Our opening Keynote Speakers

The opening keynotes on Tuesday 21 June in the Auditorium, Hall 10, RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, Amsterdam will be:

Ms Maja Markovčić Kostelac EMSA Executive Director
Ms Maja Markovčić Kostelac EMSA Executive Director

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

Starting out as a maritime lawyer, she has subsequently gained long-standing experience in the maritime field in both the public and private sector.

Prior to joining EMSA, Ms Markovčić Kostelac 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, Ms 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 international level to the European Commission and Member States at the IMO.

Sander Winckels
Sander Winckels, Director Network management, Northern Netherlands, Rijkswaterstaat

Sander has a background in Civil Engineering and holds a master’s degree Transport, Infrastructure and Logistics from the University of Delft. After starting his career at consulting agency Capgemini, he has spent over a decade in various roles within the Dutch railways, including director of development and asset management at NS and implementation manager Organizational change at Prorail. 

Rijkswaterstaat – the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management – is responsible for the design, construction, maintenance, and management of the main public infrastructure facilities in the Netherlands, such as the trunk road network, the main commercial waterways, and the various water systems, including the North Sea, the Wadden Sea and the inland lakes and rivers. 

With that Rijkswaterstaat is responsible for oil pollution response. Oil spill fighters are on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to deal with oil pollution at sea. A couple of times each week, they are called upon to fight oil pollution, usually small quantities that can easily be removed. Nevertheless, not many people in the Netherlands, or even stakeholders in the area, are well aware of the role that Rijkswaterstaat plays in the field of oil pollution response.

Morten Mickkelsen, Chair of IPIECA
Morten Mikkelsen, Chair of IPIECA

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 work streams. 

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 through Ipieca to produce and share good practice 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 to date 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.

In his free time, Bergen-based Morten likes to make the most of Norway’s varied and often spectacular landscapes, enjoying cross-country skiing, hiking and fishing.

Find out more about Morten here.

Our special Plenary Speaker

Wednesday 22 June in the Auditorium will be:

Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton
Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton

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 SItories 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 its 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 the 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.

An Ambassador for The Big Issue, Sabrina has been named as one of their top 100 Changemakers, Marie Claire also named her as one of their Change Makers and Cosmopoitan listed her in their Millennial Power List, and she has appeared on Desert Island Discs.

Dr Sabina Cohen Hatton will deliver a Special Plenary Session at 0930 hrs 22 June in the Auditorium .