Meet our 2021 EY Young Tax Professional of the Year finalists

Forty-four finalists representing 63 countries will be participating in this year's EY Young Tax Professional of the Year competition. The competition is part of our commitment to fostering the next generation of tax leaders. We’ll update this list as more winners are announced. Congratulations to all the 2021 finalists!

  • Australia – Ben Gordon

    Photographic portrait of Ben Gordon

    Ben, representing Australia and New Zealand, graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) degree this past June. He joined EY in 2019 as an intern and later returned to the organization as a graduate in the Global Operations team amid the lockdown, working remotely for the first few months. He is currently on a short-term secondment in New Zealand, but in the longer term, he hopes to settle in Europe or the United States for work. Ben enjoys going to the beach, sports, cooking and travelling. He is taking virtual Italian lessons because he’d like to be fluent in Italian.

  • Austria – Stefanie Stöcklinger

    Photographic portrait of Stefanie Stöcklinger

    Stefanie received her Master of Law degree in July 2021 from Vienna University of Economics and Business. She is currently working as a teaching and research associate at the Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law while completing her PhD in law. Stefanie believes that practical experience is important, so she has worked in various law firms and tax consulting firms while completing her degrees. Although Stefanie enjoys reading thrillers, hiking and cycling, she likes running the most and has participated in a half marathon. She hopes to cross the Vienna City Marathon finish line next year.

  • Brazil – Lais Claus

    Photographic portrait of Hajar Nadhirah

    Lais, from Brazil, is the finalist representing Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. She is currently a consultant for EY People Advisory Services, but Lais began her career as a lawyer specializing in contracts and labor law after earning her Bachelor of Laws from Mackenzie Presbyterian University in 2016. She co-wrote articles on labor rights and related topics. She is studying Law Economics at State University of Campinas, which “is helping me improve my analytical skills.” She aspires to combine technology with tax work in an international environment. She loves to travel and spent time as an exchange student in Alabama (USA), where she improved her English. Nowadays she gives back as a volunteer teaching English on Saturdays.

  • Canada – Shiraz Shareef

    Photographic portrait of Shiraz Shareef

    Shiraz recently joined the EY office in Toronto, working on tax compliance with capital markets and technology sector clients. This fits perfectly with her career aspirations of merging her “passion for tax and technology” and developing into a transformational leader. Prior to joining EY, she worked as a business technology consultant for pharmaceutical, healthcare, distribution and professional services organizations. She’s working on a Master of Taxation and her CPA at the University of Waterloo. She enjoys painting, dancing and traveling, and has been to 20 countries. 

  • Greater China – Justin Chan Pak Hin

    Photographic portrait of Justin Chan Pak Hin

    Justin is in his final year of studies pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration in Professional Accounting and Finance at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in Hong Kong. He has been interested in accounting since he was in high school and is excited to make it his career. Justin believes that finance is an important area in Hong Kong as it is a financial center in Asia and that by equipping himself with the relevant knowledge, he can better serve financial institutions. In addition to his bachelor’s degree, he plans to sit for his chartered financial analyst (CFA) exam. Justin enjoys sports like cycling, badminton and swimming, and finds listening to music and watching movies very relaxing.

  • Denmark – Jeppe Straarup

    Photographic portrait of Jeppe Straarup

    Jeppe is in his final semester before earning a Master of Law from Aarhus University in Denmark. While completing his studies, he works as a legal aid lawyer. Jeppe hopes to work on international tax matters because working with people of different cultures is very appealing to him. It is also one of the main reasons for entering the EY Young Tax Professional of the Year competition. In his spare time, he is a boat builder and a sailor. It gives him an opportunity to get outside and work with his hands, learning a lot about a completely different field of work.

  • Egypt – Shehab Abdelqader

    Photographic portrait of Shehab Abdelqader

    Shehab, from Egypt, is one of the four finalists representing Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. He is a graduate of Cairo University with a bachelor’s in Business Administration, has four specialization certificates in investment management from the University of Geneva and is a recipient of the CFA Institute Investment Foundations Certificate®. Shehab joined the EY team in Cairo in early 2020, participating in different kinds of tax-related engagements. The former Egyptian Army soldier’s aspirations include becoming the youngest EY MENA regional managing partner and possibly running for president of Egypt someday — goals befitting one whose name in Arabic means “a shooting star.” His hobbies include playing the guitar and singing, working out, watching films, and reading.

  • Finland – Maija Arimo

    Photographic portrait of Maija Arimo

    Maija is pursuing an MSc in Economics and Business Administration at Aalto University School of Business in Finland. She is working for a tax technology company with a mission to revolutionize transfer pricing by automating documentation and introducing advanced analytics tools. She says it’s a thrilling place to be. She describes herself as “a bit of a foodie” who loves searching for delicious new flavors locally and in her travels. In the summertime, she enjoys sailing and “visiting the beautiful Finnish archipelago.” During the winter, you can find her cross-country skiing “as much as possible.”

  • France – Anthony Roustan

    Photographic portrait of Anthony Roustan

    Anthony completed his master's degree at Aix-Marseille University in France in 2020. He is currently enrolled at Haute École des Avocats Conseil in Versailles and is working at a law firm’s tax department because he hopes to become an international tax lawyer. He is also working with friends to create an association of young tax professionals in France that would draw on the experience of renowned tax lawyers, tax authorities and heads of tax. Anthony enjoys running, different sports and nature.

  • GDS Global – Henrico Gustav Mikhail Sanchez

    Photographic portrait of Henrico Gustav Mikhail Sanchez

    Henrico Gustav Mikhail, based in the Philippines, is the EY Global Delivery Services (GDS) finalist, representing GDS professionals from Argentina, India and the Philippines. He is currently working toward a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from De La Salle University (DLSU) in Manila, studying under the STAR Scholarship program, a scholastic scholarship given to the top 20 students at DLSU. He loves the outdoors, going for adventures and sports. Since the pandemic started, he has discovered the fun in watching sitcoms, medical dramas and action films. 

  • Ghana – Abraham Glover

    Photographic portrait of Abraham Glover

    Abraham completed studies for his bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Ghana in September. The bachelor’s program gave him the opportunity to study courses outside of accounting, including finance, taxation, marketing, HR and public administration which broadened his understanding of the challenges companies face. With a pair of internships under his belt, Abraham is now completing Ghana’s mandatory year of national service. After that, he hopes to get a job at one of the Big Four firms. During his spare time, he enjoys catching up on sports news and watching movies and science documentaries. He also says he values a good upbringing, and therefore helps teach kids as a volunteer at his church as well as in the community.

  • Hungary – Milan Zamodics

    Photographic portrait of  Milan Zamodics

    Milan is the finalist representing Hungary. He earned his Bachelor of Laws in 2020 from the University of Surrey in England. He joined the EY Hungary VAT team that August and has worked on cases ranging from complex VAT advisory projects to compliance-related work for domestic and international clients. He has an eye toward becoming involved with EY teams that work to effectively digitalize and automate tax processes. He participated in a tree planting initiative in Budapest as part of the EY Ripples program. In his spare time, he enjoys exercising and has recently taken up squash. 

  • India – Urja Maloo

    Photographic portrait of Urja Maloo

    Urja holds a Master of Commerce degree from Mumbai University in India and is a chartered accountant. She has been with the EY Transactions Tax team in Mumbai for over two years, working on assignments for both private equities and multinational corporations. She believes that her perseverance, curiosity and ability to think on her feet helps her do well at work, and credits “some of the most inspiring and enriching” mentors for her work-related successes. She loves activities where she can be creative like graphic design and calligraphy, and loves to dance. She also cofounded an online personalized gifting platform where they curate and deliver gifts across India.

  • Indonesia – Viennie M Lians

    Photographic portrait of Viennie M Lians

    Viennie is in her final year at Petra Christian University in Indonesia. She is an intern in the business tax advisory team with EY in Indonesia, assisting in tax dispute and tax compliance matters. She served as a tax volunteer at school, helping individual taxpayers submit their annual tax returns. At home, her passion is listening to music and compiling playlists based on different emotions. 

  • Italy – Matteo Lamaro

    Photographic portrait of Matteo Lamaro

    Matteo has a degree in Economics and Management from LUISS University in Rome and is expected to finish his MSc in December in Accounting and Financial Management and Control at Bocconi University in Milan. He has an international education, having completed student exchange programs at HEC Paris and Tulane University. He’s also attended tax law courses at four universities in three countries, including Paris (France), Milan and Rome (Italy), and New Orleans (United States). A former rugby player for 11 years, he also enjoys reading, watching movies and playing football. 

  • Japan – Zhiyun Du

    Photographic portrait of Zhiyun Du

    Zhiyun is originally from China but currently lives in Japan and speaks Chinese, English and Japanese. She is an undergraduate student at the University of Tokyo, majoring in East Asian studies with a sub-major in Global Economy and Management. She was an intern in the human resource department of an international mobility corporation. While in that position, she gained basic tax knowledge, such as income tax and residence tax calculations. She hopes to use her international education to pursue a career in international taxation, specializing in transfer pricing. Zhiyun has enjoyed playing the piano for over 15 years. As a gourmand, she loves discovering new foods and is an avid reader.

  • Luxembourg – Eleni-Lydia Lazaridou

    Photographic portrait of  Eleni-Lydia Lazaridou

    Eleni-Lydia is the finalist from Luxembourg. She obtained her Bachelor of Law in Greece and her Master of Law in Luxembourg, specializing in International and European Tax Law. Along the way she worked as a trainee lawyer in the legal department of a Greek bank and at UNESCO in Paris. Before joining the EY Luxembourg team, she was employed as a junior tax associate in an international law firm, and that experience showed her the type of environment she hopes to have a career in. Her favorite pastimes include working with animals and helping children get closer to nature. She volunteers weekends at her local animal shelter and also enjoys movies and theater.

  • Malaysia – Hajar Nadhirah

    Photographic portrait of Hajar Nadhirah

    Hajar is from Malaysia and attends Sunway University. She is completing her Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) examinations and she hopes to get enough practical experience as an accountant to become a member. Hajar’s experience includes being an intern at a food bank and a local fashion house, as well as being a music and art facilitator for a special needs education center. In addition to one day working in fashion and creating personalized, statement clothing, Hajar hopes to revolutionize what it means to be a tax consultant. She wants to show others that a career in tax can have a positive impact on people’s lives.

  • The Netherlands – Pim Koppel

    Photographic portrait of Pim Koppel

    Pim came to EY in the Netherlands as an intern while working toward his Master’s in Tax Economics at Tilburg University, which he completed in October 2020. He’s eager to gain tax technical knowledge and share the knowledge with his team and others. In 2019, he visited the University of Sao Paulo. He was asked to give a lecture on the Dutch corporate income tax system and how the tax system works in Europe. He believes this resulted in a great discussion with those students. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and is especially passionate about barbecuing.

  • Nigeria – Faithful Ayo-Salako

    Photographic portrait of  Faithful Ayo-Salako

    Faithful is working on his Bachelor of Law at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. He has also completed online courses in accounting, business law and business management from different institutions. He hopes to have a career in tax, being interested in areas such as transfer pricing, tax advisory, tax litigation and tax compliance. Faithful’s activities include tax club, serving as president of the literary and debate club, and head of Faculty of Law Chamber Support Force. He also belongs to the Headfort Foundation, an organization that works to support inmates and ex-inmates in Nigeria. When relaxing, he likes watching animations and football, singing, reading and just being with friends.

  • Norway – Therese Langum Sandhaug

    Photographic portrait of Therese Langum Sandhaug

    Therese is the finalist from Norway. She is a student at the University of Oslo and expects to complete her master’s degree in Law in the fall of 2022. In the spring, however, she’ll relocate to England for an exchange semester at the University of Leicester. She has served as an EY intern, along with internships at two law firms, and is currently a part-time insurance claims handler. During the last four years, she has served as a volunteer for both Amnesty and a Norwegian animal rights organization. She says the work gives her meaning and introduces her to new people. In her spare time, Therese stays active through her boxing classes, playing tennis and hiking. She also enjoys playing the piano, listening to different types of music and reading. 

  • Oman – Jawhar Al-Kharusi

    Photographic portrait of Jawhar Al-Kharusi

    Jawhar, from Oman, is one of four finalists representing Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. She completed her BSc in International Business and Finance from the University of Reading in England in 2020 and now works with the EY Indirect Tax team in Muscat. She is also pursuing the Oman VAT Diploma qualification but says the field of mergers and acquisitions also holds her interest. On the weekends, she can often be found on some type of outdoor adventure like running, cycling, swimming and aerial sports. To wind down, she reads fiction novels and self-help books. She has volunteered at a local school, helping children with their reading and writing. 

  • Saudi Arabia – Mohammed Al Ali

    Photographic portrait of Mohammed Al Ali

    Mohammed, from Saudi Arabia, is one of the four finalists representing Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. He received his BSc in Finance in 2019 from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and now works as a tax associate in the EY office in Saudi Arabia. His experience in various industries has helped him understand different aspects of business and dealing with clients. Mohammed’s main goal is to become an inspiring leader, delivering high-quality services to clients and supporting his team members by sharing his knowledge. In addition to traveling, reading, diving, hiking, and cooking international dishes, he has volunteered to clean beaches and parks.

  • Singapore – Hithalli Chawla

    Photographic portrait of Hithalli

    Hithalli is a 2021 graduate of Nanyang Technological University with a double major in Economics and Public Policy and Global Affairs. She joined the EY office in Singapore, working with the transfer pricing team, after a series of internships gave her an interest in the field. She envisions a two-pronged career allowing her “to stay in touch with both the theoretical aspects of tax and economics, and the real-world applications.” Born in India, she trained for eight years in Indian classical dance and also plays the ukulele. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring Singapore’s scenic hiking trails.

  • South Africa – Deena Martin

    Photographic portrait of Deena Martin

    Having completed a bachelor’s degree in Accounting Sciences with distinction from the University of Pretoria, Deena, the finalist from South Africa, is now completing a post-graduate diploma. This is the route to become a Chartered Accountant which is what she aspires to be. The coursework focuses on four subjects – Taxation, Auditing, Financial Management and Financial Accounting – with Taxation, being her primary area of interest. She hopes to one day make a valuable contribution to international tax regulations and transfer pricing legislation. She enjoys exercising, running, playing tennis and, above all, hockey. She also enjoys watching sports on television, making the Olympic Games in Tokyo a highlight for her. Deena played against a member of the South Africa woman’s Olympic hockey team after the Games ended. The Olympian gave Deena her South African Olympics hockey shirt, making it one of the greatest moments of her life.

  • Spain – Carolina Reguera

    Photographic portrait of Carolina

    Carolina’s interest in “the economy as a tool to improve people’s quality of life” led her to pursue dual master’s degrees in Business Administration and Law at ISDE Madrid. A year studying abroad in Japan gave her an international perspective she finds invaluable. She owns two motorcycles – one for the road and one for off-road – and turns to mountain sports, including hiking, skiing and trail running, to clear her mind. She loves business books and biographies, as well as music, having played the piano since childhood. The chance to “learn from some of the best” brought her to EY.

  • Sri Lanka - Bipash Suriyage

    Photographic portrait of Bipash Suriyage

    Bipash keeps a busy schedule. He is finishing up his Undergraduate of Bachelor of Laws (LLB) at General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University in Sri Lanka. He serves the community as president of the Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School. He has been involved in many projects while being a member, but he considers “Project Life” a milestone because they provided people in rural areas with clean drinking water. His tax work at the EY organization doesn’t leave much free time, but it has helped him understand why and how different tax rates apply to different companies. When he can get away, he enjoys cheering on Chelsea Football Club and playing badminton with family and friends. In quieter moments, he prefers reading up on local and international news over browsing social media. Fun fact: he’s pretty sure he’s never watched a full season of any TV show.

  • Sweden – Christoffer Pettersson

    Photographic portrait of Christoffer Pettersson

    Christoffer aspires to improve people’s lives via tax legislation. He’s nearing the completion of his Master of Laws (LLM) at Uppsala University in Sweden and is currently writing his thesis in international taxation. The subject, he says, is the dividend article in the OECD model convention with special regard to beneficial ownership under share loan agreements. He previously worked at the Swedish Tax Agency and a bank during summer breaks. His hobbies include golf and computer games. He’s even competed semiprofessionally in esports, with his most success coming in the card game Hearthstone.

  • Switzerland – Alex Carrere

    Photographic portrait of  Alex Carrera

    Alex is living in Geneva but earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Business Law and Economics, both summa cum laude, from Toulouse School of Economics in France. He is intently focused on learning the technical aspects of taxation and tax regulations, and has already been exposed to a range of international tax of topics while working at EY. Alex intends to share his knowledge at every turn and will be returning to Toulouse later this year to speak to students about his work experience. He enjoys hiking, reading, cooking and traveling, and is eager to explore more of the Geneva area. Ask him about: Tokaj winemaking, which his birthplace in northeastern Hungary is known for and which he learned to do. 

  • Tanzania – Elias Ndelembi

    Photographic portrait of  Elias Ndelembi

    Elias, from Tanzania, is representing Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. He has a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and is working on his MBA, both from the University of Dar es Salaam. He joined the EY team in Tanzania as an intern in 2020 after becoming a Certified Public Accountant, and received an employment offer this past September. He attended Makutupora Military Camp for three months as part of national service, and in his spare time, he enjoys reading novels and playing video games.

  • Thailand – Patthranit Wutapitak

    Photographic portrait of Patthranit

    Patthranit has acquired diverse job experience since graduating in 2018 with a BBA in Accounting and Finance from Assumption University in Thailand. She first worked as an assistant auditor, then spent a year as an accountant at a Japanese firm. Aiming for more specialization, she joined the People Advisory Services team at EY in 2020 and looks after personal income tax matters. For fun, she enjoys Netflix and music, and wants to learn to dance.

  • United Kingdom – Lucy Denning

    Photographic portrait of Lucy Denning

    Lucy earned a degree in Sport and Social Sciences from the University of Bath in England. While at University, she took part in EY’s Summer Internship program in Bristol, working with the corporate tax team. The team she worked with inspired her to join EY after graduation and now works on the EY Private team. She is currently studying for her chartered accountancy and chartered tax adviser certifications. Outside the office, she enjoys sports and fitness activities, including biking with EY colleagues to get to know them better. She also enjoys organizing office activities, such as virtual coffee breaks, a winter step challenge and a cancer fundraiser.

  • USA – Lauren Fogel

    Photographic portrait of Lauren Fogel

    Lauren, the finalist representing the United States, is a senior at Cornell University studying Human Development, with minors in Law and Society, and Inequality Studies. She has been working part-time for a small investing startup for over a year while finishing her degree. It has given her business development, marketing and project management experience as well as exposure to the “entrepreneurial spirit.” After Lauren graduates this December, she will join the EY People Advisory Services team in New York. The youngest of five children, she says demonstrating care and sincerity helps drive her relationships. Another passion is the mental health space, for which she started a company in 2020, designing and selling clothing that raised awareness of the importance of empathy and mental health.

  • Vietnam – Nora Lai

    Photographic portrait of Nora Lai

    Nora received a bachelor’s degree in International Finance from the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City. After graduation, she worked as an assistant to the chief accountant of a small consulting company, working on tasks involving bookkeeping and reconciliation. She’s been part of the EY team in Vietnam for about three months. During this time, she has been involved in a variety of projects, ranging from helping with transfer pricing matters, translating information from a variety of sources into quantitative and qualitative analyses, and documentation and controversy issues associated with intercompany transactions. Nora’s idea of fun is nothing flashy, she just relaxes with a good book or movie.