Our team

BSEF Belgium – Headquarters

Michael Hack

Secretary General

Michael Hack was appointed as Secretary General of BSEF in October 2021. He worked before in the FMCG, chemical, finance, health, circular economy, political tech, and start-up sector. He combines the experience as an inhouse lobbyist for 10 years, as the first Director of the European Chemical Regions Network for more than three years and as a partner and cofounder of a public affairs agency and senior consultant for five years.

In his free time Michael likes to travel and enjoys particularly exploring the nature of Northern Europe with his family and their camping van.

Bernadette Desobry

Administration & Service to Members

Bernadette is a multi-skilled person with a successful track record in supporting organisations in an international environment.   Entrepreneurial and proactive with good communication skills, she enjoys working in team and always welcomes the opportunity to explore new challenges.

She has a long and diverse experience in the mining industry, mainly in Base and Precious Metals, from sales of finished products to acquisition of custom feed, with worldwide contacts in complex environments.

She is a passionate traveller and will never miss a chance to discover new places or meet new people.   She loves sailing in the Mediterranean and skiing in the Alps but her greatest happiness is in family gathering.

Dr. Klaus Rothenbacher

Regulatory Affairs Advisor

Klaus Rothenbacher is a chemist with background in toxicology. He has more than 15 years’ experience in the field of brominated compounds and chemicals safety, including 10 years as Science Programme Manager at BSEF and then as Regulatory Affairs Advisor.

Prior to re-joining BSEF in February 2022 Klaus has been the Scientific Manager for the Precious Metals and Rhenium Consortium, mainly dealing with REACH registrations of precious metals.

In his free time (if any) Klaus has taken up brewing his own beer.

Patrick Fox

Head of Public Affairs & Advocacy

Patrick Fox is a public and regulatory affairs expert, with over 10 years’ experience, working with EU and international associations.

Having obtained a masters from Smurfit Graduate Business School in Dublin, Patrick moved to within FoodDrinkEurope, working on food policy issues, before joining the global service management consultancy, Kellen, in which he managed two Food Chemical & processing aids trade associations, as Secretary General.

At BSEF, Patrick has been strongly involved with international governmental and industry stakeholders and leads various Product policy related issues and fire safety priorities.

With a strong interest in water sports, Patrick can be found flying to coastal cities in Europe and further afield.

Dr. Thoralf Küchler

Regulatory Engagement Advisor

Thoralf Küchler is a consultant at BSEF. For more than 22 years the chemist worked in 4 world leading Life Science companies, where he gathered extensive crop protection, biotech, and issue management knowledge. After 9 years in regulatory, he moved on to PA & governmental affairs and communication leadership roles, where he was responsible for DACH and eastern European countries, leaving a relevant footprint in Brussels.

As spokesman of the German Glyphosate working group, he led a political and media campaign for the renewal of glyphosate in 2017. Recently, he worked at Bayer CropScience advocating for a modern and sustainable agriculture in Europe comprising modern technologies, including crop protection, new genomic techniques and digitization.

Thoralf enjoys reading books, listening to music, travelling, walking through nature and cities, and being with family and friends.

BSEF China

Harry Du

Secretary General

Harry Du has worked for more than 20 years in the fields of application, promotion and supervision of flame retardants. He has rich experience and unique insights on chemical supervision, especially laws and regulations related to flame retardants.

He has participated in the formulation and promotion of international and domestic flame retardant laws and regulations for many times, and has made great contributions to the protection and sustainable development of brominated flame retardants.

Erin Fan

Regulatory manager

Erin Fan has rich experience in regulatory management, and has more than 15 years of management experience and teamwork experience. Contributed to the construction of brominated flame retardants and protected the normal development of brominated flame retardants.

Christina Zang

Administration and Communication manager

Christina Zang has 10 years’ experience in administration and 5 years of solid experience in Public Relations. Responsible for planning the various activities of BSEF China, currently operating the public account of BSEF China.

BSEF Japan

Philip Howard

BSEF Japan Executive Sponsor - Managing Director & Co-founder of GR Japan, GR Korea and the GR Group

Philip has worked with business and government in East Asia, particularly Japan, for more than 20 years.  He is a former British diplomat, specialising in Asian affairs, and speaks fluent Japanese.

Before co-founding GR Japan, Philip was responsible for the Korea and Japan practice of a leading global strategy intelligence firm, advising multinationals on cross-border M&A, strategy and market entry.

He is a former head of government relations for a leading global pharmaceuticals firm in Japan, and has led many public affairs accounts and successful advocacy campaigns for multinational corporations, including chemical firms, in Japan.

Tomohiko (“Tommy”) Kinoshita

BSEF Japan Representative

Tommy is a former Member of the House of Representatives.  Before being elected to the House, he worked for Mitsui and Co., Ltd. for 18 years and was stationed in various countries to work on trade.

As a Diet member, he served consecutive terms on the Economy, Trade and Industry Committee in the House of Representatives.  Tommy was also a Director of the House of Representatives Cabinet Affairs Committee and active in several parliamentary leagues, including the Japan-EU Friendship Diet Members’ League, and the Japan-China Friendship Diet Members’ League.

Tommy graduated from Keio University, Faculty of Commerce, and is fluent in English.

Raju Thakrar

BSEF Japan HQ Liaison & General Support

During his 20-year career in Japan, Raju worked for some of Japan’s most prestigious companies.  He speaks fluent Japanese.

He utilised his chemistry degree from the University of Sussex in the UK while working at Nature, the world’s leading multidisciplinary science journal, to write about various leading-edge scientific developments.

Raju was a communications manager at Takeda, Japan’s largest pharmaceutical company, as well as Jatco, a Nissan tier-one subsidiary, providing him with in-depth knowledge of both the pharmaceutical and automotive sectors.

BSEF India

Karthik Shankar

Associate Vice President, Avalon Consulting

Karthik has over 11 years of cross-cultural and cross-functional advisory and implementation experience with Avalon Consulting. Karthik works extensively with leading business groups across India, Middle East and Africa, and has executed a number of engagements for clients in the chemicals, automobiles, agribusiness and technology space.

Karthik is an Engineer and MBA by education. He is passionate about history and loves reading books

Premchand C.

Partner/Executive Director, Avalon Consulting

Premchand has over 20 years of advisory experience with Avalon Consulting working with clients across multiple verticals including chemicals, automobiles, construction, agriculture, technology, and engineering.

Premchand brings to the table a proven track record for advisory and implementation in the areas of corporate strategy, advocacy, organization transformation, change management, performance scorecard and transaction support. Besides working extensively with large conglomerate and government clients in India and the Middle East, Prem has also advised various companies on their China and South East Asia strategy.

Premchand is an Engineer and MBA by education. He has previous experience in Supply Chain Operations in the Engineering sector and is a history buff with interests in cinema, philosophy and economics.

BSEF Brazil – ABICHAMA

Sylvio do Carmo

President of ABICHAMA

Graduated in Chemical Engineering from Escola Superior de Química Oswaldo Cruz, with postgraduate degrees in Administration and International Trade from Fundação Getúlio Vargas and in Economics from USP-Ribeirão Preto, Sylvio do Carmo has already worked in large companies in the chemical sector and, in 1992, he founded Neotrade Química, a company in which it operates until today.

Lilian Salim

Vice-President of ABICHAMA

Graduated in Chemical Engineering from FEI-Faculty of Industrial Engineering with Postgraduate Degree in Business Management and Product Administration from Fundação Getulio Vargas – GVPEC, Lilian Salim has 32 years of experience in the B2B market working in various areas such as: sales, marketing, development. products, regulatory affairs and others. Professional career developed in companies such as Ipiranga Quimica (currently QuantiQ) and multinationals such as DuPont, Arkema and Dow Quimica. Responsible since 2007 for the elaboration and creation of ICL IP Industrial Products Division for all South America, currently leads a sales and marketing team operating in all countries of the region.

Alexandre Vieira

Secretary of the Executive Board of ABICHAMA

Current Vice President of ABICHAMA, Alexandre Vieira holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from UNICAMP – State University of Campinas, and has over 15 years of experience in sales and marketing of chemicals to various international markets. In his professional career, Alexandre has worked at companies such as Croda do Brasil, Eastman Chemical Company, Nitriflex and is currently the sales manager for strategic LATAM accounts at Albemarle, a company where he has been working since 2006. Alexandre is also a postgraduate in Marketing from ESPM – School of Advertising and Marketing.

BSEF Korea

Philip Howard

BSEF Korea Executive Sponsor - Representative Director & Co-founder of GR Korea, GR Japan, and the GR Group

Philip has worked with business and government in East Asia, particularly Japan, for more than 20 years. He is a former British diplomat, specialising in Asian affairs, and speaks fluent Japanese.

Before co-founding GR Japan, Philip was responsible for the Korea and Japan practice of a leading global strategy intelligence firm, advising multinationals on cross-border M&A, strategy and market entry.

He is a former head of government relations for a leading global pharmaceuticals firm in Japan, and has led many public affairs accounts and successful advocacy campaigns for multinational corporations, including chemical firms, in Japan.

Kunhak Lee

BSEF Korea Representative

Kunhak Lee is a government affairs professional with experience of leading projects related to environmental policies and regulations including circular economy. Before joining GR Korea, he supported research analysis for Korea Studies team of Council on Foreign Relations, Washington D.C, and served as a policy staff to a former senior member of the National Assembly. He also worked as a campaign strategist during general elections and has been involved in presidential elections as a youth committee member.

Kunhak holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Relations from Yonsei University, and is fluent in English, Korean and French.

Doyoung Kweon

BSEF Korea Research Lead

Doyoung Kweon provides professional public policy analysis based on his deep understanding of mobility and IT industries. Before joining GR Korea, he served as a strategic communications consultant to a major automotive manufacturer. Also, he has experience in supporting a variety of government relations and corporate public relations projects at TikTok and Edelman. Since joining GR Korea, he has undertaken research and strategic consultancy for a global tech company and platform businesses.

Doyoung holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Relations from Yonsei University, and is fluent in English, Korean and Mandarin Chinese.