Information about some of TEAS' key contacts in the UK, Azerbaijan, Brussels, Germany and France:
Tale Heydarov – Chairman
Tale is the Chairman and Founder of TEAS. Whilst studying International Relations and History at the London School of Economics (LSE), he formed the LSE Azerbaijan Society. Tale’s brainchild began to achieve success, rapidly increasing awareness of his country at the university. Specialising Azerbaijan-focused events and political meetings, the objectives of the Society were fundamentally those of TEAS.
The LSE Azerbaijan Society subsequently evolved into the London Azerbaijan Society, which focused on larger events and academic publishing. As a result of rapid growth, the organisation rebranded as The European Azerbaijan Society in November 2008, going further to promote Azerbaijani business, culture and public affairs on a pan-European level. Tale is passionate about achieving resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and bringing this to the attention of European politicians and decision-makers, while highlighting Azerbaijani business and culture on an international stage.
Lionel Zetter – Director
In 2013, Lionel was appointed Director of TEAS. Previously, Lionel held numerous senior roles in the public relations sector, commencing his career as Associate Director of the Media Information Group before becoming Company Secretary at PR+CI. He was Managing Director of Parliamentary Monitoring Services Ltd and Political Wizard Ltd, and Deputy Chairman of Dods Parliamentary Communications.
He has also held the positions of Director of the Enterprise Forum, Managing Director of Zetter’s Political Services Ltd, Vice-President of Public Affairs Asia, and Senior Counsel at APCO Worldwide.
Lionel is a Fellow of the Charted Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and of the Royal Society of Arts, and a member of National Union of Journalists. He was President of the CIPR from 2007 to 2008, and is a former Chairman of the Government Affairs Group.
He is the author of books including Political Campaigning Handbook; Lobbying – the Art of Political Persuasion; and Blueprint – the Policies and Personalities of the Conservative Government. He also publishes the Zetter’s Political Companion series.
Lionel was voted Personality of the Year 2008 by readers of Public Affairs News (PAN), and was awarded the PAN ‘Outstanding Contribution’ award in 2012. He is also a regular feature of the PR Week Power Book.
t: +44 (0)207 808 1903
Leon Cook – Director of Communications
Leon is Director of Communications at TEAS and is responsible for the coordination of TEAS’ global office network. He has over 12 years’ experience in public relations and corporate affairs, having worked for some of the major communications agencies and corporations in the UK, the US, and The Netherlands.
Leon’s main objective at TEAS is to bring Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to the attention of organisations, politicians and media working in the European political domain, forging long-lasting cultural and economic ties with key stakeholders.
t: +44 (0)207 808 1902
Sabina Rakcheyeva – Arts & Cultural Advisor
Sabina is Arts & Cultural Advisor at TEAS and a member of the European Cultural Parliament. A renowned violinist, she was the first Azerbaijani graduate from the Juilliard School of Music in New York and, to date, has performed in over 40 countries.
Actively involved in the cultural diplomacy field, she has appeared at the UNESCO Hall in Paris, UN General Assembly Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Bundestag in Berlin and addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Sabina's objective at TEAS is to raise awareness of all Azerbaijani cultural aspects, including art, architecture, dance and music, through a range of concerts, performances, exhibitions and publications.
t: +44(0)207 808 1908
Vanessa Raine – Business Co-ordinator
Vanessa is Co-ordinator of Corporate Affairs & Business Development at TEAS. Prior to joining TEAS, she held numerous senior roles in the Executive Search arena, specialising in energy, telecoms and banking sectors, in addition to strategic communications.
Vanessa's objective is to demonstrate the benefits of TEAS membership to companies with a proven interest in Azerbaijan, highlighting the work TEAS carries out as a conduit and facilitator of successful business ventures in the country. She is also instrumental in TEAS’ event programme, spearheading the annual TEAS Business Forum series of events.
t: +44 (0)207 808 1921
Taleh Bagiyev – Director of TEAS Azerbaijan
Taleh is Director of TEAS Azerbaijan. Prior to joining TEAS, Taleh co-founded and held the position of Chairman at the Anglo-Azerbaijan Youth Society. The Society worked to promote knowledge of Azerbaijan and the occupation of the Nagorno-Karabah region to a world audience.
He holds a Masters Degree in History and has co-authored a number of books, including Azerbaijan and Great Britain: Co-operation and Partnership 1991–2001, and oversaw the launch of Visions of Azerbaijan magazine in 2006 in collaboration with the London Azerbaijan Society.
Taleh’s objective at TEAS is to manage TEAS’ projects in Azerbaijan, including publications and films focusing on the country’s history, educational projects and programmes designed to acquaint visiting professionals and politicians with all aspects of the business, history and culture of the country.
t: +994 (0)12 539 63 45/47
Roman Huna – Head of TEAS Belgium
Roman is Head of TEAS Belgium and has over 15 years’ experience in public and European affairs. Prior to joining TEAS, Roman was Programme Advisor of the Council of Europe’s Directorate General of Legal Affairs, where he specialised in international projects, working in Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus region (Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia).
His main objective at TEAS is to raise awareness of Azerbaijan among all European actors in Brussels and Strasbourg, including EU institutions, all relevant representations, and civil society. Roman’s goal is to help Azerbaijan evolve and integrate fully as a member of the European family, and as a strategic regional leader.
t: +32 (0)2 550 34 31
Marie-Laetitia Gourdin – Head of TEAS France
Marie-Laetitia became Head of TEAS France in 2014. She has solid expertise in international relations and geopolitics relating to Eastern European countries. Prior to joining TEAS, she worked at the International Energy Agency (an autonomous body of the OECD) as Energy Analyst for a collaborative programme regarding clean energy technologies involving Russia, Ukraine and Caspian and Black Sea countries, and other regions. She has also worked at the French Prime Minister’s Office for European Affairs on issues related to the EU European Neighbourhood Policy.
Marie-Laetitia’s major focus is to raise TEAS’ and Azerbaijan’s profile among French stakeholders in France, engaging with French politicians, the private sector and civil society.
t: +33 (0)1 70 91 72 84
Shahin Namati-Nasab – Director of TEAS Germany
Shahin is Director of TEAS Germany, where he has developed TEAS’ presence in the country by raising awareness of Azerbaijan and developing relationships with key stakeholders in the region.
Educated in Germany, Paris and London, Shahin holds a Masters Degree in Research Economics, and an MSc and BSc in Economics and Mathematics for LSE.
His main objective at TEAS is to raise awareness of Azerbaijani culture and history, in addition to highlighting the economic developments in the country and the business opportunities that exist in the region.
t: +49 (0)30 408 173 141
Rena Rzaeva – Public Affairs Executive
Rena is Public Affairs Executive at TEAS Turkey. Prior to joining TEAS, Rena worked at Accenture's Strategy Consulting division in the UK.
Rena holds a Bachelor’s degree from the London School of Economics, and a Master’s degree from University of Oxford, St Antony's College.
Rena has worked in Russia, Turkey and the UK, gaining experience across both public and private organisations, such as UBS, LUKOIL, CNN Turk, the British Consulate and Bloomberg.
t: +90 (0)212 381 86 37