Interspill 2022: Introducing Our New Opening Keynote and Special Plenary Session Speakers


Nancy Scheijven-Westra, the Director of Vessel Traffic and Water Management at Rijkswaterstaat, will welcome us to Amsterdam and to our host nation of the Netherlands which has a strong nautical tradition and people to whom the water is as familiar as the land.

She studied business economics and international management and different cultures in Europe at the University of Maastricht.

After her studies, Nancy did a traineeship at Ormit and worked as a management consultant at Ordina for 10 years. Working with both the public and the private sector. She then moved to the Dutch Ministry of Education in business operations and human resources.

In 2010 she joined Rijkswaterstaat, part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and in 2014 she became Director of Asset and Environmental management for North-Holland.  In 2017 Nancy became Director of Vessel Traffic and Water Management of the main waterway infrastructure. She is responsible for the daily operation of about 450 locks and bridges in the Netherlands, vessel traffic management services, incident management and law enforcement. She is also responsible for water management including reporting on water quantity in times of both drought and floods.

In this role, Nancy faces future developments in autonomous shipping. Rijkswaterstaat supports the maturation of Smart Shipping and invests in its infrastructure to give autonomous ships a warm welcome.

The Executive Director Maja Markovčić Kostelac represents our industries’ strong links with the European Maritime and Safety Agency.

Maja Markovčić Kostelac took up the position as Executive Director of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) on 1 January 2019 and is responsible for the running and development of the Agency under the oversight of its Administrative Board.

Qualifying as a maritime lawyer, she has experience in the maritime field in both the public and private sectors. Prior to joining EMSA, she was State Secretary for Croatia’s Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure. Her duties entailed developing strategies, policies and legislation in the area of maritime transport, maritime safety, security, and environmental protection. In this role, she also led the Croatian delegation in a range of international forums at the United Nations, such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

During her time at Croatia’s Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure she held a number of positions, including Director of the Maritime Policy Directorate. She also served as Director of the Croatian Shipowners’ Association (Mare Nostrum).

Since joining EMSA, Markovčić Kostelac has established the Agency’s five-year strategy (2020-2024) and organises its implementation. She has led EMSA’s work on a range of strategic and operational issues, including the maritime dimension of the European Green Deal, the development of enhanced digital solutions for national level administrations and relevant authorities, and the provision of support at the international level to the European Commission and Member States at the IMO.

Our final opening keynote speaker emphasises the importance of environmental protection and the sharing of best practices across the world and sites the Ipieca’s mission. We are fortunate that its Chair, Morten Mikkelsen will complete the keynote addresses.

Morten brings 40 years of oil, gas, and energy industry experience and sustainability expertise to his role as Ipieca chair, where he oversees the development and delivery of Ipieca’s strategy and yearly workstreams.

He works with Ipieca’s leadership team to direct the efforts of over 1,000 sustainability professionals from more than 70 member organizations, who work together to produce and share good practices and knowledge to help the industry improve its environmental and social performance.

In 2020 and into 2021, Morten led the work on a new Ipieca vision and strategy which builds on its core role of advancing environmental and social performance to also support the industry’s contribution to the energy transition and sustainable development.

During his 15 years at Equinor, Morten has been in Vice President roles for major field development projects, field operations, and corporate sustainability in which he was part of the leadership team which built up a new corporate function for sustainability.

Prior to working at Equinor, he spent 25 years at Norsk Hydro, where he managed petroleum technology for several fields on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and reservoir research teams.


Sabrina Cohen-Hatton is one of the few women to have served at the top of the fire service. She combines her role as one of the most senior female firefighters in the UK with work as a Research Fellow at Cardiff University where she specialises in behavioural neuroscience, in particular how humans make decisions under pressure. She is also the author of The Heat of The Moment – A Firefighter’s Stories of Life and Death Decisions.

Showing resilience and determination from a young age, Sabrina was homeless on the streets of South Wales when she was 15. After two years on the streets selling The Big Issue, she was able to secure accommodation and at 18 joined the fire service. Whilst working as a firefighter she also studied at the Open University and then at Cardiff University, completing her PhD in Psychology. In the fire service, Sabrina became one of the highest-ranking women officers. She climbed the ranks serving in some of the largest fire brigades in the country, whilst maintaining her academic work with Cardiff University. Her subsequent research into high-pressure decision-making in emergency services has not only won awards but has also influenced policy at a global level.

In her best-selling book The Heat of The Moment, Sabrina recounts both her early formative experiences, as well as life on the frontline and the extraordinary insights it has brought. From judging when and how to evacuate a building to which of her colleagues should be sent into a blaze, she takes an honest, human look at the highs and lows of one of the riskiest and most challenging of occupations. And whilst many of these stories seem unique to fire and rescue work, her insights and lessons apply to everyone, in life, and in business.

Dr. Sabina Cohen Hatton will deliver a Special Plenary Session at 09:30 on 22 June in the Auditorium and will attend the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Lunch later that day.

For full details of these speakers please go to:

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