A Dutch National, I am currently a Senior Advisor with Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD) and non-resident Professor at the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs, Fordham University. I worked with UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, from 1989 until late 2019, most recently as the first Chief of its Ethics Office. Prior to that, I held a range of other positions with UNRWA, including as General Counsel, (agency-wide) Director of Operations, and (Deputy) Field Director in Gaza and Syria. Before joining UNRWA, I was the Legal Officer of the Dutch Refugee Council for six years.
A law graduate from the University of Amsterdam, I obtained a Doctorate in International Law from the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands, after having successfully defended my doctoral dissertation entitled The Status of Palestinian Refugees in International Law.
Oxford University Press (OUP) published a commercial edition of the dissertation in 1998; an integral Arabic translation was published by the Institute for Palestine Studies in 2003. A new version of the book, co-authored with Francesca Albanese, is published, also with OUP, in 2020. I have two daughters and two sons.