- Yannick du Pont
- Mr. Yannick Du Pont is the Founder and CEO of SPARK, an international non-governmental organisation, focused on creating jobs for youth in fragile regions. Mr. Du Pont has been working in the field of higher education and economic development in post-conflict countries since 1994.
With an MA in International Relations and Sociology from the University of Amsterdam, Mr. Du Pont worked for the Dutch Minister of Development Cooperation (IKV) and the Development think-tank of the Dutch Labour Party, the Evert Vermeer Foundation, from 1996 to 1997. Between 2000-2001, Mr. Du Pont was engaged as a researcher for The Netherlands Institute of International Relations, ‘Clingendael’, to evaluate the performance of the OSCE Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Since its establishment in 1994, SPARK has grown into an international non-governmental organisation supporting youth job creation in 14 fragile regions, primarily in the Middle East, North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. SPARK has facilitated higher (vocational) education for over 10, 000 Syrian refugee youth in the Middle East, supports startups and growth-oriented SMEs to improve job creation for refugees, women and vulnerable youth from host nations. SPARK partners with the EU, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), Islamic Development Bank, Qatar Fund for Development and others.
In addition to his work at SPARK, Mr. Du Pont is currently a member of the DIHAD International Scientific Advisory Board (Dubai) and serves on the boards of the Max van der Stoel Foundation (Amsterdam) and the Centre of Theory of Change (New York). Prior to this, he was also a member of the steering committees of the Knowledge Platform on Security and Rule of Law (The Hague) and Littlebitz Foundation (The Hague).