The European Cultural Foundation (ECF) has announced that its director, Katherine Watson, a member of the EFC Governing Council and Management Committee for many years and its Vice Chair until May this year, will retire on 1 January 2019. Having spent twelve years at ECF, initially as director of LabforCulture, and then for almost a decade as director, it was announced along with news of her successor, André Wilkens, who will take over as director starting on 15 November.

The ECF board has expressed its gratitude to Katherine Watson for her years of commitment, vision and warm leadership, with the deputy chair of the supervisory board, Rien van Gendt adding: ”Katherine’s unwavering commitment to the work of the Foundation has greatly enhanced its influence and success.”

Ms Watson’s successor, André Wilkens, joins ECF having previously worked at the Open Society Institute and Stiftung Mercator, with a wealth of knowledge in the foundation world and experience of advocacy on both a European and international level. ECF has stated that Mr Wilkens will bring experience of ”building a vibrant open society into the Foundation at a time when the 2019 theme which will determine and guide the Foundation’s activities is ‘Democracy needs imagination‘.”