• Levent Altan

    Executive Director

    Levent is responsible for providing overall leadership, strategic direction and management of the organisation. He has been Executive Director of Victim Support Europe since November 2014. Before joining Victim Support Europe, he worked as Principal Legal Advisor at Milieu Ltd, a multi-disciplinary consultancy, where led a team running various multi-country projects on justice and home affairs. He worked twice for the European Commission (DG Justice) as a national expert. During that time he was responsible for drafting and negotiating the EU Directive establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime. Prior to this, Levent had been working for around 10 years as a UK civil servant in the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office and the Cabinet Office.

    Languages: English, French

  • Aleksandra Ivankovic

    Deputy Director

    Aleksandra is a widely respected human rights lawyer with a passion for justice and equality for all. She has supported several international organisations, governments and NGOs and has developed her capacities in this field of rights of women and persons with disabilities, linking her work with some key human rights agencies and procedures. Previously Project Manager of Victim Support Europe, in August 2018 Aleksandra has been appointed as our new Deputy Director. In VSE, she is responsible for supporting the executive director in the development and implementation of the VSE’s strategic plans and policies, and to provide leadership and direction to the VSE team. Before joining VSE, Aleksandra has worked at the European Court of Human Rights, litigated on behalf of victims with disabilities and managed several European human rights projects.

    Languages: English, French, Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian, Macedonian and basic Italian and Spanish

  • Mazen Alsiufi

    Finance Officer

    Mazen Alsiufi joined VSE as Financial Officer in 2018. In this position, Mazen is responsible for the overall financial strategy and direction at VSE. Within finance, he manages the financial system (overseeing daily bookkeeping, payments and invoicing), overall budget, financial reports, internal and external financial audits, and grant applications for funding to pursue the company’s growth strategy.

    Prior to joining VSE, Mazen held previous Finance Coordinator roles with Save The Children International and Syrian Arab Red Crescent. Throughout his career in accounting, auditing and financial planning, Mazen has established a reputation for aligning financial metrics to support organization’s strategy and high-growth.

    Languages: English, Arabic

  • Marina Kazakova

    Communications Officer

    As communications officer at VSE, Marina Kazakova is responsible for strategic communications planning, knowledge dissemination and outreach to the key audiences that we seek to influence. Before joining VSE in 2018, Marina served as Communications Officer at the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE) and as Journalist at the Word Magazine, Brussels. A newsperson at heart, Marina sees storytelling as the binding thread in her career. She is currently the Continental Europe Committee’s Representative to the NUJ’s New Media Industrial Council (NMIC) and Retention and Recruitment officer at the Brussels branch of the National Union of Journalists (UK and Eire).

    Marina received a master’s degree in public relations from State Linguistic University of Nizhny Novgorod, an advanced Master in Transmedia from Sint-Lukas Brussel, and is recently working on her PhD on lyric film-poetry at KU Leuven.

    Languages: English, Russian, Dutch

  • Ruth Mary Shrimpling

    Policy Officer

    Ruth joined VSE as Policy Officer in 2018. With an academic background in Law and professional experience working in social services, Ruth is an adamant defender of universal human rights and the fundamental freedoms of all individuals and groups. As Policy Officer, Ruth is responsible for supporting the development of policy guidance, recommendations and expert advice on victims’ rights, needs and services. She also coordinates work on cross-border crime issues, including supporting VSE’s terrorism response network. In addition, Ruth may be seen representing VSE at conferences, seminars, or liaising with external organisations and the media.

    Prior to joining VSE, Ruth campaigned for the universal right to healthcare on behalf of Médecins du Monde, where she also spent four years working on the frontline with the most excluded members of our society.

    Languages: English/French bilingual. Basic Spanish and Italian.

  • Léa Meindre-Chautrand

    Policy Officer

    As Policy Officer, Léa is responsible for managing and implementing projects and supporting the development of policy guidance, recommendations and expert advice on victims’ rights, needs and services. Before joining VSE in August 2018 as a Policy Assistant for a 6-month internship, Léa worked with the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) in Brussels and the Human Rights House Foundation in Geneva where she gained experience in UN and EU advocacy, research and legal analysis on the human rights situation in different countries. She also coordinated the involvement of several civil society organisations based in Geneva, Washington and New York in the nomination process of the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. Léa completed her Master’s Degree in international and European human rights law at the Catholic University of Lille, France.

    Languages: English, French

  • Inês Nunes de Freitas

    Project Officer

    Inês joined VSE in 2019 as a project officer. She started her research in human rights during her law studies, where she specialised in victims’ rights for her Criminal Law Master. She has extensive first-hand experience at the Portuguese Victim Support Association, where she worked for many years as a Victim Support Officer, and later as Office Manager providing legal and overall support to victims of crime. She worked with Portuguese NGOs and alongside universities as a researcher on sexual crimes and violence against children in the criminal justice system, including children victims of crimes, corporal punishment and domestic violence. She also advocated and engaged in policy development concerning human rights in multiple projects co-funded by the European Commission, working both at the international and national levels. In one of these projects, the HandsUP project, she co-developed, amongst partners from four European countries, actions plan that aimed the abolishment of corporal punishment against children. Inês has also participated in a bilateral cooperation between a Greek organisation and a Portuguese confederation in a project built to develop the reception and local integration of unaccompanied minors.

    Languages: Portuguese (native), English, French, Spanish

  • Keti Varoshlija Botterman

    Administrative Assistant

    Keti joined the VSE office as Administrative Assistant in 2019. She is responsible for the general coordination and support to the office, assisting in HR administration activities and carry out additional administrative tasks. Prior to joining VSE, Keti was working in different NGOs in Macedonia active in the field of human rights and youth support as administrative assistant, project coordinator and project assistant.

    Languages: Macedonian, English, Dutch, Serbian, Croatian, basic Italian and Bulgarian 

  • An Verelst


    An Verelst is a clinical psychologist, researcher, victim specialist, and project manager. An worked as a trauma psychologist in war-affected regions in Northern Uganda and Eastern Congo. In Eastern Congo she managed a victim support NGO and carried out a large scale quantitative and qualitative study on the psychosocial consequences of sexual violence during and after the armed conflict. During this research project she acquired the necessary skills to carry out qualitative and trauma-sensitive interviews and participatory action research with vulnerable victims.

    From 2015 until 2018, she worked as policy officer and Deputy director of Victim Support Europe, among others on the issue of Compensation for victims of violent crime. She carried out desk research, developed surveys and carried out interviews with victim support organisations and national compensation authorities on compensation of victims with a particular focus on cross-border victimisation. Currently, An works as a coordinator of the RefugeesWellSchool project for Ghent University and volunteers at V-Europe and Victim Support Europe. As a volunteer she works on improving support and compensation for victims of terrorism in Belgium, Europe and internationally, with governmental and non-governmental stakeholders.

    Languages: English, French, Dutch

  • Oleksandra (Sasha) Boychenko


    Since the beginning of 2018, Sasha has been conducting research with Victim Support Europe on a variety of topics, including Compensation for victims of crime and Mapping the EU law and policy on victims of crime. She has also been working on developing content for the VSE website as well as the Intranet. Before joining VSE, she volunteered at APAV, the Portuguese Association for Victim Support. Sasha is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Migration, Inter-ethnicity and Transnationalism at Universidade NOVA de Lisboa in Portugal. She also occasionally translates books from English into Ukrainian and teaches English independently.

    Languages: English, Portuguese, Ukrainian, Russian

  • Pamela Dalby


    Pamela Dalby is a global nomad and has lived, worked, and travelled in some 60 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. With a background in customer service administration, Pam has been involved with education and training for over 20 years. She started teaching English as a second language to students in 1995, having moved from Scotland to Micronesia where she was recruited by the Community College of Micronesia. Pam and family then moved to Warsaw where, as leader of the International Women’s Group, she honed her networking skills. Her next move was to Brussels in 2002 where she returned to English teaching with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. In addition, she mentored PhD students as well as providing a series of annual communication-based seminars: writing, presentations, public speaking, etc.

    Pam was head-hunted by Boston University’s Brussels-based program in 2008, on the basis of her networking experience. She worked for the BU graduate program till the end of 2013 and was involved in recruiting students as well as providing seminars and workshops across Europe and the Middle East. Since returning to Scotland in early 2014, Pam currently works as a part-time exam invigilator for the University of the Highlands & Islands, as an ad hoc consultant for CNG Services Ltd. and is part-time program manager for Boston University’s Study Abroad Brussels (summer) program. In addition, Pam now volunteers with VSE as a proof-reader in her spare time.

    Languages: English, French, German, basic Spanish

  • Janina Ellsäßer

    Policy Assistant

    Janina joined VSE in October 2019 as a Policy Assistant.
    In September 2017, she finished her law studies at Humboldt University Berlin and then started with the legal traineeship in Neuruppin, Germany. The last months of this legal traineeship,  from the beginning of October till the end of December 2019, Janina spends at Victim Support Europe.

    During her legal traineeship in Neuruppin, she gained insight into the work of a judge and into the work of a public prosecutor. They, as a group of trainees, also visited a prison. They talked a lot about the conditions there and about the responsibility one has as a judge or criminal prosecutor, having the power to punish and even to imprison people. All the time at the court it was Janina’s task, to focus on the (suspected) offender and to try to find out everything about his personality and – of course – especially about the crime. The victim of the offence was in this role only interesting as a witness. Quite often she had to think about their thankless task in the legal proceedings.

    This is why Janina would like to change perspectives at the end of her legal traineeship and see how an organisation like VSE carries out projects, that focus on the  victims of criminal offences and the question of how to support them.

    Languages: German, English

  • Myriam Erquicia León

    Policy Assistant

    Myriam joined VSE in October as Policy Assistant. She studied International Relations in Madrid, and obtained a European Master in Human Rights and Democratisation from the Global Campus of Human Rights in Venice. She has previously interned for UNRWA (the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees), the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, mainly focusing on migration and refugee issues. She has also worked for PICUM, an umbrella NGO which supports the rights of undocumented migrants.

    Languages: Spanish, French and English