OECD Forum 2012: Ad Melkert


Ad Melkert

Former Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, Netherlands



Ad Melkert served as Associate Administrator at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and subsequently as Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Iraq until September 2011. Prior to this, he rose to prominence in Dutch politics as leader of the Labour Party (PvdA) and a candidate for Prime Minister in the 2002 elections. He was Minister of Social Affairs and Employment from 1994 until 1998, and also served as Executive Director at the World Bank. Mr Melkert has recently been nominated by the Government of the Netherlands as its candidate for the post of Director-General of the International Labour Office.
As a Minister of Social Affairs and Employment in the first cabinet of Prime Minister Wim Kok, Mr Melkert held responsibility for one of its main priorities: jobs. As Minister and subsequently parliamentary party leader he cherished the motto: it is just not fair if anyone is left out, anywhere and implemented a number of measures to tackle long-term unemployment, modernise social security and reform labour market regulations. The measures taken contributed to a record decrease in unemployment in the period from 1994 to 2001.
As UNDP’s chief operations officer, Mr Melkert successfully supervised operations in over 150 countries focusing on economic and social recovery of countries in post-conflict situations. As the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Iraq, Mr Melkert led the UN’s broad mission in Iraq at a crucial stage of recovery and development. His role in building consensus in support of the successful election process in 2010 has been widely recognized.
Ad Melkert was born in Gouda, the Netherlands. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Amsterdam and speaks English, Spanish, French and German fluently, next to his native Dutch.














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