Andres Anvelt is the Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Estonia since November 2016. He has been in politics for 8 years, during which he was the Minister of Justice from 2014 – 2015 and has also served as a Member of the Parliament. Andres Anvelt has more than 20 years of experience in police force. He started as a Police Officer and became later Director of the Central Criminal Police and Police and Border Guard College. He has also worked as a Security Advisor to the Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces. Andres Anvelt is also a crime novelist and a scriptwriter.


Nicola Graviano is Senior Specialist for Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) at the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Headquarters, Geneva. In this position since 2015, he is responsible for overseeing and coordinating IOM’s global policy and activities on AVRR. Prior to this, since 2004 he has held various management positions with IOM in Belgium, Mali, Iraq, and Canada. Mr. Graviano has studied Political Science, has a Master on migration studies and intercultural mediation, and a Post graduate in International Politics.

Magnus Ovilius is Head of Return Sector, Irregular Migration and responsible for the European Commission’s Return Policy and Management for irregular migration in the EU. Magnus is also Chair and Manager of the European Commission’s European Migration Network (EMN). Prior to that he was responsible for coordination & direction of global government relations issues & group initiatives for Smiths Group. Prior to that he held various management positions with the European Commission, most recently as Head of Sector, Preparedness and Crisis Management in DG Justice Freedom and Security responsible for the formulation, implementation and evaluation of European Union counter-terrorism policies including defence related aspects of counter-terrorism, law enforcement led civil protection, critical infrastructure protection, crisis management, CBRNE policies, G8 Roma/Lyon meetings and Security Research. Magnus’s career includes being posted as a diplomat to the Russian Federation representing the European Commission. Magnus holds an LLM degree from Lund University. He completed military training in Sweden as an officer and served in the UN Forces in Lebanon.


Ambassador Lawal Mohammed Hamidu is the Director of Refugees & Migration at the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) since December 2017. The NCFRMI is mandated to lead and coordinate the national action for the protection and assistance of Refugees, Asylum seekers, Returnees, Stateless Persons, Internally Displaced Persons {IDPs) and Migrants. Amb. Hamidu is responsible for coordinating refugee protection as well as migration governance in Nigeria. A Career diplomat, Mr Hamidu has served in Uganda, The Netherlands and the Nigeria Permanent Mission New York, and other diplomatic posts.



Egert Belitšev is currently the Head of Integrated Border Management Bureau at the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board. He has Master of Laws degree from the University of Tartu from 2013. During his professional career, which started in 2006, he has gained a thorough expertise in policymaking in the field of migration, Schengen and integrated border management. That includes experience in business side of software development in the areas of his responsibility. During the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU, he was directly responsible for the areas of return, frontiers and Schengen, including SIS package as well as the proposal for amending the Schengen Borders Code.

Ave Lauren is currently the National Coordinator for Estonia at the European Migration Network (EMN), managing the Estonian Contact Point as well as coordinating EMN’s communication and dissemination activities across Europe. She holds a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Cambridge, where her research focused on highly-skilled migration to Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, analysing the role of corporations in shaping mobility and migratory flows and the impact this has had on policy-making and migrant communities. As part of her research, she collaborated closely with a range of technology companies in the region, including Intel, Apple, Google, Huawei and Tencent. Prior to joining the EMN, Ave held a fellowship at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress to address the U.S. highly-skilled immigration policy and worked as a Senior Researcher at the Estonian Business School. Recently she has worked closely with the Foresight Center at the Estonian Parliament to explore the possible impact of global mobility on the Estonian labour market. Her research interests include highly-skilled migration, immigration policy, labour market integration, identity politics, global cities, technopoles and global mobility.

Lotje van der Made i is the Head of the Pre-Return Sector of the European Centre for Returns at the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex). Prior to joining Frontex, she held a position at Europol’s European Migrant Smuggling Centre, where she developed many of its tools and activities in support of the fight against migrant smuggling. She previously held positions at the Royal Netherlands Marechausee and the Dutch Immigration Service, working both on operational and strategic assignments in the area of migration management. Lotje obtained a Master in “China Studies” at Leiden University (the Netherlands) and a Master in “Security, Conflict and International Development” at Leicester University (UK).

Giorgi Grigalashvili has been working with the International Organization for Migration (IOM Brussels Office, IOM Ukraine Office, and IOM Tbilisi Office as a project consultant since 2015. His main field of work is Readmission Case Management Electronic System. As a consultant for the IOM projects, he provides expert opinion on the development and implementation of the software, which manages the readmission process between the EU and third countries.  He has worked with other non-governmental organizations dealing with migration or educational agencies. He was the deputy director at the Consular Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, where under his supervision, RCMES were developed. Prior to that, he worked in different positions in the Ministry of Justice of Georgia

Marcin Prussi has recently joined the European Return and Reintegration Network (ERRIN), a Member State driven initiative facilitating return and reintegration through joint, operational and innovative solutions, contributing to a common European approach. Prior to that, he worked for the European Commission, dealing with a variety of issues related mainly to Justice and Home Affairs policies (return of illegally-staying third-country nationals, asylum, crisis management in the context of the recent migratory flow into the EU), after several years of working for different ministries and agencies in the Netherlands responsible for migration management and a career as a lawyer. Marcin obtained his Magister Iuris degree from the University of Maastricht, followed by a Master in South Pacific Legal Studies at the University of the South Pacific.



Michael Popp is currently serving as European Migration Liaison Officer at the EU-Delegation in Pakistan, seconded from the Federal Ministry of Interior in Germany, where he worked under the Commissioner for European Affairs for general EU Issues, EU Enlargement, Migration and EU-External Relations. He started his professional career as a journalist and had the opportunity to work during the time of the Euro introduction as Press Officer and later as Audiovisual Consultant for national and regional media for the Representation of the European Commission in Berlin. He gained first-hand insights in the political process of the inter-institutional struggle for good EU governance as Spokesperson of the German Group of Social Democrats in the European Parliament in Strasbourg and Brussels, before he returned to Berlin as Press Officer for the Federal Minister of Interior.


 Wolfgang Nieter is ministerial counsellor at the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI).Since December 2016 he has been head of division Voluntary Return, Reintegration and Communication in the directorate for Return Policy of BMI.He studied law and has been working for the Ministry of the Interior since 1989 in various functions, as well as in the German Bundestag and in the Federal Academy for Security Policy (BAKS).He is father of  three children.



Georgios Spyrelis has been working at the Hellenic Police Headquarters since2011. Currently he is working in the Migration Management Division and is responsible at the strategic level for the functioning of the Migration Management Units in Greek territory. Prior to that he was working in Border Protection Division and was responsible at strategic level for the functioning of the border crossing points in Greek territory. He has obtained his education from the Hellenic Police Officers School and has received relevant training after that.



Joris Kennis worked for years as director of refugee reception centers for NGO’s and the Government in Belgium.  Doing research on psychological well-being, he conducted a 3 years EU-funded study on post-traumatic stress among refugees, followed by organising prevention and treatment facilities for the reception network.  After managing additional capacity during the recent asylum crisis, he joined the FEDASIL unit for Voluntary Return. As responsible for return counselling, Joris develops the conceptual framework, serving as background for processes and counselling tools. A set of training modules and a two-days masterclass are set out. In the context of return, his special interest goes to migration management with a focus on evidence-based frontline interactions and value-creation. His recent activities encompasses the dual role of the return counsellor, the uptake and effectiveness of return programs.  Joris is solicited by EU-government and non-government migration-agencies for training- and exchange programs. Joris Kennis holds a Master Degree on Healthcare Management and Policy. He promoted on change-management and value-concretion trough counselling.  Additionally he post-graduated on care and management in the field of addiction-treatment.


Laurence Hunzinger is a Migrant Protection and Assistance Specialist in the International Organization for Migration’s Regional Office in Brussels. She has a professional record focusing on conflict stabilization and recovery as well as on migration . She was posted in the Balkans, several Asian countries as well as in Western Africa. She currently guides IOM’s work in the field of return in the European Economic Area. She holds a Master Degree in Geopolitics (Université de Paris 8) as well as a Master in History (Université René Descartes, Strasbourg).



Tatiana Kistruga is a public policy consultant at ICF in Brussels. She is a lawyer with professional experience in evaluations and feasibility studies for the European Commission and EU agencies, focusing Justice and Home Affairs projects. She is supporting the EMN team with the elaboration of EMN studies and is one of the authors of the 2017 EMN study on the effectiveness of return. Prior working for ICF, Tatiana was involved in the Odysseus Network, and held various positions at the European Commission (DG HOME) and at IOM’s Regional Office in Brussels.