Research Team

Mr. Matti Heikkurinen

Senior Researcher, Cross-border IT Management and Governance, Switzerland

Mr. Matti Heikkurinen (M.Sc. in Computer Science) has extensive experience in complex IT systems and their interaction with the development of organizational and inter-organizational processes, practices and cultures. His working history includes positions in industrial R&D, research laboratories and start-ups, with involvement in numerous international research projects starting from the fifth EU framework program. His research interests generally relate to distributed computing and data management systems and the impact of the new applications and use cases. He has published several peer-reviewed articles examining the opportunities and challenges related to managing new ICT technologies and their applications. In CBRA, Matti acts as a Senior Consultant for Cross-border IT Management and Governance, since year 2015.

Dr. Juha Hintsa

CBRA Founder, Executive Director and Board Member, Switzerland

Dr. Juha Hintsa is a senior researcher, lecturer and consultant in supply chain security and global trade facilitation. He has professional background in consumer goods, steel industry, and software sector – before shifting to his current field of interest in summer 2001. Juha has a Masters in Engineering from Helsinki University of Technology and a PhD in Management from HEC University of Lausanne. In 2005 he founded Cross-border Research Association, CBRA, as an independent research institute to focus on supply chain security and trade facilitation research - acting as the Executive Director and a Board Member. He has around 70 publications in academic and practitioner journals and proceedings, as well as in governmental and industry reports. Juha is an associate editor for the Journal of Transportation Security and editorial board member for the World Customs Journal, as well as an advisory group member for the World Customs Organization’s PICARD program.

Dr. Sangeeta Mohanty

Policy Analyst, Switzerland

Dr. Sangeeta Mohanty holds a MAS (Master of Advanced Studies in European Integration) with a Major in International Business, and a doctorate degree in English Literature from the University of Basel, Switzerland. She worked as a project manager, being responsible for change management workshops in the Learning and Development division of the multinational corporation, Syngenta. Since 2011, she has been conducting research activities for Cross-border Research Association, as a Policy Analyst. She has undertaken research on international security policies and programmes, critical infrastructure and critical supply flows in the EU, challenges and complexities in global supply chains, as well as global trade facilitation, including a major study on indirect border tax de-minimis threshold levels.

Dr. Toni Männistö

Post-doc Researcher, Switzerland

Dr. Toni Männistö is a researcher and consultant in logistics risk management, supply chain security and trade facilitation. Dr. Männistö holds a PhD in supply chain security that he obtained at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in January 2015. Before embarking on the PhD program in late 2011, he graduated (MSc) in Industrial Engineering and Management from Aalto University of Technology, Helsinki. Dr. Männistö has been working for Cross-border Research Association since 2009, and during this time he has contributed to numerous research and consulting projects and published several studies in academic and industry journals. He has also carried out independent consulting projects at postal, pharmaceutical and defense sectors and edited two practice-oriented industry periodicals, the Network Industry Quarterly and the Postal Industry. His current research interests include coordinated border management, customs risk management, critical infrastructure protection and air cargo security.

Mr. Vladlen Tsikolenko

Technical Manager, Georgia

Mr. Vladlen Tsikolenko (M.Sc.Eng.) is the Technical Manager of Cross-border Research Association, CBRA, working in variety of research and consulting projects with CBRA since year 2005, including FP7-projects INTEGRITY, CASSANDRA and CORE. His specialties include information systems, processes, standards and data models; mathematical modeling; supply chain management; and technology management. Next to the research activities, Vladlen has several years of experience in cross-border operations management as a logistics manager responsible for delivery and distribution of high value machinery parts from the EU to CIS regional markets. He has also been involved in a number of projects related to the collection of user requirements and data analysis for building IT platforms and ERP modules in logistics.

Ms. Susana Wong Chan

Researcher, Education and Training Materials, Costa Rica

Ms. Susana Wong Chan holds a Masters degree (Master of International Law and Economics) from the World Trade Institute, University of Bern, Switzerland. She is currently the Director of the Customs Administration and Foreign Trade Program at the University of Costa Rica, being responsible of more than 100 professors and 1000 students. She is also the project manager of a Central American project related to trade facilitation for road transportation funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). She worked in the Ministry of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica as a trade negotiator in the area of Rules of Origin, Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation, where she was in charge of negotiating and implementing Free Trade Agreements from Costa Rica. At CBRA, Susana focuses on education and training material production in supply chain security and trade facilitation. Susana is also an advisory group member for the World Customs Organization’s PICARD program. She speaks Spanish, English, Chinese, French and Portuguese.

Consulting team

Mr. Michael Ellis

Senior Consultant, Illicit Trade in Global Supply Chains, United Kingdom

Mr. Michael Ellis has nearly 40 years of experience in law enforcement, coming from an operational policing background. He served with the London Metropolitan Police fighting against serious international and organised crime for 20 years, He was then engaged in the corporate security function in multinational firms, dealing with anti-counterfeit and illicit trade issues on a global basis for a further 16 years. Michael was with Universal Music, with IFPI, the music industry’s trade association, and with Beiersdorf. Most recently he was the Assistant Director of Police Services at INTERPOL and the Head of the INTERPOL Program on Traffic in Illicit Goods and Counterfeit. Michael was responsible for managing and coordinating INTERPOL’s global strategy to fight against this criminal activity, and he lead the police organisations international efforts in this area. Michael has a Master’s degree in Social Science, where he specifically researched the extensive links between organised crime and illicit trade and counterfeiting. Michael joined CBRAs consulting team on 1 October, 2016, as a Senior Consultant. He will be involved in various projects related to illicit trade and counterfeit goods in global supply chains.

Mr. Lars W Lorenzen

Senior Consultant, Maritime and Port Security, Denmark

Mr. Lars W Lorenzen has had a career with the Maersk Group spanning 37 years within a number of business units, notably within container transportation in the broadest sense. His particular knowledge and expertise covers the operational, equipment management, security, safety, standardization and regulatory sphere. He has been leading the Maersk Group work in obtaining and maintaining US C-TPAT and EU AEO-F supply chain security certifications and validations since the inception of both initiatives, while engaging with customers in shaping their profiles. As part of his security tasks, Lars has built and maintained a security response programme for the Maersk Line organisation, being also the focal point and first responder to security breaches. For a period, he was a member of the WCO PSCG (World Customs Organization Private Sector Consultative Group). During the past 20+ years he has been an appointed national expert in standardization work, mainly within ISO TC104 and TC204, including leadership of working groups - while heading the Danish delegation. Lars has served as a civil expert to NATO and other military initiatives by appointment of the Danish Government for the past 12 years, providing commercial views and factual information relating to logistics, and in the course of this participated in developing and conducting table top and other exercises.

Ms. Vittoria Luda di Cortemiglia

Senior Consultant, Illicit Trade and Human Trafficking, Italy

Ms. Vittoria Luda di Cortemiglia is a senior researcher and consultant with extensive experience on various criminal justice and supply chain security issues at international level. Experience specifically includes applied research and analysis as well as project management and training for professionals, in the field of illicit trafficking and supply chain security, including trafficking in persons, trafficking in counterfeit products, illicit trade in precious metals, illegal waste trade and eco-crimes, cybercrime and misuse of technologies. After graduating in Law at the University of Turin, Italy, 1999, Ms. Luda di Cortemiglia obtained a Master degree in International Relationships and Diplomacy at St. John’s University, New York, USA, in 2001, joining the United Nations in October 2001. Until September 2016 she has coordinated the programs and activities of the Emerging Crimes Unit at the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI). She has acted as UNICRI Focal Point for the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network (PNI), and from 2009 until 2016 she represented UNICRI within the United Nations Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Human Trafficking (UN-ICAT).

Mr. Theo Ruyters

Senior Consultant, Customs Programs, the Netherlands

Mr. Theo Ruyters has more than 40 years of experience in the processes related to tax and customs procedures, having worked with the Dutch Tax and Customs at different positions as well as in several management and project groups related to the EU Customs Union. Mr. Ruyters has throughout his career been involved in auditing, development of customs processes and international cooperation within the EU and other countries, especially in South-East Asia. At the Dutch Tax Administration he started as an auditor specializing in mineral oils, profit tax and customs duties and excises. During the past 15 years, Mr. Ruyters has developed and implemented new working methods in the Customs Organization as a project leader and a program manager. The new methods include the System based Approach; legislation and implementation of the Authorized Economic Operator program within the Netherlands and the European Union. Mr. Ruyters made an initiative for an International Strategy for the Dutch Customs in the Customs-to-Customs co-operation, and was consequently a member of the group, which developed the strategy. Mr. Ruyters took an early retirement from the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration in 2012. In CBRA, Mr. Ruyters is acting as a Senior Consultant on various Customs Programs since 2015, bringing with him a wealth of hands on experience.

Advisory team

Professor Ari-Pekka Hameri

Board Member, Switzerland

Dr. Ari-Pekka Hameri is professor of operations management at University of Lausanne, Switzerland. He has been involved with numerous international research and spin-off projects dealing with industrial IT and supply chain management. He has published over 70 articles in international management and science journals concerning technology management and transfer, and management of production, projects and supply chains.

Mr. David Hamon

Advisor on International Security Policies, United States

Mr. David Hamon has over 30 years of progressive professional experience, out of which over 20 years of international experience. He specializes in strategy, international security, and foresight partnering with global nonprofit, government, and private business clients to align business objectives and practices with global security policy initiatives. Currently VP for Strategic Initiatives at the Economic Warfare Institute, he served in the US Army and with Analytic Services (ANSER) Inc. At ANSER, he was seconded to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, African Affairs, serving as the regional director for policy and plans. He was also seconded to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency where he directed strategic research efforts on weapons of mass destruction and future threats. He was the founding director of Banyan Analytics Institute, created to aid the US Government re-balance to the Asia Pacific. Mr. Hamon holds a B.Ed. in Education from Colorado State University and M.A. in Political Science/International Relations from Northeastern University. In CBRA, David acts as the Advisor on International Security Policies, since year 2015.

Dr. Perttu Kähäri

Advisor on New Research Projects and Funding, Finland

Dr. Perttu Kähäri holds Master degrees in Engineering (Helsinki University of Technology) and in Economics (Helsinki School of Economics), and a Doctorate degree in International Business from Aalto University School of Business. His research focuses on management of multinational corporations, regional organizations and international entrepreneurship. Perttu held a number of management positions during his 15 year career in DHL, within logistics, marketing, strategy, and finance, at global, European and Nordic levels, as well as in the country operation in Finland. He has managed, participated and steered numerous projects in business transformation, system implementation and process improvement, and has also worked as a consultant specializing in service business, also co-authoring books in the field. Perttu has also served as CFO in Are Group, one of the largest companies in Finland in property services and electrical and HVAC installations. Perttu supports CBRA since 2014 to act as an Advisor on New Research Projects and Funding and to provide expertise in select international projects.

Professor Ninoslav Marina

Board Member, Switzerland

Dr. Ninoslav Marina obtained a Ph.D. at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in 2004. In partnership with Nokia Research Centre in Helsinki, his thesis was in the information theory with application to wireless communications. Ninoslav Marina was Director of R&D at a Swiss hitech start-up from 2005 to 2007. From 2007 to 2008 he was Visiting Scholar at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, from 2008 to 2009, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oslo. During the period 2010–2012 Ninoslav Marina was Visiting Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton University, holding still a Visiting Research position at Princeton. Prof. Marina has been a guest professor at twenty universities, including in United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Israel, Russia, Brazil, Hong Kong, Norway, Finland, Portugal, and the Czech Republic. He has an excellent record and experience in fund raising through various public funding instruments both in academia and industry, including the Swiss CTI, Swiss NSF, the European Commission and the European Space Agency. Dr. Marina is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and is one of the co-founders of the Macedonian Chapter of the IEEE Information Theory Society.

Mr. Harri Sundell

Research Project Administration, Finland

Mr. Harri Sundell is finishing his M.Sc. in Economics and Business Administration studies in Aalto University and is also taking part in an intensive Chinese language learning program in the Peking University (PKU), the leading university in China. Harri has along with his major in finance also studied international business, management and business law. Besides CBRA, Harri has worked for various industries in financial roles, most recently for the Nordea Bank as an analyst. Harri started in CBRA in 2011 and currently works as a financial advisor, supporting CBRA management in decision making, while focusing on developing CBRA from the financial point of view. During his time at CBRA Harri has contributed especially to the development of reporting and budgeting frameworks. He has also played a an important role in transformation process from the European FP7 research projects to Horizon 2020 projects, especially when it comes to the respective reporting requirements.

Ms. Susan Wilander

Advisor on Communications and Media Relations, Finland

Ms. Susan Wilander has a M.Soc.Sc. degree in communication from the University of Helsinki. She has worked in the communications field for over 15 years as a journalist, editor, translator and communications consultant, and has a wide international experience. She has specialized in providing Editor-in-chief services for niche publications, taking care of the whole production process from content planning, contributor relations, photo editing, AD supervising to printing house relations. Susan has a long experience in translating, editing, proofreading and localizing especially agricultural and EU regional commercial and governmental texts. She is an IFAJ journalist with professional interest in gardening and animal husbandry. Susan supports and advises CBRA regularly in communication related issues, most recently as the Advisor for Communication and Media Relations. More information on Susan Wilander at

Research associates

Dr. Thi Thu Hien Phan

Senior Lecturer and Researcher, Vietnam

Dr. Thi Thu Hien Phan is a lecturer of international trade transactions and customs administration at the Vietnam Foreign Trade University. She had worked as a specialist in international business in the automobile industry in Vietnam before her current career. In 2012, she defended successfully the PhD dissertation on the issue of establishing an efficient linkage between trade and industry policies for the industrialization and global participation of Vietnam. She is known as an expert on international trade transactions and customs affairs not only working at her University but also for training and supervising Vietnam’s business community and customs officers. She is an active researcher about customs and cross-border trade in Vietnam with several projects including informal trade and customs in Vietnam; logistics costs of Vietnamese enterprises; and standardization and harmonization of customs procedure in Vietnam. During 2015-16 she was a visiting postdoctoral researcher in HEC University of Lausanne and CBRA in Switzerland – focusing on a study on the socio-economic negative impacts of illegal trade case of Vietnam, Costa Rica and Switzerland.

CBRA alumni

Mr. Juha Ahokas

Senior Researcher in Supply Chain Security, Espoo, Finland

Mr Juha Ahokas is a researcher and security expert who has previously worked for the Nordic insurance sector and INTERPOL. He is currently a board member of ASIS International Finland, a national branch of the leading organization for security professionals worldwide. Mr Ahokas obtained his M.Sc. in construction engineering at Helsinki University of Technology in 1995. Later in 2001, he entered the field of security by accepting a post at a Finnish insurance company where his responsibilities included development of practices for property crime scene investigation and creation of guidelines for physical security, access control, intrusion alarms, and CCTV systems. Before joining INTERPOL in 2014, Mr Ahokas lead a research project on supply chain continuity and played a major role at Cross-border Research Association in several pan-European security projects, including LOGSEC, FOCUS, CASSANDRA and CORE. At INTERPOL, Mr Ahokas used his expertise to build cooperation between police organizations and customs administrations and to develop better tools for collecting and analysing crime intelligence. Over the past year, He has worked as an independent consultant but also dedicated much of his time on doctoral studies that focus on governance of interdependent public and private actors in the field of data analytics and intelligence systems. As of January 2017, his main project at CBRA was to lead the content development for the European commercial freight road transport sector security toolkit, a seven-month project mandated and funded by EC DG MOVE. He finished his term at CBRA in August 2017.

Mr. Peter Myers

Senior Consultant, Physical Security, Switzerland

Mr. Peter Myers holds a Master of Business Administration from HEC University of Lausanne Switzerland. He has an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. He is a retired Logistics Officer from the United States Army Reserve where he served for over 23 years. He also has extensive private sector work experience including: engineering assignments at IBM, Honeywell, and Motorola where he designed modules for embedded microprocessors. He was awarded a patent for a period preserving timer invention while at Motorola. His most recent assignment was as a Project Manager/Senior Project Engineer/Security Expert at a Geneva-based, global inspection company. While there he conducted a myriad of different activities including: product development for cargo track and trace, in transit visibility, port security systems, and access control systems. He also worked on FP7 projects including CREATIF where he conducted and managed the research into CBRNE testing and co-authored three technical papers on the subject. In collaboration with the OSCE and UNECE he co-authored the Handbook of Best Practices at Border Crossing Points. During years 2014-15, Peter acted as Security Advisor for CBRA, making also important contributions in one H2020-project.

Dr. Andrew Traill

Advisor on International Transport Policies, United Kingdom

Andrew Traill, PhD, BSc(Hons) has a PhD from the University of London evaluating European short-sea and inland shipping. He has since gained over 20 years of experience in freight transport and international trade policy. Particular knowledge and expertise covers maritime, port, customs and documentation, air, road, and rail freight policy, environmental policy, maritime competition policy, the development of EU anti-terrorist security measures, industry-specific service performance indicators and joint-industry operational best practice. Andrew spent 12 years representing the freight interests of the British Shippers‘ Council. This was followed as Policy Director for 6 years with the European Shippers’ Council (ESC) and various short-term consultancy projects, independent freelance writing, developing and managing a shippers’ internet portal. In 2011, Andrew was contracted by Green Freight Europe, supporting the development and expansion of the industry-led carbon reduction programme. Involvement with projects more recently have included the development of a AEO Mutual Recognition Agreements and a study into de-minimis thresholds - both with CBRA, and a scoping study for a major demonstration of an Urban Logistics Centre in Greater Manchester. Altogether, Dr. Traill contributed as an Advisor to CBRAs during years 2010-16.

Mr. Duayner Salas Chaverri

Vice Minister of Foreign Trade, Costa Rica

Mr. Duayner Salas Chaverri has a Bachelor Degree on Customs Administration and Foreign Trade from the University of Costa Rica (UCR) – accredited by the WCO PICARD program - and a Masters Degree on Diplomacy from the UCR and the Diplomatic Institute of Foreign Service of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Costa Rica (graduation pending). His final dissertation of the Masters Degree was about the relation between the foreign policy and the foreign trade and investment policy in Costa Rica. He also has advanced studies on Political Science and has initiated studies on Art History. Since 2014, he is a researcher and professor in the Customs Administration and Foreign Trade Program in the UCR. He is currently involved in a Central American project related to trade facilitation for road transportation, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). He has worked as a junior consultant for the University of West Indies, for the Intra-American Development Bank (IADB) and other organizations. With CBRA, Duayner has worked as a researcher and analyst, particularly focusing on the CORE Information Observatory.