ALEXANDRIA, VA – Baron Daniel Cardon de Lichtbuer of Belgium has been elected Chairman of the Board of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC). Cardon, recognized worldwide as a staunch advocate and leader for the protection of children, is a founder and first Chairman of Child Focus ( European Center for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children), and a founder and President of the European Federation for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children.
In 1996, in the aftermath of the tragic Dutroux affair, Cardon was approached by the King Baudouin Foundation to create and become the first Chairman of Child Focus, which he built into Europe’s preeminent non-governmental organization on missing and sexually exploited children. Child Focus works in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the United States.
Last week, in Buonas, Switzerland, ICMEC, in association with Child Focus, hosted the first U.S./European Summit on Missing and Exploited Children. Representatives from 22 countries convened in an effort to develop and adopt a new, coordinated plan of action to protect children. Among the action steps are commitments to eradicate commercial child pornography by January 2008, and to create new national centers in other European countries, based on the Child Focus and NCMEC models.
Cardon, a distinguished business leader, served as President and CEO of Bank Brussels Lambert, and after his retirement in 1996, was named Honorary President. In 1992, he became the Executive President of Europa Nostra, the Federation of the European Heritage Organizations, and since 2003, serves as Honorary Executive President. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the European Movement and Honorary President of the European League for Economic Cooperation. He is past President of the first Belgian Commission on Corporate Governance and serves on the boards of Nationale Suisse Belgium and VP, Bank Lichtenstein.
The recipient of many honors, Cardon received Commander of the Order of the Crown ( Belgium), Officer of the Order of Leopold II, Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, ICMEC’s 2003 Global Vision Award, and in 1998, was nominated Baron by the King of Belgium.
Cardon, a member of the ICMEC board since its founding in 1998, most recently served as Vice Chairman. He succeeds the Honorable Arnold I. Burns, ICMEC’s founding Chairman and former Deputy Attorney General of the United States.
The International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, sister organization of NCMEC, is a private, nonprofit 501 (c) (3) nongovernmental organization. It is the leading agency working on a global basis to combat child abduction and exploitation.