ACA Secretariat

Bernd Wächter


Bernd Wächter is ACA's Director, a position he has held since 1998. Bernd is responsible for the overall management of the Brussels-based Secretariat and is a frequently consulted expert and speaker on internationalisation issues.



Irina Ferencz

Deputy Director

Irina Ferencz (née Lungu) is Deputy Director at ACA, the organisation where she also started her professional career in the field of internationalisation of European higher education in 2008. In this capacity she supports the ACA Director in the day-to-day running of the organisation, combining research, management and representation responsibilities.



Marija Mitic

Project Officer

Marija Mitic is Project Officer at ACA. She began her work at ACA as a trainee in March 2014 and then joined the team in her current position. She has since been involved in several ACA projects and European Policy Seminars. Before joining ACA, Marija was a trainee at the European Commission, in the International Cooperation and Programmes Unit of DG EAC. 

While still in her native country, Serbia, Marija worked as an intercultural trainer and language teacher. She is a certified youth worker with international experience in youth leadership and adult learning. She is an Erasmus Mundus Alumna with a Master’s Degree in Lifelong Learning: Policy and Management from Aarhus University, Denmark and Universidad de Deusto, Spain.



Queenie K.H. Lam-Schöch

Project Manager

Queenie, Project Manager of ACA, joined the ACA Secretariat in 2010. She is responsible for a mixed portfolio of project development, policy research and membership services. Within ACA, she is a specialist in international education marketing and branding, rankings, EU-China mobility and funding. 

Queenie has become a mother in late 2015 and is now residing in Germany with her family during a 2-year sabbatical leave started in mid-2016. She uses the career break also to further develop her academic interest around the “mediatization” of higher education. 



Irina Malai

Office Manager

Irina Malai joined ACA Secretariat in November 2017 to take over the position of the Office Manager. She is responsible for the internal organisation of the office and for the external communication (stakeholders and general inquiries). She is also involved in the organisation of ACA’s events in Brussels and abroad.                                                                                    Irina was born in the Republic of Moldova but has been living for many years in different European countries (first Italy, then Belgium). She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philology of Modern and Classic languages from the Moldova State University and a Master’s degree in Modern languages and literature from the Free University of Brussels (ULB). Irina speaks fluently English, French, Italian and Russian, besides Romanian, her mother tongue. 



Chiara Colella


Chiara Colella is ACA’s trainee. In this capacity, she is responsible for the publication of ACA’s monthly newsletter, and she writes some of the articles herself. Chiara comes from Puglia, in the south of Italy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Foreign Languages and Literature (English, French and German) and a Master’s degree in International Relations. Her dream is to work at the service of the European integration.