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Who is who in the Impact Assessment Institute


As a new organisation, the Institute is in the process of building its bodies and structure, aligned to its Governance, in cooperation with stakeholders.  Currently the Institute is led and managed by its founders.  As the Board and Stakeholder bodies are developed, this page will record the individuals who will help lead the Institute into the future.

Dr. Simon Godwin

 Founding chairman and Managing Director




Erik Akse

 Founding vice-chairman and Director of training




Hugh de Lacy

Senior Fellow




Marija Todorova





Mauro Baronti

Research Associate




Dr Simon Godwin

Founding Chairman and Managing Director

Simon Godwin started developing the idea for the Impact Assessment Institute in 2011 and from April 2015 worked actively towards its establishment.


Until March 2015 Simon was Executive Director of EUCAR, the collaboartive research association of the major automobile manufacturers. In this position he supported research into advanced propulsion, safety and manufacturing technologies aiming at sustainable transport.


It was during this assignment that Simon realised the growing need for robust scientific assessment in policy making and thus created the idea for the Institute.


Prior to this, Simon held a number of engineering, strategy and public affairs positions in Daimler / Daimler Chrysler, in Stuttgart, Washington, D.C., and Brussels. In these positions Simon gained his experience in regulatory compliance and impact assessment. In particular, he was engaged in in-depth evaluation of regulatory impact assessment and cost benefit analysis in both the U.S. and E.U. systems. This experience stimulated his keen interest in evidence for policy making.


Previously, Simon spent three years working in the financial sector in the City of London. He gained his degree in Physics at Brasenose College, Oxford University and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College, London.

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"The concept for the Impact Assessment Institute was developed through discussions with stakeholders over a number of years.  Through this careful planning and consultation, we have ensured that its structure and procedures will support its credibility and impartiality, creating the added value that it brings to EU regulatory policy."

"The Impact Assessment Institute creates confidence in EU decision-making. It rigorously screens the quality of the facts and figures that underpin EU legislation and policies. The IAI works for all stakeholders and is uniquely open and transparent. It is the platform that holds EU Institutions to account on the actual Better Regulation achievements."


Erik Akse

Founding Vice-Chairman and Director of Training

Erik Akse is a specialist for EU decision-making processes and, in particular, the Commission's approach to Better Regulation through Impact Assessment, Evaluation and REFIT. 


Erik approaches EU Affairs from a highly practical perspective. He published three guidebooks on the EU, "The EU Flow: From EU policy to EU law and back", "How the EU Institutions Work and... How to work with the EU Institutions, 2nd edition", and "Influencing the Preparation of EU Legislation: A Practical Guide to Working with Impact Assessments".


Erik is an independent trainer, coach and advisor on EU Affairs, Better Regulation and Policy Development. He has provided trainings and advice for European Institutions, stakeholders based in Brussels, governments of EU Member States and International organisations.

Erik also is the Team Leader for a 4-year project during which he works at the Kosovo administration on setting up the Impact Assessment System for the country. In addition, he leads the implementation of the Better Regulation Agenda for Kosovo. 

Hugh de Lacy

Senior Fellow

Hugh de Lacy has spent most of his working life in the microelectronics industry, specialising primarily in assembly technology in the areas of aerospace systems, fibre optics and a variety of commercial applications. He has had roles in engineering process development, production engineering management, quality management and procurement and has extensive experience in the management of offshore development and production, mainly in the Far East.


Hugh has worked for ITT Components, Analog Devices, Hewlett-Packard / Agilent Technologies and latterly as an independent consultant.

Having retired from his main profession Hugh is now using his analytical and engineering skills to assist the Impact Assessment Institute in its objective of scrutinising EU policies and legislation.


Hugh studied for his B.Sc. in Electronic Engineering at The University of Wales, Bangor.

"Many of the big challenges facing the world today can only be effectively tackled by the cooperative actions of nation states under the auspices of organisations such as the UN and the EU.  I am pleased to be able to contribute to the Impact Assessment Institute’s work of providing review and constructive criticism of EU policies and regulatory initiatives in technical areas."

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Marija Todorova


Marija holds two master's degree, one in European and International Politics and Diplomacy and another in Advanced European Studies, EU Law at the European College of Parma.


Her previous experience includes positions at the Parliament of the Republic of North Macedonia, the Macedonian Centre for European Training and the European House Initiative.


Marija is analytical and knowledge driven with a deep interest in EU policy making and legislation, using these qualities to support the Institute’s analysis of the EU regulatory field and drafting of its studies.

Mauro Baronti

Research Associate

Mauro Baronti holds a master’s degree in Political Science at Pisa University, a master’s degree in European Political and Governance Studies at College of Europe (Bruges), and an advanced master in Management and Control of the Environment at Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies (Pisa).

In 2017 he was the primary author of the Institute’s scrutiny study on excise duties on alcohol and alcoholic beverages. His other experience includes a position on data reporting on Italian companies in relation to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and a traineeship in environmental compliance.

Mauro has an aptitude for analysis and for synthesising data efficiently as well as an ability to manage ambiguity. He is currently the primary contributor to an in-depth study on external costs of transport.

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