Friday 05 February 2010

Who we are
Information about the Security & Defence Agenda’s patrons, advisory board, management and team.
SDA Patrons


Former Secretary General, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)


Jakob Gijsbert (Jaap) de Hoop Scheffer has a long and distinguished diplomatic career. After various positions with the Dutch Foreign Service, he managed the private office of four successive Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Van der Klaauw, Van der Stoel, Van Agt and Van den Broek) until 1986. In June 1986, he was elected to the House of Representatives of the States General for the Christian Democratic Alliance (CDA), becoming the party’s spokesperson on foreign policy (as well as asylum and refugee policy and European justice matters) in the House and serving on the Permanent Committees on Justice, European Affairs and Defence, Development Cooperation. On 22 July 2002, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in the first Balkenende government. He was appointed to the same post in the second Balkenende government on 27 May 2003 (until 3 December 2003).






European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy

Dr. Ferrero-Waldner has held a wide range of titles during her prominent career. Prior to her current assignment, Ferrero-Waldner served as Austria’s Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs from February 2000 to November 2004.  From May 1995 to February 2000, she served as State Secretary for Foreign Affairs.  Ferrero-Waldner served as Chief of Protocol, Executive Office of the Secretary General at the United Nations Secretariat in New York from 1994 to 1995. She has a long and distinguished history in the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which whom she began service in 1986. Ferrero-Waldner has also represented Gerns and Gahler in Germany (1981-1983; 1971-1978) and P. Kaufmann Inc. in New York (1978-1981).


European Union High Representative for Common Security and Foreign Policy and Secretary General of the Council of Ministers

As Europe’s top diplomat, Dr. Solana has held an unparalled career. Beginning in Spanish politics, he served as a Spanish Cabinet Minister from 1982 to 1995 without interruption: December 1982 – July 1988: Minister for Culture (simultaneously acted as Government Spokesman from July 1985 to July 1988); July 1988 – July 1992: Minister for Education and Science; July 1992 – December 1995: Minister for Foreign Affairs. In 1995, he became Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and has served in his current post since 1999. It was decided in June 2004 that Mr Solana would be appointed EU Foreign Minister on the day of entry into force of the Constitutional Treaty for Europe. Dr. Solana began his career with a doctorate in physics, having served as a Fulbright scholar at several American universities. He is the author of over thirty publications in solid-state physics.

SDA Advisory Board

Alyson Bailes is former UK Ambassador to Sweden and former Director of SIPRI

General Patrick Bazin is Deputy Director for Strategic Affairs in the French Ministry of Defence

Edgar Buckley is Senior Vice President for Marketing of Thales and former NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment

Hartmut Bühl is former Head of Communications for AGS Industries

Rik Coolsaet is Director of the Security & Global Governance Department at the Belgian Royal Institute for International Relations (Egmont)

Robert Cooper is Director General for Political and Military Affairs of the Council of the EU

Chris Darnell is Client Business Manager, NATO for HP

Gareth Evans is former President of the International Crisis Group and former Australian Foreign Minister

Jonathan Faull is Director General for Justice, Freedom and Security in the European Commission

Ana Gomes is a member of the Foreign Affairs committee in the European Parliament

Scott Harris is President of Lockheed Martin Europe

Lars Hedström is Deputy Director General for Crisis Management Coordination in the the Swedish Prime Minister’s Office

Lieutenant General David Leakey is Director General of the EU Military Staff

Karel Kovanda is Deputy Political Director for CFSP and ESDP in the European Commission’s DG External Relations

Simon Lunn is former Secretary General of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly

William Pope is former Acting Counter-terrorism Coordinator in the US Department of State

Jamie Shea is Director for Policy and Planning in the Private Office of the NATO Secretary General

General Sir Rupert Smith was Deputy Supreme Commander Allied Powers Europe covering NATO’s Balkan operations and a Commander of UNPROFOR in Bosnia

Geoffrey Van Orden is a Member of the European Parliament

Paolo Venturoni is Vice President for International Affairs of Finmeccanica

Leendert van Bochoven is NATO and European Defence Leader, Office of the IBM Chairman, EMEA

Hans-Bernard Weisserth is Head of the ESDP Task Force, Policy Planning and Early Warning Unit of the Council of the EU

Nick Witney is former Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency (EDA) 

SDA Team

 GILES MERRITT, Co-Founder & Director of the Security & Defence Agenda

Giles Merritt, Co-founder & Director of the Security & Defence Agenda (SDA), is among Brussels’ most influential commentators on EU issues. He has been a pioneer of the public policy debate on Europe’s future, both as a journalist and think-tanker. Merritt is also the head of the SDA’s sister think-tank Friends of Europe, whose debates and reports cover the whole spectrum of non-defence topics of interest to EU-level policymakers, researchers and stakeholders. In addition, he is the Editor of the new policy journal Europe’s World launched in 2005 as an EU-wide platform for debate.

Merritt’s work with think-tanks began in the mid-1980s, when he devised and chaired a series of Business Policy Seminars on behalf of the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). He went on to act as Moderator at the French-language debates organised by the Club de Bruxelles, and at many of the conferences held by Aspen Institute Italia. In 1992, he accepted an invitation to be the director of the new Philip Morris Institute for Public Policy Research (PMI), and was responsible for the highly successful series of quarterly Discussion Papers that PMI produced until its closure in 1999. Merritt’s backgrounds as a journalist and commentator has been crucial to the success of the organisations he leads. From 1968-83, Giles Merritt was a staff correspondent of the Financial Times and reported successively from London, Paris, Belfast/Dublin and Brussels. From 1984 to the present day he has contributed columns on EU matters to the Op-Ed pages of the International Herald Tribune, and his articles range widely over political and economic issues.

 GEERT CAMI, Co-Founder & Director of the Security & Defence Agenda

Geert Cami co-founded the SDA in 2002. He had been Managing Director of Forum Europe since 1996. Before coming to Forum Europe, Geert Cami worked for the European Commission’s Humanitarian Office as Deputy to the Information Counsellor. Geert Cami has also been a freelancer for two informational music programmes with Belgian Radio & Television (now VRT). During his military service, he worked as a journalist at Televox where he contributed to bi-monthly television news reports, broadcast in Germany, with regular co-productions with the national television stations BRTN and RTBF. He also produced a 26-minute report in English for WEU, CSCE and NATO. In 2002, Geert Cami and Giles Merritt launched the New Defence Agenda (now the Security & Defence Agenda) as a neutral platform for discussing security and defence issues on a regular basis with all actors (international organisations, national governments, business, other think-tanks or foundations, NGOs and media. Geert Cami is also the co-founder and Director of Friends of Europe, the Brussels-based think tank for EU policy analysis and debate. Friends of Europe is presided over by former European Commission Vice-President Etienne Davignon and has 55 European personalities on its Board of Trustees, including Javier Solana, Pascal Lamy, Pat Cox, Jean-Luc Dehaene.

 JESSICA HENDERSON, Senior Strategy Development Manager of the Security & Defence Agenda

Jessica joined the New Defence Agenda, now the Security & Defence Agenda (SDA) in January 2004.  Having previously managed the SDA’s day-to-day activities, she now manages the ‘Security Jam’ session and oversees institutional and diplomatic partnerships for the SDA. Jessica has also worked for the SDA’s sister think-tank Friends of Europe in project development. She has a BA in French and Government from Hamilton College and is currently completing a Master’s in Leadership at Boston University.


PAULINE MASSART, Senior Manager of the Security & Defence Agenda

Pauline joined the SDA in January 2009. Serving as the main contact for SDA members and participants, she manages all aspects of SDA operations, including the organisation and production of SDA’s international conferences, roundtables, press dinners, publications and Advisory Board activities. She holds a BA in History and German from King’s College London and a MA in European Studies from Leiden University and speaks English, French, German and Italian.


REJANE SERANDOUR, Project Manager of the Security & Defence Agenda

Réjane joined the Security & Defence Agenda (SDA) in January 2009. As a Project Manager, she organises monthly roundtables, manages the SDA biopreparedness program and oversees the SDA website. She is completing a degree in security, defence and strategy at the Institute for Political Studies in Lille (France). She also studied International Relations, Development Policy and US Foreign Policy at the University of Toronto, Canada. 


PAUL STURM, Project Assistant of the Security & Defence Agenda

Paul joined the SDA in July 2009 as a Project Assistant. He assists the managers with the organisation of monthly roundtables and conferences. He holds a BA in International Relations from the American University in Washington DC. He speaks English, French and Spanish.



IRINA POPESCU, Project Assistant of the Security & Defence Agenda

Irina joined the SDA in October 2009 as Project Assistant. She assists with the organisation of monthly roundtables and conferences. Irina holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Bucharest and a Masters degree in European Studies and EU foreign affairs from the University of Maastricht. She is currently enrolled in a MA programme in Development. She speaks English and French.



DAVID HENRY DOYLE, Communications Officer, Security Jam

David joined the SDA in September 2009 as Communications Officer on the SDA’s Security Jam. David holds a BA in History from Trinity College and a Masters in International Relations from the University of Cambridge. His thesis focused on training European diplomats. He speaks English and French.



HENNA HOPIA, Events Officer, Security Jam

Henna joined the SDA in November 2009. She works on the Security Jam team, securing the participation of key VIP, Hosts and Facilitators in the Jam. She has previously worked in the European Parliament, the Finnish Parliament and the Finnish Ministry of Defence. She holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences in International Relations from the University of Tampere in Finland and is currently finishing her Master’s thesis on European security.



ROBIN POUPELLE, Participants Officer, Security Jam

Robin joined the SDA in December 2009 as Participants Officer on the SDA’s ‘Security Jam’ Session. Robin holds a BA with a double-major in International Politics and History and Social Sciences from the American University of Paris. He previously worked at NATO for the French Military Representation. He speaks French and English.


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