World Affairs Council Diplomats Luncheon

Event Information

World Affairs Council of Western Michigan

Prince Conference Center, 1800 E. Beltline Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Thursday, May 2, 2024, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EDT

Please join us for a dialogue with Ambassador Birgitta Tazellar, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United States.

About the Speaker

Birgitta Tazelaar is the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United States of America. She will also serve as non-resident Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

Birgitta Tazelaar previously held the position of Deputy Director-General for International Cooperation at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (budget 3.5 billion USD). A career diplomat with 30 years’ experience in political affairs, human rights and development cooperation, Birgitta has worked in the Middle East, Southern Africa and the United Kingdom for a variety of bilateral and non-governmental organizations, in both advisory and senior management posts.

Prior to her role as Deputy Director-General she was director of the North Africa and Middle East Department and Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. From 2008 to 2011 Birgitta was political counselor at the Dutch Embassy in London, responsible for foreign policy areas ranging from NATO and nuclear security issues to EU external policy and crisis regions worldwide. Her other positions have included deputy head of the Human Rights Division in The Hague, where she was active in promoting women’s rights at UN level, and spokesperson for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Birgitta worked for various employers, including SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, primarily in regional planning in Botswana. Birgitta studied Human Geography in Utrecht and conducted research in Kenya and Spain. She is married and has four children and one grandchild.

About the Event

This event is part of Michigan World Trade Week, a celebration of international trade and business growth for Michigan. In addition to our keynote speaker, members of the Consular Corps of Michigan will be in attendance.

Networking from 11:30-12:00, with lunch and program starting promptly at noon. Special thanks to Calvin University.


  • Individual tickets: $50
  • Corporate, university or organizational sponsorship tables: $500 for six people


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