On Friday 20 November, YPFP Brussels members and friends celebrated seven years of fostering the next generation of foreign policy leaders at our annual gala dinner. For the first time, the Gala attracted significant corporate support from our Gold sponsor Google and our Silver sponsors Chevron and ExxonMobil. Our corporate sponsors interacted with 70 young professionals and YPFP partners.
Olivia ten Horn, YPFP Brussels’ Membership Director, described the event as having “a great, shared atmosphere of the three course candlelit dinner with great discussions between members, but not forgetting time for our members to celebrate their 2015”.
Young professionals were joined by high-level speakers to celebrate another successful year of YPFP Brussels. Marc Van Der Ham from the public policy team at Google gave members a great overview of their future as digital policy natives. Eva Paunova, one of the youngest MEPs, shared her experiences and encouraged members to be positive, passionate and engaged throughout their careers.
David Henry Doyle, Chair of YPFP Brussels’ Advisory Council marked the difficult week for many members following the attacks in Paris. He called on members to come together within their local community of Brussels to become young leaders together and tackle global challenges. David reiterated the key aims of YPFP - fostering leadership, creating networks, and developing the skills that young professionals will need in order to tackle the complex challenges of the 21st century. You can read his full speech here.
While reflecting on the tough challenges ahead for any aspiring foreign policy professional, the evening was also a time to celebrate together the YPFP Brussels community. 2015 was marked by inspiring moments with high-level decision makers such as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow.
Many thanks again to the partners, speakers, sponsors and members that made this wonderful event, and indeed so many YPFP events possible, and we look forward to an even bigger and better 2016.
Relive the event through our pictures here.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of their employer or Young Professionals in Foreign Policy.