Peter Hoekstra, U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands, was born in Groningen and immigrated with his family to the United States. He became a prominent politician and business executive with a long history of public service.
The Ambassador served as a Member of Congress for eighteen years (1993-2011) representing Michigan’s 2nd District. He was the founding chairman of the Congressional Caucus on the Netherlands and active throughout his tenure in promoting Dutch-American ties. He was also the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence or ranking Republican on the Committee from 2004-2011. During this time, he was responsible for leading Congressional oversight of U.S. intelligence during its modernization to confront the threats of the 21st century and restructuring following the 9-11 Commission report. During the 2016 Presidential election, he served as Co-Chair of the Trump/Pence campaign in Michigan and was a campaign National Security Advisor focusing on intelligence, cyber, and other security issues.
Prior to his election to Congress, Ambassador Hoekstra enjoyed a successful 15-year career at Herman Miller, Inc. of Zeeland, Michigan, where he rose to become Vice President of Marketing. After Congress he was a distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a Shillman Senior Fellow at the Investigative Project on Terrorism. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Gentex Corporation.
Ambassador Hoekstra was a member of the Executive Committee of the Netherlands American Foundation. He has written on issues of international affairs, intelligence, and security including the book, “Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya” in 2015. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Hope College, an MBA from the University of Michigan, and an Honorary Doctorate from Grand Valley State University. His awards include the Order of the House of Orange from the Netherlands, the “National Intelligence Distinguished Public Service Medal”, the CIA “Agency Seal Medal,” and the Hope College Distinguished Alumni Award.
The Ambassador and his wife, Diane, have three adult children: Erin, Allison, Bryan, as well as daughter-in-law Rebecca and a new grandchild, Elam.