Ambassador André Haspels talks about why you should "Savor unique experiences"; the benefits of "Being modest" why you should "Make others look good" and more. Hosted by Siebe Van Der Zee
About André Haspels
André Haspels 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.
He later served as ambassador in Vietnam and South Africa and most recently as director general of political affairs in the Hague.
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.
Set achievable goals 07:56
Be modest 10:57
Make others look good ("make them shine") 13:48
Give people trust and space 15:31
Be accountable to yourself and to others 19:11
The circle of close family is highly important 23:34
“Never stop learning” 27:39
Try to enjoy 30:53
Savor unique experiences 35:11
Know yourself 40:23
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