Brussels, September 05, 2022 – Hill+Knowlton Strategies Belgium (H+K), one of the leading integrated communications and public affairs agencies in the country, is pleased to announce the appointment of Karel Van Eetvelt as new CEO. With the arrival of one of the most experienced advocacy professionals in Belgium, H+K further delivers on its purpose, which is to provide highest quality public affairs and public relations advisory services for the projects that really matter to clients. These include companies, industry associations, NGOs and public bodies who seek help on issues in the EU and in Belgium.
Karel Van Eetvelt brings extensive experience in federation management, stakeholder engagement and strategic communications to the H+K Strategies Brussels team and its clients. He has led advocacy organisations for well over two decades, heading an association in the construction industry (Bouwunie) between 2000 and 2004, the Flemish association for the self-employed, UNIZO, from 2004 to 2017 and the Belgian federation of the financial sector, Febelfin from 2017 to 2020. Most recently he worked as an advisor for Deloitte and before that managed the RSC Anderlecht football club. This experience is based on intense engagement with Belgian, international and EU policies and decision-making. With this background, Karel will have an immediate added value for the PR and PA strategies of H+K’s clients', as he helps them navigate the Belgian and European policy and communications landscapes.
In addition to his client advisory role, Karel will manage day-to-day operations of the Brussels office and coach the diverse and multi-lingual H+K team of policy and communications professionals. Karel’s arrival perfectly fits the purpose of H+K Strategies Belgium, which is to deliver outstanding public affairs and communications strategies and to execute these for clients on the projects that really matter to them - be it by enhancing their reputation, advocating for policy change or guiding them through M&A or restructuring processes.
Melanie Faithfull Kent, Senior Vice President Continental Europe at H+K Strategies: “We are very happy to share this news today. With his long track record, unique advocacy experience advocacy and strong communications skills, Karel will further strengthen our client servicing and H+K leadership in Brussels and throughout our European and global network.”
Karel Van Eetvelt, newly appointed CEO at H+K Strategies Belgium: “Our world is going through many different transitions that are having a big impact on a lot of companies. This makes the role of a strategic communications consultant as H+K more crucial than ever. I am particularly attracted by H+K’s focus on integrity and their desire to help build a sustainable society through their activities. I’m really excited to be working with the young and dynamic team at H+K Belgium to help many companies and organisations on their way to a bright and sustainable future.”.
Thomas Tindemans, Chairman of the Board at H+K Strategies Brussels: “We are delighted to welcome Karel on board. His familiarity with Belgian and international decision making is a clear plus for our clients, but his strong people and coaching capacity as well as his outspoken emphasis on integrity particularly stood out to us. His experience, dynamism and enthusiasm further enhances our team’s excellence. He will ensure the continuity of our integrated public affairs and communications offering while adding fresh views and new know-how.”
Karel Van Eetvelt’s appointment came into effect on September 1, 2022. He took over the baton of CEO of H+K Strategies Brussels from Melanie Faithfull Kent, who has led the Brussels operations for 6 years and will now focus on her role as CEO for Europe and her client advisory work in the Brussels team.