General Council


Yolande Avontroodt

Appointed by: Federaal Ministerie Volksgezondheid

Yolande Avontroodt (Antwerp 19 maart 1950) graduated in 1975 as a doctor in medicine and obstetrics at the RUG and in 1978 as a specialist in occupational medicine at the KU Leuven. She worked until 2000 as a general practitioner and occupational physician at external prevention services and from 1990 to 1995 as medical adviser for the Liberal Mutualiteit Antwerpen. She was a member of the Chamber of Representatives from 1999 to 2010. In addition to being a member of the Public Health, Environment and Social Renewal and Social Affairs committees, she chaired the Public Health Committee (until 2003) and the Science Policy Advisory Committee of the Federal Parliament (until 2010). She was mayor of the municipality of Schilde from 2000 to 2012 and has been serving as a provincial councilor in Antwerp since 20012.

She has been Chairman of the RIZIV's General Management Committee since 2003. She has held various mandates as a member of the Board of Directors of RUCA, Federal Knowledge Center KCE, UZA, Acerta Public and is still director of vzw Mensura. Since 2015 she is director of the WIV, BCUZ Brussels and member of the University Council of VUB. She is also a member of various boards of directors including MHKA, friends of MHKA, Evens foundation, Home Philippe Speth, More Foundation, Open VLD national party agency and various local associations.


Nicolas Antoine-Moussiaux

Appointed by: ARES (Académie de Recherche et d’Enseignement Supérieur)

Nicolas Antoine-Moussiaux (1981) studied veterinary medicine at Université de Liège (ULiège), and obtained his PhD on the pathology of Trypanosoma evansi at the ULiège in 2009. He studied 'Rural Economics and Sociology' at ULiège and Université Catholique de Louvain (2010). After his postdoctoral research in Vietnam (2012) on the evaluation of epizootic control (in collaboration with the French research centre CIRAD), he was appointed as lecturer in tropical animal health at ULiège. He leads or participates in several research projects in Africa, South East Asia and South America. His projects focus on the socio-economics of animal health and livestock production, with a link to public and environmental health. In 2016, he launched an advanced master on Integrated Management of Health Risks, co-organized by the ULiège, the Université Libre de Bruxelles and the Université de Namur.

Luc Bertrand

Coopted member

Luc Bertrand (1951) graduated in 1974 as a commercial engineer at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven). He began his career at Bankers Trust, and has been with Ackermans & van Haaren since 1986. He is chairman of the Board of Directors of AvH, of which he was member ever since 1985. He is also chairman of, amongst others, DEME, and Dredging International, director at CFE and SIPEF, and mandates as director at ING Belgium. Luc Bertrand is also member of the board of several other non-profit organizations and public institutions, such as KU Leuven and Museum Mayer van den Bergh.

Anne Chapelle

Coopted member

Anne Chapelle (Sint-Truiden, 13 December 1958) began her professional career as a nurse and successfully evolved to a researcher in tropical medicine. At the young age of 22 she left for Congo for an assignment for the world renowned Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp. She provided medical assistance and managed critical prevention services working closely with women, children, and families to fight tuberculosis, leprosy and aids. Upon her return she obtained a neonatology degree at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam. She continued her career in the pharmaceutical industry in several leadership roles that focused of the application of nuclear technologies. Anne Chapelle started to work with Ann Demeulemeester in 1994, when she undertook the reorganisation of the company.

Faustin Chenge Mukalenge

Representative of South Partners

Faustin Chenge Mukalenge is a medical doctor, graduated in 1994 from the University of Kisangani (DRC). He then successively obtained a specialisation in gynaecology and obstetrics at the University of Lubumbashi (DRC)in 2001, a Master’s degree in Public Health at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp (Belgium) in 2004 and a PhD in Public Health at the University of Lubumbashi in 2011. He is currently Senior Lecturer at the School of Public Health of the University of Lubumbashi and in the Public Health Department of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Kisangani. He is involved in a wide range of research, training and service activities. In terms of research, he especially works on the organisation of local health systems ('health districts') in urban settings, but he is also interested in health policy and maternal health. He is author or co-author of around twenty articles in the above-mentioned domains. He worked for four years as Chief of Cabinet of the Minister of Health (2012-2016). He is currently ruling the Congolese Health Knowledge Center which aims at advising the Ministry of health authorities on evidence informed decision making.

Bart Criel

Appointed by: ITM staff

Bart Criel graduated as a Medical Doctor at the KU Leuven in 1981 and obtained a diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene at ITM in the same year. In 1989, he obtained a Master of Science degree in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In 1998, he obtained his PhD at the VUB (Free University of Brussels) on the subject of district-based health insurance in sub-Saharan Africa. Bart Criel initially worked in Belgium as a hospital doctor in a department of internal medicine, and later as a family doctor. He subsequently worked as a District Medical Officer in the former Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) in the period 1983-1990. In 1990, he returned to Belgium and joined ITM. He is currently Professor and Head of the Unit of Health Financing, Department of Public Health. In terms of research, he focuses on the management and functioning of local health systems and on the design and development of social health protection policies in LMIC. He is currently involved in field research in Benin, the DR Congo, Guinea-Conakry, India, Mauritania, and Uganda. As co-director of the Master in Public Health at ITM, he is responsible for course management and teaching policies, in addition to teaching several modules.

Patrick De Baetselier

Appointed by: Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Patrick De Baetselier (Ukkel, 30 januari 1950) was tot het einde van 2016 Hoofd van de Eenheid Cellulaire en Moleculaire Biologie, CMIM, verbonden aan de afdeling Bio-ingenieurswetenschappen van de Universiteit van Brussel. Hij promoveerde aan de VUB in 1977 en werkte tot 1980 als postdoc-onderzoeker aan de Cel Biologie in het Weizmann Instituut in Israël. Zijn onderzoek richtte zich altijd op de cellulaire immunologie van gastheer-tumor- en gastheer-parasiet-interacties. De emeritus hoogleraar aan de VUB was tevens directeur van het interuniversitaire masterprogramma Molecular Biology, dat is georganiseerd binnen het interuniversitaire ontwikkelingsprogramma. In dit verband zijn er nauwe banden tussen de onderzoeksgroep CMIM en het ITG. Tussen 2007 en 2011 was De Baetselier decaan van de Faculteit Wetenschappen en Bio-ingenieurswetenschappen. Nadien werd hij vice-rectoraal onderzoeksbeleid en vertegenwoordigde hij de VUB in verschillende raden en werkgroepen (FWO, VRWI, VLIR).

Marleen Deputter

Appointed by: Vlaams ministerie van Onderwijs

I started in the Higher Education Department and I was responsible for writing out the regulatory framework with regard to the mergers of the university colleges, the reform of the higher education programs, the transfer of programs, etc. I then became acting head of the Higher Education Department. From 2007 until January 2015 I was department head of the Study Allowances Department. In 2015 I was appointed as project leader to elaborate the guidelines and the regulatory framework for the reintegration of Ghent University Hospital in Ghent University. In the meantime, I have been charged with the preparation and legal foundation of the supplementary pensions in the basic education sector.

Kathleen D’Hondt

Appointed by: Vlaamse overheid Departement Economie, Wetenschap en Innovatie (EWI)

Kathleen D’Hondt was trained as a molecular cell biologist both in academia and in industry. She got a PhD at the University of Ghent and spent several years as a postdoc in Belgium (VIB-UGent), the Netherlands (WAU) and the Biozentrum in Basel. In 2006, she joined the Department of Economy, Science and Innovation of the Flemish government as a Policy Analyst and joined in 2013 the OECD as a policy analyst in the Working Party on Bio-, Nano- and Converging Tech (BNCT). Since 2016 she is back at the Department of Economy, Science and Innovation of the Flemish government. Kathleen is the Belgian delegate for the Programme Committee of Societal Challenge 1 on Health, demographic change and well-being under Horizon 2020, member of the management boards of the Joint Programming Initiative on Neurodegenerative Diseases (JPND) and of the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR) and Belgian delegate in the OECD Working Party on BNCT.

Flora Haderer

Appointed by: ITM students

Besides being an optimist, medical doctor and lindy hop dancer, I am most passionate about art of hosting/participatory leadership and learning organisations. I am glad about the opportunity to add the perspective of students to the general council discussions. Currently, I follow the MPH program in International Health at ITM and work with Medecins Sans Frontieres as Health Promoter.

Liesbet Meyvis

Appointed by: Stad Antwerpen

Liesbet Meyvis (°19 October 1977) works as a consultant at the Health Department of the City of Antwerp and is project leader for the theme of accessible healthcare.

Within this theme she has two passions: reducing social inequality in health and promoting integrated care across sectors and boundaries.

Anne Muendi Musuva

Appointed by: ITM alumni

Anne Musuva (1982) is a medical doctor and public health professional. She studied Medicine and Surgery(MBChB) at the University of Nairobi in Kenya (2006) and received her MSc in Public Health, Disease Control from the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, where she was also later a research fellow focusing on Multi Drug Resistant TB. Dr. Musuva is currently the Project Director of the USAID project at Population Services Kenya, overseeing programs in health service delivery in social health franchises, health communications and social marketing. Dr. Musuva also serves as a member of the Oversight Committee of the Global Fund Coordinating Mechanism of Kenya. She previously worked for the Ministry of Health in Kenya as a hospital medical superintendent and district medical officer of health. Anne’s current interests include service delivery and improving the quality of care in social health franchises, health system strengthening and health care financing.

Anne Van Autreve

Appointed by: Vlaams Ministerie Ontwikkelingssamenwerking

Anne Van Autreve is an agricultural engineer. She worked for 10 years for a Flemish non-governmental organisation in development cooperation, of which 7 years abroad. The main themes were microfinance, organisational development and training. In 2001 she made the switch to the Flemish government where she coordinated a government-wide project on internal environmental care. In 2009 she became department head and deputy Administrator-General at the Flemish Agency for International Cooperation. After the merger with the Flemish Department of Foreign Affairs, she became Head of Global Challenges. In 2017 she moved to the Chancellery and Board Department where she became coordinator for the Network Leadership pilot project. Anne is also an internal coach.

Chris Vander Auwera

Appointed by: Vlaams Ministerie Volksgezondheid

Chris Vander Auwera (Leuven, 18 July 1947) is the former administrator-general of the Care and Health agency. Previously he was director general of the Healthcare Administration. Before that he was responsible for budget and accounting, IT and logistics at the department of Welfare, Public Health and Culture and also secretary of the board of directors. As a consultant he was attached to the cabinet of Minister Rika Steyaert and Minister Hugo Weckx. In this capacity, he has participated in several decrees on the special youth assistance, preventive health care, medically responsible sports and forensic welfare.

Elies Van Belle

Coopted member

Elies Van Belle (Leuven, 29 July 1974) is a medical advisor and program coordinator at Memisa, an NGO dedicated to medical development. Previously she worked as a medical expert for Médecins du Monde in Congo, Ivory Coast, Angola and Afghanistan. She studied general medical practice at the KU Leuven and acquired a postgraduate degree in tropical medicine and a master in public health at the Institute of Tropical Medicine.

Bruno van der Pluijm

Appointed by: FOD Ontwikkelingssamenwerking

Bruno van der Pluijm entered the Belgian Foreign Service in 1991. In 2016, he took up a new mandate as Director General in charge of Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid. Prior to this, Bruno van der Pluijm was Ambassador of Belgium to Canada (2010-2014) and to Tunisia (2014-2016).

Between 1994 and 2005, Bruno van der Pluijm served as a diplomatic collaborator in various postings: from 1994 until 1997 at the Belgium Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon; from 1998 until 2000 at the Belgium Embassy in San José, Costa Rica, and from 2000 until 2005 at the Permanent Representation of Belgium to the United Nations in New York. In 2002 he was elected Vice-President of the Second Committee of the 57th General Assembly. In 2005, upon his return to headquarters, he entered the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs as advisor for multilateral affairs. Between 2007 and 2010, he was Chief of Staff of the Minister of Development Cooperation.

Bruno van der Pluijm was born in 1960. He holds a degree in classical philology from Antwerp University (UFSIA) and Leuven University (KUL). He sits on the Board of BTC, the Belgian implementing agency for Development Cooperation; the Board of BIO, the Belgian Development Finance Institition, and the Board of ITG, the Belgian Institute for Tropical Medicine.

Bruno van der Pluijm is married and father of four children.

Veerle Vanlerberghe

Appointed by: ITM staff

Veerle Vanlerberghe (1968) studied Medicine at the University of Ghent and worked as a medical doctor and coordinator for Médecins Sans Frontières in various of their target countries, before joining as a research assistant the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp in 2003.

She obtained her PhD in 2011 at the University of Ghent.

She works in the epidemiology and disease control unit in the Department of Public Health, focusing her research on the epidemiology of arbovirosis. Veerle teaches in several course components of the Master of Public Health and the postgraduate course at ITM and is a scientific collaborator in the ITM development cooperation programs in Democratic Republic of Congo and Cuba.

Jef Verellen

Appointed by: ITM staff

Jef Verellen (1979) studied biology at KU Leuven and later worked at Novartis as administrator for clinical studies. Since 2008 he has been employed at ITM in Quality where he is involved in various quality aspects for clinical and other research. Since 2016 he has been appointed as information security consultant and he is responsible for the implementation of the correct privacy rules.

Non-voting members

Karel Baert

Member of the Board of Governors

Cathy Berx

Member of the Board of Governors

Cathy Berx (Berchem, January 8, 1969) is Governor of the province of Antwerp. She received her law degree in 1993 from the University of Antwerp, where she also obtained a doctorate in public law. In this particular area, she published several books. Cathy Berx teaches as a professor at the University of Antwerp since 2000. She represented CD&V in the Flemish Parliament and was advisor to former Prime Minister Yves Leterme.

Johan Dhondt

Government Commissioner

Johan Dhondt (Deinze, 6 April 1954) is Government Commisioner since December 2006. He holds the same office at the University Association Brussels, the Faculty for Protestant Theology Brussels and the Instuitute of Tropical Medicine. Since January 2011 he is also the president of the College of Government Commisioners. Previously he was lector at the Higher State Institute for Economic, Paramedic and Social Higher Education (October 1976 - August 1979), led the Unit of Nursing and Care of the OCMW Deinze (September 1979 - August 1985) and was First Auditor-Revisor of the Court of Auditors (September 1985 - November 2006). Johan Dhondt holds a Master Degree in Government Sciences (1983) and obtained a Postgraduat Degree Management Informatics (1984). He previously obtained a degree in general nursing (1979).

Jean-Claude Dujardin

Department Head of the Department of Biomedical Sciences

Bruno Gryseels

Member of the Board of Governors

Bruno Gryseels (1954) studied medicine at the State University of Ghent (1972- 1979), and Tropical Medicine and Hygiene at the ITM in Antwerp (1979). He obtained his PhD at the University of Leiden (the Netherlands) in 1990. After his studies he joined the ITM as a researcher in the Department of Tropical Pathology. In 1980-1981 he worked for ITM at the Laboratory of Parasitology at the University of Zaire in Kinshasa, where he taught parasitology and took part in diagnostic duties including population screening for sleeping sickness. Read more.

Lut Lynen

Department Head of the Department of Clinical Sciences

Jan Philippé

Member of the Board of Governors

Ajit Shetty

Member of the Board of Governors

Ajit Shetty (Nellore, India, 20 May 1946) was president of the Board of Directors at Janssen Pharmaceutica until he retired in 2012. He also served as Corporate Vice President Enterprise Supply Chain at Johnson & Johnson in the United States. Ajit Shetty worked a total of 36 years at Johnson & Johnson in various functions. He studied natural sciences at Cambridge University where he completed a doctorate in metallurgy. In 2004 he was elected Manager of the Year and four years later he was appointed baron. In 2010 he received a Life-Time Achievement Award in India.

Marianne van der Sande

Department Head of the Department of Public Health

Lore Verstraete


Lore Verstraete (1973) studied Political and Social Sciences at the Catholic University of Louvain and obtained a master after master in Personnel Sciences at the University of Antwerp in 1997. After her studies she started as Policy Personnel for Personnel and Finance at the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR). In 2002 she switched to the HR department of the University Institution Antwerp, later the University of Antwerp. She has been working at ITM since 2007 as HR manager and has been acting as general manager ad interim since 2018.