Between 1988 and 1998, Ramon Torrent was a member and later the Director for International Economic Relations in the Legal Service of the EU Council. He is one of the five EU-proposed members of the roster of arbitrators for the EU agreements with Central America, Peru and Colombia, Chile, CARIFORUM, Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine, Korea, SADC and Central Africa. Until his retirement in September 2017, Ramon was a full professor of Political Economy and International Economic Law at the Universitat de Barcelona. He launched in 2008 and directed for 10 years the extinct Master of Laws in International Economic Law and Policy (IELPO LL.M.), a top-notch program that gathered salient Faculty and talented students from more than 84 nationalities, and whose graduates currently occupy leading positions worldwide. He also conceived and directed online and blended training programmes on Regional Integration for UNCTAD’s Virtual Institute and other international organizations.
He has coordinated many International, mainly EU-funded, projects of cooperation in Higher Education with Latin America, the Mediterranean, the EU’s Neighbouring Countries and Africa. He launched the process of the Arab – Euro Conferences on Higher Education (AECHE). He was until 2020 the scientific coordinator of the Horizon 2020 project EULAC Focus (“Giving Focus to the cultural, scientific and social dimension of EU – LAC relations”) and is now the President of OBREAL.
Kiran Gopakumar Rajalekshmi
Dr. Kiran Gopakumar Rajalekshmi is currently the Dean of Middle East College (MEC), which is one of the largest higher education institutions in the Sultanate of Oman and the Vice -President of OBREAL. Kiran holds a PhD in Information Systems from the London School of Economics & Political Science, UK. Kiran has more than 23 years of vast experience from his key roles at national and international levels in areas relating to higher education management, teaching, research, strategic policy development, quality assurance, social computing, governance reforms, e-governance, and ICT for development. He is an External Reviewer with the Oman Authority of Academic Accreditation (OAAA) since 2015. In his capacity as the Dean of MEC, Dr. Kiran has chaired the Institutional Standards Assessment panel to colleges/universities within Oman. Dr. Kiran also holds vast experience in heading and implementing key governmental projects on e-governance and ICT in Kerala, India.
Dr. Vidya Yeravdekar is the Principal Director of Symbiosis Society, and the Pro Chancellor of Symbiosis International University
The Symbiosis International University is a multidisciplinary, multinational, multi-cultural University that having 45000 students from all States of India and international students from 85 countries. The Symbiosis Society not only has under its ambit the Symbiosis International University but also has K12 Schools, College of Arts and Commerce and Museums- the Afro Asian cultural museum and the Dr. Ambedkar Museum. Dr. Vidya holds a Post Graduate Degree in Medicine, a Degree in Law and Ph.D. in ‘Internationalisation of Higher Education in India’. Having presented papers at various National & International Conferences, she has numerous research publications to her credit and has also authored several books. Ranked No.14 amongst India’s top 25 Powerful Women, Dr. Vidya has been instrumental in bringing in innovative approaches to promote internationalisation of higher education in India. As a member of University Grants Commission (UGC) for two terms, Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) under Ministry of Education and Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) under Ministry of External Affairs, she has been a facilitator of innovative approaches to higher education in India. Dr. Vidya has been appointed as a member of the expert group on Global Outreach of Higher Education, formulated by UGC to implement the National Education Policy 2020 that was rolled out by the Ministry of Education Govt. of India, member of the Advisory Group of Analytical and Advisory work (ASA), World Bank and member of the Board of Trustees of Muscat University, Oman. She is a Chairperson of the FICCI Committee on Higher Education and serving 3rd term. Dr. Vidya has been appointed as Member of India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) Trust set up by Ministry of Commerce & Industries, Government of India, to promote the ‘Brand India’ label in overseas markets and member of the Expert Group constituted by the UGC for Development of Educational Framework for Global Citizenship in Higher Education Institutions. She has elected as Member of the Central Governing Council of Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC) set up by Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, Member of the General Assembly of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Governing Body of Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (YASHADA), Government of Maharashtra. She is also the Board of Director of the Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Dr. Vidya has been appointed as the first Chair of the OBREAL Global India Chapter a for a period of 3 years. She is a member on the Board of several organisations like Rayat Shikshan Sanstha, Research Committee of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), Public Health Foundation of India, Symbiosis University of Applied Sciences Indore, Symbiosis Skills and Open University, Pune. She is a member of many corporate bodies such as Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Confederation of India Industry (CII), Maratha Chambers of Commerce and Industries (MCCIA) and Not for profit organisations like HK Firodiya Foundation, India International Centre (IIC), Pune International Centre (PIC) & Pune Citizens Police Foundation (PCPF). She has also been a member on many other organizations
Professor Olusola Bandele Oyewole is a Nigerian professor of Food Science and Technology, specifically Food Microbiology and Biotechnology. He is currently the Secretary General of the AAU.
He is the former Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria and has also worked as a Senior Expert in Higher Education for the African Union Commission in Ethiopia. Professor Oyewole’s work experiences at the national, regional and continental levels have endowed him with a wealth of knowledge in coordinating multinational research and development programs.
Executive Director of Asociación Colombiana de Universidades ASCUN (Colombian Association of Universities) Agricultural Engineer, Specialist in Environmental Education; Specialist in Strategic Management and Master in Education. He currently serves as Executive Director of Asociación Colombiana de Universidades ASCUN (Colombian Association of Universities).
Dr Myriam Moïse is Associate Professor at the Université des Antilles in Martinique, researcher at the Caribbean research lab of social sciences and Fulbright scholar. She is the Secretary-General of Universities Caribbean, the organization of Caribbean universities and research institutes. She holds a joint doctoral degree from Paris Sorbonne University and the University of the West Indies. Her research fields include Gender Studies, Cultural Studies and Postcolonial Studies, with a special focus on literary and artistic creations by Caribbean women. Dr Moïse is very committed to developing collaborative research and educational projects in the wider Caribbean region. She is currently engaged in various research activities including the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program “Connected Worlds: The Caribbean, Origin of Modern World” (www.conneccaribbean.com). She was Executive member of the Caribbean Studies Association (CSA) and continues to serve the CSA journal as a French Caribbean sub-editor. She is also French expert-advisor for the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC).
Nicolas is currently serving as the Director of Strategy and development within the organization. His role involves overseeing political functions and guiding the organization’s strategy, growth, and policy development. He also works on coordinating internal teams. Nicolas provides hands-on supervision across all organization aspects, serving as a senior expert in higher education policy for specific projects. He plays a crucial role in project execution and budget planning. Over the past 17 years, Nicolas’ role has adapted alongside the organization’s growth. Starting in a smaller but ambitious setting, he handled diverse responsibilities during the years. Originally from Argentina, Nicolas has been living, working, and studying in Europe for two decades. He has studied in Spain, the Netherlands, and France, and holds a Ph.D. degree in classical philosophy. Nicolas is fluent in Spanish, English, and French.
Elizabeth is acting as Director of International Projects. She has worked for OBREAL since 2014 and partnered with the association in her previous professional roles in Brussels. She currently drives strategy and organizational development, project development, management and strategic oversight, supervises daily operations, and represents the organization in diverse international projects and activities. Amongst her fields of experience and expertise are higher education in development cooperation, regional integration policy, quality assurance in higher education, regional development policy and innovation and internationalization in teaching and learning. She was born in the US but has been living, studying, and working in Europe for more than 20 years and is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Agustina has accompanied OBREAL through over the past 15 years.
She acts as the Financial Director, who has financial and legal oversight of all OBREAL activities and the general operational budget. In addition, she drives the human resources of the association, manages contracts and service providers and the general office management. Her role has evolved; Today she is accompanying all projects in the implementation and budget execution and contribute to project proposal development. She is supporting the transition towards a more data driven association, to help better assess impact and growth of actions as well as the possibilities for diversification of activities and funds. Agustina is fluent in English, Spanish and Catalan.
Marina supports the policy development of OBREAL looking specifically at the interregional aspects of higher education and to link it to development. Moreover, she more specifically manages projects and initiatives of OBREAL in Africa and Latin America linking them to OBREAL´s general interregional strategy. Before joining OBREAL, Marina acted first as the coordinator of the internationalization program of the ministry of Education of Argentina and then as the national director of international relations of the Argentina Ministry of Education from where he represented Argentina in multilateral organisms such as IMF, UNESCO, MERCOSUR, etc. Marina speaks English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Jaume is a Senior Project Manager at OBREAL. Jaume manages projects in their full life cycle, from conceptualization to proposal development to partnership management and execution. He also designs training programmes related to EU project management targeting, in particular, the EU funding landscape. He has specific competency in the field of digitalization and represents the association in important international conferences and events. Jaume builds relationships with members and partners on the ground and provides transversal support to the team in managerial aspects. Jaume is fluent in Catalan, English and Spanish.
Angel Rafael is a project manager specialized in the internationalization of Higher Education and the successful implementation of European projects, including initiatives such as Erasmus Plus and Horizon Europe. With a longstanding experience in HE which includes topics such as mobility, capacity building, and quality assurance, Angel plays a key role at OBREAL, where his responsibilities include the management and follow up of the entire project lifecycles. In his transversal role at OBREAL, Angel takes charge of creating, implementing, and evaluating projects. His expertise extends to providing comprehensive training and information sessions on calls, financing opportunities, and the life cycles of projects for OBREAL members. Currently, Angel streamlining the organization’s overall project portfolio, aiming to enhance management processes. Angel speaks English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and he is a native German Speaker.
Apiyo plays a strategic role in Africa for OBREAL, articulating projects and generating stakeholders’ relationships. She is from Kenya and has helped to build OBREAL´s African portfolio since 2019. Based in Nairobi, she articulates actions, initiatives, and strategies with a special focus on East Africa and support the project management for OBREAL in the region. She offers a long history of higher education cooperation: she has been the president of the Erasmus Mundus Alumni Association -Africa Chapter-. Apyio is fluent in English and Swahili.
Kibrome M. Haile
Based Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Kibrome is responsable for the development and execution of projects in Africa and to advise on capacity building programs and interaction regarding African higher education and research development, particularly related to data policy and regional integration. Kibrome plays an instrumental role in representing and connecting OBREAL with African institutions. Kibrome is fluent in English and Amharic.
Georges is from the Democratic Republic of Congo where he is a professor of linguistics at the University of Lubumbashi. He has an extensive research record regarding the relation between inclusion and language in African young population. He has a long-standing experience in working internationally in implementing quality assurance and has coordinated QA actions with national authorities, universities, and international partners in the DRC and in Africa. George contributes to the implementation of projects in francophone Africa and their results with authorities and stakeholders in the region. Georges is fluent in Swahili French and English.
Jimena contributes actively to the development of the association in Latin America and the Caribbean and in articulating strategic actions and projects in the region on innovation, education, and development. Jimena brings to OBREAL her vast experience in university management gained at the National University of Cuyo in Argentina (one of the largest research universities in Argentina) where she acted for 8 years as Secretary of Research, International Relations, and Postgraduate Studies. Jimena is based in Argentina and speaks Spanish, English and Italian.
Juan Guillermo Hoyos
Based in Colombia, Juan Guillermo currently serves as an expert in Higher Education policy for Latin America and the Caribbean at OBREAL Global. Collaborating closely with the Buenos Aires office, he efficiently coordinates the implementation of projects and strategic initiatives in the region. Juan Guillermo plays a pivotal role in developing the association strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Prior to his role at OBREAL, Juan Guillermo dedicated over 15 years to the Association of Colombian Universities (ASCUN), eventually assuming the position of ASCUN Secretary General from 2019 until his transition to OBREAL in 2023. His extensive experience also extends to serving as the Secretary General of the Latin America and Caribbean Higher Education Space (ENLACES), where he actively contributed to and led numerous projects in higher education and regional integration.
Juan Guillermo is a Medical Doctor and Surgeon, having earned his degree from the Pontifical Javeriana University. Complementing his medical expertise, he holds a master’s degree in public health from the National University of Colombia. Fluent in both Spanish and English, Juan brings a wealth of knowledge and linguistic versatility to his role in fostering education policies and initiatives across Latin America and the Caribbean.
Since 1994, Pablo Beneitone has participated, coordinated and led a number of international programmes and projects on academic mobility, regional convergence and international university cooperation (Erasmus +, ALFA, TEMPUS, Erasmus Mundus, etc.) in different countries and regions. Dr Beneitone is the author of several scientific publications related to current issues in higher education, as well as the director of research on academic mobility, credit systems, global competences and learning outcomes, and the impact of these on the processes of curriculum internationalisation at the National Univeristy of Lanus in Argentina where he also is a professor. Pablo holds a degree in International Relations, a Master in International Cooperation and a PhD in Social Sciences.
Based at OBREAL’s headquarters in Argentina, Anahí currently works as coordinator of OBREAL’s South American office. She works closely with OBREAL staff deployed in Argentina, Colombia and Panama and acts as the main liaison with international organizations and university associations in the region. She is also in charge of coordinating the activities of OBREAL’s South American Chapter. Anahi has 20 years of experience working at the governmental level in the region. Prior to joining OBREAL, she was coordinator of the Program for the Internationalization of Higher Education and International Cooperation of the Ministry of Education of Argentina. She has also actively participated in the educational process of MERCOSUR involving Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and the associated states of Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, and actively participated in the implementation of regional integration programs in Latin America representing Argentina. Anahí has studied international relations at the University of San Andrés and holds a master’s degree in international relations and negotiations from FLACSO Argentina and the University of Sandrés, with a joint Master’s degree in Regional Integration from the University of Barcelona. Anahí is fluent in Spanish and English.
Nicole Font provides transversal support to OBREAL funded programmes and manages the SPHERE Initiative, a project aimed at modernising higher education in EU neighbouring countries. Specialised in international relations and higher education, she has longstanding experience in project and communication management by implementing strategies to improve results and achieve significant impact. She contributed to European funded actions such as Erasmus+ Capacity Building, Horizon Europe, and European Universities Initiative. Nicole Font holds a master’s in international relations from the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI) and a degree in Journalism from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). Her practices include international cooperation, research and analysis of the SGDs, impact management, follow-up of emerging issues of EU policies, strategic communication strategies, and multistakeholder relationships.
Eloi has been part of the OBREAL secretariat since 2019, a key team member during the pandemic, who promoted a mayor digital transformation of the work of the association. Since then, Eloi has been managing OBREAL´s digitalization processes and OBREAL´s communication channels. Acting as a catalyzer of the different needs of the association´s work, he introduces new digital tools and supports the implementation OBREAL´s communication strategy. Moreover, Eloi oversees the implementation and design of the OBREAL Training Platform. He is fluent in Spanish, English and Catalan.
Since she joined OBREAL she has been developing and reshaping the communication actions of the association. She manages the development of the communications tools and the development of key messages and acts as the OBREAL liaison with the media in Catalonia and in Spain. She supports the articulation of OBREAL´s projects and the implementation of the OBREAL´s communication strategy. Georgina has worked for more than 6 years in the Spanish and Catalan media as a journalist. Georgina is fluent in English, Spanish and Catalan.
Jenny Delos Reyes
Her role at OBREAL secretariat in Barcelona is to support all administrative processes of the organization. Jenny is responsible for following and implementing the different administrative policies of OBREAL and to assist staff members in their daily administrative work. Jenny also contributes to managing the logistics and organizational aspects of OBREAL events. Jenny is originally from the Filipins and speaks Catalan, Spanish, English, and Tagalog.