Appointment of ambassadors and Secretary-General at Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The cabinet has approved the 22 ambassadorial appointments proposed by foreign minister Bert Koenders and the appointment of a new Secretary-General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The new Secretary-General will be Ms Yoka Brandt, currently Deputy Executive Director at Oxfam in New York. Before moving to New York in 2012 she worked as Director-General for International Cooperation at the ministry.

The new ambassadors are expected to take office in the summer (after the Dutch Presidency of the EU). The appointments will be not final until they are formally approved by the host countries concerned. The ambassadors and their duty stations are:

  • Permanent Representative to the European Union (duty station: Brussels): Robert de Groot, currently Director-General for European Cooperation
  • Afghanistan (duty station: Kabul): Geoffrey van Leeuwen, currently Consul-General in Mumbai (India)
  • Azerbaijan (duty station: Baku): Onno Kervers, currently Ambassador in Caracas (Venezuela)
  • Côte d'Ivoire (duty station: Abidjan): Robert van den Dool, currently Ambassador in Juba (South Sudan)
  • Cyprus (duty station: Nicosia): Ms Nathalie Jaarsma, currently Head of the Security and Defence Policy Division, Security Policy Department
  • Egypt (duty station: Cairo): Laurens Westhoff, currently Ambassador in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia)
  • Estonia (duty station: Tallinn): Ms Karin van Stegeren, currently Deputy Ambassador in Stockholm (Sweden)
  • Ethiopia (duty station: Addis Ababa): Bengt van Loosdrecht, currently Deputy Director of the Sub Saharan Africa Department
  • Ghana (duty station: Accra): Ron Strikker, currently Ambassador in Rabat (Morocco)
  • Kazakhstan (duty station: Astana): Dirk Jan Kop, currently Special Representative for Europe and the Eastern Partnership
  • Libya (duty station: Tripoli): Eric Strating, currently project leader in the North Africa and Middle East Department
  • Malaysia (duty station: Kuala Lumpur): Ms Karin Mössenlechner, currently Deputy Director of the Security Policy Department
  • Mali (duty station: Bamako): Jolke Oppewal, currently Ambassador in Bujumbura (Burundi)
  • Morocco (duty station: Rabat): Ms Désirée Bonis, currently National Coordinator for International Posts
  • Myanmar (duty station: Yangon): Wouter Jurgens, currently Head of the Task Force for International Cyber Policy
  • Poland (duty station: Warsaw): Ron van Dartel, currently Ambassador in Moscow (Russian Federation)
  • Qatar (duty station: Doha): Ms Bahia Tahzib, currently Special Envoy for UN Affairs
  • Russian Federation (duty station: Moscow): Ms Renée Jones-Bos, currently Secretary-General
  • Saudi Arabia (duty station: Riyadh): Joost Reintjes, currently Acting Director of the Western Hemisphere Department
  • South Sudan (duty station: Juba): Geert Geut, currently Inspector at the Policy and Operations Evaluation Department
  • Sudan (duty station: Khartoum): Ms Karin Boven, until recently Deputy Ambassador in Kabul (Afghanistan)
  • Uganda (duty station: Kampala): Henk Jan Bakker, currently Ambassador in Kabul (Afghanistan).

Ministry responsible