Ending a long hunt to find a suitable candidate, the International Co-operative Alliance Board appointed Bruno Roelants as the new Director-General on Thursday. Roelants who succeeds Charles Gould will begin his new role in the coming weeks, reads a press release mailed by Leire Luengo, Director of Communications, ICA.
An old hand at ICA, Roelants currently serves as Secretary General of CICOPA, the sectoral Organisation of the ICA for industry and services. Under his leadership, membership of the organisation increased from 18 countries in 2002 to 32 countries in 2018, the release claims.
Roelants will be the 16th Director-General of the Alliance. The press release is silent on his nationality.
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”.
On his elevation to the top post 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.
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. Balu Aiyer, Regional Director of ICA Asia-Pacific is also believed to be one of the candidates, sources add.
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: “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.”