The ILAE Headquarters Office is located in Brussels and staffed by Nele Devolder, Assistant Administrative Director and Delphine Sartiaux, Project Manager. Delphine and Nele report directly to Peter Berry, Administrative Director, who is based in the ILAE Financial Office in Hartford, CT, USA.
The ILAE Headquarters Office was established in 2002 in order to centralize the League’s administrative functions, to enhance the relationship and day-to-day communication with the chapters and to support the members of the Executive Committee. This has afforded the League’s leadership the opportunity to spend more time developing new programs and services.
The ILAE office in Brussels is continuously working to improve communication with all 96 chapters of the League, the Commissions and Taskforces, and the Executive Committee. Increasing the visibility of ILAE with the chapters and external organizations is also a high priority.
The main activities of the ILAE Headquarters Office over the past year have been:
Support to the Management & Executive Committee
The ILAE Headquarters Office staff provides support to the Management and Executive Committees. We assist in organizing the meetings of these bodies by coordinating the logistics, preparing and sending out the agenda and related materials, and producing the minutes of the meetings.
In 2005, Delphine and Peter staffed the February Management and Executive Meetings in Basel and the December meetings in Washington, DC. Delphine, Peter, and Nele also participated in the Management and Executive Committee meetings that took place during the August International Congress in Paris.
In October 2005, orientation meetings were held in Hartford and Brussels for the newly-installed Management Committee. Productive meetings and tours of both offices took place.
Several of the commissions have already experienced that the Brussels office has first-class meeting facilities available for ILAE meetings. The Brussels staff is available to assist commissions who wish to use this unique opportunity to have their meetings at Headquarters.
In 2005, the Commission on European Affairs and EUCARE met at Headquarters. We look forward to welcoming more commissions to Brussels in the coming years.
Aside from the logistical support, the ILAE Headquarters Office also maintains the agendas and minutes of the commissions’ meetings and maintains a roster of all commission members with their contact details.
At the August 2005 International Congress in Paris, four new chapters were accepted: Bangladesh, China, United Arab Emirates, and Tanzania. This brings the total number of ILAE chapters worldwide to 96.
The ILAE Headquarters Office cooperates with the Secretary-General and provides background information and assistance to persons in different countries who are interested in creating an ILAE Chapter. In 2005, contacts were established with New Zealand, Libya, Nigeria, Uganda and Belarus.
Increased External Visibility
The ILAE Headquarters Office continuously interacts with stakeholders, pharmaceutical companies, and third parties who seek information on epilepsy. Staff members also participate in meetings of the International Bureau for Epilepsy. Requests from patients and individual members are serviced from Brussels as well.
The Headquarters Office played a key role in the election process for President and the Officers that was concluded in 2005. In cooperation with the Elections Commission, the Headquarters staff coordinated the final phase of these elections and communicated to the chapters. The new Executive Committee was installed in Paris during the General Assembly on 1 September.
The ILAE Headquarters Office initiated and coordinated the move of the archives from the Brussels office to the International Resource Center in Zurich. The archives have being organized and stored in a secure area in the Swiss Epilepsy Center and are available for all ILAE members upon request.
On 28 August 2005, another successful Chapter Convention took place in Paris. Chapter Conventions have become a tradition at International and Regional Congresses. This one was attended by over 120 persons coming from 65 countries. The meeting was a great opportunity for chapters to exchange views and ideas on how they work. It is also a good platform to improve relations and communication between the chapters' officers, the League's officers, and the ILAE administrative staff. Headquarters organized the meeting and took care of all logistics.
General Assembly Meeting
The General Assembly that took place on 1 September 2005 in Paris was organized by Headquarters. We took care of meeting logistics, assistance on-site, and the production of the minutes. The primary agenda items for this meeting were revisions to the constitution and bylaws and the installation of the new Executive Committee.
Participation at Congresses
Peter, Delphine and Nele participated in the 26th International Congress in Paris. Many of the chapter members took the opportunity to visit the ILAE booth and to meet with the staff in person. For the Headquarters Office this was again an excellent opportunity to establish contacts and relationships with existing chapters and to introduce the ILAE to a broader audience.
Chapters also had the opportunity to discuss their activities at the booth and to promote their events, which several did by distributing promotional materials.
Central Point of Contact for Chapters
The new SQL database has gone live! Chapters can now update the contact information of their officers via the Internet. This was a great improvement in terms of keeping the information on chapters up to date. Chapters are asked to update information on their officers on a regular basis and to provide Headquarters with their list of members. This guarantees that their chapter members are informed on the most recent information about congresses and publications and ensures timely delivery of Epigraph, which is now distributed electronically.
We thank the outgoing Executive Committee for their contributions and dedication to the League. We will work with the new Executive to build upon the accomplishments of the past.
Peter Berry, CAE