Francoise Dubruille will step down from the position as director of the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF) in April 2019, after 18 years with the Brussels-based organisation.
Julie Belgrado, currently EU affairs & communication officer at the EIBF, will become director ad interim when Dubruille steps down.
Dubruille said it was the right moment to move on and concentrate on other projects. She said: “EIBF represents the longest and most important commitment in my career and I’ve had the huge privilege of working within a community of highly committed booksellers and representatives of booksellers associations. I have learned so much from them and made many lifelong friends that I will definitely stay in touch with. I would particularly like to highlight the extraordinary engagement of EIBF Executive Committee members over the years, led at various stages by Doris Stockmann, the late John McNamee and currently Jean-Luc Treutenaere and Fabian Paagman. It would be unfair not to mention our international colleagues from outside of Europe and the constant support we have got from the US, Russia, Australia to name but a few.
“Whilst I am of course extremely sad to leave all my friends in the bookselling industry, this decision has been energizing. Over the last 18 months I have been maturing a couple of personal projects which I now need to dedicate more time to.”
Co-presidents Treutenaere and Paagman both paid tribute to Dubruille, with Paagman saying: “Booksellers in Europe and throughout the international community will miss her dearly, but we are very thankful that Francoise will leave while the organisation is in great shape and has a bright future ahead.”
Belgrado said she was “saddened to see an exceptional director leaving” but happy that Dubruille had new challenges ahead. “Taking over from Francoise and walking in her footsteps will be a challenge, which I am ready to take up,” she said.