Maria van der Hoeven

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Maria van der Hoeven
VanderHoeven Dutch politician kabinet Balkenende IV.jpg
Maria van der Hoeven in 2007
Executive Director of the
International Energy Agency
In office
1 September 2011 – 31 August 2015
DeputyRichard Jones
Preceded byNobuo Tanaka
Succeeded byFatih Birol
Minister of Economic Affairs
In office
22 February 2007 – 14 October 2010
Prime MinisterJan Peter Balkenende
Preceded byJoop Wijn
Succeeded byMaxime Verhagen
Minister of Education,
Culture and Science
In office
22 July 2002 – 22 February 2007
Prime MinisterJan Peter Balkenende
Preceded byLoek Hermans
Succeeded byRonald Plasterk
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
30 November 2006 – 22 February 2007
In office
30 January 2003 – 27 May 2003
In office
11 June 1991 – 22 July 2002
Parliamentary groupChristian Democratic Appeal
Personal details
Maria Josephina Arnoldina van der Hoeven

(1949-09-13) 13 September 1949 (age 69)
Meerssen, Netherlands
Political partyChristian Democratic Appeal
(from 1980)
Lou Buytendijk
(m. 1978; his death 2012)
ResidenceMaastricht, Netherlands
Alma materOpen University
(Bachelor of Education)
OccupationPolitician · Civil servant · Corporate director · Nonprofit director · Teacher · Lobbyist

Maria Josephina Arnoldina van der Hoeven (born 13 September 1949) is a retired Dutch politician of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party. She served as Executive Director of the International Energy Agency from 1 September 2011[4] to 31 August 2015.[5]

Van der Hoeven served as a Member of the House of Representatives from 11 June 1991 to 22 July 2002, when she became Minister of Education, Culture and Science, serving until 22 February 2007 in the first, second and third Balkenende cabinets. She again returned to the House of Representatives for two short periods, after the general elections in 2003 and 2006, serving from 30 January to 27 May 2003 and from 30 November 2006 to 22 February 2007. She was Minister of Economic Affairs from 22 February 2007 to 14 October 2010 in the fourth Balkenende cabinet.[6]


Early life[edit]

After completing her secondary education she trained as a primary-school teacher in Maastricht. She went on to gain a secondary teaching certificate in English, after which she attended courses in higher management for non-profit organisations at the Institute of Social Sciences and business management at the Open University in Heerlen. From 1969 she taught at home economics schools and from 1971 at a junior secondary commercial school, where she later became a school counsellor. Until 1987 she was head of the Adult Commercial Vocational Training Centre in Maastricht, after which she served as the head of the Limburg Technology Centre until 1991.


Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, 2009. Van der Hoeven with incumbent Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Japanese PM Taro Aso, and Prince Andrew.[7]

From 1985 to 1991, Van der Hoeven was a member of the municipal council of Maastricht. From 1991 to 2002, Member of the House of Representatives and Minister of Education, Culture and Science from 2002 to 2007. In 2005, she caused an uproar in a debate about the teaching of Intelligent Design in the country's schools. Van der Hoeven said that Charles Darwin's theories were incomplete and that new things had been discovered by proponents of intelligent design. The then Dutch Minister of Education later announced that she did not intend to introduce the creationist ideas into the school curricula but only wanted to confront their adherents with the supporters of the theory of evolution.[8]

Minister of Economic Affairs from 2007 to 2010, she has held a variety of social and cultural posts, including membership of the governing board of the Domstad Primary Teacher Training College in Utrecht and the Southern Dutch Opera Association, and membership of the ‘’t Vervolg’ theatre group.

On 11 March 2011, Van der Hoeven was appointed Executive Director of the International Energy Agency.[9][10] Her opponents have voiced concerns that she lacks expertise on energy matters, while her supporters point out that her work as Minister of Economic Affairs included many energy issues, and that she has extensive contacts with major OPEC members.[11] She took over from Nobuo Tanaka on 1 September 2011.[12] On 1 September 2015, she was succeeded by Fatih Birol.[5]

Later career[edit]

Since October 2016, van der Hoeven has been Vice Chairwoman of the High-level Panel of the European Decarbonisation Pathways Initiative within the European Commission. In addition, he holds several board memberships.

Corporate boards[edit]

  • Innogy, Member of the Supervisory Board (since 2016)
  • Total S.A., Independent Member of the Board of Directors (since 2016)[13]

Non-profit organizations[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Van der Hoeven is married to Lou Buytendijk, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2005. Because of her husband's illness she is active in the Dutch Alzheimer's Foundation and currently serves as its president.[14]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in Dutch) Themabijeenkomst Alzheimer Nederland
  2. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in Dutch) Halve Bossche' speciale gast Kamer van Koophandel Brabantsdagblad
  3. ^ lou-buytendijk on
  4. ^ "Maria van der Hoeven begins term as IEA Executive Director" (Press release). International Energy Agency. 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
  5. ^ a b "Fatih Birol ushers in new era for IEA—Takes office as Executive Director of global energy authority". IEA. 1 September 2015.
  6. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in Dutch) Maria van der Hoeven, minister van Economische Zaken
  7. ^ "Dmitry Medvedev met with the head of the Dutch delegation, Minister of Economic Affairs of The Netherlands Maria van der Hoeven". Kremlin. 18 February 2009.
  8. ^ "The dangers of creationism in education". Council of Europe–Parliamentary Assembly, Committee on Culture, Science and Education. 17 September 2007. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Former Dutch Minister Maria van der Hoeven Named Next Executive Director of the IEA to Start in September 2011" (Press release). International Energy Agency. 2011-03-11. Retrieved 2011-03-13.
  10. ^ "New head for the IEA". Upstream Online. NHST Media Group. 2011-03-11. Retrieved 2011-03-13.
  11. ^ Sekularac, Ivana; Boselli, Muriel (2011-08-16). "New IEA head brings people skills, M.East expertise". Reuters. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
  12. ^ "IEA Names Dutch Ex-minister Van Der Hoeven As Executive Director". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, Inc. 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2011-09-02.
  13. ^ Board of Directors Total S.A..
  14. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in Dutch) Als de mist neerdaalt Archived 2012-04-25 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Loek Hermans
Minister of Education,
Culture and Science

Succeeded by
Ronald Plasterk
Preceded by
Joop Wijn
Minister of Economic Affairs
Succeeded by
Maxime Verhagen
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Nobuo Tanaka
Executive Director of the
International Energy Agency

Succeeded by
Fatih Birol
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
President of the
Dutch Alzheimer's Foundation