Partners and Managers

Vlad is the International Director of Avisa Partners (Online Advocacy division). Before joining Avisa in 2014, Vlad worked for the German Marshall Fund (Bucharest office), the Center for Conflict Prevention and Early Warning, a leading Romanian think-tank, as well as in the online marketing division of Ipsos. He holds an MA in Conflict Analysis and Resolution as well as a second MA in European Affairs from Sciences Po Paris.
Rodolphe is Sales Director of Avisa Partners' cybersecurity subsidiary (Lexfo). Thanks to his experience and address book, Rodolphe supports the development of operational cyber activities, particularly in terms of incident response and data leak detection, as well as business synergies within the group. He has acquired more than 25 years of experience in information systems security, notably 9 years with LEXSI as Sales Director. Rodolphe holds a master’s degree from Holborn College.
Antoine Basbous is a political scientist and specialist in the Arab-Islamic world and Islamic terrorism. In 1991, he founded the Observatoire des Pays Arabes (OPA) [Observatory of Arab Countries] in Paris, which he has managed ever since. It is a fully independent consultancy specialising in North Africa, the Middle East, the Gulf and the Islamic world in general.

Antoine Basbous studied law, French literature, and communication and obtained a doctorate in political science.

Antoine Basbous has published several essays translated into many languages, including Guerres secrètes au Liban [Secret Wars in Lebanon] (Gallimard, 1987); L'islamisme, une révolution avortée ? [Islamism, an aborted revolution?] (Hachette, 2000); L’Arabie saoudite en question, du wahhabisme à Bin Laden [Saudi Arabia in question, from Wahhabism to Bin Laden] (Perrin, 2002); L’Arabie saoudite en guerre [Saudi Arabia at war] (Tempus, 2004); and Le tsunami arabe [The Arab tsunami] (Fayard, 2011).
Eric Bovim is an American entrepreneur and international strategic communications consultant based in Washington D.C. He has advised dozens of corporate clients worldwide on crisis communications, public affairs, and international dispute resolution. After several years in Spain as a foreign correspondent for Reuters and Dow Jones Newswires, he returned to Washington D.C. where he served as Communications Director for a U.S. Senator before working for several different consulting firms. In particular, he led Signal Group from 2013 to 2019, when he joined Avisa Partners to manage its American branch.
Hugo is a Partner & Director of Operations. He joined the cybersecurity subsidiary (Lexfo) more than 5 years ago and is involved in all aspects of client relations: operational management, sales management, and management feedback. He leads strategic missions in offensive cybersecurity, such as 'Red Team' audits or penetration tests on complex projects, for most CAC 40 companies. Hugo is a graduate of the Paris-based 'École Centrale d'Électronique' where he obtained a master’s degree in Information Systems and Networks, with a specialization in Cybersecurity. He was president of the alumni network
Andrea joined Avisa Partners in July 2016, first as director, then as a partner. He specialises in EU competition and advises blue-chip clients on M&A, antitrust and cartel cases. Andrea spent six years in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP), where he worked on high-profile cases in the financial, transport, energy and raw materials sectors, both in M&A and cartels. While at DG COMP, he gained in particular an in-depth understanding of settlement proceedings. Andrea also worked as a business strategy consultant in Germany. He studied law at LIUC-Cattaneo University and holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI) in Milan. Andrea speaks Italian, French and English and understands Spanish and German.
Guillaume Coutand joined Avisa Partners and its cybersecurity subsidiary Lexfo to develop the group's offensive security and CSIRT activities, and to take care of the commercial development of the cyber activity in the Rhône-Alpes region. He first worked on commercial strategy missions for large retailers. He then joined AKERVA, a consulting firm specialising in information systems security, to develop the IT security governance and offensive security activities while contributing to the creation and viability of the industrial systems security department. Guillaume Coutand has a master’s degree in entrepreneurial management.
Matthieu CREUX is the founder and President of Avisa Partners since 2010. After his studies at Sciences Po Paris, he began his career as a public affairs consultant with Euro RSCG (Havas Worldwide) before moving to Ernst & Young. Matthieu was then an advisor to the French Minister for Higher Education between 2007 and 2009, where he was in charge of online strategies and special affairs. Over the course of his career, he has worked for a number of governments and large corporations, advising them on issues relating to activism, counter-activism and online advocacy. He is the author of the book Cyberdjihadisme : quand Internet repousse les frontières du champ de bataille, co-written with Antoine Violet-Surcouf (VA Éditions, 2020). He currently focuses on Avisa Partners’ strategy and development and is in charge in particular of the group’s acquisitions and organisation.
Paul leads the Territorial Development / Public Affairs activity at Avisa Partners. He has more than 15 years of experience in assisting public (large institutions, state, local authorities) and private players in economic and territorial development (strategy, economic intelligence, international, project engineering, investments, institutional relations...). Paul Cueva-Gamard is a teacher at Paris Tech and has a dual education in law (master’s degree in Private Business Law) and economics (ESCP Europe, specialising in corporate strategy).
Arnaud Dassier is a French entrepreneur with a particular focus on the digital sphere, the media landscape and communications. After working at the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry, in 1998 he founded one of the first web agencies in France. For more than twenty years, Arnaud has been advising a number of large companies, organizations and individuals on their influence strategies. He was a consultant and service provider for the online campaigns of Jacques Chirac (2002), the UMP political party (2005-2007), and Nicolas Sarkozy (2007) before selling his firm in 2008. Since then, in addition to his activity as an angel investor, he has managed Avisa Partners’ international development, particularly in Washington, London, Brussels, and Eastern Europe.
Samuel Dralet has more than 20 years of experience working on cybersecurity issues. He is the former technical director of the cybersecurity subsidiary of Atheos, a pioneer in information systems security in France, today known as “Orange Cyberdefense”. He created Lexfo, the cybersecurity subsidiary of Avisa Partners, in 2011. With a team of around 60 cybersecurity engineers, LEXFO has quickly established itself as a major player on issues of security assessments and incident response.
Axel began his career as an officer in the French Army. He was then a strategic consultant from 1995 to 1997, before becoming a Senior Partner at DATOPS (now LexisNexis Business Information Solutions), a firm developing information systems, from 1997 to 2005. While at DATOPS, Axel devised and put in place monitoring and intelligence solutions for government agencies and large corporations. Axel was involved in CEIS since its inception in 1997, and joined it operationally in 2006, opening its European office in Brussels and developing its Strategic Intelligence practice. Axel is a graduate of the management administration programme at the Ecole supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP). He became a partner at Avisa Partners following the merger between Avisa and CEIS at the beginning of 2020.
Nick Fitzgerald is a strategic communications advisor whose clients include multinational corporations, foreign governments, and international private-equity and law firms. His specialties include global issues, risk, and reputation management; litigation communications; international public affairs; and special situations. He is a problem-solver and natural relationship-builder skilled at developing and executing strategies that secure critical business, policy, and reputational outcomes for clients. Nick holds an MBA from Indiana University and a bachelor’s in business administration from the College of William & Mary.
Sylvain Fort joined Avisa Partners as a Partner in 2020. He was previously advisor to the President of the Republic in charge of communication and speeches, after having been responsible for communication within the campaign team. He has over fifteen years of experience in communications and public affairs. After having worked in the strategy department, the financing business and the BNL-BNP Paribas integration team, he joined the DGM Conseil agency (2008-2012), a leading corporate communication agency in Paris. He then founded his own communications agency, Steele & Holt. He has produced several notes and reports for the Institut Montaigne and the Institut de l'Entreprise. He has also published several essays on politics, literature and music. Sylvain is a former student of the Ecole normale supérieure (Ulm), “agrégé” of classical literature and holds a PhD from La Sorbonne University.
Noe Garcia III is a veteran advocacy and communications executive in Washington, D.C. He has over 24 years of experience, including tenure at the White House and the U.S. Department of Treasury and served as counsel to two Treasury Secretaries and the U.S. Senate Majority Leader. Noe oversees multi-national economic matters for global clients on trade, immigration, and finance. For two consecutive years, he has been named one of Washington’s top lobbyists.
Anaïs is in charge of the Artistic Direction. She manages all the creative work of the Avisa Partners group (digital UI/UX, print, dataviz, etc.) and ensures graphic consistency throughout the various projects. She had several artistic experiences, first in e-commerce (, then in a publishing house specializing in the health sector for which she managed the different collections (from design to publication). After having been the artistic director of a magazine specializing in the defence and security sector, she progressively specialized in the publishing of online media and enriched content (infographics, dataviz...). Anaïs is a graduate of the 'École Européenne de Graphisme Publicitaire' (European School of Advertising Design). She holds a HND in Visual Communication and a Higher Diploma in Creative Design and Media.
Carsten trained as a Lawyer, specialising in European law.
He has over the past 25 years, accrued a very strong experience in EU affairs and legislation having held important positions within top-tier corporations in Brussels and Hong Kong. Until joining Avisa in March 2021, Carsten was Head of Digital Policy for Banco Santander Group in Brussels. In that capacity, Carsten has developed public policy and regulatory positions in close coordination with the digital business team, innovation leaders and global board members in regard with the digital transformation journey of the bank. He established new industry alliances (e.g., with telecoms, publishers, platforms) and communication channels outside of the traditional financial services associations. Advocacy with EU institutions, Ministries of Finance and Economic Affairs in key markets (UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Poland), National banks, ECB and supervisory authorities, OECD, IIF, Eurofi, EBF, EFR, and AFME. Prior to his work at Banco Santander, Carsten held positions at Deutsche Post DHL Group, as Head of AP & EEMEA Corporate Policy in Hong Kong and Brussels and Vice President and Head of Corporate Representation in Brussels; Director of European Affairs for MCI Worldcom in Brussels; and Counsel European Affairs at GE International European Affairs Office in Brussels.
As Senior Manager of the Compliance & Investigation department at Avisa Partners, she now helps the firm's clients to clarify their decisions and reduce their risks of non-compliance with French and international laws and regulations (Sapin 2 Law, UKBA, FCPA, duty of care, 5th AML/TF Directive...). She has more than 15 years of experience in the field of compliance, due diligence and investigations, having been in charge of the Economic Intelligence department of the firm Risk&Co before developing her own consulting activities. She has carried out and supervised missions for large industrial groups, public groups, banks, investment funds and law firms, in France and abroad. Ling HO is a graduate of Sciences Po Bordeaux and of the 'École de Guerre Économique (Economic War School). She also has a Compliance Officer degree from the University of Paris 2 – Panthéon Assas.
Ivo Ilic Gabara, founder of Gabara Strategies Ltd, is a public affairs and media relations specialist. He worked for ten years as a journalist accredited to the European institutions in Brussels, then as the spokesman and head of the European Commission’s Press and Information Office in charge of monitoring the crisis in Kosovo until the Dayton Peace Agreement. Over the years, Ivo has led global public affairs campaigns for several international organisations and governments. Before joining Avisa Partners in 2019, he was a consultant at APCO between 1999 and 2008, then a partner at the American public relations firm BGR Group, whose British subsidiary he managed between 2008 and 2015.
Alexandra now leads the Investigations and Compliance practice at Avisa Partners. With more than ten years of experience in risk management, Alexandra has held senior management positions in Paris, Hong Kong, London, Brussels, and most recently Kyiv. She has specific expertise in the management of compliance programs, leading investigations, due diligence and strategic intelligence activities on all continents. Alexandra Kris holds a double master’s degree in International Security, Defence and Business Intelligence as well as in European and International Regulations.
Jacques Lafitte founded the Brussels office of Avisa in 2002. He has more than 25 years of experience with the European Commission, both as a member of a Commissioner’s office as well as a key expert on commercial or competition-related issues. A graduate of the École Polytechnique in Paris, he began his career in the French and German Departments of Defence, before joining the French Treasury where he managed the debt department. From 1995 to 1999, he was in charge of the creation of the Euro in the office of the European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs. He then worked at Microsoft as the EMEA Director of Public Affairs. In 2009, the Financial Times named him one of the “30 most influential figures in politics and legislation in Brussels”. Beyond the general supervision of all of Avisa Partners’ European projects, Jacques also works on all projects involving competition law.
Matthieu Lebeau joined Avisa Partners as a Partner in 2021.

With more than 20 years of experience, Matthieu is one of France’s principal experts of digital content strategy in the institutional and B2B worlds.

After beginning his career in journalism(L'Express, Le Nouvel Observateur), he joined the start-up Ecrito before moving to the communication agency Angie. In his role there he assisted large French and international companies and their managers with their outreach, leadership and communication with regards to key communities and business development via digital, social and editorial channels.

As an Associate Director, Matthieu managed the group's digital activities, opened its SEO subsidiary in Prague, and launched Angie BtoB in 2017, an agency dedicated to digital strategy and business-to-business content marketing.

Matthieu Lebeau has a degree in philosophy and literature.
Guillaume Letalenet joined Avisa Partners in 2020 to lead the investigation and compliance practice. He was previously a general officer in charge of public relations for the French Air Force and head of the Centre Etudes Réserves et Partenariat (CERPA). An aeronautical engineer who with a degree from the Ecole de l'Air (1987), General Letalenet obtained his fighter pilot license in 1991 and clocked over 3000 flying hours, including 120 war missions. A graduate of the Ecole de Guerre (CID), he was the commander of the Mont-de-Marsan air base between 2011 and 2013, one of the largest bases in the French Air Force, housing some sixty units and more than 3,500 people. During his career, he held leading international positions, notably in the office of the French Minister of Defense, in the "Africa and Middle East" cell, as well as in the Armed Forces Staff, in the International Relations Directorate. He participated in the development of the Air Force's capability strategy between 2013 and 2014, and in the drafting of numerous study or investigation reports on ministerial and joint issues within the French General Inspectorate of the Armed Forces. General Guillaume Letalenet is an Officer of the Legion of Honor and an Officer of the National Order of Merit.
Pauline manages strategic intelligence activities, including research for EU institutions and NATO, and business development and funding for innovation projects for private sector clients. She brings 15+ years of experience in European security and defence and a large network of contacts to her work. Pauline was previously Head of the European Defence Agency’s Media & Communication Unit, after managing Friends of Europe’sSecurity & Defence Programme for eight years. She began her career in government relations at Thales Italia. Pauline studied at King’s College London, the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris and Leiden Universiteit in the Netherlands. She speaks fluent French, English, Italian and German. She is Vice President of the Brussels chapter of Women in International Security (WIIS) and a co-founder of the Brussels Binder (the open-source database of female EU policy experts).
Alexandre Mot is an expert in local policies, territorial projects, and economic development issues. For the past 15 years, he has been advising state departments, local authorities, and companies on the development of their territorial strategies and the implementation of projects. Before joining Avisa Partners, he was in charge of prospecting international companies and investors for the 'Choose Paris Region' attractiveness agency, after starting his career at the Paris Chamber of Commerce, where he was in charge of studies on the Greater Paris region. Alexandre Mot is a graduate of Sciences Po Paris and holds a Master's degree in territorial and urban strategies.
Stéphanie Pochon has been a partner at Avisa Partners since the beginning of 2020. Before joining the group, she led advocacy campaigns in Brussels and other major European capitals for 15 years. A former partner at GPLUS for 10 years, for years she has managed a diverse portfolio of clients, with specialized knowledge of issues related to the digital sphere, technology and intellectual property. She has also represented numerous companies and professional organisations in Brussels in a number of sectors, including transport, environmental issues and trade. She is also one of the most renowned experts on copyright issues and digital sovereignty. Stéphanie is a graduate of the College of Europe in Bruges, after having studied at Sciences Po Strasbourg and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She gave courses in European lobbying at Sciences Po Paris (for the Master in European Affairs) for five years.
Finance, circular economy, food, international relations, European affairs Enrico is a partner at Avisa Partners which he joined in February 2016. He covers sectors including circular economy, food, finance and International relations. Prior to joining Avisa Partners, Enrico had a long career in several major international investment banks based in London, including Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, Deutsche Bank, and asset managers F&C Management (now BMO Global) and Latin American Investment Partners. He was later head of European Affairs at EUBrasil, a Brussels-based association responsible for overseeing trade policy, market access and trade negotiations between Europe and Brazil. An economics graduate from Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium, Enrico is fluent in Italian, French, English, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese.
Olga Popova joined Avisa Partners as International Director in 2014, following a stint at the World Bank in Washington D.C. Holding dual British-Russian nationality and based in London and Paris, Olga advises numerous international corporate clients on their online advocacy and public relations strategies and manages Avisa’s business development in Europe. She holds a Master’s degree in European Affairs from the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) and an undergraduate degree in politics from the University of Nottingham (UK).
John Procter is a communications executive in Washington, D.C. specializing in international brand and crisis communications. He has 20 years of experience in advising clients on reputation management, litigation communications, transnational disputes, and other special circumstances. He has lived and worked in multiple countries, including in Iraq as a Department of Defense spokesperson. John holds an international relations degree from The George Washington University and an Executive Education Certificate in Corporate Diplomacy from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mélodie manages the Events activity of the Avisa Partners group, including the coordination of the International Cybersecurity Forum (FIC), a trade show bringing together more than 12,500 visitors and 500 partner companies. A consultant since 2006, Mélodie has held several positions in the Public Affairs and Communications department, including the management of high value-added events. Mélodie holds a double degree in European business management (South Bank University London / Sorbonne Paris IV).
Following 11 years of experience in project management in the Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA), where he was in charge of cyberwarfare and intelligence programmes, Vincent Riou joined the Steria group, where he managed the Defence and Security department for 5 years. Vincent joined CEIS in 2012, where he oversaw the firm’s business development before taking over the company’s cybersecurity department in 2017. He has been a partner at Avisa Partners since the merger between CEIS and Avisa Partners in January 2020. He holds an engineering degree from the École Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées Bretagne (ENSTA Bretagne) and a Master’s degree in business management from the Institut d'Administration des Entreprises (IAE). He also attended the 47th national session of the Institut supérieur d'études de défense nationale (IHEDN).
Amélie is Avisa Partners' Project Manager for the Cyber Framework Agreement led by the DGRIS, and the Director of Programme and Content of the FIC. Amélie Rives first carried out risk monitoring and intelligence missions at GEOS, the Risk Advisory Group, and then at the OSCE. She then worked at the British Embassy in Paris as Commercial Attaché in charge of the Security and Defence sectors. She joined the CEIS consulting team (subsidiary of Avisa Partners) in 2016 to work on strategic studies related to digital and cybersecurity, as well as on the programme and content of the International Cybersecurity Forum (FIC). She holds a master’s degree in International Security from Sciences Po Paris and a master’s degree in Middle East Politics from SOAS (London).
Clément Rossi is Director of Development and Public Affairs for cybersecurity and events. Since 2013, Clément has been involved throughout the year as Director of Strategy, Partnerships and External Relations for the International Cybersecurity Forum (FIC), a leading event in Europe. Clément also leads strategy consulting missions in public affairs, business diplomacy, international development and influence for cybersecurity and digital actors as well as for States and administrations to help them develop national strategies or implement capacity building measures. Clément holds a master’s degree in Strategic Information Management and Risk Management from ISC Paris, in a double degree with the 'École Européenne d’Intelligence Économique' (European School of Economic Intelligence).
Bertrand is in charge of the Strategic Intelligence activity of the Paris office. For more than 15 years, he has conducted studies and analyses of competitor positioning, on the conditions of access to key markets (bid management, market entry...) for the Strategy, International Trade, Marketing, and Economic Intelligence departments of private players in various sectors. He has designed, deployed, and operated several strategic intelligence and forecasting systems for the French Ministry of the Armed Forces. Bertrand started his career in the commercial department of GIAT-Industries (now Nexter). He was in charge of supporting international development actions (commercial campaign, competition analysis, mapping of players, etc.).
Mélissa works for Avisa Partners' cybersecurity subsidiary (Lexfo) on offensive cybersecurity and incident response issues as a Project Manager and Account Manager. She is in charge of the operational and commercial management of the missions. She has a degree in social, work, and organisational psychology from the University of Montpellier and completed the 'Risk Management, International Security, and Cybersecurity' MBA at the 'École de Guerre Économique' (Economic War School).
Jean Tillinac has been a partner at Avisa Partners since 2017. After a master of advanced study in philosophy and a Master’s degree in market finance, Jean launched his career in economic intelligence at ESL & Network, now a subsidiary of ADIT, before taking up roles in French political cabinets. He notably served as a technical advisor to the Minister for Parliamentary Relations. He subsequently founded and directed a number of firms specialising in public affairs, lobbying, and digital communications, including Tendances Institut (2005-2010) et Antidox (2010-2017). He is associated with a number of think tanks and is the founder of the Institut des Transitions.
François-Charles Timmerman has been a partner at Avisa Partners since 2018. He currently manages the firm’s business diplomacy and international relations sections. A graduate of the Special Military School of Saint-Cyr, François is a former intelligence officer. During his career in intelligence, he focused on conventional counter-proliferation and then concentrated on North and South America. He is now an expert in conflict, whether international, commercial or cyber, and in the fight against piracy and counterfeiting. He has extensive networks in Latin America, Africa and the Balkans, areas in which he has worked for over fifteen years.
Following studies in international relations, Guillaume Tissier started his career as a journalist specialising in economic and legal affairs, before becoming a consultant at DATOPS, a firm specialised in data mining solutions. He joined CEIS when it was created in 1997 to develop its economic intelligence and risk management business units. Since 2013, he also manages the International Cybersecurity Forum (FIC), co-organised by CEIS and the National Gendarmerie. CEO of CEIS since 2018, he became a partner at Avisa Partners when the two firms merged in January 2020.
Antoine Violet-Surcouf joined Avisa Partners as Managing Director and Partner after spending 11 years as the director of digital strategy of ADIT. He is one of the leading European experts in online advocacy campaigns, with more than 15 years under his belt dedicated to researching, analyzing and devising online influence strategies. He also has a wealth of expertise in open source intelligence (OSINT) and in the fight against economic crime, including counterfeiting and fraud.

Associate Professor at the Ecole de Guerre Economique (School of Economic Warfare), he is the author of numerous books. Antoine is President of AEGE, the network of economic intelligence experts, and regularly participates in conferences on influence and digital public affairs.
John Watts a rejoint Avisa Partners en 2021 et dirige le bureau de Londres.
John prodigue des conseils à des gouvernements, des entreprises, des ONG et des personnalités de premier plan au sujet des campagnes, de la communication et de l'engagement numérique. Il travaille en étroite collaboration avec des dirigeants mondiaux, des personnalités publiques et des entreprises en Afrique, en Asie, en Europe, au Moyen-Orient et en Amérique du Sud.
John a été conseiller spécial du Premier ministre Tony Blair au 10 Downing Street et Directeur des conférences et événements pour le parti travailliste britannique. Pendant 15 années, John a dirigé des cabinets de conseil en communication et en affaires publiques au Royaume-Uni, au Moyen-Orient et en Asie de l'Est. Il a travaillé sur des élections et des campagnes électorales, et sur l'image de marque de pays, la communication de crise, la communication en cas de litige, le dialogue culturel et la diplomatie publique.
Il a fait ses études au Royaume-Uni dans le domaine de l'administration publique internationale, et en Palestine, à l'université de Birzeit, sur le thème de la politique arabe et du Moyen-Orient.
Jérôme Yomtov served as Managing Director of Numéricable-SFR from 2009 to 2016. He was previously the Operations Manager for markets and competition at ARCEP (France’s regulatory authority for electronic communications), technical advisor to the Ministry of the Economy, Finances, and Industry, and an investment banker with HSBC. In his role with Avisa Partners, he works primarily on issues of business competition, regulation, and local authorities. Jérôme is an engineer graduate from École Polytechnique and a graduate of the Paris School of Telecommunications (ParisTech).