Gerda Verburg

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Gerda Verburg
Verburg Dutch politician kabinet Balkenende IV.jpg
Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to FAO, IFAD and WFP
Assumed office
1 July 2011
Preceded by Agnes van Ardenne
Member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands
In office
17 June 2010 – 30 June 2011
Succeeded by Michiel Holtackers
In office
19 May 1998 – 22 February 2007
Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality
In office
22 February 2007 – 14 October 2010
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende
Preceded by Cees Veerman
Succeeded by Maxime Verhagen
Personal details
Born Gerritje Verburg
(1957-08-19) 19 August 1957 (age 58)
Zwammerdam, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Political party Christian Democratic Appeal (Christen-Democratisch Appèl - CDA)
Domestic partner Willy Westerlaken
Residence Woerden, Netherlands
Occupation Diplomat, politician, trade union leader
Religion Protestant Church in the Netherlands

Gerritje (Gerda) Verburg (born 19 August 1957 in Zwammerdam) is a Dutch diplomat and former politician and trade union leader. Since 1 July 2011 she is Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations organizations for Food and Agriculture in Rome (FAO, IFAD and WFP) succeeding former CDA politician Agnes van Ardenne. As a member of the Christian Democratic Appeal (Christen-Democratisch Appèl) she was an MP from 1998 to 2007 and again from 2010 to 2011. She also served as Minister of Agriculture in the fourth Balkenende cabinet from 2007 to 2010. As an MP she focused on matters of social affairs, the European Union and energy and innovation policy.


Early life[edit]

Born in a family of farmers, she attended mavo and havo at Protestant schools in Bodegraven and Alphen aan den Rijn. After completing her secondary education, she studied personnel work and labour relations at IJsselpoort Protestant School of Social Work in Kampen from 1976 to 1980. Verburg began to work for Christian Rural Youth as general-secretary. In 1982 she began to work for the National Federation of Christian Trade Unions in the Netherlands. Between 1982 and 1986 as youth worker of the construction trade union and between 1986 and 1990 as chair of the CNV-youth labour union. Between 1990 and 1997 she was on the union's board and she represented the union in the Social Economic Council and the European Trade Union Confederation. Between 1997 and 1998 she worked as a businesswoman in communication and projects. Verburg has also been a member of the Social and Economic Council and the Labour Foundation. She has served on the executive committee of the European Trade Union Confederation, and on the boards of the Interchurch Organisation for Development Cooperation, the Royal Dutch Equestrian Sports Federation (KNHS) and Stichting Geuzenverzet.


In Dutch general election of 1998 she was elected as a Member of the House of Representatives for the Christian Democratic Appeal. She was one of the few Christian Democratic Appeal members who voted in favour of the legalisation of gay marriages.

In 2003 she was candidate for President for the House of Representatives, but she was defeated by People's Party for Freedom and Democracy candidate Frans Weisglas. Verburg was from 2003 Vice-Chair of the Parliamentary Party in House of Representatives. She was the chair of the Christian Democratic Appeal commission on social affairs.

From 22 February 2007 until 14 October 2010 she was Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality in the Cabinet Balkenende IV, and the first openly lesbian Minister of Christian Democratic signature in a Dutch Cabinet.[1] Since 17 June 2010 she is again a Member of Parliament.

Private life[edit]

Verburg is openly lesbian and lives with her partner Willy Westerlaken in Woerden.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Cees Veerman
Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality
Succeeded by
Maxime Verhagen