Following consultations with Member States, Federica Mogherini, the Head of the European Defence Agency (EDA), has appointed three new chairs for the EDA Steering Boards in R&T Directors, National Armaments Directors and Capability Directors compositions, with effect from 1 December 2018:
- R&T Directors: Dr Luisa Riccardi (Italy)
- National Armaments Directors: Deputy Defence Minister Atanas Zapryanov (Bulgaria)
- Capability Directors: Major General Eric Schevenhoven (The Netherlands)
“I thank the outgoing chairmen - Deputy Minister Daniel Koštoval, Lt Gen Erhard Bühler and Dr Bryan Wells - for their commitment and outstanding work delivered over the past three years in these important positions”, Jorge Domecq, the EDA Chief Executive, stated. “I am sure that with their vast professional experience and personal qualities, the incoming chairs will continue on this path and be excellent chairpersons. Presiding over the Steering Boards at the level of R&T Directors, National Armaments Directors, and Capability Directors, both the outgoing and incoming chairpersons play key roles in supporting the EDA in the definition and implementation of the latest EU defence initiatives, especially the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and the European Defence Fund (EDF).”
Dr Luisa Riccardi currently serves as a Technology Innovation Department Director at the Italian Ministry of Defence where she is responsible for the overall military research and technology development strategy plans and policies. She is also in charge of harmonizing the objectives set forth in the National Military Research Programme with the Italian National Research Plan and the country’s overall research and technology policy. Prior to her current assignment, Dr Riccardi served as the first Director of the newly established litigation Department of the Secretariat General of Defense/National Armaments Directorate in the Italian MoD.
Lieutenant General Atanas Zapryanov is Deputy Minister of Defence of Bulgaria. He previously held several important command and staff positions in the Signal Troops of the Bulgarian Army, among others platoon commander, company commander, deputy battalion commander, chief of staff and deputy commander of the 95th Signal regiment of the second army in Plovdiv, chief of staff, deputy director and director of the Signal Troops Directorate to the General Staff of the Bulgarian Army. He also served as a Deputy Chief of Staff of the Bulgarian Army for resources (until 2006), and as the military representative of the Chief of General Staff in NATO military committees and the European Union (until 2010).
Major General Eric Schevenhoven has been Director of Plans of the Defence Staff in the Dutch Ministry of Defence since 1 September 2015. In this position, he also fulfils the role of Dutch Capability Director for NATO and the EU and is a member of the Defence Research Council (RDO), the National Aviation and Aerospace Centre Advisory Council (NLR) and the Coastguard Council. Major General Schevenhoven started his military career in 1980 at the Royal Military Academy in Breda. During his career, he served among others as Deputy Director Governance in NATO's ISAF Headquarters in in Kabul /Afghanistan (2011-2012) and as National Deputy for the Netherlands in the Joint Strike Fighter Program Office in Washington D.C. (2007-2010).