Our team

Leonie van Tongeren - Fund Manager

Fund Manager Leonie 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. 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, including 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 - Programme Officer

Roy joined NEF in March 2017 as a trainee. Since January 2018, Roy is the Fund Assistant for Civitates. He holds a LLB, English and French Law from the University of Kent, Canterbury and a LLM in Human Rights Law and International Law from the Brussels School of International Studies(University of Kent). Roy previously worked in the legal field in his home country, Mauritius and also has experience in journalism. He had the opportunity to live in Mauritius, England and France. His personal and professional life led him to Brussels.

Ekaterina Mandova - Programme Officer

Ekaterina Mandova joined NEF as a Programme Officer for Civitates in April 2020. She holds a master degree in Journalism, Media and Globalisation and one of her passions is radio production. Throughout the years, she has been involved in different journalistic projects and initiatives around Europe. As a journalist, she has worked for private and community media outlets in Bulgaria and Austria. Before joining Civitates, Ekaterina worked for different organisations on topics related to social and environmental issues. She speaks Bulgarian, English, and German fluently and is trying to improve her skills in French, Danish and Hindi.