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EEE-YFU Team

The EEE-YFU is the structure that works to advance and support in Europe, on a non-profit basis, the mission of Youth For Understanding (YFU), which is to advance intercultural understanding, mutual respect and social responsibility through educational exchange for youth, families and communities.

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Gregory Matheson

Secretary General

Gregory Matheson is the Secretary General of YFU's Global Office and National Director of YFU France. Gregory is responsible for overseeing the work of the Global Staff and for implementing the Global Strategy of YFU. He holds a degree in Law and European history. Gregory has been involved with YFU since 2013, when he took over the management of YFU France. He has been involved with YFU as a Director, host father, volunteer and counselor and is fiercely committed to the values and projects of Youth For Understanding, recognising the power of its mission and its volunteer communities and the transformative value of it's work for individuals and for communities around the world.

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KEA HOPPE

Deputy Director & Global Programs Director

Kea Hoppe is the Deputy Director of YFU’s Global Office and the Director of Programs & Products, located in Brussels, Belgium. In her current role, she is responsible for effectively ensuring program quality, managing program capacities and strengthening and enhancing existing and developing new programs and products, to meet the needs of our customers and enhance our impact globally. Kea holds a master's degree in Psychology from the University of Göttingen, Germany, the country she is originally from. Having been a YFU exchange student herself, she loves working with passionate colleagues from around the globe for a cause she truly believes in. She has been involved with YFU as a staff member since 2006, first working for YFU Germany in different management positions before moving to the international level of YFU in January 2017. Until January 2019, she was the Director of EEE-YFU, the umbrella organization of YFU in Europe, making her even more a believer in active global citizenship than before.

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MARZENA GAWENDA

Training & Knowledge Manager

Marzena is YFU's Training & Knowledge Manager. Her responsibilities include designing and implementing training courses and capacity-building projects for YFU volunteers and staff, obtaining funds and grant-writing for educational projects as well as managing the European Trainer Network. Originally from Poland, she has lived, worked and studied in Italy and Spain and is currently based in Belgium. Marzena is not only a trainer, coach and facilitator, but also an art therapist, deeply interested in body-mind-soul connection. She has extensive volunteer experience in NGOs, including AEGEE, SIETAR, First Light India, and Toastmasters.  Working with YFU makes it possible for her to be the witness of countless a-ha moments and transformations during training courses, international friendships being forged and exceptional ideas turning into sustainable projects. Marzena holds an MA in Ethnolinguistics and a post-master specialisation in Art Therapy, Forum Theatre and Vedic Art. She has over 15 years of practice in the Training Field and her work experience ranges from designing educational projects for NGOs to organising strategic retreats and teambuilding activities for businesses, to running transformative personal retreats for individuals.

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ANDREEA MADAR

Projects & Advocacy Coordinator

Andreea comes from Romania and she was an exchange student with YFU in Germany in 2011/2012. She speaks 5 languages and has many hobbies: skiing, graphic design and tennis to name the most important. She holds a Bachelor diploma in European Studies and International Relations from the Babes-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca and a Masters in Political Strategy and Communication at the University of Kent. During her studies in Brussels, she has been working with EEE-YFU supporting Educational Activities, and has also been involved in Advocacy and developing promotional materials.

She is currently in charge of YFU's advocacy campaigns and of coordinating the biggest event in YFU, the Young European’s Seminar, which brings together 500 YFU students and volunteers every year.