Derk has experience in the implementation of development co-operation projects funded by various donors since 1993. He has worked in numerous technical assistance projects, particularly in the area of trade policy and regional integration, investment promotion, and competition policy. Derk has been a founder and managing partner of BKP since 2006. He also lectures on trade, regional integration, competition and industrial policy, and is Adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Economics of 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).

He is fluent in German, English and Spanish, and has knowledge of French and Portuguese; he has mostly worked in Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean.