The Netherlands Consulate General in Chicago, United States

The Consul General

Klaas van der Tempel

Consul General of the Netherlands, Chicago


2011- 2013:  Ambassador, Special Representative for the Eastern Partnership and Eastern Neighbouring Countries,  Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague,  Netherlands

2009- 2011: Senior Research Fellow, Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael, The Hague.

2006-2009: Ambassador to the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Tajikistan.

2002-2006: Head, Western Balkans Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague.

1998-2002: Counsellor for Economic Affairs (Trade Policy), Netherlands Embassy, Washington D.C.

1994-1998: Deputy Head of Mission, head development cooperation, Netherlands Embassy,  Santiago, Chile.

Languages (in order of decreasing fluency): Dutch, Frisian, English, Spanish, German, French, Russian, Indonesian, Latin, classic Greek

 Klaas van der Tempel was born in the Netherlands on 20 December 1954 in Oldebroek. His parents- both from Friesland- had just returned from former Dutch overseas territory Indonesia.  After finishing high school in 1973 he attended university in Groningen and in Leyden. He studied maritime history and history of the Dutch and European Expansion Overseas, 1500-1949, resulting in an MA History in 1981. He was married in Vancouver B.C. in 1979 and has three children.

 He was trained as a diplomat in The Hague in 1982, and his first foreign postings were in Colombo, Sri Lanka and Toronto, Canada from 1984-1990. He then returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague as senior policy officer for UN social and humanitarian issues. He dealt in particular with refugee (UNHCR) and humanitarian issues (ICRC) during the humanitarian crisis in former Yugoslavia from 1991-1994.

 His second stint in the Americas started in Chile from 1994, and then he moved  to the United States in 1998, where he worked as Counsellor for Economic Affairs on trade policy issues in Washington D.C. until 2002. This period was followed by 10 years involvement in Southeastern European and Eastern European Affairs in functions in The Hague at the MFA and at a Dutch think tank for international affairs, as Ambassador in Kazakhstan, and as Ambassador for the Eastern Partnership until 2013. In these functions he visited Western Balkan countries and most countries that were once part of the Soviet Union. After the East it was time to go West again, which explains why he is now in beautiful Chicago to further strengthen the ties between the Netherlands and the American Midwest, jointly with the excellent team at the Consulate General.

Klaas van der Tempel loves water. He likes to drink it, to swim in it, to sail on it, and to skate on it - if the water is frozen. He cannot imagine a life without music and reading. Some of his most cherished movies are The Last of the Mohicans and Ostrov.