Pierre Mertens was the President of the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus from 1995 till 2013. He is the founder of the Belgian branch of the International Foundation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, and the Belgian section of Platform Handicap and Development Cooperation (PHOS). Pierre is director of Child-Help International and also works as a visual artist and psychotherapist.
Andrew J. Copp
Andrew Copp, MBBS, DPhil, FRCPath, FMedSci, is Professor of Developmental Neurobiology and Head of the Newlife Birth Defects Research Centre at the Institute of Child Health, University College London. He is Honorary Consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. He trained at Oxford University, Guy’s Hospital London and the Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University, USA. He researches the genetics, development and prevention of neural tube defects including spina bifida.
Bo Hjelt is the Founder and Honorary Chairman of CDI Global, an industrial search company with offices in 37 countries. Prior to launching CDI Global, he was the Director of European Operations at Svenska Metallverken, a Swedish metals multinational. Bo sits on a number of private and not-for-profit boards. He holds a BA from l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, and an MBA from Centre d’Etudes Industrielles in Geneva.
Paola Hjelt was until recently the Director of Global Changemakers, a network of young social entrepreneurs and activists supported by the British Council. Prior to that, she was a Fellow at the World Economic Forum, and a reporter at Fortune Magazine in New York. Paola holds an MsSc from the Stockholm School of Economics and an MA and MSc in International Affairs and Journalism, both from Columbia University in New York.
Bart van Leemput
Bart van Leemput is a Partner – Lombard Odier Capital Partners and Head of the Asian private banking teams at Lombard Odier, a Swiss private bank. Prior to his current position, he headed the north European private banking team and was a Supervisory Board Member of Lombard Odier Netherlands. Bart holds an MA in International Relations from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva.
Damman Nordbeck is a partner at CDI Global, an industrial search company, in The Netherlands. He is also a partner and member of the Executive Committee of CDI Global. Damman holds an MSc in Business Administration from the universities of Groningen (Netherlands) and Johannesburg (South Africa).
Régine Steegers-Theunissen, MD, PhD, Professor of Periconception Epidemiology at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Department of Pediatrics at the Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam. Régine’s research focus is on the impact of periconception health – and the effects of folic acid, nutrition and lifestyle - on embryo quality and development (especially with regards to neural tube defects and other reproductive failures). She is the founder of www.slimmerzwanger.nl.
1978–1997: held various positions in Tetra Pak, a Swedish family-owned food packaging conglomerate, with residence in Tokyo, Singapore, Chicago and at Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. Most of these positions involved development of new markets in Asia, Middle East and Africa, or restructuring of existing companies. 1997–2012: in the IKEA Group, first 5 years with IKEA’s establishment in Russia, and then as advisor to the Founder, Ingvar Kamprad.