IREX Europe Director Mike de Villiers has over 15 years experience in journalism, international development and media programme management. In that time, Mike has been based in Canada, Britain, Macedonia and France, and has worked in Eastern and Central Europe, the Balkans, the Middle East, North and Sub-Saharan Africa, Eurasia and Asia. He has a strong background in international affairs with a particular focus on the European Union.
Prior to moving to France to establish IREX Europe in 2004, Mike managed IREX’s media development program in Macedonia, implementing projects there at the height of inter-ethnic tensions during the country’s conflict in 2001. He previously covered global events as a reporter and editor with BBC World Service Television, BBC World Service Radio, and British Columbia Television in Canada. Mike now runs IREX Europe’s Lyon office and leads its project development in partnership with European governments and international agencies and the European Union.
Mike received a BSc in Zoology from London University in the United Kingdom, and a diploma in Journalism from the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Vancouver, Canada. He has extensive experience implementing programs focusing on journalism and media management, media law, and sensitive issues such as inter-ethnic conflict.