Former Secretary-General of NATO to be appointed professor

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer is to become the first holder of the Kooijmans chair for Peace, Law and Security at Campus The Hague. He will lecture on international politics and the practice of diplomacy. 'I see this role as an important opportunity for me to act as ambassador for Leiden University.'

Peace, law and security

With effect from 1 September 2009, J.G. de Hoop Scheffer, LL.M., has been appointed to the Pieter Kooijmans Chair for Peace, Law and Security. The appointment is part-time, and the holder of this chair is appointed by Campus The Hague for a maximum of three years. 

De Hoop Scheffer will focus on issues in the area of peace, law and security and will also lecture in the field of international politics and the practice of diplomacy.  

International organisations

De Hoop Scheffer is a prominent government official, politician and diplomat. Until recently he was Secretary-General of NATO. Prior to this he was Foreign Minister at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and chairman of the parliamentary party of the CDA.  He studied Dutch Law at Leiden University. 

Professor of the Practice

De Hoop Scheffer, who describes himself primarily as a 'Professor of the Practice', intends to pay particular attention to the working of such organisations as the United Nations, the European Union and NATO: 'I also want to focus on less well-known but relevant organisations such as the African Union, the Organisation of Islamic Countries and the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation. For me it is about the cohesion - or lack of it - in international circles. It is becoming increasingly evident that only an integrated approach - the so-called 'comprehensive approach' - offers opportunities to resolve crises.' 

Diplomat class

De Hoop Scheffer also intends to focus attention from a practical perspective on leadership within international organisations: 'Under the direction of Jouke de Vries [Director of Campus The Hague, Ed.], I will also play a role in the training of diplomats, the famous diplomat class which I once took part in in my dim and distant past. It's excellent that Jouke de Vries has managed to secure this programme for Leiden.  I will also try to bring my own flavour to the programme.' He also sees a role for himself as international ambassador for Leiden University: 'I am in close contact with other universities and thinktanks in Europe and the US. I hope these contacts will enable me to bring added value for the Campus and the University.'   


In his student years, De Hoop Scheffer held a number of administrative functions for Minerva: 'I was a committee member and - maybe not so surprisingly - was also responsible for 'foreign policy'.  I maintained contacts with the University and sat in the local chamber of associations and later also in the national chamber.' His motivation was largely due to his tutor, Professor Ernst van der Beugel: 'He lectured in Western Co-operation after the Second World War.  I graduated under his supervision based on a dissertation on the American Military Presence in Europe. He is someone who provided a strong motivation for my interest in peace and security policies.' 

Rotating professorship

The University has established the Pieter Kooijmans rotating chair in honour of emeritus Professor of International Public Law, Professor P.H. Kooijmans, who was affiliated to Leiden University between 1978- 1992 and 1995 - 1997. He was also chairman of the first Supervisory Board of Leiden University.  In 2007, H.M. Queen Beatrix appointed Kooijmans Knight in the Order of the Golden Lion of Nassau. Kooijmans received this distinction for his considerable services to our country as Professor of International Law, government minister, observer for the United Nations and judge in the International Court of Law.  

(1 September 2009)

Last Modified: 03-09-2009