Famous Dutch Leaders

Find out more about the greatest Dutch Leaders, including Mark Rutte, Desiderius Erasmus, Geert Wilders, Pope Adrian VI and Pier Gerlofs Donia.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Dutch Leaders

 1 Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
13
Famous As: Civil Rights Activist
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.

 2 Geert Wilders

Geert Wilders
8
Famous As: Politician
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

William the Silent
6
Famous As: Dutch prince
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

Mark Rutte
6
Famous As: Prime Minister of the Netherlands since 2010
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 Michiel de Ruyter

Michiel de Ruyter
4
Famous As: Admiral
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.

 6 Peter Stuyvesant

Peter Stuyvesant
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: 1592 AD
Birthplace: Peperga, Friesland, Netherlands
Died: July 31, 1672

Peter Stuyvesant was the last Dutch director-general of the New Netherland colony. After his right leg had to be amputated post an expedition, he wore a wooden leg. Though he tried his best to prevent the British occupation of the New Amsterdam (later New York), he was eventually forced to surrender.

 7 Jan van Riebeeck

Jan van Riebeeck
4
Famous As: Dutch Colonial Administrator
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.

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 8 Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor

Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor
3
Famous As: monarch, writer, composer
Birthdate: October 31, 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.

 9 Thierry Baudet

Thierry Baudet
5
Famous As: Politician
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 Frans Timmermans

Frans Timmermans
5
Famous As: Politician
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.

 11 René Meulensteen

René Meulensteen
4
Famous As: Former Footballer midfielder
Birthdate: March 25, 1964
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Beugen, Netherlands

 12 Pim Fortuyn

Pim Fortuyn
4
Famous As: Politician
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.

 13 John William Friso

John William Friso
3
Famous As: Prince
Birthdate: August 14, 1687
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dessau, Germany
Died: July 14, 1711

John William Friso, the Prince of Orange, succeeded William III of Orange as the stadtholder of the provinces of Friesland and Groningen in the Dutch Republic and remained so until his death. Friso along with his wife, Marie Louise, is noted as the most recent common ancestors of all the currently reigning European monarchs.

 14 Abraham Kuyper

Abraham Kuyper
3
Famous As: Politician
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.

 15 Wim Kok

Wim Kok
3
Famous As: Politician, Trade unionist
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.

 16 Jan Peter Balkenende

Jan Peter Balkenende
3
Famous As: Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 22 July 2002 to 14 October 2010
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.

 17 Sigrid Kaag

Sigrid Kaag
5
Famous As: Politician, Diplomat
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.

 18 Johan van Oldenbarnevelt

Johan van Oldenbarnevelt
3
Famous As: Statesman
Birthdate: September 14, 1547
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Amersfoort, Netherlands
Died: May 13, 1619

 19 Hugo de Jonge

Hugo de Jonge
5
Famous As: Politician
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.

 20 Ruud Lubbers

Ruud Lubbers
2
Famous As: Economist, Politician, Diplomat, Entrepreneur, University teacher
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.

 21 Jan Pieterszoon Coen

Jan Pieterszoon Coen
2
Famous As: Governor-General
Birthdate: January 8, 1587
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hoorn, Netherlands
Died: September 21, 1629

 22 Jeroen Dijsselbloem

Jeroen Dijsselbloem
3
Famous As: Politician, Economist
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.

 23 Maurice, Prince of Orange

Maurice, Prince of Orange
5
Famous As: Prince
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.

 24 Anton Mussert

Anton Mussert
2
Famous As: Politician who co-founded the National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands
Birthdate: May 11, 1894
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Werkendam, Netherlands
Died: May 7, 1946

 25 Femke Halsema

Femke Halsema
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: April 25, 1966
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Haarlem, Netherlands

 26 Ahmed Aboutaleb

Ahmed Aboutaleb
3
Famous As: Politician
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.

 27 Kajsa Ollongren

Kajsa Ollongren
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: May 28, 1967
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Leiden, Netherlands

 28 Rob Jetten

Rob Jetten
0
Famous As: Minister for Climate and Energy since 2022
Birthdate: March 25, 1987
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Veghel, Netherlands

 29 Piet Pieterszoon Hein

Piet Pieterszoon Hein
2
Famous As: Admiral
Birthdate: November 25, 1577
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Delfshaven, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Died: June 18, 1629

 30 Raymond Westerling

Raymond Westerling
0
Famous As: Military officer of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army
Birthdate: August 31, 1919
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Beyoğlu, İstanbul, Turkey
Died: November 26, 1987

 31 Jesse Klaver

Jesse Klaver
0
Famous As: Member of the House of Representatives since 2010, Leader of GroenLinks since 2015
Birthdate: May 1, 1986
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Roosendaal, Netherlands

 32 Herman Willem Daendels

Herman Willem Daendels
2
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: October 21, 1762
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hattem, Netherlands
Died: May 2, 1818

 33 Ancilla van de Leest

Ancilla van de Leest
3
Famous As: Politician, Fetish model
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. 

 34 Jaap de Hoop Scheffer

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
2
Famous As: Politician, Diplomat, Jurist, University teacher, Lawyer
Birthdate: April 3, 1948
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Amsterdam

 35 Karel Doorman

Karel Doorman
2
Famous As: Naval Officer
Birthdate: April 23, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Utrecht, Netherlands
Died: February 28, 1942

 36 Dries van Agt

Dries van Agt
2
Famous As: Politician, Diplomat
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.

 37 Sylvana Simons

Sylvana Simons
3
Famous As: Politician, Actress
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.

 38 Aarnoud van Heemstra

Aarnoud van Heemstra
2
Famous As: Governor-General of Suriname (23 May 1921 – 21 May 1924)
Birthdate: July 22, 1871
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vreeland, Netherlands
Died: December 30, 1957

 39 Henri Winkelman

Henri Winkelman
2
Famous As: Military officer
Birthdate: August 17, 1876
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Maastricht, Netherlands
Died: December 27, 1952

 40 Maarten Tromp

Maarten Tromp
2
Famous As: General
Birthdate: April 23, 1598
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Breille, Netherlands
Died: August 10, 1653

 41 Khadija Arib

Khadija Arib
2
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: October 10, 1960
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hedami, Morocco

 42 Johan van Hulst

Johan van Hulst
2
Famous As: Former Member of the European parliament
Birthdate: January 28, 1911
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died: March 22, 2018

 43 Pier Gerlofs Donia

Pier Gerlofs Donia
3
Famous As: Pirate
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. 

 44 Frits Bolkestein

Frits Bolkestein
2
Famous As: Politician
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.

 45 Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
0
Famous As: Prince consort of the Netherlands as the husband of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands
Birthdate: April 19, 1876
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Schwerin, Germany
Died: July 3, 1934

 46 Neelie Kroes

Neelie Kroes
2
Famous As: European Commissioner from 22 November 2004 to 1 November 2014
Birthdate: July 19, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rotterdam, Netherlands

 47 Henk Sneevliet

Henk Sneevliet
2
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: May 13, 1883
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Died: April 13, 1942

 48 Lodewijk Asscher

Lodewijk Asscher
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: September 27, 1974
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands

 49 Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert
2
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: April 7, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Heerlen, Netherlands

 50 Evelyn Wever-Croes

Evelyn Wever-Croes
2
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: December 5, 1966
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Leiden, Netherlands