Ambassador of the Netherlands
André Haspels (Uithoorn, January 23, 1962) is the ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United States based in Washington, D.C.
Haspels grew up in Uithoorn in the province of Noord-Holland. His father was a flower trader who imported flowers from all over the word, including ferns from Florida. Since he was a young boy, Haspels has always seen flowers, and that’s how he learned about agriculture and trade.
Haspels studied politics at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam. In 1987, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he served in many capacities. In 1997, he became head of the Political Department at the embassy in South Africa (Pretoria), where was involved in the cooperation between the two nations, among others in the setup of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
He later served as ambassador in Vietnam and South Africa and most recently as director general of political affairs in the Hague.
Born: Uithoorn, 23 January 1962
Civil status: Married to Ms Bernie Grootenboer; four children: Lora (1995), Sabine (1996), Quinten (1999), and Alec (2002)
Education: 1982 Completed pre-university education
1986 Graduated from VU University Amsterdam with a degree in Political Science, specialising in International Relations. Dissertation on Dutch development cooperation policy between 1973 and 1986
Joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1987 and followed its diplomatic service training program.
Held the following posts:
1988 – 1990 Policy officer, Political and Economic Affairs Section at the embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Writing political reports, maintaining contacts, focus on economy and trade.
1990 – 1992 Press secretary to Minister for European Affairs Piet Dankert, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague
1992 – 1994 Seconded National Expert (SNE) at the European Commission in Brussels, DG 23 (business policy/SMEs). Preparing and implementing partnership programmes for European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) focused on cooperation within the EU and with SMEs in non-member states (e.g. EuroMed partnership).
1994 – 1996 Secondment to the office of the Committee on International Policy/European Affairs at the House of Representatives. Responsible for setting up a monitoring system for new Committee proposals and promoting knowledge and understanding within the Permanent Committee on EU Affairs.
1997 – 2000 Head of the Political Affairs Section at the embassy in Pretoria, South Africa. Responsible for drawing up political reports, maintaining networks and coordinating political partnership programmes (e.g. democratisation projects, Truth and Reconciliation Commission).
2000 – 2005 Head of the External Affairs Division of the European Integration Department (DIE), Ministry of Foreign Affairs. EU external relations (enlargement, association agreements, European development cooperation). Also involved in 2004 Dutch EU Presidency in an implementing role (preparing events, including a ministerial meeting).
2005 – 2008 Ambassador in Hanoi, Vietnam. Bilateral ties between Vietnam and the Netherlands, and embassy management.
2008 – 2009 Director of the Sub‑Saharan Africa Department. Bilateral Africa policy (on politics, security, development cooperation and economic affairs), setting the department’s course.
2009 – 2011 Deputy Director-General for International Cooperation (Plv-DGIS). Setting the Directorate-General’s course, policy adviser to the Minister for Development Cooperation, deputy member of the Ministry’s Senior Management Board. Jointly responsible for staff-related and financial matters within the Directorate-General.
2011 – 2014 Ambassador in Pretoria, South Africa. Bilateral ties between South Africa and the Netherlands (also accredited to Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho and Botswana).
2014 – 2016 Deputy Director-General for Political Affairs (Plv-DGPZ), helping set the Directorate-General’s course, policy adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, deputy member of the Ministry’s Senior Management Board.
2016-2019 Director-General for Political Affairs (DGPZ), setting the Directorate-General’s course, policy adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, member of the Ministry’s Senior Management Board.
2019-present Ambassador in the United States of America. Bilateral ties between the United States and the Netherlands.
Hobbies: Long-distance running, reading, travelling
March 17, 2020 at the The Hay-Adams Hotel