ILO COOP Staff

Simel Esim

Simel Esim is Programme Manager (Senior Technical Specialist) at the Enterprises Department of the International Labour Office. In that capacity, she leads the ILO’s work on cooperatives and the social and solidarity economy. Earlier, she was Senior Gender Specialist at the Regional Office for Arab States, where she led the work on gender equality, transition from the informal to the formal economy, and decent work for domestic workers.

Before joining the ILO, Ms. Esim worked as an economist at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI), and the World Bank. She has written extensively on gender equality, decent work, migration, economic organizing, and the informal economy. Her recent works include a co-edited book, Cooperatives and the World of Work (2019 Routledge).

She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the American University, Washington, D.C, an M.A. in International Economics and Middle East Studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a B.A. in Political Science from Boğaziçi University. Simel speaks Turkish and English, and has working knowledge of Italian and Arabic. She is a beginner in Spanish and French.


Roberto Di Meglio

Roberto Di Meglio is a Senior Specialist at the International Labour Organization in Geneva. He mainly works on Local development and Social and Solidarity Economy.

He began his career with the ILO in 1989 working on cooperatives and local development in Argentina, Bolivia, Central America and the Caribbean, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay. From 1999 to 2003 he was assigned to the ILO in Geneva where he coordinated the activities of the Local Economic Development Programme for Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. As LED Specialist in the ILO Office in Chile, from 2003 to 2008, he published several titles and articles on local economic development, supervised technical cooperation programmes and projects and promoted networking with other international organizations, training centres and academic institutions. Prior to his current position, he leaded a Project - Promotion of Decent Work and social cohesion - within the ILO International Training Center in Turin, Italy.

He co-authored and edited several ILO publications, in particular, “Social and Solidarity Economy: -building a common understanding” (2010); “Social and Solidarity Economy: Our common road towards Decent Work” (2011); Social and Solidarity Economy: An opportunity to enhance youth employment” (2013); “Social and Solidarity Economy: Towards Inclusive and Sustainable Development (2014). He is co-editor of a web site, the “Collective Brain".

Guy Tchami

Guy Tchami has been working for the ILO for the past sixteen years. He joined the organization in 2001 in its Cooperatives Unit in Geneva, mainly working on project formulation, project backstopping, research and publications, etc. Between 2008-11, he worked for a DFID-funded programme assisting cooperatives and other self-help groups in Eastern and Southern Africa, based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He is currently based in Geneva as Cooperative Policy and Research Specialist working on development cooperation projects on cooperatives and other social and solidarity economy enterprises. He holds a Master’s degree in Development Economics. He speaks French, and English, and as well as has working knowledge of Spanish.


Andrea Davila

Andrea Davila joined the ILO in 2010 as technical officer on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. Her main areas of work included research, design and implementation of development cooperation projects, and the provision of technical advice on non-Discrimination, Child Labour and Forced Labour in different regions. She joined the ILO’s Cooperatives Unit in 2018, where she works on the development of tools, training, and supports the Unit’s development cooperation activities. Andrea has a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Business from the Catholic University of Ecuador – Quito, and a Master of Arts in Development Studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies - Geneva. She speaks English, French and Spanish.


Valentina Verze

Valentina Verze works at ILO as Technical Officer on Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) and the Future of Work. She joined the Cooperatives Unit at the Enterprises Department of ILO in Geneva in 2018 and her main areas of work include a range of SSE-related issues, such as: elaboration of research, analyses and reports; identification, design, implementation, technical backstopping of development cooperation projects; development of capacity building tools and strategies; and networking with ILO constituents and other partners in the field of SSE, decent work and inclusive and sustainable development. 



Between 2014 and 2018, Ms Verze worked as a manager of international development cooperation projects in the Mediterranean and the Middle East regions focusing mainly on local economic development, creation and support of SSE enterprises in local value chains, women’s empowerment and refugees’ rights.



She holds a Joint Master’s Degree in Social Economy from the University of Bologna in Italy and Reims Management School (RMS) in France. Valentina speaks Italian, English and French. She has working knowledge of Spanish.



Heejin Ahn

Heejin Ahn, joined ILO COOP in July as a Junior Technical Officer to support the project on Strengthening Social and Solidarity Economy Policy in Asia. Ms Ahn will work on a wide range of SSE-related issues, such as elaboration of reports, and publications related to the project, preparation for a conference and capacity building workshop, and activating the network with ILO’s partners in the field of SSE.

Prior to joining ILO COOP, she worked as a Junior Policy Analyst at the OECD contributing to publications and capacity building projects on the social economy, social entrepreneurship and social innovation. Ms. Ahn holds a Master’s degree in Development Studies from the Graduate Institute, Geneva in Switzerland. Her thesis focused on the role of producer coffee cooperative in empowering women producers in Machakos, Kenya.



Susan Bvumbe

Susan Bvumbe is the Administrative Secretary of the Cooperatives Unit. Prior to joining the ILO in 2010, she worked for the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe for 8 years in the area of administration. She manages all administrative work and the website of the Unit. She speaks English, French and Shona.