Who we are

From Europe to Brazil, we are a team. Run by experienced journalists and PR professionals, AJA has associates in Brussels, Germany, France and Spain and partnerships in the US, China, Russia, the Middle East, South Africa and Japan.

Maria Luiza Cuca Abbott

Co-founder and director AJA Media Solutions

An award winning Brazilian journalist, she left the newsrooms after 20 years to co-found AJA Media Solutions in 2006. Maria Luiza is responsible for the strategic planning at AJA, actively involving herself in projects created to meet the demands of its clients.
She has been living in London for 18 years, having come to the UK to work as international correspondent for Valor Econômico, Brazilian main financial daily. She has also worked for Brazilian national daily Folha de S.Paulo and the BBC in London.
She was awarded Prêmio Esso de Reportagem, Brazil’s main Journalism award, in 1998. In Brazil, she was chief economics correspondent and columnist for O Globo and prior to this, reporter for Jornal do Brasil.
She holds an MA in journalism from Cardiff University.

Team

Richard Lapper

Consultant
About Richard

A writer and consultant, specialising in the politics, finance and business of Latin America.
Richard has been a journalist since the late 1970s and worked for 25 years with the Financial Times of London. He was Latin America Editor at the newspaper between 1998 and 2008 and subsequently was a principal at FT Confidential (2010-2015), a unit that provides data and analysis to emerging market investors.
At the FT he was also South Africa Bureau chief, Financial News Editor, Capital Markets Editor, and Insurance Correspondent.

In 2001 he was awarded the Order of the Rio Branco by the Brazilian government.
He is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, as well as English.


Betise Assumpção Head

Consultant
About Betise

Betise is a consultant in the area of sports, having worked for companies such as Nike – with the launch of national teams shirts for the World Cup in South Africa – and Editora Abril (Casa Placar) at the Olympic Games in London.

She has been living in Europe since 1987, having participated in different sports coverage. Between 1990 and 1994, Betise was international press advisor to the triple world F1 champion Ayrton Senna, a period which enabled her to accumulate contacts in the area of sports around the world.

From 2006 to 2010, she was a partner of AJA Media Solutions where she shared the responsibility of the entire media strategy for Brazilian clients at events in Europe. In Brazil she has worked at O Estado de S. Paulo, Folha de S. Paulo and Placar magazine.

Betise has an excellent relationship with many football agents, journalists, players and managers in Brazil and in the United Kingdom. For a charity project, she has just finished gathering 11 footballs signed by Pelé, Falcão, Zico, Romario, Raí, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Neymar, David Luis, Oscar and Ramires.

Marcelo Stoppa

Consultant
About Marcelo

A digital communication strategist who developed an exclusive methodology and specialized code to conduct analysis on social networks. This set of tools was engendered as part of his graduate studies at the Intelligence Technologies programme at the Pontificial Catholic University of São Paulo and unites big data, pattern-detection algorithms and data visualization allied to semiotics and relational and community studies. That enables him to render affinity maps, the roadmaps to guide the creation of uncommon, insightful digital communication strategies and e-reputation diagnosis which are specially created for AJA.

With a B.A. in Social Communication and Multimedia (PUC-SP) and a M.A. in Information and Communication in Digital Media (Université Stendhal, Grenoble 3), he has accumulated work experience in digital publishing and infography (O Estado de S. Paulo, Folha de S.Paulo, Yahoo! France), video-making, interactive content, UX/UI and editorial design.
He is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Metin Gunes

Consultant
About Metin

Metin is a journalist and a broadcaster with experience across different areas ranging from politics to economics.

He has been reporting for major TV Channels and publications including CNN and Euromoney.

He interviewed a number of high profile statesmen, including Simon Peres and Yasser Arafat, as well as celebrities such as George Clooney, Johnny Depp and Sandra Bullock. Recently he has been doing market researches, delivering compelling results and solutions for AJA’s clients.

Richard House

Consultant
About Richard

Journalist, broadcaster and thought leadership expert who advises large corporations on their senior management communication strategies.

As a trainer he has prepared CEOs and CFOs for announcing results, IPOs, mergers and splitoffs.
Clients for presentation training and speechwriting include board-level executives from Allianz, Aegon, ABN-Amro, HSBC, Merrill Lynch, Novartis, NXP Semiconductors, Petrobras, Philips Electronics, Rabobank, Walt Disney, Wolters Kluwer, Zurich Financial Services and many others.

Alongside his 15 years’ experience as a corporate adviser, Richard has pursued a 24 year career in journalism, working for top titles on both sides of the Atlantic. Most recently he was the editor overseeing Latin America coverage at FT Confidential, a premium subscription service of the FT.
Richard is a fluent Portuguese speaker.

Marcio Damasceno

Consultant, Berlin
About Marcio

Based in Berlin since 1999, Marcio has been a part of the AJA team since 2007 and is responsible for projects in Germany.

Marcio was a reporter for Jornal do Brasil in Rio de Janeiro. He is graduated in
Journalism and Cinema from the Fluminense Federal University and has a Masters Degree in the Science of Culture and Philosophy from the Humboldt University of Berlin.

In Germany, he has collaborated with Brazilian media outlets, including O Estado de S. Paulo, BBC Brasil, Radio France International and ELLE Brasil. He also regularly contributes to Deutsche Welle.

Marcio speaks German, Spanish and English along with his mother tongue, Portuguese.

Inken Sarah Mischke

Consultant, Berlin
About Inken

Sarah has been a member of AJA’s team since 2008, working as a video journalist and photographer in projects for Apex-Brasil, CNI, Braskem, ABIMO and ABICAB in Germany and in France.

She has also worked in projects for ASSOBRAV, BRAVO!, Veja, BDI Germany, Deutsche Welle and Deutsche Grammophon among others. In 2005, Sarah produced her first documentary, “Between Worlds”. She studied Gender Studies at the Humboldt University and Latin American Studies at the Free University of Berlin, finishing her Masters Degree in 2006.

She has also worked in projects for ASSOBRAV, BRAVO!, Veja, BDI Germany, Deutsche Welle and Deutsche Grammophon among others. In 2005, Sarah produced her first documentary, “Between Worlds”. She studied Gender Studies at the Humboldt University and Latin American Studies at the Free University of Berlin, finishing her Masters Degree in 2006.

She speaks Portuguese and English aside from German (her mother tongue).

Experts

Britta Thomsen

Public Affairs
About Britta

Britta was a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2014. During her terms, she was a full member of the committee of industry, research and energy, and a rapporteur on various directives on renewable energy, and energy efficiency and the directive on biofuels. Furthermore she has contributed to the European Union´s 80 billion Euro research program Horizon 2020.

She has also been a member of the European Parliament delegation with Mercosur, where she followed the negotiations regarding the trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union.

Before becoming an MEP, she has worked as a consultant on European projects related to education and human resource development as well as providing assistance to Danish institutions in exporting of social models to Portugal, based on EU funding (1983-1994). She was the owner and founder of Facilitate, a consultancy company, working with labour market issues at the European level (2001-2004) with partners from many countries. Britta Thomsen studied Portuguese language at the University of Lisbon (1979-1980) and she holds an MA in History from Aarhus University (1983) where she also studied Spanish. Afterwards she also studied at the Brazilian institute in the same university (1991). She was nominated as an honorary professor at Copenhagen Business School (2012), Department of IT Management, forthe international relations, including relations with Brazil, she has created for the university as well as the linking up with the European institutions.
Language skills: Danish, Scandinavian, English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German.

Alex Robinson

Video & Documentary – Tuesday Films
About Alex

A photojournalist and television producer with twenty years of experience in the business, Alex has worked for some of the biggest names in the business. He worked on Channel 4’s flagship documentary series, Dispatches and in Science and Current Affairs programming for the BBC. He writes for the New York Times, Sunday Times travel, the Independent and Wanderlust and his photographs have been published by Vogue, Marie Claire, Vanity Fair and National Geographic.