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Board & Committee

Governance and structure

The NHC governance and structure is based on a two-tier governance structure: a Board and a Supervisory Board.

The Board is in charge of the day to day governance and management of the foundation. Next, it has the responsibility for directing and implementing its programs. The Board is monitored by a Supervisory Board. Both are assisted by a Committee which advises on long-term policies and strategy.

The current NHC governance structure was introduced in 2016, as part of a structural reform aimed at making governance more efficient. The roles of each of its bodies and their tasks are laid out in the foundations’ statutes.


The day to day work of the Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC) is led by the Executive Director. As of September 2023, the Acting Executive Director of the NHC is Joeri Buhrer Tavanier, during the absence of Kirsten Meijer. Kirsten was appointed Executive Director on February 15, 2022. The Executive Director is the only member of the Board, in accordance with Dutch law and the Code Goed Bestuur voor Goede Doelen (Code of Good Management for Charities, also known as the ‘Code-Wijffels’). The Executive Director is tasked to represent, manage and govern the foundation; develop, implement and report on its annual and multiannual plans and report on financial management; prepare the annual state of accounts and ensure its sustainability. The execution of the Executive Director’s tasks is monitored by the Supervisory Board.

Supervisory Board

The Supervisory Board, which is composed of independent professionals, is responsible for supervising the Board, advising it on medium and long-term policies and strategies, approves policy and strategy plans, reports and the annual state of accounts prepared by the Board. The Board, which can consist up to 7 members, appoints its own members, the Executive Director and the members of the Committee. Supervisory Board members, who are appointed for a maximum of two periods of 3 years each, are independently elected, according to a profile system that ensures a balanced composition of background experience and specific managerial and policy skills. It currently consists of the following members:


The Foundation has an Advisory Board, called the ‘Committee’, which is composed of former diplomats, civil servants and political representatives who have worked in fields relevant to human rights and rule of law, and (former) members of the judiciary, academics, and members of other civil society organizations and representatives of the media. The Committee advises, including on its own initiative, both the Board and Supervisory Board on its mission and strategy, relating to trends in the fields of work covered by the foundation. Members of the Committee are appointed by the Supervisory Board. It currently consists of the following members: