Simonet named as new president at Liege

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Marie-Dominique Simonet has been named as the new president of Liege Airport, succeeding José Happart, who becomes senior vice president.

The decision was made yesterday at the gateway’s general meeting. Happart had been president since 2004.

Simonet was born on 18 November 1959 in Liege. A law graduate, she was called to the Bar of Liege in 1983 and then went to the Port Autonome de Liege (PAL) as manager of the economics department, before taking over as PAL executive director in 1996.

From 2004, Simonet was vice president of the government of the French-speaking community and minister for higher education, scientific research and international relations. She has also been minister for research, new technologies and external relations of the Walloon Government.

In July 2009, she was appointed minister for compulsory education and social welfare of the French-speaking community. On 16 July 2013, she resigned her ministerial duties for health reasons. On 25 May 2014, she was elected as a Walloon deputy and is the vice president of the Economic Commission of the Walloon Parliament.

Simonet says: “I am very pleased and very proud to take on the presidency of Liege Airport. Liege Airport is a success story which has brought Liege and Wallonia to the international scene.

“There are several significant challenges ahead: airport security, relationships with the federal and Walloon authorities (Belgocontrol, air traffic rights, etc), the takeover of TNT by FedEx, and the commercialisation of the economic activity zones. Together with the entire board of directors, these are challenges I am preparing to take on.”