Annual General Meeting:
Victim Support Europe arranges an Annual General Meeting (AGM), which is often preceded by a two-day annual conference. The preparation of the conference and AGM is overseen by the Executive Board. At the AGM, Victim Support Europe’s members are informed about the activities undertaken during the past year. They are also consulted and able to influence future activities of the organisation.

The AGM is also responsible for electing Executive Board members.

President

  • João Lázaro

    President of the ‘Associação Portuguesa de Apoio à Vítima’ (APAV), Portugal

    João Lázaro is currently the President of Victim Support Europe (VSE). As President of the Executive Board João, among other things, represents the organisation to others, presides all meetings, ensures decisions are made in a timely manner and translated into meaningful actions and facilitates the accomplishment of VSE’s strategic goals.

    Holder of a Bachelor degree in Law and a post-graduate degree in Victim-Offender Mediation and Restorative Justice, João is also a practicing lawyer and the Executive President of the Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV), a founding member of VSE.

    He has long experience in leading governance roles. Within VSE alone, João has been a member of the Board since 2008 and was elected President after four years serving as its Vice-President. He developed extensive work in the field of victimology and has dedicated his career to advocate for the rights of victims of crime.

Vice Presidents

  • Helgard van Hüllen

    Vice-President of Weisser Ring Germany

    Helgard van Hüllen is Vice President of Victim Support Europe and Deputy National Chair of Weisser Ring Germany, where she is also a Member of the Advisory Board for Education and Training. Dr. van Hüllen is also head of Weisser Ring’s branch in Bad Tölz/Wolfratshausen in Bavaria and has over 20 years of experience in delivering support for victims and running victim support organisations.

    Dr. Helgard van Hüllen began working as a volunteer with Weisser Ring in 1993 and became a member of the board in 1998.

  • Richard Olszewski

    For the past 30 years, Richard Olszewski has developed skills and expertise in important fields: resilience of territories, digitalisation and victims support and assistance. “Giving 20% of your time to people to develop a fairer, more socially just and sustainable society” is one of his mottos. With deep convictions and strong values (local politician, director of several associations, professor-researcher), Richard Olszewski is strongly engaged in risk-management activities. He has always been driven by both an entrepreneurial vision and at the same time been animated by local and field-based activities.

    His expertise in the field of territories digital transition and support to cyber victims bring Richard Olszewski to create “Option Public” in collaboration with the urban community of Lens-Liévin. Richard Olszewski is president of this group of companies working on cybercrime.
    He is also involved in many other clusters, which focus on cyber security and victim support. He is managing activities and leading workshops in important professional trade shows (Préventica) and through a specialized magazine (Préventique) in which he has made a substantive contribution.

    The association France Victims, (Richard Olszewski being the President) is the leading partner of the Haut de France Region, in the cyber victims support field.

Executive Board

  • Geraldine Hanna

    Treasurer

    Geraldine Hanna has been the Chief Executive of Victim Support NI since February 2015 and in February 2016 she was crowned as the Best Newcomer of the Year in the CO3 Leadership Awards. Geraldine has 16 years’ experience in the victims’ sector and has been the driving force in establishing the Witness Service in courts across Northern Ireland. She has been integral in the development of key initiatives to improve services for victims and witnesses of crime including the Victim’s Charter, Achievement of Best Practice Guidance and Registered Intermediaries. She is passionate about the rights of victims of witnesses. Geraldine regularly volunteers with SOS BUS NI, helping vulnerable people on the streets of Belfast.

  • Leena-Kaisa Åberg

    Executive Board Member

    Leena-Kaisa Åberg has been the Executive Director of Victim Support Finland since March 2014. Leena-Kaisa has a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Helsinki University. Before leading VS Finland she worked mainly in other Finnish NGOs, such as the Finnish Red Cross where she spent twelve years. Leena-Kaisa has extensive experience in international co-operation, having been a member of several Nordic and European networks.

  • Livija Plančić

    Executive Board Member

    Livija Plančić worked at the Split- Dalmation county Police Department. Encouraged by her professional experiences in relation with the victims rights as well as her long-term engagement to marginalized groups in society she founded Bijeli Krug (the White Circle of Croatie Association) in 2011. Bijeli Krug is the only NGO in the Dalmatian area who’s primary mission is victim  help and support regardless of sex, age and regardless when the crime happened. Ever since, as the president of the White circle Croatia Livija Plancic developed the organisation in a recognizable and a quality member in the victim support system, not only locally but also nationally, warning the government institutions of their drawbacks and underdevelopment of the Croatian victim support and help system, suggesting ways to improve according to the European laws and European practice working with victims.

  • Gábor Veisz

    Executive Board Member

    Dr. Gábor Veisz has been working in the field of victim support since 2009. Between 2011 and 2017 he was head of the Victim Support Unit of the Hungarian Office of Justice (later Ministry of Justice), thus being responsible for the professional coordination of the Hungarian victim support system. The Hungarian state organisation for victim support became an associate member of VSE during his leadership. Also, Hungary was among the first to transpose the regulations of the 2012 Victim Support Directive in 2015. After leaving public service, he started his own legal practice in Győr in western Hungary and became a member of Fehér Gyűrű Közhasznú Egyesület/White Ring Association, the longest standing victim support organisation in the country. He has university degree in law from Budapest (MA) and from Dundee (BA).

  • Olga Kostina

    Executive Board Member

    Olga Kostina is a prominent Russian journalist and human rights activist. Founder and Chair of Victim Support Foundation Russia (formerly – Soprotivlenie) since 2005. Olga was a member of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation (2008-2014), which brings together human rights activists to find solutions to the most topical governmental and social issues.

    Olga is a member of Public Councils at the Federal Bailiff Service and the Investigative Committee at the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation; member of the State Commission on Crime Prevention; member of the Presidential Coordinating Council for Implementing the National Children’s Strategy and one of the trusted confidants of the President of Russia during his 2012 and 2018 elections.

  • Tobias Koertner

    Executive Board Member

    Tobias Koertner is a psychologist/psycho-social counsellor and team leader for victim support at Weisser Ring Austria. In that role he is responsible for leading and coordinating the victim support teams of Austria as well as their victim emergency hotline. He is also a representative of Weisser Ring Austria at Radicalisation Awareness Network.