Who we are

The HEINEKEN Africa Foundation is proud to work with an extremely committed and diverse team of people.

On a day to day basis the Foundation is managed by the General Manger who is assisted by a range of highly motivated people working for HEINEKEN at Head Office and in the African operating companies. The Trustees are responsible for the decision making and depend highly on the diverse range of expertise of the Advisory Board members.


Suzanne Giele

General Manager

After several commercial roles with TNT and HEINEKEN, Suzanne became General Manager of the HEINEKEN Africa Foundation in 2013. A challenging and versatile position in which she works with many stakeholders from different backgrounds on both strategic and practical projects.

Board of Trustees

Guus Lubsen

Chairman of the Board of Trustees

After multiple senior management positions in the US, Guus was a member of the HEINEKEN Executive Board from 1995 through 2002. During this time he had amongst others the responsibility for the activities of HEINEKEN in Africa which he still considers a fantastic experience getting acquainted with a fascinating continent.

Robin Hoytema van Konijnenburg

Treasurer of the Board of Trustees

Robin started his career in Burundi for the United Nations Development Program after which he pursued his career as a financial specialist. He is currently the Senior Director Pensions Governance for HEINEKEN and has been involved with the HEINEKEN Africa Foundation since its start in 2007.

Advisory Board

Patrick Chukwumah

Advisory Board Member

Holding a medical degree, Patrick was responsible for the healthcare of the employees of Nigerian Breweries for almost ten years. In his current role as Global Health Manager for HEINEKEN he is improving the health care in the HEINEKEN operating companies in the Africa & Middle East region and other developing countries.

George de Gooijer

Advisory Board Member

George has 30 years of experience in managing water resources, WASH and climate change. He has worked in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe for governments, at university and as a consultant. He is currently based at the Netherlands diplomatic office in Niamey, Niger, as an expert on sustainable development. As a PhD researcher he is connected to the Erasmus University of Rotterdam.

Pandora Hardtman

Advisory Board Member

Pandora is a trained midwife and maternal health specialist. She has gained over 23 years of nursing and midwifery experience whilst working in a wide variety of healthcare settings in the Caribbean, South East Asia, the Middle East and Africa. She is currently employed as a Midwifery Capacity Building Consultant for various international agencies.

Marieke Ridder

Advisory Board Member

Starting her journey in Yemen, Marieke has traveled around the globe and designed, developed and implemented many sustainable programs in the field of SRHR, Human Rights and HIV. She graduated from the Utrecht University in Organizational Science and has worked for over 15 years in Africa with many different African (community based) organizations and networks. Currently she is the Director International Programs for Rutgers.

Nellie Kirschner-Timmer

Advisory Board Member

Nellie is of Dutch/Ghanaian decent and the founder and director of To Be Worldwide Foundation. With more than ten years of experience in the field of Human Resources in the Hospitality and Media industry, she brings conceptual, strategic and practical experience to the HEINEKEN Africa Foundation.

Herbert Schilthuis

Advisory Board Member

Herbert is the Director Global Health and Safety for HEINEKEN. He studied tropical medicine in Antwerp and worked for Médecins Sans Frontières in South Sudan and Cambodia. His interest and experience lie in infectious diseases, tropical medicine, health promotion and organization of health care.

Jennie van de Weerd

Advisory Board Member

Jennie worked and lived in a broad range of developing countries, especially in Africa. Graduated from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine she is specialized in the field of health system strengthening and health financing. She is currently working for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mali as a theme specialist SRHR and HIV/AIDS.

The HEINEKEN Africa Foundation (HAF) is a foundation established by the HEINEKEN Company in 2007. It is a separate legal entity and registered under Dutch law and has non-profit status (ANBI).

The aim of the Foundation is to improve the health of needy communities in Sub-Sahara African countries where HEINEKEN operates by supporting mother and child healthcare and water related projects. The Foundation is funded by an endowment fund provided by the HEINEKEN Company. The Foundation works closely with the local HEINEKEN operating companies in Sub-Sahara Africa and with selected NGO’s to look for projects which meet the objectives of the Foundation.

The Foundation obtains support from different departments at HEINEKEN Head Office (legal, communication, financial control). The Foundation’s General Manager falls under the HEINEKEN Collective Labour Agreement and part of her/his salary is charged to the Foundation.

The Foundation is independent in its decision making with regard to the final selection and awarding of the projects: this is done by the Board of Trustees upon the recommendation of the Advisory Board. The majority of the members of these two boards are external experts. The Board members do not receive financial compensation for their activities for the Foundation except for travel costs.