3 New PAF Board Members in 3 Questions

Last spring we started looking for fresh blood to reinforce our board with new expertise and perspectives to advance our strategy.  Curious about their names and ideas? Here they are!


Yamina , how would you describe yourself in 3 words?

“Social entrepreneur- In 2015, I  launched a successful campaign for the full reimbursement of reconstructive surgery for breast cancer patients leading to a changed law and 9000 reimbursed reconstructions to date. Through the VUB Yamina Krossa Fund, we have also raised 600.000 euro for fundamental research into cancer vaccines.

Bridge-builder- I truly believe in the force of the network and I thrive on being a connector for people and organizations to discover synergies and strengthen each other. Because I love to encourage everyone to network at their own level, I’m currently co-writing a new book on the power of networking.

Force of creation. I take projects I am involved in or launch to the next level, and I will find the means and people to help accomplish the goal. I really have a knack for mobilizing and inspiring people to take action for a greater cause and it’s a trait I’m proud of.”

What is your link to the Prince Albert Fund and why do you feel passionate about our cause?

“Giving unique chances to eager young potentials and developing their talent is what drives me. It has been central in my work within the Boost for Talents community (part of the King Baudouin Foundation), and also in my previous role as coach at the ‘YAR Vlaanderen’ and the ‘Young Leaders – Inspiring Mentors- YLIM’ programs. When I first heard of the Prince Albert Fund, I instantly felt what an amazing opportunity this grant was to kickstart a career.”

What contributions do you hope to make to the future of PAF?

“I believe that, just like every board member, I can bring a unique blend of experiences to the table. My mix is that of a woman, an optimist, and a role model for youth coming from a migration and/or socially disadvantaged background. Having this lived experience, I’m in an ideal position to contribute to the PAF on topics such as equality and inclusion. Finally, being at the helm of Boost will allow me to build bridges and create synergies between the two largest talent programs of the King Baudouin Foundation.”


Katrien, how would you describe yourself in 3 words?

“Optimist. I have always been a glass-half-full person, looking on the bright side, trying to find the silver lining. Spending a lot of time in Silicon Valley has definitely made me even more optimistic. I tend to see opportunities instead of problems.

Innovator. I am a strong proponent of surrounding myself with and hearing different perspectives. Just because something is the way that it always was, or the way that I know it, doesn’t mean it is the best way for the current circumstances. Bringing diverging views together creates new ideas, solutions, and innovation, especially in a fast-changing world. For example, after noticing how much material waste a shoe design created, we didn’t just find another way to use those scraps after the fact. Instead, we came up with a novel design approach to optimize our designs for both aesthetics and minimal leather waste.

Zealous. Passion has always been an important driver for me. I do something because I care. I sign up wholeheartedly and make it work, figure it out, make the time if I am passionate about the cause or challenge. I’ll rarely go for the easier path. I get energy from working on projects I am passionate about, even with endless (work) hours put into it. For example, the work I do with organizations, schools, and universities to encourage girls to choose and pursue a career in STEM is something that drives me.”

What is your link to the Prince Albert Fund and why do you feel passionate about our cause?

“I was lucky enough to receive a Prince Albert Fund grant myself several years ago. That PAF year had a very big impact on my professional career but also on me as a person. I experienced firsthand the opportunities that the Prince Albert Fund creates as well as the legacy and professionalism of the organization.

Gaining international business experience and growing as a leader is an ambition for many young professionals. At the same time, many Belgian companies and organizations look for ambitious professionals to propel their international ambitions. As I see it, the Prince Albert Fund creates a win-win.”

What contributions do you hope to make to the future of PAF?

“The Prince Albert Fund’s reputation is carried on by every PAF candidate/laureate and PAF project/host company. Attracting talented young professionals from across the country with different backgrounds and a diverse portfolio of projects across sectors and industries is key to that equation. As I have been working across industries in the past decade, I hope I can help the Prince Albert Fund to expand their reach into the maybe less traditional silos and industries. With my entrepreneurial background, I hope to reinforce the Fund’s connection with the Belgian startup ecosystem. A lot of innovation is coming out of Belgian scale-ups, ready to conquer the world – a great fit for Prince Albert Fund projects.

On the other side, for selected candidates, the Prince Albert Fund is also often a first true entrepreneurial experience where getting out of their comfort zone is central to the journey. I hope my background as an entrepreneur can help to further enrich the different stages in the PAF trajectory for them.”


Paulina, how would you describe yourself in 3 words?

“Explorer: I have a deep passion for embracing challenges and immersing myself fully in diverse cultures through living in different parts of the world. Having called four continents and eight countries home, I identify as a global citizen.

Creative problem-solver: I’m truly passionate about pushing the boundaries of innovation and coming up with fresh, exciting solutions. Whether it was my time at the Prince Albert Fund, where I dug deep into problems to find solutions to how the vertical farming systems can be improved, or my roles at McKinsey and Mercadona, Spain’s biggest supermarket chain, where I worked on pioneering sustainable practices and enhancing the quality of food.

Positivist: My overall outlook on life (and our future) is optimistic, and I firmly believe in our ability to shape a brighter future by taking positive action. In addition to working on projects at work – mainly in Food and Agriculture – which I truly believe have a positive impact on our society, I’m often invested in volunteering projects. For example, I was part of the organization team of two Nature conservancy efforts at McKinsey Brussels by biking ~300 km in 2 days and personally supporting Ukrainians by finding new homes and jobs in Belgium since the beginning of the war.”

What is your link to the Prince Albert Fund and why do you feel passionate about our cause?

“As a 2019-2020 Prince Albert Fund laureate, I worked for Urban Crop Solutions (an AgTech startup) in the US, an experience that reshaped my view of entrepreneurship. This experience was nothing short of transformative; it not only broadened my horizons but also ignited a deep passion within me for entrepreneurship, innovation, and our future of food.

What drives my strong commitment to the PAF’s cause is the profound impact it has on individuals like myself. It empowers us to reach our potential, nurtures emerging Belgian talent, and contributes to the growth of our economy. Having personally witnessed the life-changing effects of this program, I’m wholeheartedly dedicated to giving back and supporting its mission.”

What contributions do you hope to make to the future of PAF?

“In my role within the PAF community, I aim to promote diversity, raise awareness, and enhance the laureate experience. I believe diversity enriches the program with fresh perspectives and I’m committed to finding ways to improve PAF candidates’ satisfaction and success during their year.”


Prince Albert Fund 2023 Board Composition:
A strong and balanced board to drive our strategy forward

Brieuc Van Damme
CEO King Baudouin Foundation

Emmanuel Caeymaex
EVP Immunology Head of US., UCB, Alumni 1994

Kristel Van den Bergh
MD, Prince Albert Fund, Alumni 2014

Robosa Gbinoba,
Global HR Director, World food program, United Nations

Olivier Joris
Director EU & International Affairs, VBO-FEB

Maarten Libeer,
Beleidsadviseur Europa & Internationaal, VOKA

Fahti Tlatli,
President Auto-Mobility, DHL,  Alumni 1988

Floriane Uyttenhove,
Marketing Director,IMERYS, Alumni 2014

Paulina Murrath
Consultant McKinsey & Co, INSEAD MBA, Alumni 2020

Katrien Herdewyn,
Entrepreneur at Elegnano, Alumni 2018

Yamina Krossa,
General manager Boost KBF; social entrepreneur


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