Catalina-Alexandra Papari is a PhD candidate in Sustainable Finance and Innovation at the Utrecht University School of Economics (U.S.E.) and the Faculty of Economics and Business at KU Leuven. In her doctoral thesis, Catalina will focus on mechanisms aiming at scaling up sustainable finance solutions from niche - to mainstream actors.
Previously, Catalina followed an MSc in Economic Policy at the faculty of Law, Governance and Economics from Utrecht University and a BSc in International Business and Economics from Bucharest University of Economic Studies. She has been always passionate about institutional economics and the evolution of public-private dynamics regarding impact-driven innovative financial mechanisms. During her studies, she conducted research on education policies, impact evaluation, and project scale-ups mainly in Central and Eastern European countries with the final goal of creating more policy evidence.
Before her PhD, Catalina worked in the EU finance sphere as a Policy and EU Partnerships Associate at EVPA. She started her journey in Brussels in 2019 as a Blue Book trainee at the European Commission in Directorate-General Regional and Urban Policy, mainly focusing on simplifying the Cohesion Policy and European Regional Development Fund.
In the long run, Catalina strives to contribute with her knowledge to a more sustainable and green global economy with better social outcomes and reduced poverty gaps. She finds the joint Ph.D. U.S.E. and KULeuven in Sustainable Finance and Innovation a perfect tool to do so, working closely with Kees Koedijk, Helen Toxopeus, Friedemann Polzin, and Alessandro Diego Scopelliti.