Dirk Wouters became ambassador of Belgium to the United States on Sept. 16, 2016. Ambassador Wouters’s diplomatic career spans four decades and has included both multilateral and bilateral assignments, primarily focused on European affairs. Prior to his appointment in D.C., Ambassador Wouters served as permanent representative of Belgium to the European Union (2011-16).
Before that, as chief of staff to the minister of foreign affairs, Ambassador Wouters was one of the main architects of the Belgian EU Presidency, which undertook key foreign policy decisions on Afghanistan and Libya. From 2009 to 2011, he was diplomatic advisor and sherpa in the office of Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy. Earlier in his career, Ambassador Wouters was permanent representative of Belgium to the Political and Security Committee of the EU (2003-09), at a time when the common foreign and security policy was framed under the leadership of Javier Solana.
He was also directly involved in several negotiations on revising the European Treaties (Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon) and assisted Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene as vice president of the convention on the future of the European Union (2000-02). Ambassador Wouters is no stranger to the United States, having lived in New York while deputy permanent representative of Belgium to the United Nations (1995-2000).
While at the U.N., he was involved in the establishment of the International Criminal Court. He was also posted twice in Rome and speaks fluent Italian in addition to English, Dutch, French and German. Ambassador Wouters has a background in law and economics and obtained degrees from the University of Antwerp; the University of Louvain; the London School of Economics and Political Science; and the Institute of Higher Studies in Geneva. He has been invited to lecture at the Catholic University of Leuven; the Catholic University of Louvain-La-Neuve; the University of Brussels; and the Paris Institute of Political Studies (IEP).
Born in 1955, Ambassador Wouters is married to Katrin Van Bragt and they have one daughter and two grandsons. He is an accomplished long-distance runner and an Italian culture enthusiast.
Embassy of Belgium
3330 Garfield St., NW
Washington, DC 20008
Phone: (202) 333-6900
Fax: (202) 333-3079