Team & Senior Advisors


The Sofia Foundation is managed by a seasoned team of professionals from diverse cultural, educational, and professional backgrounds.

Claudia RITTER

Claudia Ritter, Co-founder and President of the Sofia Foundation

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She is managing director of Cleverland, an organisation headquartered in Brussels specialising in diversity leadership strategy. She works with the European institutions, the OECD, UN, national governments, the corporate, and NGOs globally. She holds an MA (Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg) and an MSC (Boston University), in addition to being an Executive & Leadership Coach credentialed by the International Coach Federation. Being cross-cultural through her background, upbringing, education and professional experience, she is fluent in six European languages.


Armelle Loghmanian, Co-founder and Vice-President of the Sofia Foundation

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She is elected President of Professional Women International Brussels, the Belgium Chapter of Professional Women's Network (PWN) Global, who are also founding partner of the Global Board Ready Women Initiative supported by the EU. She was member of the “Women on Board” core team at the European Professional Women´s Network Federation. Armelle is also owner and general manager of DiphoNet, a company based in Seattle and in Brussels specialising in process improvement, strategic marketing, and new business analysis.


Isabel Cortina, Secretary General of the Sofia Foundation and Assistant Project Manager of the Accelerate! project.

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She spent several years working on human rights and gender equality in the public administration in Spain. She has also held various positions in different organisations in Brussels working on European policy areas. In addition to this, she is an Election Observer and has been deployed to the field in several occasions. She holds a BA in Sociology, with a speciality in Political Sociology, a MA in International Relations and several diplomas and trainings on gender equality and gender mainstreaming.


Marie-Laurence DEMOUSSELLE

Marie-Laurence Demousselle is community manager at the Sofia Foundation,

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She is founder and managing director of 'Active Transitions Consultancy'. Marie-Laurence has extensive experience working in international organisation development. Dedicated to solve real performance issues whilst securing revenue for business, she served as key account manager in the fields of strategic communications’ and learning solutions, mainly developed for the European institutions and international bodies. In her current role, Marie-Laurence provides executive development services to individuals and organisations as they deal with business and professional transformation. As a trainer and consultant specialising in transition and change processes, she helps global clients boost management and communication practices to cultivate agility and improve both well-being and effectiveness in their organisations.

A group of senior advisors supports the management team in implementing the Accelerate! project. They act in their personal capacity and have a distinct mandate.

Senior Advisors

The senior advisors at the Sofia Foundation:

  • Tap into their networks and use their contacts to strengthen the project’s knowledge base, and to help open up doors as appropriate
  • Undertake ad hoc research and collect data in areas of their competence that can benefit the project’s progress
  • Help transfer experience, good examples, success stories, and success factors from countries not participating in the Accelerate! project
  • Increase visibility and outreach, and raise awareness about the project and its core issues within their networks and in media
  • Help ensure transferability of gained experience and to promote the results of the project
  • Represent Accelerate! at conferences and events (upon request and as appropriate)


Ylva is of Swedish origin and has a long track record in communication and senior management from Swedish, Nordic and EU administrations.

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She spent 19 years at the European Commission – whereof 10 years as Director. In the European Commission, she has been responsible for communication in various European policy areas, such as environment, education and culture. She was instrumental in developing various overall initiatives to improve communication and dialogue between the EU and the citizens and has been a firm advocate for civil society´s active involvement and contributions in all policy shaping matters at European level. In the early 90s, at the Nordic Council for Ministers in Copenhagen, Ylva set up media training programmes to support female journalists from the newly independent Baltic States followed by the establishment of Nordic information offices in Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius. She has been an active promoter of gender equality and female career development throughout her professional life outside and within the European Institutions.


Cristina GALLACH

Former Senior Advisor (recently appointed United Nations Under-Secretary General for Communication and Public Information). Cristina is of Spanish origin and is presently Head of Public Relations in the Council of the EU, in charge of the promotion of EU policies.

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Expert on communication matters and foreign and security policy issues, she has a profound knowledge of the EU institutions and the role of Europe in the world. For over 15 years she was spokesperson and senior communications advisor at NATO and the EU. An active supporter of gender equality in the EU Institutions and outside, she leads the Brussels chapter of the worldwide network Women in International Security (Wiis). Her engagement in support of gender equality was recognised by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) in 2010 with the distinction as one of the 12 women fighting for equality and EU's values. She has a degree in Journalism from the Universidad Autónoma of Barcelona and a Master degree in International Relations from Columbia University (New York).



Karin is Belgian, lives in Brussels and is a passionate business catalyst.

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She has 19 years of experience as Business Consultant. After graduation as business engineer from Louvain School of Management, she worked at PwC Luxemburg as auditor of banks and investment funds and was part of the “Women at PwC” group in Belgium. She led numerous projects in Europe and specialized in strategic diagnosis, project management and business case’s preparation in asset management. After 12 years at PwC, Karin founded Kammco, a consulting company that advises start-ups, growing companies and SME transfers to setting up the right balance between strategy, marketing, finance and organization. Karin is vice-president of “Cercle Olympe Brussels”, a network of female professionals where she is in charge of developing cross-border synergies with other women networks. Involved in female entrepreneurship programmes and business angels’ networks, Karin won in 2012 the Trends Equiwoman award – rewarding Belgian women who combine their role as female entrepreneur and as woman in the society and family life.



Bouchra is a young Belgian woman from Moroccan origin, a Project Manager with many fields of interests such as drama, reading and travels.

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Since she graduated in Cooperation and Development and Conflict analysis, she’s been working for different Belgian institutions such as Wallonie-Bruxelles International and the King Baudouin Foundation. In her international activities she worked in the Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development and is part of a few NGO’s active in the field of gender issues. Bouchra led numerous projects in Europe and Brussels in the field of leadership in migrant communities, poverty and social justice and health issues regarding seniors. Bouchra has a strong bond with both of her countries of origin and always try to bring a touch of multiculturalism in her work.

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