Currently a member of the Dutch Senate and Chairman of his Christian-democratic party in the Senate, Ben Knapen, is a noted journalist, international correspondent, director, and historian. He served in the Dutch government, responsible for European affairs and for International Development Cooperation, and in 2021-2022 as Minister for Foreign Affairs.
In between he served as director-general of the European Investment Bank, responsible primarily for negotiations with the other European institutions, and IFI’s in developing countries.
Ben Knapen has spent the greater part of his life working on international issues in global environments. Spanning ten years as Editor and Deputy Editor in Chief of NRC, a leading Dutch national newspaper, his homes have been in the USA, Germany and South-East Asia, where he was a foreign correspondent for a newspaper and for Dutch television for more than a decade.
His interest in business brought him to Philips Electronics, the Netherlands, where he was Senior Vice President responsible for international marketing and public affairs, dealing with governments, institutions and major advertising companies. Among others he served as a professor in Media and Public Diplomacy and as a member of the Scientific Council for Government Policy.
Among others currently he is chairman of the Leyden Asia Centre and Vice-Chairman of ProCredit Holding (a German development Bank).
Ben Knapen has a PhD in the History of International Relations and International Economic Relations from Radboud University, the Netherlands, and studied at the Fletcher School on Law and Diplomacy, Massachusetts.