People

Leonie van Tongeren – Fund Manager

Léonie van Tongeren is the Fund Manager of Civitates. Prior to joining this multi-donor initiative, Léonie spent five years at the Open Society Foundations, where in addition to managing grants she provided high level programmatic support to the Regional Director for Europe, mostly in relation to managing strategic elements of the Open Society Initiative for Europe. Prior to joining Open Society, Léonie worked for three years as an advisor at the International Catalan Institute for Peace. She has also done project and trainee program management at the Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom, and Security of the European Commission, the Human Rights Cluster of the Ministry of Justice of the Netherlands, and at the Permanent Mission of the Netherlands to the United Nations.

Léonie received her BA (cum laude) and LLM (cum laude) in law from Utrecht University and an LLM in international relations from the Barcelona Institute for International Studies. Her curriculum included two semesters at Sydney Law School and at the Université de Genève. Léonie speaks Catalan, Dutch, English, French, and Spanish, has a good understanding of German, and is currently studying Norwegian.


Roy Virah-Sawmy – Fund Assistant

Roy Virah-Sawmy is the Fund Assistant of Civitates. He joined NEF as an intern in March 2017 and has been present since the inception of this initiative. With an academic background in law, he worked in the legal field in Mauritius, his home country and also has experience in journalism.  He had the opportunity to live in Mauritius, England and France.  His personal and professional life has now led him to Brussels.

Roy holds a LLM in Human Rights Law and International law from the Brussels School of International Studies (University of Kent) and a LLB, English and French law, from the University of Kent and University of Bordeaux. Roy is fluent in English and French.