Meet CIOPORA Team
CIOPORA Administrative Office
Dr. Edgar Krieger
Dr. Krieger has extensive experience in the field of Intellectual Property protection for plant innovation and has held the position of the CIOPORA Secretary General since 2004. Before CIOPORA, Dr. Krieger worked as a lawyer at an international law firm specializing in IP protection, particularly Plant Breeder's Rights, advising agricultural breeders in several hundred court cases up to the European Court of Justice. Dr. Krieger holds a Law Degree from the University of Bonn and a Degree in Business Administration from the Aachen University of Applied Sciences. He completed his doctoral dissertation on the topic "Farmers' Exemption in Germany" at the Philipps University of Marburg.
Stella Negraes, who is originally from Brazil, has been living and working in Hamburg, Germany, for over 20 years. In the course of her career, Stella has worked at BASF as well as the Consulates of Portugal and Brazil in Hamburg. In 2009, Stella joined the CIOPORA office as an Executive Assistant to Secretary General. At CIOPORA, Stella is in charge of the event management, bookkeeping, and member relations. Stella is fluent in English, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Born and raised in Bari, Italy, Selena is an Italian qualified lawyer with a deep passion for Intellectual Property for plants. With five years' experience at top-tier law firms in Italy (Barletta, Bari, Turin) and abroad (Copenhagen), throughout her career she has worked with both domestic and international clients, representing their interests before administrative bodies, national courts, and the European Court of Justice. Before joining CIOPORA in September 2021, Selena was a Legal Trainee at the Legal Unit and the Registry of the Community Plant Variety Office in Angers, France. Selena speaks English, Italian, and French.
Born and raised in Costa Rica, Paulo is a horticultural specialist with a robust background in plant breeding. He studied Plant Biotechnology at the Costa Rica Institute of Technology and graduated from an Erasmus Mundus joint Master program in International Horticulture. With several years of experience in a global leading fresh produce company, he joined the team that successfully developed and commercialized the first GM pineapple with improved nutritional characteristics. Before joining CIOPORA, Paulo worked as Senior Researcher for the famous Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, where he had the opportunity to contribute to the scientific needs of the organization and its ornamental breeding program. Most recently, he became passionate about agriculture, and he has dedicated himself to hands-on farming projects and consulting on different topics related to horticultural production.
CIOPORA Academy Program Manager
At the CIOPORA Office, Katrin is in charge of the CIOPORA Academy program. Born and raised in Germany, Katrin is an experienced event manager and PR professional. She started her career organizing large-scale trade fairs in Argentina and later worked for a sports photography agency, the Italian designer brand Alessi and Reemtsma in Hamburg. Katrin’s choice of profession truly reflects her personality and early academic interests: being fluent in Dutch, English, German, French, and Spanish, she has always been fond of languages, communication, and intercultural cooperation. Katrin holds a degree in European Studies from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Director PR & Communications
Andrés Velásquez is a Chilean journalist specializing in Strategic Communication, Brand PR, and Social Media. For ten years, he has developed his professional career in different companies and agencies, responsible for the creation, development, and maintenance of the image of brands such as IBM, Scania, SMU, Xiaomi, and others. He has a strong experience generating online and offline communication channels, as well as building bridges with authorities, organizations, and different audiences of interest.
Member Relations Manager/China Consultant
As the Member Relations Manager/China Consultant, Stephanie Mitzschke supports CIOPORA with a variety of tasks including but not limited to the member/supporter relation and acquisition, research, organization of the CIOPORA Academy webinars, communication, and event management. Stephanie is fluent in German, English, Mandarin, and Cantonese.
CIOPORA Trainee Program Graduates
Plant Sciences Graduate, University of California Davis
"Joining CIOPORA as a student trainee remains one of the most professionally and personally meaningful experiences of my young career. Working at the intersection of biology and business, the CIOPORA team supports plant breeders as they face a rapidly evolving landscape. While at CIOPORA, I had the opportunity to study China’s emergence as a biotechnology superpower, analyze the regulatory ambiguity surrounding New Breeding Techniques, and evaluate how pending legislation will affect the horticulture industry.
It was an honor to work alongside the CIOPORA staff- a creative and passionate team that brings compassion and professionalism to everything they do. I am grateful for the time I spent with CIOPORA and will benefit from what I learned for many years to come."