Aspire Steering Committee
The Steering Committee handles the long-term strategic planning and decision-making for the Aspire organization according to the mission, vision and values of the organization established in the first years of existence.
Ana-Maria graduated magna cum laude from the American University in Paris, specializing in Political Science and International Economics. She also holds a Master’s in Public Administration, from the University of Bucharest, as well as a certificate in International Relations, from the Romanian Diplomatic Institute. Currently, Ana is working for the American Chamber of Commerce in Romania as Advocacy & External Relations Coordinator.
Alex graduated from London Business School and is a former Co-President of Aspire (2011-2014), currently seating on the Board of Aspire. He previously worked in London in strategy consulting and currently resides in Bucharest where he is managing new product launches in the water industry.
Dinu Gheorghe is leading the online operations for RCS&RDS, the leading telekom operator in Romania, managing both the ecommerce and the media platforms. Previously he worked as a financial consultant for Hidroelectrica and Electrica S.A, the two largest energy production and distribution companies in Romania. Dinu’s passion for entrepreneurship lead him to create 2 succesful startups in the IT and agriculture sectors. Dinu holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Warwick Business School and a Master in Finance from Instituto Empresa.
Dani is leading the Marketing department at Google and YouTube in Romania. Dani was a participant at Aspire Academy 2011 and has been involved in various roles ever since: Finance Manager, Co-President and Board Member. Prior to joining Google, he was a Country Manager for BlaBlaCar, the world largest’s carpooling platform, in Romania, Hungary and Croatia. Before that, he worked as a management consultant for A.T. Kearney and as Head of Special Projects for Ana Holding / Ana Imep.
Ana Sarbu graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University in 2012, with a double degree in Government and Russian. She is currently working in business development for Palantir Technologies, a software company co-founded by Peter Thiel. Previously she was employed with Richard Attias & Associates, a New York-based international strategic communications consulting company.
Alex graduated Harvard University in 2008 with a degree in Economics and Government and received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 2012. He is currently working in London and New York. He is passionate about transforming education and enjoys sailing, flying and traveling.
Ana joined Aspire High School in 2014 and ever since she has been part of the Aspire organising team. She graduated with first class honours from an Economics and Business program at UCL and now continues her studies in Finance at Harvard Extension School, while working in investment banking in London. Ana joined Aspire’s Mission Circle for 2 years, lead the Incubator, acted as Aspire Co-President and has been part of the Aspire Strategic Board. She is currently sitting on the Aspire Steering Committee.
Aspire Executive Board of Directors
The Executive Board comprises senior-level leaders from the Aspire community and advises the organizing team on decisions and business matters ranging from strategy planning, risk and growth of organization, fundraising and team management.
Elena Zaharia graduated Aspire High School 2014 and is currently Aspire’s Executive Director since 2019. She has extensive experience within the organizing team after holding different positions between 2016 and 2019, including Head of Logistics and Head of People. Elena holds a Bachelors Degree in International Relations and European Studies from the University of Bucharest and is currently studying to get her MBA degree from the Faculty of Business Administration in Foreign Languages. Elena is passionate about education, traveling and learning. She believes that we can make a change in the society only if we start with ourselves.
Antonius Cezar Hegyes
Antonius has participated to Aspire back in 2013, and has been with the organizing team ever since. He currently serves as an Executive Board Member for the areas of Marketing, PR, and IT. As a university student, he started freelancing in the field of web development and founded his own tech company, Deep Web Solutions, shortly after graduation. Currently, his company specializes in developing complex IoT solutions and websites helping other SMBs to grow and thrive. Over the past 10 years, he has worked extensively with many technologies and has been recently certified as one of the top 2% of WordPress developers in the world by Codeable, the #1 online outsourcing service for WordPress. Antonius is a doer, a dreamer and a thinker who chases possibilities all around him while mentoring and motivating others.
Daniel has been part of Aspire since 2014. He joined as a member of the logistics team, led it in 2017 and currently oversees the finance and partnership ares of the organisation. In his daily life, Daniel works at the forefront of 2 new technologies, as part of the EMEA Business Development team of UiPath and as the partnership manager for a leading platform in Decentralised Finance. He is very passionate about travelling, sailing and education.
Giorgiana was part of the first generation of Aspire Academy, in 2011, and was afterwards involved in the organizing team for the next editions of the programs, in different roles (Head of Logistics, Head of Programs, Co-President, member of the Aspire Strategic Board). She studied communication and public relations and has a Master’s Degree in Organizational Communication. At the moment, she is Training Coordinator at a multinational company in Brasov, leading a team of 5 people and implementing training programs for 850 people whilst she’s part of the Aspire Executive Board.
Calin has been part of Aspire since 2013. He is an innovative-thinking, strategic-minded professional with extensive consultancy experience on strategic planning, operations & logistics and organisational development, working with both public and private sectors in various countries across Europe, North America and the Middle East. A couple of his professional responsibilities include: Coordinating the strategy, operations and logistics of organization development and training programs, developing market entry strategies, building relationships with C-level executives or successfully planning and executing various engineering projects in residential and luxury engineering worth up to 2M USD. He is also a certified Internal Auditor, speaks four languages and was awarded for exceptional business planning in a competition organized by California State University.
Daniel joined Aspire is 2012 after graduating Aspire Academy. He is a Romanian film producer and media entrepreneur with business activities ranging for development, production and distribution of feature films within the domestic and international market. He is known for the production and distribution of #Sefie 69 and Oh, Ramona.
Using an innovative system for self organization entitled holacracy, our team is organized in Circles:
Aspire Recruitment Team:
- Alexandru Mocanu (lead)
- Irina Mocanu (lead)
- Sabina Gradinariu
- Iulia Stanciu
- Teodora Mitu
- Maria Ivanciu
- Diana Murgulet
- Ulemj Munkhtur
- Luca Pantea (Lead)
- Smaranda Camber
- Andra Maier
- Cristina Chiroiu Boteanu
- Daria Anghel
- Alexia Lapadat
Marketing Managers & Graphic Designers:
- Andra Neagu (lead)
- Alexandra Nanu
- Georgia Canura
- Iulia Gheorghe
- Miruna Iliescu
- Paul Gaica
- Alexandra Dedu
- Teo Pariza
- Cristiana Tepes
- Sergiu Badiu
, the ones that will be leading all Aspire’s projects for the year that comes:
Luca Pantea joined the Aspire Community when he graduated Aspire High School, in 2018. Aspire inspired him to give back to the people that guided him in finding his real passion – bringing great minds together to tackle emerging global issues through innovative approaches. Being part of the Logistics team, organizing Aspire Pre-Accelerator and being selected Project Manager for Aspire Academy only reinforced his dream of actively participating in shaping Aspire’s future.
Luca Pantea constantly seeks new ways of improving through taking up initiatives and strongly believes that life is a daring adventure or nothing at all. Currently, he is the Head of Digital and Community supervising activities related to events and community engagement whilst studying Computer Science and Engineering at TU Delft.
Miruna Iliescu attended Aspire Professionals 2018 and she stayed with us ever since, taking on more responsibilities. She studied communication and PR at SNSPA, holds a Master’s degree in psychology from University of Bucharest and is currently a Teaching Assistant as part of her PhD programme in Communication Sciences. She is passionate about making a change, hence she is volunteering for a wide range of NGOs, all focused on education, environmental impact and cultural issues. Moreover, she is an experienced entrepreneur and a natural-born nomad. Certified as a trainer, she delivered workshops and presentations in 7 countries, spread across 2 continents.
Andra Neagu started her Aspire journey in 2018 when she attended the Aspire Academy program. She finished her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Bucharest and is currently attending Master courses at the Faculty of Business Administration in Foreign Languages.
Always on the lookout for new adventures, Andra is always trying to grow herself and takes the time to continue learning, be it developing new skills or learning a new language. She recharges her batteries by traveling, skiing, playing the piano or reading a good book.
Irina Mocanu attended Aspire High School in 2016 and has been a part of the Organizing Team ever since. Aspire inspired her to get out of the comfort zone and work on becoming a great leader. She is extremely honoured to put in practice the skills acquired at Aspire and lead the recruitment process for the Academy program this year. Because she believes that knowledge is power, she wishes to spread the Aspire spirit to as many students as possible.
She is in the final year of her undergraduate degree, studying Political Sciences-Security Studies at Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca. Her passion for international security and diplomacy motivated her to get involved outside the classroom and volunteer for NGOS and think-tanks such as SODEIT Cameroon and Expert Forum.
Alex is a former Aspire High school graduate who has just started a three-year degree in PPE (Philosophy, Politics, Economics) at UCL. Having been part of the Aspire team for the past 2 years, he is now leading Recruitment for the High school program of 2021, which he will be also co-organising. Even though he is glad that the pandemic has provided him with more time for study and self-reflection, he can’t wait to get back in touch with the community once everything is back to normal.