Berkel was born in Sint Eustatius and completed his secondary education in Aruba. He received a bachelor's degree in computer engineering from Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida, and returned to Sint Eustatius to work at the telephone company Eutel NV. In 2004, Berkel became the director of Eutel in 2004 and held that position until he became Lieutenant-Governor.
Berkel was appointed as the first Lieutenant-Governor of Sint Eustatius on 1 April 2010, though he had been the acting lieutenant-governor since 2003, in preparation for the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles.
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