Benefiting from the long-term project management experience of our senior staff, we have built over the past decade a strong and reliable project implementation capacity. EUCORD currently employs more than 35 full-time staff and has project implementation experience in 15 countries.

Headquarters Staff

Niels Hanssens

Executive Director (Brussels)

Niels Hanssens has over 30 years’ experience in smallholder supply chain development, agricultural technology diffusion and rural development in Africa. He did long-term assignments in Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Mali working for VSO, IUCN, the Africa Rice Center and Winrock International. Prior to joining EUCORD, Niels worked as Director Technical Services for a large USAID funded agribusiness development project in Nigeria. In 2009, he joined EUCORD as Deputy Executive Director in Brussels. Niels has a master’s degree in Tropical Crop Science from Wageningen University.

Philippe Gustin

Financial and Administrative Manager (Brussels)

Joining EUCORD in June 2010, Philippe Gustin manages quality financial reporting between projects, the external accounting partner and donors. Before joining EUCORD he worked for ING Bank as relationship manager institutions and later as financial manager and coordinator for Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Kenya, Malta and Haiti. He obtained a Master’s degree in Science in Business Engineering and a post graduate degree in Statistics, Data management and Data mining at UCL (Université Catholique de Louvain).

Baptiste Forquy

Program Development Coordinator (Brussels)

Baptiste Forquy started his career working four years in West Africa in partnership with local and international NGOs, first within an EU program and then for French development agencies in Mali and Benin. He then spent seven years working for a Brussels-based consulting firm specialized in the agricultural sector in Africa. He gained valuable experience in business development with multi- and bilateral donors and in contract and project management, backstopping and quality control of short and long-term consulting assignment mainly in the field of agriculture, food security and rural development, traveling in many East African countries over the past 7 years.

Pham Quynh Chau

Financial and Administrative Assistant (Brussels)

Joining EUCORD in January 2013, Pham Quynh Chau works to support administration, finance and human resources at EUCORD’s headquarters. Earlier on she worked for several international NGOs such as Doctors Without Borders and VSO (in Vietnam), ActionAid and the European Volunteer Center (in Belgium). She has also worked as a translator for a Vietnamese news agency and as a secretary at the Banque Nationale de Paris in Vietnam.

Dr. Pierre Antoine

Senior Adviser (USA)

Dr. Pierre Antoine has nearly 50 years experience in the design and management of agriculture and natural resource programs in 20 countries of Africa and in Indonesia. Prior to helping build EUCORD from the initial stage, he held various leadership positions at Winrock International, the Rockefeller Foundation (in Zaire, now D.R. Congo), and the University of Minnesota. His prime technical focus is income generation and yield increase at the smallholder level, soil management, seeds, micro-credit, empowerment of rural women, private and public partnerships.

Dr. Henk Knipscheer

Senior Advisor (USA)

With long-term field assignments in both Asia and Africa, Dr. Henk Knipscheer has more than 30 years experience designing and managing agricultural projects. With expertise including agricultural sector assessments, rapid marketing surveys, and credit studies, he designed alliance-type of projects with a number of multinational agribusinesses including Cargill, Unilever/Lipton, Heineken and Diageo. In Nigeria he co-authored the Cassava Sector Master Plan (2007). Earlier in his career he was Senior Managing Director at Winrock International.

Country Representatives

Deriba Mekonnen


Deriba Mekonnen has over 13 years’ experience in the areas of development and financial inclusion with expertise in agribusiness development, partnership development, cooperative development, value chains development, microfinance and micro-insurance, financing for development, and civic engagements & inclusiveness. Before joining EUCORD, Deriba was working as CEA Program Coordinator at ICCO and as consultant with F&S Ethiopia respectively. He is currently working as Project Manager and Country Representative for EUCORD Ethiopia.

Alpha Diallo


Alpha Diallo is the EUCORD Project Coordinator based in Guinea and the regional representative of EUCORD in Guinea and Senegal. He has more than 20 years of experience in agricultural development and natural resources management projects in the Republic of Guinea. Diallo has experience in management levels in both the Program for Natural Resources Management (PGRN) and the Expanded Program for Natural Resource Management (PEGRN), he has assisted with the implementation of the Activities to Reinforce Commercial Agriculture project funded by USAID, and he supervised the Potato Value Chain Development in West Africa project implemented by EUCORD.

Karamoko Sako


Trained as agricultural engineer at the Institut Polytechnique Rural de Katibougou, Karamoko Sako has been dedicated to rural development for much of his career. In collaboration with non-governmental and public organizations, he has 30 years of solid experience in agricultural extension, research & development, varietal introduction, micro-finance, capacity building of farmers and management of rural development projects throughout Mali.

Jean-Claude Muhirwa


Jean Claude Muhirwa worked for 15 years in the agricultural research sector with public institutions and government projects in Rwanda. He started his career in 2005 as scientist at the Institut des Sciences Agronomiques du Rwanda (ISAR), then joined Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Development Board (RAB) in 2011 where he held several research and technology transfer positions in the Land Husbandry, Irrigation and Mechanization Department. His main area of expertise is irrigation project design and management. Jean Claude has a Master’s Degree in Water Resources Engineering from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.

Eric Sika

(Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Eric SIKA is EUCORD’s Technical Assistant in Kisangani, Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has over 10 years of progressive experience in various fields including strengthening value chains, reinforcing the socioeconomic resilience of smallholder farmers, linking farmers to markets, food security and livelihoods as well as agribusiness. Prior to joining EUCORD, Eric worked with several NGOs, UN agencies, research institutions, enterprises, and certification bodies such as FAO, WFP, Tetra Tech, Africert, TERO, IITA and IKYA. Eric holds a master’s degree in agronomy from Kenyatta University, Kenya and an advanced certificate in Business and Entrepreneurship from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, USA.

Supervisory Board

Frank Ex

Board Chair (Netherlands)

Since 2011 partner at Arengo, a consultancy firm that specializes in strategic advice and creating new business opportunities. Before that as Chief Executive Officer of IATEC, a Clinical Research Organization, Frank Ex’s specific focus was on prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and other viral infections. He is board member of Health Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, that focuses on sustainable methods of training and educating on treatment and prevention of communicable and poverty related diseases. He has over 25 years experience in (project) management in various surroundings, of which the last 10 years in clinical trials.

Jasper Grosskurth


Dr. Jasper Grosskurth serves as Managing Director for Dalberg Research, an impact driven research company nested under the Dalberg umbrella. Jasper and his team of 50 researchers are based in Nairobi and work across Africa with extensions into Asia. Jasper holds a PhD in Integrated Assessment and an MSc in International Economics, both from Maastricht University. Jasper’s key interests are data, development, sustainability and future studies. Jasper is author of ‘Futures of Technology in Africa’ and a TEDx Johannesburg speaker.

Jacco Brink


Jacco Brink is the founder and director of The Blue Link BV, managing companies in developing countries that yield commercial return and foster development impact. The Blue Link group owns and operates companies in Pakistan and Kenya, active in dairy processing, animal feeds, dairy supply chain services, agri-business and SME investing. This puts Brink at the epicenter of engagement with a diverse pool of international partners and investors. He has over 20 years of experience in professional consultancy for development projects, entrepreneurship, company leadership, governance and development management.