On September 18, the Atlantic Council’s Transatlantic Relations Program hosted the new Ambassador of the Netherlands to the United States H.E. Rudolf Bekink for a strategy session with a group of US foreign and defense policy experts.

The session addressed the potential impact of the upcoming presidential elections on US foreign policy, and particularly its relationship with Europe given the ongoing eurozone crisis and defense budget cuts. Participants included Atlantic Council Executive Vice President Damon Wilson and Atlantic Council Board Directors Franklin D. Kramer and John Tanner, and the discussion was moderated by Atlantic Council Vice President and Director Frances G. Burwell.

Ambassador Bekink formally began his new position as Dutch Ambassador to the United States on July 30. He first served in Washington DC as the first secretary for the Political Department of the Netherlands Embassy from 1982-1986. Since then, he has held a number of prominent diplomatic positions, most recently as the Dutch ambassador to three other countries: Sweden (2000-2004), Belgium (2004-2008) and China (2008-2012).