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 is the Executive Secretary of the Regulatory Institute ASBL, Brussels. 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.

Ajda Mihelčič, Brussels

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, Brussels

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, Brussels

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 NGO in the field of political asylum. Since 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, also in view of improving the overall architecture of this regulatory system. Thereafter, he worked on the improvement of the EU law on medical devices. Today, he is Team Leader for the Construction Products Regulation, again in charge of a 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.

Since 2007, he inventoried in his private capacity regulatory techniques used in EU legislation. 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 law-makers. 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. Manfred Kohler nowadays continues his fundamental research on regulation, publishes the occasion 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.