• Honorary Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador
  • External & Governmental Affairs former Adviser to the CEO and COO, BNP Paribas

Fields of specialization:

  • Economic diplomacy
  • Corporate diplomacy

Short bio:

Over 30 years of experience in diplomacy, Lode Willems was the former Ambassador of Belgium to the United Nations and WTO in Geneva (1994-1997), to the UK (1997-2002) and Germany (2002-2006). He also served as the Belgian Deputy Permanent Representative to the European Union and the Chef de Cabinet to the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 2006 he joined Fortis and in 2009 BNP Paribas Fortis as Director for Governmental and External Affairs.

In April 2013 his British wife, Lindsay Edwards, and he created the translation and corporate diplomacy company EDWARDS & WILLEMS. He presently advises the CEO and COO of BNP Paribas Fortis.

Other mandates include Chairman of the International Relations Commission of the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FEB/VBO); Director, BASF Belgium; Director, Flanders Festival Brussels-Europe; and Co-Chairman, Belgo-British Conference.  He holds a BA in Political Science and International Relations from the Free University of Brussels (VUB) and an MA in Political Science from Yale University (USA).

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