Jacques van Ypersele de Strihou

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Jacques van Ypersele de Strihou
Born (1936-12-05) 5 December 1936 (age 80)
Ukkel, Belgium
Nationality Belgium
Occupation civil servant, royal secretary

Jacques van Ypersele de Strihou (born 5 December 1936), was the Principal Private Secretary to the King of the Belgians (1983–2013). When Albert II of Belgium succeeded his brother Baudouin I of Belgium, he kept his private secretary, so Jacques van Ypersele de Strihou has served two kings. Together with Jan Willems, Marshal of the Royal Household, he represents the King at the board of the King Baudouin Foundation.

Jacques van Ypersele de Strihou is a French-speaking Christian Democrat (CDH, previously known as PSC). He is a son of Henry van Ypersele, an engineer who worked for the business group of the late Baron Empain and Martha Bansa de Kinder. Henry van Ypersele was the brother of Baron Adelin van Ypersele de Strihou and himself administrator of Royale Belge, the predecessor of Axa. Jacques van Ypersele de Strihou is married to Brigitte de Bus de Warnaffe and together they have four daughters: Marie-Noëlle, Vinciane, Christina and Nathalie. His daughter, Nathalie van Ypersele de Strihou, is a journalist at the business magazine Trends Tendances.

Jacques van Ypersele de Strihou is nicknamed "Van Yp" in Belgium's political and media circles.


Jacques van Ypersele went to school at the Jesuit college Saint-Michel of Brussels. He studied literature at the Facultés universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix (FUNDP) in Namur and in addition he studied law and economy at the Catholic University of Louvain. During his studies, he was a member of the Olivaint Conference of Belgium. He was an assistant at the University of Lovanium of Léopoldville in Congo for some months, after which he went to Yale University, on a NATO-scholarship, where he obtained a PhD in economics under Richard Cooper.[1]


In Washington, D.C., he met professor Robert Triffin, of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Robert Triffin, his mentor, provided him with a job at the IMF in Washington, D.C., and later in 1969 at Jakarta (Indonesia). In Washington, D.C., at the IMF, he shared a room, as a junior economist, with Wim Duisenberg, the later President of the European Central Bank. Due to his talent, he acquired international fame in a short time. State leaders, such as the German chancellor Helmut Schmidt and the French president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing praized his expertise on economics and finance. In the early 1970s he returned to Belgium, where he joined the Empain-Group, and became Vice-President of Electrorail. In 1972 he became an advisor at the cabinet of André Vlerick. He became consultant of three successive Belgian Ministers for Finance: Willy De Clercq, Gaston Geens and in 1981 of Robert Vandeputte. In 1976, he was appointed by Willy De Clercq as inspector-general of the Belgian treasury. In 1978 he became (vice-) Chief of Cabinet of Leo Tindemans, and later also of Paul Vanden Boeynants, and Wilfried Martens.

Between 1972 and 1983, he taught at the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) and the Institut Catholique des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (ICHEC) in Brussels. At the end of the 1970s, he was President of the Monetary Committee of the European Union, and played a particularly important role in the design and establishment of the European Monetary System (EMS). In 1981, together with Alfons Verplaetse, he was one of the architects of the devaluation of the Belgian Franc, in order to stimulate the Belgian economy. In 1983, he succeeded Jean-Marie Piret and became principal private secretary of Baudouin I of Belgium, and later also of his brother Albert II of Belgium, until the latter's abdication on 21 July 2013. As one of his final acts of his reign, Albert II appointed van Ypersele de Strihou as a Minister of State.

Jacques van Ypersele de Strihou is a member of the monetary committee of the European Union, and also works for the IMF and the Worldbank as a financial expert.[2]


Foreign honours[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jacques van Ypersele de Strihou, Sharing the Defense Burden Among Western Allies, The Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 49, No. 4 (November, 1967), pp. 527-536 (part of his Ph.D. dissertation)
  2. ^ Jacques van Ypersele, Le système monétaire Européen. Origines, fonctionnement et perspectives, Collection Perspectives Européennes, 1989
  3. ^ Italian Presidency website, S.E. Jacques van YPERSELE de STRIHOU - Cavaliere di Gran Croce Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana