The ETNO Director is supported by a team with responsibility for specific aspects of the Association’s work. The team undertakes Secretariat functions for the Association and engages in advocacy efforts on behalf of ETNO members.

  • Lise Fuhr
    Director General

    Lise is Director General of ETNO, the Association representing Europe’s leading telecom operators, which she joined in 2016. Lise is also the Chairwoman of the Boards of Public Interest Registry (.org domain name registry) and the Public Technical Identifiers (PTI), formerly IANA, and affiliate of ICANN. She is also a Board member of European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO). In August 2022, Lise has been nominated as a member of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum Leadership Panel, serving a two-year term.

    Prior to joining ETNO, Lise was Chief Operating Officer of DK Hostmaster and DIFO, the company managing .dk domain names. From September 2014 to October 2016, Lise also chaired the Cross Community Working Group for the IANA Stewardship Transition, building on her strong network within the internet community. Lise has 20+ years of experience in the internet and telecoms industries. She is a lifelong member of ATV – the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences – an independent think tank that utilises the combined knowledge of more than 800 Fellows and partner members – for the benefit of future generations. +32 (0)2 227 10 87
    Lise Fuhr
    Director General
  • Alessandro Gropelli
    Deputy Director General - Strategy & Communications

    Alessandro Gropelli is ETNO’s Deputy Director General and Director of Strategy and Communications. He joined ETNO in 2013 and he is an expert of tech and telecoms policy. Alessandro is also a Member of the Board and the Treasurer of GeSI, the Global e-Sustainability Initiative.

    Prior to joining ETNO, Alessandro was European affairs advisor at Vodafone Group and vice-chairman at m-commerce working group of GSMA Europe. In 2010, he worked in the Brussels team of Telecom Italia. In 2009, as public relations officer at the European Parliament, he implemented the information campaign for the 2009 European Elections in Northern Italy.

    He holds an Executive MBA from Copenhagen Business School (2021). He graduated in public management from Bocconi University in Milan (2009) and did an exchange at the Hitotsubashi University of Tokyo (2008). He also completed Executive Education courses at the MIT (Leadership, 2018) and Berkeley Haas (Negotiations, 2016).

    Alessandro speaks English, French and his native language is Italian. +32 (0)476 94 18 39
    Alessandro Gropelli
    Deputy Director General - Strategy & Communications
  • Paolo Grassia
    Director of Public Policy

    Paolo joined ETNO in August 2017 as Head of Regulatory Affairs. Since May 2019, Paolo is ETNO's Director of Public Policy. He oversees ETNO’s work and institutional engagement on a range of regulatory and policy issues, including privacy and data protection, data economy, cybersecurity, and digital services.

    Paolo joined ETNO from the economic section of the United States Mission to the EU, where he covered tech, telecoms, and data privacy as a policy advisor. Prior to that, Paolo was a consultant with APCO Worldwide and with Community Public Affairs. In his consulting roles, he advised global companies in various sectors, with a particular focus on tech and telecoms. Paolo started his career with two internships, respectively at DG COMP in the European Commission and in the EU affairs team of Telecom Italia. He holds a Master’s degree from Bocconi University in Milan and completed an Exchange programme at Seoul National University.

    In January 2017, Paolo was granted with the U.S. Department of State Meritorious Honor Award for his outstanding service on digital economy issues. He is also a Certified Information Privacy Professional and Manager by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). +32 (0)2 227 10 80
    Paolo Grassia
    Director of Public Policy
  • Maarit Palovirta
    Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs

    Maarit has an extensive expertise in telecoms, broadband and internet matters. She joined ETNO from the Internet Society, where she served as a Senior Manager Europe and where she has acquired strong experience of broadband policies as well as extensive links with internet and tech stakeholders. Maarit also had direct experience of the telecoms business during her 6 years at Cisco and has developed a strong service-oriented, hands-on profile acquired in leading consultancies Interel and Schuman Associates. She also has a strong European academic background from the College of Europe, LSE, King’s College and SciencesPo. Maarit is a Finnish national, she also speaks English and French. 022271083
    Maarit Palovirta
    Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs
  • Gabriel Daia
    Senior Communications Manager

    Gabriel Daia joined the ETNO team in November 2016.

    At ETNO, Gabriel leads on communications, media and events, including the Financial Times - ETNO, POLITICO, MLex. Moreover, he supports the team in writing content, coordinating the group of communications professionals within the ETNO Membership and oversees strategic media partnerships. 

    He had previously worked as Project Manager Assistant for EU40, the network of young Members of the European Parliament, in Brussels (2014-2016). He is co-founder of a student association in Brussels promoting cultural events, active since 2013.

    He holds a BA in Economic Management (Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, 2012) and a MA in Management Science (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 2014).

    His favorite passion is playing piano and organizing his concerts.

    Gabriel speaks English, French, Romanian and basic Dutch.

    You can follow him on Twitter here or on YouTube here +32 (0) 483 50 98 86
    Gabriel Daia
    Senior Communications Manager
  • Muriel Hirschfeld
    Office Manager

    Prior to joining ETNO, Muriel worked for several years for Cable Europe as Digital Communications, Events and Office Manager and in Communications and Public Affairs for Cosmetics Europe. Moreover, Muriel has held various types of administrative management positions within industries such as pharmaceutical, congress organisation and travel in London, Tel Aviv and Brussels.

    Muriel holds a Masters degree in English and Spanish translation from the Institut Supérieur de Traducteurs et Interprètes (ISTI) in Brussels. Muriel speaks English, French and Spanish. 022271081
    Muriel Hirschfeld
    Office Manager
  • Ross Creelman
    Public Policy Manager

    Ross joined ETNO in November 2019 as Public Policy Officer. At ETNO he will focus on the online platform economy, e-commerce and end-user protection. Ross began his career in EU public policy at the European Court of Auditors in Luxembourg. Following this, he spent two years consulting in EU tech policy in Brussels, working for a variety of clients on cybersecurity, the review of telecoms policy, competition and data issues. He holds degrees from the University of St. Andrews and Sciences Po Paris. 

    He speaks English, French, German and Spanish. 

    Ross Creelman
    Public Policy Manager
  • Xhoana Shehu
    Policy Manager

    Xhoana joined ETNO in September 2020 as an intern in Regulatory Affairs and became Policy Officer in March 2021. She supports the work of the regulatory and public policy team, particularly on digital infrastructure, data economy, spectrum policy and international affairs.

    Before joining ETNO, Xhoana completed internships at the French General Secretariat for European Affairs (SGAE), working on foreign affairs and VoteWatch Europe.

    She holds degrees in European Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges and Sciences Po Grenoble.

    Xhoana is French and Albanian and speaks English and German.

    Xhoana Shehu
    Policy Manager
  • Marcel Planagumà
    Digital Communications Officer

    Marcel joined ETNO in April 2022 as the new Digital Communications Officer, and supports Gabriel and Alessandro ensuring the delivery and promotion of ETNO’s communication work, media outreach and the success of ETNO's events, and managing daily communications including the association’s website, newsletters and social media accounts.

    Prior to joining ETNO, Marcel managed communications for several non-profit organisations including the Brussels-based Union of European Federalists (UEF) and garagErasmus Foundation (gE) or the Catalan Association of Political Science (Colpis), and supported events organization and press relations for a communications agency (Philinks). He also counts with a working experience in the field of consultancy at Barcelona (utrans), and a traineeship one at the European Economic and Social Committee.

    Born in Barcelona, he holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Administration by Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, 2011) -including an Erasmus exchange at the Karlova Univerzita in Prague- and a Master’s Degree in Political and Social Communication (FCRI Blanquerna-URL, 2013).

    Marcel is fluent in Catalan, Spanish, English and French.

    Marcel Planagumà
    Digital Communications Officer
  • Benedict William Gromann
    Policy Manager

    Benedict joined ETNO’s regulatory and public policy team in February 2023. His primary areas of focus within ETNO are competition, Artificial Intelligence, cybersecurity and social dialogue.  

    Prior to his time with ETNO, he worked as a Senior Policy Officer in the Brussels office of a national fibre association, where he gained broad ranging experience in European telecommunications policy and related EU legislative initiatives.

    As a graduate of the Economic University of Vienna and the Austrian Diplomatic Academy, he started his carrier path in European public affairs at the Secretariat of the European Parliament.

    Benedict is bilingual in German and English. +32 475 75 10 44
    Benedict William Gromann
    Policy Manager
  • Fabiana Victoria Iovino
    EU Project Manager

    Fabiana joined ETNO in February 2023 to support the policy team’s work on monitoring policies and supporting working groups management. Prior to that, she completed two internships at the Italian Consulate General in Caracas as Personal Assistant to the Consul General and within the EU Public Affairs team of CONCILIUS Europe in Brussels.

    Fabiana holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Sciences from LUISS University in Rome and a Double Master’s degree in European Studies from LUISS University and Université Libre de Bruxelles.

    Fabiana is an Italian & Colombian national. She speaks fluent English, Italian and Spanish, and she is currently learning French.

    Fabiana Victoria Iovino
    EU Project Manager
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