Belgian Youth Diplomacy is an Educational Belgian Youth Organization with an International Outlook and aims at providing young citizens the knowledge and skills needed to both understand and act on the globalized world which surrounds us. In other words, our main goal is to empower young people.
Belgian Youth Diplomacy offers the possibility to its members to meet with professionals in a variety of fields (business, culture, politics, diplomacy etc.) and network among peers.
Join us and get access to high-level debates, informal meetings with leaders of today & tomorrow, conferences, study-trips and much more!
Meet the board
Jessica Simoes – President
Jessica is enrolled in her last year of Master in an interdisciplinary program combining EU law, EU political economy and EU policy decision-making at the Institute for European Studies. She started as a Liaison officer in BYD, two years ago, occupied the position as Secretary General last year and is newly elected president for the academic year 2016-2017. Growing up in a multilingual country, Luxembourg – Schengen area, she was exposed to the European values since childhood. Jessica immersed herself in the world of diplomacy and politics by taking part in various organisations. She was part of Eyes on Europe, a student magazine that focus on EU politics in three different languages (French, English and German). Being interested in EU and its policy-making process, Jessica took part in different Model United Nation (MUN) and Model European Union (MEU) simulations.
With a new Board and being committed to her work, Jessica wishes to raise awareness among young people concerning International affairs and diplomacy. She therefore wants to expand the activities and to promote further the association together with the BYD team.
president [at] bydiplomacy.com
Isabelle Henin – Secretary General
Isabelle is freshly graduated from ULB. She got a B.A. in Communication and Media Studies and a M.A. in Political Sciences, International Relations (Security, Peace and Conflict Studies). Right after her studies, she decided to be involved in the Summer University organized by the Belgian Defense. This experience at the Royal Military Academy allowed her to get a more practical insight of the Belgian military contribution. Passionate about foreign languages, her mother tongue is French and she speaks English and German fluently. She has a good command of Dutch and some notions of Portuguese and Russian.
Joining BYD represents an opportunity for her to keep on following the political agenda as well as events related to European and international affairs. Her missions as Secretary General will also allow her to acquire more efficient organizational and communication tools and exchange views with other team members.
Elias Frans – Head of the fundraising team – Treasurer
Elias has a Master’s degree in international relations from UCL. His Master thesis focused on Russian and Chinese foreign policies and on the field of Arms control. He enrolled in a second Master on Applied Economic Sciences at the University of Antwerp. Elias is already specialized in politics and economics. However, he wishes to improve his knowledge in current affairs as his goal is to pursue a diplomatic career. As truly people-person, he loves travelling and engaging conversations with new people.
As Treasurer and Head of the Fundraising team, Elias will develop strategies to encourage contributions. He will use his strategy, marketing and organization skills in order to solicit donations and to recruit sponsors and participants for fundraising events.
Jasper Maesen – Member of the fundraising team
Jasper is part of the Fundraiser Team. He studies Law Practice at UCLL in Louvain. He loves to immerse himself in Law and Politics by reading a lot of books related to these topics. His recent readings were ‘The Disease of Europe’ by Guy Verhofstadt and ‘The Audacity of Hope’ by Barack Obama. In addition to that he frequently participates at talks and debates. The reason why he joined BYD in 2016 is because he has a keen interest in State Law and International Law and hopes that BYD gives him the necessary tools and possibilities to not only enlarge his knowledge about Politics and international relations but also to use them in interactive seminars.
By fulfilling his tasks as Fundraiser he expects that this proficiency will give him deeper understanding and experience.
Céline Faufeder – Liaison Officer
Céline is the new Liaison Officer; as such she is in charge for the legal issues concerning the organization and beyond. As a law student at the Faculty of Law at ULB, she has a strong interest in international policies regarding human rights, liberty and equality. Majoring in public and international law she is a very committed and detail oriented person. She has decided to actively join BYD this year by offering her legal expertise. Her core missions will mostly be representing the organization when working at seminars with international and European identities and filling the BYD status. She is also contributing to other activities aiming at getting awareness and better understanding of the globalized world which surrounds us.
Sonya El mouwaffiq – Head of events team
Sonya is completing an International Master in European Studies at the Belgian-Italian Chamber of Commerce. During her university career, she has been involved with a large range of organizations such as United for Health. She also took part in a study session organized by the Council of Europe and FEMYSO (Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organizations) in Budapest. The aim of the seminar was to unite European students in order to set up an international campaign against Islamophobia. Thereafter she spent a year in Cambridge where she had the opportunity to get two internship positions. She is convinced that Belgian Youth Diplomacy will help her to improve her skills and develop her network in order to achieve her future plans. Her ultimate ambition is to work for an EU institution as a Project Manager.
As the new Head of the events team, she will keep an eye on the political agenda in order to plan and coordinate events. She will also be in charge of managing a proactive team. Her role implies contacts and engagements with professionals.
Karina Mocanu – Events team
Karina was born and raised in Romania and is currently studying political sciences at ULB. Eager to enlarge her knowledge, she is constantly seeking for new experiences. Karina is an active person and is engaged in several other organizations. She hopes that her extracurricular activities will bring her challenges and that she can meet new cultures. Being part of the Event team of BYD is a perfect opportunity for her to immerse in the working field of politics and diplomacy. It also represents an opportunity to gain invaluable experience in the field in which she wishes to pursue her career.
Previously in his life, Milan Jovanović helped launch a few websites and wrote sweet, sweet content for a bunch of organisations. He’s worked at Serbia’s biggest music festival – specifically in EXIT’s marketing team. By writing content, copy, translating, and touching most content that was communicated in this or that way, he’s realised he’s kind of OK with doing that for the rest of his life. Oh, and that he’d rather get a new job elsewhere. He currently works at a local startup which makes websites, so it’s quite a coincidence that he helped BYD refresh its own.
In between realities he’s really into pizza, LEGO bricks, and pretty filters for VSCO.
Geoffrey Squedin – Digital Media Officer
Geoffrey is a French citizen who was born 10 km away from the Belgian border. During his academic background, he moved several times in many different cities such as Lille, Vilnius and Brussels. He is currently enrolled in an advanced Master in Interdisciplinary Analysis of European Integration at the Institute of European Studies (IEE – ULB). He is specializing in the EU policies of the Schengen area and on the judicial cooperation within the EU focusing on organized crime and data protection. Being a truly European explorer, he loves to travel around Europe and is never tired to meet new people. His journeys thought him new approaches and perspectives on diplomacy and he wishes to improve his knowledge with BYD.
As the new Digital Media officer, he will be on charge of the social media of BYD. He will be posting the latest news on BYD’s events via Facebook and tweets. It requires a lot of creativity and a flair for branding.
Anthony Tourtois – Public Relations
Anthony is currently enrolled in an Advanced Master of European Studies at the Institute for European Studies in Brussels (IEE-ULB). Before that, he was at Lille II where he completed his Bachelor and Master degree. During his years of academic studies, Anthony applied for an Erasmus in Vilnius where he did his first year of Master. Ever since he likes to work in an international environment. Besides his bachelor he was engaged in the board of the Youth Section of a French political party as Head of Communication. He considers his involvement in Belgian Youth Diplomacy as a great opportunity to work within an international team. As administrator of Public Relations he will use his knowledge in order to increase the BYD’s network and audience.