The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), has appointed Iris Van der Veken as its next executive director, effective immediately.
The standard setting and certification body said Van der Veken has wide-ranging international experience in the diamond, gold, jewellery and fashion industries. She is also the first woman to become the organisation’s executive director and replaces Andrew Bone who was appointed in June 2015.
The RJC said she “worked extensively” on the Alignment Assessment of industry programmes with the OECD minerals guidance and the development of awareness programmes on the UN’s Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs) in the UAE. Van der Veken was also a frontrunner in building partnerships in supply chain management and GRI reporting, chaired the Global Compact Network Belgium and initiated a forum on children’s rights and the role of business.
With more than 1,100 members spanning 73 countries, she will work with the board of directors and management team to ensure operational excellence throughout the RJC – benchmarking against some of the world’s leading accreditation bodies.
Van der Veken, said: “The RJC’s mission has never been more relevant for today’s consumers and the industry. My focus is on serving our member companies and varied stakeholders to deliver long-term growth and value creation. 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 organisation and its commitment to do so.”
David Bouffard, RJC chairman, added: “The RJC Board is delighted to appoint Iris to the role. She is 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 organisation continues to deliver against our ambitious objectives for the next several years.
“We thank Andrew for his leadership and the excellent work he has overseen during his four years with the organisation.”