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Visiting Professors

As of the Academic Year 2020-21, the UCL European Institute is pleased to welcome three Visiting Professors. Carlos Moedas, Dr Heather Grabbe, and Dr Dame Nicola Brewer will bring a wealth of experience and expertise in politics, policy, advocacy and diplomacy to the Institute’s work during their five-year posts. Read on for more about each of our visiting faculty.

Carlos Moedas – Former European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation

Carlos Moedas
Carlos Moedas was European Commissioner (2014-2019) covering the portfolio of Research, Science and Innovation. In this role, he designed the proposal for the EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon Europe.

A former civil engineer and economist, he previously served as co-ordinator of Portugal’s Social Democratic Party Economic Research Unit, before being elected to Parliament in 2011. He was quickly appointed as under-Secretary of State in the Portuguese government, where he oversaw the implementation of key structural reforms. He is currently a Trustee for the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and a board member for the Jacques Delors Institute.

European Institute Activities

Carlos will contribute to the Institute’s work by engaging in a range of public, advisory and student-facing activities. He will give talks and participate in closed policy roundtables on EU-related topics, including on research, science and innovation.


Dr Heather Grabbe – Director, Open Society European Policy Institute

Heather Grabbe
Heather Grabbe is Director of the Open Society European Policy Institute. From 2004 to 2009 she was Senior Advisor to then European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn, responsible in his cabinet for the Balkans and Turkey. Before joining the commission, she was Deputy Director of the Centre for European Reform, the London-based think tank, where she published widely on EU enlargement and other European issues. Her writing has appeared in the Financial Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian, among others. Heather has a PhD from Birmingham University and a BA and MA from Oxford University. Her academic career includes teaching at the London School of Economics, and research at Oxford and Birmingham universities, the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House, London), and the European University Institute (Florence). She speaks French, Italian, and German.

European Institute Activities

Heather will contribute to the institute’s work in several of her areas of expertise, including Rule of Law and climate change, through policy roundtables, workshops, and seminars. She will also teach on a masters-level course on European Politics, Policy, and Law, which is currently in development.


Dr Dame Nicola Brewer – Former Vice-Provost International, UCL

Nicola Brewer
Dame Nicola holds non-executive roles on the boards of Iberdrola SA, Aggreko plc and London First; she is chair of Aggreko’s Ethics & Corporate Responsibility committee and a member of Iberdrola’s Sustainable Development committee. She is a trustee of Sentebale, a charity founded by the Duke of Sussex and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, which supports the mental health and wellbeing of young people affected by HIV in Lesotho and Botswana. She is also a member, and co-chair of the UK group, of the Trilateral Commission, the international think tank founded in 1973 by David Rockefeller.

Her 30-year diplomatic career included postings to Mexico, France and India; she was Director General for Europe during the UK’s last Presidency of the EU. Her final overseas appointment was as British High Commissioner to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.  Executive roles outside the Diplomatic Service included Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and Director General for Regional Programmes at the Department for International Development.

Most recently, from May 2014 to September 2020, Nicola was Vice-Provost International at University College London, where she led the university’s first Global Engagement Strategy, supervised the Institute of Education and acted as gender equality champion on the Senior Management Team.

European Institute Activities

As a visiting professor with the European Institute, Nicola will participate in discussion and policy work, particularly in areas of international higher education collaboration. She will also be closely involved in our efforts to create academic and professional opportunities for underrepresented students of Europe.