Our People

Our people


IPS’ team goes far beyond

Our team relies not only on the nuclear team of professionals whose curriculum profile is shown below, but also on a vast array of researchers and experts in Management, Law, Criminology, Sociology, Social Work, Psychology, Education, Health, and Engineering.

Pedro das Neves, CEO

Pedro das Neves CEO IPS Innovative Prison SystemsPedro das Neves holds a degree in Sociology and a master’s degree from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium. He is undertaking a PhD research on Public Policy at the Sociology and Public Policies School of ISCTE – IUL Lisbon University Institute. Pedro is a board member of the BSAFE LAB Law Enforcement, Justice, and Public Safety Research and Technology Transfer Laboratory (Beira Interior University, Portugal). He is also a guest lecturer at ISEC and has been a member of the scientific coordination team of DEIA – Specialisation Degree in Organisational Learning and Innovation at INA – the Portuguese National Institute of Public Administration.

Pedro has been working on public administration reform for more than 20 years and on criminal justice innovation since 2002 in Europe and Latin America. He was involved in the design and implementation of innovative pilot projects that were recognised and awarded as best practices. Throughout his career, until now, he has had the opportunity to visit and learn about the functioning of 40 jurisdictions and more than 400 prisons and youth centres.

Pedro has extensive experience as a policy and programme consultant for various correctional administrations, governments and multilateral organisations. He is invited to meetings and is often a speaker at international events, including those of the European Commission, the Council of Europe, EuroPris, International Corrections & Prisons Association – ICPA, EPEA, COMJIB (Conference of Ministers of Justice of Ibero-American Countries) ), the Inter-American Development Bank – IDB, the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism – IDC Herzliya, UNODC, etc.

Pedro das Neves is the Founder Director of JUSTICE TRENDS, a premium global magazine about innovation and good practices in correctional systems distributed to decision-makers in the criminal justice system from more than 120 countries, since 2017. Pedro das Neves was awarded the 2017 ICPA Correctional Excellence Award (Management and Staff Training Award).

Pedro das Neves has been elected, in 2018, as a Board member of the International Corrections & Prisons Association – ICPA.

Tiago Leitão, Board member & COO – Chief Operations Officer

Holding a degree in Social Work (from the Portuguese Catholic University), and an MBA from The Lisbon MBA, Tiago Leitão has been involved in project management since 1998. He has a 15-year experience in management, consultancy, social innovation and reintegration, and knowledge transference. He also owns expertise in policy and strategy, namely in the social economy, training and volunteering areas.

He has been working in the development and implementation of prison-related projects since 2003, having “Rumos de Futuro” been his kick-off project in this field. This was a strategic project aimed at innovating multi-agency work towards the reintegration of inmates, in Portugal. In Romania, he has been involved in “Credem in Schimbare” and “Itinerariul Dialog” (both projects that have received awards and have been considered good practices). Tiago has been leading the concept development and management of innovate projects in the field of social economy and entrepreneurship, education, training and mentoring (such as the MOMIE and MEGAN projects).

Since 2003 that Tiago has been engaged in intense international work, mostly in Europe, in different areas of knowledge, collaborating in different networks and in the organisation of events, research and publications such as “Employers engagement in inmates reintegration” and “Seven Steps towards Inmates Reintegration” (Rumos de Futuro, 2007); “Design and Delivery of Volunteering in the Criminal Justice Sector” (JIVE, 2014). In addition to his work with IPS, Tiago is the President of APROXIMAR, a Social Solidarity Cooperative.

Ana Maria Evans, Chief Innovation Officer

Ana Maria Evans has a Law degree from the Catholic University of Lisbon, Portugal, a master’s in International Relations from the University of San Diego, California, USA, and a PhD in Government from Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA. She has extensive monitoring, evaluation and impact analysis experience in social and public innovation, and has evaluated nearly two hundred applications for R&D funding from international agencies, in cross-cutting areas.

Ana has worked as an external expert for the European Commission, the European Science Foundation, UNIDO, the Innovation Fund-Denmark, the Council for European Studies-NY, the Francisco Manuel dos Santos Foundation, Portugal, and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, a German research promotion institution.

During her academic career, Ana taught and developed research at both American and Portuguese universities, published scientific articles in international journals and books, presented her work at international conferences, served as a committee member to international meetings, and was awarded an FCT Starting Grant (the Portuguese national funding agency for science, research and technology) for research on “Governance Models and the Delivery of Public Services” (2014-2018), which she coordinated. Moreover, she has been the recipient of international fellowships and grants and has served on the Board of civil society organisations, including the Fulbright Alumni Association in Portugal.

Ana Maria Evans’ mission within the company is to promote strategic innovation and creative thinking, identify new market tendencies and opportunities in the global criminal justice sector, promote the development of new products and services, and advise on the implementation of R&D methods in all areas of the firm’s portfolio.

Ricardo Adónis, CTO – Chief Technology Officer

Ricardo Adónis holds a degree in Computer Science from the University of Beira Interior in Covilhã, Portugal. He is a member of the NetGNA Investigation – Next Generation Networks and Applications Group, Telecommunications Institute.

Ricardo is enthusiastic, proactive and tech-savvy by definition, with more than ten years of experience in the IT Industry. Experienced manager with a proven track record of growing and leading teams and managing complex IT projects. During the last years, he has been working on telecommunications and software development and implementation of R&D projects.

Maintaining a focus on a constant update of the latest IT and Business trends and best practices used in the different Industries. Driving Digital Transformation and promoting Agile and DevOps Adoption to accelerate the Digital Transformation process.

Pedro Liberado, Chief Research Officer & Radicalisation, Violent Extremism and Organised Crime Portfolio Coordinator

Pedro Liberado holds a degree in Sociology from the University of Coimbra, a master’s degree in Criminology from the University of Porto, and is a PhD candidate in Criminology at the University of Granada. He is also currently pursuing a postgraduate degree in Strategic and Security Studies at NOVA University of Lisbon and at the Institute of National Defence of the Portuguese Ministry of National Defence.

Pedro is a former researcher of the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon and at the Research Group for Cultural and Political Sociology (TCuPS), a part of the Research Centre for Knowledge, Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (TaSTI) of the University of Tampere, Finland. He is a certified trainer, a member of the Radicalisation Awareness Network of the European Commission (having participated in RAN PRISONS Working Group meetings), and a full member of the International Corrections and Prisons Association and of the American Probation and Parole Association.

At IPS, Pedro Liberado coordinates the Radicalisation, Violent Extremism and Organised Crime portfolio of projects which includes HOPE – Holistic Radicalisation Prevention Initiative, R4JUST – Radicalisation Prevention Competencies’ Development Programme for Justice Professionals, WayOut – Integrated Exit Programme for Prisons and Probation, INTEGRA – Integrated Community, Probation and Prison Services Radicalisation Prevention Approach, PRACTICIES – Partnership Against Violent Radicalisation in the Cities and R2PRIS – Radicalisation Prevention in Prisons.

Joana Apóstolo, Consultant & International Judicial Cooperation Portfolio Coordinator

Joana Apóstolo holds a binational master’s degree in International Relations (University of Coimbra, Portugal and SciencesPo Bordeaux, France). Her master’s dissertation was developed around the European Union as a security actor, which was further informed by her work in the field of political diplomacy in the scope of an internship at the Portuguese Permanent Representation to the European Union. A strong interest in Human Rights motivated Joana to take part in several projects and associations including Amnesty International, Speak Social, and Erasmus+ projects.

At IPS, Joana is responsible for the following projects: PRE-TRIAD – Alternative pre-trial detention measures: Judicial awareness and cooperation towards the realisation of common standards; AWARE – European Arrest Warrant; PRE-RIGHTS – Assessing the impact and performance of preventive measures on EU Directives and Framework Decisions; and FAIRNESS – Implementation of the Stockholm’s Roadmap in cases of terrorism and radicalisation projects.

Ângela Fernandes, Consultant, Senior Researcher & Rehabilitation and Reintegration Portfolio Coordinator

Angela-Fernandes IPS

Ângela Fernandes is a psychotherapist and a forensic expert. She holds a master’s degree in Psychology and a PhD in Applied Psychology from the University of Minho, Portugal. Her PhD thesis was on “Human trafficking in Portugal: From perceptions to victims’ support”. Before her PhD, she worked in social reintegration and also in community intervention.

At the University of Minho, she was part of Research Group in Psychological Evaluation of the School of Psychology. In addition, Ângela has experience in collaborating with research teams on various projects, from psychological assessment to stalking and domestic violence. She is author and co-author of publications at national and international level in the area of ​​victimology, with a special focus on human trafficking.

She is responsible for the coordination of the portfolio of projects in the fields of Rehabilitation and Reintegration.

Ana Rita Pires, Junior consultant

Ana-Rita-Pires IPS

Ana Rita Pires holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a master’s degree in Science on Emotions, both from ISCTE-IUL, in Lisbon.
Her dissertation research project focused on the role of sensorimotor mechanisms in auditory perception, where she examined if spontaneous facial mimicry responses to vocal emotional sounds (laughter/crying) were predictive of the ability to infer the authenticity of those sounds. To do so, she collected EDA, fEMG and ECG psychophysiological data.

Subsequently, she was invited to be part of a broader research team on memory and bilingualism projects, where she collected the same data. She was also invited to lecture psychophysiological measures in one of her master’s coursework. Ana Rita completed an internship at the International Relations Office of ISCTE-IUL and at MedialCare (occupational and preventive health).

At IPS, Ana Rita Pires is assigned to the Rehabilitation and Reintegration portfolio of projects.

Sara Loja, Junior consultant

Sara-Loja IPS

Sara Loja has a degree in Criminology from Fernando Pessoa University, in Porto, Portugal, and a master’s degree in the Science of Criminological Investigation by the University of Stirling, United Kingdom. Before her degree, she studied nursing for one year and presently she is taking a postgraduate degree in Business Management.

During her college years, Sara had the opportunity to participate in a pioneering project: They would take undergraduate students and place them in schools and prisons, teaching and talking to children and prisoners about different topics, such as drug abuse and sex education. This project helped Sara to look at the evolving prison system as a potential environment for rehabilitation and personal development. It was at that time that Sara understood the importance of rehabilitation and reintegration projects.

At IPS, Sara Loja is assigned to the Rehabilitation and Reintegration portfolio of projects.

Sara Afonso, Junior consultant

Sara Afonso IPSSara Afonso holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminology from the University of Porto, Portugal, and a master’s degree in Terrorism, International Crime and Global Security from Coventry University, United Kingdom. On her bachelor’s degree, she focused on researching the topics of disengagement and deradicalisation, as well as the reintegration of former terrorists into the community.

She did an internship at the Portuguese National Defense Institute where she developed research on national and global security issues. On her master’s degree, Sara developed a dissertation on the use of reintegrative soft power measures to counter the far-right violent extremism.

Moreover, she has conducted research on global security issues, including the mafia, human trafficking and counterterrorism. Additionally to her academic path, Sara was also a Research Fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Violent Extremism, and is an author to several articles on criminological matters that were published online.

At IPS, Sara Afonso is assigned to the Radicalisation, Violent Extremism and Organised Crime portfolio, under which she collaborates in several projects.

Vânia Sampaio, Junior consultant

Vania-Sampaio IPSVânia Sampaio has a degree in Criminology from the University of Porto, Portugal, and a master’s degree in Terrorism, International Crime and Global Security from Coventry University, United Kingdom. In the scope of her degree, she conducted research on police perceptions of human trafficking as one of the obstacles in investigating and prosecuting these cases.

In addition, she was an intern at the Portuguese gendarmerie police (Guarda Nacional Republicana), specifically at in its criminal investigation unit. In the scope of the master’s degree, her dissertation focused on the role of civil society in the fight against organised crime, namely the case of the Sicilian mafia.

In addition to her academic path, Vânia has developed collaborations with a Portuguese online media platform and a television channel in the creation of content on criminological issues.

At IPS, Vânia Sampaio is assigned to the Radicalisation, Violent Extremism and Organised Crime portfolio, under which she collaborates in several projects.

Sílvia Bernardo, Head of Marketing and Communications

Sílvia Bernardo has a degree in Media Studies from the University of Lisbon (Social and Political Sciences Institute) since 2005. More recently, she was awarded a postgraduate degree in Social Gerontology and currently she is a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Beira Interior, Portugal. She has worked as a journalist in broadcast media for several years. In recent years, she has collaborated with private companies as a communications manager.

At IPS, she deals with communication and marketing assets and initiatives, aiming at contributing to the awareness of the company, its projects and solutions, globally, with a focus on quality, reliability and also the satisfaction of customers and partners. Additionally, she coordinates editorial and content production for JUSTICE TRENDS Magazine as well as its marketing.

Paula Martinho, Communications and Digital Marketing Specialist

Paula Martinho has a degree in Media Studies from the University of Lisbon and is passionate about storytelling, writing and design thinking. A brief experience in journalism is partly why she has a (serious) relationship with information consumption. You’ll usually find her reading news and articles — or googling ‘how to be a morning person’.

She worked as a content moderator and customer service representative for exciting international projects. In August 2018, after a seven-month volunteering experience, Paula moved to Denmark to study Multimedia Design at Business Academy Aarhus which shaped her digital skills and prepared her to embrace new challenges in the field of UX/UI Design and Digital Marketing.

Paula brings her toolset to IPS to help develop and implement the marketing communication strategy while crafting stories to ensure that the company has an adequate digital presence, a solid reputation and nice design assets.

Sílvia Silva, Head of Multimedia Design

Sílvia Silva holds a degree in Communication Design from the School of Technology and Management of Portalegre and a Master’s degree in Multimedia Design from the University of Beira Interior, in Covilhã, Portugal.

At IPS, Sílvia works in the development of the company’s graphic image, as well in other design and communication projects. She is actively involved in the creation of e-learning training content and in the design of JUSTICE TRENDS Magazine.

Miguel Almeida, Administrative & Financial Department

Miguel-Almeida IPSMiguel Almeida has a degree in Management and a master’s degree in Financial Management, both from the Higher Institute of Management (ISG), in Lisbon, Portugal.

He did internships while he was a master’s student, having acquired experience and transversal financial administrative skills, especially in the areas of benchmark, logistics, sales, actuarial assessments and financial responsibilities’ calculation.

At IPS, is responsible for assisting the activities of the financial department, namely treasury, control of accounts payable and receivable, accounting, planning, tax management and risk management.

In memoriam

João Pedro Baltasar da Silva Correia, 1960-2019

João was a founder, partner and mentor at IPS Innovative Prison Systems.
Holding a degree in Human Resources Management and Work Organisation by ISLA and several specialisations in the areas of Change Management – Advanced Techniques and Work Adjustment Training, U.S.A; João was accredited Consultant by the Center for Creative Leadership – USA; the Management Research Group; and Business Partner of Entovation International – Knowledge Management and Innovation.

João began his career at the Institute for Economic Cooperation; was Human Resources Technician at LPDM and Human Resources Manager at Uromedical Clinical Laboratory. Worked as Human Resources Systems Consultant at Area Chave. Was a consultant of Human Systems at EGOR Management and Training, holding the position of Executive Director from 1996 to 1999 in the same organisation.

He was a co-founder of GLOBAL CHANGE International Consultants, a company that has lately merged with I.Zone Knowledge Systems, SA.

He worked in different European countries, coordinating projects in public administration reform, namely justice systems, since 2004. Along with the IPS team, he was involved in the design and implementation of innovative pilot projects that have been awarded and recognised as good practices.

João authored several performance improvement manuals and simulation games, including “Be First – how to expand the results you desire in life” and “Gamification – transforming leadership into a game”.