Melanie is the CEO of H+K Brussels and co-leads its Continental Europe region, facilitating cross-border cooperation for the benefit of clients and careers. A British citizen, she worked in the Middle East for nine years, latterly as regional director in Dubai, having held general management roles in Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE before which she had worked in a London consultancy.
Her consulting focus is organisational communications around change and corporate issues management in sectors including government, food, industry and healthcare. She has run change, information and advocacy campaigns with governmental, semi-governmental and private-sector organisations, and is a specialist in complex restructuring projects, providing strategic counsel to corporate boards and local management. She is also an accomplished conference moderator, trainer and coach and regularly facilitates leadership team strategy development programmes.
Melanie was raised in the Netherlands, speaks Dutch and some French, and holds a joint-honours degree in marketing and design from Lancaster University. She supports Junior Achievement’s Communications committee on a pro-bono basis and has previously held board positions at AmCham EU, the British Chamber of Commerce, the Institute of Directors in Belgium, and the British Business Association of UAE. She is a member of the Institute of Directors, the UK Institute of Public Relations and the Middle East PR Association.
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Thomas is Chairman of H+K Strategies Brussels and Global Practice Leader Public Affairs of Hill+Knowlton Strategies. He has over 20 years’ experience in EU public affairs and communications with a proven track record of advising corporate, government and non-governmental clients on their public and corporate affairs strategies, including legislative procedures and political developments in the EU institutions and EU member states.
Thomas assists clients in establishing their public and corporate affairs strategies, including drafting legislative proposals, position papers and amendments to draft legislation, and has been instrumental in forging coalitions to carry majorities on these issues.This work includes contact with Commission officials, Council representatives and MEPs.
From 1994 to 2010 Thomas was head of the Public Affairs practice at renowned law firm White & Case, before which he held different roles in the business and political worlds. He speaks frequently at major conferences and has published articles and interviews in major European newspapers, and is also a guest lecturer on EU lobbying and interest representation at various academic institutions in Europe, including KUL and UCL in Belgium and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris. He is a former Director of Ideas Matter. A Belgian national, he speaks fluent Dutch, English, French and German and graduated in law from the Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix in Belgium.
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Alain is Executive Strategy Director at H+K Brussels, where he heads the industry, energy and transport EU legislative and regulatory practices, and leads teams working on transversal issues such as mergers and state-aid control, restructuring, trade defence, IP and para-diplomacy.
Alain was Alstom’s SVP for European Affairs and head of its Brussels office 2008-2015. In this role he established the company’s EU office, recruited and managed a team of recognised professionals, and positioned the group in Brussels as a visible and well respected contributor to EU policy. He dealt with issues such as energy and climate policy, transport, trade competition policy, R&D, and regional cohesion policy.
Between 2003 and 2008 Alain was President and CEO of ALSTOM China. As legal representative of the Group for the PRC he sat on the Board of 18 joint ventures with Chinese partners. He is the founder and chairman of Rail Forum Europe, former President of the Club des Grandes Entreprises, and Vice-President of the European Section of the French Trade Advisor Group (CCE). A French national, Alain is a graduate of the HEC (France) and has an MBA from McGill University (Canada) and ESADE (Spain), is fluent in French, English, Spanish and has basic Mandarin and Portuguese.
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Ellen is Managing Director at Hill+Knowlton Strategies in Brussels, which she joined in 2013. As a leader of the Public Affairs Practice Group she advises a variety of international clients at both Belgian and EU level on legislative and regulatory issues. She works for a range of clients in the fields of sustainability, circular economy and food & nutrition. Her extensive experience also incorporates complex communication campaigns for the European Commission.
Prior to joining Hill+Knowlton Strategies Ellen was Project Coordinator for EuropaBio, the European trade association for the biotechnology industry, before which she had completed an internship in the Natural Sciences department of UNESCO in Paris and worked for the African Research Centre on Bananas and Plantains (CARBAP) in Cameroon. She holds a Master of Bioengineering (cellular and genetic biotechnology) from the Catholic University of Leuven, and a Master of International Business Economics and Management from the European University College Brussels (EHSAL). A Belgian national, she speaks fluent English and French along with her native Dutch.
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With over 20 years’ experience in international communications, George is a specialist in designing and driving global and regional communications programmes across multiple geographies. He enjoys broad expertise across corporate communications, strategic media relations, B2B & B2C communications, crisis communications, and digital and social media. He is also a seasoned media trainer, facilitator and event moderator, and has considerable experience in coaching c-suite executives in communications strategy and media engagement. He has appeared several times as a communications and political commentator on Sky News.
Before joining H+K in 2019 George was Managing Director and Head of Crisis at FTI Consulting Brussels, global head of communications at International Post Corporation, and Director of the Consumer Practice at Weber Shandwick Brussels.
An Irish national, he holds an MSSc in European Politics from the Queen’s University of Belfast and a BA (Mod) Hons in Modern Languages from Dublin University. He is the founder and chair of the Irish Universities Alumni Association Belgium, chair of the DU Alumni Association Belgium, and sometime Vice-Chair of the Communications Committee of AmChamEU. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, the Public Relations and Communications Association, and the International Association of Facilitators (IAF). He speaks fluent English, French, Irish, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish and intermediate German.
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As a Senior Advisor in H+K Brussels, Katia works across a broad range of businesses in corporate communications, crisis & issues management, and brand and consumer marketing. Her specialist skills include strategy development for corporate and marcoms campaigns for the pharmaceutical, food, health and retail industries. She has 20 years of experience as a communications specialist in the FMCG, pharmaceutical and lifestyle industries, and enjoys an extensive network of third-party endorsers, including major key opinion leaders, authorities and stakeholders. She also contributes pro-bono work to Constellations, an association that cares for disabled adults, as well as patient associations.
Katia spent several years in-house with Nestlé in Brussels, which gave her a unique client perspective into the demands and pressures of the FMCG environment, before which she worked in Belgian PR and event/advertising agencies. She is a graduate in communications from the Université libre de Bruxelles and holds a postgraduate in European Communications, is active at the Association Belge des Conseils en Relations Publiques, and gives lectures at various communication schools and universities. A native Belgian, Katia’s mother tongue is French and she is fluent in Dutch and English.
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Emma is a Senior Advisor specialising in digitisation, new technologies, copyright and IP. A lawyer by training, she has represented the interests of the music industry to the European institutions and UK government over the fifteen-year period when the industry underwent seismic change and transitioned to a predominantly digital business.
Emma’s focus is on navigating the EU’s policymaking on digital issues including data, privacy, platform liability, competition, copyright, blockchain, and AI. She is adept at analysing and communicating complex policy issues. She also has a strong track record in visual communications and employee engagement, producing award-winning projects for Sony Music, Hachette and Chatham House.
A British national, Emma trained as a lawyer with Freshfields in London and Milan before specialising in IP. She moved to Brussels in 2001 to become European Affairs adviser to the global music industry organisation IFPI at the time of the first copyright and e-commerce directives. Appointed CEO of British Music Rights in London in 2004, she moved to Sony Music in 2007 as VP Communications & Industry Relations. Emma holds an MA in Modern History from Oxford University, professional qualifications from the College of Law, and a Diploma in Copyright & Related Rights from Kings College, London. As well as her native English, she speaks fluent Italian and has working knowledge of French and German.
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Eddy is the CFO of H+K Brussels responsible for its finance, HR, admin and IT and brings to the role more than 30 years’ experience in professional services organisations. During his career he has provided the financial stewardship of a number of successful international businesses based in Belgium. His primary role is to support the CEO in the successful management of the company with a clear focus on solid and accurate financial management and reporting, and promoting the effectiveness and wellbeing of the team.
In his career Eddy has developed experience in change management, restructurings & reorganisations, mergers, acquisitions integrations and liquidations, and has successfully managed the financial support for shareholders in a number of mergers. He has managed HR experts on share schemes, optimising employment benefits, staff retention schemes and recruitment. Eddy has also led complex systems migration and integration projects, including new ERP systems (SISA, Navision, Exact), IT integration projects from scratch, and technology upgrades. Over the last ten years he has focused his career on supporting a number of growing professional service firms active in the EU policy sector.
A Belgian national, Eddy speaks English, French and German along with is native Dutch. He holds a bachelor degree in finance and administration from the Hoger Handels- en Talen-Instituut of Genk, Belgium. A sports fanatic, he loves skiing and tennis, and is the captain of his local tennis team. His wife and three kids are the major driver in his life.
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