Jetta Klijnsma

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Jetta Klijnsma
02. Jetta Klijnsma.jpg
State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment (Netherlands)
Assumed office
November 5, 2012
Preceded by Paul de Krom
In office
December 18, 2008 – February 23, 2010
Preceded by Ahmed Aboutaleb
Succeeded by Paul de Krom
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
June 17, 2010 – November 5, 2012
Personal details
Born Jellejetta Klijnsma
(1957-03-18) March 18, 1957 (age 59)
Hoogeveen, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Political party Labour Party (Partij van de Arbeid - PvdA)
Residence The Hague, Netherlands
Alma mater University of Groningen (MA in social and economic history)
Academy of Public Administration (Netherlands) - South Holland (BA)
Occupation Politician
Website (Dutch) Labour Party website

Jellejetta (Jetta) Klijnsma (born March 18, 1957 in Hoogeveen) is a Dutch politician. As a member of the Labour Party (Partij van de Arbeid) she was an MP from 2010 to 2012. She focused on matters of culture, senior citizens, disabled people and medical ethics. Previously she was State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment in the Fourth Balkenende cabinet and an alderwoman of the municipality of The Hague. Since November 5, 2012 she has been State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment, dealing with unemployment insurances (partial), equality, long-term unemployment, poverty, health and safety in the Second Rutte cabinet.

Klijnsma studied history at the University of Groningen, with a specialization in social history and economic history. After graduating she began to work for the Labour Party's parliamentary group. She was assistant to MPs André van der Louw, Marcel van Dam and Thijs Wöltgens.

In 1990 she was elected to the municipal council of The Hague. In 1998 she became alderwoman for welfare, health and emancipation. After the 2006 municipal elections she became responsible for culture and finance and also became vice-mayor. After Wim Deetman stepped down, she was mayor ad interim of The Hague and so became the first woman in that function.

In December 2008 she succeeded fellow Labour Party politician Ahmed Aboutaleb as State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment in the fourth Balkenende cabinet. She was State Secretary till February 2010, when the Labour Party left the cabinet.

Klijnsma has a physical handicap. She was born with spastic legs and only learned how to walk at age thirteen. She has a Reformed background but turned non-religious and became a member of the Dutch Humanist League.[1]


Government offices
Preceded by
Ahmed Aboutaleb
Paul de Krom
State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment
Succeeded by
Paul de Krom