Team Members

Elard Mawala

Elard Mawala is a development professional with extensive experience in project management and research coordination for a number of local and international organizations. He joined IPIS in 2017, as project manager for the “Mapping of the socio-economic and human rights situation of artisanal and industrial mining in northwest Tanzania”. Prior to joining IPIS, Elard worked …

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Mieke Thierens

Mieke has a PhD in Geology (National University Ireland, Cork) and a Master in Political and Social Science (Conflict and Development studies, Ghent University). She has previously worked as an academic researcher on international palaeo-climate and marine sedimentology projects (AWI Bremerhaven and Columbia University New York) and as a project administrator for the Development Education …

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Saartje Boutsen

Saartje Boutsen joined the IPIS Board in 2016. Mrs. Boutsen is co-founder of Studio D, an agency that inspires, advises and supports companies and organizations in sustainably business management, to ensure that economic performance goes hand in hand with a positive impact on people and the environment. Before she worked as an advisor Sustainable Business at the …

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Jean Reynaert

Jean Reynaert joined the IPIS Board in 2016. Mr. Reynaert is former Director of the Belgian/Flemish NGO Federation and former policy advisor and programme coordinator of 11.11.11.

Han Verleyen

Han started as IPIS’ project officer in March 2022. She supports IPIS’ partners to implement joint projects and advocacy work and collaborates closely with partners in Tanzania and with the Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition. Han has been with IPIS since 2016.  Previously she worked with Amnesty International as coordinator of the Policy and Movement …

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Didier Verbruggen

Didier Verbruggen has a longstanding career as a researcher and consultant on natural resources in sub-Saharan Africa. He has published on a broad range of issues including mining sector governance, the Kimberley Process and OECD due diligence.

Hans Merket

Hans Merket is a researcher focusing on the link between natural resources and conflict, development and human rights. Hans has among others worked on a grass-roots monitoring pilot for artisanal gold mining in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, on the human rights impact of small and large-scale mining in Tanzania and on the operationalisation of …

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Guillaume De Beer

Guillaume de Brier

Guillaume de Brier is an international development professional with more than 12 years of experience, including five years of field work in the Great Lakes Region. Guillaume joined IPIS in 2015 and specialized on conflict analysis, and natural resources, particularly the artisanal mining sector in Eastern Africa. Before joining IPIS, Guillaume was the Human Rights …

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Peer Schouten

Peer Schouten

Peer Schouten joined IPIS in 2015 as an associate researcher working on roadblock economies in Central Africa. Peer is a postdoctoral candidate at the Danish Institute of International Studies, where he works on the intersections of transnational circulation, conflict dynamics and infrastructure interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa. Peer holds a PhD in Peace and Development Research …

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Johan Swinnen

Honorary Ambassador Johan Swinnen is Chair to the IPIS Board since 2015. He is a former Belgian Ambassador to the DR Congo (2004-2008). Before that he was Ambassador to Rwanda (1990-1994) and diplomatic attaché to Burundi. As the head of IPIS, he combines his profound experience in the region of the Great Lakes with a …

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Dirk Timmermans

Board Member of the Peace Center (Antwerp), Pedagogical Advisor – Coordinator, Chair of the UN Association workgroup Education

Brian Wood

Brian Wood has been leading Amnesty International’s campaign for a strong global Arms Trade Treaty as Manager of Arms Control, Security Trade and Human Rights. An expert on the global arms trade, he has acted as a consultant to the United Nations on the prevention of illicit brokering in small arms and light weapons and …

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Lotte Hoex

Lotte Hoex joined the IPIS team as a researcher in 2014. She has executed research and led projects on the topics of conflict mapping, natural resources and business and human rights. Over the last years, Lotte has focussed on responsible mineral supply chains and regulatory policies at the EU level. Before joining IPIS, Lotte worked …

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Zacharie Bulakali Ntakobajira

Since 2012, Zacharie Bulakali runs the IPIS operational focal point in Bukavu, DR Congo, where he acts as liaison officer to the local civil society and the Congolese mining administration, and as a consultant field researcher and coordinator of regional ground teams. Drawing from his experience, Zacharie also takes part in our capacity building activities. He …

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Filip Reyniers

Director of IPIS since October 2012, Filip Reyniers oversees the general management of the organisation. He coordinates the research institute and reports to the IPIS Board and external stakeholders about IPIS’ activities.  He has a special interest in the conflict-development nexus in fragile state contexts in sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on conflict minerals …

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Fiona Southward

Fiona Southward is a non-practicing solicitor and graduate of law from the universities of Glasgow (LLB) and Essex (LLM). Prior to completing her masters in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Fiona trained and worked as an asylum solicitor in Glasgow, Scotland, working predominantly with women and children from the Great Lakes Region. Fiona’s research …

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ken matthysen

Ken Matthysen

Ken Matthysen holds a degree in political and social sciences (University of Antwerp), and obtained a Master of Conflict and Development at Ghent University. Since March 2008 he joined our research team. His focus is on natural resources and security in Central Africa.

Steven Spittaels

Steven Spittaels holds degrees in both international political science and conflict studies (KU Leuven). Steven Spittaels  started at IPIS in 2006 after having worked as a researcher at the WHO Collaborating Centre on Health and Psycho-social factors and as a collaborator of the Kauri knowledge centre on Corporate Social Responsibility. At IPIS he launched the …

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Peter Danssaert

Peter Danssaert obtained a degree in Political and Social Science and specialised in International Politics. Has worked with the International Peace Information Service since 1999. He focuses on all matters related to the arms trade (both legal as well as illegal trafficking), defence logistics, air and maritime transport of arms… He has been a consultant …

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Anne Hullebroeck

Anne Hullebroeck is in charge of the administration of the institute. Originally working as a graphic designer for IPIS, she still takes care of the layout of our publications, but now maintains the general and financial administration, human resources administration, and logistics of the institute.

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