Maria Koomen

Open Governance Network for Europe Lead

Why Democratic Society?

I aim to help foster a more open, inclusive future for Europe.



Where I’m based: Brussels, Belgium
Languages I speak: English with a side of French and Dutch

Maria leads the Open Governance Network for Europe, a joint initiative of Democratic Society and Open Government Partnership to connect and drive debate, learning, and innovation in open governance to improve democratic participation, transparency, and accountability in the European Union. She focuses on European democracy, technology, and climate.

Prior to joining the Democratic Society in 2020, she managed the Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Europe, where she drove international research networks and policy initiatives on democracy and governance, foreign policy, global civil society, and technology. 

Maria has a master’s from Universiteit Utrecht in the Netherlands and a bachelor’s from Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada.

3 things that make me unique
  • I am a citizen of three countries: Canada, the Netherlands, and the United States of America. I’m working on that Belgian nationality…
  • I’m a musician who admires the role of art and culture in our societies.
  • I run like the wind and have a purple belt in Karate!
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