Session 6 - Speakers profile

Central paper presented by
Mr. Peter Laimer
Deputy Director, Directorate Spatial Statistics
Statistics Austria

After finishing university courses related to Export and Tourism at the University of Economics Vienna and the study in Geography at the University of Vienna, Mr. Laimer has been started working at Statistics Austria in May 1993. He is presently Deputy Director of the Directorate “Spatial Statistics” at Statistics Austria, and mainly responsible for "Tourism and Travel Statistics“ and  "Motor Vehicles Registration and Road Safety Statistics“. Since 2000 he is also teaching at several Austrian universities (tourism) statistics.

Between 2000 and 2002 Mr. Laimer was working as a consultant on methodological issues related to "Tourism Statistics" and "Tourism Satellite Accounts" (TSA) for Eurostat, since 2004 he has been doing consultancies in various countries (e.g. Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Hungary, Iran, Oman, Slovenia, Taiwan, Turkey). Between 2001 and 2006 he was chair of the “Statistical Working Party” of the OECD Tourism Committee, 2016 and 2017 Mr. Laimer is  chairing the UNWTO Committee on Statistics and the TSA.

Mr. Sven Kaummans
Head of Section, Environmental-Economic Accounts and Sustainable Development Indicators
Federal Statistical Office of Germany

Sven C. Kaumanns is economist. He started his career in Statistics in 2001 in the Federal Statistical Office of Germany in various indicator and business statistics related domains. Between 2008 and 2012, Sven worked on start-term statistics as national expert for the Statistical Office of the European Union (EUROSTAT). After he returned from EUROSTAT, Sven started working in environmental-economic accounts and was mainly active in economy-wide material flow accounts but also in monetary environmental-economic accounting.

Currently he is heading the environmental-economic accounts and sustainable development indicators section in the Federal Statistical Office of Germany. In this capacity, he is representing Germany in different national, European and international forums on environmental-economic accounts and sustainable development indicators: Among others, the United Nations Committee of Experts on Environmental-Economic Accounting (UN CEEA) and the United Nations Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs).


Ms. Lisa Grace S. Bersales
National Statistician
Philippine Statistics Authority, Philippines

Dr. Lisa Grace S. Bersales, head of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), is the National Statistician and Civil Registrar General of the Philippines. She brings to the position more than 30 years of experience as a researcher and professor in the academe as well as a statistics development partner of the public and private sectors. Among her notable works include restructuring the country’s national statistical system, redefining roles in response to new challenges, and the development of statistical standards, methodologies for sectoral statistics. Before holding her present position, she was appointed as the Vice President for Planning and Finance of the University of the Philippines (UP) System. It was the same university where she served as Dean and Director for Graduate Studies for the School of Statistics. She also took her Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from the same university and graduated Cum Laude, obtained her masteral and doctoral degree.

She has been involved in a number of international engagements related to statistics and data. She was co-chair of the UN Interagency Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal (IAEG-SDG) Indicators in 2015-2017; vice-chair of the Regional Steering Group for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (RSG-CRVS) in Asia and the Pacific; and chairperson of the Executive Committee of the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21) Board in 2016-2017.

Mr. Maxime Verstraete
Vice President, Corporate Responsiblity & ADA Compliance

Hilton Worldwide

As head of corporate responsibility and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance at Hilton Worldwide, Maxime Verstraete is responsible for ensuring the company’s close to 5,000 properties meet the highest standards in the industry. Maxime oversees key initiatives to help create opportunities for youth, preserve the environment and strengthen the communities where Hilton operates. Maxime is based out of the company’s global headquarters in McLean, VA.

Maxime has over 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry and three years in sustainability and corporate responsibility at Hilton. He was also responsible for compliance with the ADA Consent Decree with the U.S. Department of Justice. Prior to joining Hilton in 2005, Maxime worked in hotel operations at various properties in the U.S., France and Mexico including the world-famous Torrey Pines resort in La Jolla, Calif. and the Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme.

Maxime has a master’s degree in Information Technology from the Ecole Française d'Electronique et d'Informatique (EFREI) in Paris and speaks English, French,Spanish and some German.

Mr. Rafael Diez de Medina
Chief Statistician, Director of the Department of Statistics
International Labour Organization (ILO)

Born in Bolivia in 1960 of Uruguayan and Spanish nationality, he graduated in Economics and Statistics, obtaining his Master in Economics and Econometrics in UDELAR (Uruguay) and post-graduate studies in Statistics and Econometrics (CIENES, Chile) After having worked for many years in the National Statistical Office in Uruguay as technical advisor and head of the Household Surveys Division, in 1986 he joined the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) as Regional Advisor in Labour Markets, then been appointed Special Advisor to the Executive Secretary, Technical Coordinator and Director of the ECLAC’s Montevideo office, working intensively at the regional level in technical assistance to all National Statistical offices, especially focused on household surveys, income and expenditures surveys, living standards surveys and poverty assessments.

He participated actively in the harmonization of labour and poverty statistics jointly working with the World Bank and the Inter- American Bank in the MECOVI project, as well as in the Household Surveys Capability Programme of the UN Statistical Department. He has worked as consultant to the World Bank, the IADB, FAO, UNDP, UNIDO, GTZ, IOM, ILO, EC, UNFPA, ALADI, etc.

He has taught Statistics, Sampling Techniques and Econometrics at many universities in Latin America and the Caribbean, having authored several books and publications in statistical methods and applied time series. He worked extensively in qualitative models and in labour econometrics.

In 2003, he joined the ILO as Senior Economist in the Policy Integration Department in Geneva. In 2007 he was appointed Senior Advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean in the Office of the Director General and in 2009 he was appointed as Chief Statistician and Director of a newly created ILO Department of Statistics, based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Mr. Karoly Kovacs
Chief, Statistics of International Trade in Services Section
United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD)

Ph.D. in Economics, Master degree in information theory

Joined the United Nations Statistics  Division  in 1997  and ever since has been working on different areas of statistics: national accounts, energy and industry statistics and trade in services statistics/tourism statistics/ use of big data for official statistics. Earlier, served at the Hungarian Central  Statistical office as head of the Department  of National Accounts (1996-97). Fulfilled different teaching assignments, conducted research on theory of statistics and economic statistics at K Marx University of Economic Sciences (Budapest) and University of Miskolc (between 1982 and 1996) – has been  a research fellow at different universities during his tenure (University of Texas, Dartmouth College, Limburg Business School, Helsinki School of Economics).