Speakers 22.9.2020


Mihail Dumitru is currently Deputy Director General at the European Commission’s DG Agriculture and Rural Development, a position he was appointed to in January 2017. After graduating from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, Romania, he worked 3 years in a large state-owned farm in Prahova county, South Romania. After this experience he moved into economic research carrying research studies in agricultural- and rural economics at the Institute of Agricultural Economics Bucharest a constituent institute of Romanian Academy where he was head of a research department. In 1995 he joined the Delegation of the European Commission in Bucharest where he followed the whole process of Romania’s accession to the EU, being in charge of agriculture and other related sectors. In 2006 he joined DG AGRI where he was in charge of negotiation of the first rural development program (2007-2013) of Romania co-financed by EAFRD. In 2010, Dumitru became Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in Romania and re-joined the European Commission in early 2011 where he took over a directorate in charge of Rural development programs.
Felipe González Márquez is one of the key political figures in the history of Spain in the second half of the twentieth century. A major figure in the democratic transition process, he was the third President of the Government of Spain from the restoration at the end of the 1970s and is the longest standing holder of the post of president, covering four parliaments and a total of thirteen and a half years. The modernisation of Spain and its full integration into the European concert took place during his years in government between 1982 and 1996. Although he is now retired from politics, the former president continues to be active in various areas of Europe and Latin America.

Markus Natri is Brand Strategy Lead and partner of Valve Group – a leading business-to-business marketing agency headquartered in Helsinki.  Markus has over 25 years’ track record as brand strategist, copywriter and creative lead in international industrial branding and marketing communications with special expertise in the forest industry. His distinctions as creative planner and copywriter include Grand Prix for Best International Campaign planned in Finland , The  Best PR Campaign of the Year, Gold Effie for Best international B2B Campaign,  Gold Award for best innovative marketing campaign, etc. Before joining Valve Group Markus held several executive positions including over 8 years as CEO and Chairman of leading business-to-business agency Konsepti Group.    

Dr. Eva Müller is Director General for Forests, Sustainability and Renewable Resources of the German Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL). She has more than 35 years of professional experience in international forestry, with a focus on forest policy and sustainable forest resource management. From 2004 to 2018 she worked in leading positions with increasing responsibility at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome. As Director of Forestry Policy and Resources she was responsible for all results, programs and activities of FAO’s technical work in Forestry. Ms Müller has a Masters Degree in Forestry from Yale University, USA, and a PhD in Natural Resources from the University of Hamburg, Germany.

Marc Palahí is the Director of the European Forest Institute and responsible for leading the organisation towards an acknowledged pan-European science-policy platform. Previously he led EFI’s policy support activities and during this time was instrumental in launching ThinkForest, a European high-level science forum on the future of forests. He has also worked as Head of EFI’s Mediterranean Facility, EFIMED. He has a PhD in forestry and economics and an MSc in forestry engineering.
Göran Persson served as Prime Minister of Sweden from 1996 to 2006 and was the leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party from 1996 to 2007. Since leaving office, Mr Persson has been a consultant for the Stockholm-based PR firm JKL. He is also a Member of the Board of the World Resources Institute, and the President of the European high-level forum on the future of forests, ThinkForest, facilitated by EFI.  
Janez Potočnik is the current ThinkForest president. He is also Co-Chair of the International Resource Panel hosted by UNEP, Chairman of the Forum for the Future of Agriculture and RISE Foundation and a Member of the European Policy Centre's Advisory Council. After a successful career in Slovenia as a researcher at the Institute of Economic Research, Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development, he was appointed Head of Negotiating Team for the Accession of Slovenia to the EU (1998). He was also Director of Government Office for European Affairs (2000), Minister Councillor at the Office of the Prime Minister (2001) and Minister responsible for European Affairs (2002). In 2004 he joined the European Commission, first as shadow Commissioner for Enlargement, then as Commissioner responsible for Science and Research, and from 2010-2014 as Commissioner for Environment.

Professor Eeva Primmer is the Research Director of the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), a multidisciplinary research and expert institute. She is a forester, with a PhD in agriculture and forestry and is Adjunct Professor in environmental policy at the University of Helsinki. As a researcher, she has studied policy instruments and implementation, institutions and governance of ecosystem services, biodiversity, forests, natural resources, energy and sustainable development. Her research work has been carried out in projects ranging from short evaluations to multi-year large collaborations, financed by the European Union, the Academy of Finland and Finnish ministries. She is a member of the United Nations International Resources Panel (UN-IRP) and the Finnish Forest Council.

Helga Pülzl is a senior scientist at the Institute of Forest, Environmental and Natural Resource Policy and an EFI Associate in the Forest Policy Research Network at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU). She is a political scientist with a Phd on global forest policy-making within the United Nations and an MA from the University of Vienna. Previously to joining BOKU, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Salzburg in comparative political science and an Erwin Schrödinger fellow at Rutgers University, Newark (USA). Her research experience are in the fields of comparative public policy analysis that include studying policy change, governance, evaluation and implementation in the areas of international, European and national forest policy. Furthermore, she investigated citizens’ and policy-makers perspectives on forest ecosystem services and bioeconomy.

MEP Petri Sarvamaa is a former journalist and a Finnish MEP since 2013. He is currently a full member of the AGRI Committee and member and Vice-Coordinator of the EPP Group in CONT committee. He also holds the position of Vice-President in the EPP's internal Working Group on Budget and Structural Policies. He is the rapporteur for the European Parliament's Own Initiative Report on the EU Forest Strategy post-2020.

Bernhard Wolfslehner is Research Network Coordinator of EFI’s Forest Policy Research Network. Previously he has worked as a researcher at the Institute of Silviculture, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna. He was also an advisor for the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests (MCPFE), as well as the Austrian Forest Dialogue. His expertise includes sustainable forest management, criteria and indicators, non-timber forest products and services, biological diversity and multi-criteria decision support.