Bernard Kuiten

Bernard is educated as international economist at the Katholieke Universiteit Brabant in the Netherlands. He has gained more than 25 years of experience in trade negotiations, international and external relations, diplomacy, communication and stakeholder management. This has made him a versatile, and hands-on manager and leader. Besides this, he is a social engineer and a skilled public speaker.

The current responsibilities of Bernard lie with the World Trade Organization as Head of External Relations. In this position, he manages the overall relations and outreach with business, non-governmental organizations, parliamentarians and intergovernmental organizations. Bernard has a general oversight of protocol and diplomatic matters.

The professional career of Bernard started in the 90's at the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands. He represented the Netherlands in negotiations on shipbuilding, steel and services trade at EU, OECD and WTO level. Besides this, he was actively involved in the final years of the GATT/ Uruguay Round negotiations.

From 1995 to 1998, Bernard was the Directorate General for External Relations at the European Commission in Brussels. In this position, he was defending European interests in negotiations on financial services, basic telecommunication services and audio-visual services.

After this, he became First secretary at the WTO Unit of the Permanent Mission of the Netherlands in Geneva, Switzerland. He covered various WTO files, including agriculture, investment and dispute settlement in general. Bernard also became Chairman of the WTO Working Party for State Trading Enterprises in 1999.

Other activities of Bernard include his experience as Former Chair of WTO Staff Council, Member and former President of the International Geneva Council of the Swiss Network of International Studies (SNIS) and Member of the Advisory Board of Model WTO, University of St. Gallen.