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New Office Director of the Coimbra Group

29 November 2019

The current Office Director, Ms. Inge Knudsen, will retire on 31 January 2020, after more than twelve years of dedicated commitment to the Coimbra Group. Therefore, in June 2019, the Coimbra Group started the recruitment process of its next Office Director.

The Executive Board received more than 30 applications, from out of which 5 candidates were shortlisted for an interview with a Selection Committee composed of Prof. Dorothy Kelly (Vice-Rector for international affairs of the University of Granada and former Chair of the Coimbra Group Executive Board), Prof. Lenka Rovna (Vice-Rector for European affairs of Charles University in Prague and member of the Coimbra Group Executive Board), Prof. Elmer Sterken (former Rector of the University of Groningen and member of the Coimbra Group Executive Board), Prof. Jürgen Barkhoff (Vice-Provost of Trinity College Dublin and Vice-Chair of the Coimbra Group Executive Board) and Prof. Ludovic Thilly (Rector’s Delegate for European Affairs of the University of Poitiers and Chair of the Coimbra Group Executive Board).

The Selection Committee proposed a final list of two candidates and the Executive Board decided to appoint Ms. Emmanuelle Gardan, who will take office on 1 January 2020.

From left to right: Ludovic Thilly, EB Chair, Inge Knudsen, current Office Director, Emmanuelle Gardan, next Office Director, Jürgen Barkhoff, EB Vice-Chair














Emmanuelle Gardan comes to the Coimbra Group with a wealth of experience in international Higher Education. She was previously Head of Sector for Higher Education and Research at the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), an inter-governmental organisation gathering 43 Member States with the mandate to enhance regional integration in the Mediterranean. In this role Emmanuelle Gardan’s work consisted in strengthening regional dialogue, cooperation and projects between researchers, universities, Ministries of Higher Education and Scientific Research and other relevant actors and stakeholders in these fields from across the Euro-Mediterranean region. Emmanuelle Gardan was previously in charge of the international development and institutional relations of university-business cooperation related activities at Groupe AEF, a Paris-based professional news agency targeted to decision-makers and stakeholders in higher education, research and innovation. From 2002 to 2011, she had held several positions at the French Erasmus National Agency, from Policy Officer in the Cabinet of the Director to Coordinator of the Foresight Unit.

The Selection Committee and the Executive Board are delighted to have attracted a new Office Director with such extensive management experience and with strong links with the major stakeholders of the European Higher Education and Research landscapes. Emmanuelle Gardan will be a most worthy successor to our current Office Director, Inge Knudsen. The Executive Board very much looks forward to working with her and warmly welcomes her to the Coimbra Group.