Benny Vandenberghe started his career at Ghent University in 2000 after graduating as a Master in Applied Economics with a thesis on emergency planning involving the public aid services and the university. As emergency planning officer within the Security Service he was one of the founders of the incident response management at the university.
As a qualified safety advisor he switched to the Safety Department in 2004, where he soon became head of the department.
In 2008 Benny was appointed head of the Internal Health and Safety Office (IHSO). Ever since he has been modernising and expanding the service, taking the lead in the health and safety policy of Ghent University. Currently the IHSO consists of the Safety Department, the Occupational Health Department, the Radiation Protection Service and the Department of Psychosocial Well-being, and is closely related to the Security Service.
As a chief security officer certified by the Belgium Federal Public Service of Home Affairs, he is part of the higher security management of Ghent University and is one of the 3 security managers on call. He is also member of the crisis management team.
Driven by a passion to help people, Benny strongly believes in pragmatic solutions, cooperation and joining forces in order to create a more safe and secure working place. He values honesty, trust and transparency. Although perfectly happy in an advising role behind the scenes, he is not afraid to take a stand whenever necessary. Appreciated for his diplomatic yet straightforward approach, he is sometimes referred to as ‘the iron hand in the velvet glove’.
Since 2014 Benny is vice-chair of the Association of Safety Advisors of Belgian Universities. Benny is the current regional chair of the Association of University Chief Security Officers (AUCSO) – Region Europe.