EVI Appoints New Executive Director

The Board of Directors of the European Vaccine Initiative (EVI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Ole Olesen, PhD, as the organisation’s new Executive Director as of 1st of January 2020. Hilde Depraetere, PhD, who is acting Executive Director will become Director of Operations.

“I would like to warmly welcome Ole to his new position at EVI”, said Dr Clemens Kocken, Chairman of the Board. “His extensive knowledge of global health issues coupled with years of experience in product development, networking and international research collaborations make him well positioned to consolidate and expand our activities in an ever-changing landscape”

Dr Depraetere, who has served as acting executive director over the last 9 months, will continue her role as Director of Operations. “I am really looking forward to work together with Dr. Olesen and I am confident that together we will be able to strengthen the position of EVI as facilitator in the development of vaccines for poverty related and emerging diseases.“

Currently Director of International Cooperation at the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), Dr. Olesen brings a broad and integrative perspective of global health research and vaccine development from academia, industry and the European public sector. 

“I am excited about this opportunity to work with the EVI team and their tremendous partners to discover and develop new vaccines against poverty-related diseases” said Ole. “Vaccines are the most effective tool to combat infectious diseases, both in terms of cost and disease prevention, and developing new and improved vaccines remains a top priority in global health”

Before joining EDCTP in 2013, Dr Olesen was Principal Scientific Officer at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research & Innovation. Prior to this, he served for 10 years in the pharmaceutical industry in different leadership roles in drug and vaccine discovery.   Dr Olesen received his PhD degree from the University of Aarhus in Denmark and pursued scientific training in Cambridge, UK. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and serves as affiliated professor at the Department of Public Health at Copenhagen University.