Our current Board of Directors was elected by the General Assembly hosted on the 21st of October 2016 in Brussels, with the mandate of three years.
Natalie Bennett is a former leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, having served two terms from 2012 to 2016. She also has experience as a trustee of the Fawcett Society, Britain’s most prominent feminist organisation, for four years until 2014. In her previous professional life she was a journalist, working for several publications including The Times, the Independent and finishing with five years as editor of the Guardian Weekly, the international edition of the Guardian. She was a member of the Editorial Board of the Green European Journal from 2012 to 2014.
Reinhard Bütikofer is a Member of the European Parliament (Greens/EFA) and the Co-Chair of the European Green Party (EGP). He sits on the Committee of Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and is a substitute member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET). He is Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with the People’s Republic of China and a Member of the Delegation to the United States. Before getting elected to the European Parliament in 2009, Mr. Bütikofer was the co-chair of the German Green Party Bündnis90 / Die Grünen (from 2002 until 2008). He was the party’s Secretary General from 1998 until 2002. Prior to that he served as the Chair of the Greens in the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg. From 1988 until 1996 he served as a Member of the Baden-Württemberg State Parliament.
Joachim Denkinger studied Social Sciences and economics at Göttingen university in Germany where he also got his PhD shortly before moving to Brussels in 1995 to work with the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament as its economic adviser. He became the Deputy Secretary General of the group in 2005 and ended his job in early 2017 when he retired and moved to Berlin with his family. In his "former" live he was a Green grassroot activist, a local counsellor, a lay judge, a tourist guide and for ten years a researcher at a research institute in Germany. Jochen, as all his friends call him, has been elected member of the Board of the GEF and became its Treasurer in November 2016.
Dirk Holemans is the Coordinator of Oikos, the Flemish green Think Tank for social-ecological change. He has previously been Member of Parliament for the green party. Dirk is also editor-in-chief of Oikos' eponymous journal. His main interests are ecological economy, green cities and political ecology. He recently published ŒFreedom & Society. Towards a social-ecological society' (in Dutch).
Olga Kikou is the president of the Green Greek Institute in Greece. She studied sociology and pursued postgraduate and doctoral studies at the University of Massachusetts in the USA. She managed the Volunteer Programme of the Athens 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games and held roles in research, planning and project implementation in Greece. Currently she is based in Brussels as the European Affairs Manager for the international NGO 'Compassion in World Farming', where she advocates for farm animal welfare and sustainable food and farming.
Susanne Rieger has been responsible for European issues and European relations in the Catalan Green foundation Fundació Nous Horitzons (FNH) for the past eight years. Since 2009, she is also member of the Board of FNH. She has been delegate to the GEF General Assembly since the founding of GEF. From a professional point of view, Susanne has been dealing with issues of political education, capacity building, political and public discussions and communication structures on the European level for the past twenty years. She is based in Barcelona and working as coach and consultant in different European countries.
Lucile Schmid is the president of the Fondation de l’Ecologie Politique in France. She has been a member of GEF’s General Assembly since 2014. She is a senior official in the Ministry of Economy and Finances in France where she works on trainings for civil servants in ecological issues. For several years, she has been a member of the editorial board of the French journal Esprit. Between 2010 and 2016, she served as a member of the Executive Board of Europe Ecologie – Les Verts. Currently, she is the vice-president of a French think tank La fabrique écologique .
Ville Ylikahri is a Secretary General in the Green Cultural and Education Centre - Visio in Finland. He is a member of the GEF General Assembly since 2014. He is active in Green politics in Finland as a member of Helsinki City Council. He has been politically engaged on the national level as a part of different working groups and as a political advisor in the parliamentary group of the Greens in Finnish Parliament.
The current Co-Presidents of the Green European Foundation are Lucile Schmid and Susanne Rieger.
Another important decision made by the latest General Assembly was to grant the title of Honorary President of the Green European Foundation to Pierre Jonckheer, for his contributions to establishing GEF, developing its political profile and successfully serving as its Co-president between 2008 and 2016. As Honorary President, Pierre will continue contributing to GEF on an ad hoc basis with his knowledge and experience, and will remain involved in some of the GEF’s projects.
Pierre Jonckheer is currently lecturer at the Open Faculty for economic and social policies (FOPES) at the University of Louvain (Belgium). As researcher on European economic and social policies he has been involved in trade unions activities from 1984 until 1991. As a Green activist, he is a member of Ecolo since 1986. He has been member of parliament for the Greens both at national and European levels from 1991 until 2009, and also the first co-president of GEF from 2008 until 2016.