Ambassador Robert H. Serry is a former Dutch ambassador with extensive experience in multilateral diplomacy and crisis management having served with the United Nations and NATO. In 2015 he completed a seven-year appointment as the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, based in Jerusalem. He also briefly served as Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General during the 2014 crisis in Ukraine. For NATO he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary-General for Crisis Management and Operations (2001-2005) and was involved in NATO’s operations in the Balkans and Afghanistan.
Ambassador Serry was involved in ‘second track’ diplomacy between Israel and the Palestinians and took part in the Middle East Peace Conference in Madrid (1991). He also gained experience in informal contacts with non-state actors in conflict theaters in the Balkans and Middle East.
As a Dutch diplomat Ambassador Serry was posted in Moscow, New York (United Nations) and as the first ambassador to newly independent Ukraine. Following his assignment in Kyiv he became responsible for Dutch assistance to economies in transition in Central- and Eastern Europe at the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Ambassador Serry also served as Dutch ambassador in Dublin, Ireland.
In 2015-16, Ambassador Serry occupied the Sergio Vieira de Mello Visiting Chair in the School of Diplomacy and International Relations of Seton Hall University, USA. He currently holds the position of Chairman of UPEACE Centre The Hague, which represents in Europe the UN established University for Peace in Costa Rica. Ambassador Serry also joined the European Institute of Peace in Brussels as a Senior Adviser.
Mr. Serry is the author of The Endless Quest for Israeli-Palestinian Peace: A Reflection from No Man’s Land (2017, New York). He also published Standplaats Kiev (Amsterdam, 1997), a reflection on Ukraine’s first years of independence.
Ambassador Serry studied Political Science (MA with honors) at the University of Amsterdam. He was honored by the King of the Netherlands as Commandeur in the Order of Oranje Nassau and also received decorations for his work by the Presidents of Ukraine and Palestine.