CCOE Director Wolfgang Paulik proudly announce the presence of H.E. Excellency Hester Somsen at the 10th Anniversary of the CIMIC COE on October 10th in The Hague. As one of the highly distinguished diplomats at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Somsen currently serves as the Director of Security Policy at the Ministry. Her exceptional career has brought her to many of the theaters where NATO forces and affiliated CIMIC personnel have been, and are still serving as well.
On October 10th, she will present both honorees for the 2017 CIMIC Award of Excellence, H. E. The President of the Republic of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and the Civil-Military Coordination Section of UN OCHA, represented by its chief executive Mr. Josef Reiterer.
Born in 1972, 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 her 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. There she dealt with all aspects of the peacekeeping and crisis management operations in which the Dutch participated during that period, 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.
From 2013 through November 2016, she was appointed Ambassador to Lebanon, as the refugee crisis and the instability in the country related to the Syria crisis formed the background of her posting. She worked on humanitarian and stabilization support, on increasing economic opportunities, on the political stalemate and on an enabling environment for the embassy team to excel.
In September 2016 she was appointed Director Security Policy at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.