How old are you, where do you live and with whom?
I am 47 and live in Leidschendam with my wife Corinne. Until recently, our three children were living with us, but they have all left home now. Two are studying and one is taking her final exams abroad.
How long have you been a member of the Family Fund?
Since I was 21, so it has been 26 years now. My mother is a member and my parents always went to all the meetings: the family meeting in January, and the summer meetings that were held regularly at the time. My uncle (Matthijs Snouck Hurgronje) became an administrator, and I have been attending the meetings for years.
How long have you been active within the Family Fund, and in what positions?
First of all I was a member of the Young Dogs of Hurgronje. With them I organised and participated in a number of meetings in the big cities. Then, in 2004, I became a member of the Preparation Committee. Until 2007, because we then moved, as a family, to America. We returned in 2012, and I then became a member of the Assets Advisory Committee. And I continued as a member until I became an administrator at the beginning of 2021.
What motivates you to be so active in the Family Fund?
Two things: first of all, it lives within my family, I grew up with it.
Second: it is a unique institution. You can do a lot for family members who need help and also for charity. The fund has existed for such a long time! I like the combination. Everyone can make a contribution, including me, so that’s what I do.
What memorable moments stand out for you from your time with the Family Fund so far?
I have good memories of the summer meetings from my childhood. My parents once organised such a gathering in the Kop van Noord Holland.
The 225th anniversary was also great. It was a very big gathering. I remember my mother driving up in a carriage with Dolph Boddaert. They played our forefathers. A beautiful scene and a great party. The family is good at that.
The good memories are mainly of the Young Dogs meetings and the summer meetings. That tradition should be continued. It helps to forge a bond among the members. You are family and it is nice to get together.
How do you see the future of the Family Fund?
Within the family there will always be members in need of support. As long as we manage the fund well, that is possible. And that is the most important thing. The fund is growing and new people are bringing in new ideas. It is wonderful to have such an old fund and I see a long future for it.
What is your profession?
I am Deputy Director for International Affairs at the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security. We try to support the ministers as much as possible on their travels and on international issues such as cross-border crime or terrorism. I travel a lot with the ministers. Negotiations are usually conducted in English, but the previous minister spoke more languages than I did. I manage well in French and English, but he also spoke Italian, for example, and when he spoke with his Italian colleague I had to step up my efforts.
What are your hobbies/interests?
We have a sailing boat in Hoorn. That takes a lot of time and maintenance, but now that the children have left home we have more time for that. Great sailing in the summer. IJsselmeer, Friesland and the Wadden Sea.
I also like to work with wood. Making furniture, for example. It takes forever, it takes a lot of time, but I love doing it. I have a shed full of “stuff”: so much so that when it’s time for maintenance of the boat, the daggerboard and the rudder are in our living room.
In your opinion, what is your best quality, and what is your worst?
I think my best quality is the fact that I get on well with many different people. I don’t get into fights easily, which is useful both at work and in private life. And I like to be in contact with many different people.
As for my worst characteristic: there are many to choose from 😉 I think I can be impatient sometimes. And I am a sloppy carpenter.
What does your ultimate day of self-care look like?
Together with Corinne and the children, on our boat on the Wadden Sea. We take the tide and sail with a tail wind to one of the Wadden Islands. A bite to eat, the view over the dike: life is good.