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Top Irish diplomat David O’Sullivan joins board of the King Baudouin Foundation
Former secretary-general of the EU Commission and EU ambassador to the United States, David O’Sullivan, has been appointed to the board of governors of the King Baudouin Foundation (KBF), Belgium’s leading philanthropy institution announced on Friday.
O’Sullivan becomes the first non-Belgian to sit on the board, reflecting the foundation’s growing international presence, which includes enabling donors to give to projects around the world. KBF has branches in the US and since 2017, in Canada.
The Irishman boasts a distinguished career in European public service. He was the first chief operating officer of the European External Action Service, the diplomatic arm that represented the European Union’s global ambitions when it was founded in 2010.
In addition to his extensive diplomatic experience, O’Sullivan can also thank his ability to converse in French and Dutch for helping secure his new role. One requirement for the two optional non-Belgian seats of KBF’s board include the need to understand Belgium’s two main languages.
Commenting on his new voluntary position, O’Sullivan said: “The King Baudouin Foundation has created a leading role for itself among innovators in philanthropy and I am excited about this opportunity to contribute to the work of the Foundation for which I have always had a very high regard.”
Founded in 1976, on the 25th anniversary of the reign of former Belgian monarch King Baudouin, the foundation currently makes over €96 million in grants annually, of which 16% goes to recipients in Europe across Belgium’s borders.