JOSEP WIJNANDSDUTCH AMBASSADOR
Born in Amersfoort, The Netherlands, Joep Wijnands, has a strong connection with Italy. During his childhood he lived in Rome and he is actually the Ambassador of The Netherlands to the Republic of Italy. Joep Wijnands studied International Law at the University of Leiden (1991). He began his career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague in 1993. He served as Deputy Head of the Western Balkans Section at the Ministry from 1998-2002. Consequently, he was the Deputy Director at the Political Affairs Department of the Ministry from 2002-2005, dealing with the Dutch EU Presidency in 2004. In 2005 he was appointed as Deputy Head of Mission at the Netherlands Embassy in Budapest, Hungary. In 2009 he was the Civilian Representative of the Netherlands-Australian Taskforce in the province of Uruzgan, Afghanistan. In this capacity he was also the first civilian heading the Netherlands Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Uruzgan. He was Ambassador of The Netherlands to the Republic of Lithuania from 2009-2011. By 2011, he was the Director for Security Policy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague until mid-2015.