Herman Wijffels

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Herman Wijffels
Herman Wijffels in 2011
Chairman of the Social
and Economic Council
In office
1 January 1999 – 1 April 2006
Preceded byKlaas de Vries
Succeeded byAlexander Rinnooy Kan
Personal details
Herman H.F. Wijffels

(1942-03-13) 13 March 1942 (age 82)
Turkeye, Netherlands
Political partyChristian Democratic Appeal
(from 1980)
Other political
Catholic People's Party
(until 1980)
Herma van der Weide
(m. 1970)
Residence(s)Maarn, Netherlands
Alma materTilburg University
(Bachelor of Economics, Master of Economics, Doctor of Philosophy)
OccupationPolitician · Civil servant · Economist · Financial adviser · Researcher · Businessman · Banker · Corporate director · Nonprofit director · Trade association executive · Academic administrator · Lobbyist · Author · Professor

H.H.F. "Herman" Wijffels (born 13 March 1942) is a retired Dutch politician of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party and businessman.

From 1981 to 1999 he worked for the Rabobank ultimately as chairman of the board of directors and from 15 March 1999 until 1 April 2006 he was chairman of the Social-Economic Council (Sociaal-Economische Raad, SER). From 2006 to 2008 he was the Dutch representative at the World Bank, succeeding Ad Melkert. For the 2006-2007 Dutch cabinet formation, Wijffels was recommended by informateur Rein Jan Hoekstra to lead the negotiations between the CDA, PvdA and ChristianUnion. On 22 December 2006 Queen Beatrix appointed him as Hoekstra's successor as informateur. He has been referred to as "the best prime minister the Netherlands never had".[1]

He has been involved in supporting many causes since his retirement from the SER as his biography by Jan Smit illustrates.[2] On leaving the SER, he demonstrated his bridging role by bringing together people from his traditional world and alternative world in a leaving event with Prof Ervin Laszlo, Dr Don Beck and Peter Merry. He repeated this with a major event focused on societal transformation in the Netherlands called Klaar om te Wenden[3] (which translates as the sailing term "Ready About!").


Ribbon bar Honour Country Date Comment
Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion Netherlands 30 April 1991
Commander of the Order of Orange-Nassau Netherlands 30 April 1995

Honorary degrees[edit]

Honorary degrees
University Field Country Date Comment
Tilburg University Economics Netherlands 25 November 1998
Open University Economics Netherlands 13 December 2002


  1. ^ http://www.volkskrant.nl/archief_gratis/article1213347.ece/We_vragen_te_veel_van_planeet_aarde [dead link]
  2. ^ "Herman Wijffels in een biografie van Jan Smit - Biografieportaal". Biografieportaal (in Dutch). 2014-06-07. Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  3. ^ "Klaar om te Wenden". Peter Merry. 2006-03-31. Retrieved 2017-11-13.

External links[edit]

Civic offices
Preceded by Chairman of the Social
and Economic Council

Succeeded by
Government offices
Preceded by Informateur
Succeeded by
Business positions
Preceded by CEO and Chairman of the

Succeeded by
Hans Smits
Preceded by Executive Director of the
World Bank Group

Succeeded by
Executive Director of the
International Monetary Fund

Succeeded by
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Secretary of the
Christian Employers' federation

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Chairman of the
Vereniging Natuurmonumenten

Succeeded by
Academic offices
Preceded by
President of the
Tilburg University

Succeeded by