Our People

Valerie Thomas, Lisbon

Manages and represents the Regulatory Institute, coordinates freelancers, writes articles at www.howtoregulate.org and comments on draft regulations. 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 has over 15 years experience working in public administration, including as an adviser to the Timor-Leste government. Ms Thomas is a native English speaker and also speaks Portuguese.

Elvira Fernando, Madrid and Lisbon

Freelance legal researcher that assists Ms Thomas in drafting articles by contributing targeted research from Portuguese and Spanish-speaking jurisdictions. She holds a Degree in Law from the University of Lisbon and has practiced law in Portugal and Spain for over 20 years. Ms Fernando is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese is her mother tongue. She also speaks well French and Italian.

Ajda Mihelčič, Brussels

Ms Mihelčič made the Regulatory Institute operational in 2016 and 2017. She now serves as a back-up to Ms Thomas except for external representation. 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 Mihelčičis fluent in English, French and Slovenian is her mother tongue. She understands Spanish and Dutch.

Karin Ulmer, Brussels

Represents the Regulatory Institute in coordination with Ms Thomas. Ms Karin Ulmer represents the Regulatory Institute in 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.