The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has appointed Iris Van der Veken (pictured) as its executive director, the group announced in a statement.
She will be the London-based certifying organization’s first female head. She replaces Andrew Bone, the former De Beers executive who led the group for four years, until last month. He announced his desire to step down last year.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Van der Veken’s experience includes two years as director, public affairs and international policy, for the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre. She also worked as chief operating officer for Antwerp, Belgium, fashion house Ann Demeulemeester; director of advisory strategy for corporate social responsibility for Signet Jewelers; and manager of corporate affairs for diamond company Rosy Blue.
During her time in the United Arab Emirates, she worked to align industry programs with minerals guidance from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and develop awareness of the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles.
“The RJC’s mission has never been more relevant for today’s consumers and the industry,” Van der Veken said in the RJC statement. “As the industry changes, we can ensure that manufacturers, retailers, and consumers are educated about the importance of responsible sourcing in all minerals. Across our diverse supply chain, I know that our members can continue to have further positive impacts on the communities around their operations, and believe in the significant contribution RJC can make as a leading standards organization and its commitment to do so.”
In the same statement, RJC chairman David Bouffard called Van der Veken “a strong, dynamic, and value-driven leader, and her wealth of experience and expertise will be tremendously beneficial in strengthening our strategic decision-making and ensuring the organization continues to deliver against our ambitious objectives for the next several years.”
The RJC claims 1,100 members in 73 countries.
(Image courtesy of the Responsible Jewellery Council)