ELEN’s strength lies with its people and our member organisations. They represent the highest level of expertise in lesser-used language protection and promotion with experiences from many linguistic situations. The ELEN Steering Committee, our governing body, features a wealth of this expertise from across Europe.
Prof. Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones
Prof. Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones is Director at Mercator International. She has lectured and published widely on media, languages, creative translation and the cultural industries, and currently teaches at Prifysgol Cymru Y Drindod Dewi Sant, Caerfyrddin.
Dr. Davyth Hicks
Davyth Hicks is a specialist on regional, minoritised and endangered languages, the regeneration of these languages, and on linguistic rights. As Secretary-General and one of the founders of ELEN he plays a key role in developing language policy and planning at the European, State and local level. He is ELEN’s chief advocate and representative to the EU, the Council of Europe, and the UN.
Prof. Ferran Suay
Ferran Suay has a PhD in Psychology and works as a biopsychology Professor at the University of València. In ELEN he represents the NGO Acció Cultural del País Valencià (ACPV). In his long research career he has developed the concept of “linguistic assertiveness” which has been addressed in several articles, chapters and books, for example, Sortir de l’armari lingüístic (Leaving the linguistic closet) published in 2010, and more recently in the LISTEN Project. His current research focus is on the effects of multilingualism on the brain.
Mr Tangi Louarn
Tangi Louarn is President of the large Breton umbrella NGO Kevre Breizh, and President of EBLUL France which gathers all the regional language NGOs in the French territories. He has been a renowned language activist since the 1960s and worked on the Steering Committee of EBLUL. Tangi acts also as ELEN’s representative to the UN and to UNESCO.
Mr Paul Bilbao-Sarria
Paul Bilbao Sarria is Secretary-General of the Basque NGO Kontseilua, the Council of Social Organisations working for Basque comprising 40 member organisations and which leads the field in Basque language recovery. As Vice-President Paul often represents ELEN at the UN.
Dr Claudia Soria
Dr. Claudia Soria is a researcher at the Institute for Computational Linguistics at the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche in Pisa, Italy. Claudia is the project leader for the EU funded Digital Language Diversity Project on which ELEN is a partner, and brings all of her expertise on ICT and the digitalisation process for lesser-used languages to ELEN as well as having expertise on the linguistic situation in Italy.
Mr Marcos Maciera Eiras
Marcos Maceira Eiras is the President of A Mesa pola Normalización Lingüística, the leading NGO for the protection and promotion of Galician.
Mr Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin
Mr Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin is the CEO for Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta, the representative body for Irish-language medium education in the north of Ireland.
Ms Krisztina Sándor
Krisztina Sándor is the Executive President of Erdélyi Magyar Nemzeti Tanács (EMNT), the leading NGO for Hungarians in Romania, and has been re-elected twice for this position. Earlier, between 2003 – 2011, she was the President of the Hungarian Youth Council of Romania, an independent NGO in Romania, which worked to protect and represent Hungarian youth.
Prof. Conchúr Ó Giollagáin
Prof. Conchúr Ó Giollagáin was appointed to the Gaelic Research Professorship in the University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland in April 2014. He is also the academic director of Soillse, a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional research project. He is based at Scotland’s national college for Gàidhlig, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, on the Isle of Skye. Conchúr Ó Giollagáin has led extensive research projects and post-graduate initiatives in language planning and minority language culture and sociology.
Mr Dòmhnall MacNèill
Dòmhnall has worked in broadcast journalism, primarily in Gaelic, with the BBC, STV and Grampian Television. This was followed by a move into public relations for Highlands and Islands Enterprise and then into transport development. Latterly he held the post of Gaelic Development Manager for The Highland Council, working towards the implementation of the authority’s Gaelic Language Plan, before becoming Comunn na Gàidhlig Chief Executive in early 2010.
Drs. Mirjam Vellinga
Drs. Mirjam Vellinga is head of the language promotion division at Afûk, the organisation in Fryslân that promotes Frisian language and culture. In 2007 she initiated and developed the successful language promotion ‘Praat mar Frysk’. She is also involved in projects relating to Frisian usage in healthcare and the private sector, as well as and advising public services on language policy.
Marga Payola i Lahoz
Marga Payola is the international co-ordinator for Plataforma per la Llengua, the Catalan language NGO, and works as a political adviser in the European Parliament.
Dr. Pádraig Ó Tiarnaigh
Pádraig Ó Tiarnaigh is the Communications Manager for Conradh na Gaeilge, the Irish language NGO. Pádraig is one of the leading activists in the long-running campaign for Irish language legislation in the north of Ireland.