UNIC appoints new CEO
by Birgit Heidsiek
- Laura Houlgatte Abbott will head up the organisation following the departure of current post holder Jan Runge in August
The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC), which represents the interests of cinema trade associations and cinema operators in 36 European countries, has appointed Laura Houlgatte Abbott as its new chief executive; she will step into her new role after the departure of current CEO Jan Runge in August.
“I first of all want to pay tribute to the work of current CEO Jan Runge over the last six years. The increased influence and profile of UNIC across Europe, as evidenced by the quality of those who applied for this role, speaks volumes for his achievements during his time leading the organisation,” said UNIC president Phil Clapp. “I am particularly delighted that Laura has now been appointed to build on those strong foundations. Her contribution to UNIC over the last couple of years has been exceptional, and I and other members of the board were unanimous in our view that she was the best person to take our work forward.”
Houlgatte Abbott will use the upcoming CineEurope event in Barcelona from 19-22 June to introduce herself to the UNIC members and the film industry. “I’m thrilled that UNIC’s board has given me this wonderful opportunity to promote the cultural, social and economic strengths of the thriving cinema sector. Together with our talented team in Brussels, I look forward to working closely with our members, industry partners and policymakers to ensure that the views of cinema operators are heard and understood at the EU and national levels.”
Houlgatte Abbott joined UNIC in March 2015 as EU affairs executive. As a Political Sciences graduate, she began working in the field of EU cultural policy when she moved from Ireland to Brussels in 2011. She has worked for the British Council and the Federation of European Publishers. In her position for UNIC’s EU affairs, she organised the UNIC conference on “Innovation and the Big Screen” at the European Parliament in 2016.
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