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Séamus Boland,

President of the Civil Society Organisations' Group of the (EESC)

Séamus Boland was re-elected President of the EESC's Civil Society Organisations' Group in April 2023. He has been an EESC Member since 2011. He has held different roles at the Committee, including the Vice-Presidency of the Civil Society Organisations' Group (2018-2020). His policy and political interests include the eradication of poverty, social exclusion and inequality. Mr Boland currently sits on the SOC, REX and ECO Sections of the Committee as well as on the CCMI. In addition to the Group presidency, he holds several other roles outside the EESC. He has been CEO of Irish Rural Link since 2001, a Board Member of Inland Fisheries Ireland since 2018 and Chair of Peatlands Council since 2012. Mr Boland is a farmer and has worked in civil society for over 40 years, including with young people, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and people living in rural isolation. He is a trained Speech and Drama Educator.

Lena Hallengren,

Member of Parliament, former Swedish Minister for Health and Social Policy (2019-2022)

Lena Hallengren was born 1973 as the eldest daughter of carpenter Anders Hallengren and teacher Ulla Hallengren. She graduated as a teacher with a degree from the University of Kalmar in 1997 and was elected Secretary General of the Social Democrat Youth Organisation SSU in 1999. She was appointed Deputy Minister of Education in Göran Persson’s government after the election in 2002. In the 2006 elections she was elected as member of the Riksdag. She again joined the government on the request of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven in 2018 and served as Minister of Health and Social Affairs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the 2022 election Ms Hallengren is the Chairman of the Social Democrat Group in the Riksdag.

Miriam Söderström,

State Secretary to the Swedish Minister for Health Care

Miriam Söderström is a State Secretary to the Minister of Health Care Acko Ankarberg Johansson in the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs in Sweden. She was born in 1972, is married and has children. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and has studied Journalism, Criminology, Social Anthropology, French Studies, and Strategic Analysis. Prior to her current position, she has held various positions in the Swedish Migration Agency, Ministry of Justice, Riksdag Research Service, and the Christian Democrats.

Anette Richardson,

Head of Unit for Preparedness and Crisis Management at the Swedish Public Health Agency

Anette Richardson is Head of the Preparedness and Crisis Management Unit at the Public Health Agency of Sweden. She is a licensed pharmacist and registered nurse, with a Master's degree in pharmacy and a Master's degree in medicine. In addition, she had a Bachelor's degree in leadership and organisational development. Ms Richardson has extensive work experience from three different authorities and also has experience as a manager in healthcare.

Dr Andrea Ammon,

Director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

Dr Andrea Ammon, MD, MPH, was appointed Director of ECDC in June 2017. Prior to this, she served as Deputy Director and Head of Unit for Resource Management and Coordination from April 2011 to April 2015, and as Acting Director from May 2015. From May 2015, she was ECDC’s Acting Director. Dr Ammon joined ECDC as the Head of the Surveillance Unit in 2005. The unit was responsible for developing The European Surveillance System (TESSy), implementing a long-term surveillance strategy for the European Union (EU), evaluating the Dedicated Surveillance Networks (DSN), performing step-by-step transfer of DSN activities to ECDC, revising the EU case definitions and producing an Annual Epidemiological Report on infectious diseases in the EU.

Before joining ECDC, she worked at the Robert Koch-Institute, Berlin, Germany, where she held various positions, including Head of the Department for Infectious Disease Epidemiology. In this capacity, she maintained and further developed the German national surveillance system, coordinated the national outbreak response team for current and emerging infections, coordinated emergency planning for influenza, directed the national Field Epidemiology Training Programme, coordinated epidemiological research programmes in infectious diseases and provided scientific advice for government Ministries, Members of Parliament, and the public.

 Jan Andersson,

Member of the Civil Society Organisations' Group of the EESC and member of ...

Jan Andersson was a teacher in primary school from 1972 to 1988. He then served as a Member of the Swedish Parliament from 1988 to 1994, before being a Member of the European Parliament from 1995 to 2009. During his tenure, he chaired the Committee for Social Affairs and Employment from 2005 to 2009. More recently, Mr Andersson has served on the Board of the Swedish National Pensioners Organisation, initially as a member from 2015 to 2022 and then as Vice Chair from 2018 to 2022. He is also a Member of the Civil Society Organisations' Group of the EESC.

Kinga Joó,

Member of the Bureau of the EESC and International Advisor to the President of the Hungarian (NOE)

Kinga Joó is the International Advisor to the president of the National Association of Large Families (NOE), the widest network of families in Hungary. She is also President of the Social Responsibility Board of the National Cooperation Fund for the support of civil society organisations. Since 2010, she is a Member of the European Economic and Social Committee. As a Committee Member, she was rapporteur of the European Care Strategy opinion.

Ulrika Årehed Kågström,

Secretary-General of the Swedish Cancer Society

Ulrika Årehed Kågström, born in 1966, is the Secretary General of Cancerfonden (Swedish Cancer Society) since 2016. President elect of UICC (Union for International Cancer Control) and member of the Board of the Nordic Cancer Union. Before starting her work in the cancer community, Ms Kågström worked for the Swedish Red Cross as Secretary General and previously as Deputy Secretary-General. Ms Kågström has an extensive commitment to culture, partly through assignments at the National Theater and as chairman of the Swedish Arts Council and previously as chairman of the Royal Dramatic Theater. She holds a BSc in business administration and economics from Luleå University of Technology.

Irma Kilim,

Member of the Civil Society Organisations' Group of the EESC and ...

Irma Kilim has worked with advocacy, policy and public health. for over 10 years. Currently, she is the Director of Advocacy at one of Sweden’s biggest health focused NGOs, IOGT-NTO. She holds a Bachelor in Pedagogy from Jönköpings University and is the former president of a national youth organisation, Bosnian and Heregovinian Youth organization. She is an experienced board member and among other positions she is currently the Senior Advisor for the European organization EUROCARE. Ms Kilim is also a Member of the Civil Society Organisations' Group of the EESC.

Ulrika Stuart Hamilton,

Secretary-General of Famna

Ulrika Stuart Hamilton is the Secretary General of Famna, the Swedish Association of Non-Governmental Organisations in Public Welfare. Formerly, she was the State Secretary in Ministry for Education and Deputy Head of Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum. Ms Stuart Hamilton has a B.Sc. degree in Economics and Business Administration from the Stockholm School of Economics.

Lisa Bondesson,

Head of Social Policy at Kommunal

Lisa Bondesson has worked for almost 20 years in the Swedish trade union movement, most recently as the head of social policy at Kommunal. Prior to that, she was head of the Policy department at the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers. She studied political science focusing on European studies and international political economy and has studied at many different universities both in Sweden and in England. Ms Bondesson holds a B.Sc. in Political Science from Lund University.

Kalle Conneryd Lundgren,

COO of Kry

Kalle Conneryd Lundgren, as the Chief Operations Officer at Kry, leads, manages, and provides oversight for operations across Europe. He is also responsible for finding synergies and improving efficiency in clinical operations across the organisation, and he works closely with the R&D team to deliver world-class products for the clinicians. Kalle Conneryd Lundgren has a background as a clinical doctor, specialised in reconstructive plastic surgery and craniofacial surgery, and academically as an associate professor. He most recently worked at the Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden as the COO (Chief Operating Officer) before joining Kry. He is extremely passionate about driving excellence in healthcare by using novel technology and methods.

Louise Grabo,

Member of the Civil Society Organisations' Group of the EESC and ...

Louise Grabo is working as Secretary General for the Swedish Fintech Association. She has a Bachelor’s degree in European studies from University of Gothenburg and has a long background from the youth civil society in Sweden. Most recently, she is the chairwoman for Maktsalongen – an organization working for gender equality in Sweden. Since 2020, she has been a Member of the EESC's Civil Society Organisations' Group, as representative of the Swedish Council of National Youth Organisations (LSU).

Noura Berrouba,

President of the Swedish Council of National Youth Organisations (LSU)

Noura Berrouba is full-time President of the Swedish National Youth Council (LSU), the umbrella organisation for Sweden's children and youth organisations. LSU gathers over 80 national organisations that collectively mobilise over 650 000 children and young people. She serves on the boards of Civil Rights Defenders, CONCORD Sweden, the Swedish-Norwegian fund, Höj Rösten foundation and on the World Economic’s foundation board for the Global Shapers Community. Noura serves as an advisor to Apolitical Academy and the Swedish Dialogue Institute for the Middle East and North Africa. Noura spent two years with the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, first in Brussels at the foreign and security policy department at Sweden's Permanent Representation to the EU and later as Programme Officer at the Swedish Dialogue Institute for the Middle East and North Africa. Between 2017-2020, she served as a Member of the Governing Body of the European Youth Parliament (EYP), overseeing its strategic work on external partnerships, active citizenship, communication and welfare. Noura served as Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos in 2019, highlighting the importance of expanding civic and democratic space and strengthening civic participation and education.

Ylva Thörn,

Vice President of the Swedish National Pensioners' Organisation

Ylva Thörn was born in 1954. Since 2022, she is the first vice chairman of PRO, the Swedish National Pensioners' Organisation. Previously, she was working as a nurse in elderly care. In 1987, she was a union negotiator, becoming the Chairman of the Swedish Municipal Workers Union from 1996 to 2010. From 2002-2010, she was also the chairman of the professional international for public employees, PSI public services international. She became the Deputy Party Secretary of the Social Democrats from 2012 to 2015, and the County Governor in Dalarna Country from 2015 to 2021.

Pietro Barbieri,

Vice-President of the Civil Society Organisations' Group of the EESC and ...

Pietro Barbieri, as a 20-year-old architecture student, found himself living the experience of disability due to a simple dive into the shallow waters. He had to abandon his studies because it was not possible to draw with the computer as it is commonly done today. He then started studying Italian literature, but he didn't complete it due to his commitment to promoting the rights of people with disabilities. He held many positions in Italian and European movements. The most important experience was being part of the Italian government delegation to the Ad Hoc Committee of the United Nations to build what will later be called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He has also actively worked towards building adequate services for people with disabilities, including the Centre for Independent Living in Rome, of which he is still the president. He served as the president of the umbrella organisation representing people with disabilities and their families for 18 years. After that, he became the president of the Third Sector Forum, which is a platform representing more than 90% of Italian non-profit organisations. He represents the Third Sector Forum at the EESC, where he is the Vice-President of the Civil Society Organisations' Group and a Member of the SOC Section Bureau. He has been awarded an honorary degree from the University of Malta.

Merel de Heer,

MD, research-scientist on Women's Health

Dr Merel de Heer, MD, went to medical school in the Netherlands, at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. During Medical School, she was a member of the Education Commission, an independent commission that monitors the quality of Education of the Medical School. She was involved in clinical research for the departments of Plastic- and Reconstructive Surgery and Anaesthesia. After medical school she gained clinical experience in Gynaecology and Obstetrics as a physician in OLVG, the largest obstetrics hospital of the Netherlands. After this, she started her PhD trajectory in Medical Education, with Prof Dr. F. Scheele, a gynaecologist and professor in Medical Education.

Her research focuses on curriculum design and important societal changes that need to be included in curricula. She gained expertise in research on Women’s Health and the importance to teach about this. She started to work for Care4Everybody, a NGO with a diverse supervisory board: medical specialists from Europe and the USA, an economist and an expert in health psychology, trying to achieve gender equity in healthcare. She now works as the executive physician-researcher for the NGO during my PhD-trajectory.

Ariane Rodert,

Member of the Bureau of the EESC and Head of the Policy Unit at the Church of Sweden

Ariane Rodert is a Member of the EESC's Civil Society Organisations' Group since 2010, appointed by the Swedish government to represent civil society interests and is also an EESC Bureau Member. Ariane's work experience includes serving as EU Policy Adviser for various Swedish civil society organisations including Forum – idéburna organisationer med social inriktning, and Famna – the Swedish umbrella for not-for-profit social and health care providers. She is since 2016 heading up the Policy Unit at the Church of Sweden. Ariane holds a Master of Science and Economics degree from the University of Stockholm, Sweden, which she earned in 1988. At the EESC, she had several roles including the President for the Section for Single Market, Production and Consumption and Vice-President and Member of the Bureau of the Civil Society Organisations' Group. She has served as Rapporteur of 9 EESC opinions and was an adviser in various EU bodies during her time in the EESC. She is currently serving as Vice-President of the Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship (SOC) for another two and half years.