Organisation & Governance

CETAF AISBL, an association that brings together natural history institutions with common interests, comprises 40 Members that jointly represent 70 Natural History Museums, Natural Science Museums and Botanical Gardens from 22 European countries.

It is registered as an International Non-for-profit Association (Association Internationale Sans But Lucratif, AISBL), a legal entity under Belgian law.

The Consortium is regulated by its own principles (Statutes and Bylaws) which establish the governance of the association. The CETAF is based on two major bodies that oversee the Consortium: the General Assembly, where all 34 Members are represented (the CETAF governing body), which acts through its Executive Committee (the CETAF administrative body), overseen by an elected Chair (currently Michelle J. Price from the Conservatory and Botanical Garden of the City of Geneva, Switzerland). The organisation of CETAF is completed by the General Secretariat that implements the CETAF work plan, and executes its daily activities, following the mandates received from the Executive Committee and the CETAF General Meeting. The General Meeting and Executive Committee may set up Working Commissions, Sub-committees and Special Interest Groups (CETAF bodies) relating to specific subjects. The General Meeting will appoint their chairs and lay down their remits. These bodies report to the General Meeting. So far, a number of initiatives and activities from across Europe were founded from within CETAF or have been integrated into CETAF, through the CETAF Bodies.



Organisation and Governance visual

CETAF Principles


The Statutes, established on the 10th July 2008, in Namur, Belgium, were adopted by the CETAF Governing Board.


The Bylaws are based on CETAF's Statutes, and constitute our Consortium's standing orders. They are the internal rules and guidelines that provide further guidance for the operation and management of the Consortium. The first version of the Bylaws dates back to April 2013. The latest version was amended and approved by the Governing Board in April 2018 during the CETAF43 Governing Board held at the Natural History Museum, London.

CETAF Organisation

General Assembly

The General Assembly is the governing body of CETAF. At present, it is composed of 34 Members which represent 60 different institutions (Natural History Museums, Natural Science Museums, Botanical Gardens and other Research Centres) that hold biological collections of national importance and conduct scientific research. Members are represented in the General Meeting by a natural person, who may be accompanied by other representatives of the Institution or group of institutions, for specific topics and issues of relevance to certain fields. Independently from the number of attendees per institution, each Member holds a unique vote in the General Assembly.

The General Assembly meets twice per year to conduct its affairs and further CETAF's aims and objectives. It entrusts its administrative activities to the Executive Committee and the daily running of the consortium to the General Secretariat.

Participants at the CETAF41 meeting held in April 2017 in Bonn, Germany.

The Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig was the host institution of the General Assembly meeting.


Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is composed of up to 8 members (the Chair, Vice-chair, Treasurer, Secretary and up to four ordinary members), who are elected as specified in the Bylaws, for a maximum period of 4 years. The Executive Committee is currently constituted by the following eight members:

Chair: will be elected during next Executive Committee's elections
Vice-Chair: Michelle J. Price (Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de Genève, Genève, Switzerland)
Treasurer: Erik Smets (Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, Netherlands)
Secretary: Gila Kahila Bar-Gal (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, National Natural History Collections)

Ordinary Members:

Thierry Bourgoin (Muséum National d´Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France) 
Eva Häffner (Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin)
Gergely Babocsay (Hungarian Natural History Museum)

General Secretariat

The General Secretariat is the executing arm of CETAF and is in charge of effecting the strategic development of the organisation, as outlined by the Executive Committee and General Meeting. It also coordinates the network, looks for external funding, and facilitates communication between CETAF Members.

The office is hosted by the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and located in the heart of Brussels. This proximity to the European Parliament and the European Commission facilitates regular interactions between the CETAF General Secretariat and the European institutions and political bodies, ensuring information flow with respect to science policy both to and from the European policy-makers.

The CETAF General Secretariat is constituted by:


Executive Director:  Ana Casino  +32 (0)2 627 42 51

Profile Picture Celine Cassarino

Communications Assistant: Céline Cassarino +32 (0)2 627 42 30

Laura Tilley

SYNTHESYS+ Project Assistant: Laura Tilley +32 (0)2 627 42 50