The Secretariat

Ms. Michele LeVoy (Director)

Michele joined PICUM in March 2002 as a researcher on the organization’s first EU project on solidarity towards undocumented migrants in Europe. She became director in April 2006. She was previously coordinator of an international Master Degree program in human ecology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and coordinator of a European multicultural society youth program at Pax Christi International. She has worked with resettled refugees in Chicago, USA, and with migrants in Brazil. She holds a Bachelor degree in French and Justice and Peace Studies from the University of St. Thomas and a Master in Applied Sciences (Housing and Development Program) from the Université Catholique de Louvain.

Languages: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish. She also speaks some Dutch and Italian.


Ms. Lilana Keith (Interim Programmes Director)


Lilana started in her position as Programme Officer in May 2012 after being Project Officer for PICUM’s project on Undocumented Children since March 2011. Prior to this, she worked for the European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM), which funds organizations working on migration and integration issues. She has also worked on community-building and integration initiatives for migrants, regardless of status, in a suburb of Washington D.C. Lilana holds an MA in Migration Studies from the University of Kent Brussels School of International Studies, where she focused her research on international, EU and British human rights and migration laws and policies regarding irregular migrants and asylum seekers. She also holds  a BA in Social Anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies. 

Languages: English and French


Ms. Eve Geddie (Programmes Director) - On maternity leave until the end of 2015 -


Eve leads PICUM’s project on Undocumented Migrant Women. She joined the PICUM team in January 2007, working on the access to health care project before twice serving as Acting Director (maternity-leave replacement). Prior to this, Eve worked in Ireland’s community development and NGO sector, providing services to disadvantaged groups and also campaigning for regularisation. She holds a European Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC, Venice, Italy) and a BA(Hons First Class), in English, Media and Cultural Studies (DLIADT, Dublin).

Languages: English and French


Ms. Alyna C. Smith (Programme Officer, maternity leave replacement until December 2015)


Alyna joined PICUM in May 2015 as Programme Officer, with a special focus on access to health care and access to justice for undocumented migrants. In particular, she is leading the development of policy briefs on undocumented women’s access to sexual and reproductive health services in the EU, and on the EU Victims’ Directive. Before coming to PICUM, Alyna was an associate at White & Case LLP where she had an extensive pro bono practice, representing indigent defendants in criminal court, an undocumented minor in family and immigration courts, and analyzing questions of international and human rights law for civil society organizations. Her prior work experience includes a clerkship with Canada’s Federal Court and work on ethics & genetics as well as access to medicines for the World Health Organization. Alyna holds a bachelor’s degree in human biology and ethics, a master’s degree in philosophy, and a degree in law from the University of Toronto.

Languages: English, French and Spanish


Ms. Kadri Soova (Advocacy Officer)


Kadri joined the PICUM team as a Project Officer in October 2009. She became Advocacy Officer in November 2010. Previously she worked as an Adviser on social rights for the Chancellor of Justice of Estonia. She specialized in children’s rights and also worked as a consultant for SOS Children’s Villages in Estonia. Kadri studied Law at the University of Tartu in Estonia and did her Masters Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation at the Inter-University Centre in Venice and University of Padua in Italy. Her academic studies were focused on the rights of migrants.

Languages: Estonian, English, Italian, Dutch. She also speaks some Finnish, Russian and French.

Ms. Maria Giovanna Manieri (Programme Officer)


Maria Giovanna Manieri develops PICUM’s legal strategies and is responsible for the management of the two working groups on migration policies and legal strategies. Maria Giovanna contributes to the policy and advocacy work, institutional relations, alliance building and external representation of PICUM. This includes speaking at events, drafting position papers and PICUM’s submissions and responses to relevant legislative and policy developments within the European Union. She also represents PICUM before the Frontex Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights. Maria Giovanna joined the PICUM team in September 2012. Prior to that, she worked as human rights lawyer in the UK. She specialised in migration policies and also worked on the issue of internal forced displacement at the Italian embassy in Bogotá, Colombia. She studied law at the University of Bologna in Italy and at the University of King’s College in the UK. She also holds a Master's Degree in Diplomacy and International Relations from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Diplomatic School and is a qualified lawyer and member of the Spanish Bar Association.

Languages: Italian, English, Spanish and French. She also speaks some Afrikaans.


Ms. Elisabeth Schmidt-Hieber (Communications Officer)

Elisabeth joined the PICUM team in February 2013 as Communications Officer. She manages all communications related activities including media relations, publications and newsletters as well as online communications, social and audiovisual media and the communications of PICUM’s projects and events. Elisabeth is German and previously worked in the corporate communications team of a global public relations agency in Brussels where she mainly supported the communications of clients in the field of development aid, philanthropy and renewable energy. Prior to that, Elisabeth worked in the communications team of a disability rights NGO in Brussels.

Languages: German, English, Spanish, Portuguese and French


Mr. Paul Geeraerts (Director Finance)


Paul joined PICUM in March 2010 as Office and Financial Administrator. Previously, he was Director of Finance and Administration at Avocats sans Frontières for one year, he covered different positions in finance at the International Planned Parenthood Federation for 8 years and before that at Warner-Lambert for 10 years. He holds a BA in accounting and fiscal law.

Languages: Dutch, French and English.


Ms. Mercedes Miletti (Membership and Events Coordinator)


Mercedes is in charge of all general administration of PICUM’s office including the preparation of internal and external events and relations with PICUM’s membership. She also assists the communication, advocacy and programme officers on different projects. Mercedes joined PICUM as intern in June 2013 and became Administrative Assistant in September 2013. Prior to this, Mercedes did field research for her masters’ thesis on Filipino migration both in Brussels and in the Philippines with a scholarship from the Belgian government. She also worked for the Center for Migrant Advocacy in Manila and volunteered for two years at OR.C.A, a PICUM member organisation in Belgium, supporting  their project on undocumented domestic workers. Mercedes is Argentinian with Italian citizenship and holds an Msc in Cultures and Development Studies from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. She graduated in Political Sciences and International Relations at the Universidad Catolica Argentina in Buenos Aires.

Languages: Spanish, Italian, English and French.

General queries: info(at)

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