Every second year, the General Assembly elects a Board of Directors from its members. The Board of Directors meets on a more regular basis and is responsible for the overall strategic management and decision-making of the foundation.
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. A new board member, Michal Berg, was elected on the 12th of October 2018 in Brussels.
Board Members – Biographies & Current Positions
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.
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” life he was a Green grassroot activist, a local counsellor, a lay judge, a tourist guide and a researcher 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 “Freedom & Society. Towards a social-ecological society’ (in Dutch).
Olga Kikou (Secretary)
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 (President)
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.
Michal Berg is a Committee Member of the European Green Party. He was an entrepreneur in IT for 15 years. During 2015, he sold all his assets and later became a vice-chairman of Czech Greens. He is also active in voluntary refugee help as a board member of civic organisation PLNU.cz. Since 2014, he serves as a local councillor in Vsetin, a town in Eastern Czech Republic. His political topics are human rights, migration, open government and privacy issues.
The role of Honorary President of the Green European Foundation was assigned 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 continues contributing to GEF on an ad hoc basis with his knowledge and experience, and will remain involved in some of the GEF’s projects.