Who We Are – Davinci Institute People

As a think-tank, the DaVinci Institute initiates discussions, engages in conversations and curates information on innovation-focussed collaboration. Through its network of experts and consultancy services, the DaVinci Institute supports European organisations, projects and collaborations through tailored management, training and dissemination services.

DaVinci Office

Benita Lipps, Executive Director

Benita Lipps Executive Director DaVinci Institute Brussels

With a background in non-profit management, Benita Lipps has more than 10 years of experience in managing European projects, networks and collaborations both within organisations and as a consultant. She is a board member of the European Society of Association Executives (ESAE)  a member of the German Society for Culture and Cultural Politics (Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft) and a co-founder of the European Gender Summit. Before joining the DaVinci Institute, Benita was the Head of the Conference Unit at the European Science Foundation, where she restructured the ESF Research Conferences Scheme, creating quality assurance mechanisms and new partnerships, new series and new funders.

With her interdisciplinary background, Benita is focusses on supporting collaborations between creatives from science, society and culture through sound management, communication and engagement practices. She is regularly invited to speak about association  management and acts as independent expert and evaluator to the European Commission.
→ Contact→ Full profile on LinkedIn | → Twitter @benitalipps

Dr. Thibaut Lery, Director

Thibaut LerryDr. Thibaut Lery is presently the Director of the Research and Evaluation Committee of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. Previously, he has been Senior Science Officer for more than 6 years at the European Science Foundation (ESF) in Strasbourg, France.  He is an associated Professor at the University of Strasbourg, teaching Project Management at Master level at the Ecole de Management de Strasbourg – Business School, and at the Ecole Supérieur de Biotechnologie de Strasbourg (ESBS). He has been working as an expert for the European Commission (Research infrastructures, Marie Curie Programmes,  Future Emerging Technologie, DG Research, DG INFSO, the Irish and Norwegian governments). He has a PhD in computational and theoretical astrophysics. He was previously involved in the Irish National grid, the Irish Computing Center ICHEC, in European project such as EGEE, EARNEST, JETSET, HET and PRACE. Previously, he has been holding teaching and research positions in France, Canada, Ireland and Congo.
→ Full profile on LinkedIn

Emma Rushen, Project Coordinator

Emma RushenEmma Rushen is an international project coordinator with a background in finance and accounting. After starting her career in the finance and industry she moved on to managing diverse projects in the field of education and non-profit management. Emma has worked in both Australia and Europe and is the key contact for DaVinci’s work with the European Society of Association Executives.


Tessa Groen, Project Manager

Tessa GroenTessa Groen is a DaVinci Institute project manager, working on research and engagement projects. With a background in sociology, she has worked in events, education and humanitarian action. A native Dutch speaker, Tessa has gained international experience with NGOs and projects in Armenia, Ukraine, Georgia and Russia.


Charlemagne Geron, Senior Administrator

Charlemagne Geron is an experienced administrator with a background in marketing and communications. She has worked in the areas of digital publishing, creative industries, education and events, thus being able to support many of DaVinci’s projects and initiatives. Charlemagne has extensive international experience, having worked in Europe, Australia and China.


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