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, two high profile politicians that represents his role model.

As a young and ambitious citizen Jasper regularly takes part in informative discussions 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 attendance at a Legal Clinic in Corporate Law at his university.

He fulfils the role of Vice-President and Head Legal Advice Officer at BYD and uses his knowledge of law to write Legal Risk Assessments and to guide BYD to become a nonprofit organisation 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 his experience over the huge importance to travel around the world and discover countries.

He takes every step in his 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, he will commit himself 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 organisation where he aims to improve the life of young adolescents who don’t get all chances in life. He has 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 to broaden his view on the world and get new insights in international relations. This is why he joined Belgian Youth Diplomacy and why he works hard to take it to the next level.

Sonya El Mouwafiqq – Fundraising Officer

Sonya has a post-graduate degree in European Studies. She is passionate about politics and international relations. She is also involved in a large number of non-profit organisation throughout the United Kingdom, Spain and Belgium.

Her interest in the European cooperation led her to work for a few European Projects in Germany and Hungary.

Together with Simon and Nargiz, 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.

Julie Lefevre – Head of Events

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

This quote perfectly describes Julie, a 21 year old, with a bachelor in Political Science and currently in her second and last year of a 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 already participated in international simulations, she believes that communication, open-mindedness and diplomacy are the best ways to debate a topic. Her double origins allow her to have a different look about the world, a strong interest in multiculturalism and opinion-sharing.

That is also the reason why she decided to become a head at 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 explore 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. She uses this 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.

This is why she joined the BYD board. After being a member she wanted to have a bigger role in the movement that empowers young people. She is a young, qualified, curious, open and reflective person and a great asset to the BYD team.

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, that share a common objective and grow as a team.

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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Flore is a Communication Officer at Belgian Youth Diplomacy. She is 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, she has a passion for China and China-EU relations.

She recognises the value of an organisation like Belgian Youth Diplomacy in giving chances to young people with an interest in politics, international relations, current events and the world in general to meet and exchange ideas. She hopes to help BYD grow during the upcoming year, learn a lot from the experience, meet new people and have fun!

Karina Mocanu – Communication Officer


Maarten Toelen – Legal Advice Officer

Maarten Toelen, BYD Legal Advice Officer, is a 24 year old graduate of the LL.M. in European Law at Leiden University. Although he might generally describe his academic path as atypical and riddled with extracurricular courses and internship, it has allowed him to acquire the necessary skills to start his future career at the Permanent Delegation of Belgium to the EU.

He is looking forward to meet new people and help BYD grow!

He is helping BYD in the legal aspect.

Joni van Wessel – Legal Advice Officer