Barbara Helfferich, Director of EAPN and Vice President of the European Platform of Social NGOs, has more than 20 years of experience in European policy making. She worked in the non-governmental sector as well as in the European Commission. As Secretary General of the European Women’s Lobby she successfully helped to establish one of the biggest and most influential European NGOs in Brussels. In 1992, the European Commission recruited her to become member of cabinet of the European Social Affairs Commissioner, a post which she held for five years until she was appointed European spokesperson for the environment (2004-2010). In 2013, she was appointed Director of the European Anti-Poverty Network. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University as well as a Master’s degree in journalism and international communications.