In November the EFIL Board of Directors met in Krakow/Poland.  It was the first meeting of the EFIL Board in its new composition since the Board elections in June (extra-ordinary General Assembly in Lisbon/Portugal).

The new Board mandates were decided on as follows:

Chair : Ekaterina Bagdasarova

Deputy-Chair: Philipp Wagner

Treasurer: Bart van Doveren

Secretary: Sinemis Candemir

Other Board members are Jatta Erlund, Sabine Siegrist and Andrea Franzoi.


Ekaterina (Katya) Bagdasarova first joined the Board of EFIL in May 2013 (EFIL General Assembly, Belgrade/Serbia) and held the position of Secretary of the Board since then.

Katya has been volunteering for more than 20 years performing various tasks including host family and participant selections, family and student orientations, counselling, etc.  As head of the national pool of trainers in Russia, she conducted local and national trainings for volunteers and trainers. All of this makes her familiar with the needs and challenges of AFS organisations at various levels.  Katya served on the Board of AFS Russia from 2009 until 2015, as Vice-Chair and Board member in charge of International Relations.  With this mandate, she attended several international meetings, including AFS World Congresses.

Since 1998, Katya has been a participant at a number of EFIL seminars and trainings.  Over the past decade she has worked very closely with EFIL, including an active role since 2009 as a trainer in the European Pool of Trainers (EPOT) and under EFIL’s Traveling Trainer scheme delivering training sessions for volunteers and members of staff.  She conducted workshops at the EFIL Volunteer Summer Summits (VSS) in 2009 and 2010, and was part of the preparatory team of the VSS in Hungary in 2010.  In 2012 she participated in the “Qualifying Trainer Workshop II” organised by AFS International and got qualified as a trainer of Intercultural Learning.  In 2015 she joined some of the EFIL staff as a qualified GCC trainer (Global Competence Certificate) to support EFIL’s role as the European coordinator of the MIRAI programme sponsored by the Government of Japan.

Katya’s intercultural experience did not end after she completed her exchange programme in Harvard Massachusetts in 1995. Having done a BA in Chinese linguistics in the Institute for Asian and African Studies of Moscow State University, she spent two years in China studying and teaching English as a second language. Shortly afterwards she became a teacher in Russian and Mandarin Chinese in the UK. Last year Katya obtained a MA in hermeneutics. She is currently based in Moscow where she works as a freelance trainer on cross-cultural communications.

Please  join us in welcoming Katya as EFIL’s new Chair of the Board of Directors.