Professor Jan Peter Balkenende (born in 1956) is a former Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands from 2002 to 2010 as representative of the Christian Democratic Alliance (CDA).
Balkenende studied economic and social history (MA) as well as Dutch law (LLM) at VU University Amsterdam. He obtained a Ph.D. in law with a thesis entitled ‘Government Regulation and Civil Society Organisations.’ He subsequently worked at the Netherlands’ Universities Council, the Research Institute of the political party CDA and as professor at VU University. He was a member of the Amstelveen municipal council (1982-1998) and of the Lower House of the Dutch Parliament (1998-2002). He published a number of books and articles on a range of subjects, including innovation, development cooperation, European integration, social security, government finance, poverty, economic growth and responsibilities of the business sector. From 2002 to 2010, Balkenende was Prime Minister of the Netherlands.
During his tenure, distinctive national reforms were achieved, examples of which are to be found in fields of social security, pre-pension facilities and public health. He played as well a very active role internationally, both within Europe (presidency of the European Council in the second half of 2004), as in the G20 (although the Netherlands is not a formal member) and in the UN (with a special emphasis on issues like sustainable development, Millennium Development Goals and the WTO). After his term in the office, Balkenende became Professor of Governance, Institutions and Internationalisation at Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2010. During the period of 2011-2016, Balkenende worked as Partner to EY, where he focused on corporate responsibility, international affairs and advisory activities for public-private issues.
Since 2016, Balkenende is External Senior and since 2017 he is a member of the Supervisory Board of ING Advisor. In his current capacity, Balkenende is also the chairman of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition, the Major Alliance and the Noaber Foundation. Professor Balkenende, who has received ten Grand Crosses and five honorary doctorates from universities in Hungary, Japan, South Korea and the United States, continues to be an active voice in the global agenda, particularly since he became a Member of Club de Madrid in October 2019.