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).
The EMCDDA Management Board took the unanimous decision on 25 June 2020 to renew Mr Goosdeel’s mandate, for the next five years. He will now hold the position until 31 December 2025.
Reacting to the decision, Mr Goosdeel said: ‘It is an honour and a privilege to be reappointed today to take the EMCDDA forward on an ambitious course of travel to 2025. The agency has an exciting future ahead of it and is ready to innovate and re-invent itself as required within the boundaries of its remit.’
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.
Note to editors
The EMCDDA Director is the legal representative of the agency and is accountable to the Management Board, the agency’s main decision-making body. Appointed for a renewable five-year period, the Director is responsible for the day-to-day running of the agency (work programmes, budget and staff). The EMCDDA Management Board comprises one representative of each EU Member State, two representatives of the European Commission and two persons designated by the European Parliament.
The EMCDDA’s aim is to provide the EU and its Member States with ‘factual, objective, reliable and comparable information at European level concerning drugs and drug addiction and their consequences’. Formally established in 1993, it has been operational since 1995.