Our People

Valerie Thomas, Portugal

Manages and represents the Regulatory Institute, conducts research, coordinates freelancers, writes articles at www.howtoregulate.org and comments on draft regulations. She is the President of the Regulatory Institute ASBL, Brussels. Ms Thomas has over 15 years experience working in public administration and policy, both as a Commonwealth public officer and as an adviser to the Timor-Leste government. She holds Degrees in Law (Honours) from the University of Canberra (Australia) and in Politics, Sociology and Philosophy from Murdoch University (Australia). Her Masters Degree in International Relations is from Deakin University (Australia). She was previously licenced to practice law in the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory (lapsed since relocating to Portugal). Ms Thomas is a native English speaker and also speaks Portuguese.

Dr Stanislav Chernopiatov, Ukraine

Dr Chernopiatov is the Regulatory Institute’s representative for Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. He is an Associate Professor of Law at Dnipro Humanitarian University where he teaches various subjects, including Corporate Law, Comparative Law, Theory and Practice of Law Application, Lawmaking and Legal Techniques, Principles of Judicial Proceedings, and Labor Law. He was previously an Associate Professor of Law at the Alfred Nobel University (2016-2020, Ukraine) and a Law Lecturer at the Dnipropetrovsk State University of Internal Affairs (2011-2016, Ukraine). He completed his PhD Law thesis on “Protective Labor Legal Relationships” at the Dnipropetrovsk State University of Internal Affairs in 2016. Dr Chernopiatov’s scientific interests, include: regulatory methodology; legal coercion and legal liability; and civil-like court procedures. He holds a Masters Degree in Philology (Honours, 2020, Alfred Nobel University) and from the Dnipropetrovsk State University of Internal Affairs, a Masters of Law (Honours, 2011) and Law Degree (Honours, 2009).

Outside of academia, Dr Chernopiatov worked as an Assistant to the Authorised Person for Prevention and Detection of Corruption at the Alfred Nobel University, elaborating and introducing local anti-corruption regulation, policies and practices. He has also been an assistant-consultant to the Regional Council Deputy of Dnipropetrovsk (2016-2020) and participated in the election procedure for the 2019 Ukrainian presidential election as a member of the District Election Commission. He also maintains a commercial practice for companies and natural persons, and has been the legal adviser to Makhaon-Invest LLC since 2017. He is a native Ukrainian and Russian speaker and is fluent in English.

Sarra Nsir, Tunisia

Researcher and representative of the Regulatory Institute for Africa and the Middle East, Ms Nsir has an excellent academic background and rich experience in civil society. Currently, Ms Nsir is working towards her PhD on “International investment law and environmental law” at the Faculty of Judicial, Political and Social Sciences of Tunis, where she also teaches Property Law. Ms Nsir interned with the National Democratic Institute in the Tunisian parliament over 2020 to 2021, where she made amendment proposals, assisted in meetings with government members and analysed bills discussed in parliamentarian committees. She completed both her Masters Degree in International Commercial Law (2021) and her Law Degree (2018) at the Faculty of Judicial, Political and Social Sciences of Tunis (Tunisia). Ms Nsir is an Arabic native speaker and speaks French and English fluently.

Gitanjali Sreedhar, India

Researcher and representative of the Regulatory Institute for South Asia, Ms Sreedhar has a Bachelors Degree in History and Law Hons. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Law in Environmental Law at Stockholm University. Ms Sreedhar has worked in the National Green Tribunal, New Delhi’s special environmental courts for environmental issues and the Supreme Court of India under the mentorship of Mr Ritwick Dutta and Mr Rahul Choudhary, Trustees Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment who recently won the Right Livelihood Award. She previously worked for Clean Air Asia India as a Program Associate, working on air pollution research, capacity strengthening programmes and prepared training modules on “Level of Air Pollution”, “City Clean Air Action Plan” and “Low Emission Urban Development”. She is a native Tamil speaker and fluent in Hindi and English. 

Yurii Bilozor, Ukraine

Mr Bilozor assists the Manager with research and other projects of the Regulatory Institute. He previously worked in legal translation and currently works in international legal compliance. Mr Bilozor holds a Masters Degree in Law from the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv (2020, Ukraine). He is fluent in English and Russian, and Ukrainian is his mother tongue.

Mayra Quijano, Spain

Ms Quijano is responsible for the Regulatory Institute’s communications, social media accounts, coordinating meetings with government technical teams, and presenting the Institute’s work to regulatory authorities around the world. She holds a degree in International Studies from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (2019, Spain) and is currently pursuing a Law Degree from the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (Spain). She holds two specialisations, one in Latin American Studies from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and one in International Relations from the Academia Diplomática del Perú. She is a fluent English speaker and a native speaker of Spanish, Catalan and Italian. Ms Quijano also understands Portuguese.

Ajda Mihelčič, Belgium

Ms Mihelčič made the Regulatory Institute operational in 2016 and 2017. She now serves as Member of the Regulatory Institute ASBL, Brussels. She holds a law degree of the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia) and an Advanced Masters in Human Rights of the St. Louis University (Belgium). Ms Mihelčič is fluent in English, French and Slovenian is her maternal language. She understands Spanish and Dutch.

Karin Ulmer, Belgium

Represents the Regulatory Institute in coordination with Ms Thomas. Ms Karin Ulmer represents the Regulatory Institute in Brussels and is a Member of the Regulatory Institute ASBL, Brussels. Ms Ulmer has a twenty years track record in political and organisational representation in Brussels. She acts for many organisations, including the European Churches. Ms Ulmer is fluent in English, French, and German is her mother tongue.

Manfred Kohler, Belgium

Mr Kohler holds two German state examination in law and a French degree of public management (ENA). He has worked for UNHCR and was previously a director of a German political asylum NGO. In June 2001, he was the first Head of the German press department of the European Parliament in Brussels and in parallel responsible for environmental legislation. Since April 2004 he has been working for the European Commission. First he coordinated the positions of his Commission colleagues and of Member States in the UNECE forum for vehicle legislation, representing both the EU and its Member States. At that time, he revised over 100 UNECE regulations and improved the overall architecture of the regulatory system. He also worked on the improvement of the EU law on medical devices. Currently, he is Team Leader for the Construction Products Regulation, again responsible for comprehensive legislative reform. He also works on the integration of environmental assessment methods into other product legislation and often gives input to other pieces of regulation, including those with horizontal application such as the EU Whistleblowing Directive.

In his private capacity, he inventoried the regulatory techniques used in EU legislation in 2007. From late 2010 to early 2014, he trained over 300 colleagues in regulatory techniques and provided support for their regulatory projects. He also developed a working method for lawmakers. In 2014 he formalised the training manual he used for training his colleagues by integrating good practices from other jurisdictions – this became the 1st edition of the Handbook. In 2015 he created howtoregulate.org and in 2016 the Regulatory Institute immediately took over the responsibility for howtoregulate.org. Nowadays Mr Kohler continues his fundamental research on regulation, publishes the occasional how to regulate article and provides methodological input to the Regulatory Institute. He thereby continues to enlarge the knowledgebase on which the Regulatory Institute operates.