Jakob Gijsbert (Jaap) de Hoop Scheffer is a retired Dutch politician. Following his time as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands from 2002 to 2003, he served as NATO Secretary General between 2004 and 2009.
From 1976 to 1986, he was employed in the Foreign Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He started in the spokesmen’s service (1976). From 1976 to 1978, he served at the Embassy in Accra (Ghana). He then worked at the Permanent Delegation to NATO in Brussels until 1980, where he was responsible for issues relating to defence planning. He was in charge of the private office of four successive Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Van der Klaauw, Van der Stoel, Van Agt and Van den Broek) until 1986.
Mr De Hoop Scheffer was elected to the House of Representatives of the States General for the Christian Democratic Alliance (CDA) in June 1986. He became the party’s spokesperson on foreign policy (as well as asylum and refugee policy and European justice matters) in the House and served on the Permanent Committees on Justice, European Affairs and Defence. From 1989 to 1994 he chaired the Permanent Committee on Development Cooperation.
After his term as Secretary General of NATO ended, De Hoop Scheffer became a professor at the Leiden University sitting in the Pieter Kooijmans Chair. He also teaches at Leiden University College.