Advisory Council

The Advisory Council acts as a sparring partner and sounding board for the Academy team. It comprises diverse BZ staff members with expertise in learning and development and two external experts from the Ministry of Defence and the Senior Civil Service.

The Advisory Council

  • highlights developments in the social, political and international arena, which are decisive for the curriculum;
  • advises on effective organisation of learning for BZ and for government-wide jobs with an international focus;
  • provides both solicited and unsolicited advice and draws attention to work-related learning and development issues of relevance to the effective organisation of learning and development;
  • act as ambassadors, promoting the notion of the learning organisation;
  • contribute to learning activities as speakers or members of a panel.


The current members of the Advisory Council are as follows:

Table: current members of the Advisory Council
Name Function
Dirk-Jan Koch (co-chair) Chief Science Officer/knowledge policy coordinator for the Strategic Policy Unit (ESA)
Yvette Eechoud (co-chair) Deputy Director-General for Foreign Economic Relations
Peter van der Knaap Director of the Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB)
Brechje Swachöfer Inspector at the Inspection, Risk Analysis and Advisory Unit (ISB)
Bianca Hettinga Member of the Works Council, Policy officer Paramaribo
Barbara van Hellemond Director of the  Diplomatic Missions Department (HDPN)
Jacinda Hofland

Head of Integrity and Safe Working Environment Division/Central Coordinator Integrity

Gera Sneller Strategic advisor on Diversity & Inclusion
Marien van den Eijnden Colonel; Director of the Netherlands Defence Academy of the Ministry of Defence
Job van den Berg Director Office of the Secretary-General
Gert-Jan van Schaik Interim program manager DARE
Christina van Wagensveld

Head of the Department Development & Interimmanagement at  Directorate-General Senior Civil Service

Mirjam Krijnen
Mirella van de Noort (observer) Head of the Academy for International Relations
Loes Vonk (secretary) Academy coordinator