Despina Symon

Despina Symons-Pirovolidou, of Greek origin, has been Director and founding Member of the European Bureau for Conservation and Development (EBCD) since its establishment in 1989. At European level, Despina has been linking the conservation and the scientific communities as well as the private sector to the EU policy makers providing them with expert strategic advice for over twenty years. Furthermore, she has been working closely with several UN bodies such as FAO, CITES, CBD and others. Despina has been active in IUCN and more particularly in its Marine Programme and the European one. She is Member of the Executive Committee of the IUCN/SSC European Sustainable Use Specialist Group and Coordinator of its Fisheries Working Group. She is also the founding member and coordinator of the recently established Fisheries Expert Group (FEG) of the IUCN Commission of Ecosystem Management (CEM). Prior to joining EBCD, Despina worked on fisheries related issues in Madrid (Spain) where she represented the Spanish coastal fishermen to the EU and before that she worked in Canada as a free lance translator for the Secretary of State of Canada.

Panos Manias
Finance and Administrative Manager

Panos joined EBCD in February 2017. Before joining our team, he was working as a Finance Officer in an international NGO based in Lisbon, Portugal. He started his career as accountant for a multinational company, where after a few years, he was moved to the internal audit team where he was performing cash reconciliations and risk management.

Panos holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from the University of West Attica and a Masters’ degree in Project Management from the City University of Seattle. He also holds an executive MBA degree from Solvay Brussels School.

Ilias Grampas
EU Affairs Manager

Currently managing the European Parliament Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development, Ilias joined EBCD in March 2018.

Prior to that, he was working in EU Affairs and Communication for a pharmaceutical association in Brussels, moreover as a Communications Executive in Greece. Well-experienced in developing and executing strategic advocacy & outreach, Ilias also holds an MSc in Crisis and Security Management from Leiden University, Netherlands, alongside a BA in International & EU Affairs from University of Macedonia, Greece.

Throughout the years, he has received The Good Lobby 3rd place Award as ‘Political Representative of the Year’ (2019), CV Magazine ‘Best Environmental NGO in Belgium’ Award (2019), The Webby Awards ‘People’s Voice Award for Green Website’ (2017), and International Public Relations Association Golden World Award for ‘Crisis Management’ (2016).

Jacopo Pasquero
International Affairs Assistant

Jacopo joined EBCD in November 2019, assisting the Secretariat of the IUCN Fisheries Expert Group. Prior to that, he worked as an intern at the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and was in the Italian youth delegation to the 2019 G7 Summit. During his studies, he also led the organization of a youth initiative on the implementation of SDG 2 Zero Hunger and took part in a consultancy project on seafood sustainability. Jacopo holds a master’s degree in Environmental Sciences from Wageningen University & Research and a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Trieste. He is passionate about multilateralism and global politics in relation to biodiversity, oceans, climate, food, and science. He is fluent in English and Italian, has good working knowledge of Spanish and speaks basic French.