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

Jasper Maesen – President


Jasper is part of the board since 2016 as Fundraiser Officer and has been elected as BYD’s President for the second year now. Thanks to his engagement, he helped the organization to negotiate a partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He is currently working for the Belgian Federal Goverment.

Jasper loves to immerse himself in law and politics by reading accurate books related to law and policy-making. His recent readings were the latest book written by Guy Verhofstadt and Barack Obama, to high profile politicians that represents his role model.

As a young and ambitious citizen Jasper takes regularly part in informative discussion via seminars, conferences or talks and debates.

In his second year as president he is fully committed to keep BYD growing together with a new board full of smart and very able persons.

Nicolas Gosselin – Vice President

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Nicolas is enrolled in his Master’s degree in Law at Ghent University where he focuses on Financial Crime, Tax Law and Corporate Law. He gained a fair amount of experience in the corporate world, due to his past internships at Orange Belgium (Regulatory Affairs) and KBC and his attendancy at a Legal Clinic in Corporate Law at his university.

He fulfills the role of Vice-President and Head Legal Advice Officer within BYD where he uses his knowledge in law to write Legal Risk Assessments and guide BYD to become a nonprofit organization by writing the statutes and internal regulations. As a Member of the Board, he provides his insights into the daily management and represents BYD at events and seminars.

Garry Moes – Secretary General


Garry is a strong supporter of multilateralism and cooperation, He is currently achieving a master’s degree in political sciences and international relations at the University of Liège (Belgium).

Passionate about politics and trilingual (French, English and Dutch), He believes that the future of democracies will depend on their ability to adapt to evolutions of international relations. At the age of 24, He would like to share my experience over the huge importance to travel around the world and discover countries.

I take every step in my life following this Jean Rey’s statement : “We don’t have the right to speak our language, we have to speak other people’s language.” As secretary-general of BYD, I commit myself to empower youth regarding diplomacy.

Simon Ferrest – Head of the fundraising team


Simon is head of the fundraising team. As a fundraising officer, he is responsible for the financial resources and support of Belgian Youth Diplomacy. Simon is a master student at the Royal Military Academy with a major in ‘Management and Weapon Systems’. He combines this study with a ‘Master in Management’ at the Catholic University of Leuven.

Since June 2018, Simon became president of a local volunteering organization where he aims to improve the life of young adolescents who don’t get all chances in life.

He also participated in several Summer Schools where he improved his soft skills and met interesting people from around the world.

Simon is always looking for new opportunities, broaden his view on the world and get insights of international relations. This is exactly why he joined Belgian Youth Diplomacy and tries to become an asset for the board.

Sonya El Mouwafiqq – Fundraising Officer

Sonya is post-graduated in European Studies. Passionate about politics and international relations, Sonya gets involved with a large number of non-profit organization across the United Kingdom, Spain and Belgium.

Her interest in the European cooperation led her to take part to a few European projects in Germany and Hungary.

She is working as a Fundraising Officer for Belgian Youth Diplomacy and her main task is to connect with sponsors and partners willing to support us in our work.’

Nargiz Mammadbeyli – Fundraising Officer


Nargiz is an Accountancy and Taxation student with various knowledge of business and law.  Not only she’s interested in international relations, but also she speaks fluently Russian, Turkish, Azerbaijani, French, Dutch and English.

As a super social and communicative lady she adores to bring people together. She’s inspired by people. She believes that people should support each other and build up strong relationships with each other to run our society in a safe way.

Her childhood was passed away by being involved in various hobbies like dancing, figure skating, acting, music etc.. At this moment she is involved in BYD because she strives for an international career. She always wants to learn something new and to develop herself. BYD is a good opportunity for her to develop herself both personally and professionally.

Julie Lefevre – Head of Events

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« Sois le changement que tu souhaites voir dans le monde ». Mahatma Gandhi

This is the quote which describes perfectly Julie, 21 years old, graduated in a Bachelor of Political Science and currently in her second and last year of Master in International Relations. Having always been passionated about actuality and current issues, she decided to get involved in order to contribute – at her level – to a better world.

Having participated in international simulations yet, she believes that communication, open mindness and diplomacy are the better way to debate a topic. Her double origins allow her to have a different look about the world, a strong interest in multiculturality and opinion-sharing.

That’s the reason why she namely decided to involve as head of the UCLouvain delegation for the biggest French-speaking Simulation of the European Parliament, and did an internship at the FPS Foreign Affairs, bilateral affairs ; and, in the end, as Event Officer for Belgian Youth Diplomacy.

In her free time, Julie loves to read, run or exploring new beautiful places that are sometimes just in front of our eyes.

Fatmata Jalloh – Event Officer


Fatmata is a social work student. As a former Plan international Belgium youth ambassador her focus has always been about empowering the youth. Inspired by the world around her and her background she strives to gain and help spread knowledge. As someone who is very passionate she uses that same passion in everything she does. She believes wholeheartedly that the youth are the future and wants to play her part in paving a way for them and leaving behind a healthy world so that future generations can have a shot at building and expanding the human potential in all its facets.

That is why she decided she wanted to be a part of the BYD board. After being a member she wanted to have a bigger role in the movement that empowers young people. Becoming part of the BYD board that has that as a mission was an easy step to take for her. She believes that her qualities as being a young, curious, open and reflective person will be a great asset in the BYD team. She is looking forward to create defining moments that will grab young people’s attention and spark them to reflect or maybe even act by organising the BYD events.

As an event officer she will be organising and planning events that are current.

Arzu Gulbakan – Event Officer


Arzu is currently a second-year undergraduate in Political Science at Université Libre de Bruxelles. Throughout her high school and university years, Arzu has been involved in an array of projects which required hard work and motivation.

During her high school years, Arzu founded an Amnesty school group with a friend. She then chaired and attended multiple parliamentary simulations, has taken part in numerous debate classes and has been a member of the Student Bureau of her faculty. Arzu is currently an active member and head delegate of MUN Club ULB. She is interested in politics, diplomacy and international law.

By joining Belgian Youth Diplomacy, Arzu intended to meet new people coming from diverse and compelling backgrounds, to share a common objective with her peers and grow as a team, and to immerse herself in the world of high-profile politicians.

Coming from a multicultural background, Arzu loves to travel and discover new cultures. She is also creative and eager to take on new challenges.

As a event officer for Belgian Youth Diplomacy, she hopes that these abilities, along with her strong passion, will serve her and BYD. She also wishes to further improve her leadership and negotiation skills, to better understand the inner workings of the diplomatic world, to empower other young students to act and, ultimately, strive to make the world a better place.

Finally, Arzu promises to ensure that BYD events run smoothly by working hard and effectively with the other members of the Events team.

Flore Verkest – Communication Officer

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Hi! My name is Flore, Communication Officer at Belgian Youth Diplomacy (communications@bydiplomacy.com).
I am currently working at KBC in Market Data Services and studying International Relations and Diplomacy at the University of Antwerp. Having already obtained a master in Eastern Languages and Cultures, I have a passion for China and China-EU relations.
I hope to help BYD grow during the upcoming year, learn a lot from the experience, meet new people and have a lot of fun! .

Karina Mocanu – Communication Officer


Maarten Toelen – Legal Advice Officer

unnamedMy name is Maarten Toelen, a 24 year old graduate of the LL.M. in European Law at Leiden University. Although I might generally describe my academic path as atypical and riddled with extracurricular courses and internship, it allowed me to acquire the necessary skills to start my future career at the Permanent Delegation of Belgium to the EU.  In all, I am looking forward to meet all of you and address any of your questions.
He is helping BYD in the legal aspect.

Joni van Wessel – Legal Advice Officer