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A word of Welcome to the new Netherlands Ambassador
October 18, 2013

The LDBA would like to welcome the new Netherlands  Ambassador to Lebanon,

H.E. Mrs. Hester Somsen.

We all look forward to meeting her on the 22nd of October, for lunch at le Maillon, Ashrafiyeh, and wish her the best of luck in her post. We also place at her disposal all our Association and its members' appreciable resources, to assist her in carrying out her duties, and to continue the legacy of all previous ambassadors, in further developing the already strong economical relations between Lebanon and the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, here's a short resume of Mrs. Somsen's background:

Hester Somsen was born on March 15, 1972, in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. After secondary school she studied political sciences at the University of Amsterdam, finishing as doctorandus (comparable to a master’s degree) in political sciences, with a major in International Relations.

Hester Somsen started working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1997. In those years she has dealt with issues relating to the former Yugoslavia between 1997-2000, worked as a second secretary at the Dutch embassy in Hungary, focused on parliamentary relations upon return, followed by a year at the Department of European Integration.

In 2006 she was posted to the Dutch embassy in Tanzania with a focus on political and cultural affairs. When she returned to the Netherlands in 2009 she worked as acting and consequently head of the Crisis management and Peacekeeping Operations Division in the Security Policy Department. The division deals with all aspects of the peacekeeping and crisis management operations in which the Dutch participate, ranging from the missions in Uruzgan and Kunduz, Afghanistan, the contribution to Operation Unified Protector, the anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia and the deployments of Patriots to Turkey, to the civilian missions on the Balkans and in the Middle-East. 

In 2013 she was appointed Ambassador to Lebanon.

Hester’s partner is Bard van Cruijsen, who, unfortunately, will not be able to reside permanently in Lebanon, due to his career in the Netherlands as a Dentist, but who, nevertheless, will be here on and off frequently. 

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