Our network

Board of Trustees
Daniel Daianu
Member of the Board of the National Bank of Romania and former Finance Minister of Romania

Daniel Daianu has held various positions in the political and economic sphere and has authored several books on European and economic issues. A Romanian politician, author, professor of economics, he currently serves as Member of the Board of the National Bank of Romania. Formerly a Finance Minister of Romania, Daianu was the Chief Economist of the National Bank of Romania and later became Member of the European Parliament.

Etienne Davignon
President of Friends of Europe, Belgian Minister of State and former European Commission Vice-President

Etienne Davignon is one of the few statesmen in Europe who has been actively involved in EU affairs from the beginning, from his early role as Chief of Staff to Paul-Henri Spaak to today. He has held high-level positions in both the public and private sectors, including as Vice-President of the European Commission, President of the Société Générale de Belgique, first President of the International Energy Agency and through various board mandates.

Alexander De Croo
Belgian Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Digital Agenda and Trustee of Friends of Europe

Alexander de Croo is a Flemish liberal politician, economist and businessman who leads the Belgian government’s efforts to improve digital growth and development. Most notably, he initiated the establishment of an advisory board called “Digital Minds for Belgium”, made up of the country’s top ICT experts, and launched an ambitious action plan “Digital Belgium”, aimed at positioning the country as one of Europe’s top three digital member states. This digital revolution includes developing 1,000 new start-ups, creating 50,000 new jobs, and achieving an electronic government by 2020.

Fernand de Donnea
Executive Director and Member of the Executive Committee of CBC Banque (a subsidiary of Belgian bank group KBC) and honorary Chairman; CEO from 2012 to 2015

Member of the Conseil d'Administration

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
President of the Dutch Advisory Council on International Affairs and NATO Secretary General (2004-2009)

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer is a Dutch politician who prominently served as the 11th Secretary General of NATO. Previously, he worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at the Dutch delegation at NATO headquarters in Brussels. He now works as President of the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV) of the Netherlands, an independent body which advises government and parliament on foreign policy. Furthermore, he was appointed to the Pieter Kooijmans Chair for Peace, Law and Security at Leiden University.

Mikolaj Dowgielewicz
European Investment Bank Representative to the EU institutions, and former Secretary of State for European Affairs and Economic Policy

Mikolaj Dowgielewicz is a Polish politician who currently serves as Director General at the European Investment Bank (EIB) and as the Head of its Brussels Office. Previously, he worked in the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, served as Chairman of the Polish Government's Committee for European Affairs and ultimately became Polish Minister for European Affairs. Additionally, he served as Vice-Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB).

Sorin Ducaru
Romanian diplomat and Assistant Secretary General for emerging security challenges at NATO (2013-2017)

Sorin Ducaru is a renowned Romanian diplomat. Until recently, he worked as Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges at NATO. Prior to his appointment, he served as Romania’s Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council for over seven years. Ducaru twice received the title of “Ambassador of the Year” from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania.

European Young Leaders
Belgium
Xavier Damman
Founder & CEO of OpenCollective and Co-Founder of Storify

Xavier is an engineer in computer science who is passionate about the digital renaissance. In 1999, while still at secondary school, he founded Tribal, a site that gathered student content from around Belgium for publication in a magazine that was distributed to 30,000 students nationwide. Ten years later, he co-founded Storify, a social media curation platform that enables users to create stories or timelines using content from social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Storify is now used by top brands, organisations and publishers around the world, including CNN, the New York Times, the United Nations and the White House. More recently, he co-founded OpenCollective, a company that enables groups to collect and spend money transparently without having to create a new bank account. 

Romania
Alexandra Dariescu
Award-Winning Pianist

Named a ‘Rising Star’ by the BBC Music Magazine, Alexandra dazzles audiences and critics worldwide with her effortless musicality and captivating stage presence. An award-winning Romanian pianist, she has performed in many prestigious orchestras, such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. She is a recipient of several awards and honours, such as the Officer of the Romanian Crown from the Royal Family. In addition to her musical achievements, Alexandra received the UK’s Women of the Future Award in the Arts and Culture category, making her an ambassador and symbol of success in the classical music industry. In late 2017, the world premiere of her own production, “The Nutcracker and I, by Alexandra Dariescu”, took place in London – a creative and ground-breaking multimedia performance created for a piano solo with dance and digital animation. 

Belgium
Sébastien de Halleux
Chief Operating Officer of Saildrone

Sebastien is the COO of Saildrone, a company designing wind and solar powered ocean drones aiming at revolutionising data collection at sea. He is also a founding partner of Graph Ventures, an early stage angel fund with a portfolio of over 100 start-ups. Sebastien co-founded Playfish, which was one of the largest and fastest growing social gaming companies with over 300 million players, before being acquired by video game giant Electronic Arts (EA) in 2009.

France
Camille de Toldeo
Writer, Creator and Artist

Camille is a European writer, creator and artist. He studied in Paris, at the London School of Economics, as well as in New York. He has published several novels, shorts and essays, such as The Inversion of Hieronymus Bosch (2005), Lives and Death of an American Terrorist (2007), and L’inquiétude d’être au monde (The Anxiety of Being in the World) (2012). In 2004, Camille won the Villa Medicis scholarship for his literary and video work. His short film, “Tango de Olvido”, was selected for the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. In 2008 he founded the European Society of Authors with other intellectual figures to promote a cultural Europe on the basis of what he coined a translation citizenship. He is the Chief Editor of www.ifverso.com and Chief Advisor of the “TLHUB.org” project, a multilingual translation platform.

Belgium
Leendert de Voogd
Global Head of the Political and Social Practice of TNS

Leendert is Global Head of the Political and Social Practice of TNS, one of the world’s largest market research companies. From 2002 to 2007 he was Joint Managing Director of TNS Opinion, a co-ordination centre for multi-country studies based in Brussels. Leendert is a member of ESOMAR, a worldwide market, social and opinion research association. Over the last 15 years he has been in charge of the coordination of survey research in countries around the world for an important number of international institutions such as the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Parliament and the World Bank. He studied Political Science at Belgium’s Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) and also at Institut d'Etudes politiques / Sciences Po Paris.

Karima Delli
French politician and Member of the European Parliament

Karima Delli from the French party, Europe Écologie–Les Verts, is one of the youngest Members of the European Parliament. She is the ninth of thirteen children, and has written about her modest upbringing and its effect on her ecological commitments in her book, ‘La politique ne me fait pas perdre le nord’ (Politics have not made me lose sight of the North). First elected in 2009, Delli has remained a committed activist during her tenure though work at Jeudi Noire (Black Thursday), a group dedicated to helping young people find housing, and Sauvons les Riches (Save the Rich), which demands the introduction of a maximum European income. She is a member of the Committee on Transport and Tourism, and a substitute member of the Committee for Employment and Social Affairs and of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality.

Hungary
Balázs Denes
Executive Director at the European Liberties Platform (ELP)

Balázs is a Hungarian lawyer and a human rights activist. In 1997 he joined the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU), the country’s leading civil liberties watchdog organisation, and after holding various positions he served as the HCLU Executive Director from 2004 to 2012. Since early 2013, he is Director of the European Civil Liberties Project at the Open Society Foundations. He is a founding member of many Hungarian NGOs, and serves on the board of the Common Sense for Drug Policy Foundation and the Melymosoly Foundation. He focuses on civil liberties, human rights, communication and NGO management issues. Balázs received his law degree in 1998 from ELTE University Budapest and is a 2003-2004 Columbia University/Global Network for Public Interest Law (PILnet) Fellow.

France
Rokhaya Diallo
Human Rights Activist, Journalist, Founder and Former President of Les Indivisibles

Rokhaya is a human rights activist, journalist and Founder and former President of Les Indivisibles, a French organisation that uses humour and irony to fight racism. She is the Host and Co-Editor of “Egaux, mais pas trop” (Equal, but not too much), a series of reports on diversity issues in France. She has held several other noteworthy positions in the television field, basing her work primarily on social and political issues. In 2009, she co-directed the documentary Immigration, the words to tell it. Rokhaya has a Master’s in Marketing and Distribution in TV and Cinema Industry from the Sorbonne, a Master’s in Negotiation and Marketing and a Master’s in International and European Law. She is a published author and prolific conference speaker and is a member of several NGOs and organisations that base their work on social awareness. In 2012, she was awarded the “Award for Involvement against racism and discrimination” by COJEP International.

Luxembourg
Carole Dieschbourg
Minister of the Environment, Luxembourg

Carole Dieschbourg served as a municipal councillor in Echternach from 2011 to 2013, when she was appointed to the government as Minister of the Environment. At the time she was the youngest member of the cabinet and the only Green Minister of the Environment in Europe. Carole represented the European Union during the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris, which coincided with Luxembourg’s Presidency of the EU Council. Her role was to ensure that the EU had a coordinated position during the conference. In the run-up to the COP21, she also represented the EU at many bilateral meetings and high-level conferences such as the Petersberg Climate Dialogue and the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF).

United Kingdom
Tishani Doshi
Poet, Writer & Dancer

Tishani is an Indian-Welsh dancer, poet and freelance writer. Currently based in Madras, India, Tishani divides her time between dancing for one of India’s leading choreographers, Chandralekha, and writing pieces for publications such as The Guardian, Corriere della Sera, The New York Times, The Hindu, The National, India Today, Outlook, Tricycle, Vogue and Elle. Her written work has garnered her various awards such as the prestigious Forward Prize (UK) for Best First Collection (2006) for her debut collection of poems, and she was selected to represent India at the 2012 Poetry Parnassus Cultural Olympics in London. Her first novel, The Pleasure Seekers, was published to critical acclaim in 2010, and has been translated into multiple languages. Her latest book is a collection of poems, Everything Begins Elsewhere, and has been published in India, the UK and the USA.

Authors and speakers
Daniel Daianu
Member of the Board of the National Bank of Romania and former Finance Minister of Romania

Daniel Daianu has held various positions in the political and economic sphere and has authored several books on European and economic issues. A Romanian politician, author, professor of economics, he currently serves as Member of the Board of the National Bank of Romania. Formerly a Finance Minister of Romania, Daianu was the Chief Economist of the National Bank of Romania and later became Member of the European Parliament.

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Helena Dalli
Maltese Minister for European Affairs & Equality

Helena Dalli is Minister for European Affairs and Equality in Malta. First elected to Parliament in 1996, her experience in the Maltese Parliament has been one of the longest held by a woman in Maltese politics and the only woman to be elected from two districts in the interest of the Labour Party. During the 2013-2017 legislature she was minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties.  Under her direction the Government introduced several laws and policies to strengthen the equality and human rights framework placing Malta among the first in Europe in this field. In 2016 Minister Dalli won the European Diversity Award for her work in human rights and equality.

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Xavier Damman
Founder & CEO of OpenCollective, Co-Founder of Storify and European Young Leader (EYL40)

Xavier is the CEO and co-founder of OpenCollective, a company that enables groups to collect and spend money transparently without having to create a new bank account. He also co-founded Storify, a social media curation platform that enables users to create stories or timelines using content from social media platforms. Storify has been used by top brands, organisations and publishers around the world, including CNN, the New York Times, the United Nations and the White House. 

Raphaël Danglade
Programme Executive

Raphaël is Programme Executive with a focus on Energy & Climate. He holds a Bachelor in Geography and Environmental Studies from Royal Holloway, University of London, after which he completed an MSc in Climate Change and International Development at the University of East Anglia, UK. He developed an acute interest in climate change and the low carbon economy after working for various NGOs, private sector companies, civil society organisations and think tanks with projects related to Africa, Latin America and Europe. Raphaël speaks both French and English.

Pratik Dattani
Managing Director of EPG Economic and Strategy Consulting and Director of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (2014-2017), United Kingdom
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Ruth Davis
Head of Commercial Strategy and Public Policy at BT Security

As head of cyber security at BT Security, Ruth Davis leads on commercial strategy and public policy where she specialises in developing BT’s public-private partnerships especially with the UK Government. Her career spans both business and politics, where she has previously worked for Deloitte, techUK and the Home Affairs Select Committee. She is a regular speaker and panelist and has participated in events at the World Economic Forum, OECD and the UN. She is recognised by the industry as one of the Top 20 influential women in cyber security in the UK and has recently won the 2018 ISG Paragon ‘Woman in Technology’ award for the EMEA region.

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Jose Alberto de Azeredo Lopes
Portuguese Minister of Defence

In his current position, Jose Alberto de Azeredo Lopes has argued for the need for a new NATO strategic concept which would include coming closer to threats looming on the Alliance's southern flank. A renowned academic, he was previously a Professor of International Law at the Catholic University of Porto, focusing on the right of peoples to self-determination, the use of force in international relations, human rights and the law of armed conflict. He has provided assistance to international organisations and participated in several international missions, particularly in Timor-Leste.

Gonzalo de Castro
Senior Executive at the Development Bank of Latin America

Skilled in banking, economic research, credit analysis, entrepreneurship and venture capital, economist Gonzalo de Castro is an expert in finance. In his current role, de Castro serves in the Development Bank of Latin America’s Finance Department, supporting actions in the areas of infrastructures, social development, environment, public policies, production and finance. The Bank, owned by 19 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal, promotes sustainable development in Latin America.

Alexander De Croo
Belgian Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Digital Agenda and Trustee of Friends of Europe

Alexander de Croo is a Flemish liberal politician, economist and businessman who leads the Belgian government’s efforts to improve digital growth and development. Most notably, he initiated the establishment of an advisory board called “Digital Minds for Belgium”, made up of the country’s top ICT experts, and launched an ambitious action plan “Digital Belgium”, aimed at positioning the country as one of Europe’s top three digital member states. This digital revolution includes developing 1,000 new start-ups, creating 50,000 new jobs, and achieving an electronic government by 2020.

Fernand de Donnea
Executive Director and Member of the Executive Committee of CBC Banque (a subsidiary of Belgian bank group KBC) and honorary Chairman; CEO from 2012 to 2015

Member of the Conseil d'Administration