On 31 December 2021, Marc Vervenne handed over the presidency of the Hubi & Vinciane Foundation to Gilles de Kerchove.
Marc Vervenne, who has been the president of our organization since 2014, has carried out this task magnificently. We will miss his dynamism, enthusiasm, and belief in our work. It is, therefore, with great appreciation and gratitude that the Board of Directors has appointed him Honorary President.
Marc Vervenne would not be Marc Vervenne if he did not first want to ensure his succession before concluding his presidency. And he has succeeded in doing so. With Gilles de Kerchove, we have a more than worthy successor who took over the presidency of the Foundation on 1 January 2022. Allow us to introduce our new president. His passion for the res publica – the general interest – has always been the common thread running through his professional career. Gilles de Kerckhove started as an assistant in constitutional and administrative law at UCL. In 1986, he became secretary to the Walloon government. He then moved to the federal level as head of cabinet of Melchior Wathelet (senior), who was successively deputy prime minister and minister for Justice, the Independents, the Economy, and Defence.
In 1995, Gilles de Kerckhove started as an official at the European Commission (DG Competition). He then became a director in the Council of Ministers of the European Union, responsible for Justice and Home Affairs. For the past 14 years, he has been the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator.
Gilles de Kerchove is passionate about international relations. This was already evident during his studies. He studied law in the United States. Later, as European coordinator, he traveled a lot, especially in Africa.
He has numerous publications to his credit and still regularly lectures at UCL, ULB, USL, and the College of Europe.
Even with such a busy schedule, he still finds time to work on his fitness by playing tennis, jogging, or skiing. Parachuting and hang-gliding are also on his sports list.
Gilles de Kerckhove had long considered investing in a development organization after his retirement. Melchior Wathelet junior, son of … and administrator of our Foundation, told Gilles about our Foundation. After several meetings with Marc Vervenne and Pascale Van Assche, he finally agreed to take over the presidency of the Foundation.
His experience and enthusiasm will undoubtedly contribute to the growth of our Foundation.
At the turn of the year, we said a grateful goodbye to Marc Vervenne, our former president, and welcomed Gilles de Kerchove, our new president. On Thursday, 24 March, we celebrated the change of president at an academic session in the promotion hall of the KU Leuven. We paid tribute to our former and new president.