United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 31 August 2018 the appointment of Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert of the Netherlands as his Special Representative for Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). She will succeed Ján Kubiš of Slovakia, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his service.
Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert brings over 20 years of political and diplomatic experience, having served in several high-level government and parliamentary positions. She was Minister of Defence of the Netherlands (2012-2017), the first woman to be appointed in that role. As Minister, she oversaw the Central Staff, Support Command, the Defence Material Organisation and the four Royal Netherlands Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force and the Military and Border Police. In this role, she had oversight of Dutch involvement in military operations in Mali, Afghanistan and Iraq, building close collaboration with the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and United Nations partners.
Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert also served as a member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands (2010-2012) and a member of the European Parliament (2004-2010). She worked for the European Commission in Brussels and in Riga, Latvia, and for the City of Amsterdam.