The start of the new year also marks a new start for Bridging the Gaps as we welcome our new programme manager: Martine de Schutter. Martine follows in the footsteps of Christian Gladel, who managed the programme during its setting up phase. According to Christian, it seems the right moment to hand over the task to someone with different qualities and experience, since the programme – being at mid-term now –  enters into a different stage.

I am proud and happy with the work and achievements we have reached so far, and I am grateful for having had the opportunity to work with such an important and prestigious program on key populations. I wish my team, the program team, the board and of course my successor all the best. Christian Gladel – former Programme Manager Bridging the Gaps

Martine de Schutter has a long track-record when it comes to international collaboration. For the past 10 years she has been Executive Coordinator of AIDS Action Europe, an NGO partnership on HIV and AIDS in Europe and Central Asia. Over the years Martine has played a key role in many initiatives, such as the EU HIV/AIDS Civil Society Forum, the HIV/AIDS Clearinghouse, and the successful lobby to get key populations, human rights and harm reduction included in the current European Union HIV policy.

I’m proud that we’ve managed to make a difference in European HIV policy and ensure that people living with HIV and civil society have a strong voice in defining the HIV public health agenda. Martine de Schutter – new Programme Manager Bridging the Gaps

Defending human rights and supporting groups that are most affected have always been central themes that Martine focused on in her professional life. After having achieved considerable successes in Europe and Central Asia, Martine is now ready to expand her expertise to outside the European region.

Bridging the Gaps supports groups that challenge and change norms. Groups that are at the forefront fighting for justice. That’s why I am really excited to get this chance to join the programme, and working with all its partners in making a difference in the lives of key populations around the world! Martine de Schutter – new Programme Manager Bridging the Gaps

We are confident that Martine will be a valuable asset to the Bridging the Gaps programme and look forward to working together with her in improving the health and rights of key populations. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Christian Gladel for his contributions to the programme and we wish him all the best for his future career.