International Advisory Council

Birgit Otto

Birgit Otto has a wide experience in Aviation and the logistics world. After her studies at Wageningen (propedeuse environmental sciences) and Groningen ( Business & Management), she started in 1989 as a management trainee at Royal Nedlloyd, a worldwide logistics service provider. In this company she gathered experience in commercial and general management positions in various Nedlloyd companies in the Netherlands and abroad.
In 2001 she joined the Royal Schiphol Group. She was Director of various business units (Airport Operations, Assetmanagement and Design&Review) and the last 8 years at Schiphol she was the Vice President & COO. In this last position she was also in the Executive Board of ACI Europe and she was chair of various industry platforms like Safety Review Board and Security Board. Besides this she was a member of the Next Generation Infrastructure Board, Holland International Distribution Country Board and Dutch Digital Logistics Strategy Board.
At this moment Birgit is a Supervisory Board member of Transavia, Royal IHC, Handelsveem BV/Steinweg, Royal Flora Holland, Kika and FBO.

Mark Bentall

Academic Achievements:
Dr Mark Bentall graduated from the University of Brighton with a Master of Engineering (MEng) in Electronic & Computer Engineering and Business Management. He went on to the University of Wales (Cardiff) to be awarded his Doctorate Ph.D. in Telecommunications.

Starting his professional career at GEC Marconi Avionics flight control systems, Mark progressed to Nortel working on military communications systems. He later led Engineering Governance and Compliance for Airbus Defence and Space using his expertise in technical risk assessment on multi-national military projects, REACH & Environmental Engineering, Free and Open Source Software and Product Security. Mark was also the Chief Engineer for major Government ICT projects.
Following several roles leading Technology Operations for the Airbus Group, Mark took on his current role as Head of Airbus R&T Programme where, as a globally operational technologist, Mark is responsible for the Airbus Research and Technology portfolio for all businesses, ensuring alignment with the company’s strategic goals. The portfolio includes internal activities and external engagements with academia, institutional research organisations and industry partners. Mark is also responsible for alignment with relevant National and European research frameworks.

Bart Biebuyck

Bart Biebuyck is CEO and founding member of the Green Energy Park Krk, a unique midstream facility on the island of Krk in the North Adriatic Sea. Under his leadership, it aims to handle 10 million tons of renewable ammonia shipped from several places in the world. An investment of over 0.5 billion Euros is expected and the ambition is to start operations from July 2027.
Before that, Bart Biebuyck was at the Fuel Cell department of Toyota Motor Europe where he held the position of Technical Senior Manager. His expertise in the automotive industry includes extensive knowledge related to the deployment of new technologies in the European market. It is as part of the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) programme in Berlin that Bart worked at reinforcing European trials for the Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicle. He also had the opportunity to develop and expand his expertise in Japan, where he worked for two years.
In addition to his industrial experience, Bart has been politically active in his local town since 2006. In 2013 he became the vice president of the City Council, responsible, among others, for the local economy and education.
In 2016, he was appointed as the Executive director of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, now called the Clean Hydrogen Partnership – a public-private partnership between the European Commission, the industry and the research community. It aims at facilitating the deployment of fuel cells and hydrogen technologies in Europe. During his seven-year term, a strong emphasis on cooperation with cities and regions led to the creation of the European Hydrogen Valleys Partnership with around 40 European regions. Dissemination of project results, building technology awareness and enhanced basic research became his key focus points. He is the creator of the Hydrogen Valleys concept, the European Hydrogen Week and the European Hydrogen Bank. He successfully negotiated the 2.0 billion Euro European “Clean Hydrogen Partnership” which was launched by the President of the European Commission in November 2021.

Sébastien Dubois

Sébastien Dubois is the Head of Programme Development for the Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking, a Public-Private Partnership and the European Union’s leading Research and Innovation programme for steering aviation towards a sustainable and climate-neutral future.
Sébastien is responsible for defining, in coordination with members of Clean Aviation, the programming of the strategic content of the Joint Undertaking, for developing robust programme content in order to deliver expected impact and benefits by 2035, and to establishing synergies with other European and international organisations. He is also tasked with overseeing all Communications activities.
Prior to taking on his current role earlier this year, Sébastien held a number of positions such as Head of Programmes (2019-2023), and Project Officer (2010-2019) for Clean Aviation’s predecessor, the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking. Since 2010, he specialised in a wide range of fields from Helicopters to Short Medium Range aircraft, on top of the programmatic aspects.
Previously, he spent 13 years working in French Industry notably for the Thales Group, in various positions, including Head of Research and Innovation for commercial aircraft (2006-2010), Programme Manager for Radar and Electronic Warfare Systems for Combat Aircraft (2002-2006) and Radar Product Line Manager (1997-2002).
Sébastien holds a Master of Science in Electronics from Ecole Centrale de Marseille, France.

Alain Leroy

Alain Leroy graduated as French aeronautical engineer and pilot in 1986. He first joined the French Ministry of Defense where he was in charge of research and development programs for the Air force training fleet including the first experiments of stall and spin resistant light airplane concepts. He then moved to various assignments in the French Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile before staying nine years with the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA), where he played an important role in developing the first European “joint certification system” with the JAA member states.
After one year in Sofréavia, a French aeronautical consulting company, where he was heading the airworthiness and Operational branch supporting African and Southeast Asian aviation authorities, he joined the European Aviation Safety Agency in 2004 as head of the Product Certification Department responsible for aviation product airworthiness and environmental certification. He was then nominated Head of the Large Airplane Department before becoming Deputy Certification Director, and since January 2021 Chief Engineer advising the EASA Executive Director, and leading Innovation in EASA as well as the expert’s technical line.
In parallel, Mr Leroy has also been very active in flying, he joined the French Aerobatic Team in the early 90’s and participated in the first three world aerobatic gliders championships. He still owns a Pitts S2B aerobatic airplane.

Ric Parker

Dr. Richard (Ric) Parker is an independent Special Advisor, working with various companies and institutions in the fields of technology strategy and technology transfer. He is a consultant to A*STAR, Singapore, Chairman of the Singapore Aerospace Programme and Chairman of the Singapore Low carbon Energy Research programme TC. He is a Distinguished Visitor at the UK National Physical Laboratory.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and a Fellow of the City & Guilds of London Institute. Dr. Parker is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Engineers. He is a visiting Professor in Aerospace and Transport Technology at Loughborough University, a visiting Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College, London and an Honorary Professor in Materials Engineering at Birmingham University, UK.
Dr. Parker was appointed Director of Research & Technology, Rolls-Royce Group in January 2001 and retired in April 2016. He was responsible for direction and co-ordination of Research & Technology programmes across all the Rolls-Royce businesses, worldwide. He joined Rolls-Royce in 1978 and has held various posts including Chief of Composites and Ceramics, Managing Director – Compressor Systems and Director of Engineering & Technology, Civil Aerospace.
He gained a CBE for Services to Engineering in the 2013 new year’s honours list and was European CTO of the Year in 2014. In 2015, he won the Royal Aeronautical Society Gold Medal. In 2019, the Council of European Aerospace Societies (CEAS) recognised him as the Engineer of the Year and presented him with their Gold Medal.
Dr. Parker gained a BSc in Physics at Imperial College, London in 1975 and an MBA with distinction at Loughborough University in 1992. He has Doctorates (honoris causa) in Science and Engineering from Pusan National University, Korea and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; and from Imperial College, Loughborough University, Sheffield University, Heriot Watt University and Edinburgh University in the UK.
Ric is married with two grown-up daughters and has homes in Derby and Nine Elms, London in the UK.

Gioia Venturini

Gioia started her carrier back in 2000 at FINMECCANICA (today LEONARDO) headquarters in Rome as project manager for international affairs. She then joined the aeronautics-focused consulting company CEIS (todays Forward Global) where she held the position of deputy director for business development, dealing with business intelligence and comparative economic analysis. The next move was towards EADS (today AIRBUS) at the international directorate where she was senior manager for Europe and Africa for large risk-sharing programs (A400M) and general secretary of the EuroMALE (UAV platform) Steering Committee. After four years in this position, Gioia transitioned into the space sector to join ARIANESPACE (today part of ARIANEGROUP) as sale director for governmental and commercial sales in Europe and Africa for the three operational launchers (Ariane 5/Vega/Soyuz) at the time. In 2012, she is appointed senior vice president for Europe, Russia, CIS, Turkey and sub-Saharan Africa at SAFRAN headquarters within its international directorate to support large commercial campaigns and run the foreign Safran offices in her perimeter. Since 2017, she is holding the position of Director for European R&T programs and R&T international cooperation at SAFRAN’s directorate for strategy, R&T and innovation (DSTI). She is notably in charge of the SAFRAN participation to the Clean Aviation EU research program since its inception and is actively involved in the Governing Board and Technical Committee of Clean Aviation.
Gioia is member of the European Aeronautics Science Network (EASN) advisory board and speaks English, Italian, French and Spanish. She excels in multilateral, multidisciplinary international negotiations with a clear aim to implement policies, strategies, programs and funding.
Gioia is also member of the Elles Bougent association, promoting the place of young women in technical sectors and belongs to the civilian reserve of the French Gendarmerie Nationale.
Gioia graduated, among others, from Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA -Paris, France) and Sciences Po Paris (Institut d’Etudes Politiques of Paris, France). She holds a specialized Master degree in International Management and a Master in Public Administration (MPA). She underwent a PhD level training in sociology of usage applied to artificial intelligence at university Paris-Dauphine (PSL –Paris, France).
Gioia is married, mother of twins and a painter in her spare time.

Henk Volberda

Prof. Dr. Henk W. Volberda is Professor of Strategic Management & Innovation at Amsterdam Business School of the University of Amsterdam and leads the Innovation & Digital group of the Strategy & IB section. Moreover, he is Scientific Director of the Amsterdam Centre for Business Innovation. His research focuses on various themes such as hyper-competition, technological disruption, new business models, strategic flexibility, management innovation and new forms of organisation.
Volberda holds various executive and advisory positions. He is a member of the supervisory board of NXP Semiconductors Netherlands, member of the supervisory board and Apollo Tyres Netherlands, and member of the scientific advisory committee of the Netherlands Defence Academy. In addition, he is an expert member of the World Economic Forum and a fellow of the European Academy of Management. Previously, he was, among other things, vice-dean of the Rotterdam School of Management of Erasmus University and chair of the Department Strategic Management, board member of the Netherlands Centre for Social Innovation and Vice-President Research of the European Academy of Management (EURAM).
Volberda is a member of the editorial board of, among others, the Journal of Strategy and Management, Journal of Organization Design, Long Range Planning, Management and Organization Review, Organization Studies, Strategic Change, Asia-Pacific Journal of Management Research and Innovation, Holland Management Review and Maandblad voor Accountancy en Bedrijfseconomie. Volberda has held visiting scholarships at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and at Bayes Business School in London.
Volberda is the author of numerous books, including his new textbook Strategic Management: From Confrontation to Transformation (Sage, 2024). Some of his other well-known titles that have received international acclaim are Building the Flexible Firm: How to Remain Competitive (Oxford University Press 1998), which has been published in several languages, and Rethinking Strategy (Sage, 2001). His book Reinventing Business Models: How Firms Cope with Disruption (Oxford University Press, 2018) has been awarded with the Best Book Award of the European Academy of Management. He also published Strategic Renewal: Core Concepts, Antecedents, and Micro Foundations (Routledge, 2019) and more recently The New Professional Service Firm (Springer, 2022).

Simon Weeks

Professor Simon Weeks, CEO, Simon Weeks Consultancy Limited
Professor Simon Weeks provides NED and technology consultancy services from his own business. He is a member of the Innovate UK Council and the DfT College of Experts. He is a Non-Executive Director of the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership. Previously, he was the Chief Technology Officer for the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), accountable for technical direction of the UK’s national aerospace technology strategy and £5Bn+ programme. Before that, Simon held senior engineering & technology roles with Rolls-Royce, including Global Head of Aerospace Research & Technology, Director of Engineering Operations for Aero Engine Controls and Technical Director for Eurojet, where he led the development of the EJ200 engine for the Eurofighter Typhoon. Simon is a Visiting Professor in Engineering Science at Oxford University and In Sustainability Technology at Loughborough University. He is a chartered engineer and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.