Stefaan Fiers

Stefaan is Communications & Public Policy Director at, 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 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, Stefaan is Associate Professor in Comparative Politics at KU Leuven.

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.

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.

Olivier Van Horenbeeck

Olivier is Managing Partner at Growth Inc., a non-traditional strategic communications and government affairs firm.

He started his career as a Policy Counsel with a European employers’ federation. In 2005, he joined BNP Paribas Fortis where he worked as External & Governmental Affairs Manager. In 2009, he moved to Anheuser-Busch InBev, first within the Public Affairs department of the Benelux, later on as Director Corporate Affairs at the EU level. In 2012, he started working as an independent consultant working on Corporate Affairs assignments for a.o. JCDecaux and Voka (the Flanders Chamber of Commerce and Industry).

In 2014 he founded Viapublic, a boutique executive search firm, focusing exclusively on corporate affairs talent.

Jeroen Dhanens

Jeroen is Director Corporate Affairs & Communications at Japan Tobacco International (JTI) for Belgium and Luxembourg.

Initially pursuing his career as a tax lawyer, Jeroen joined in 2003 the British American Tobacco Co-ordination centre as Legal counsel within the Corporate Affairs & Legal Department. In 2009, he moved to JTI heading the Corporate Affairs & Communications department for Belgium and Luxembourg where he is responsible for government and external stakeholder’s relations, media relations, crisis management, internal communication and CSR projects.

Lora Nivesse

Lora is Advisor Regulatory Affairs at Comeos, the Belgian federation for commerce and services.

After a Master’s degree in Public Law at the ULB and a LLM in European and International Law at the VUB, she worked as an advisor to Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign affairs Didier Reynders. She was in charge of financial and European matters. In 2015, she started working at Comeos in the Regulatory Affairs department where she specializes in security and real estate.

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 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.

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 Communication Assistant for Panache Diffusion, a theater production and distribution company.

Tayanne will secure the Bepact administration on Mondays and Fridays.