Professor Marie Avellino

Prof. Marie Avellino is the Director of the Institute for Tourism, Travel and Culture at the University of Malta which offers programmes ranging from Undergraduate to PhD level and Chair of the Island Tourism Platform and member of various Boards and Committees.
Prior to entering academia, Marie had amassed over 30 years of tourism, training and management experience. With an MBA in Strategic Management and an Anthropology of Tourism Doctorate from the London Metropolitan University Business School, she is able to academically bridge Business and the Socio-Cultural resources found in society. This is important for the management of a sustainable tourism Industry.
She has led and managed a number of EU-Funded projects.
Prof. Avellino is the President of Malta Women Directors Malta and is the Board Secretary of the Executive Committee for EmPOWer, a platform for Maltese women’s organisations under the patronage of the President Emeritus Marie Louise Coleiro Preca.

Ms Maria Cassar

Ms Maria Cassar is an experienced Commercial and Economic Specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the international trade and development industry.
Skilled in International Business Development, International Relations, European Funding, Entrepreneurship and Market Research she brings her passion and commitment to advancing the empowerment of women and girls in all their diversity across society, politics, and the economy to the leadership team at Women Directors in Malta.
As part of her current portfolio, she leads the U.S. Embassy local initiative #BreakTheGlass which addresses challenges in economic empowerment, career development, and representation for women.

Ms Brigitte Tanti

Ms Brigitte Tanti is an experienced lead director with a demonstrated history of working in international trade and development, mainly focusing on SMEs. Experienced in EU policy on regional development, SMEs and innovation, she specialises in connecting opportunities, identifying and facilitating strategic partnerships and piloting new approaches.
She has an extensive range of senior-level experience, spanning more than two decades and enjoys a strong and proven track record in collaborative innovation and regional, and international business support programmes, projects and networks.  Brigitte is acknowledged for her input in designing and directing national business support programmes for high-growth potential and innovative businesses and has been instrumental in bid development and winning funding for programmes focused on economic impact.
Brigitte has a first degree in Business Management and has read for a Master in Knowledge-based Entrepreneurship, both at the University of Malta.  She is also a qualified business mentor and a certified innovation management assessor.

Ms Sonya Sammut

Ms Sonya Sammut is a policy scientist and a lecturer at the University of Malta. As part of the leadership team at Women Directors in Malta, she brings her insights and experiences in organisational behaviour, business advisory, and training to support and promote the group’s agenda, which is that of helping women build upon their natural talents and mature in the skills set needed to drive human progress in leadership and entrepreneurship.
With 28 years’ work experience in the public and in the private sector, Sonya has created a unique profile and a reliable network as a highly competent and trustworthy professional, locally in Malta and at the EU level.  She is currently serving as Malta’s Ambassador for Organic and Sustainable Food. Sonya holds a Master in Knowledge-based Entrepreneurship, a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Sciences, and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Biology.

Dr Michelle Gialanze

Dr Michelle Gialanze has extensive experience within the field of education and research both locally and in Europe. Her professional research studies have included the way people change their practices when taking on board new skills.
During the past twenty years she has trained individuals in several spheres ranging from University students to professionals wishing to take on new practices. In the past seven years Dr Gialanze has conducted research for several entities in her capacity as a researcher. These have included looking at the work skills needed by the employer, commissioned by the EU, benchmarking exercises, and also looking at the impact of e learning. She has worked as a consultant in education for the Minister of Education in Malta focusing on linking Industry with Education. She presently lectures for Leeds Trinity University online and is a practicing artist.

Ms Ediana Guillaumier

Ms Ediana Guillaumier leads People Advisory Services and EY Connect Learning for EY Malta.
Ediana has worked with various local and international clients and has worked in a number of locations including UK, Germany, Italy, Greece, Switzerland and the US. She focuses on training needs assessments, cultural transformation, performance management, change management and talent management. Ediana has coordinated and project managed learning programmes, mobilising teams, resources and content, for the efficient delivery of high-quality courses. She has seamlessly transferred the offering to a virtual setting and successful organised training for large organisations. Throughout her work, she has acted as a mentor and counsellor for staff, provided in-house training, facilitated events, participated in firm-wide initiatives, and actively contributed to the firm’s committees.
Ediana has also served as tutor and examiner at the University of Malta. Ediana is a Certified Public Accountant, a member of the Malta Institute of Accountants and a certified Facilitator for EY.

Ms Joanna Ripard

Ms Joanna Ripard is an international-focused Communications Director and a former journalist and editor with a career spanning more than 30 years. A writer by vocation, Joanna is passionate about the use of language in effective communication and common narrative and a staunch believer that opportunity paves the way for equality and fairness. Joanna has a son and holds a Master in Business Administration from Henley Business School.

Ms Kylie Decelis

Ms Kylie Decelis graduated from St. Aloysius Sixth Form and is now a Third-Year Bachelor of Commerce Student at the University of Malta, majoring in Accountancy and Marketing. She hopes to undertake the Master of Science in Strategic Management and Digital Marketing next year and is currently an intern at EY Malta.
She holds student activism very dear to her heart and is the current Financial Officer within Kunsill Studenti Universitarji (KSU) within the University of Malta. She previously was the  Secretary General for The Association of Students of Commercial Studies (ASCS).
Kylie joined Women Directors in Malta because she believes that her own personal goals are parallel to the organisation’s goals – those of supporting gender diversity, equal access, and equal opportunities for all genders, and, above all, freedom and choice in everything one does.