ECMLG Biographies

Below are the ECMLG Biographies of the Conference and Programme Chairs, Key Note Speakers and Mini-Track Chairs.

Conference and Programme Chairs

Prof. Frank Bezzina PhD (Melit.) is the Dean of the Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy (FEMA) and Head of the Department of Management at the University of Malta. He lectures in Management Science & Decision Analysis, Evidence Based Management and Business Research Methods. His research focuses on investigating phenomena in the Organisational Sciences. He has published papers on risk management, corporate governance, HRM, environmental management and statistical/methodological misconceptions. In 2012, his research paper entitled "Investigating the determinants of recycling behaviour in Malta" published in 'Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal' (Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 463-485) was awarded the Emerald Literati Network Highly Commended Paper Award for Excellence. He recently co-edited two volumes in the Emerald's 'Contemporary Studies in Economic and Financial Analysis' book series. Apart from this, he regularly reviews papers for a number of international peer-reviewed journals and conferences. Prof. Bezzina holds visiting professor positions at the University of Zagreb (Croatia), the Wroclaw University of Economics (Poland), LM Thapar School of Management (India) and Haxhi Zeka University (Kosovo). He is also a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society (UK), a member of the steering committee of the Research Methodology Special Interest Group of the British Academy of Management and an Honorary Board Member of the European Marketing and Management Association (EUMMAS). Beyond his academic role, Frank has been engaged in various consultancy assignments and projects for private and public organisations. Most notably, he was appointed non-executive Director of the Central Bank of Malta (2018-2023) and non-executive Chairperson of Wasteserv Malta Ltd (starting February 2020).

Professor Vincent Cassar PhD(Lond) is currently Deputy Dean at the Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy at the University of Malta and Fellow of the Centre for Evidence Based Management. He has held Visiting Scholarship positions at the University of Zagreb (Croatia) and Wroclaw University of Economics (Poland) and was Honorary Teaching Fellow at Birkbeck College (University of London) between 2002 and 2016. His research include the psychological contract, occupational health and stress and evidence-based management in particular decision-making under uncertainty and HR-data driven processes. He has presented and published his studies in several peer-reviewed journals like Work & Stress, European Journal of Management, Journal of Vocational Behavior, and the International Journal of HRM. He also acts as a reviewer for several international peer-reviewed journals. He was President of the Malta Association of Work and Organizational Psychology between 2011 and 2013. He also served as a professional member on the Senior Appointments Advisory Committee for Headship Selection at the Office of the Prime Minister between 2013 and 2018.

Keynote Speakers

Eric Barends (Ph.D., VU University Amsterdam) is the managing director of the Center for Evidence-Based Management. He has twenty years of management experience, fifteen years at the senior management level, including five years as an executive. He advises and coaches managers, senior leaders, and executive boards of large and medium sized companies and non-profit organizations on evidence-based decision-making. In addition he frequently runs training courses on this topic and serves as a visiting lecturer at several universities and business schools such as Carnegie Mellon University, New York University and Australian National University.

Sandra C. Buttigieg is Professor and Head of Department of Health Services Management (HSM), Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Malta. She is also Consultant in Public Health Medicine, Head of the Clinical Performance Unit, and Chair of the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Team, at Mater Dei Hospital, Malta. Professor Buttigieg strongly advocates inter-/trans-disciplinarity in practice/research. She believes that health organisations'/systems' performance depends on policies, people and operating systems. She authored/co-authored several articles in peer-reviewed international journals. She is also on several Editorial Boards of International Peer-Reviewed Journals.

Mini-Track Chairs

Ryan Azzopardi is a professional within the Airline industry. He is also a Henley Business School Alumni and a Business Development Strategist. Ryan has developed innovative projects within the beverage & Real Estate industry. Through his company Capital Alliance Ryan has provided Consultancy services in Malta and North Africa while serving the Hospitality, Medical, Commercial, Infrastructure and Residential market sectors. Ryan has provided advice within the Aerospace industry from Training Facility development, Air Ambulance strategy, Aircraft Acquisition and Government Level bilateral value creation. More recently Ryan has been involved in R&D currently reading for a PhD at the University of Malta under the Faculty of Economics, Management & Accountancy and the Faculty of Computer Science & Centre for DLTs.

Magdalena Iordache-Platis is full-professor at the University of Bucharest, former dean of the Faculty of Business and Administration. At present she is vice-rector on quality assurance and business relationships and an external expert on quality assurance in higher education. She is a member of the Society for Business She has authored of several articles and books, including chapters published in IGI Global and Springer. Her areas of interest include leadership and university management, university-industry links, strategic management. She is currently country manager of a marketing campaign on saving energy dedicated to students, within a H2020 project.

Danilo Piaggesi is Global development manager in business, international development and non-for-profit sectors, economic growth.  He has 35 years experience managing large development projects, impact investments, fundraising and technical cooperation funds, Innovation and Knowledge Economy for poverty reduction and social inclusion: (United Nations FAO, 1981-1991); (Telecom Italia/Telespazio, 1991-1998); (European Union, 1997-1998); (Inter-American Development Bank, 1998-2011); (Knowledge for Development, 2011 to present).

Workshop Facilitators