Famous Dutch Leaders

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Find out more about the greatest Dutch Leaders, including Mark Rutte, Desiderius Erasmus, Geert Wilders, Pope Adrian VI and Pier Gerlofs Donia.
Vote for Your Favourite Dutch Leaders
 1 
King Willem-Alexander
(King of the Netherlands )
King Willem-Alexander
4
Birthdate: April 27, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: University Medical Center Utrecht, Netherlands
Willem-Alexander, son of Beatrix of the Netherlands and German-born diplomat Claus van Amsberg, took over as the king of the Netherlands after his mother’s abdication. He has served the Royal Netherlands Navy and been a member of the International Olympic Committee. His interests include sports and water management.
 2 
Geert Wilders
(Member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands and Leader of the 'Party for Freedom')
Geert Wilders
9
Birthdate: September 6, 1963
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Venlo, Netherlands

Known as the Dutch Donald Trump for his Islamophobic and anti-immigrant comments, Geert Wilders is the current Party for Freedom leader and a Member of the House of Representatives. While he initially studied law and worked in health insurance, he later entered politics as a speech writer.

 3 
William the Silent
(Main Leader of the Dutch Revolt Against the Spanish Habsburgs that Set off the Eighty Years' War)
William the Silent
6
Birthdate: April 24, 1533
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dillenburg, Germany
Died: July 10, 1584

William the Silent played an important role in the Dutch Revolt where he led a group of fighters against the Spanish Habsburgs. The revolt resulted in the Eighty Years' War, which in turn paved the way for the independence of the United Provinces. Thanks to his efforts during the Dutch Revolt, William is referred to as Father of the Fatherland.    

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 4 
Mark Rutte
(Prime Minister of the Netherlands since 2010)
Mark Rutte
6
Birthdate: February 14, 1967
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: The Hague, Netherlands

Dutch politician and VVD party leader Mark Rutte has been serving his nation as its prime minister since 2010. While he initially aspired to be a pianist, he later studied history and then worked for Unilever, before stepping into politics. He is known as Teflon Mark for recovering from controversies unscathed. 

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 5 
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
(Critic of Islam and Advocate of Women Rights)
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
10
Birthdate: November 13, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mogadishu, Somalia

Somali-born Dutch-American activist, feminist, and scholar Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the founder of an organization for the defense of women's rights, the AHA Foundation. She actively opposes forced marriage, honor violence, and child marriage. A former Muslim, she now identifies as an atheist and is a vocal critic of Islam. She is a recipient of the Lantos Human Rights Prize.

 6 
Michiel de Ruyter
(17th Century Dutch Admiral Who is Regarded as One of the Most Skilled Admirals in History)
Michiel de Ruyter
4
Birthdate: March 24, 1607
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vlissingen, Netherlands
Died: April 29, 1676

Michiel de Ruyter was a Dutch admiral best remembered for his achievements during the Anglo-Dutch Wars. An important member of the Dutch Navy during his time, De Ruyter is widely considered one of the most talented admirals of all time. Regarded as a Dutch folk hero, Michiel de Ruyter's life and career inspired the 2015 Dutch film, Michiel de Ruyter.

 7 
Pier Gerlofs Donia
3
Birthdate: 1480 AD
Birthplace: Kimswerd, Frisia, Netherlands
Died: October 28, 1520

Pier Gerlofs Donia was a Frisian rebel leader and pirate, whose life is shrouded in mystery. He was said to be a big, strong man with a dark complexion. He led an armed band, known as the Arumer Zwarte Hoop, against the Hollanders and Burgundians at sea and targeted ships that traveled the Zuiderzee. He died in 1520. 

 8 
Jan van Riebeeck
(Dutch Colonial Administrator)
Jan van Riebeeck
4
Birthdate: April 21, 1619
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Culemborg
Died: January 18, 1677

Jan van Riebeeck was a Dutch colonial administrator and navigator. He is credited with founding the Dutch Cape Colony and Cape Town. Jan van Riebeeck is of historical and cultural importance to South Africa as many South Africans consider him the founding father of their country. Several South African villages and towns have streets named after Van Riebeeck.

 9 
Thierry Baudet
(Politician)
Thierry Baudet
5
Birthdate: January 28, 1983
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Heemstede, Netherlands
Dutch politician and Forum for Democracy founder-leader Thierry Baudet is a Member of the House of Representatives. He has also been a lecturer but has mostly been in the news for his controversial opinions, such as his comparison of unvaccinated people to Jews and COVID-19 restrictions to the Holocaust.
 10 
Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor
(monarch, writer, composer)
Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor
3
Birthdate: 1165
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Nijmegen
Died: September 28, 1197

Henry VI of the Hohenstaufen dynasty was the Holy Roman Emperor in the 12th century. He was also the king of Germany and of Sicily, the latter through his marriage to Constance I. He failed in his attempt to make the crown of the Holy Roman Emperor a hereditary monarchy.

 11 
Frans Timmermans
(First Vice President of the European Commission)
Frans Timmermans
5
Birthdate: May 6, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Maastricht, Netherlands

Frans Timmermans, a seasoned Dutch politician and diplomat, serves as First Vice President of the European Commission, as Executive Vice President of the European Commission for the European Green Deal and as the European Commissioner for Climate Action. He earlier served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and as the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the Fourth Balkenende cabinet.

 12 
René Meulensteen
(Dutch Former Footballer and Coach Who Played as a Midfielder)
René Meulensteen
4
Birthdate: March 25, 1964
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Beugen, Netherlands

René Meulensteen is a Dutch retired football player who played as a midfielder for clubs like De Treffers and NEC Nijmegen. After retiring as a player, Meulensteen went on to establish himself as a manager. He has managed teams like Kerala Blasters and Fulham. René Meulensteen is the current assistant manager of the Australia men's national soccer team.

 13 
Pim Fortuyn
(Dutch Politician and Sociologist Who Founded the Party 'Pim Fortuyn List')
Pim Fortuyn
4
Birthdate: February 19, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Driehuis, Netherlands
Died: May 6, 2002

A Dutch sociology professor, Pim Fortuyn was also a prominent politician, who founded the Pim Fortuyn List party. Known for his Islamophobic and anti-immigration comments, he was also openly gay. He was assassinated by a Dutch animal rights activist, who confessed to shooting him for targeting weaker communities in his political campaigns.

 14 
Margaret of Austria, Duchess of Savoy
(Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands (1507 - 1530))
Margaret of Austria, Duchess of Savoy
3
Birthdate: January 10, 1480
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: December 1, 1530

The only daughter of Habsburg archduke Maximilian I, who became the Holy Roman Emperor, Margaret of Austria was also the duchess of Savoy by virtue of her marriage to Philibert II, Duke of Savoy. A patron of the arts, she owned a huge library and had several painters at her court.

 15 
Abraham Kuyper
(Prime Minister of the Netherlands (1901 - 1905))
Abraham Kuyper
3
Birthdate: October 29, 1837
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Maassluis, Netherlands
Died: November 8, 1920

After studying subjects such as literature and theology, Abraham Kuyper became a pastor and founded the Calvinist paper De Standaard. He later established the Anti-Revolutionary Party and also served the Netherlands as prime minister. He was also the founder of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands.

 16 
Sigrid Kaag
(Politician, Diplomat)
Sigrid Kaag
5
Birthdate: November 2, 1961
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rijswijk, Netherlands

Though a pianist’s daughter, Sigrid Kaag grew up studying Middle East studies and international relations. Initially a Dutch diplomat to places such as Beirut and Vienna, she later worked for the UN and then joined Democrats 66. She now leads her country as its First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.

 17 
Wim Kok
(Politician, Trade unionist)
Wim Kok
3
Birthdate: September 29, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bergambacht

Wim Kok was a Dutch politician whose career reached its peak in 1994 when he was elected as the Prime Minister of the Netherlands. He served as the Prime Minister until 2002 and his cabinets brought about major social reforms, including the legalization of euthanasia and same-sex marriage. Kok is counted among the best prime ministers post World War II.

 18 
Jan Peter Balkenende
(Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 22 July 2002 to 14 October 2010)
Jan Peter Balkenende
3
Birthdate: May 7, 1956
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Biezelinge, Netherlands

Jan Peter Balkenende is a Dutch politician known for serving as the Prime Minister from 2002 to 2010. His eight-year tenure made him the fourth longest-serving PM after World War II. His premiership witnessed major reforms to the immigration laws and education system. His premiership also played a key role in reducing the deficit after the financial crisis of 2008.

 19 
Johan van Oldenbarnevelt
3
Birthdate: September 14, 1547
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Amersfoort, Netherlands
Died: May 13, 1619
 20 
Ahmed Aboutaleb
(Dutch Politician and Mayor of Rotterdam )
Ahmed Aboutaleb
3
Birthdate: August 29, 1961
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Beni Sidel, Morocco

Ahmed Aboutaleb not only became the first Muslim mayor of Rotterdam but was also the first Muslim mayor of an European city with a non-Muslim majority. Born in Morocco, he moved to the Netherlands at 15. The Labour Party politician was initially a journalist and is also a qualified electrical engineer.

 21 
Hugo de Jonge
(Politician)
Hugo de Jonge
5
Birthdate: September 26, 1977
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bruinisse, Netherlands

Hugo de Jonge is a Dutch politician and the current Minister for Housing and Spatial Planning. From 2017 to 2022, he not only served as the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, but also served as the Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands. De Jonge has also been playing an important role in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic in the Netherlands.

 22 
Ruud Lubbers
(Economist, Politician, Diplomat, Entrepreneur, University teacher)
Ruud Lubbers
2
Birthdate: May 7, 1939
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rotterdam

Dutch politician Ruud Lubbers scripted history as the longest-serving prime minister of his country, having held the office for over a decade. He had also been the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. A bright student of economics, he had initially aspired to be academician but took up construction management and eventually, politics.

 23 
Jan Pieterszoon Coen
(Governor-General)
Jan Pieterszoon Coen
2
Birthdate: January 8, 1587
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hoorn, Netherlands
Died: September 21, 1629
 24 
Maurice, Prince of Orange
(Prince of Orange (1618 - 1625))
Maurice, Prince of Orange
5
Birthdate: November 14, 1567
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dillenburg, Germany
Died: April 23, 1625

Maurice, Prince of Orange is remembered for transforming the Dutch army with his modern military strategy and engineering. The second son of William I the Silent, he was part of the Eighty Years’ War with Spain. He passed away shortly before the siege of Breda was completed.

 25 
Anton Mussert
(Politician who co-founded the National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands)
Anton Mussert
2
Birthdate: May 11, 1894
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Werkendam, Netherlands
Died: May 7, 1946
 26 
Jeroen Dijsselbloem
(Politician, Economist)
Jeroen Dijsselbloem
3
Birthdate: March 29, 1966
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Eindhoven, Netherlands

After graduating in agricultural economics, Jeroen Dijsselbloem began his career as an Agriculture & Environment policy officer at the European Parliament. The Labour Party politician later helmed the Dutch ministry of finance and is now the chairman of the Dutch Safety Board. He has also headed the Eurogroup as its president.

 27 
Femke Halsema
(Politician)
Femke Halsema
3
Birthdate: April 25, 1966
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Haarlem, Netherlands
 28 
Kajsa Ollongren
(Politician)
Kajsa Ollongren
3
Birthdate: May 28, 1967
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Leiden, Netherlands
 29 
Rob Jetten
(Minister for Climate and Energy since 2022)
Rob Jetten
0
Birthdate: March 25, 1987
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Veghel, Netherlands
 30 
Ancilla van de Leest
(Politician, Fetish model)
Ancilla van de Leest
3
Birthdate: July 21, 1985
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rotterdam, Netherlands

Ancilla van de Leest is a Dutch former fetish model, presenter, producer, and activist. She appeared in the Dutch edition of the famous Playboy magazine on a couple of occasions before establishing herself as a popular fetish model, specializing in corsets, latex clothes, stockings, and high heels. She then quit her modeling career and became a politician. 

 31 
Raymond Westerling
(Military officer of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army)
Raymond Westerling
0
Birthdate: August 31, 1919
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Beyoğlu, İstanbul, Turkey
Died: November 26, 1987
 32 
Jesse Klaver
(Member of the House of Representatives since 2010, Leader of GroenLinks since 2015)
Jesse Klaver
0
Birthdate: May 1, 1986
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Roosendaal, Netherlands
 33 
Piet Pieterszoon Hein
2
Birthdate: November 25, 1577
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Delfshaven, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Died: June 18, 1629
 34 
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
(Politician, Diplomat, Jurist, University teacher, Lawyer)
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
2
Birthdate: April 3, 1948
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Amsterdam
 35 
Karel Doorman
(Naval Officer)
Karel Doorman
2
Birthdate: April 23, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Utrecht, Netherlands
Died: February 28, 1942
 36 
Aarnoud van Heemstra
(Governor-General of Suriname (23 May 1921 – 21 May 1924))
Aarnoud van Heemstra
2
Birthdate: July 22, 1871
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vreeland, Netherlands
Died: December 30, 1957
 37 
Herman Willem Daendels
2
Birthdate: October 21, 1762
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hattem, Netherlands
Died: May 2, 1818
 38 
Dries van Agt
(Politician, Diplomat)
Dries van Agt
2
Birthdate: February 2, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Geldrop, Netherlands

Dries van Agt was once the prime minister of the Netherlands. He has also been the EU ambassador to the US and Japan. He began his career as a criminal defense lawyer and then joined politics, initially as part of the Catholic People's Party and later as a Christian Democratic Appeal leader.

 39 
Sylvana Simons
(Politician, Actress)
Sylvana Simons
3
Birthdate: January 31, 1971
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paramaribo, Suriname

Sylvana Simons is a politician and former TV presenter. She is credited with founding a political party named BIJ1, which is widely regarded as an egalitarian anti-racist party. Since 2021, she has been serving as a member of the House of Representatives; Sylvana Simons is the first black leader to be elected to the House of Representatives in Dutch history.

 40 
Henri Winkelman
(Military officer)
Henri Winkelman
2
Birthdate: August 17, 1876
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Maastricht, Netherlands
Died: December 27, 1952
 41 
Maarten Tromp
(General)
Maarten Tromp
2
Birthdate: April 23, 1598
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Breille, Netherlands
Died: August 10, 1653
 42 
Khadija Arib
(Politician)
Khadija Arib
2
Birthdate: October 10, 1960
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hedami, Morocco
 43 
Johan van Hulst
(Former Member of the European parliament)
Johan van Hulst
2
Birthdate: January 28, 1911
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died: March 22, 2018
 44 
Neelie Kroes
(European Commissioner from 22 November 2004 to 1 November 2014)
Neelie Kroes
2
Birthdate: July 19, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rotterdam, Netherlands
 45 
Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
(Prince consort of the Netherlands as the husband of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands)
Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
0
Birthdate: April 19, 1876
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Schwerin, Germany
Died: July 3, 1934
 46 
Henk Sneevliet
(Politician)
Henk Sneevliet
2
Birthdate: May 13, 1883
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Died: April 13, 1942
 47 
Frits Bolkestein
(Politician)
Frits Bolkestein
2
Birthdate: April 4, 1933
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Former EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, Frits Bolkestein also led the Dutch political party People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, or VVD. His job at the Shell Group took him to places such as Honduras, France, and Indonesia. He has also penned countless books, mostly related to politics.

 48 
Lodewijk Asscher
(Politician)
Lodewijk Asscher
3
Birthdate: September 27, 1974
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
 49 
Evelyn Wever-Croes
(Politician)
Evelyn Wever-Croes
2
Birthdate: December 5, 1966
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Leiden, Netherlands
 50 
Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert
2
Birthdate: April 7, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Heerlen, Netherlands