Meeting room

Our People

Meet Our Board

Our team is entirely youth-led, with committee members from across Europe and Asia united in their commitment to strengthening cross-continental relations and inspired by the opportunities of digital cooperation.

Do you want to get in touch with a board member? Check out the contact information


Luke Cavanaugh


Luke is a recent first-class graduate of the University of Cambridge and is currently based in Beijing as a Schwarzman Scholar. Alongside founding his own consulting firm at university, he has taken executive positions at several think tanks, including as co-President of STEAR. Elsewhere, Luke has experience working in business and the public sector, and is currently attempting to synergise the two in his work at the British Chamber of Commerce in Beijing and as one of eight young people on the ITU’s Global Visionaries Board. After graduation, Luke will join the Boston Consulting Group in London.


Dao Nguyen


Dao Nguyen is a Yenching Scholar and Baixian Asia Future Leader at Yenching Academy, Peking University. After finishing the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Program as an Erasmus Mundus Scholar, he is selected as the EANGAGE Research Follow of the European Union in Singapore. Currently, he is working as the Consultant and Global Youth Trainer on Meaningful Youth Engagement at UNESCO Paris. Dao is passionate about international cooperation, social inclusion, and digital connectivity. At STEAR, he hopes to enhance youth participation in public policy and strengthen cultural exchanges between Europe and Asia.


Daniel Tafelski

Vice President for External Affairs

Daniel is from Germany but was born and raised in Shanghai, China. He graduated from Humboldt University of Berlin with a BS in Economics and studied Political Science at UC Berkeley as a Fulbright scholar. He has worked in public sector consulting and strategy consulting as well as the German and European Parliament, deepening his understanding of the challenges faced by businesses and governments. He comes from a background of advising startups, NGOs, and multinationals and has worked in academia as well the social-impact space throughout Asia.

Daniel is a Yenching Scholar at Peking University, studying towards a Master’s in China Studies where he focuses on researching EU-China relations. He is also involved in organising the Yenching Academy’s flagship international conference, the Yenching Global Symposium.

Ziarla Malabanan photo.jpg

Ziarla Malabanan

Vice President for Internal Affairs

Ziarla is a Project Specialist for the ASEAN Capacity Development for Cybersecurity Programme at the ASEAN Foundation. She obtained her Master’s Degree in International Relations at Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals and her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Research (Cum Laude) at the University of the Philippines. In the past, she worked for NGOs and think tanks, including Innovation for Poverty Action and Philippine Social Science Council. Alongside these, she co-founded the ASEAN Youth Engagement Summit in the Philippines.


Jedidja van Boven


Jedidja van Boven is a Master’s student of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree of Excellence in Euroculture, based primarily at the University of Groningen. She is an experienced editor and copywriter, having worked for student newspapers as well as research journals, and has published several articles on intercultural communication, the sociology of (EU) law, and new religious movements. Her research specialization is focused on the sociology of religion, especially with regards to contemporary dynamics of religion in Europe, built on a broader background in political anthropology and anthropology of religion.

Jedidja is currently writing her Master's thesis at the University of Groningen and hopes to continue her career in academia after completing her degree in 2022.


Nawathas Thasanabanchong


Nawathas Thasanabanchong is a Master’s Student of Business and Managerial Economics at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, with the Konrad Adenauer Scholarship for Social and Innovative Development (KASSID). He, currently, serves as a part-time project manager at Looloo Technology. Nawathas has two years of work experience as a policy researcher at the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) with a demonstrated policy research background with international organisations, such as UNICEF and ILO, and Thai government agencies. His research background lies within labour development and youth employability development. Nawathas has served many leadership roles in youth organisations, including AIESEC in Thailand, TedxYouth@Bangkok, and Thammasat Model United Nations.


Alicia Joho

Communications Director

Alicia is pursuing a Dual Master’s Degree in Human Rights and International Relations at the London School of Economics and Sciences Po Paris. Besides her academic focus on multilateralism, diplomacy and international cooperation, Alicia has worked for the UN Executive Office of the Secretary General, supporting the Gender Unit. Earlier, she served as the Swiss Youth Delegate to the United Nations, and gained experience in the fields of youth participation, gender equality and communication through engagements in various non-governmental and student led organizations.

As Young Leader at the Asia-Europe Summit and Student Representative at the 14th Asia-Europe Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and alumna of the National University of Singapore, Alicia is looking forward to fostering cross-continental relations and cooperation.


Stella Meyer

Communications Director

Stella recently graduated with distinction from Uppsala University and Georg-August-University Göttingen where she was reading Euroculture. An expert in transatlantic relations, she wrote her thesis on the tensions between online disinformation, deplatforming  and freedom of speech, comparing the US-American and European approaches to these issues. Having worked at various cultural institutions including Deutsches Haus at NYU and LiteraturHaus Copenhagen, she gained ample experience in cultural diplomacy and event management. Volunteering and working in over 7 different countries around the world fueled her interest in international relations and foreign policy. As Communications Director she is hoping to get more young people excited about Europe-Asia relations and to create an (inter)-active community.


Emika Otsuka

Conference Director

Emika Otsuka recently graduated from Carleton College, MN, USA with a bachelor's degree in Political Science/International Relations. She currently works at a trading company in Tokyo, Japan while planning to pursue a master's degree in International Affairs and Economic Development.


Emika has served as the Executive Committee member for multiple youth-led conferences including the 70th Japan-American Student Conference and the Youth 20 Summit Japan 2019 as well as being part of the international youth NPO, the Human Projects, as the Executive Assistant. She is interested in promoting youth engagement in the field of public diplomacy through international exchange.

Copy of IMG_2625.JPG.jpg

Aamna Khan

Conference Director

Aamna Khan is currently a Chinese Government Scholarship student pursuing a PhD in International Relations at SIPA, Jilin University, China. She is an independent researcher and writer for various national and international media outlets including CGTN.


She is a social and peace activist associated with numerous youth-led global organizations including Youth Opportunities which is the largest opportunity discovery platform for youths across the globe presently, serving as their Global Ambassador for China and Regional Coordinator for East and Central Asia. 


Jumpei Ishimaru


Jumpei Ishimaru is a Japanese Government Scholarship student pursuing a master’s degree in Development Studies at Institute of Development Studies in the UK. Jumpei has participated in the Japanese governmental program, Ship for World Youth, and done internships for an international NGO in Japan and the United Nation Development Programme in Mozambique. He is interested in the cooperation of Euro-Asia countries and the role of the private sector in the international development field. At STEAR, he aims to enhance the youth exchange between Asia and Europe in terms of culture and politics.

Bildschirmfoto 2021-02-20 um

Lisa Ji


Spanish born Chinese based in Barcelona and currently working as a Financial Auditor at PwC, but with deep interest in Europe – Asia affairs. Lisa has prior research experience on the relationship between the European Union and China, focused on topics such as Free Trade Agreement and the Belt Road Initiative. Recently graduated from Masters in Financial Management and Audit at Pompeu Fabra University and Masters in Internationalization at University of Barcelona. Prior to joining PwC, Lisa interned at the Catalan Trade and Investment Agency in Shanghai as Junior Trade and Investment Officer by helping and advising both Chinese and Catalan companies with their internationalization process in new markets. Lisa speaks Spanish, Catalan, Chinese, English and some French. 

Koen Donatz- Sec Gen.jpg

Koen Donatz

Secretary General

Koen is a Dutch-Taiwanese master student of China & Globalisation at King’s College London. His main interests are international politics and diplomacy, and China’s role herein. He obtained two prior masters, in International Relations and International Security, graduating cum laude from both degrees. Koen’s interest in Asia has been fuelled by time spent at Peking University, Fudan University (Shanghai) and Keio University (Tokyo). He has served in leadership positions at several student organizations and has advocated for student interests at universities for over 5 years. Koen has moreover gained professional experience as an intern at the Dutch House of Representatives and the Netherlands Public Prosecution Service. An avid Model United Nations fan, Koen hopes to start a career in diplomacy or public service after graduation.