Welcoming our new colleagues


Helene Schmutzler

After her undergraduate studies in International Relations and Organizations, Helene Schmutzler (she/her) proceeded with a M.Sc. in Sustainable Development, where she acquired both ecological and social insights into complex problems. With a strong passion for environmental politics, she specialized in land rights and agriculture. Helene also has international working experience in academic research about EU environmental politics, in a policy think tank writing about natural resources, and at the Policy and Public Relations Office from Biodynamic Federation Demeter International, an NGO specialized in organic and biodynamic agriculture. There, she worked on the topics of Antimicrobial Resistance and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Helene is looking forward to starting the new position at IFOAM Organics Europe as Policy Assistant working on the pressing issues of GMOs and organic textiles in September.

Ilsa Phillips

Ilsa Phillips joined IFOAM Organics Europe as a Research and Innovation Coordinator this September. She obtained both her bachelor’s and master’s degree from Wageningen University, specializing in Sustainable Land Management. After graduating, she did several internships at NGOs working on agroecology, worked at the International Water Management Institute in Sri Lanka and at Wageningen University as a junior researcher. In the weekends she can often be found helping on the organic farm of her parents in the Netherlands.

Laura Sauques

Following her ESC at IFOAM Organics Europe, Laura Sauques joined IFOAM Organics Europe as a Policy Assistant on Sustainable Food Systems. After a bachelor’s in law, she obtained a master’s in International Trade Relations. After graduating, she worked in a think tank in Paris with a strong focus on environmental law and Corporate Social Responsibility, and an internship with an environmental NGO in Strasbourg focused on water management, working on advocacy and projects. Laura is looking forward to starting the new position at IFOAM Organics Europe as Policy Assistant working on the pressing issues of Sustainable Food Systems, encompassing Sustainability labelling and public procurement.


Kalle Köster

Kalle has a genuine interest in food and its associated cultural aspects. With roots in environmental psychology, he decided to dedicate his time and energy to issues surrounding food systems. This has led him to study Agroecology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Science. Simultaneously he has led and contributed to a multitude of projects concerning the cultivation and consumption of grain legumes in the Swedish context.  Kalle will be part of the Policy Unit in the coming months.

Hannah Gläser

With background in environmental sciences and sustainability studies, Hannah will join the Projects & Partnerships Unit as a short-term trainee. Her interests lie in the functioning of alternative food networks, public perception on agriculture and the sociology of food. One day she would like to start an organic farm. At IFOAM Organics Europe she is looking forward to getting to know the different partners that support the organisation and learn more about agricultural policy.

ESC Volunteers

Marie Filippovits

Marie describes herself as a 22 year old Austrian with a big passion for climate related politics. She studied Sociology in her Bachelor and has been active with many different political youth groups. Her interest for the field of agriculture has grown in the last years, frequently discussing with friends on the importance of radical change in the global agricultural system to tackle the climate crisis. She believes strongly in the power of collective action in comparison to individual one and therefore finds network building one of the most important political aspects.  Next to all of this, she is very interested in music, playing various instruments herself and enjoys inviting friends for cooking every once in a while.

Elena Fazio

Elena has a background in international relations and foreign languages. In the past, she worked in the both the private and public sector, with a focus on communications and public policy. Elena was also part of different associations. She is very passionate about the environment and how it is communicated to the public. In her free time, she enjoys drawing and walking in nature. Elena will be working both in the Membership and Events Team and the Communications Team.

The volunteering project is funded by the European Solidarity Corps programme of the European Union. The sole responsibility of the content lies with the author and communication reflects only the author’s view. The National Agency and the European Commission are not responsible for any use that may be made of the information provided.

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