Katrin Sturm

Secretary General

mob: +32 476 91 37 24

Katrin has been working in Brussels since 2001. At AECM since November 2013, Katrin has worked for the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (BDA), for the German Savings Banks Association (DSGV) as well as for the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts and Small Businesses (ZDH) being at the same time the EU Representative of the Association of German Guarantee Banks (VDB).

She graduated from the University of Passau (Germany) in Law, was at the University of Angers (France) for the Erasmus project, then passed the second state exam in law in Potsdam (Germany), and finally acquired a Master of Law from the University of Aberdeen (Scotland).

Next to her mother tongue German Katrin speaks English, French, Italian and Spanish, understands Dutch and reads Portuguese. Katrin is Honorary Consultant of Taiwan SMEG, a credit guarantee institution specialized in supporting SMEs in Taiwan in getting access to finance. She is married and has three children.

Alice Awad

Office, Event and Communication Manager

mob: +32 472897324

Alice has a degree in Political Science and Communication from University La Sapienza, Rome. She has been working in Brussels since 2016 and before joining AECM, she served as an assistant to a Member of the European Parliament.
At AECM, Alice has multiple roles in the areas of meetings and event organization, external and internal communication, supporting the association’s accounting, and everyday management of the office.
Besides her mother tongue Italian, Alice speaks English, French, and Spanish. She is married and has a child.

Felicia Covalciuc

Agriculture, State Aid, Structural Funds, Products/services including non-financial services

mob: +32 472 13 71 51

Felicia, who has the Moldavian and Romanian nationality, studied European Law at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Romania, as well as Political Science at Bologna University, Italy. She complemented her professional profile with a traineeship at the European Commission, Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, and used to work for the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Moldova. At AECM, Felicia is responsible for Agriculture, State Aid, Structural Funds and products/services including non-financial services policy dossiers including the responsibilities for the corresponding AECM working groups. Next to her mother tongue Romanian, Felicia also speaks English, French, Italian and Russian.

Simon Thibaud

Policy Officer
EU Financial Instruments, Regulatory Affairs, Sustainable Finance, Studies and Impact

mob: +32 476 90 61 94

Simon, both French and American, studied Liberal Arts and Sciences at Leiden University, and International Relations and Economics at La Sorbonne. He worked in the department of international relations at Caisse des Dépôts, promoting long-term investment and cooperation with partner institutions and development banks. He then completed a traineeship at the European Commission, Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs, working on InvestEU Governance and Advisory. At AECM, Simon is responsible for EU Financial Instruments, Regulatory Affairs and Sustainable Finance policy dossiers, including the responsibilities for the corresponding AECM working groups, as well as statistics and impact studies. Besides his two mother tongues, French and English, Simon speaks Spanish.

Mihriban Tatli


Mihriban Tatli is a German intern studying European Business at the Regensburg University of Applied Sciences. After gaining experience in Media Computer Science at the University of Regensburg, she pursued her passion for entrepreneurship by helping to build the family’s gastronomy business, which includes a successful restaurant and catering services. With over 15 years of basketball experience she enjoys using the sport to foster cultural exchange and community engagement. As an intern, she will contribute to the team by facilitating communication in multicultural contexts. Her commitment to global engagement extends to supporting organizations like UNICEF and AIESEC in their missions for positive social impact. Mihriban speaks German, Turkish and English.

Jean-Louis Leloir

Special Adviser to the Board of Directors

Jean-Louis Leloir graduated from the French High Business School ESCP in 1975.

He has filled over a period of 40 years various management responsibilities, mostly in the field of loan guarantee schemes, in the French public development institution supporting SME financing, called Bpifrance (formerly OSEO), which is a leading benchmark in the area of public guarantee schemes.Formerly Area Manager, then Credit Department Manager and Chief Auditor, he was for 12 years Head of Technical Assistance and Consulting, addressing acquired expertise to foreign guarantee institutions, in assignments from Donors and International Institutions (World Bank Group, AFD, OECD, and European Commission). His missions took place in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Egypt, Djibouti, Madagascar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Belgium, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Latvia.

Since 2015 he is Special Adviser to the Board of Directors of the European Association of Guarantee Institutions.

Giuseppe Gramigna

Senior Adviser to the Board of Directors

Giuseppe’s work focuses on advising national, multilateral and non- profit entities on how to best assist SMEs. His area of expertise includes: (i) national SME policies, (ii) SME assistance programs, (iii) program benchmarking, performance and impact evaluations, (iv) credit risk monitoring and evaluation, and (v) portfolio and partner risk management. Giuseppe works with international organizations such as the AECM, the World Bank, and the IFC SME Finance Forum. He lectures at several academic institutions, and severs on scientific committees of several publications.

In the past he has worked with the OECD, the APEC, and the ASEAN. At the U.S. Small Business Administration Giuseppe served as the Agency’s Chief Economist, where he advised the Agency on economic trends affecting small businesses, and led research on economic impact evaluations and strategic planning. He served as the Chair of the interagency subcommittee on Evaluating Business Technical Assistance Programs (E-BTAP), a group responsible for developing best practices for implementing economic impact evaluations within the U.S. Federal government. He also served as the U.S. Permanent Delegate and Vice Chair to the OECD Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship.

Before joining the U.S. Small Business Administration, Giuseppe headed the consulting firm DASSI Corp. His other areas of interest include the natural resource sectors, construction industries, tourism, and regional economic development.  Giuseppe earned a BA in economics from The State University of New York at Purchase, and a graduate degree in economics from The New School For Social Research.

José Manuel Aguirre

Special Adviser to the working group law and regulation

José Manuel Aguirre is the International Institutional Head of AIS since 2001.

Aguirre, Doctor in Economics by the Buenos Aires University, was born in La Coruna (Spain) in 1950, although he has lived in Argentina for almost 40 years. He also lived in Boston, USA, for four years.

He has been active in the world of banking for 30 years working for US, Mexican and Argentine Banks. Aguirre has been head of Credit at City Bank, Vice-President at the Bank of Boston (Massachusetts, USA); Credit Manager at the Argentine Banex (now Supervielle); General Manager at Bank of Cordoba (Argentina) and Credit Manager at Bansud (now Macro Bank), organization which was part of the Mexican Banamex-Citybank.

José Manuel Aguirre has also been consultant for organizations like the Argentine Central Bank, Banco de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, the Commercial Bank of the Philippines and the Bank of Chile.

His education and experience have taken him to lecture on credit risk, Basel III, IFRS 9 and inflationary economies in New York, Oklahoma, Miami, Boston, London, Santo Domingo, Manila, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Bangkok, Montevideo and Buenos Aires.

He writes articles about Credit Risk, the economic and financial environment Basel III, Digitalization, Open banking and IFRS9 for newspapers and specialized media in Spain, Argentina and México.

He actively contributes to the expansion process that Company is carrying out. His objectives are “to strengthen AIS and its solutions in the countries in which it is already present and to expand through new businesses and new markets”.