On March 29, 2019, the Belgian House of Representatives appointed a new commissioner and four directors, who will lead the reformed Belgian data protection authority (“DPA”). The appointments follow a vote of the plenary of the Belgian parliament.

Dr. David Stevens, European Data Protection Officer at Nielsen, will assume the role of Commissioner and Head of the General Secretariat for a three-year term. Stevens will take over the role from Willem Debeuckelaere, who took on the position in April of 2007.

In addition, Dr. Hielke Hijmans, Senior Policy Advisor at the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (“CIPL”) at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, was appointed Director of the Litigation Chamber. The Litigation Chamber is a relatively new branch of the Belgian DPA, brought about by changes to the authority’s composition following the EU General Data Protection Regulation. The Chamber, which is independent of the Belgian judicial system, possesses broad powers to adopt corrective measures, such as administrative fines.

Stevens and Hijmans are joined by Alexandra Jaspar as Head of the Knowledge Centre, Charlotte Dereppe as Head of the Front Office and Peter Van den Eynde as Inspector General. Directors are appointed for renewable six-year terms.

The vote of the plenary of the Belgian parliament focused solely on the executive committee. The appointment of other members to the Belgian DPA is still to follow.