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Heleen Mees

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Heleen Mees
Heleen mees.png
Born Heleen Nijkamp
1968 (age 48–49)
Hengelo, Overijssel, Netherlands[1]

Heleen Mees (born Heleen Nijkamp, 1968)[1] is a Dutch opinion writer, economist, and lawyer. Involved with politics and public policy in the Netherlands and the US, she has also taught at universities in both countries.


Mees graduated in Economy and Law at University of Groningen. From 1992 to 1998, she worked for the Dutch Treasury in The Hague, for two years as spokeswoman for former State Secretary Willem Vermeend.[1] She then worked for the European Commission in Brussels from 1998 to 2000.[1] In 2000 she emigrated to the USA, where she changed her surname from Nijkamp to Mees.[2]

In New York Mees was initially employed as a European affairs consultant for Ernst & Young.[1][3] When her contract was not renewed, Mees stayed in New York and worked as an independent consultant on European affairs.[1] Mees also started writing opinion pieces for several Dutch newspapers.

Mees' breakthrough as an opinion writer (she is credited as a third wave feminist[4]) in the Netherlands came in 2006 when she wrote "The time is long overdue that women should go to work", her first feminist opinion piece in NRC Handelsblad.[5] The same year, she co-founded Women on Top, an organization that until 2011 advocated more women in top jobs.[6] As a firm advocate of female ambition and a promoter of more women in the supervisory and executive boards of big companies, Mees has been described as a "power feminist".[7]

From 2006 to 2010 she wrote a bi-weekly column in NRC Handelsblad, and from 2012 to 2013 a weekly column for Het Financieele Dagblad.[8] She has written for publications such as Foreign Policy and the Financial Times.[9][10] Mees is a columnist for Project Syndicate and for Capital.[11][12] In September 2015 she was a guest columnist for de Volkskrant,[13] and in 2016 began a biweekly column for that same paper.[14]

She was vice-president of the chapter of the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA) in New York.[15] From 2005 to 2008[16] she worked as volunteer-fundraiser for the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.[3]

In August 2012, Mees completed a doctoral thesis at the Erasmus School of Economics, in which she argued that the primary cause of the 2008 global financial crisis was the flourishing economy in China and resulting savings and government investments by the Chinese.[17][18] While completing her research, she worked as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Tilburg University.[19] From September 2012 until July 2013, Mees was employed as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Administration at New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.[20]

In July 2013, Mees was arrested in New York on charges of stalking her former lover, the chief economist of Citigroup, Willem Buiter.[21] In March 2014, the court decided that the case against Mees was to be dismissed in one year provided that she complies with two conditions.[22] Later that year, in September 2014, Mees responded by filing for damages against Buiter.[23]


  • The Chinese Birdcage - How China's Rise Almost Toppled the West (2016). ISBN 978-1-137-58885-2[24]
  • Changing Fortunes. How China's Boom Caused the Financial Crisis, 2012 (Dissertation).[25] ISBN 978-90-5892-311-0
  • "NY Service Economy - A Template for a Future Suburbia" in Here, There, Everywhere 2014. DroogLab Amsterdam. ISBN 978-9090281735.[26]
  • Tussen hebzucht en verlangen - de wereld en het grote geld [Between Greed And Desire - Big Money and the World] (2009). ISBN 978-90-468-0572-5[27]
  • Weg met het deeltijdfeminisme! - over vrouwen, ambitie en carrière [No More Part-Time Feminism! - On Women, Ambition and Career] (2006). ISBN 978-90-468-0214-4[28]
  • Compendium van het Europees belastingrecht [Compendium of EU Law] (2002) (coauthor). ISBN 90-200-2435-3[29]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Powerfeminist Heleen Mees: 'Het liefst zou ik trouwen en kinderen krijgen'" [Power feminist Heleen Mees: 'I would rather get married and have children']. Vrij Nederland (in Dutch). 25 April 2009. Archived from the original on 11 March 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  2. ^ Visser, Arjan (22 March 2008). "Heleen Mees / Ik vind het niet erg mensen op de kast te jagen" [Heleen Mees / I don't mind getting a rise out of people] (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Carrie ten Napel (April 2008). "Twentse power-feministe Heleen Mees haalt geld op voor Hillary Clinton" [Power Feminist Heleen Mees from Twente fundraiser for Hillary Clinton] (PDF) (in Dutch). TwenteVisie. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Ambitieuze powerfeministe met extreme meningen" [Ambitious power feminist with extreme opinions] (in Dutch). NRC Handelsblad. 3 March 2008. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Vrouwen moeten nu eindelijk eens echt aan het werk gaan" [The time is long overdue that women should go to work] (PDF) (in Dutch). NRC Handelsblad. 21 January 2006. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "Women on Top" (in Dutch). Women on Top. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  7. ^ Huigsloot, Nathalie (21 October 2013). "Heleen Mees, profiel van een gevallen vrouw" [Heleen Mees, Profile of a Fallen Woman] (in Dutch). HP de Tijd. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "Heleen Mees". Het Financieele Dagblad. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  9. ^ "Heleen Mees", Foreign Policy. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  10. ^ "Why we must break the male cartel in the work place". Financial Times. 
  11. ^ "Columnist Heleen Mees". Project Syndicate. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  12. ^ Mees, Heleen. (30 May 2014). "Warum China zu Unrecht beschuldigt wird", Capital. Retrieved 31 May 2014.
  13. ^ Mees, Heleen (13 September 2015). "Verhuis noorderlingen naar de grote stad". De Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 11 October 2015. 
  14. ^ "Heleen Mees wordt vaste columnist van de Volkskrant". Quote (in Dutch). 11 March 2016. Retrieved 7 October 2016. 
  15. ^ "Het New Yorkse PvdA-honk" (in Dutch). PvdA. 1 April 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  16. ^ She worked from 2005 for the Clinton campaigns. NOS Heleen Mees on the election in America (announcement), NOS, 3 January 2008. Retrieved 10 May 2014. The last campaign was in 2008.
  17. ^ Mees, Heleen (2012). "Changing Fortunes. How China’s Boom Caused the Financial Crisis (Dissertation)". Erasmus University Rotterdam. 
  18. ^ Corstens, Veerle (November 2013). "How China’s boom caused the financial crisis". TEDx Amsterdam. 
  19. ^ "Heleen Mees wil vrouwelijk potentieel mobiliseren" [Heleen Mees wants to unlock the Female Potential] (in Dutch). 12 November 2010. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  20. ^ "Heleen Mees: Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Administration". Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. New York University. Archived from the original on 26 February 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  21. ^ Rosenberg, Rebecca (3 July 2013). "Ex-NYU prof charged in Citigroup stalk". New York Post. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  22. ^ "Dutch prof's NYC stalking case set for dismissal". Wall Street Journal. 10 March 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  23. ^ "Heleen Mees eist miljoenen". De Telegraaf 29 September 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  24. ^ "Chinese Birdcage, The: How China's Rise Almost Toppled the West: 2016", Accessed 7 October 2016
  25. ^ Mees, Heleen (2012). "Changing Fortunes. How China’s Boom Caused the Financial Crisis (Dissertation)". Erasmus University Rotterdam. 
  26. ^ "Here, There, Everywhere a 4-year journey", droog. Accessed 12 October 2016
  27. ^ "Tussen hebzucht en verlangen" [Between Greed And Desire - Big Money and the World] (in Dutch). Nieuw Amsterdam. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  28. ^ "Weg met het deeltijdfeminisme!" [No More Part-Time Feminism! - On Women, Ambition and Career] (in Dutch). Nieuw Amsterdam. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  29. ^ "Compendium van het Europees belastingrecht" [Compendium of EU Law] (in Dutch). Kluwer. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 

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