Despina Spanou is the Head of the Cabinet of the Vice-President of the European Commission, overseeing the European Union’s policies on security, migration and asylum, health, skills, education, culture and sports.
Her work on security consists in coordinating all areas under the heading of the EU Security Union, ranging from counter-terrorism, cybercrime, cybersecurity to hybrid threats. In this capacity, Ms Spanou coordinates the implementation of the EU Security Union Strategy 2020-2025, the first ever EU Strategy encompassing the whole spectrum of security work in the EU.
Previously, she was Director for Digital Society, Trust and Cybersecurity at the Directorate-General for Communications Network, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT). In this capacity, Ms Spanou was responsible for the European Union’s cybersecurity policy and law. She was responsible for the implementation of the EU legislation on security of network and information systems (NIS Directive) and for the negotiations of the EU Cybersecurity Act as well as cyber dialogues with the EU’s international partners. Ms Spanou has served as a member of the management board of ENISA, the EU agency for cybersecurity, and on the Steering Board of the Computer Emergency Response Team for the EU Institutions, bodies and agencies (CERT-EU).
She is a founding member of the Women4Cyber initiative and advocate for the need for addressing the cyberskills gap in Europe.
Despina Spanou started her career at the European Commission at the Directorate General for Competition in 2003. Previously, she practiced European law with the Brussels branch of a US law firm. Despina Spanou is a member of the Athens Bar Association and holds a Ph.D. in European law from the University of Cambridge.
Dimitris Papastergiou was born in 1973 in Trikala.
He graduated from the Polytechnic High School of Trikala and the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering of NTUA. At the same time, he attended journalism courses, while maintaining strong ties with technology and the internet, a relationship that was strengthened at the NTUA Multimedia Laboratory.
In 2001 he built and presented together with his team of collaborators the first comprehensive website for the Prefecture of Trikala, 3kala.gr. Since 2002 he has been practicing the profession of Computer Electrical Engineer in the city of Trikala. He was involved in studies and constructions of private electromechanical projects and also in the creation of H/Y programs (software). In 2007 it entered the field of renewable energy sources and has built more than 300 private RES projects.
His participation in society began in 2002, with his election to the Municipal Council. He was re-elected in 2006, and in 2014 he was elected Mayor of Trikkaia and member of the Board of Directors of KEDE. He was re-elected Mayor in 2019 and, in the same year, he was also elected President of KEDE.
He is married to the engineer Soula Brakis and declares himself to be the happy father of Faia, Kostas and Nikos.
From June 2023 he is Minister of Digital Governance in the government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Konstantinos Kyranakis (born 19/4/1987) is a graduate of the Law School of the University of Athens with postgraduate studies in strategic communication at the American College of Athens.
He has worked as a freelancer in the field of digital marketing, creating websites and applications. He was a co-founder of the BrainGain initiative for the return of young people to Greece.
He was elected president of the Youth of the European People’s Party, from May 2013 to May 2017.
In January 2017, the international magazine Forbes selected him among the 30 most influential young people under 30 in Europe, in the Law & Policy category.
In the parliamentary elections of 2019, he was elected for the first time as an MP in the South Sector of Athens II, where he was re-elected in the elections of June 25, 2023 and on June 27 he was sworn in as Deputy Minister of Digital Governance.
Nikos Pappas was born in 1976 in Athens and grew up in Kaisariani.
He joined the youth of the Coalition in 1993 of which he was a member of the Central Council.
He studied and worked in Scotland where he also completed his postgraduate studies in Economics.
In 2008 he completed his PhD in Social Security Economics from Strathclyde University in Glasgow. He worked as a researcher at the Fraser of Allander Institute while participating in research projects in Britain, in the field of macroeconomics and demographic policy.
Since 2008, he served as the Director of the Political Office of the president of SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras, and is a member of the Central Committee of SYRIZA.
In the parliamentary elections of January 25, 2015, he was a candidate for Member of Parliament with SYRIZA in the 2nd District of Athens where he was elected.
In the parliamentary elections of September 20, 2015, he was a candidate for Member of Parliament with SYRIZA in the 2nd District of Athens where he was elected.
From January to August 2015 and from September 2015 to November 2016 he was Minister of State. From November 2016 until the national elections of July 2019 he served as Minister of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Information.
In the National Elections of July 2019, he was re-elected first in votes as a Member of Parliament of SYRIZA, in the Southern sector of the B3 electoral district of Athens.
In July 2019 he was appointed Head of Economy and Development of SYRIZA PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE until September 2020. Today he is Head of Infrastructure and Transport.
Project Nikos Pappa: (Minister of State from 1/2015 to 11/2016 and Minister of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Information from 11/2016 to 7/2019)
– ERT reopened in June 2015. It was preceded by the black Samara in June 2013.
-Granting of TV licenses. It secured for the public 250 million euros from the auction of television licenses for 10 years. It collected €140 million from advertising tax, €40 million from frequency usage fees, while €125 million was expected to be collected from advertising tax. How much that had not been voted for, but had not been collected by the previous governments.
The total amount exceeds 500 million euros.
-With the ceiling of 400 employees per channel, we increased jobs from 2,400 in 2015 (private channels and NERIT) to 5,300 in 2019 (private channels and ERT)
-Universal TV coverage to reach the TV signal in areas that were blocked by Digea. The program covered 3,500 “white areas” and 164,000 households (or 500,000 citizens).
-Strengthening audiovisual production – establishment of EKOME. Within a few months and until the 2019 elections, the approved applications reached 43 (from Greece and abroad), with the total investment being 39.2 million euros. And the new jobs in the sector exceeded 12 thousand until the summer of 2019.
-Establishment of the Hellenic Space Agency. Securing the country’s interests in space. Launch of two satellites with Hellas Sat, also used by the public. The Hellenic Space Agency had signed, during SYRIZA (in 2019), an agreement with NASA for Greek universities and our researchers to participate in a program to send robotic vehicles to the Moon to conduct experiments.
-New Generation Networks (internet). Mobilization of public and private capitals amounting to 3 billion. Complete Rural Broadband for internet everywhere and, through Super Fast Broadband, subsidize connecting households and businesses to high-speed networks. Launch of Ultra Fast Broadband for an extensive fiber optic network across the country.
-In digital, although SYRIZA found funds for digital projects frozen by the EU (under the responsibility of the Samaras government), it formed a National Digital Policy and proceeded, among others:
-The Electronic Document Handling System in the Government.
– The Digital Transformation of GEMI.
-The electronic ticket to MMM and smart cities.
-Investment in young entrepreneurship and start-ups, with tools and actions (eg Digital Greece at TIF).
Thomas Dobridis is head of the General Directorate of Cyber Security of the Ministry of Digital Governance (National Cyber Security Authority). From 2009 to 2020 he was the head of the National Authority against Electronic Attacks – National CERT. From 2002-2008, he worked as a cyber security specialist for the Greek National INFOSEC Authority.
In the period 2000-2001 he worked in the private sector in Internet technology matters. He holds a degree in Computer and Informatics Engineering from the University of Patras, Department of Computer and Informatics Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales, Cardiff UK. He was a member of committees for planning Cybersecurity strategies, policies and measures, as well as corresponding legislative committees. He represented Greece in a number of European and international conferences and forums on Cyber Security issues.
In recent years, it has coordinated the response at a national level to several major incidents of attacks in the Greek cyberspace.
Dr. Gritzalis is a Professor of Cybersecurity with the Dept. of Informatics of the Athens University of Economics & Business (AUEB), Greece. He also serves as Director of the Postgraduate Programme on Information Systems Security and Development, as well as Director of the Information Security and Critical Infrastructure Protection (INFOSEC) Lab. Prof. Gritzalis holds academic degrees in Mathematics (BSc, Univ. of Patras, GR), Computer Science (MSc, City University of New York, USA) and Information Systems Security (PhD, Univ. of the Aegean, GR).
He has served as Associate Rector for Research, Associate Rector for Financial Affairs and President of the Life-Long Learning Center of AUEB. Also, he has served as Associate Commissioner of the Greek Data Protection Commission and as the President of the Greek Computer Society. He is the Academic Editor of the Computers & Security journal (Elsevier), and the Scientific Editor of the International Journal of Critical Infrastructure Protection (Elsevier).
In his academic career, spanning over 35 years, his research and consulting services have been extensively funded by more than 100 public and private organizations, including the European Commission, EU Joint Research Center, ENISA, Europol, European Standardization Committee (CEN), Hellenic Ministries, Gas & Oil industries (BP, EKO, DEPA), Hospitals, Athens Stock Exchange, Banks (Central Bank, National Bank of Greece, Piraeus Bank), Vodafone, OTE, as well as several consultancy and ICT firms.
Prof. Gritzalis has published more than 250 research papers in international academic journals and scientific conferences. His current research interests focus mainly on Cybersecurity, Critical Infrastructure Protection, IT Audit, Risk Assessment, and Advanced Persistent Threats.
Stella Tsitsoula is a communications consultant specialized in the technology and cyber security industry. She works with multinational organizations, Greek businesses and universities, communicating emerging technologies, cyber security awareness, risks and strategy development.
Since 2017 she is the communication manager of the National Cyber Security Team participating in the Pan-European Cyber Security Competition organized by the European Cyber Security Agency ENISA and a member of the organizing committee.
Since 2020, she has been a member of the Cyber Security Forum Initiative (CSFI), a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, whose mission is to raise awareness and guide the general public on cyber security issues through partnerships and training.
In 2022, she founded with two other women active in cyber security the Greek chapter of the European non-profit organization Women4Cyber, while
In 2023 she founded the Hellenic Institute of Cybersecurity, it is a civil non-profit company with the purpose of supporting, highlighting, promoting, promoting in general high-tech issues and issues related to the security of digital information and digital information systems, in physical facilities and on the internet.
For more than 25 years she has held senior management positions with extensive experience in the media and communications industry. She has a degree in Computer Systems Engineering, a Master’s in Public Relations Management, is studying in an MBA program and is a Certified Lead Auditor ISO 9001:2015.
She is a member of the Greek Periodical Press Association and the International Federation of Journalists.
Apostolos Pandroulas is a highly experienced professional with over 25 years of expertise in directing and managing business strategy, operations, and customer experience across various organizations.
He is a strong advocate of change management, dedicated to helping organizations adapt to new challenges by enhancing processes, nurturing talent, and fostering customer loyalty.
Currently, he serves as the General Manager at Odyssey Cybersecurity, where he offers valuable insights and guidance to organizations striving for cyber resilience in the Digital Era.
In his extensive career, Apostolos has held numerous leadership positions in diverse organizations spanning Greece, the Middle East, and the USA.
He holds Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) degree from the University of Birmingham and holds a MSc in Data Communications from the University of Central England.
Konstantinos Agathakis graduated from the School of Electrical & Computer Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens in 1991 and received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Dundee, United Kingdom, in 1992.
He has 20 years of experience in the field of telecommunications, holding administrative positions of increased responsibility at Vodafone, specifically in the field of procurement and supply chain.
In particular, between 2005-2013, he held the position of Senior Manager/Head of SCM – Procurement for Greece & Albania, contributing substantially to the successful implementation of the company’s strategy as well as major projects by effectively and efficiently managing the Procurement Department.
He has also, at times, been a member of the Board of Directors of Vodafone Procurement Company (VPC) in Luxembourg. Between 2003-2005 and 2000-2003, he was Head of Procurement and Head of IT & Services Procurement respectively.
Also, during his career, he worked at Sysco, IDC Hellas, and most recently as a Management Consultant for companies active in the field of facilities services.
Also, in the period 2016-2023, he held the positions of General Manager of Corporate Functions, Chief Supply Chain & Digitalization Officer and Special Advisor to CEO at HEDNO S.A. (Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator S.A.).
From April 2023 until today, he holds the position of Chief Business Development & Digital Transformation Officer, at IPTO S.A. (Independent Power Transmission Operator).
At the same time, he is a member of the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS), Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE) and Association of Project Managers (APM).
Dr. Mertzanis graduated from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National Technical University of Athens and holds MSc and PhD degrees from the University of Surrey, UK.
He has extensive professional experience in Telecommunications and IT having worked in Greece and abroad.
In 1999 he joined the workforce of Space Hellas, he has held senior executive positions within the Space Hellas group for many years having the responsibility of the commercial, technical and business development activities.
He is currently the CΕO of Space Hellas group and since 2021, Dr. Mertzanis is also, Chief Executive Officer of SingularLogic and SenseOne Technologies.
Gilad Zahavi is a Senior Director of Cyber Threat Intelligence Analytics at Cognyte, a global leader in security analytics software that empowers governments and enterprises with actionable Intelligence. Gilad has over 20 years of security experience and is a leading expert in the cyber threat intelligence domain.
Prior to joining Cognyte, he held executive positions at SenseCy Cyber Intelligence Ltd. and Terrogence Ltd. (both acquired by Cognyte).
He holds an MA in Near Middle Eastern Studies and a BA in Islamic Studies and Communications.
As part of his role, Mr. Zahavi is assisting governments and enterprises with handling the evolving cyber threat landscape by developing and introducing government-level Threat Intelligence and Threat Hunting workflows.
George is the OTE Group Information Security & Telecom Fraud Prevention Director. From his position, George and his team are responsible for designing security processes and engineering cybersecurity systems, consulting IT/Telecommunication projects to address security issues in each step of their lifecycle, running the Security Operations Center, minimizing revenue loss due to fraud, and of course highlighting the business relative aspects of security by carrying out the security risk management process.
Apart from taking care of OTE Group internal security, George has to make sure that the Security Services that OTE is offering to customers meet their expectations and that the security portfolio adequately covers their needs.
George possesses two master’s degrees (an MSc in Computers & Electronics Engineering and an MBA in Economics of Technical Systems). Although deeply enjoying technical work, he constantly challenges himself on how to effectively bring out the business value of security.
Other than that, George is also strongly concerned about the privacy-less direction that the world is slowly changing to and the role of information security in the society of the future.
Akis Skertsos is the Minister of State, responsible for monitoring government work from August 2021. From April 20, 2023, he also performs the duties of government representative.
He was deputy minister to the Prime Minister, responsible for the coordination of government work (July 2019 – August 2021).
He has been General Director of SEV (June 2014 to June 2019).
He has served in positions of responsibility in the Public Sector during the five years 2009 – 2014, as the director of the office of the acting Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikramenos and the Minister of Finance Yiannis Stournaras.
He holds a Master of Arts in the field of Political Management and Lobbying from the George Washington University in the USA and a graduate of the School of Journalism and Media of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (1995 – 1999).
He speaks English and French.
He is married and father of one child.
From 2019 to 2022, he served as the Secretary General of Communication and Media in the Presidency of the Greek Government.
He was previously the Director General of the Konstantinos Karamanlis Institute of Democracy and director of the think tank “DIKTIO for the reformation of Greece and Europe” (2013-2018).
He has also served as Director of Communications and Special Adviser to the Greek Minister of Education, as well as Special Advisor to the Minister of Development and to the Greek Parliament. He has worked in the field of communications and advertisement in multinational companies and was also a Marshall Memorial Fellow of the German Marshall Fund (GMF).
He has studied history, in the National Kapodestrian University of Athens, international relations, European Political Economy and law in the University of the Aegean and the Athens University of Economics and Business.
He is a PhD candidate of the Science of History and Philosophy of the University of Athens.
Professor Konstantinos Masselos has been appointed as the President of the Hellenic Telecommunications & Post Commission (EETT) in February 2018.
He has been elected as President of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) for 2023 and also, Vice-President for 2022 and 2024. Moreover, he served as Vice-President of BEREC in 2019.
He is Professor in the Department of Informatics and Telecommunications of the University of Peloponnese and he served as Rector of the above University during the period 2012-2017. From 2005 to 2008, he was Lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the Imperial College London. Also, during the period 2010-2016 he was an Honorary Lecturer in the same Department.
During the period 2001-2004, he worked in the electronic communications industry. Since 2005 he has been collaborating as an expert with various units of the European Commission. Also, he was a member of the Scientific Committee of the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) from 2015 to 2017.
Vassilis is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Organisation for Quality Assurance in Health
(ODIPY S.A.) and lecturer of Quality Improvement, Healthcare & Pharmaceutical Policy at SDA Bocconi
Prior to joining ODIPY, Vassilis was the Healthcare & Life Sciences Strategy Consulting Lead for Deloitte
in Greece. Vassilis served in senior roles in the UK’s NHS (in London and across England) for several
years where he designed and led hospital acquisitions and large-scale operational transformations.
Vassilis holds 3 Masters Degrees: (a) International Healthcare Management, Economics and Policy,
(b) Master in Business (c) Telemedicine & E-Health Systems.
Mr. Argyriadis holds the position of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Network Solution Sales & Marketing Director of Huawei Technologies South Balkan Region with responsibilities covering Greece, Cyprus, Albania, Bulgaria, and North Macedonia. He has more than 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, serving from different companies and roles the objectives of the Telecommunications and IT industry.
He has a broad knowledge of issues related to the broadband evolution of providers, the role of the sector for the digital evolution of society, the design of digital connectivity and the enrichment of digital skills in each sector. The introduction of innovative solutions as well as sustainable development are key areas of his occupation from the field of the manufacturer as well as how international practices can lead to the digital transformation of the local society.
Vassilis Argyriadis holds an MSc in Telecommunications from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens as well as an MSc in Business Administration from the Athens University of Economics and Business. He also holds a degree in Physics (BSc) from the University of Ioannina.
Gerasimos Michalitsis has by now accumulated close to 30 years of experience by holding several positions in well-established firms of the Information and Communications Technology sector.
His career initiated as an R&D engineer building Digital Communication access systems and has evolved to leading positions in the Technical Marketing for Solutions and Services related with Digitalization. Always keen on the latest business-driving modernization tech-trends, he is closely exploring the innovation scene, and especially when related with Cyber Security, Networks, Big Data, AI, Blockchain and IoT.
He is now positioned as the Delivery Director of Netcompany-Intrasoft, heading all customer activities associated with Information Security and Advanced Data Intelligence, as well as Innovation Acceleration services for the Large Enterprise sector.
Andreas recently joined PwC Greece’s Advisory services to solve important problems using advanced technologies.
His journey started during his PhD, focusing on AI optimization. As a software engineer lead, he contributed to the birth of IoT through EU-funded research and led multiple engineering projects on behalf of the university.
He then joined Microsoft, digitally transforming the Greek finance sector by modernizing their web and mobile banking platforms.
Later, as an Architect in the worldwide CTO office, he guided the Data & AI domain, collaborating with global teams to deliver high-quality big data and AI-based solutions to S500 clients.
He then established the worldwide AI practice in FastTrack for the Azure team, leading world-class engineers.
Outside of work, together with his wife, they enjoy their own cognitive experiment: raising our three lovely daughters.
Nikos Chatzinikolaou was born on October the 9th 1962, in Alexandroupolis, Evros. He started working as a journalist in 1983 covering education topics in the newspaper “MESIMVRINI”.
In 1984, he received the “Botsi” award for journalism. He then started to cover political issues. Meanwhile, he started his collaboration with the Sunday edition of the newspaper “Akropolis”, the newspaper “Ethnos” and the magazines “ENA” and “STATUS”.
In 1987, he started working for the newly founded radio “ATHINA 9,84”. At the same time he became member of the founding committee of the station. He also temporarily worked at the radio stations “ERA”, “SKY 100,4”, “PLANET” and “STATUS FM”.
In 1989, he started his collaboration with MEGA TV station. From 1998 until 2003 he was General Director of News and Information department of the station.
From 2003 until 2007, he collaborates with ALPHA TV Station, as Executive Vice President and General Director of News and Information department and later, as Chairman and CEO.
From April 2007 until October 2011 he collaborates with ALTER TV station.
In September 2007 he founded along with Andreas Kouris the «Real Group», which owns the radio station “Real Fm 97.8” in Athens, “Real Fm 107.1” in Salonica, “Ellinikos 93,2” in Athens, the weekly (every Sunday) newspaper “Real News” and the news portal “Real.gr”.
In 2012 Nikos Chatzinikolaou created his own personal site-blog “Enikos.gr” and the financial news blog “Enikonomia.gr”.
From September 2013 until June 2016, he collaborates with STAR Channel TV Station.
Since January 2017, he is the anchorman of the main news edition of ANT1 TV Station.
Nikos Chatzinikolaou is board member of European Newspaper Publishers Association (ENPA).
She studied Political Sciences at the Department of Law of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and media training at the BBC Academy. She is a journalist, political analyst, TV anchorwoman until 2011 and General Manager of the think tank Institute of Democracy, Konstantinos Karamanlis until 2014.
She is an experienced and distinguished media trainer for “tradional” and cyber crisis management in companies such as: PETROLA HELLAS, HELLENIC PETROLEUM (ELPE), LAFARGE BETON, HALYPS BUILDING MATERIALS, ITALCEMENTI GROUP, REGENCY CASINO THESSALONIKI, HSBC, CREDIT AGRICOLE LIFE, DELTA, KATSELIS, GOODY’S, EVEREST, CARREFOUR, GENESIS FARMA and others.
Alexandros Kontis has studied Political Science and History and has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Governance and Sustainable Development. He is a journalist since 2002. He has worked for leading daily and weekly newspapers, in magazines and radio boradcasters.
Today he is the Editor in Chief in Realnews and hosts a news radio show at RealFM 97,8.
Maria Anastasopoulou is a journalist and presenter on the show “Good Morning Greece” of ANT1 Group and on Real 97.8 radio.
She has been working as a journalist since 2007, doing reports and investigations – among other things – and in journalistic missions, both for TV and for SKAI radio (2007 – 2022).
She studied at Panteion University, in the Department of Sociology, majoring in Mass Media and Criminology.
In an ever-evolving digital landscape, where the lines between innovation and vulnerability are blurred, the “AI & Cybersecurity: Innovation and Challenges” conference serves as a forum for the exchange of views to address the multifaceted dynamics of artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity.
Understanding the interplay between artificial intelligence and cyber security, both in government structures and infrastructure and in the private sector, is now imperative to shaping our digital future.
Leading state and institutional actors, government and opposition representatives, officials of the Ministry of Digital Governance, academics, market representatives and experts from Greece and abroad are participating in the conference.Live Stream
Head of the General Directorate of Cyber Security, General Secretariat of Telecommunications & Posts, Ministry of Digital Governance
Professor of Cyber Security, Department of Informatics, Athens University of Economics and Business
President of the BoD Hellenic Cybersecurity Institute, Vice-President Women4Cyber Greece
Corporate Information Security Officer (CISO), Head of InfoSec Consulting and Secure SW Development Services, Netcompany- Intrasoft
Special Secretary of Foresight Strategy at the Presidency of the Greek Government
President of the Hellenic Telecommunications & Post Commission (EETT), President of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC)
Corporate Information Security Officer (CISO), Head of InfoSec Consulting and Secure SW Development Services, Netcompany- Intrasoft