H.E. M.J.A. van der Hoeven
Minister of Economic Affairs
Maria Josephina Arnoldina (Maria) van der Hoeven was born in Meerssen on 13 September 1949.
After completing her secondary education she trained as a primary teacher in Maastricht. She subsequently obtained a secondary teaching certificate in English, after which she attended courses in higher management for non-profit organisations at the Institute of Social Sciences and business management at the Open University in Heerlen.
From 1969 she taught at schools of home economics and from 1971 at a junior secondary commercial school, where she subsequently became a school counsellor. Until 1987 she was head of the Adult Commercial Vocational Training Centre in Maastricht, after which she served as the head of the Limburg Technology Centre until 1991.
From 1985 to 1991 Ms Van der Hoeven was a member of the municipal council of Maastricht for the Christian Democratic Alliance (CDA) and, from 1991 to 2002, member of the House of Representatives of the States General.
She has held a variety of social and cultural posts, including membership of the governing board of the Domstad Primary Teacher Training College in Utrecht and the Southern Dutch Opera Association, and membership of the ‘’t Vervolg’ theatre group.
From 22 July 2002 to 21 February 2007 Ms Van der Hoeven held the post of Minister of Education, Culture and Science in the first, second and third Balkenende governments. On 22 February 2007 she was appointed Minister of Economic Affairs in the fourth Balkenende government.