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

Paige Alexander

Executive Director (Amsterdam & Brussels)

Paige Alexander has served in numerous senior positions in the US government, including overseeing USAID Regional Bureaus, USAID missions and development programs in 25 countries, from Europe and Eurasia through North Africa and the Middle East. She draws upon 25 years of experience working in international development, both in the field and in Washington, DC. Paige's other notable positions include senior vice president at IREX, associate director of Project Liberty at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and as a consultant to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the C.S. Mott Foundation and the Open Society Institute in Prague.

Niels Hanssens

Deputy Executive Director (Brussels)

Niels Hanssens worked close to 20 years in West Africa for VSO, IUCN, WARDA (Africa Rice Center) and Winrock International. His main areas of expertise include the development of market-led value chains, agricultural technology transfer and extension. Prior to joining EUCORD, Niels worked as Director Technical Services for USAID’s flagship agribusiness project in Nigeria. In 2009, he assumed the position of Deputy Director at EUCORD 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.

Project Coordinators

Alpha Diallo


Alpha Diallo is the EUCORD Project Coordinator based in Guinea and the current 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. Professionally, 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 ARCA/Guinea project “Activities to Reinforce Commercial Agriculture” funded by USAID and executed by Chemonics Inc, and he has supervised the Common Fund for Commodities project entitled “Potato value chain development in West Africa: Guinea-Senegal” implemented by EUCORD.

Lemmi Legesse


Lemmi Legesse has a diploma in horticulture, a BSc in agricultural extension and an MSc in rural development. He also attended international training in Livelihood and Marketing and Monitoring and Evaluation. Lemmi has 12 years of experience in agronomy, agricultural extension and rural marketing. He started his career in the floriculture industry as agronomist. Before joining EUCORD in 2014 Lemmi worked for International Development Enterprise (iDE) and ActionAid.

Fabien Ngoga


From 1981 to 1987, Fabien Ngoga studied at the Institute for Agronomic Science in Yangambi and obtained a diploma in Agronomy, Chemistry, and Food Processing. From 1988 to 1994, he worked for the FAO Fertilizer Program and then later worked to revive agro-pastoral activities in Rwanda following the civil war. Beginning in 1996, he joined Bralirwa, where he had several positions, including Manufacturing Engineer, Chief Production at the Soft Drinks Plant, and eventually becoming Head of the Soft Drinks Plant in Kigali. On March 1, 2014, he was detached by Bralirwa to EUCORD as Project Coordinator of the CREATE project in Rwanda.

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.

Maria Singco

(Sierra Leone)

Maria Singco joined Sierra Leone Brewery Limited (SLBL) in October 2015. Having experience with local sourcing, she was tasked as the Project Coordinator of CREATE project and Logistics Development Manager for the brewery. Maria received her Master’s degree in Agriculture from the University of Southeastern Philippines in 1999. She worked for more than 15 years as Project Development Officer with the Philippine Coconut Authority. She then joined Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) in Sierra Leone as Organizational Development and Fund Raising Advisor. In 2009 she joined the Lion Heart Foundation as General Manager of an oil palm processing company.

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.

Laurence Cockcroft

Board Secretary (UK)

Laurence Cockcroft is a development economist with extensive experience of working with governments in Africa and elsewhere, the private sector (a major UK based agribusiness company), a large private foundation and civil society. His work for governments, business and foundations has been concentrated in agriculture and rural development; his work with civil society has been with Transparency International of which he was a founder Board Member and has been Chairman of the UK Chapter of TI (2000-8). He has written and spoken widely on development issues (publishing a book on the social and political constraints on Africa’s economic development in 1990) as well as corruption from an international, UK and African perspective.

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.

Marina Diboma


Marina Diboma has a passion for building bridges between people and organizations, and vice versa. Diboma is the deputy managing director of the Netherlands-Africa Business Council and has more than a decade of experience in international trade development with a focus on economic diplomacy, business development, entrepreneurship, stakeholders’ management, public private partnership projects, investment facilitation, and commercial leadership. Within the framework of her professional activities, Marina has already led more than 30 business missions to and from the African continent, and her mission is to promote Africa's development through economic cooperation and investment.

Amanda Hilligas


Amanda Hilligas, Winrock’s Senior Director of Agriculture and Enterprise, is an international trade and agribusiness management professional with 15 years of experience supporting the development of global agriculture, trade and investment initiatives. Hilligas has field experience with agriculture and investment projects in Southern Africa, and has contributed to the implementation of development projects in 37 countries. Before joining Winrock in 2015, Hilligas was senior vice president of the Inclusive Market Systems portfolio at ACDI/VOCA. She also provided technical support for Feed the Future projects in Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia and Kenya. Hilligas has an M.A. in international development and an M.B.A. in international business from American University.

Tom de Man


Tom de Man is the former Heineken Regional President for Africa and the Middle East. Currently Mr. de Man also serves as a member of the Vitens Supervisory Board, the Board of the Netherlands African Business Council and the Rutgers WPF Supervisory Board. Mr. de Man has over 40 years of experience. He joined the Heineken Breweries in 1971. His other previous functions include Managing Director of Sub-Saharan Africa, Director of Corporate Production Policy and Control. He holds a MSc in food technology from Agricultural University Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Kees de Ruiter


Kees de Ruiter is Head of Corporate Strategy and External relations at ICCO. He has been the managing director of ICCO's regional South East Asia office the beginning of 2010. He is an agricultural engineer with 25 years of international experience in Asia and Africa. He specializes in issues related to social and economic aspects of development, geodata, natural resources management, organizational and institutional development. Kees is highly experienced in working with NGOs, private sector organizations (in sustainable economic development, value chain development and M4P), as well as working with governmental bodies.