Elected Officials

Below are the bios of the Elected Officials of the Berne Union, including the President, Vice President and Chair and Vice Chair of each of the four Committees.

Maëlia Dufour
BPIFRANCE | President of the Berne Union. Chief International Officer Bpifrance Export Insurance.

Over a 30+ year career, Maëlia has developed a deep understanding and worldwide experience on export credit guarantees, dealing with exporters, banks and foreign buyers on commercial and financial projects.

She is in charge of international relations and represents Bpifrance Export Insurance in many conferences, technical workshops, ECAs bilateral meetings, OECD and EU matters. She works on business development and creation of new products for banks and exporters (SMEs and Key Accounts) along with their communication, she manages the rating of foreign companies and banks.

Previously she was Head of Division of Key Accounts (energy and nuclear power, telecom, space, project finance, engineering, buildings, public works and capital goods), Head of Division of Geographic Desks (Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania), Head of Division of Paris Club Rescheduling Agreements, Head of Certification ISO 9001 project for the State Guarantees Department, Head of clients requests, quality and statistics department.

She has worked in all the geographic departments of the State Guarantees Directorate as well as in the Military Affairs Department.

Benjamin Mugisha
ATIDI | Chief Underwriting Officer

With 22 years’ DFI and Multilateral experience in Africa, Benjamin is the Chief Underwriting Officer at the African Trade Insurance Agency, a position he has held since July 2020.

He has 12 years’ experience in the insurance industry and has been involved in underwriting transactions across several sectors such as energy, mining, telecommunications, manufacturing and infrastructure for banks, developers, investors and contractors. For 4 years, he was a Senior Underwriter and exhibited leadership in many of the initiatives developed at ATI including RLSF (an energy liquidity facility), a credit wrap solution for African sovereigns and bank portfolio structures for SMEs.

Keenly dedicated to Africa’s development agenda, Benjamin has been an active participant in the Berne Union since 2012. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering, a Master of Science Degree in Construction Management, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration as well as a Post Graduate Certificate in Project Planning and Finance.

Pekka Karkovirta
FINNVERA | Vice President, International Relations

Pekka Karkovirta, Vice President, International Relations, Finnvera plc, the Official Export Credit Agency (ECA) of Finland has been working in the area of export credits for more than 30 years.

He has been involved in international negotiations in various fora including the OECD, the European Union, the Berne Union and Export Finance Laboratory. He has been chairing the meetings of the Participants to the Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits for more than ten years, and before that various export credit groups in the OECD and EU Council Working Group on export credits during the Finnish Presidency.

He has worked in the EU Commission in DG Trade dealing with export credits. He has participated in the Berne Union activities since 1990s, as a delegate, facilitator, Chair of technical groups and participant in the Management Committee.

He holds a degree of M.Sc. (Economics) from the Helsinki School of Economics (today Aalto University)

Edith Quintrell
LIBERTY | Director of Underwriting Development, Financial Risk Solutions

Edie is the Director of Underwriting Development, Financial Risk Solutions, at Liberty Specialty Markets, a London-based subsidiary of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group. Based in Washington, DC, her role is to expand relationships globally with export credit agencies, development finance institutions and multilateral organizations.

From 2007-2015 Edie served as Director of the Operations Group of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the political risk insurance arm of the World Bank Group. Prior to joining MIGA, she held various senior level positions at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) from 1991 to 2007, including Vice President for Insurance.

Edie has been involved in the Berne Union for more than 15 years, representing OPIC (USDFC), MIGA and currently Liberty Specialty Markets. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and Latin American studies from Princeton University, and a master’s degree in international affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Edie was a Fulbright Scholar at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia.

Katarzyna Kowalska
KUKE S.A. | Vice-President, COO

Katarzyna has been an executive board member in KUKE S.A. (Polish ECA) since June 2016

She is responsible for Risk Underwriting, IT, Change Management,Policy Underwriting, Debt Collection and Claims.

In particular she has been personally responsible for leading the change management around KUKE's digitalisation.

Before joining KUKE she was a Business Developer in the payments industry, responsible for Central and Eastern European countries. She also worked in delivering IT services as a business analyst for banks and interbank institutions, including central banks and clearing houses.

CREDIT OMAN | Chief Executive Officer

Khalil is an accomplished executive and board member with over 25 years of experience leading operations, strategy, and business development initiatives across the banking, insurance, and financial services industries.

Currently, Khalil serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Credit Oman S.A.O.C, Oman's official Export Credit Agency, where he has led the development and launch of new products and achieved significant revenue growth. Previously, he held various leadership roles at Al Ahlia Insurance looking after various functions like Retail, Compliance, Legal, IT, and HR.

He holds a Bachelor's in Finance and double minors in MIS and Management from the University of New Orleans. Khalil has also completed banking, insurance, and compliance qualifications including becoming a Fellow of the International Compliance Association (UK). Currently, he serves on the boards of multiple companies including Takaful Oman and Al Batinah Power. Khalil contributes his expertise in strategy, operations, regulatory compliance, and corporate governance.

Jan-Philipp Apking
EULER HERMES | Head of Division Underwriting & Risk Management

Jan-Philipp Apking is a risk professional with 15+ years of experience in financial & credit risk analysis, commercial underwriting as well as credit risk insurance.

In his current role as Head of Underwriting & Risk Management at Euler Hermes AG - mandated by the German Government to act as the Official Export Agency (ECA) - Jan-Philipp is co-heading the ECA’s global underwriting practice across global markets and sectors. Previously he has led various underwriting teams within the ECA, with a regional focus on the African continent and CIS region. He has also been heading the ECAs Financial Institutions (FI) Team, managing the ECAs FI relationships globally and gaining experience with ECA products, requirements and regulations of the financial industry.

Before joining Euler Hermes’ in the ECA mandate he has been a Senior Manager in PwC’s Finance and Regulation advisory practice, working with Investments Guarantees as well as untied financing & products for project finance transactions. He started his professional career as a contract manager with multinational world leading industrial gases and engineering company, negotiating and executing high-volume financing and construction contracts (EPC / EPCM) in MENA-countries.

Combining professional experience from working with ECAs, the financial sector as well as the industry he has extensive knowledge of commercial and legal aspects of cross border transactions.

He holds academic qualifications at Master’s level in international business, international law and international relations from Macquarie University (Sydney) and La Trobe University (Melbourne). Jan-Philipp is a standing member of the Interministerial Committee for Export Credit Guarantees of the Federal Republic of Germany (IMC).

Niek van der Beek
ATRADIUS DSB | Head of Business Development & Marketing

Niek is the Head of Business development at Atradius Dutch State Business N.V., the Amsterdam-based Export Credit Agency of the Netherlands. His role is to manage a team of business developers and underwriters with a focus on expanding relationships with Dutch exporters, trade sector organizations, financial institutions and governmental organizations active in the field of Dutch export promotion.

Niek is also Deputy Manager of the SMEs and Business development team, one of the two underwriting teams within Atradius Dutch State Business.

Prior to joining Atradius Dutch State Business, Niek was managing the Dutch claims department of NCM, the predecessor of Atradius Netherlands.

Niek has been involved in the Berne Union since 2015, attending the Spring Meetings and AGMs and some of the Specialist meetings.

Niek holds a master’s degree in international business administration from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands and participated in the Erasmus exchange program spending half a year studying at the University of Leuven, Belgium.

Jean-Paul Steenbeke
CREDENDO | Deputy General Manager

Jean-Paul is Deputy CEO of Credendo STN, responsible for Sales, Marketing and IT, since April 2014.

Prior to this he has held a nomber of other positions within Credendo, including Head of Sales and Account Management, Team Head of a mixed group of underwriters and commercial managers. Prior to this he worked as an Office Manager at Bacob Bank.

He holds a degree in International Marketing management from the University Diepenbeek and is a qualifed commercial engineer with a degree from the University of Antwerp.

Amal Jaradat
JLGC | Deputy Director General

Amal is the Deputy Director General at Jordan Loan Guarantee Corporation (JLGC). Amal held several managerial positions at JLGC. She was the Manager of Export Credit Insurance and Domestic Sales Department from 2017 to 2021, the Manager of Industrial Finance Department and the IFC Project Manager with the International Finance Corporation between 2013 and 2017. She is the Chair of the Steering committee and the Project Sponsor of JLGC Digital Transformation Strategy (DTS) in all key business decisions. She is achieving great success in operational excellence, securing operations and leading the team towards innovation. Amal represents JLGC in conferences and meetings for SMEs and export credit insurance locally and internationally. She works closely with the Banks, Microfinance companies, Chambers, SMEs associations, reinsurance entities and Loan Guarantee Schemes in the MENA region. Amal has 17 years banking experience at Bank of Jordan and was promoted to various positions in Retail and Credit Review between 1995 and 2012. She is member in the GET ON BOARD (The Next Generation of FEMALE BOARD MEMBERS) 2nd Cohort graduate advisors. Furthermore, she is a trainer in the field of SMEs at Institute of Banking Studies.