Alliance staff


Charles "Chuck" Gould (American) 

Charles Gould has served as Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of the International Co-operative Alliance since September 2010. The Alliance is the global association promoting the co-operative enterprise model. Its members in 100 countries represent close to 1 billion individual co-operators world wide. In addition to its global headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, the Alliance also works from four regional offices in Nairobi, Kenya; New Delhi, India; San José, Costa Rica; and Brussels, Belgium; and through eight sectoral organisations for Banking, Insurance, Agriculture, Fisheries, Consumers, Housing, Health, and Industrial & Services.

Prior to his appointment, Charles Gould served as Chief Executive Officer of Volunteers of America, a health care, housing and human services organisation in the United States. Headquartered in Washington D.C., he provided leadership to its 16,000 staff and oversaw an annual budget of USD 1 billion. In each of the last five years of his administration, he was recognised as one of the fifty most influential leaders in the United States non-profit sector. He served as a member of the board of the American Society of Association Executives, and of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aged.

Before joining Volunteers of America, Mr. Gould practised as an attorney-at-law with Arnold & Porter and with Hogan & Hartson US law firms in Washington D.C. He has a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from the University of Minnesota Law School (USA), and a Master of Studies (MSt) in International Human Rights Law from Oxford University (United Kingdom).

Mr. Gould has spoken often on the issues of housing, long-term health care and human services. His article “The Right to Housing Recovery after Natural Disasters” was published in the Harvard Human Rights Journal.

email: | phone: +32 2 743 10 32 | skype: ica_gould 

Director of Policy

Rodrigo Gouveia (Portuguese)

Rodrigo Gouveia joined the Alliance as the Director of Policy in January 2014. His main role in this position is to represent the Alliance to the global institutions such as the G20, United Nations and its specialized agencies. He is also responsible for the coordination of the Alliance's sectoral organizations. Before that he was the Secretary General of Euro Coop from May 2006. He also worked for nine years in the consumer cooperative movement in Portugal. He holds a degree in Law from the University of Lisbon and postgraduate degrees in Consumer Law and Public Economic Regulation both from the University of Coimbra. Besides his experience in the consumer cooperatives’ movement he also practised law and was a teacher in the Higher School for Business Sciences in Setubal (Portugal).

email: | phone: +1 202 442 2326

Director of Membership

Gretchen Hacquard (American)

Gretchen Hacquard joined the ICA in 2006 and is currently the Director of Membership and co-ordinator for the ICA Youth Network.   Gretchen comes from the US co-operative movement and was a youth representative to the ICA.  For five years, she was Legislative Director of the U.S. Overseas Co-operative Development Council (OCDC) where she represented co-operative members with various domestic and international government bodies.  She also worked for NRECA International Foundation and Land O`Lakes International Development Programmes.  Ms. Warner has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Montana State University (USA); and a Masters degree in International Affairs from American University’s School of International Service (USA). 
email: | phone: +41 22 534 99 29 | skype: ica_hacquard

Director of Communications

Jan Schiettecatte (Belgian)

Jan Schiettecatte is a policy communications professional with 20 years of media relations experience in food and health, technology, development, public service and energy. Jan Schiettecatte joined the Alliance in September 2013. Prior to his appointment, Jan was communications manager at Meda Pharma, and Philips Electronics, account director at Brussels PR consultancies serving the EU public sector, and strategic planner at advertising agency Grey. Jan Schiettecatte manages the Alliance’s Blueprint communications plan, with a special focus on co-operation with the Alliance’s regions and sectors and on public advocacy. Jan holds an MA in Communication Science from Brussels Free University and works from the Alliance’s Brussels office.

E-mail: | Office: +32 2 743 10 30 | Mobile: +32 478 84 51 30

Director of Strategy

Hanan El-Youssef (Syrian)

As Director of Strategy, Hanan El-Youssef ensures that we achieve our initiatives to further the Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade. She has prior experience in Belgium, Lebanon, Syria, and the United States – in co-operatives, field and advocacy work in international development, and association management. Hanan earned a double BA in Comparative Literature and Spanish from Bryn Mawr College (USA) and a MSc in International Economic Development from the University of Pavia (Italy). She speaks English, French, Spanish, and Arabic.

email: skype: ica_elyoussef

Agricultural Advisor

Hong Chul Joo (Korean)

Hong Chul Joo is the Alliance's incoming agricultural advisor. Before proceeding to his new post, he worked as a manager in the future strategy department at the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation which is located in Republic of Korea. During the time he worked in a local branch, he was in charge of dealing credit transactions. After he moved to the headquarters, his main work was planning strategies and designing promotions. He will be dispatched from NACF and scheduled to work at the Alliance for 2years. He majored in science of public admistration in Chungnam National University. 


Accounting Manager

Véronique Bénet (French)

Véronique Bénet joined the Alliance in January 2015 to serve as the Alliance's staff Accountant. Based in Brussels, Véronique provides overall administrative support to the ICA Global Office. Prior to this assignment she worked in international companies in Paris and Brussels. Véronique is a French native with an accounting degree and over twenty years of accounting experience. Véronique's experience includes five years at the Paris office of the Deloitte accounting firm partner and ten years with another accounting firm in Paris, where she was external accountant for a number of firms. She also participated in legal audits of nonprofit organisations. Most recently, she was Senior Accountant for a French business, where she handled the full range of accounting responsibilities.

email: | phone: +32 (0) 2 743 10 31 

Assistant to the Director-General 

Antonina Guarrella (Italian)

Antonina Guarrella joined the ICA in November 2011 as Project Administrator.  She began working in the co-operative movement in 1982. In 1984, Antonina joined the European Confederation of Workers' Co-operatives, Social Co-operatives and Social and Participative Enterprises - (CECOP) where she especially appreciated the broad range of activities and work she was involved in and the very dynamic professional environment.  In 2006, after 22 years, she left CECOP for the newly created Cooperatives Europe, the European Regional Office of the ICA. 

email: | phone: +32 (0) 2 743 10 30 | skype: ica_guarrella

Regional Director - Americas

Manuel Mariño (Costa Rica)

Manuel Mariño joined ICA's family as ROAM's Regional Director in October 2001. Before joining ICA, he was the Director of the Swedish Co-operative Centre (SCC) Regional Office located in San José, Costa Rica for four years (1996-2000). The SCC is a Swedish organisation constituted by the Swedish co-operative movement, which is focused in international co-operation and offers support to co-operatives in developing countries. Mr. Mariño has also worked at SCC Head Office in Stockholm, Sweden from 1984 to 1996. He was the Director of the Latin American Department and was also responsible for projects in Kenya and Zimbabwe and the relations with the European Union, Inter-American Development Bank, and UN among others. He has an expertise in project development and co-operation. Mr. Mariño has published two books 'Commercialisation of agricultural products in Mozambique, ASDI', in September 1984 and 'International Co-operation and Co-operative Development' and has written various articles on many topics. He has also been invited as a speaker to seminars, conferences on co-operative issues in Europe and the Americas. 

Regional Director - Africa

Dr Chiyoge Sifa (Democratic Republic of Congo)

Dr Chiyoge Buchekabiri Sifa is from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Her experience with co-operative movement dates back to the 1990s when she was working as management trainee with the Central Co-operative for Savings and Credits (COCCEC-KIVU) in Bukavu, Zaire. More recently, she was engaged with the movement in developing strategic plan for co-operatives in Kenya, as deputy director in charge of co-operative capacity building and training with the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT) in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Most recently, she was director, Cooperatives Program at the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation agency (ATA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In that capacity, she spearheaded the development of a five-year sector development strategy for agricultural cooperatives in Ethiopia that entailed consultations with diverse range of stakeholders.

She hold PhD in Strategic Management from University of Nairobi  and has taught for more than five years at various universities within Africa where she was involved in both administrative and academic duties as member of the senate, chair of the MBA program and external examiner for MBA projects. Before joining academia, she worked with both private and public organizations at various levels from both for profit making and non-profit making enterprises across industries and countries.


Regional Director - Asia-Pacific

Mr. Balasubramanian (‘Balu’) Iyer (Indian)

Mr. Iyer was born and educated in India, receiving a degree in Civil Engineering from the National Institute of Technology at Durgapur, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Management from the Institute of Rural Management at Anand, India. Mr. Iyer worked in India in co-operative development before moving abroad to work on Asian regional concerns for overseas agencies, and in particular in Bangladesh, Nepal and the Philippines, as well as India. Most recently he worked on Asian development projects for the Asia Foundation, headquartered in the United States. Mr. Iyer speaks Bengali, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, as well as English.

Regional Director - Europe

Agnès Mathis (French)

Ms Mathis, a French national, has worked in the co-operative movement for more than 20 years. After being responsible for European Affairs at Febecoop (the Belgian federation of co-operatives), in 2006 she took over the position of deputy director at Cooperatives Europe, where she was responsible for advocacy and institutional relations. Ms Mathis was appointed Regional Director in June 2016. 




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