Dr. Dirk-Jan Koch

Mr Dirk-Jan KOCH

Special Envoy for Natural Resources, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands
Board Member Type: 
Supporting Countries

Dr. Dirk Jan Koch is a diplomat, writer, scientist and highly committed to a world in which natural resources are used in a sustainable way. Dr. Koch focuses on security and sustainability of supply of metals and minerals, and transparency is key to both objectives.

Before re-joining the Ministry of Foreign affairs, he served as Search for Common Ground’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa, based in the DRC. He oversaw more than 250 staff and conflict resolution and transparency programs in Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, the DRC and Angola. He supervised a diverse array of programs ranging from the amnesty program in the oil-rich Niger Delta program to budget transparency programming in Sierra Leone.

He started his career as a diplomat and policy advisor at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was based in the Hague and in Kinshasa, the DRC. At the Netherlands embassy in Kinshasa he focused among others on natural resources, amongst which the Extactive Industries Transparency Initiative.

He is the author of several well-regarded books, articles, and working papers focusing on natural resources, international development and diplomacy. His work has appeared in French, English, Catalan, German and Dutch. Dr. Koch is much invited public speaker and is an honorary research fellow of the Radboud University in Nijmegen. He has been a part-time professor at the Catholic University of Kinshasa.

Dirk holds a PhD in Social Sciences (cum laude) from Radboud University in the Netherlands, a Masters’ from the London School of Economics (merit), and a Bachelor’s from the University of Utrecht, Netherlands (cum laude).