Home Ambassador Profiles Netherlands His Excellency Karel van Oosterom

His Excellency Karel van Oosterom


Karel J. G. Van Oosterom is the new Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the United Nations in New York, and presented his credentials to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on August 5th, 2013.

Mr. van Oosterom’s most recent posting was as the Director-General for Political Affairs in the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a post he held since 2011. Prior to that, between 2006 and 2011, he was Foreign Policy and Defence Advisor to the Prime Minister. A career diplomat for almost 30 years, he held several positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including as Deputy Head of Mission at the Dutch Embassy in Beijing, from 2002 to 2006. During a six-year stint in the Ministry’s European Affairs Department, he served most recently as the Department’s Deputy Director from 2000 to 2002, as well as Head and Deputy Head of the Western European Division from 1998 to 2000 and from 1996 to 1998 respectively.

Among his other posts, Mr. van Oosterom was based in Damascus, from 1992 to 1996, at the Netherlands Embassy as First Secretary. He served in the Atlantic and Security Policy Department in The Hague from 1988 to 1992. His first role after his diplomatic training course was a two-year stint as Third Secretary of the Netherlands Embassy in Ottawa, Canada.

Before beginning his diplomatic career, he worked as Project secretary for the Netherlands Management Association in 1984 and served from 1982 to 1984 as a platoon commander (rank lieutenant)  in the Royal Netherlands Army in the Grenadiers Guards Regiment. He has published various articles on management in government organizations.

Born in Utrecht in January 1958, Mr. van Oosterom holds a degree in contemporary history from Utrecht University.

He is married to Mrs. Anna S. van Oosterom-Niessen, with one son, Gustaaf J.F. van Oosterom.

Mr. van Oosterom’s favorite soccer team is the one in which his son plays. Furthermore he is a collector of the work of Joost Swarte. He enjoys listening to new wave, alternative and indie music.


Contact Information

The Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations
235 East 45th St., 16th fl.
New York, NY 10017 

Phone: (212) 519-9500
Fax: (212) 370-1954

Email: netherlands@un.int
Website: http://www.netherlandsmission.org/homepage.asp