Monday, January 21, 2008

CIDSE appoints new President and Secretary General

Source: Press release

Brussels, 21 January 2008 – The CIDSE Board of Directors at its annual meeting elected René Grotenhuis as the network's new President and appointed Bernd Nilles as its new Secretary General.

René Grotenhuis, General Director of Cordaid, follows Paul Chitnis (CEO SCIAF, Scotland) whose three-year term as President has come to an end.

Mr Grotenhuis said "In 1967, the year CIDSE was founded, Pope Paul VI in Populorum Progressio called upon all humanity to challenge global structural injustices in order to improve the situation of the world's poor. 40 years later, CIDSE continues to follow this call and has thereby become a strong and credible actor on topics such as the Millennium Development Goals, development financing and trade. CIDSE is also aware of upcoming issues which may cause further global injustices such as climate change and the overexploitation of natural resources."

Mr Grotenhuis has been General Director of Cordaid and member of CIDSE's Executive Committee since 2003.

The Board also appointed Bernd Nilles as CIDSE's new Secretary General. In this job, he will be responsible for the overall coordination of the network. He follows Christiane Overkamp who leaves office after five years.

Mr Nilles said "I look forward to contributing to CIDSE's and its member organisations' work for global justice. Together with our partners in Africa, Asia and Latin America we contribute to making sure that international policies increasingly focus on poverty reduction and that the poor have a say on how poverty is reduced most effectively."

Mr Nilles is of German nationality and has a background in Political Science, International and Comparative Politics and Economics. Before joining CIDSE, he was Senior Development Policy Officer of the Federal State Government of North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany). Previous to that, he worked for the German CIDSE member organisation Misereor.


For more information and to set up interviews with Mr Grotenhuis or Mr Nilles, please contact Philipp Rohrer, CIDSE Communication Officer: +32 (0)2 282 40 71 – +32 (0)478 526 578 –