Meet the team


AAEAAQAAAAAAAAibAAAAJGU0OGU3NTgyLWMzY2UtNGU1MS04NTJkLWY4ZDZjMTgzZmFmMAIngo Mayr-Knoch is the founder and CEO of After doing his Bachelor in Business Management and Economics at Zeppelin University in Germany he founded the Start-up, which was the first company in Germany to offer long distance intercity coach transportation breaking the monopoly of the Deutsche Bahn. The media hype that ensued after the Deutsche Bahn sued unsuccessfully gave Ingo the possibility to gather considerable experience in the conduct of an information strategy for a private company. After selling his shares of the company he studied International Security at Sciences Po PSIA specialising in Russia and the Post Soviet Space. Ingo speaks fluent Russian, French, Spanish, Italian, English and German. During his Master at Sciences Po he went on an exchange semester at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.


Sarra Ben Hamida

Sarra Ben Hamida is co-founder and Head of Research at Sarra holds a master degree in International Security from Sciences Po, specialising in Global Risks and Middle Eastern studies. She has a dual bachelor degree in Political Science and Literature with Sciences Po and Université Panthéon Sorbonne. She worked as a journalist for the contemporary and performative arts magazine Mouvement, worked as project coordinator for the Tunisian NGO TAMSS (Tunisian association for management and social stability) and has strong project management experience working with the Catholic Relief Services in Lebanon. Sarra speaks French, English, Arabic and Spanish.



Jean Christopher Mittelstaedt is co-founder of Jean Christophe graduated with a Bachelor of Laws in International Politics from Peking University, Beijing, China. After obtaining a Master in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action from Sciences Po Paris, he now pursues a DPhil in Politics at the University of Oxford, where he focuses on Chinese ideology, the legislative process, and party-building. He is also founder of OB|OR Austria Consulting, which specialises in political and risk analysis for companies that invest within China and along the Silk road in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. He is a contributing member of the European-Chinese Law Association and the Austrian-Chinese Business Association.



14232989_10209472239058166_1556053713260354529_nValentina Eigner is in charge of WeBuildEurope’s legal affairs. She has studied law at the University of Vienna and at Sciences Po Paris. After an internship at the Austrian Embassy in Moscow she is currently pursuing her doctoral studies specialising in European business law. She speaks German, English, French and Russian.



Toni Michel is an analyst of Post-Soviet and European affairs and is responsible for building and managing Eastern European network. Toni graduated from Passau University and Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) with a particular focus on the domestic politics of Russia, Georgia and Kazakhstan. He has extensive experience in European Affairs, working as assistant in the European Parliament on International Trade, Foreign Policy and EU Regulation.




MariaMaria Rodriguez Schaap is our Content Editor and Partnership Officer. She is responsible for the coherence and academic quality of our publications, as well as for the development of WBE research- and marketing-partnerships with universities and organisations. Maria graduated from her Master’s in International Security at Sciences Po Paris, specialising in Global Risk and the Middle East. She previously studied International Politics at the University of London and is especially interested in the EU and the Middle East. She has interned with AIESEC in New Delhi, Plan International in London, and the UN Women security department at United Nations Headquarters in New York. She is currently interning at UNHCR in Geneva. Maria speaks Dutch, English, Spanish, French and German, and is learning Arabic.



profilfoto_farbeRobert Lackner is a postdoctoral researcher at the Austrian Center for Intelligence, Propaganda and Security Studies (ACIPSS) of the University of Graz. Before joining ACIPSS, he worked for UNODC, the European Commission and an international consulting firm in Vienna and studied History, German and English as well as American Studies at the University of Graz and at Sciences Po Paris. Robert has carried out several projects in the fields of terrorism, resistance and exile studies, and cultural history. He has conducted research in Great Britain, Israel and the United States.


14215717_10153859224473616_48228098_oDina Arakji graduated from the Master in International Security at Sciences Po Paris, focusing on Defense and Security Economics and the Middle East. She has interned at UNDP in Beirut, the Lebanese Parliament, and the World Union of Arab Bankers. She worked as a research intern at Carnegie Middle East covering the Arab Civil-Military relationship.





Kareem Ashour is Assistant Lecturer in Political Science and Public Policy at the Future University in Egypt (FUE) and the American University in Cairo (AUC). He holds a Master’s degree in Global Affairs from AUC and BA in Political Science with a minor in Public Administration from FUE and studied at Sciences Po as part of his graduate studies. He is particularly interested in research related to diplomacy, comparative politics, security studies, and international political economy with a focus on the Euro-Mediterranean region. In the aftermath of the 2011 Egyptian revolution, Ashour was involved in the ToT of the Democracy Schools at the Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Institute, and was election monitor in the Egyptian Parliamentary and Presidential elections in 2012. As part of his internships, he prepared reports directly to the Secretary-General of the Arab League in addition to doing research to Al-Ahram Center for Political & Strategic Studies. Kareem speaks Arabic, English, Italian, and French.