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Published On: Wed, Jan 12th, 2022

Knops’ successor Alexandra van Huffelen looks forward to cooperation with the Caribbean part of the Kingdom

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PHILIPSBURG — Alexandra van Huffelen, Raymond Knops’ successor as State Secretary of Kingdom Relations, was quick to communicate with the Caribbean part of the kingdom after she was sworn in as a member of the fourth Rutte-cabinet on January 10.

“I am eagerly looking forward to the cooperation with Caribbean Netherlands and the Caribbean countries in the Kingdom,” she said in a brief video message released on January 11. “Based on equality I hope that we can make our common ambitions come through in the near future. I will visit the islands as soon as possible.”

Van Huffelen also referred to the high number of corona-infections on the islands and wished everyone who is affected by it much strength. The 53-year old state secretary received a briefing from outgoing State Secretary Knops and admitted that she had “a lot to learn” about the Caribbean part of the Kingdom.

So who is this new State Secretary and what should the islands expect from her? Unlike Knops, who is a member of the CDA (for which he is now a member of the Dutch Second Chamber), Van Huffelen is a member of the more left-leaning D66-party. She became a party-member in 1989, when she was just 21 years of age. Will this shift towards the political left do the islands any good? That remains to be seen.

The first test comes on January 21, when the Kingdom Council of Ministers will discuss continued liquidity support for St. Maarten, Curacao and Aruba.

Public information about Van Huffelen’s career does not go back further than 2008 when she became the director of the business unit New Energy and managing director of Deutsche Essent, the largest energy company in the Netherlands. What she did before her fortieth birthday remains unclear.

In 2010, Van Huffelen became interim director of De Publieke Zaak, a platform that focuses on social innovation. For a brief period, Van Huffelen was responsible for the development and implementation of a social internship-program for VMBO-students.

Later that same year, she became an alderman in the city-government of Rotterdam, responsible for sustainable development, inner city and public spaces.

In 2014 she left for Amsterdam where she was appointed as the director of the Municipal Transport Company (GVB), a job she held until 2020.

In 2019 she became a member of the Dutch senate (the First Chamber) for D66 and on January 29, 2020, she became State Secretary for Finance.

Van Huffelen has a background as management consultant, but her profession is generally listed as politician. Her responsibilities at the Ministry of Home Affairs include, next to Kingdom Relations, also the portfolio of Digitization.

Van Huffelen has a Bachelor’s degree of public administration from Leiden University and a master’s degree in the same field from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam.

The website allfamousbirhtday.com describes Van Huffelen as one of the richest Dutch politicians with an estimated net worth of $1.5 million. The number is based on information derived from Wikipedia, Forbes and Business Insider. Another website, peopleai.com, claims Van Huffelen’s net worth much lower, at $517,000.

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Photo taken from DossierKoninkrijksrelaties.nl

Watch the video here: https://fb.watch/au4Vi9TSGY



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