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LERU Office


The organisational structure of the LERU was intentionally created to be lean. The most important decisions are made by the Rectors’ Assembly consisting of the representatives of the member universities of the LERU who meet twice per year. The work of the Rectors’ Assembly is coordinated by the Board of Directors consisting of three members who also make urgent decisions. Everyday activities and administration, however, are taken care of by the LERU Secretariat also known as the LERU Office that is based at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium.

The LERU Office is led by the Secretary-General who is recruited and supervised by the Board of Directors and is aided by the LERU Office Staff. From its foundation in 2002, the LERU Office was led by three Secretary-Generals. Herman Vanden Berghe, professor at the Catholic University of Leuven and one of the pioneers in human genetics was chosen as the first Secretary-General in 2003 for a period of one year and a half. Despite that, he led the LERU Office for two full years (from May 2003 to May 2005).

Professor Berghe was succeeded by David Livesey from the University of Cambridge. He served as Secretary-General of the LERU Office from May 2005 to July 2009 when he was succeeded by the current Secretary-General, Professor Kurt Deketelaere from the Catholic University of Leuven.

Kurt Deketelaere is Full Professor of Environmental, Energy and Climate Change Law at the Catholic University of Leuven (he is, however, currently on a part-time leave), Honorary Professor of Climate Change Law at the University of Dundee and visiting professor of law at the Universities of Sydney, Singapore and London. Before he was appointed Secretary-General of the LERU Office, Professor Deketelaere was also the Chief of Staff of the Flemish Regional Government Ministry for Public Works, Energy, Environment and Nature under Mrs. Hilde Crevits and Chief Legal Advisor in the same Ministry under Mr. Kris Peeters who is currently the Minister-President of Flanders.

During the time he helped the Flemish Ministry for Public Works, Energy, Environment and Nature as Chief of Staff and Chief Legal Advisor, Professor Deketelaere dramatically influenced the formation of the Flemish energy and environmental policy as well as legislation and played the key role in creation of a balanced energy and environmental policy in Flanders.

Professor Deketelaere also greatly influenced the LERU Office. On his initiative, the League decided to create expert groups in order to take advantage of the expertise that is available in the member universities of the LERU. Examples include experts groups on social security, human rights and biodiversity.

Professor Deketelaere is aided by the LERU Office staff, the members of which are Katrien Maes as Chief Policy Officer, Bart Valkenaers as Communications and Marketing Officer, Laura Keustermans as Policy Officer and Veerle Van Kerckhove as Administrative Coordinator.