After studying History and Law at the University of Amsterdam, I lived and worked in a lot of different countries: the US, Ghana, Mali and Belgium, where I managed the public affairs office in Brussels for Dutch industrialists Ballast Nedam, Damen Shipyards, Philips Medical systems, Stork and Sulzer. In 2002, I made a transfer to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through which I was placed in Bangkok and Bagdad.