Acting Director, Public Health, DG Health and Consumers, European Commission
John F. Ryan is Acting Director of the Commission Public Health directorate since March 2012. He is also the current Head of Unit responsible for health threats (communicable diseases, health security and bioterrorism) within the European Commission department for public health and consumer protection. This includes responsibility for issues such as surveillance of communicable diseases, strategies for prevention, vaccination, avian, pandemic and seasonal flu, preparedness exercises, EU and international cooperation on health security (EU Health Security Committee, Global Health Security Initiative).
He was previously responsible in the same department for the health information programme, the cancer programme, the pollution related disease programme, the drugs prevention programme, the health monitoring programme, the health promotion programme, the rare diseases programme and the injury prevention programme.
He was a Commission representative on the Board of the EU Lisbon Drugs Agency, and is currently the Commission representative on the Board of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
He also had the charge of dealing with tobacco control issues including product regulation directives, tobacco advertising, and the WHO international treaty negotiations for a tobacco convention.
He has previously worked in other European Commission departments dealing with the completion of the internal market, and on international trade negotiations.He is also an official of the Irish civil service (on leave).
Chief Scientist and WHO Representative to the EU, WHO Office at the European Union
Dr Roberto Bertollini holds a degree in medicine and a postgraduate degree in paediatrics, as well as a master’s degree in public health from the Johns Hopkins University, United States of America. In addition to his position as WHO Representative to the European Union, Dr Bertollini is Chief Scientist with the specific task of supporting the Regional Director’s Office with the scientific evidence that underpins WHO health policies and strategies.
From 2007 to 2010, he was coordinator of evidence and policy for the environment and health at WHO headquarters, from 2000 to 2007 he was a technical director at WHO/Europe, and from 1993 to 2000, he was the founding director of the WHO European Centre for Environment and Health in Rome, Italy.
His main professional interests concern the environmental influences on health, with special reference to the effects of emerging threats such as climate change as well as the use of epidemiology for public health policy development and the evaluation of public health programmes and practices.
Political Officer European Union Affairs, Mission of Mexico to the European Union
Marcela Celorio is the Political Officer at the Mexican Embassy and Permanent Representation before the EU.
As a career member of the Mexican Foreign Service she has been appointed Chief of Staff at the Mexican Embassy to the US and in the Mexican Embassy in Israel as Deputy Chief of Mission. At the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Relations she was Director for US Affairs and at the Ministry of Interior she was Director General for Security issues with US and Canada.
She was a diplomat in residence in both the University of California, San Diego and in American University in Washington.
She is a lawer and she has a Masters in Diplomatic Studies as well as in Defence & National Security.
Member, European Parliament
Dr. Renate Sommer holds a doctorate degree in agricultural sciences of Bonn University (dissertation on consumer behaviour in buying food). She worked as an academic assistant at the faculty of agriculture, and as policy officer for the German Farmers Union. Between 1994 and 1999 she was city councillor in Herne and vice-chairwoman of the Christian-Democratic Party (CDU) in the Herne municipal council. Since 1999, she is a member of the European Parliament, where she is working in the Joint Parliamentary Committee EU-Turkey, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, and in the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.
Senior Advisor, Norwegian Directorate of Health
· Nutritionist and master of public management (MPM)
· Director for Department of Nutrition in the Norwegian Directorate of Health (2002-2010)
· Has been responsible for the Norwegian Food Composition Database for almost 20 years
· Nordic and international collaboration on Nutrition
· Member of the secretariat for the European Network on reducing marketing pressure on children chaired by Norway
Acting Head of Unit, Health Determinants, DG Health & Consumers, European Commission
Philippe Roux started his career in the French Social sector in 1985. During the same time, he studied social sciences, European law and Public Health. He worked with DG V (Employment and Social Affairs) from 1990 to 1998 in support of the development of the EU initiatives related to drug prevention. In September 1998, he joined the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction where he contributed to the development of the framework and tools for the evaluation of the EU action plans on drugs and was from 2002 deputy Head of Unit in the “Interventions, law and policy” Unit of the Agency.
He joined SANCO Health Determinants Unit in 2005 to work with the Nutrition and Physical Activity team with responsibilities in the coordination of the Diet, Physical Activity and Health European Platform. He is Deputy Head of Unit SANCO.C.4 "Health determinants" since October 2006.
Director General, ESA
Sebastian is a public affairs professional with nearly 10 years of Brussels experience. Having worked as head of the Rail Division at the International Association of Public Transport for several year, he changed beginning 2012 in the food sector leading the European Snacks Association.
Science Coordinator, Choices International Foundation
As Scientific Coordinator of the Choices International Foundation, Léon Jansen is the secretary of the international, European and Dutch Scientific Committee. In addition, Léon supervises and supports several studies on the use and effectiveness of the Choices logo.
Léon assisted the establishment of the Dutch Choices Foundation (‘Stichting Ik Kies Bewust’) and helped design the process of criteria development, checking product compliance, and market control of the Dutch Choices logo.
Léon Jansen studied food toxicology at Wageningen University. Here he finished his PhD in toxicology after which he researched molecular biology at the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC, Lyon, France) and the Dutch Cancer Institute (Amsterdam, The Netherlands). He worked for five years as food toxicologist at the Dutch Nutrition Centre. Next to his involvement in the Choices Programme, Léon Jansen also works on projects on healthy food production and consumption.
Director General, BEUC
As Director General of BEUC, Monique represents 40 independent national consumer associations in 30 European countries acting as a strong consumer voice in Brussels, ensuring that consumer’ interests are given weight in the development of policies and raising the visibility and effectiveness of the consumer movement through lobbying EU institutions and media contacts.
As a consumer expert and advocate, she is member of the EU High-level Expert Group on reforming the structure of the EU banking sector (Liikanen group) and is a delegate in the Consultative Commission on Industrial Change of the European Economic and Social Committee. She is also member of the EU High-level Group on the sustainability of the food supply chain, of the EU Resource Efficiency Platform and is substitute member of the SEPA-Council.
In her capacity as BEUC Director General, Monique is currently EU co-chair of the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) a network of EU and US consumer organisations (www.tacd.org), and vice-chair of Finance-Watch (www.finance-watch.org), a public interest association dedicated to making finance work for the good of society. She also represents BEUC at Consumers International, the international consumer organisation (www.consumersinternational.org).
Apart from championing consumer rights, Monique’s passions/challenges are helping her children try to become responsible adults, cooking for friends and long walks with her golden retriever.
Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMD), DG Connect, European Commission
Joanna Wrona completed her Law Degree at the University of Maria Curie-Sklodowska (Lublin, Poland) and subsequently a European Law Degree at the College of Europe (Natolin). She followed doctoral research in the field of surreptitious advertising at Lancaster University (Law School). In 1999, she began working in the European Harmonization Department of the Office for the Committee of European Integration. She was appointed Deputy Head of the Consumer Policy Unit in the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection in 2002, before being promoted to Head of Unit. Since April 2007 she has worked for DG Connect, Audiovisual Media and Policy Unit. She is responsible for the transposition and implementation of the AVMS Directive, in particular concerning advertising to children of foods high in fat, salt and sugar.
Senior Director, The George Institute, Australia
Bruce is Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney and Chair of the Australian Division of World Action on Salt and Health (AWASH). Bruce completed his medical training at Bristol University, UK and prior to working at the Institute in 1999, he worked as an epidemiologist at the Clinical Trials Research Unit in Auckland, New Zealand. Bruce is a Fellow of the UK Royal College of Physicians and the American Heart Association. He is also a member of the Executive Council of the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia and the Council of the International Society of Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention.
President, European Childhood Obesity Group
Professor Andrea Vania is full researcher and aggregate professor at the Department of paediatrics and paediatric neuropsychiatry of the Faculty of pharmacy and medicine of “Sapienza” University of Rome. He teaches general paediatrics and paediatric nutrition.
At clinical level, he is a paediatrician since 1986 and he is currently responsible for the Centre for paediatric nutrition and dietetics of the same Department.
He is current President of ECOG (European Childhood Obesity Group) and has been President of EAPE (European Association for Paediatric Education) of which he is currently an honorary member.
He is also member of the boards of SINUPE (Società Italiana di Nutrizione), SIMA (Società Italiana di Medicina) and SIO-Lazio (Società Italiana Obesità, Sezione Lazio). He is member of several other Scientific Societies including SIP (Italian Society of Paediatrics), SINU (Italian Society for Human Nutrition), ADI (Italian Association of Dietology), SIO (Obesity Italian Society).
He is author or co-author of almost 500 items including published papers and lectures, over 170 of which are of international relevance.
His main research areas are: paediatric obesity, paediatric nutrition, general paediatric, human nutrition, paediatric psychology, teaching aspects of paediatric. Other areas of interest include: paediatric haematology, gastroenterology, infectious diseases and, immunology.
Director of Regulatory, Science & Health, Food and Drink Federation
As Director of the Regulatory, Science & Health Division at the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), Barbara Gallani is responsible for the development, implementation and promotion of FDF’s policy with respect to scientific, technical and regulatory issues. This involves the evaluation of relevant policies developed by UK, European and international institutions and the representation of FDF’s positions in discussions with Government officials, Parliamentary committees, European and UK organisations and media.
Policy Officer - Nutrition, Food Composition & Information, DG Health & Consumers, European Commission
Christophe Didion studied biochemistry and microbiology. He joined the European Commission in 2004 to work in the area of food labelling and is now dealing with the nutritional aspects of the Regulation on food information to consumers.
Corporate Responsibility Director, Health and Wellbeing, Coca-Cola Europe
As Corporate Responsibility Director for Coca-Cola Europe, Wouter Vermeulen looks after the coordination and implementation of the health and well-being strategy of the Company. He also represents Coca-Cola at various European industry platforms and stakeholder gatherings and is a regular participant in panel debates on public health and the contribution The Coca-Cola Company can make to find workable solutions to address pressing health issues like non-communicable diseases.
Wouter has 20 years of experience in public affairs and communications having worked in government, private sector and not-for profit.
Policy Coordinator, Netherlands Ministry of Health
Inge Stoelhorst, educated as food technologist at the Wageningen University in the Netherlands, is posted for approximately seven years now at the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports in the Netherlands. She worked in the field of microbiological food safety and zoonoses. Three years ago she switched to the policy field of nutrition, mainly involved in the claims regulations, food labelling and general food law issues. Currently the actuality of the food fraud is a dominant part of her work. She works in the Ministry as the coordinator of the nutrition section.
In earlier functions she used to work as a policy officer for the livestock, meat and eggs industry. She started her career as a lecturer on food technology in the early nineties.
Director of Advocacy, Nanotechnology Industries Association
Before joining Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA), Dr Carlander most recently worked as Scientific Officer for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), where he was coordinating the risk assessment of applications of nanotechnologies in the food and feed area. In addition to his knowledge of nanotechnologies, he has 15 years of experience working with governments, academia, industry and international organisations; Dr Carlander holds a M.Sc. in Biotechnology and a PhD in Clinical Chemistry.
Head of Unit – Food, Health and Well-being, DG RTD, European Commission
Patrik Kolar obtained his PhD in chemistry at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia in 1995. During 1997-1998 he worked as a PostDoc research fellow at the University of Karlsruhe in Germany. He joined the European Commission in 2007 as the Head of Unit for Genomics and Systems Biology (2007 – 2010) and he was leading the Personalised Medicine Unit within the Health Research Directorate during 2010 – 2013.
On 1 April 2013 he moved to the Directorate for Biotechnologies, Agriculture and Food Research to lead the Unit responsible for "Food, Health and Well-being".
Head of Regulatory Affairs, DSM
Henk Aalten joined DSM in 1989 after finalizing his PhD in Chemistry. After assignments in Research, Marketing and Strategy he became in 1997 active in the field of Regulatory Affairs. Since 2006 he is Head Region Europe Regulatory Affairs of the DSM Nutrition Cluster. He further chairs the ELC Nutrition Committee since 2011 and is member of the Executive Committee of AMFEP. On behalf of the latter Henk participates in the EFSA Stakeholder Consultative Platform.
Director, International Food and Health Law and Scientific Affairs, EAS
Patrick Coppens is Director, International Food and Health Law and Scientific Affairs at EAS. He has a university degree in dietetics and nutrition (Ghent and Louvain) and has build up substantial expertise in scientific, quality and regulatory issues in various positions within the Dutch Royal Numico group.
He has been closely involved in debates on food safety, food labelling, health claims and addition of nutrients to foods both on national and international level. In January 2005 he joined EAS, the Brussels-based advisers specialising in regulatory and strategic advice on nutritional products. In this capacity he advises a number of trade bodies.
Mr Coppens has great expertise in European food law, in particular with regard to health claims and nutritional issues and has spoken at numerous international conferences on these topics.
Legal Expert, Federal Ministry of Health in Austria
Amire Mahmood works for the Federal Ministry of Health in Austria. She is a lawyer and responsible for legal affairs within the unit for food law, food safety and food quality. She is one of the national experts in the Council Working Party on Foodstuffs concerning dietetic products. She is also an legal expert for the Health Claims Regulation.
Food Policy Advisor, Euro Coop
Chiara Tomalino is Policy Advisor for food and food retail issues at Euro Coop, the European Community of Consumer Co-operatives. She co-ordinates the Euro Coop Food Retail Working Group, which gathers experts within the different Euro Coop’s member organizations, and follows the policy and legislative developments at EU level in the field of food safety, food quality, health and nutrition, the food chain. Chiara holds a Master degree in Management and Political Science from the Bocconi University of Milan and Sciences Po Paris where she oriented her researches on the Common Agricultural Policy and the evaluation of public policies. On these topics, following her research work at Notre Europe, she published a briefing on “Rural development in EU policy: a retrospective”.
Director General, European Association of Communications Agencies
Dominic Lyle is the Director-General of EACA, the European Association of Communications Agencies, which represents the interests of commercial communications agencies in Europe. He was appointed to EACA in May 2002, having previously spent 25 years in the communications business.
Dominic studied International Law at Lausanne University, Switzerland and worked as European Sales & Marketing Manager for a UK food manufacturer based in Frankfurt before moving to London to handle business-to-business PR campaigns for UK companies and industry associations.
In 1994, he moved to Brussels to set up a PR company for Omnicom’s global PR Group Porter Novelli, handling international clients such as Ericsson, BT Europe, WorldCom, HP, GE Plastics, The European Space Agency and Iomega. From 2000 – 2002, he was Chairman of Porter Novelli’s European technology practice, based in Paris.
Since joining EACA, he has co-ordinated major initiatives for the European agencies in areas such as Sustainable Development, Corporate Social Responsibility, obesity, alcoholic beverages, advertising to children, self-regulation and effective advertising awards. In 2007, EACA created the European Foundation for Commercial Communications Education to promote excellence in commercial communications education and research and to further exchanges between the European commercial communications sector and academic partners. Also in 2007, EACA created its own ACT Responsible website, showcasing hundreds of examples of social marketing campaigns. In 2008, EACA launched the Care Awards for European Social Marketing Campaigns, recognising excellence in promoting care for people, resources and the environment and judged by a panel of Members of the European Parliament. In 2009, EACA created the International School of Advertising and Communications and in 2011 launched the European Advertising Certificate.
Dominic is a regular speaker at industry events such as National Advertising Festivals, or International Awards, including the Golden Rose of Montreux, Golden Drum and the Rainbow Marble. EACA organises the annual Euro Effies Awards for effective advertising.
Representative, FoodBest Project, Vice President of Research at the University of Hohenheim
Prof. Dr. Jochen Weiss holds a B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Karlsruhe in Germany and a Ph.D. degree in Food Science from the University of Massachusetts. After receiving his Ph.D. he worked for 5 ½ years as Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee and received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 2004. From August 2004 to September 2008, Dr. Weiss worked as Associate Professor for Food Biophysics and Nanotechnology at the University of Massachusetts. Since October 2008, he works as full Professor at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany, where he leads the Food Physics and Meat Science Department at the Institute of Food Science and Biotechnology. His current research interest is in the area of food physics with a focus on the understanding structure formation and molecular assembly in soft matter systems. A specific example is the study of muscle systems and meat products. Over the past years, he has authored and coauthored more than 120 research articles in refereed journals, 15 book chapters, one book and 4 patents. He authored and coauthored more than 200 papers with abstracts that were presented at regional, national and international conferences and has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on more than 70 grant proposals totaling over €7 Mio. Prof. Dr. Weiss has received numerous awards, amongst them the 2007 Samuel L. Prescott Young Scientist Award of the Institute of Food Technologists. In 2009 and 2011 he received the “Most Cited Paper Award” for his publication in the Journal of Food Science in 2006 and 2009. Since March 2012, he serves a three year term as Vice President of Research at the University of Hohenheim.
Managing Director, Landmark, and Chair, EU Pledge
Rocco Renaldi is an expert in international public policy, with specific expertise on advertising and marketing communications policies, built up since 1998. Founder and Managing Director of specialist public affairs firm Landmark, he advises a range of private and public sector interests on creating sustainable solutions to complex policy challenges in the areas of consumer policy, public health, agro-food, trade and the environment. Since 2007 he chairs the EU Pledge, a leading voluntary initiative to change food marketing to children in Europe by international food companies representing over 80% of the EU food and beverage advertising market.
Editor, EU Food Policy
Kate Trollope edits EU Food Policy, the leading online news service and newsletter which she set up last year. She has more than 16 years’ experience writing about European food policy, reporting on health claims, food labelling, advertising to children as well as food additives, GMOs, cloned food and a host of other hot topics. She also moderates and speaks at food conferences concerned with these topics. EU Food Policy is online at www.eufoodpolicy.com and has a breaking news service as well as the weekly report on what has happened that week in the European Commission, European Parliament and Council.
Account Director, Grayling
Victoria, an American national, is an Account Director in the Grayling Brussels EU Public Affairs Department, where she manages the Grayling Food and Consumer Goods Practice.
Working for a range of clients in the field of nutrition, health, food safety, and consumer protection, she assists her clients in developing advocacy campaigns to mitigate potential barriers stemming from EU legislation and supports them in the development of thought-leadership and outreach programmes.
Prior to working at Grayling, Victoria worked in the Public Affairs department of the American Embassy in Bratislava Slovakia, and taught English in Prague, Czech Republic. In addition to her native English, she speaks fluent Slovak and is proficient in Italian and French.
Account Director, Grayling
Fanny, a French and Dutch national, is an Account Director in Grayling Brussels EU Public Affairs Department.
She has specialised PA and PR expertise in EU policies relating food, consumer and sustainability issues and she advises both companies and trade associations.
Prior to joining Grayling, Fanny worked at a European think tank as well with one of the major Dutch Public Management Consultancies, Berenschot.
She holds a Master in European Politics at the College of Europe and an LL.M in International and European Law at the University of Amsterdam. She speaks fluently French, Dutch and English.
Managing Partner, Brussels Office, McKenna Long & Aldridge
Ursula Schliessner is the Managing Partner of McKenna Long & Aldridge’s Brussels office. She has been practicing EU product regulatory law in Brussels since 1991.
Her food law expertise includes novel food authorizations, food labeling, additives and processing aids, claims, contamination and recalls.