Our Team

Click on any of our core team's biographies below to find out more about them. CELL also works with external researchers and scholars who lend their expertise to the foundation. To find out more about the Maastricht working group, follow this link.

Jo Ritzen

President and Founder | jritzen@cell.foundation

Jo Ritzen is a Professorial Fellow in the International Economics of Science, Technology and Higher Education at UNU-MERIT and the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance; and chair of "Empower European Universities." From 2003–2011 he was President of Maastricht University.

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Atif Rizvi

Executive Director and Founder | arizvi@cell.foundation

Atif Rizvi has worked for over two decades in strategic planning in tertiary education and institution building. He was educated at Harvard University and worked as a Senior Researcher in Education at the Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID). At HIID, he was also the Assistant Editor of The Forum, a joint Harvard-USAID publication dedicated to advancing basic education and literacy.

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AYLA BONFIGLIO

Principal and Founder | abonfiglio@cell.foundation

Ayla Bonfiglio is a Doctoral Fellow at UNU-MERIT examining refugees in higher education. Over the course of her PhD, she has held Visiting/Associate Researcher positions at the International Migration Institute (IMI) at the University of Oxford, the African Centre for Migration and Society at Wits University, the African Migration and Development Policy Centre in Nairobi, and Makerere University.Formerly, Ayla was a Research Officer at IMI working on the Mobility in the African Great Lakes project and the Global Migration Futures project.

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ELEONORA "LONNEKE" NILLESEN

Principal, Research | nillesen@merit.unu.edu

Eleonora Nillesen is Research Fellow at UNU-MERIT. She holds a PhD in Development Economics from Wageningen University. Her research interests include the impact of conflict on socio-economic indicators and institutional change, with a focus on Sub-Sahara Africa. She is involved in research projects in Liberia, DR Congo, and Kyrgyzstan, assessing the effectiveness of development interventions through field experiments.

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BRAM ROOIJACKERS

Principal, Information and Outreach | brooijackers@cell.foundation

Bram Rooijackers is a researcher in the field of Science and Technology Studies and Public Health Policy and teacher of qualitative research methodology. He is a graduate from Maastricht University, where he has done research on problems related to labor participation, chronic illness and risk management in healthcare. At CELL, he is chiefly responsible for directing the information architecture and the technological backend to facilitate operations.

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MARIN BEEN

Principal, Research | mbeen@cell.foundation

Marin Been is a cognitive neuroscientist and an academic adviser at Maastricht University, faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience. Trained as a psychologist with a Master’s degree in both Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, she holds a PhD in Visual Neuroscience and wrote her dissertation on the neural correlates of learning induced plasticity in the visual cortex.

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The Very Little Agency

Consulting Design Agency | info@theverylittleagency.com

The Very Little Agency (TVLA) is a group of experienced marketeers, bright graphic designers and tough web and app developers capable of delivering projects in a way others simply cannot: with style, art, efficiency and proved experience. TVLA is a global agency, headquartered in Maastricht, in the Netherlands, with team members in Lithuania, Spain, and The Netherlands. We are integrated in the CELL team and ready to help the foundation on any future projects, in every possible way, towards meeting the foundation's goal of reducing divisive stereotypes in textbooks.

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