Tom Middendorp is a retired four-star general. He now advises The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS) as a principal expert. Until October 2017 he was the Chief of Defense of the Netherlands Armed Forces. In this period he led one of the largest transformations in the history of the armed forces and was involved in over 20 military deployments worldwide.
He conducted a proces of strategic analysis and re-orientation, including several Future Force Conferences where he introduced an ecosystem approach to security and positioned Defense as a platform for innovation. During his tenure, the tide of continuous downsizing and reductions changed and the government decided to increase the defense budget. Mister Middendorp initiated and operationalized several far-reaching military cooperation programs in which the Netherlands became one of the frontrunners in Europe.
He studied civil engineering at the Royal Military Academy in Breda, is a graduate at the Command and General Staff College in the United States and received the high awards in Australia, Germany, France and Belgium. Tom Middendorp is also the Netherlands’ Special Envoy on European Defence Cooperation to the EU.