Meet our team


Nicholas Hodac is the Director General of UNESDA since October 2019. Before joining UNESDA, Nicholas worked for six years as the EU Government and Regulatory Affairs Executive for the technology company IBM Europe. Prior to that, he held positions as Head of the Brussels EU Affairs Office for Ford of Europe and Manager EU Affairs for General Motors Europe.

His academic competencies fall in the field of law, international and European economics, and European politics. Nicholas holds a Masters in European External Politics and a Bachelor in International and European Economics.

Nicholas speaks Dutch, English, French. He is a real family man, loves spending time with his two young boys. He also does lots of sports and participated in several triathlons.


Helen Benson is the Scientific & Regulatory Affairs Director of UNESDA since 1993. She works closely with ICBA – the International Council of Beverage Association, and is an active member of many working committees of FoodDrinkEurope.

Helen holds a degree in French studies from the University of Nottingham and a post-graduate diploma in law from the UK University of Law. 

Helen speaks English and French and can read menus in Dutch! She enjoys reading, travelling, discovering new cuisines and restaurants and spends most weekends walking in her beautiful home country of Belgium.


Delphine Close joined UNESDA as EU Policy Manager in September 2021. In January 2024, Delphine was promoted to the role of Senior Public Affairs Manager. Prior to joining UNESDA, Delphine worked at Grayling, a public affairs consultancy, for seven years where she gained solid experience in developing and implementing public affairs campaigns and advising companies and trade associations on European political and legislative developments. Her expertise mainly lies in the areas of trade, environment and waste, nutrition and food safety.

Delphine holds a Master’s degree in Political Advocacy from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from University of Namur in Belgium.

Delphine speaks French, English, as well as some Dutch and Spanish. She is a true food lover, always excited to discover new restaurants and try out new recipes. She also loves reading and always has a nice book with her. When she is not working, she is usually travelling the world with her backpack.


Inês Rebelo joined UNESDA as Communications Manager in April 2021. In April 2024, Inês was promoted to the role of Senior Communications Manager. With experience in corporate communications, digital communications and stakeholder relations in Brussels, before joining UNESDA, Inês was Communications Manager at ACI EUROPE, the European association of airports.

Inês holds a certificate of advanced studies as part of the PhD programme in Communications from the Catholic University in Lisbon, Portugal. She also has a post-graduate diploma in Communications & Marketing from Oporto School of Journalism and a university degree in Modern Languages and Literature from Oporto University.

Inês speaks Portuguese, English, French and Spanish. She enjoys going to art exhibitions, travelling, walking, visiting natural areas, and watching movies and interviews. She is also interested in architecture.


Vanessa Roelandt joined UNESDA as Office and Events Manager in 2014.  She supports the Director General in the daily management of the organisation. Besides the personnel and financial administration she takes care of the back office and organises the internal meetings and events and keeps track of the membership.

She speaks Dutch, English, French, German and Spanish.

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