Advisory Group Members

Mr. Piet Moerland
Chairman Executive Board Rabobank Nederland


Piet Moerland

Mr. Moerland is a banker and authoritative scholar in the field of corporate finance and corporate governance. He has served as a member of the Executive Board of Rabobank Nederland since 2003, in 2009 he was appointed as Chairman. Outside Rabobank, Mr. Moerland serves as President of the European Association of Co-operative Banks, Member of the Board of Directors of the International Raiffeisen Union and Member of the Board of the Dutch Co-operative Council for Agriculture and Horticulture.



Mrs. Maria Arantzazu Lascurain
General Secretary of Mondragon Corporation


Maria Arantzazu 

Mondragon Corporation is the biggest business group in the Basque country and 10th in the ranking of the Spanish companies, with more than 84,000 people. The Corporation is a federation of worker cooperatives and founded in the town of Mondragón in 1956.

She was General Consumer Manager of the Eroski Group, Chairman of the Spanish Confederation of Consumer Cooperatives (HISPACOOP) and director of Fundacion Eroski until 2009.

It is a very diversified group with 255 companies and entities operating in 4 areas: financial, industrial, distribution and knowledge, and it is present in more than 70 countries, with 77 production plants and 9 corporate offices.

With technological innovation and integration as the driving forces behind its development (14 research and development centres of its own and 716 invention patents).


Mr. Jack Wilkinson
President of ex-IFAP, now World’s Farmers Organization


Jack Wilkinson 

Jack Wilkinson has been a leader within the farming community for the past thirty years with provincial, federal and international farm organizations. He has been recognized for his contribution with an honourary doctorate from the University of Guelph and as an inductee to the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame. Since serving three terms as the President of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers, he has focussed on cooperatives; as a Director of Nipissing-Sudbury Co-op and a Director of Co-operators Insurance.
He was most recently named as one of three farm representatives to the UN Year of The Co-Op Committee 2012.

He continues to farm with his wife Julie in Northern Ontario. 


Ms. Dame Pauline Green
President of the International Co-operative Alliance


Dame Pauline Green 

Dame Pauline Green has worked within the co-operative movement in the UK and globally for the last 25 years. Before being elected as President of the ICA, she was the Chief Executive Officer of Co-operatives UK, the apex body for co-ops in the UK. During that time she was one of 12 members of the Co-operative Commission established by the British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2000, which is largely credited with setting out the vision and recommendations that have led to the renaissance of the UK co-operative movement in the last ten years. During that time she also served the ICA as Co-President of the European Region and, with her Co-President Etienne Pflimlin President of Credit Mutuel, they oversaw the restructuring of the representation of the co-operative model of business in the institutions of the European Union. Prior to that she was a co-operative member of the European Parliament for ten years, serving as Leader of the largest political group in the Parliament for five years.


Mr Seah Kian Peng
CEO (Singapore), NTUC Fairprice Co-operative Limited Deputy Speaker, Parliament of Singapore and Member of Parliament for Marine Parade GRC, Republic of Singapore


Seah Kian Peng 

Mr. Seah Kian Peng is the Chief Executive Officer (Singapore) of NTUC Fairprice Co-operative. The co-operative is Singapore’s largest food retailer running a chain of supermarkets, hypermarkets and convenience stores. It employs over 8,000 staff and has an annual turnover of over US$2 billion. He was chairman of the Singapore National Co-operative Federation from 2002-2008 and has been a board member of International Co-operative Alliance since 2005.

Mr. Seah is also a Member of Parliament of the Republic of Singapore. First elected in 2006, he was re-elected in 2011. On 17 Oct 2011, he was elected and appointed as the Deputy Speaker of Parliament. Mr. Seah also sits on various community groups, including being the Vice President of Singapore Compact for CSR and the co-chair of Social Enterprise Association of Singapore.  


Ms. Monique F. Leroux
Chair of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group


Monique Leroux 

Since 2008, Monique F. Leroux has been Chair of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group. She represents all Desjardins caisses and leads the largest cooperative financial group in Canada and the sixth largest in the world, with assets of more than $172 billion. As one of the largest employers in Canada, Desjardins is supported by the skills of its 42,200 employees and the commitment of nearly 6,000 elected officers. Through her leadership, along with the mobilization of the Group’s officers and managers, she defined a new strategic vision for the future of the Group, strongly rooted in Desjardins’ cooperative mission and values. In addition, she reorganized and simplified the organizational structure of the Group to accelerate its growth and strategic development, increase its productivity and agility, and strengthen the relationship with the caisses and their members.


Representing Ms. Leroux at the Advisory Group meeting on 1 Nov 2011:
Ms. Suzanne Gendron holds the position of Vice-President, Executive Services to the CEO and Management Committee of Desjardins Group. Reporting directly to the CEO, she manages and coordinates various strategic Desjardins-wide projects.


Mr. Brian Branch
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU)


Brian Branch 

Brian Branch, president and CEO of World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), was appointed in 2011. Dr. Branch has worked at WOCCU since 1990 and has been engaged in development fieldwork, research and implementation for more than 30 years. Dr. Branch has developed programs to update and expand savings-based financial services through credit unions worldwide and has undertaken credit union development assignments all over the world. He co-authored Striking the Balance in Microfinance: A Practical Guide to Mobilizing Savings (2002) with Janette Klaehn and co-edited Safe Money (2000) with Glenn Westley.


Mr. Mario Lubetkin
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), IPS International News Agency Soc. Coop. Consortile a r.I.


 Mario Lubetkin

Mr. Lubetkin is the CEO of IPS International News Agency. He has coordinated communications projects with the Governments of Brazil, Finland, Italy, Spain and Uruguay, among others, as well as with United Nations (UN) agencies, the World Bank and other organizations, and supports communication efforts at the UN and civil society major summits. Lecturer at IULM University (Libera Università di Lingue e Comunicazione) in Milan (Italy) and coordinator of seminars on communication and development at the Menéndez Pelayo International University (UIMP) in Santander, Spain. Mr. Lubetkin is also Vice-President of Media Watch Global, co-founder of Com+ Alliance of Communicators for sustainable development.


Ms. Stefania Marcone
Head Officer, International Relations and European Policies, Legacoop (Lega Nazionale delle Cooperative e Mutue)


Stefania Marcone 

Ms. Marcone has been the Head Officer of International Relations at Legacoop since 2007. In 2008 she was also entrusted with the European Policies Office of Legacoop. In 1997 she was elected as Board member of the International Cooperative Alliance, representing the three Italian apex cooperative organizations, ICA members (Associazione Generale Cooperative Italiane - AGCI, Confcooperative, and Legacoop). In October 2001 she was re-elected for a second mandate to the ICA Board. In September 2005 she was elected chairperson of the ICA Gender Equality Committee. From 2007-2011, she was elected in the National Management Committee of Legacoop. She is member of the Legacoop National Commission for Equal Opportunities, and also an alternate member at the European Economic and Social Committee. Moreover, She also worked as External Relations officer at Cassa per il Credito alle Imprese Artigiane (ARTIGIANCASSA) from 1983 to 1987 and from 1987 to 1992 she was President of a women’s cooperative society in Rome (Italy) active in the service sector.


Mr. Vitaly Ivanovich Teplov
Rector, Belgorod University of Cooperation, Economics and Law


Francois Traore 

Professor Teplov is Rector of Belgorod University of Cooperation, Economics and Law. He is a Doctor of Economics, Professor, and Merited Worker of Higher School of the Russian Federation. He has been heading the university since 1979. In 1995, Professor Teplov was elected member of the Executive Committee of the International Cooperative Alliance Human Resource Development Committee and in 2003, he became Vice-Chairperson (European region) of the Committee.


Mr. Francois Traoré
Honorary President, Association of African Cotton Producers (Association des producteurs africains de coton)


 Francois Traore

Mr. Traoré is a Burkinabe farmer is currently the Honorary President of the Association of African Cotton Producers after being e President from 2005 to 2010. Mr. Traoré has held various positions in Burkina Faso including, President of the Peasant Confederation (Confédération Paysanne du Faso, 2002-2006), Chairman of the National Union of Cotton Producers (Union National des Producteurs du Coton, 1998-2010), and President of the Union Group of Cereals and Agricultural Products (Union des Groupements de Céréales et des Produits Agricoles) in the region of Mouhoun (1998-2001). Mr. Traoré has received several honors: Recognition of Exceptional Merit by the Family Earth Foundation (Reconnaissance du mérite exceptionnelle de la Fondation Famille Terre) in Quebec in 2000, the French National Order of Merit (Ordre national du mérite français) in 2002, the Order of Merit for Rural Development in Burkina Faso (Ordre du mérite du développement rural du Burkina Faso) in 2004, and honorary degree, Doctor honoris causa, from the University Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of Gembloux (Belgium) in 2006.


Ms. Elizabeth Atangana
President, Central African Farmer's Organization


Francois Traore 

Ms. Atangana was elected on October 2010 in Malawi, the first President of the Platform of the Pan-African Peasant Organizations (Plateforme Panafricaine des Organisations Paysannes - PAFO). Her experience and commitment have been marked nationally by the establishment in 1980 of the Association of Women for Sustainable Development in the town of Essé in Central Africa (Association des Femmes pour le Développement Durable dans la localité d’Esse «Entre Nous»), the creation in 1991 of the Sustainable Development Solidarity and Support Network (Chaîne de Solidarité et d’Appui aux Actions de Développement Durable – CHASAADD-M), and the creation of the Common Fund to support grassroots organizations (Fonds commun d’appui aux organisations de base – FOCAOB). Since 1998, she has been involved in the construction of the National Peasant Movement through the National Coordination of Peasant Organizations of Cameroon (Mouvement paysan national à travers la Concertation nationale des organisations paysannes du Cameroun - CNOP-CAM), as well as in the creation of PROPAC, the sub-regional Platform of Peasant Organizations of Central Africa (Plateforme sous régionale des Organisations paysannes d’Afrique centrale) in 2005. (Phote Credit: FAO / Alessandra Benedetti)


Ms. Peng Yuan
Professor, Rural Development Institute, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences


Francois Traore 

Professor Yuan is currently Vice Chairperson of the International Committee for the Promotion of Chinese Industrial Cooperatives (ICCIC Gung ho) and the Vice-Director for the Cooperative Economy Study Association of the Chinese Federation of Supplying and Marketing Cooperatives. She participated in cooperative promotion and cooperative policy issue studies in rural China through these organizations. She has been a cooperative consultant and expert to projects implemented by a number of international organizations, including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). She is also a cooperative consultant appointed by the Agricultural Committee of Beijing Municipal
Government since 2007.


Ms. Enkhtsetseg Ochir
Ambassador of Mongolia to the United Nations


Enkhtsetseg Ochir 

Her Excellency Ochir Enkhtsetseg is the Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the United Nations. Prior to this appointment, she held the position of Director-General of the Multilateral Cooperation Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, where she actively worked in favor of New or Restored Democracies at the national, regional and international level. Ambassador Enkhtsetseg is also a Member of the Governmental Advisory Board of the International Centre for Democratic Transition based in Budapest (Hungary). She studied International Relations, majoring in International Economy, in Moscow and in Stanford. The Government of Mongolia is the initiator and the main sponsor of the International Year of Cooperatives 2012.

IYC Advisory Group
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