Tom was The Netherlands Chief of Defence for five and a half years and spent 38 years serving his country. He commanded soldiers on all levels, led a large multinational taskforce in the south of Afghanistan and was involved in over twenty different military missions as the Director of Operations.
Tom led the Defence organisation through an intense period of transition and has extensive operational and strategic experience of building unity of effort with different nations, governmental- and non-governmental organisations, international institutions, and civil stakeholders in order to deal with a wide range of security risks. He joined Clingendael as a Senior Associate Fellow and is Chairman of the International Military Council on Climate and Security. He is also the Netherlands’ Special Envoy on European Defence Cooperation and a Senior Advisor in the areas of security, defence and strategic leadership.