Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle appointed head of EFSA

Following her unanimous appointment by the EFSA Management Board, Ms Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle will take up the post of Executive Director of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on 1 July 2006 for a 5-year term.

Stuart Slorach, chair of the Management Board, said: “I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle to the position of Executive Director. EFSA is at a critical stage in its development and I am confident that Catherine has both the professional and personal qualities required to lead the Authority through this important phase. Involved with EFSA since its creation, committed to the EU food safety system and experienced in managing food safety policy at EU and national levels, Catherine will consolidate and build on the Authority’s achievements in years to come.”

According to Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle “independence does not mean absence of dialogue”. The European Commission, the European Parliament and Member States need to rely on an independent and transparent risk assessment process as a basis for taking informed risk management decisions. Communications and co-ordination between risk assessors and risk managers are key to achieving this goal.

Commenting on her appointment, Ms. Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle affirmed: “I very much look forward to joining EFSA and to help this young organisation consolidate its strengths and build a successful future. I will seek to encourage dialogue at all levels. Streamlining the Authority’s work will also be a key focus: much can be gained for the European public by networking with Member States to handle the heavy scientific workload and face potential budgetary constraints. I am committed to enhancing the transparency of the Authority’s working processes and to keeping the public informed through effective risk communications.”

Notes to editors

Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle is currently Regional Director of Agriculture and Forestry for the Ile de France region and one of the two Vice-Chairs of EFSA Management Board. Prior to this, she was Director-General of Food of the French Agriculture Ministry where she was responsible, from 2000 to 2003, for the management of health risks related to food, animal health and welfare and plant protection as well as risk communications. She has also worked for the European Commission in the area of risk management and risk assessment from 1991 to 1993. Active at the international level, she has served as Chair of the Codex Alimentarius Committee on General Principles in 2001 and 2002.

Media contacts