Production and Operations Management / Hellenic Management Association. He has been an advisor of the deputy Minister of Culture for the Olympic Games Constructions and their Post-Olympic utilization, President of the Greek Association of Environmental Protection Companies, President of the Hellenic Solid Waste Management Association (HSWMA) (now Hon. President), President of the Ordinary Environmental Committee of the Technical Chamber of Greece and member of Evaluation Committees for Investment and Energy Projects of the Ministry of Development. Furthermore, he has been member of the Board of the Organisation of Labour Residencies (OEK) and General Manager of Environmental Companies. He has organised 11 Int. Conferences and has over 100 Publications / 30 research projects. 
Yifang Ban.jpgYifang Ban
Professor & Director of Geoinformatics Division, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Dr. Yifang Ban is the Professor & Director of Geoinformatics Division at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and an Associate Director - Dissemination and Impact at Digital Futures in Stockholm, Sweden.  Before joining KTH in 2004, Dr. Ban was a Tenured Associate Professor at York University in Toronto, Canada.  She received a PhD from University of Waterloo, Canada.  She is the PI/Co-PI for a number of impactful projects, including EO-AI4GlobalChange,  SAR4Wildfire, and Climate Change Induced Disaster Management in Africa.  Her research has been focused on Earth observation big data analytics, machine learning/deep learning, and their applications in wildfires and other natural disaster mapping, and environmental change monitoring (e.g. urbanization) to support sustainable and resilient development.  She has published extensively on these topics.  Professor Ban is also a co-chair (chair-elect 2023-2027) of ICA Commission on Sensor-Driven Mapping, and a co-lead of the GEO initiative ‘Global Urban Observation and Information.
Nikolaos S. Bartsotas.pngNikolaos S. Bartsotas
Senior Research Associate, National Observatory of Athens, BEYOND Centre of EO Research & Satellite Remote Sensing

Nikolaos S. Bartsotas received his B.Sc. degree from the Physics Department of the University of Athens, followed by a M.Sc. in Environmental Physics / Meteorology and a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Modeling and Remote Sensing. He has a professional experience as a research scientist in Atmospheric Modeling & Weather Forecasting Group, University of  Athens, Greece, Innovative Technologies Center SA, Athens, Greece, Weather and Marine Technologies, Athens, Greece as well as University of the Aegean, Department of Geography and National Observatory of Athens - Beyond Center of Excellence. He has been actively involved in a number of FP6/FP7/H2020 research programs as well as the implementation of operational forecasting platforms and staff training in agencies such as Qatar Meteorology Department (QMD) and Saudi Aramco. His research interests include the study of flash-flood inducing heavy precipitation events over complex terrain areas as well as the effective fusion of NWP with available EO datasets and ground observations towards a more accurate monitoring of precipitation. He is a reviewer for the Journal of Hydrometeorology (American Meteorological Society) and Journal of Hydrology, as well a member of European Geophysical Union (EGU) and American Geophysical Union (AGU). ​
​​Maria Boura​
Executive Advisor on Leadership, Strategy and 5G matters, Co-founder,  Women Leadership Hub

Maria has more than 30 years of international experience in ICT. She has been at the forefront of the introduction of 4 generations of mobile technology in South East Europe. She is recognized by the market as an inspirational speaker and a thought leader with a growth mindset. Originally from Greece, having lived and worked in 4 other countries, Maria started her career in Telecoms R&D, moved on to commercial positions and to key staff functions. Her other two great passions are the fight for getting more women in senior leadership positions and in STEM, and supporting start-ups to grow (collaboration with Metavallon, Invent ICT, EGG, MITEF Greece). As of February 2022, Maria is Executive Advisor on Leadership, Strategy and 5G matters. Since May 2016, she is also co-founder of the Sweden-based Women Leadership Hub, which aims to help grow the number of women senior leaders across the world. Prior to February 2022, she has worked in key leadership positions at Ericsson and has been an Ericsson spokesperson for a series of years. Except of Ericsson, she has also worked at Intracom Telecom and at the Hellenic National Research Center for Physical Sciences "Demokritos". Maria holds a BSc in Physics from the University of Patras and an MSc in Telecommunications from the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens.​
Andrej Ceglar
European Central Bank, Germany

Andrej Ceglar is a climate scientist at the Climate Change Centre of the European Central Bank (ECB). His work is currently focused on assessment of physical and transition risk from climate change and nature degradation. He completed a bachelor study in meteorology at the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics, and holds a PhD in agro-meteorology from the Biotechnical Faculty, both University of Ljubljana. Before joining the ECB, he worked as a scientific officer at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission and assistant professor for climatology at the University of Ljubljana. His research is focused on climate change impact and adaptation assessment, dynamical and statistical climatology and biophysical modelling. He is especially interested in predictability of climate system on seasonal-to-decadal time scales. ​
​​Jesper Dramsch
ECMWF, Bonn, Germany

Jesper Dramsch works at the intersection of machine learning and physical, real-world data. Currently, they're working as a scientist for machine learning in numerical weather prediction at the coordinated organisation ECMWF. Jesper is a fellow of the Software Sustainability Institute, creating awareness and educational resources around the reproducibility of machine learning results in applied science. Before, they have worked on applied exploratory machine learning problems, e.g. satellites and Lidar imaging on trains, and defended a PhD in machine learning for geoscience. During the PhD, Jesper wrote multiple publications and often presented at workshops and conferences, eventually holding keynote presentations on the future of machine learning in geoscience. Moreover, they worked as consultant machine learning and Python educator in international companies and the UK government. They create educational notebooks on Kaggle applying ML to different domains, reaching rank 81 worldwide out of over 100,000 participants and their video courses on Skillshare have been watched over 128 days by over 4500 students. Recently, Jesper was invited into the Youtube Partner programme creating videos around programming, machine learning, and tech.
Arthur Hrast Essenfelder​
Project officer, European Commission, Joint Research Center (JCR)​, Italy

Dr. Arthur H.Essenfelder (male) is a scientific project officer at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) working on the exploratory research project AI-enhanced Agro-Climate Service (AIACS) in collaboration with the Scientific Development and the Disaster Risk Management Units. Dr. Essenfelder is an environmental engineer by training, holding a Ph.D. in Science and Management of Climate Change obtained at the Ca'Foscari University of Venice, Italy. He previously was the lead researcher on assessment of disaster risk reduction strategies at the Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change (CMCC) and a lecturer at the Ca’Foscari University of Venice. Dr. Essenfelder has also contributed as an expert to the European Environmental Agency’s European Topic Centre on Climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation (ETC-CCA) and as a task leader on flood damage modelling of the project SaferPLACES (EIT Climate-KIC). His main research interests are on development and application of AI/ML methods for disaster risk reduction, on multi-hazard modelling, on compound and cascading risk assessments, and on risk modelling under a perspective of dynamic climate. He has participated in various scientific conferences and has over 10 scientific publications in international peer reviewed journals.
Demetris Gerogiannis.pngDemetris Gerogiannis
Founding Member/Board Member AICatalyst; Hellenic Association for Artificial Intelligence, Responsible for R&D; Founder & Tech Lead AI and Me

With a Ph.D. in Computer Vision, I am a passionate advocate of AI loving to convert deep tech ideas to products. I have worked in many Tech startups as principal member of the product design team (Principal Engineer and CTO) in the field of SportTech/HealthTech, Digital Marketing and Innovation. Sharing is caring, so I am trying to share my startuping experiences with the ecosystem as mentor.

Bilel ​Jamoussi​​​​
Chief of Study Groups Department, TSB, ITU

Tunisian born, Dr. Bilel Jamoussi is Chief of the Study Groups Department of ITU Standardization Bureau in Geneva Switzerland. Since 2010, he has been leading the bureau’s standards making activities into a new era characterized by rapid convergence and the need for increased collaboration with vertical sectors and partnership between developed and developing countries. Prior to 2010, Jamoussi worked for a Telecommunication equipment and solutions provider for 15 years in Canada and then in the United States where he held several leadership positions and was granted 22 US patents in diverse areas including packet, optical, wireless, and quality of service. He holds a BSc, MSc and PhD degrees in Computer Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University, USA. He is fluent in Arabic, French, and English and speaks some Spanish and German.​​​​​
​​Christopher W. Johnson
Scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Dr. Christopher W. Johnson is a scientist in the Geophysics Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory and a former Distinguished Feynman Postdoc fellow. Johnson is a trained geophysicist that specializes in seismology and tectonic geodesy with emphasis on surface deformation, seismic signal detection, and crustal stress changes including applying machine learning techniques to seismic signals to extract and interpret ground motions. Current work focuses on extracting novel signals from seismic noise using newly developed machine learning models. The goal is to detect and characterize precursory changes in seismic noise prior to slip on a fault.
Vasilis Kalogirou
Space Downstream R&I Officer, EU Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA)
Vasilis Kalogirou, is a Space Downstream Research & Innovation Officer at the EU Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA). He is contributing in the definition and management of the Agency’s Research & Innovation portfolio, as well as the market development in the area of Emergency Management and Humanitarian Aid. He has been working towards the increase of user uptake of space technologies from public authorities and the implementation of innovation procurement tools. He holds a BSc in Forestry and Natural Environment from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki; he obtained his MSc in Remote Sensing from the University College London (UCL) and his PhD in Geoinformation from the University of Rome - Tor Vergata. Apart from writing boring bios, Dr. Kalogirou enjoys discussions about the EU Space Programme and its evolution.

Haris Kontoes
Research Director, National Observatory of Athens, Greece 

​Haris Kontoes holds the position of Research Director in the Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics Space Applications and Remote Sensing of the National Observatory of Athens and leads the Center for Earth Observation Research and Satellite Remote Sensing BEYOND. He received his Doctorate in Remote Sensing of the Environment. He completed his doctoral studies holding a grant from the European Commission in the Institute for Space Applications of the Joint Research Centre at ISPRA (Environmental Mapping Group, JRC). Since 1992, he has been assuming responsibilities in managing Earth Observation operational & research projects, focusing on risk assessment and mitigation, disaster risk reduction, environmental resource management and sustainable development, agriculture and food security, energy and big data analytics for cross sector needs. He leads a multidisciplinary team of researchers with active participation in Space related projects funded by ESA, EC, COPERNICUS, GEO and International Funding Institutions. In his capacity as National Delegate he assumed responsibility to represent the national priorities and contributed in the formation of Space policy through his participation in Decision Making Boards and Program Committees (e.g. ESA PBEO, EC Space Program Committee, COPERNICUS Committee, Space Advisory Committee). As director of BEYOND he has been coordinating the development and sustained operation of Copernicus Data Hubs (Sentinel Greek Hub), as well as the operation of the Hellenic Sentinel Data Hub for the distribution of big Sentinel satellite data worldwide. He is assuming full responsibility for the Ground Segment facilities operated by NOA/BEYOND, thus receiving in real time a multitude of EO satellite missions. He is the coordinator of the GEO-CRADLE initiative assuming the responsibility for the uptake of Earth Observation and Copernicus in the regions of Mediterranean, N. Africa, Middle East, Balkans, and Black Sea. He is author of more than 200 publications in reviewed journals and scientific conferences and is member of the editorial board of highly ranked Scientific Journals.
Elias Kosmatopoulos
Professor of Applied Automatic Control, Dept of Electrical and Computer Eng., Democritus University of Thrace​

​Elias B. Kosmatopoulos received the Diploma, M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the Technical University of Crete, Greece, in 1990, 1992, and 1995, respectively. He is currently a Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece and a collaborative Professor with the Information Technologies Institute, Cetnre for Research & Technology, Hellas, Greece. Previously, he was a faculty member of the Department of Production Engineering and Management, Technical University of Crete (TUC), Greece, a Research Assistant Professor with the Department of Electrical Engineering-Systems, University of Southern California (USC) and a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Victoria, B.C., Canada. Dr. Kosmatopoulos’ research interests are in the areas of learning systems, adaptive optimization and control and their applications to Internet of Things; energy efficient buildings and smart grids; intelligent transportation systems; and robotic swarms. He is the author of over 55 journal papers.  Prof. Elias Kosmatopoulos has been leading many research projects funded by the European Union and the private sector with a total budget of about 17 Million Euros.​
Monique Kuglitsch
Chair, ITU/WMO FG-AI4NM I Innovation Manager at Fraunhofer HHI,Germany

Dr. Monique Kuglitsch is the Innovation Manager at Fraunhofer HHI and Chair of the newly established ITU/WMO Focus Group on AI for Natural Disaster Management. She previously managed operations for the ITU/WHO Focus Group on AI for Health. In her past role at the American Meteorological Society, M. Kuglitsch was the Lead Technical Editor for several journals (including the Journal of Hydrometeorology and Journal of Physical Oceanography) and the Senior International Outreach/Communications Specialist. As a researcher, M. Kuglitsch has investigated past climate change, extreme weather events, and regional climate model projections. M. Kuglitsch has experience in fluvial and limnological field work, geochemical laboratory methods, applied mathematics and statistics, greenhouse gas emissions, and climate.
Jürg Luterbacher
Chief Scientist, Director Science and Innovation, WMO

Prof. Jürg Luterbacher is the Director of Science and Innovation and the Chief Scientist of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). He has demonstrated leadership and excellence in a broad spectrum of climate science and contributed significantly to the holistic Climate-Earth System approach. He is a pioneer in the paleoclimate science of Europe and Asia. He was a lead author of the 5th IPCC Assessment Report chapter 5 “Information from Paleoclimate Archives”. Prof. Luterbacher is a recipient of the Senior Visiting Scientist Award of the Chinese Academy of Science, the Scientific Research Expert of the Academy of Athens, and the Medal for outstanding scientific contribution in teaching (University of Brno, Czech Republic). Prof. Luterbacher is an elected member of the Academy of Sciences and Literature / Mainz, Germany. He is also Co-Chair of the ITU-T Focus Group on “Artificial Intelligence for Natural Disaster Management (FG-AI4NDM)​.
Yannis Mastrogeorgiou.pngYannis Mastrogeorgiou
Special Secretary for Strategic Foresight at the Presidency of the Government of the Hellenic Republic

Yannis Mastrogeorgiou is the Special Secretary of Foresight in the Presidency of the Greek Government. He was the head of the working group established (Decision 99 / 4-4-2022 (B'1603) for the delivery of the "Greece 2050" project. After the publication of the "Megatrends 2040" study, the Bureau of the Government proceeded to establish the Special Secretariat of Foresight.
From 2019 to 2022, he served as the Secretary General of Communication and Media in the Presidency of the Greek Government. 
He was previously the Director General of the Konstantinos Karamanlis Institute of Democracy and director of the think tank “DIKTIO for the reformation of Greece and Europe” (2013-2018).
Yannis has also served as Director of Communications and Special Adviser to the Greek Minister of Education, as well as Special Advisor to the Minister of Development and to the Greek Parliament. He has worked in the field of communications and advertisement in multinational companies and was also a Marshall Memorial Fellow of the German Marshall Fund (GMF).
He has studied history, in the National Kapodestrian University of Athens, international relations, European Political Economy and law in the University of the Aegean and the Athens University of Economics and Business. 
He is a PhD candidate of the Science of History and Philosophy of the University of Athens.
His new book Artificial Intelligence and Humans: An endeavour to understand our age will be published this spring by Papadopoulos House.
Kian Mirshahi.jpegKian Mirshahi
Founder & CEO,, Germany

Kian Mirshahi is a seaso​ned innovation leader with global experience gained from a variety of industries such as Public Safety, Banking/Financial Services, Telecommunications, Retail, Power Management, Consumer Electronics, & Insurance Areas of focus: Big Data, Data Mining & Analytics, AI, Machine Learning, Growth Strategy, Leading Innovation & Disruptive Technologies, Service Design, Product Development & Management, Program Management (SDLC, Scrum/Agile, Waterfall), ITIL, ITSM,OSS, Six Sigma, LEAN.
Marco Massabo
Program Director, CIMA Foundation​, Italy

Marco is Director of the Programme of Capacity Development for Disaster Resilience and Climate Adaptation at CIMA Research Foundation. His approach to capacity development is based on bridging the science- policy interface for improving disaster risk management. Marco has developed partnership with international organizations such as World Meteorological Organization, UNDRR, UNESCO, UNDP Countries office, World Bank, EU DG Echo and Joint Research Centre. Marco has actually more than 10 years of relevant experience in environmental engineering, early warning system, disaster risk reduction at national and international level. Extensive experience in implementing Capacity development programme on Disaster Risk Assessment, Early Warning System and technical decision support system in different countries at regional (international) and national level in Europe and Africa. Proven track of coordinating Training program at Academic and professional level (Bachelor and MS level at University Genova, at Ph.D. level at university of Genova and university of Pavia) and high specialization courses (courses for Civil protection managers) and thematic study tours on EWS and CP capacity. Good skills in managing governance process, building consensus, partner with Governments and private sectors to implement country scale projects. Excellent team building attitude. Proven skills in managing large complex project, from concept to successful completion: scheduling, budget, human resources, criticality analysis, contingency planning, technical report writing. Proven skills and consolidated extensive experience in designing training and participatory workshops on Disaster Risk Management stakeholders. Good Knowledge and practices with International DRR policies and familiarities with institutional and legal framework on DRR in SADC region and at AUC level. 
Lorenzo Nava
Ph.D. Researcher,  Machine Intelligence and Slope Stability Laboratory, University of Padova, Italy

Lorenzo Nava is a Ph.D. Researcher in geoscience at the Machine Intelligence and Slope Stability Laboratory, University of Padova, Italy. His scientific interest concerns landslide investigation through Artificial Intelligence (AI) and remote sensing. He aims to improve landslide inventorying and rapid hazard assessment by developing new methodologies to detect landslides in all-weather conditions by exploiting Synthetic Aperture Radar data coupled with AI, while also looking at forecasting landslide displacements using time-series data.
Christos Nikoloudis
CEO & Founder at Mantis Business Innovation; Head of Research at Environmental Economics and Sustainability Unit of National Technical University of Athens

With a background that combines both research and startups, Christos is devoted to applying product innovation in new ventures, while acting as a startup community builder for the innovation ecosystem. A Mechanical Engineer by degree and a true entrepreneur by nature, he is the Founder & CEO at Mantis Business Innovation and the Head of Research at Environmental Economics and Sustainability Unit of National Technical University of Athens. He has been listed in Fortune’s 40 under 40 as one of the most innovative entrepreneurs in Greece.
Christos is the founder of various green projects, seeking to inspire communities and people towards a sustainable future. He has led the GreenTech Challenge and the Greenathon, two of the largest green communities with the aim to highlight the technological and environmental challenges Greece is facing. He has also been the official partner of Elevate Greece - the official platform of the Greek Startup Ecosystem - and a strategic collaborator with EIT Raw Materials implementing the RM Incubator Program in Greece.
His expertise lies also in green innovation and finance since he has been deeply involved with various entrepreneurial green initiatives and the financial and risk analysis of the Hellinikon investment during his Ph.D. Thesis.  
​Paula Padrino 
Project Coordinator, UN Environment

Paula Padrino Viela  is presently leading UNEP’s activities related to Modern Technologies in Disaster Management as well as Project Management During Emergencies – in her capacity as Project Coordinator within the Disasters and Conflicts Branch. In addition to overseeing and running these two projects, Paula also provides help and assistance in post-conflict environmental assessments and post-disaster needs assessments (PDNAs). Paula has accumulated nearly four years of professional experience in the humanitarian and human rights fields, working for major international organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), NATO and the United Nations (UN). She possesses an LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (Geneva, Switzerland). In addition, she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from the Universidad Europea de Madrid (Madrid, Spain). During her bachelor studies Paula obtained several certificates undertaking exchanges programmes in Pace University (NYC, USA), LUMSA (Rome, Italy), and London School of Economics (London, UK).
Ilias Pechlivanidis
Associate Professor and Senior Researcher, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Sweden

Ilias Pechlivanidis is an Associate Professor and Senior Researcher in hydrology and water resources at SMHI and the Project Manager of the Analytics and Dissemination Centre for the Copernicus Emergency Management Service - Floods. He is a Member of the WMO Research Board, the Co-Chair of the Hydrologic Ensemble Prediction Experiment HEPEX scientific initiative, the Chair of the EGU Hydrological Forecasting sub-division, a Reference Member at the Centre of Natural Hazards and Disaster Science, and the first Earth Observation Evangelist for the agriculture sector of the FIRE forum. His scientific achievements focus on hydrometeorological forecasting, environmental change impacts, science communication, cross-cutting applications of earth observations, early warning and user-tailored water and climate services. He has been leading tasks in co-creating operational early warning systems and hydro-climate services over Europe and the globe.

Catherine Pennington
Engineering Geologist, Landslide Specialist, British Geological Survey, UK

Catherine Pennington is an Engineering Geologist and Landslide Specialist with over 20 years’ experience at the British Geological Survey (BGS).  She leads the BGS coastal landslide field observatory project that monitors and interprets long-term landslide behaviour processes and their interaction with the coast, using a range of technologies and expertise.  She was Co-I for WPX for the 5G RuralDorset R&D project testing NB-IoT sensors to advance coastal landslide process understanding in a multidisciplinary team.  Catherine works internationally with computer scientists and has built the Global Landslide Detector (​), a tool that uses Machine Learning to identify landslides from photographs in real time from social media.  She has worked on science communication projects and is well practiced at communicating complex science to non-specialists through a range of media.

Pitas.jpg ​​Ioannis Pitas
Artificial Intelligence and Information Analysis Lab, School of Informatics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

(IEEE Fellow, IEEE Distinguished Lecturer, EURASIP Fellow) received the Diploma and PhD degree in Electrical Engineering, both from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), Greece. Since 1994, he has been a Professor at the Department of Informatics of AUTH and Director of the Artificial Intelligence and Information Analysis (AIIA) lab. He served as a Visiting Professor at several Universities. His current interests are in the areas of computer vision, machine learning, autonomous systems, intelligent digital media, image/video processing, human-centred interfaces, affective computing, 3D imaging and biomedical imaging. He has published over 906 papers, contributed in 47 books in his areas of interest and edited or (co-)authored another 11 books. He has also been member of the program committee of many scientific conferences and workshops. In the past he served as Associate Editor or co-Editor of 9 international journals and General or Technical Chair of 4 international conferences. He participated in 70 R&D projects, primarily funded by the European Union and is/was principal investigator/researcher in 42 such projects. He has 31600+ citations to his work and h-index 86+ (Google Scholar). Prof. Pitas leads the International AI Doctoral Academy (IAIDA) of the European H2020 R&D project AI4Media He is chair of the Autonomous Systems Initiative:
Athanassios-Staveris-Polykalas-e1666104802532.jpgAthanasios Staveris-Polykalas
Secretary General of Telecommunications and Post, Ministry of Digital Governance

Dr. Athanasios Staveris-Polykalas, completed his Bachelor Degree in Physics from University Of Athens and Masters in Applied Physics and Mathematics from NTUA. He completed his PhD in High Energy Physics. 
He worked as a researcher in the international experiment of CDF at Fermilab USA, under European Scholarship (RTN) and in co-operation with Instituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare Sezione di Pisa. Furthermore he has over 10 years professional experience in large scale ICT projects in private sector. 
He specializes in data analysis, use of AI and ML algorithms and Natural Language Processing. 
From July 2019 since November 2020 he worked as Technology Advisor to the Minister of Digital Governance Hellenic Republic. Since November 2020, he holds the position of Secretary General of Telecoms and Posts, under the Ministry of Digital Governance – Hellenic Republic. 
He is responsible for Space strategy implementation of Greece, Cyber Security, use of new technologies in telecommunications (AI/IoT) and the design of sustainable and resilient telecommunication infrastructures aligned with Secure Connectivity initiative, etc​.
synolakis.jpgCostas Synolakis
Academician; President, Athens College; Chairman, Special Scientific Committee on Climate Change in Greece; Prof. Civil, Environmental and Aerospace Engineering, University of Southern California

Academician Costas Synolakis  graduated from Athens College in 1975. He obtained his degrees from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech): a B.Sc. in Engineering and Applied Science in 1978, an M.Sc. in Civil Engineering in 1979, and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering in 1986. In 2016 he was elected a regular member of the Academy of Athens and is currently Secretary of the Division of Natural Sciences. In 1985 he was appointed Professor of Civil, Environmental and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Southern California (U.S.C.) Viterbi School of Engineering where, in 1996, he founded the USC Tsunami Center. Following his appointment as Professor of Natural Hazards and Environmental Hydraulics at the Technical University of Crete and election by the National Research and Technology Council, he served as President of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research. In 2019 he was elected Chairman of the newly established Special Scientific Committee on Climate Change in Greece, where he serves pro bono. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Space Center. In July 2020, he assumed the Office of President of Athens College. He has authored a large number of publications, studies, and articles in scientific journals and has conducted dozens of field missions around the world. Among the numerous academic accolades and other distinctions he has received both in Greece and abroad, is the Presidential Young Investigator Award bestowed upon him in 1989 by U.S. President George Bush and the prestigious 2019 International Coastal Engineering Award bestowed by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). In 2020 he received the Hamaguchi Award bestowed upon individuals or organizations that have made significant scientific or pragmatic contributions to the enhancement of coastal resilience against tsunami, storm surge and other coastal disasters, thus raising people’s awareness of disaster resilience. An internationally renowned pioneer in the field of tsunami research and other natural hazards , Professor Costas Synolakis has edited five books, has mentored over 50 PhD and MSc students, has conducted over 220 conference presentations and has helped produce several documentaries on acclaimed networks such as  Discovery, BBC, National Geographic, History Channel and ZDF.
He is best known for his ground-breaking theories on wave physics and his insights on the complexity of major global tsunamis.
Orestis-Trasanidis.jpgOrestis Trasanidis
AI Community Leader, European Institute of Technology

Orestis Trasanidis is leading the EIT AI Community-EIT Digital and he has previously held innovation deployment & management positions related to cities, climate-environment and energy in the digital area. Moreover, he is member of the standing committee of Technical Chamber of Greece on Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship, Innovation. Prior to the above, he worked as a Project Engineer in large scale urban projects. Orestis holds a Double Degree MSc in Smart Cities & ICT from HWU (SMAACs) and he has an Integrated Master in Sustainability and Mechanical Engineering from AUTH. 
Elena Xoplaki
​Senior Scientist I Acting Head of the Climatology, Climate Dynamics and Climate Change Research Group, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

Elena Xoplaki is Senior Scientist, currently Acting Head of the Climatology, Climate Dynamics and Climate Change Research Group at Justus Liebig University Giessen in Germany. She is an expert on climate variability and change in the past, present and future with spatial focus on the greater Mediterranean region. She conducts multi- and interdisciplinary research and promotes collaboration between natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences on an international level. She is working with climate observational data, climate models and climate proxies. Her two new projects focus on extreme events and impacts on the food sector. She is a Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences.