GOVERNANCE

Stefaan Fiers

Stefaan is Communications & Public Policy Director at pharma.be, the association representing the interests of 130+ innovative pharmaceutical companies in Belgium.

He oversees the communication strategy, is spokesperson of the association, and secures the political analysis of both the healthcare policy and the innovation and industrial policy of the Belgian federal and regional governments. Before joining pharma.be in 2014, he was Head of Governmental Affairs and Public Policy at Bristol-Myers Squibb Belgium/Luxembourg and at MSD Belgium. Next to his activities at pharma.be, Stefaan is Associate Professor in Comparative Politics at KU Leuven.



Carl Buyck

Carl Buyck is partner at akkanto, a Brussels-based independent Belgian public affairs and corporate communications consultancy.

Carl started his professional career as spokesman, first to the Minister of Education in the Flemish Government and later on to the Minister of Finance and Budget, Health Institutions, Welfare and the Family. In 1999 he joined akkanto, where he is responsible for Public Affairs and Government Relations. He advises companies, federations and NGOs in developing workable strategies for political outreach. In recent years, Carl has built up specific expertise in sectors such as healthcare, telecommunications, energy and transport. In his spare time he runs a travel blog on Italy.



Joris Bulteel

Joris Bulteel is Partner and co-founder of Whyte Corporate Affairs, an independent Belgian public affairs and corporate communications consultancy.

Joris started his career in international trade associations representing the energy industry in Brussels, London and Washington DC. As a consultant, he built up a broad experience in Belgian public affairs, with a solid track record in crisis communication and issues management, and combined these communication disciplines into an integrated corporate affairs approach. Before setting up Whyte Corporate Affairs in 2008, he was Director Public Affairs of a Belgian PR & PA firm. Joris also regularly lectures on public affairs, crisis communication and issues management.



KAREL JOOS

Karel Joos is a Partner at Interel, a global public affairs consultancy firm headquartered in Brussels.

A construction engineer and a financial economist, Karel served as a captain in the Belgian armed forces. After leaving the army, he was a strategy consultant, dealing mainly with transport policy across Europe. He has also worked as an advisor to the Minister-President of the Flemish Government covering a range of issues including public works, mobility, public-private partnerships (PPP) and industrial economics. Just before joining Interel in 2008, he was a director in the cabinet of the Belgian minister for companies of public law where he supervised policymaking at the NMBS/SNCB Group, bpost and Proximus. In 2015 Karel authored the first textbook on corporate public affairs in the Benelux.



Karla Basselier

Karla Basselier is Head of Public Affairs and is currently also in charge of business development rough diamond trade at Antwerp World Diamond Centre.

She started her career as parliamentary co-worker at the Belgian Senate in 2004, to move, in 2005 to the OSCE Belgian Chairmanship where she gained international and political experience as attaché analyst at the Belgian Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs. In July 2011, Karla Basselier started to work for the Antwerp World Diamond Centre AWDC, an umbrella organisation representing the Antwerp diamond community. Karla created the Public Affairs department of the AWDC. As the Head of the Public Affairs department, Karla Basselier liaises with governments at local, regional, national, European and international level to promote the interests of the diamond industry in Antwerp. Karla also participates in the Kimberley Process as one of the World Diamond Council representatives.
Karla Basselier holds a Master in Law of the University of Ghent (Belgium), a Master in International and European Law by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the International Peace Institute of the Hague, and an Executive Master in Business Administration from the Antwerp Management School.



Yannick Adriaenssens

Yannick is senior officer strategic and economic affairs at Febelfin, the Belgian Financial sector federation.

Febelfin represents over 250 financial institutions offering a wide range of banking and financial activities in Belgium.

Working in the domains of strategy, communication, and economic affairs, Yannick has regular contacts with different stakeholders of the financial sector in Belgium and Europe.

Before starting at Febelfin, he held multiple positions in the banking industry, in Belgium and abroad.

He has degrees in commercial engineering and international and comparative politics of the Catholic University of Leuven, and studied for a short while in Montréal, Canada.



Jean-Benoît Schrans

Jean-Benoît Schrans is Public Affairs & Communication Manager at the Belgian Petroleum Federation (BFF). He occupied communication & public affairs functions in multiple sectors: at the FEB-VBO, for the Brussels Minister for Economic Affairs and at Merck Sharp & Dohme. He led the External Relations department of Procter & Gamble in Belgium for 7 years, joined briefly Danone Belgium before starting as Communication Director at the Spadel Group in 2008 where he stayed almost 10 years.

He was also intensely active in sector federations on both Belgian and European level. Jean-Benoît holds a Master in Political & Social Sciences, with a specialisation in Communication Sciences at the University of Ghent. He was also for almost 10 years Board member of the Belgian Communication association Csquare (C²).



Aron Wils

Aron Wils is corporate affairs and communications officer for Samsung Benelux, working on the crossroads of PA, PR and CSR with a focus on Belgium. Samsung is a world-leading technology company, focusing in the Benelux on consumer electronics, displays- and mobile technologies.

Aron has expertise in analyzing the impact of technology in our society and led several integrated communication projects in order to democratize new technologies such as VR, AI and 5G. Aron represents Samsung in external communications to media and in Belgian stakeholder organizations on a variety of topics ranging from sustainability, new telecommunications technologies and taxation.

Aron has a degree in international and comparative politics of the Catholic University of Leuven and studied a period in the US at the Florida International University.



Isabelle De Vinck

As Managing Partner of Political Intelligence Belgium, Isabelle is in charge of the overall practice, management, client coordination and day-to-day operations of their Brussels office.

Isabelle has extensive experience setting up and running industry trade bodies, grouping and coalitions and has been involved in a wide range of EU and Belgium regulatory issues. Political Intelligence’s vision is one of transparency and best practice, where the teams abide with ethical standards. That’s also why Isabelle has been actively participates for more than 10 years in the transparency debate.

As chairwoman of EPACA, the European Public affairs’ consultancy associations and as Bepact board members she wishes to contribute improving the professional standards of Public affairs in Brussels and more broadly in Belgium.



Linde Verheyden

Linde Verheyden is Director Public Affairs at BNP Paribas Fortis, one of the leading banks in Belgium. She is based in Brussels and is working on the crossroads of Public Affairs, CSR and Business Development.

Before starting at the Public Affairs department, Linde held multiple positions within the bank. Starting as Management Trainee in 1999, she built up an extensive expertise in risk management, trade finance, business development, stakeholder management and public affairs during her career. She has a direct line with key political, diplomatic and trade representatives and an ongoing dialogue with various Belgian stakeholder organizations and ngo’s on topics such as banking, international trade and sustainability.

She holds a Master in Slavonic Languages and degrees in International Relations and Business Economics at the Catholic University of Leuven, and studied for a short while in Kazan, Russia.



Tayanne Schlesser

Tayanne Schlesser is Assistant Office Manager at Bepact, Belgium Public Affairs Community.

After a bachelor degree in Marketing she did many internship for event companies.

Next to her activities at Bepact, Tayanne is also an Event Manager for her company TS EVENT.

Tayanne will secure the Bepact administration on Mondays and Fridays.

info@bepact.be