Meet The Team
Founder & Director
Hans van den Berg
Hans van den Berg is the Founder and Director of The Young Diplomat. In 2012 he finished his BBA in International Hospitality Management and worked for project developers. In 2013 he started working for the Dutch Tax office providing training and consultancy on legal affairs. In 2017 Hans obtained his MSc. in Public Administration from Leiden University, specialising in International and European Governance. He has held a teaching position from 2018 to 2022 at Erasmus University Rotterdam, where he became Chair of the University Council in 2019 until 2022. Currently he is also working at the Center for International Legal Cooperation in projects relating to strengthening the rule of law in Eastern Europe and the Balkan, as well as teaching at Leiden University.
Hans is an expert on international negotiation in the political, public and private arena. Specifically on developing and applying strategies, and where the public and private field meet. Some of his publications include: On Strategy and Tactics at PINpoints; The role of the European Union on the chessboard of great power politics in Modelling The New Europe; Russia, Turkey and Bosnia Herzegovina, a study of operational codes which may harm peacebuilding at the SEN foundation;
External Relations Officer
Zita de Wild
Zita de Wild has been with the Young Diplomat since the beginning. She is a young professional currently who studies European Policy at the University of Amsterdam after completing her bachelor's in Management of International Social Challenges at Erasmus University. After finishing high school Zita asked herself the question: in what direction do I want my future to go? As a committed student council member, she has been helping refugees integrate into Dutch society by teaching them the Dutch language and has been involved in multiple environmental projects. The urge to direct her future towards solving problems exceeding borders grew as she lived through Californian wildfires. Witnessing the consequential mudslides become fatal to many community members and damaging to the environment, her eyes were opened to an array of issues that cannot be solved by one country on its own. The formation of unity is therefore of crucial importance and is a challenge she is thrilled to take on. At the Young Diplomat, Zita's responsibilities are extended beyond maintaining contacts with our partners, experts, and diplomats as she organises our events for the YD Academy to the last detail.
Tom is a former NMUN delegate and graduate of Management of International Social Challenges at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Moreover, he is Chairman of the MIPAS committee as well as Studygroup Tutor at Study Association Cedo Nulli. Both inside and outside of his studies and research, Tom is focused on international political economy and international relations in an age where the USA is increasingly vacating its role of global hegemon and multilateralism is declining. He also takes a deep interest in designing diplomatic simulations, which often feature as part of our events and Schools.
Junior Project Manager
Having participated in both a summer- and winter school, Gijs is now part of the Young Diplomat Team. In his role as Junior Project Manager, Gijs helps to organise events and the upcoming summer school(s). From a young age, he has been interested in the world at large. This resulted in his choice to study International Relations for his bachelor’s at Utrecht University. While studying there, he increasingly felt that he wanted to become part of the domain of International Relations. Together with his passion for travelling, this shaped his ambition to become a diplomat. Obtaining UNITAR’s Online Diploma in Multilateral Diplomacy and currently being enrolled in the MSc in International Relations and Diplomacy at Leiden University campus The Hague further solidified this ambition. Next to international negotiation, Gijs is based on his travels to the Balkans and South Africa also very interested in the theme of reconciliation.
Junior Project Manager
Domenico Pio Foti
In his capacity as Junior Project Manager, Domenico Pio Foti works on the Negotiation LAB project with Leiden University and the Project for MENA Diplomats with the Center for International Legal Cooperation. Domenico is currently studying an advanced Master in International Relations and Diplomacy at Leiden University after completing a bachelor and master at the University of Messina in Law. Furthermore, he works for the Global Human Rights Defence organisation as a fundraising coordinator.
Junior Project Manager
In his capacity as Project Assistant at the Young Diplomat, Pierre-Etienne helps in the organization of a variety of events and upcoming summer school(s). Having lived in 4 countries by the age of 18 sparked his interest in the world of diplomacy and International Relations. As these countries were experiencing different economic, cultural, and historical issues that would impact future international relations, he found his passion for tackling long-term inter-generational matters. This passion has led him to undertake a Bachelor of International Relations at Leiden University with a focus on Negotiation and Diplomacy. Pierre-Etienne has also attended and organized multiple UN conferences and simulations in which he got to develop negotiation and diplomatic skills. Through his studies and the different conferences he attended, he starts to realize the emerging role of the private sector, transnational groups, and Non-State Actors in general on the global stage. Thus, as he finishes his Bachelor's, he looks to specialize in Aerospace Security and Diplomacy to tackle the formation of these new International Relations.