Alexis Goosdeel (Belgium) took up the post of EMCDDA Director on 1 January 2016, having been formally appointed to the position by the agency’s Management Board in October 2015 for a five-year term (1).
Speaking on his appointment, Mr Goosdeel said: ‘It is with great enthusiasm and motivation that I take up the post of EMCDDA Director, as the agency enters its third decade. I sincerely believe that the EMCDDA has an exciting future ahead of it; a future in which it will continue to build on its strengths and transform and re-invent itself within the boundaries of its remit.’
He added: ‘During its first 20 years, the agency witnessed great changes in the drug phenomenon but also in the priorities of decision-makers and their information needs. In tune with these developments, and to remain policy-relevant and useful to its stakeholders, the agency will move progressively from an information-centred model to a service-oriented model, providing tailored analysis to its customers’.
Mr Goosdeel joined the EMCDDA in 1999 as a project manager working in the area of EU enlargement and international relations. From 2005, he headed the agency’s Reitox and international cooperation unit. In this capacity, he played a central role in: coordinating a network of 30 national drug monitoring centres; preparing EU candidate and potential candidate countries for membership of the EMCDDA; developing cooperation with neighbouring countries to the EU; and nurturing relations with countries beyond the Union (Central Asia, Russia, Latin America).
Mr Goosdeel has spent much of his 30-year career working in the field of public health at national, European and international level. He was one of the founders of Modus Vivendi, a Belgian NGO working in the area of harm reduction. Before joining the agency, he directed Alizés, a Brussels-based, European association working for development and cooperation in public health (1992–99).
Mr Goosdeel holds a Master’s degree in clinical psychology and a special diploma in advanced management. He is proficient in six languages: French (mother tongue); English, Spanish, Greek, Portuguese and Dutch. He was born on 7 November 1959 in Brussels.