A German national, Derk is one of the two founders and managing partners of BKP Development. He has a long-time experience in the implementation of development co-operation projects funded by various donors. He has been both an expert in and project director of numerous technical assistance projects particularly in the area of trade policy, investment promotion, competition policy and development theory and politics. He has in-depth experience in project cycle management, focusing on monitoring and evaluation. Derk also lectures on trade, regional integration, competition and industrial policy, and is Adjunct Honorary Professor at the School of Economics at Addis Ababa University.

Derk holds a PhD in Economics, University of Göttingen (Germany). He also studied Economics and Political Science at the University of Tübingen (Germany) and the University of the Andes in Mérida (Venezuela).

Derk is fluent in German, English and Spanish, and has knowledge of French and Portuguese; he has worked in Latin America, Africa and South East Europe.