Maria Petmesidou (Dipl. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Dipl. University College London, D.Phil. Oxford University) is Professor of Social Policy in the Department of Social Administration at Democritus University of Thrace and Fellow of CROP/ISSC (International Social Science Council). From 2008 to 2012, national expert in the independent expert network of the European Commission for assessing the socio-economic impact of social protection reforms in Greece and Cyprus. She has directed (and participated in) a large number of research projects funded by Greek governmental bodies (e.g. the Ministry of Education, the Ministry for the Environment, Planning and Public Works, the Ministry of Health and Welfare & the Ministry of Labour), as well as by EU sources in the following areas: social stratification and socio-professional mobility; socio-economic development (local/regional development) and technological change; labour markets, employment structures and work organisation; socio-economic inequality, poverty and social exclusion; comparative analysis of social protection systems in South Europe.