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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 currently a final year undergraduate at the University of Cambridge, where alongside founding his own consulting firm he has taken executive positions at several thinktanks. As well as being Editor-in-Chief of the European Student Thinktank, where he began working with Dao, he has prior experience as both Global Development Lead and Head of International Growth at Polygeia Think Tank and Head of Conference at the UK's oldest student think tank, the Wilberforce Society.

Next year, Luke will be part of the 6th cohort of the Schwarzman Scholars Programme, a global leadership course and Master's in Global Affairs based at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.


Dao Nguyen


Dao Nguyen is a Master’s student of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree as an Erasmus Mundus Scholar. He serves as the leader of many youth organisations, such as Co-Editor-in-Chief at European Student Think Tank with Luke, Director at the ASEAN-Australia Strategic Partnership, and National Representative of the United Nations Asia-Pacific Advocate Program. Furthermore, Dao has experience working for and with leading institutions in international relations, such as the United Nations, European External Action Service, Asia-Europe Foundation, and Blavatnik School of Government.

He has completed his study at 7 countries across Eurasia, bringing a strong understanding of Asia-Europe affairs.


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 interned in the public sector 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 an incoming Yenching Scholar at Peking University and will focus on researching EU-China trade relations as he begins his Master’s in China Studies this fall.

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Ziarla Malabanan

Vice President for Internal Affairs

Ziarla Mae Malabanan is a Master’s Student of International Relations at Institut Barcelona Estudis Internacionals. She is also currently serving her internship at the Programme Department of the ASEAN Foundation. In the past, she has worked at several think tanks, including Innovations for Poverty Action and Philippine Social Science Council. Alongside these, she co-founded the ASEAN Youth Engagement Summit in the Philippines.


While pursuing these lead posts in the aforementioned organizations, Ziarla has also built her career in consulting and management, exploring various industries. She has lived, studied, and worked in 5 countries, gaining an immersive understanding of different cultures and disciplines.


Jedidja van Boven


Jedidja van Boven is a Master’s student of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree of Excellence in Euroculture (Society, Politics and Culture in a Global Context), being based primarily in the Netherlands 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 (with a particular focus on intergroup relations and emotion regulation in Western and non-Western cultures). Her research background lies primarily within political and legal anthropology, although her recent work has also touched on religious studies and international law. 

Jedidja is currently following courses at Jagiellonian University in Krakow and hopes to continue her career in academia after completing her Master’s degree in 2022.


Nawathas Thasanabanchong


Nawathas is a graduate of Thammasat University, Thailand, where he served in the leadership role at AIESEC and Thammasat University Model United Nations Club. He has a demonstrated background in policy research with leading international and national organizations.


Currently, Nawathas is working as a researcher at the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI). His works mainly focus on labour development and education.


Alicia Joho

Communications Director

Alicia is pursuing a Dual Master’s Degree in Human Rights and International Relations at Sciences Po Paris and the London School of Economics. Besides her academic focus on multilateralism, diplomacy and international cooperation, Alicia serves as the Swiss Youth Delegate to the United Nations during the 2019-2021 term. Furthermore, she gained experience in the fields of youth participation, gender equality and communication through engagements in various non-governmental and student led organizations.

As 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 is currently pursuing a Master's in Euroculture at Uppsala University and Georg-August-University Göttingen where she is writing her thesis about the tensions between conspiracy theories and freedom of speech in the online sphere. Having worked at various cultural institutions including Deutsches Haus at NYU and LiteraturHaus Copenhagen, she gained ample experience in event and cultural management. Volunteering and working in over 7 different countries around the world fueled her interest in cultural diplomacy 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.

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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. 

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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. Additionally, she holds a Bachelor of International Business from University of Barcelona. During her undergraduate program, Lisa spent an academic year abroad at the University of Birmingham. 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.