Elin McCallum


It is all about skills for life! Elin brings practical and policy experience from being a youth worker in the South Wales valleys, to working on entrepreneurship and education with Welsh Government and the European Commission. A great believer in the power of networks, enthusiastic and passionate, with predictably strong views on social inclusion and learner engagement! Elin is active in global networks for entrepreneurship education, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and is an expert for the European Commission, European Training Foundation and UNESCO-UNEVOC.

Juliet Martinez


Juliet has a wealth of experience in strategic planning and programme design, evaluation and policy development.  She has worked on education, skills and innovation at the European Commission, European Free Trade Association, the UK civil service and the United Nations.  She has administered EU programmes supporting NEETs in Wales as well as skills development projects in Mexico, Ecuador and East Timor.  Juliet has technical expertise in results monitoring and evaluation and is a member of the UK Evaluation society.

Juliet Edwards

European Project Officer

With a background in the private sector as well as European policy, Juliet was involved in developing the Knowledge Alliances for the EU’s Erasmus+ programme as well as the HEInnovate self-assessment tool for higher education institutions. She is a firm believer in the need to encourage and support more creative and enterprising attitudes and is a visiting lecturer at the Erasmus Hogeschool in Brussels on the topic of current innovations across a range of sectors. Juliet has an abiding interest in social entrepreneurship and the need for adaptive and flexible solutions to meet current societal needs.

Alexandra Yaghil

Senior Project Lead 

With a background in European policy & project management, Alex has seven years’ experience in the social impact sector. Alex brings practical experience from working with various grass-root social enterprises, large charities and European networks. She has a passion for designing, fundraising for and collaborating on social innovation projects, and thrives within international teams. Alex is an expert for the European Commission on the themes of social economy and entrepreneurship. She previously worked for ESSEC Business School, Euclid Network and Age UK.

Jyoti Gupta

Finance and Business Operations Lead

Jyoti is a qualified Chartered Accountant with international experience spanning several continents. She joined Bantani in 2020 as Finance Lead. Her role has since evolved and she now leads Finance and Business Operations for Bantani. With her previous experience in project management, she enjoys taking a lead in the overall execution of the projects and in enabling and channelling the necessary resources required for the project delivery. She is also actively involved in rural education initiatives in India and is excited to constantly learn at work.

Megan Reis

Communication Lead

Megan has a background in EFL and CLIL education, with classroom experience in Europe and Asia. She also studied for a Master’s in Intercultural Communication and Translation, specialising in the public sector during time which she received a MAEC grant to work on placement in the US. She joins Bantani as Communication Lead after previously being Communication Assistant at a Madrid-based non-profit.

Hazel Israel

Education & Skills Advisor

Hazel loves learning, teaching, learning about teaching and teaching about learning. All her professional interests and experience are generated by this passion and curiosity. Originally trained for Primary, she taught all sorts of skills for 21 years, across Swansea, Wales. She particularly enjoys researching, collaborating and innovating to continuously improve learning for all learners, with particular interest in groups which are harder to reach and engage. As a lead architect of the Essential Skills and the Welsh Baccalaureate qualification suites in Wales, she has developed skills and experience in assessment, qualification and curriculum design and development, stakeholder engagement, change and project management. She has also been an early adopter of digital approaches, leading projects to deliver online learning and assessment tools.

Candice Astorino

Policy & Research Assistant

Candice is a Graduate student in European Studies at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, joining Bantani as an Erasmus+ Intern. She has extensive experience in organising academic events and is looking forward to engaging more in educational projects. When asked about the importance of education, Candice told us: “I truly believe that education is the pillar for a better society, I am interested in connecting local communities and institutions around educational goals and policies.”

Apoorwa Hooda

Learning Development Assistant

Apoorwa has a Bachelor’s in Chemical Sciences and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Educational Sciences at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Her experience in the education sector began as science teacher and content developer in a remote community school in the Himalyan foothills of India; and as a programme manager in a non-profit organisation working with public schools to improve curriculum and teachers development. She is now looking to build her understanding of educational issues, policies, pedagogy and best practices across Europe. With a special interest in different non-traditional pedagogical practices, and increasingly entrepreneurship education in schools and skills needed for the fast-changing world. On joining Bantani, Apoorwa told us: “I look forward to enhancing my skills within policy and design work with Bantani and learn more about the educational landscape in Europe. Also, I hope my specialisation in Educational Leadership and my experience in instructional design, teacher development and programme design will add value to Bantani’s work.”

Russell Grigg

Senior Consultant

Russell has significant experience as a teacher, as a school inspector and as an academic in teacher education and research. He has written many books and teaching materials including the best-selling Becoming an Outstanding Primary Teacher (Routledge), as well as publications on behalf of the Welsh Government for the educational workforce on reflective practice and making the most effective use of data. He has a passion for excellence in teaching at all levels.

Stacey J Young

Senior Associate

Stacey J Young has 25 years’ experience in the education, higher education and non-profit sectors in Ontario, Canada, with a focus on funding, strategic and sector planning, policy and programme development and programme evaluation. She has led numerous projects related to the promotion of equality in higher education, including support for low-income students and students with disabilities. More recently, she has discovered the power of promoting entrepreneurial and enterprise education for individuals and community empowerment. At The Learning Partnership, she transformed the way student programme participants were assessed for entrepreneurial and communicative competencies. She has a PhD in Higher Education and has taught higher education policy and practice at the Universities in Toronto and York, both in Ontario.