The Advisory Committee is key to helping PL2030 remain true to its mission and ensuring that we are able to deliver an effective programme of advocacy and innovation.
Our committee members are drawn from a wide range of influential sectors including the arts, finance, technology, and media. Working with our governing board, they help to guide the strategic direction of the organisation and broker partnerships with partners outside of the library sector.
Key responsibilities include:
- Acting as an ambassador for public libraries and PL2030, promoting our roles in community development and innovation leadership
- Informing the strategic decision-making of the Director and the Governing Board.
Catherine Stihler has been chief executive of Creative Commons since August 2020. Prior to this, she was the chief executive of the Open Knowledge Foundation between February 2019 and August 2020 and she represented Scotland as a Member of the European Parliament from 1999 until 2019. As Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, she worked on digital policy, prioritising the digital single market, digital skills, better accessibility of digital products for the disabled, as well as citizen online data protection and privacy. As leader and founder of the All-Party Library Group she promoted and advocated for the importance of libraries and how libraries can remain relevant in the new digital age.
Born in Bellshill in 1973, Catherine was educated at Coltness High School, Wishaw and St Andrews University, where she was awarded a MA (Hons) Geography and International Relations (1996), and a MLitt in International Security Studies (1998). Before becoming a MEP, Catherine served as President of St Andrews University Students Association (1994-1995) and worked in the House of Commons for Dame Anne Begg MP (1997-1999). She has a Master of Business Administration from the Open University, and in 2018 was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of St Andrews. Catherine was elected to serve as the 52nd Rector of the University of St Andrews between 2014 and 2017.
Claire Bury is currently Deputy Director General in DG SANTE with responsibility for regulatory aspects of food sustainability, health and food audits, and analysis and crisis preparedness in food, animals, and plants. She is also a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges.
She was previously Deputy Director General of DG CNECT and Director of Modernisation of the Single Market in Directorate General Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.
Before that, she was Head of Unit for Company Law, Corporate Governance and Financial Crime in Directorate General Internal Market and Services, and Deputy Head of Cabinet to Internal Market Commissioners Charlie McCreevy and Frits Bolkestein.
An English barrister by training, she worked in the Commission’s Legal Service and, before coming to Brussels, in the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
I was delighted to be asked by Ilona Kish to become a member of the PL2030 Advisory Committee because Public Libraries have been a trusted partner for the European Commission in our efforts to promote digital skills through Europe Code Week. Libraries are a brilliant place for citizens to learn about technology and try to make sense of the rapidly changing world around us.
My participation in the PL2030 Advisory Committee is personal, not professional. Libraries have been a big part of my life since I first learnt to read. “A place to escape to, a place to dream, a place to work and a place to feel warm. In short, if I were homeless, the place I’d want to sleep is a library.” Copyright of this last phrase is owned by Bruno Pragnell, my friend and coach. In my own words, I’d like to try and give back to public libraries, at least part of what they have given me over the years.
My aim is to work with Ilona and her colleagues to ensure libraries remain a place which give European citizens a shared sense of community for the next decade and for generations to come.
Giles is a founding partner of independent consultancy Acumen. He has more than fifteen years’ experience working in EU public affairs, advising business, public institutions and NGOs across a range of different policy areas.
Like many people, he first came to Brussels for a five month traineeship in the European Commission, and somehow never left.
PL2030 is a great example of how bringing people together in a European setting to share ideas and build relationships can have real outcomes at national level that wouldn’t otherwise have been possible. Modern public libraries have a role to play in addressing so many of the big societal challenges we face today. PL2030 is about opening policy makers eyes to these possibilities and helping the library community across to Europe to deliver on its potential.
On a personal level, PL2030 has rekindled a childhood love of libraries and opened my eyes to all the new things the sector has to offer. And, last but not least, they are great fun to work with
Saskia Van Uffelen
Saskia Van Uffelen
Saskia Van Uffelen has been working in the sector of information and communication technology (ICT) for over 25 years. She has held national and international sales and marketing functions in leading companies such as Xerox, Compaq, HP, Arinso, Bull and Ericsson.
As Corporate Vice President for the French ICT group GFI, she oversees the development of the BeNeLux region.
Since 2012, the federal ministry of economic affairs appointed Saskia Van Uffelen as ‘Digital Champion’ for Belgium representing the European Commission. To stimulate the roll out of the Digital Agenda in Belgium she sensitizes all parties involved in 5 areas: Digital Economy, – Government, – Infrastructure, – Security and – Skills
As a manager, Saskia Van Uffelen always keeps a keen eye on the human aspects of collaboration in a company. She focusses heavily on ensuring the synergies between the different generations present in the workplace.
In interviews, opinion articles and her book ‘Iedereen Baas! – Tous Patron!’ she encourages her colleagues to pay more attention to it as well.
As a role model she received various awards (among others ‘ICT Woman of the Year’ in 2011 (Data News), Leadership Award 2019 (Etion))
Saskia Van Uffelen is married and a mother of five.