The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Management Board has appointed Bernhard Url as EFSA’s next executive director, effective June 1.

Url, a qualified veterinarian by training, has been EFSA’s acting executive director following the departure in September 2013 of Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle.

“It’s a great honour to be appointed EFSA Executive Director and to have the opportunity to head this important organisation dedicated to protecting the health of Europe’s consumers,” Url said. “I commit myself to working with staff, scientific experts, European institutions, Member States and stakeholders to uphold EFSA’s core values and to work towards more open risk assessment and further building trust.”

Before joining the Authority in June 2012 as director of Risk Assessment and Scientific Assistance, he was managing director of the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) for 10 years. AGES also represents Austria on EFSA’s Advisory Forum. From 2008 to March 2012, he also served as a member of EFSA’s Management Board.

Before working at AGES, Url spent five years as an assistant professor at the Institute of Milk Hygiene and Milk Technology at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna before running a food quality control laboratory from 1993 to 2002.

Url graduated from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna in 1987 and became a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1990. He has published in the field of veterinary medicine with a particular focus on listeria and milk hygiene.