Marriët Schuurman completes her term as NATO’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security
Ambassador Marriët Schuurman steps down as the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security on Thursday (30 March 2017) after two and a half years in post. She will return to a position with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In her farewell address to NATO Ambassadors in the North Atlantic Council, Mrs Schuurman stressed the importance of including more women in decision-making and operations. “This is not only the right thing to do but also the smart thing to do, as mixed teams are smarter and perform better.” She added that improvements in gender balance would make the alliance more effective, because “we simply cannot leave any potential untapped.”
Ambassador Schuurman stressed that NATO needs to do more to ensure equal participation by women in policy-making and senior appointments, but pointed to progress being made. She welcomed that NATO now has its first female Deputy Secretary General, Rose Gottemoeller, and its first female commander of a major military command – US Admiral Michelle Howard at Joint Force Command Naples.
Ambassador Schuurman is a career diplomat and previously served in a variety of posts in the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She took up her post as the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative in October 2014.