New WWF-CEE Board Established

Posted on April, 16 2019

A transformation of the WWF Danube-Carpathian Programme into a self-governing member of the WWF network.
New WWF-CEE Board Established
In April 2019 a new board drawn from WWF network supporters and local leaders assumed strategic guidance and decision-making for the new WWF-CEE. This move was part of the transformation of the WWF Danube-Carpathian Programme into a self-governing member of the WWF network. The board members come from diverse backgrounds, and will infuse the organisation with their broad range of skills and experiences. Some of these skills and experiences include technology, business executive positions, investment, administration of civil organisations, work at the UN, financial control, marketing, communication, coaching, working in national ministries, social enterprise development and entrepreneurial endeavours. We look forward to working with the new advisory board, and benefiting from their input and guidance.
Short Biographies
Board Co-Chair Sasha Bezuhanova left a 20-year executive career at Hewlett-Packard to devote herself to supporting social prosperity through innovation, education and collaboration. Ms Bezuhanova is the founder of MOVE.BG – a non-partisan platform for collaboration in finding sustainable solutions for the state, economy and society via innovation, participation and co-creation. She is also the initiator of EDIT.BG – an open network initiative for digital innovation. Ms Bezuhanova is Chair of the Board of the Bulgarian Centre of Women in Technology as well as Technical University. Furthermore, she is a co-founder and board member of the Initiative for Social Empowerment and Honorary Board Member of Junior Achievement Bulgaria, where she served as Board Chair for fifteen years. Ms Bezuhanova was named 2013 Digital Woman of Europe, and one of the Top 100 Challengers in New Europe in 2015. She holds an Executive Master’s Degree in International Negotiations and Policy Making from the Graduate Institute in Geneva, a Master's Degree in Electronics from Technical University of Sofia, and executive qualifications from INSEAD, Stanford and others.
Board Co-Chair Jean-Paul Paddack is Executive Director, Network Development at WWF International. He is responsible for driving the development and implementation of WWF’s “Network Development Strategy,” and oversees the management of WWF’s Offices in the Pacific, China, Korea, Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and the Mediterranean. Mr Paddack has 30 years of conservation, development and management experience in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.  He was WWF’s Regional Representative for Madagascar and the Western Indian Ocean region (1997-2007).  From 2007 to 2011, he served as Director of Global Initiatives at WWF International. In 2011-2015, he was Director for WWF International Business Development, responsible for public and private partnerships, strategy and planning, as well as resource mobilisation in new markets. This focus on Asia ultimately led to the establishment of WWF-Korea in 2014. Mr Paddack studied at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Johns Hopkins University (SAIS), and executive management at IMD Lausanne.
Andrea Johanides has been CEO of WWF Austria since 2013. She came to WWF Austria in 2005, serving as Head of Finance and Administration and later as Deputy Chief Executive Officer. Trained as a finance controller, before coming to WWF Ms Johanides held a number of positions in various private sector companies. At Roche Diagnostics (formerly Hoffmann-La Roche Diagnostics) she was part of an integration team for the merger between Boehringer Mannheim and Hoffmann-La Roche, and was also in charge of Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic States for the company. At Römerquelle (commodities) she worked as a Finance Controller.
Antoine Lebrun has been CEO of WWF Belgium since May 2015. He came to WWF Belgium in 2011, first as People & Organisation Director; and then as Marketing & Communications Director where he reshaped the Communication Strategy and led the fundraising department toward significant growth. Prior to joining WWF, Mr Lebrun worked for ten years for Mutualité Socialiste, an organisation providing healthcare insurance and consultation in Belgium – first as Head of Associations, then Head of Marketing & Communication, and finally as Operations Director. Mr Lebrun also serves on the boards of a number of other institutions, including Inter-Environnement Wallonie (since April 2018) and Be Planet (since June 2015). From 2013 – 2016 he also was part of the Groupe One Board. Mr Lebrun holds advanced Masters Degrees in Political Economy and Slavonic Studies, as well as an MA in Medieval History from Louvain-la-Neuve University.
Dr Ladislav Miko is currently serving as the Head of the European Commission’s Representation in Slovakia. He began his career in 1984 in the Slovak Academy of Sciences where he held several jobs, including Head of the Soil Zoology Department and Deputy Director of the Scientific Committee of the Institute. He went on to serve as Deputy Director of the Czech Environmental Inspectorate, and Deputy Minister at the Czech Ministry of Environment. In 2005, Dr Miko joined the European Commission in Brussels. He served as Director for Nature Conservation in DG-Environment and later as Deputy Director-General in the Commission’s Health Directorate where he dealt with safety in the food chain. In 2009, he briefly returned to the Czech Republic to serve as Minister of Environment before going to Bratislava as the European Commission’s representative in January 2018. Dr Miko obtained his PhD in Zoology and Ecology from Charles University in Prague in 1996, and his habilitation from the University of Life Sciences in Prague in 2009. He has been a guest professor at the University of Antwerp since 2010.
Jürgen Schmidt is a Board Member of WWF-Germany, and a member of its finance committee. He is also an entrepreneur, and as such, is the founder and majority owner of memo AG; a company that specialises in eco-products for businesses. After over 20 years as CEO and Chairperson of the Board for memo AG, he now advises businesses in strategy and management as a “Sustainable Business Angel” and partner at the Terra Institute. He has been awarded numerous prizes, including "Eco-manager of the Year" and the "German Environmental Prize."
Mihai Stanescu is a psychologist and anthropologist who has been working as a coach and consultant since 2000. In 2003, Mr Stanescu founded RoCoach, through which he provides coaching and mentoring services to businessmen and managers from local and international organisations. As an Executive Coach, Mr Stanescu has provided over 10.000 coaching hours in individual, team and organisational sessions. His main clients are mostly top-level managers from multinational companies, general managers and executives from small and mid-level companies, as well as entrepreneurs. During the last few years, Mr Stanescu has discovered the practical sense of the word “performance.” The key ingredient of extraordinary results is to keep focus and discipline during the most difficult moments. Another key ingredient, according to Stanescu, is to clarify the vision of success – when one reaches the point when nothing remains to explain, that is the time for action.
Katalin Szomolanyi began her career as a journalist. However, for many years she has been leading Corporate Sustainability for Hungarian Telecom, the largest telecoms operator in Hungary. Ten years ago she founded Planet Fanatics’ Network, an enterprise employing international experts to realise sustainability projects. She brings extensive experience and expertise in sustainability issues, climate and energy, as well as creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit. Katalin holds an MS in International Business (Oxford Brookes University), Nature Conservation (PATE) and Geography and Environment (MBE).
Sasha Bezuhanova, Co-Chair
© Sasha Bezuhanova
Jean-Paul Paddack, Co-Chair
© Jean-Paul Paddack
Andrea Johanides
© Andrea Johanides
Antoine Lebrun
© Antoine Lebrun
Dr Ladislav Miko
© Dr Ladislav Miko
Jürgen Schmidt
© Jürgen Schmidt
Mihai Stanescu
© Mihai Stanescu
Katalin Szomolanyi
© Katalin Szomolanyi