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ESPI Grows with New Hires to Expand its Vienna-Based Team

Although the year is only halfway through, 2024 is already shaping up to be a year of growth for the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI). Within the last six months, it has welcomed a host of new full-time staff to join its Vienna-based team, all of whom will help contribute to and advance ESPI’s mission as the European independent think tank for space.  

ESPI is pleased to welcome: 

  • Julien Potin as its newest Junior Research Fellow. 
  • Gerrel Ricardo Michel as its newest Accountant. 
  • Alida Mirkovic as its new, and first-ever, Head of Director’s Office. 
  • Anastasiia Posnova as a new Research Fellow. 
  • Bianca Santi as a new Research Fellow. 

Julien Potin holds a master’s degree in international security from Sciences Po Paris. Mixing his research experience in army interoperability with his work on civil security uses of space at the European Space Agency, his main area of interest revolves around the utilization of space capabilities for security and defence. 

Gerrel Ricardo Michel is from the Netherlands, where he pursued his education and developed a passion for finance. After completing his studies, he moved to Dublin to embark on a professional journey in the financial sector. Over the years, he has accumulated extensive experience in various roles including analyst, credit executive, and accountant. His career has spanned multiple sectors from private banking to the pharmaceutical industry, showcasing a versatile and in-depth understanding of financial management and analysis. 

Alida Mirkovic was born in Croatia and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in international economics and management from the Bocconi University in Milan after which she pursued a master’s degree in digital economy at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. She specialized in information systems, digital ecosystems and blockchain and distributed ledger technology. Previously, she worked in healthcare innovation mainly on acceleration of digital and MedTech solutions. Alida also has extensive experience in event management as well as performing arts which she studied at the university level before focusing on management.  

Anastasiia Posnova holds an MA in International Relations from Central European University and a BA in Political Science from Yale University. Prior to joining ESPI, she worked as a consultant, advising a technology-focused philanthropy and a quantum security startup in the US on geopolitical issues, and interned with a European policy advisory company in their digitalisation practice. 

Bianca Santi studied both International Relations and Law at the University of Turin (Italy) and Lille (France). She started her working career as an intern in Turin with the Chamber of Commerce and then in Brussels with the European Parliament. Following these experiences, she was employed by a leading French consultancy as an advisor. Based in Paris and Brussels, the consultancy specialized in public affairs, advising a range of major companies across a variety of sectors, including space. This latter point was important in sparking a serious interest in the sector, with a particular focus on strategies that are shaping the national and international policies of governments. 

Alongside these new additions to its full-time staff, ESPI continues to maintain its internship programme by welcoming two new interns to its team: 

  • Juan Galera as a Research Intern. 
  • Marianne Graff as its new Communications & Engagement Intern. 

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