Karel Van Eetvelt

Chief Executive Officer
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Karel is CEO of H+K Brussels. He is one of the most experienced advocacy professionals in Belgium. He has extensive experience in federation management, stakeholder engagement and strategic communications to the H+K Strategies Brussels team and its clients. He has led advocacy organisations for well over two decades, heading an association in the construction industry (Bouwunie) between 2000 and 2004, the Flemish association for the self-employed, UNIZO, from 2004 to 2017 and the Belgian federation of the financial sector, Febelfin from 2017 to 2020.

Prior to H+K, he worked as an advisor for Deloitte and before that managed the RSC Anderlecht football club.  This experience is based on intense engagement with Belgian, international and EU policies and decision-making. With this background, Karel will have an immediate added value for the PR and PA strategies of H+K’s clients’, as he helps them navigate the Belgian and European policy and communications landscapes.  

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Melanie Faithfull Kent

Executive Strategy Director
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Melanie is the Executive Strategy Director of H+K Brussels. She also leads its Continental Europe region as CEO of H+K Europe, 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 Tindemans

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Thomas Tindemans is a Belgian national with over 30 years of experience in EU public affairs and communications. He has a proven track record of advising corporate, government and NGO clients on their public and corporate affairs strategies, including legislative procedures and political developments in the EU institutions and the Member States. He assists clients in establishing their public and corporate affairs strategies, including the drafting of legislative proposals, position papers and suggested amendments to draft legislation, and has been instrumental in forging coalitions to carry majorities on these issues. This work includes the establishment of contacts with Commission officials, Council representatives and MEPs. He speaks frequently at major conferences and has published articles and interviews in major European publications as well as contributions to academic research on PA. Thomas is Chairman of H+K Strategies Brussels and leads the Public Affairs practice in Europe of Hill+Knowlton Strategies.

From 1994 to 2010, Thomas Tindemans was head of the Public Affairs practice at the law firm of White & Case in Brussels. Before that he gained business and political experience.

Thomas Tindemans was a guest lecturer on EU lobbying and interest representation at various academic institutions in Europe, including the KU Leuven, UCL, Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris. He is chairman of Belgian Business for Europe at the Belgian Federation of Enterprises. Thomas speaks Dutch, English, French and German and studied law.

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Alain Berger

Executive Strategy Director
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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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George Candon

Strategy Director
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With some 20 years’ experience in international communications, George is a specialist in driving global and regional communications programmes. He enjoys broad expertise across corporate communications, brand and reputation management, crisis comms, political communications and campaigning, strategic media relations, and B2B & B2C communications. 

George is expert in integrated public affairs and relations campaigning, working at the nexus of public affairs and corporate reputation. He helps businesses and organisations navigate and communicate around business-critical issues, often once-in-a-lifetime events that international organisations can face. An international media expert, he has extensive experience in developing and running complex, matricised pan-European and global communications campaigns for major blue-chip companies, and also has considerable experience in corporate reputation and crisis management. 

Before joining H+K in 2019 George was Managing Director and Head of Crisis Management at FTI Consulting in Brussels, before which he was respectively head of communications at International Post Corporation and Director of the consumer practice at Weber Shandwick Belgium. An Irish national, George 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 has lived and worked in Argentina, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland Italy and the UK and speaks English, French, German, Irish, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish to varying degrees of fluency. 

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Thomas Vermeeren

Account Director
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Thomas joined the Hill+Knowlton Strategies Brussels office in 2016. He works on corporate communication, reputation management and public affairs for clients in different sectors, with a particular focus on the financial and professional services industries. 

Thomas enjoys translating complex and strategic client issues into engaging stories that are relevant for political, media and public stakeholders. He has extensive experience in advising clients on their messaging and external communication strategies, as well as in designing and implementing PA advocacy campaigns on both the Belgian and EU level. Thomas also supports clients on crisis communication and issue management and regularly provides media training and crisis workshops.  

Prior to joining H+K Strategies, Thomas was employed at the public affairs department of a leading Belgian communication consultancy. Before this, Thomas worked as a policy adviser on energy, climate and agriculture at the Belgian embassy in Berlin.   

Thomas holds a Master in Political Science (KU Leuven) and subsequently graduated with high honours from the University of Ghent with a Master in Business Economics. He is a Belgian national and is fluent in Dutch, EnglishFrench and German. 

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Eva Bille

Account Director
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Eva has spent the past decade in Brussels, developing and bringing to life clients’ policy, reputation and communications strategies.

Her focus is sustainability in all its forms. Through her broad policy experience and her extensive network in Brussels, she is currently helping clients navigate the EU Green Deal portfolio. She has spearheaded numerous PA campaigns including traditional legislative processes, complex comitology procedures and major multimarket integrated policy/communications campaigns. Her client portfolio includes various fortune-500 companies and their industry associations ranging from vending machines, to offshore wind foundations, refrigerant gases and silicones. 

Alongside her client work, Eva manages the development of our Young Professionals in Brussels. Prior to her life as a consultant, she worked at the European Commission’s directorate general for communications networks, content and technology, at the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia in Lebanon, and spent four years in China working in the education and tourism sectors. 

Eva holds an MSc in Environmental Economics from Tilburg University in the Netherlands and a BSc in International Management from Jonkoping University in Sweden. She continued her global adventure through exchange semesters in Singapore and Istanbul. 

Originally from Denmark, she speaks fluent Danish, English, Dutch and Mandarin Chinese, intermediate French and German, and basic (Lebanese) Arabic.

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