Born and raised in Athens, Erika graduated with a BA in Political Science and Public Administration from the Kapodistrian University in 2010. That same year she moved to the UK where she pursued an MSc in Environment and Sustainable Development from the University College London. After completing a year in Brussels where she worked with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Environment on the global negotiations for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Erika moved to the Middle East, where she furthered her career advocating for social sustainability and women empowerment, the global energy transition to renewables, as well as scaling sustainable innovation in support of vulnerable communities.
Growing up in a metropolis with numerous environmental challenges at a time of rapid economic growth, made Erika extremely aware about the long-term implications of development on the environment and society. Upon realising as a young adult that the 2004 Athens Olympics legacy, the summer bushfires tormenting Greece every summer and the financial crisis of 2008 were deeply interconnected, she pledged to take action to one day be part of the solution.
Her academic and professional experience to-date has allowed Erika to grasp development from a policy and planning perspective across a variety of geographies, including the UAE, the UK, Ghana, Germany, Ethiopia and the European Union.
While pursuing an international career, she has been working intensively to identify the best model for giving back to her country. Inspired by her passion for sustainability, the vast potential of Greece and her love for the homeland, Erika aspires to ignite a cultural shift in Greece whereby social service is seen as a career prospect and an opportunity to retain young talent in the country, all the whiledriving sustainable development.
Lia graduated with a BA in International Affairs and Environmental Studies from Wagner College in New York City. Upon graduation, Lia answered President Obama’s call to action for community service during the 2008/2009 financial crisis and signed up as an AmeriCorps VISTA in NYC. This led her to a career in the nonprofit sector, starting in NYC and eventually leading her to a solar nonprofit in California. After nearly 10 years in the social impact and renewable energy space, she pursued her MSc in Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey in the U.K. Graduating with distinction, Lia returned to the U.S. to work as the Climate Programs Director for the Business Council on Climate Change in San Francisco, working to incubate and scale climate solutions in the Bay Area and beyond.
Lia is Greek American, her father emigrated from Xanthi to New York for his studies. She has deep family heritage in the Komotini and Katerini regions. Born in New York City, she was raised and studied in the tri-state region. Upon graduation, she served in AmeriCorps twice – first as an inaugural member of NYC Civic Corps working to build capacity in low-income communities through revitalisation projects, adult and childhood education, financial literacy with New York Cares; and secondly as a Development Fellow at GRID Alternatives focusing on renewable energy education and job training projects.
Lia is deeply inspired by her two years of service with AmeriCorps, this experience instilled a passion for utilising civic engagement as a catalyst for positive social change. After witnessing first hand both the profound personal and community impact of a year of service, this concept became something she wanted to bring to Greece, her other home country.
Her motivation is to create opportunities for young Greeks to find meaningful work in Greece while also prioritising sustainable development.