The International Co-operative Alliance Board has today appointed Bruno Roelants as the new Director-General. Mr Roelants will begin his new role in the coming weeks, succeeding Charles Gould who last year announced his decision to retire.
Bruno Roelants currently serves as Secretary General of CICOPA, the sectoral Organisation of the International Co-operative Alliance for industry and services – a role he has held since 2002. Under his leadership, membership of the organisation increased from 18 countries in 2002 to 32 countries in 2018.
Mr Roelants, who brings more than 30 years’ experience within the co-operative movement, will be the 16th Director-General of the Alliance which was founded in 1895.
Commenting on the appointment, Ariel Guarco, who was elected President of the Alliance in November, said: "We are very happy to have reached a consensus and have been able to choose between people of very high level. We believe that Bruno Roelants is a highly trained person with a broad experience in the cooperative movement that will allow him to carry out and play an excellent role".
In accepting the appointment Mr Roelants said: “I am humbled by your decision to appoint me to this position, and I commit myself to serve you as a Board, and the wider cooperative movement, as well as I can possibly can. It is a big honour, but more importantly, I am filled with enthusiasm at taking up this new position, just when a new President and a new Board have been elected”. “I will need the help of all of you in the International Co-operative Alliance. As with the smallest cooperative, you don’t get anywhere without cooperating”.
The Search Committee made the selection from a very strong pool of women and men from every region of the world, and was supported in the task by the Global Recruitment Specialists firm.
Bruno Roelants will succeed Charles Gould, who has been the International Co-operative Alliance’s Director-General since 2010, having worked with the board of directors on developing its Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade as well as increasing its influence within global policy-making bodies.
Commenting on his retirement, Mr Gould said: “The past seven years with the Alliance have been extremely fulfilling. It has been a real privilege to work with such a great staff team, board and members. I’m now looking forward to continuing to support the co-operative movement from a distance especially at this time when it has so much to offer to the world.”