Hans van der Louw is a retired Major General with extensive knowledge of and experience in defense and security matters, international affairs and diplomacy, as well as Joint and Army operations. He graduated from the Royal Military Academy in 1981, and served the first 9 years of his career as an Infantry Officer with operational units, including a deployment with UNIFIL, in the Lebanon.
After graduating from the Netherlands Army Staff College, he worked at the Netherlands Army Staff, and in 1995 graduated from the US Army Command and General Staff Officers Course in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. He then commanded 17 Mechanized Infantry Battalion ‘Princess Irene’, including a 6-month deployment with IFOR, NATO’s peace enforcing mission in Bosnia. Following this, he held various positions at the Army Staff and Defense Staff. He also taught at the Netherlands Defense College: Joint and Multinational Operations. After his promotion to Colonel, he was appointed as the Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander of 13 Mechanized Brigade, Oirschot, The Netherlands.
From 2005 to 2009, he was the Army Attaché and Assistent Defense Attaché at the Netherlands Embassy in Washington DC. In this period he also followed the Distance Education Program at the US Army War College, obtaining a Master of Strategic Studies. Following his promotion to Brigadier General, he commanded 43 Mechanized Brigade, and then, as a Major General, he served as Chief Military Household (i.e. the Military Advisor) to His Majesty King Willem-Alexander. In this capacity, he was also responsible for all strategic-level security arrangements for the Royal Family and Royal Household.
He also holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from Leiden University.