Jakob Gijsbert (Jaap) de Hoop Scheffer was born in Amsterdam on 3 April 1948.
After completing his secondary education, he studied law at Leiden University, graduating in 1974.
From 1974 to 1976 he performed his military service in the Royal Netherlands Air Force and was discharged as a reserve officer.
From 1976 to 1986, he was employed in the Foreign Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, serving in Ghana, at the Netherlands Delegation to NATO and as Private Secretary to the Dutch Foreign Minister
Mr De Hoop Scheffer was elected to the House of Representatives of the States General for the Christian Democratic Party (CDA) in June 1986 and served on the Standing Committees on Foreign Affairs, Justice, European Affairs and Defense.
He was the Chair of the Standing Committees for Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation and a member of the Parliamentary Assemblies of NATO and the Council of Europe.
He was the Party leader of the CDA between 1997 and 2001
On 22 July 2002, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs
The Netherlands held the Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2003. Mr De Hoop Scheffer was the Chairman-in-Office of that organization until he stepped down as Foreign Minister on 3 December 2003.
From January 2004 to August 2009 he was Secretary General of NATO and chairman of the North Atlantic Council.
Since then he served on the Board of Air France-KLM as a non- executive Director (2011-2020) and was a member (2010-2014) and chair (2014-2018) of the Supervisory Board of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
Until April 2020 he lectured in the Hague at the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs of his Alma Mater Leiden University on International Relations and the Practice of Diplomacy.
He chaired the Advisory Council on International Affairs for both Government and Parliament (2013-2021)
He was member of the Advisory Council of VNO-NCW, the Dutch Employers Organization. (2017-2022)
He is a member of the “Trilateral Commission”, a trustee of the Brussels based “Friends of Europe” and serves on the Board of the Center for European Policy Studies in Brussels
He is the chair of the Netherlands Civil Honours Advisory Committee.
On June 29 2018 he was appointed Minister of State.
He is married to Jeannine de Hoop Scheffer-van Oorschot, who graduated at Leiden University in French language and literature and currently teaches French and Dutch at the “Berlitz School of Languages” and holds positions in various volunteer groups. They have two daughters.