Kurt Vandenberghe is deputy head of the cabinet of Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Research and Development. He is in charge of coordinating the research area and the EU research framework programme. Previously, he was a member of the cabinet of European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin, where he was in charge of life sciences, biotechnology, public health, space policy, transport, science and society issues, ethical questions and press and communication. Kurt joined the European Commission in 1996 as coordinator of the Commission’s Intermodal Transport Task Force and of the Transport Research Programme. He subsequently was coordinator of DG Transport’s relations with the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of Regions.
Before entering the Commission, Kurt worked for 4 years as a manager at Ernst & Young Association Management, where he set up, managed and represented international trade associations. Assignments included FreightForward Europe, a lobby group of the world’s nine largest freight forwarding companies, and the US automotive components industry.
After reading French and Italian literature at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) and obtaining a degree in Public and International Affairs at the University Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve (UCL), Kurt gained a Master of Arts degree in International Relations at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (S.A.I.S.) in Bologna, Italy and Washington D.C., US.
With a couple of friends, Kurt created and steers the Flemish Foundation for Quality Journalism (Fonds Pascal Decroos voor Bijzondere Journalistiek) and the VZW Scriptieprijs. He is Vice-President of the Brussels chapter of SAIS Johns Hopkins Alumni.