Panelists of HCF 2022
Giulia Sebastio – Master of Ceremony
Giulia Sebastio is Scientific and Regulatory affairs manager at DUCC – the Downstream Users of Chemicals Co-ordination group. DUCC is a platform of 11 associations re-presenting downstream industries. The objective of the group are to contribute with a common voice to the implementation of REACH and CLP.
Giulia has a background in chemistry, and has worked as a chemist and regulatory affairs professional across different fields including chemicals, food products and pharmaceuticals. As DUCC manger she aims to bring together the voices of all DUCC members towards cooperation and a unified voice.
Opening keynote 1
Kristin Schreiber leads the Directorate Ecosystems I: Chemicals, Food, Retail, Health in DG GROW, the Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs of the European Commission. She also acts as one of the two Commission Board members of the European Investment Fun.
After obtaining the Diplôme de l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (with a special focus on International Relations, Economics and European Law), a Master’s degree from the University of Kent at Canterbury and the Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies of the College of Europe in Bruges, she worked as a Graduate Lecturer at the University of Kent in Canterbury and a researcher on the Single Market in Bonn. Kristin Schreiber joined the European Commission in 1990 and was appointed to her current position in March 2021 after serving as Director for Governance of the Single Market and International Affairs in DG Internal Market (until 2015) and Director for SME policy in DG GROW (until March 2021).
Previously in the European Commission, Kristin Schreiber was Head of Cabinet of Employment Commissioner Vladimir Špidla, Deputy Head of Cabinet of Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier and member of the Cabinets of Enlargement Commissioner Günter Verheugen and Competition Commissioner Karel Van Miert. She also served as Head of Unit for International Affairs in the DG for Employment and Social Affairs and was a member of the Merger Task Force of DG Competition.
Kristin speaks German, French, English and Spanish, some Italian and has notions of Czech and Slovak.
Peter van der Zandt
Opening keynote 2
Peter van der Zandt joined ECHA in 2019 as the Director for Risk Management, responsible for the ECHA work on REACH restrictions and authorisations as well as the Biocidal Products Regulation.
Peter has an MSc in biology, specialised in toxicology. He started his career working on chemicals policies in the Dutch Ministry of the Environment and then became head of the Dutch Chemicals Bureau at the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). Peter has been working for the European Commission and Agencies since 2004 in the areas of chemicals and research and innovation.
Ms Mercedes Viñas was appointed as the Director of Submissions and Interactions in May 2022, including ECHA’s communication and stakeholder engagement activities, enforcement and support to industry, and the Registration process under REACH. In addition, she is coordinating the international activities of the agency.
Ms Viñas joined ECHA in 2013 and was appointed Head of Unit in 2017 leading different units and cross-organisational goals. She has been in charge of the REACH registration deadline in 2018, the onboarding of the Poison Centre work, and the work on data management and analysis. Most recently she was leading ECHA’s communications unit.
Ms Viñas has more than 17 years of experience in the field of chemicals legislation. Prior to joining the Agency, she worked in Brussels on the adoption and implementation of REACH as well as on other EU and international chemicals management topics in different positions in the European Commission and chemical industry associations.
She is Spanish and holds a chemical engineer degree and a Master’s degree in European Studies.
Experienced EU chemicals regulatory expert. Currently leading ECHA’s unit on prioritisation, which includes our grouping work under ECHA’s Integrated Regulatory Strategy. Previously leading one of the 2 units in ECHA working on risk management issues, in particular restrictions but also applications for authorisation. In addition, I have 7 years as a consultant working on general chemicals work, specialising in REACH and CLP issues, and 4 years in the Commission as one of the key authors of REACH 1.0. My technical background is in human health and environmental risk assessment/risk management particularly in the occupational health and safety sector.
As engineer for Recycling Technology by training, Timo has worked over 20 years already in the automotive industry and today for the European R&D Center of Hyundai & Kia Motor Company as Manager, Environmental Affairs since 2005. He is representing Hyundai in numerous industry working groups concerned with environmental issues. He for example Chairs the Automotive Industry Task Force on REACH and the Working Group on Materials & Substances of ACEA, the EU vehicle manufacturers’ association. Timo also is a member of the UN Environment Programme Steering Group on CiP (Chemicals in Products) and today intensively works on the interface between chemicals, products and waste incl. for example the Digital Product Passport.
Tatiana Santos is the Policy Manager on Chemicals and Nanotechnology at the European Environmental Bureau (the EEB), Europe’s largest network of environmental citizens’ organisations with its over 170 members from 36 countries and more than 30 million individual supporters. Tatiana and her team work to improve EU chemicals legislation, including REACH, so that they provide higher levels of protection and help the world advance towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Europe’s aim for a toxic-free environment.
Tatiana holds a Chemistry degree specialised on food and analytical chemistry and have MSc. in both Environmental Impact Assessment and Occupational Health & Safety. She has been working in chemical risk issues, chemical legislations, occupational health and safety, chemicals in the circular economy and substitution of hazardous chemicals for almost 20 years.
Currently, on behalf of the EEB, she is an accredited stakeholder representing the environmental voice of European citizens at the European Commission, the European Chemicals Agency, the OECD and the UN.
Mr Otto Linher is a senior expert in the European Commission, DG Internal Market, Industry, Enterprise and SMEs, REACH Unit. He deals with the implementation of the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability and in particular the planned revision of the REACH Regulation. Previously he dealt with the implementation of the REACH regulation, in particular files related to authorisation, restrictions and the relations to the European Chemicals Agency, competitiveness aspects of the chemicals industry, classification, labelling and packaging of chemicals, waste legislation and a number of other environmental files.
Tala Henry, Ph.D.
Deputy Director for Programs
Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Dr. Tala Henry has been with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for more than 27 years. She is currently Deputy Director of the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics where she leads assessment and management of new and existing chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act and is the Office’s executive lead for PFAS. Her recent work related to chemical grouping or categories includes leading development of EPA’s National PFAS Testing Strategy and participating on the Steering Committee for OECD’s Guidance on Grouping.
Dr. Henry has also worked on chemical assessment and management issues in USEPA’s Water Quality and Hazardous Waste programs. She has also served as the United States representative and technical expert in several international chemical assessment and management areas, including in the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and United Nations Stockholm Convention. Dr. Henry has B.A. in Biology and Ph.D. in Pharmacology.
Head of the “Industrial Transformation” Unit
Directorate Prosperity in the Directorate General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission.
Jürgen Tiedje, working with the European Commission since 1992; German nationality; lawyer as educational background, wide experience in different Commission departments of European policy making, including industry and qualifications.
Between January 2017 and March 2021, he has been in charge of a unit focusing on advanced manufacturing, energy intensive industries, energy efficient buildings and biotechnologies in DG Research and Innovation. The unit has also been running public private partnerships with relevant industries, which have been funded for around 2.6 BEUR under Horizon 2020. . His unit has also been running about 260 projects funded under this programme, which have been delegated to the Health and Digital Executive Agency in April 2021.
He has been appointed as of 1st April 2021 Head of Unit for Industrial Transformation in the Prosperity Directorate. The unit is in charge of preparing the future work programmes in the cluster “digital, industry, space” under Horizon Europe, namely covering all relevant industrial technologies and materials. This covers amongst others future partnerships with industries, such as on advanced manufacturing (the future partnership Made in Europe) and process manufacturing (the future partnership Processes4Planet) in order to drive the twin green and digital transition for industries. In the same vein, the unit is leading all the work on nanotechnologies as well as on advanced materials. Finally, the unit also leads future work on relevant public partnerships with Member States as to the science of measurement (metrology) as well as assessment of risks from chemicals.
The research and innovation areas are of immediate relevance for the implementation of the Green Deal (in particular the Industry Strategy, the Chemical Strategy for Sustainability, the Zero Pollution Ambition) as well as digital priorities, such as on artificial intelligence, robotics but also microelectronics.
Ann Dierckx graduated as an engineer in chemistry and agricultural sciences in 1990 at the Catholic University of Leuven. She holds a PhD in engineering in chemistry and agricultural sciences from the same university (1995).
Prior to joining Cefic in 2008, she worked in the field of disposal of radioactive waste, first at the Belgian Nuclear Research Center in Mol, Belgium, later at the Belgian Agency for Radioactive Waste and Enriched Fissile Materials (NIRAS/ONDRAF) in Brussels where she held several coordinating positions.
In 2008, she joined Cefic as environmental policy manager, dealing with policy matters in the field of industrial emissions, air, water, soil and biodiversity as well as occupational health related issues. Later on, she took up responsibilities related to sustainability and from 2017 onwards, she holds the position of Director of Sustainability at Cefic.
Christopher holds a PhD in biology and a post-graduate degree in eco-toxicology. He is a scientific senior officer in the section “International Chemicals Management” at the German Environment Agency (UBA). Christopher is working in the field of sustainable and green chemistry since 2006 and represents the German focal point for chemical leasing. He is member of the UNIDO chemical leasing award jury and of the OECD sustainable chemistry issue team as well as co-author of the UBA Guide on Sustainable Chemicals and a co-initiator of the International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre (ISC3).
Frida Hök has a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science. She has a solid background in the field of environmental NGOs. Frida joined ChemSec 2009 and are responsible for ChemSec strategic policy work as well as to coordinate all ChemSec projects. Her work has during the years at ChemSec focused mainly on the implementation of REACH, the benefits of a strict regulation also for business, the need to strengthen the voice of alternative providers and more lately the implementation of the Chemical strategy.
Joel Tickner leads the Sustainable Chemistry Catalyst at the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, UMass Lowell where is group works on research, analysis, and strategy to make chemistry safer for people and the planet. His research focuses on the development of innovative scientific methods, policies, and practice to accelerate the design and application of safer products and manufacturing processes. He is an expert on environmental health, risk assessment, green chemistry, chemicals policy, and pollution prevention.
His research has led to the establishment and growth of the field of chemical alternatives assessment, the process of comparing alternatives for chemicals of concern. He is the founding Executive Director of the Association for the Advancement of Alternatives Assessment, a professional association dedicated to advancing the science, practice, and policy of alternatives assessment and informed substitution.
Tickner also founded the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3), a powerful network of more than 100 companies, bringing together the entire value chain from chemical producers to major brands and retailers. The GC3 is highly credible convener that drives commercialization, adoption, and scale of green chemistry solutions across sectors and supply chains.
Tickner is a Professor of Environmental Health at University of Massachusetts-Lowell, where he has worked to build interdisciplinary bridges across departments and colleges to position the university as a leading institution in the design and application of sustainable chemicals and materials. Until recently, he was Co-Director of the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute, which provides resources and tools to help businesses and communities in Massachusetts to find safer alternatives to toxic chemicals.
Scientific & Regulatory Affairs Director, A.I.S.E.
After studies in applied chemistry and early work in analytical labs, Jan worked in the coatings industry for over twenty-five years, in R&D then in global regulatory affairs. Following ten years at the European paint, printing ink and artists’ colours industry association CEPE in Brussels, Jan joined A.I.S.E., the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products, in February 2020.
Jan has extensive experience of working with the European Commission, the European Chemicals Agency ECHA and national authorities both at EU level and in UN Sub-Committees of Experts, and since 2016 has served as the chair of DUCC (Downstream Users of Chemicals Coordination Group), the European platform of mixture formulating industry associations.
Steven Van de Broeck
Steven Van de Broeck is Director REACH & Chemicals Policy at Cefic.
His main areas of responsibility include (regulatory) risk management of chemicals, REACH registration and supply chain communication.
Steven joined Cefic in 2015. He has more than 20 years of experience on environmental and chemicals policy. Prior to joining Cefic he was active as consultant and policy advisor at the Belgian chemical association.
Steven holds an MSc in chemical engineering and several post graduates in environmental and safety management.
Doreen Fedrigo is Industrial Transformation Policy Coordinator at Climate Action Network Europe. She has more than 30 years’ NGO experience at UK and EU levels, and has worked on files ranging from waste, recycling and products, to sustainable consumption and production, bioeconomy and the circular economy. At CAN Europe her industrial transformation work focuses on driving industry beyond technological decarbonisation to ecodesign of products and processes and alternative business models. She studied Ecology and Conservation at Birkbeck College, University of London.
Gert Roebben studied and performed materials research at the Leuven University (Belgium), at the Ecole des Mines de Paris (France) and at the former Institute for Advanced Materials of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Petten (Netherlands). He obtained his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at the Leuven University (Belgium) in 1999.
Since 2018, Gert Roebben is a policy officer in the REACH Unit of DG GROW, where he works on requests for authorisation for the use of substances of very high concern. He has been a member of the European Commission (EC) Nanotechnologies Inter-Service Group on nanoscience and nanotechnologies, from its inception in 2005, and continues to follow the materials science (including nanomaterials and advanced materials) issues for DG GROW. This includes the responsibility for monitoring the functioning of the EU Nanomaterials Observatory (EUON), operated by ECHA. In 2019, he was assigned to follow the REACH-relevant aspects of circular economy, in particular the Chemicals-Products-Waste interface.
From 2003 until 2018, Gert Roebben was Scientific Officer at the JRC in the ISO Guide 34 accredited Unit producing (certified) reference materials, in Geel (Belgium). He led the Engineering Materials Laboratory (ISO/IEC 17025 accredited for impact tests on steel and for size characterisation of nanoparticles), and has been manager of several certification projects, e.g., for the production of reference materials with certified mechanical properties or (nano-)particle size parameters.
Gert Roebben was a JRC-EC representative and technical expert in CEN/TC 352 Nanotechnologies (chairing the TC 352 Strategy Group, 2015-2018), in ISO/TC 229 Nanotechnologies (incl. chairmanship of the Nanotechnologies Liaison Coordination Group, 2011-2014), and in the Steering Committee of VAMAS (the Versailles Project on Advanced Materials and Standards).
He (co-)authored more than 90 book chapters and JRC Technical and Reference Reports and more than 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals, e.g. on high-temperature mechanical testing, on nanomaterial definitions, and on the certification and use of nanoparticle reference materials
Hugo Waeterschoot studied biology, ecotoxicology and environmental management at Ghent University in Belgium. He completed his studies with a Business Management decree by Vlerick a Belgian management school.
He worked for more than 15 years in a multinational company producing and recycling metals in different functions many related to chemicals management. He was hands-on involved in Chemicals management from the early days on as well as on the guidance development for the EU-REACH system and the GHS system related to metals and inorganics.
He presently works now for more than 15 years at the international scenery representing the metals sector on Chemicals Management on REACH and is a regular stakeholder representative in several of the ECHA committees. In turn he advises industry on how to promote compliance and continuous improvement on Chemicals management.
Karel Van Acker
Karel Van Acker is professor in Circular Economy at KU Leuven with a joint mandate at the department of Materials Engineering (faculty of Engineering Sciences) and at the Centre for Economics and Corporate Sustainability (faculty of Business and Economics). His research is on developing strategies to realize the circular economy (CE) and on sustainability assessments of these CE strategies, including amongst others recycling, biobased chemicals, sharing economy. Karel leads the policy research centre “Circular economy” for the Flemish government and currently is the chairman of the Sustainability Council of KU Leuven. The relationship of resources and materials to a sustainable society is a common thread throughout his activities.
Dr. Patience Browne currently leads the Hazard Assessment and Pesticide Programmes of the Environment, Health, and Safety Division of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, France. She began at OECD in 2016 as a Research and Policy Analyst in the Test Guidelines Programme, where she contributed to development of methods and guidance for evaluating chemical safety in an international regulatory context. Prior to joining the OECD, Dr. Browne was a Senior Scientist in the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Science Coordination and Policy and helped to foster the use of high-throughput in vitro screening data for identifying endocrine active compounds.
Dr. Browne completed a Doctoral degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Integrated Physiology at University of California, Davis in 2004 and a Masters in Marine Biology and California State University in 1995. She held postdoctoral research positions in Molecular Endocrinology in the Department of Population Health and Reproduction at UC Davis and in Neuroendocrinology in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at University of Washington. Throughout her career, Dr. Browne has been interested in helping to translate research science for decision-making applications.
Dr. Gavin Maxwell joined Unilever’s Safety & Environmental Assurance Centre (SEAC) in 2004, where he works in partnership with a variety of external organizations to support the adoption and use of New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) for Chemical Safety Assessment. Gavin has a scientific background in immunology & in vitro toxicology and has been involved in developing, evaluating, and applying NAMs for use in NGRA for Skin Sensitisation since the start of his Unilever career. He’s currently Industry co-chair for the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA) and vice chair for the Cosmetics Europe’s Science Committee and Long-Range Science Strategy (LRSS).
Ofelia Bercaru joined the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in 2009 being involved from the early days in setting up the REACH processes, in particular on hazard assessment. She is currently leading the Directorate for Prioritisation and Integration being responsible for the strategy for selecting substances for regulatory action under REACH, CLP and other legislation and development of computational tools for data collection and priority setting.
Ofelia has more than 20 years of experience in the field of chemicals management, being involved in a wide range of activities related to environmental monitoring, hazard and risk assessment. Before joining ECHA, she has been working in different positions in the European Commission and national research centres.
Ofelia holds a chemistry degree from the University of Bucharest and a PhD in chemistry from the Catholic University of Leuven.
Dr Tara Barton-Maclaren is the Research Manager of the Emerging Approaches Unit of Health Canada’s Existing Substances Risk Assessment Bureau. She has been contributing to human health risk assessments and methods development under Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan since 2007 following the completion of her BSc Honours from the University of Guelph in 2000 and her PhD in Reproductive Toxicology from McGill University in 2007. She is a leader in translational research bridging innovations in modern toxicology research and human health risk assessment and serves as the focal point for the development of new approach methods and strategies for the assessment of chemicals existing in the Canadian marketplace. To promote alignment for the use of modern toxicology and emerging technologies in regulatory applications, she contributes to international initiatives such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Accelerating the Pace of Chemical Risk Assessment (APCRA) and collaborates with leaders nationally and internationally in the fields of computational toxicology and integrated testing and assessment strategies.
Marina Pereira is a Regulatory Science Advisor at Humane Society International, promoting regulatory acceptance and corporate use of non-animal test methods and strategies, and the transition to a non-animal, pathway-based paradigm in toxicology. Before joining HSI, she was a regulatory affairs specialist with agrochemical and consumer goods companies, coordinating product compliance activities with multiple stakeholders for safety assessment and registration with regulatory authorities in the EU (primarily ECHA and EFSA). Marina has an MSc in Chemical Engineering.
Prof. Maurice Whelan is Deputy Director of the Directorate for Health, Consumers and Reference Materials of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and head of its Chemical Safety and Alternative Methods Unit, based in Ispra, Italy. He also heads the JRC’s EU Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing (EURL ECVAM). Maurice is the EU co-chair of the OECD Advisory Group on Molecular Screening and Toxicogenomics that is responsible for the OECD programme on Adverse Outcome Pathways; a member of the Steering Committee of the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA); and chair of the Regulatory Advisory Board of the European Organ-on-Chip Society (EUROoCS). His publications include over 200 scientific papers and a book on the validation of alternative methods for toxicity testing. He has held a number of external appointments including the 2017-2018 Francqui Chair for alternative methods at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB, Belgium) and is currently visiting Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Liverpool (UK).
Kevin is a national of Wales in the UK. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geochemistry and PhD in the management of Nuclear Waste from the University of Reading. He worked for 10 years in the waste management industry focusing on overseas operations linked to sound management of chemicals and waste from a wide variety of industries in all major geographical regions. He joined the UN system with FAO in 2000 and lead the work on management of obsolete pesticide, including development of an extensive set of technical guidelines and international training courses. He joined UNEP in 2014 and has lead the GEF Chemicals and Waste unit in the Economy Division, mobilizing over $240M of GEF resources working in over 130 countries . In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, running and going to the gym.
Uruguayan Diplomat working at the Permanent Mission of Uruguay to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva since 2018, in charge of the environmental file. Bureau Member of the 15th Conference of the Parties of the Basel Convention (COP-15) representing the Group of Latin America and Caribbean Countries (GRULAC) from May 2019 to June 2022. Bureau Member of the Fifth Session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM-5) representing the GRULAC, from April 2019 to September 2023.
David Azoulay (he/him) is the Managing Attorney of CIEL’s Geneva office and the Director of CIEL’s Environmental Health Program. David is a French attorney who studied public international law in France and Spain before specializing in environmental law. Before coming to CIEL, David was an associate Lawyer with Freshfields Bruckaus Deringer law firm, and a program coordinator with Friends of the Earth Europe.
David leads CIEL’s work on global chemical policy, nanotechnologies and Plastics. He has been actively engaged in strengthening global and EU chemical policy for over 13 years.
Dr Marlene Ågerstrand’s research focuses on understanding the science-policy interactions in risk assessment and management of chemicals. Aspects of interest include the evaluation of data for use in decision-making, the efficiency of management options, and the role of experts in decision-making. Together with colleagues at Stockholm University and Karolinska Institutet, she has developed the webtool SciRAP (www.scirap.org) which provides methods for the evaluation of toxicity and ecotoxicity studies for use in hazard and risk assessment of chemicals. Ågerstrand is a board member of IPCP (www.ipcp.ch). Twitter: @m_agerstrand
Sir Robert Tony Watson, CMG, FRS
My career has included scientific advisor in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, White House; chief scientist, World Bank; chief scientific advisor, UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; and strategic director for the Tyndall Center, University of East Anglia, UK. I have chaired, co-chaired or directed the WMO/UNEP stratospheric ozone depletion assessments, Global Biodiversity Assessment, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, UK National Ecosystem Assessment and its Follow-on, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Intergovernmental Assessment of Agricultural Scientific and Technology for Development, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, and UNEP’s Making Peace with Nature. Awards include a Knights Bachelor (2012), Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (2003); Fellow of the Royal Society (2011), member of the American Philosophical Society (2020), honorary member of the AMS (2021), UN Champion of the World for Science and Innovation (2014), the Asahi Glass Blue Planet Prize (2010).
Dr. Steve Binks joined the International Lead Association (ILA) as Regulatory Affairs Director in 2011, having previously worked as Director of Hazard Assessment & Communication at the Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. In his position at the Trade Association he is charged with understanding and influencing developing Global regulations impacting members operations in mining, primary manufacturing and recycling sectors.
He began his career at the Institute of Occupational Health in Birmingham researching the occupational carcinogenicity of nickel and chromium compound and has been employed in roles involving understanding and influencing policy and legislation since joining SC Johnson as European Product Safety Manager in 1991. He spent a decade as chair of the Regulatory forum for the European non-ferrous metals Trade Association, Eurometaux,- a platform established to assess EU legislative development impacting Associations and companies in the metals sector.