Our people

Council of Patrons

  • Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands

    Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard, Princess of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau and Princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld, was born on 31 January 1938 at Soestdijk Palace in Baarn in the Netherlands. She was the first child of Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard. Princess Beatrix succeeded her mother as Queen of the Netherlands in 1980. The Princess was married to the German diplomat, Prince Claus with... Read full bio

  • Jaime Saleh

    Jaime Saleh, former Governor-General of the Netherlands Antilles and Minister of State, was born on the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire in 1941. A law degree at the University of Utrecht and experience as a Public Prosecutor in the Netherlands led to his appointment as Deputy Public Prosecutor for the six Dutch Caribbean islands when he returned home in 1968. He practiced law in the private... Read full bio

  • Professor Nico Visser

    Professor Visser, born in the Netherlands in 1952, is a prominent international nature conservationist and a leading international authority in the field of sustainable tourism development. A Public Law and Ecology degree at Leiden University led to a varied and distinguished career that included roles at the Institute for European Environmental Policy in Bonn, the Directorate for Nature in the... Read full bio

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    Leendert van Driel - Financial expert: DCNA Chairperson

    Leendert van Driel, a civil engineer and venture capitalist, is one of DCNA’s finance specialists, appointed to work with DCNA on the establishment of a conservation trust fund. ‘I became involved with the DCNA – and I quickly became fascinated,’ he says. ‘Nature conservation had never really grabbed me in the past. It felt like something that should be left to the scientific... Read full bio

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    Tadzio Bervoets - St. Maarten Nature Foundation: DCNA Vice Chair / Shark Committee Chair

    Tadzio Bervoets was born on St. Maarten and from an early age had an affinity for nature, particularly the sea. When Tadzio turned 15, he began working for a local dive shop and, in return, received dive lessons and a PADI license. Tadzio then earned bachelor degrees in International Relations and Geo Management from the University of South Florida and the University of Miami. Tadzio also... Read full bio

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    Paul Stokkermans - CARMABI, Curaçao: DCNA Treasurer

    Paul Stokkermans, from Limburg, the Netherlands is the director of CARMABI (Caribbean Research and Management of Biodiversity) on Curaçao. After receiving a bachelors degree in horticulture and a teaching certificate, he accepted an agricultural teaching position in Curaçao in 1981. After completing his contract, Stokkermans left the island and eventually ended up teaching in Botswana for... Read full bio

  • Greg Peterson - Fundashon Parke Nacional Arikok: Board member

    A dedicated environmentalist and passionate photographer, Greg Peterson is also the Board Chair of Aruba's National Park, Parke Nacional Arikok. Talk to Greg Peterson on just about anything, and he will quote past greats from Gandhi to Einstein. During our discussion about Aruba’s birds, he used an ancient Native American saying, “A man killed the bird. With the bird, man killed song.... Read full bio

  • Ron van der Veer - Governance expert: Executive Committee Member

    Ron van der Veer was born and raised in The Hague and studied political science and international relations at the University of Amsterdam. He worked for the Department of Kingdom Relations (KabNA) in The Hague, Curaçao and Sint Maarten between 1992 and 1998. Living in the Caribbean has given him an everlasting passion for the islands, the people who live there and the preservation of their... Read full bio

  • Clarisse Buma - STENAPA St Eustatius: Executive Committee member

    Clarisse Buma joined STENAPA in April 2016 as their parks Director. She is responsible for the management of the national parks: the marine park, the terrestrial park and the Miriam Schmidt Botanical Garden. www.statiapark.org Twitter: @StenapaStatia Clarisse left her position as Director of Logeion, which she had run since 2010, to join STENAPA, because she was excited at the fantastic... Read full bio

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    Kai Wulf - Saba Conservation Foundation: Board member

    Kai Wulf, born in Germany, first arrived in the Caribbean as a dive instructor on St. Lucia.  During that time, he became involved in preserving a reef called Anse Chastanet, a designated marine reserve but one that was never enforced. He worked with the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute and others to ring off the reserve with buoys in an attempt to discourage commercial activities like... Read full bio

  • Arjen de Wolff - STINAPA Bonaire: Board member (to be confirmed)

    Arjen de Wolff (1969) is serving as executive director of STINAPA, Bonaire’s National Marine and Land Park Authority. De Wolff has a background in politics, the military, journalism and public sector governance and management. Prior to taking up his position with STINAPA, De Wolff was the Director of Strategy and Development at CORDAID, The Netherlands’ largest international development aid... Read full bio

  • Frensel Mercelina - Uniek Curaçao: Board member

    Frensel Mercelina grew up close to nature on Curaçao and has volunteered for Uniek Curaçao for many years. ‘I was taught to hunt and fish as a child by my father,’ he says. ‘At first, it was out of necessity to put food on the table for our family. But by the time I grew up I was hunting and spear-fishing for fun.’ Years ago Frensel had a life-changing experience. ‘I caught this... Read full bio

  • Ron Gomes-Casseres

    Ron Gomes-Casseres - Financial expert: Board member / Trust Fund Committee Chair

    Ron Gomes-Casseres spent most of his working life at Maduro & Curiel’s Bank NV where, for some 15 years, he was a member of the Bank’s Board of Managing Directors, the largest commercial bank in the Dutch Caribbean. Ron is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a BS (1967) and MS (1968) in Chemical Engineering. Ron counts among his interests also the promotion of a... Read full bio

  • Fleur Hermanides - EPIC St. Maarten: Board member – to be confirmed

    Being born and raised in the Caribbean (Aruba & St. Maarten), I have always had an affinity with all that has surrounded me, the trees, the ocean, the animals, everything. With the years passing my love for my surroundings has only grown more and more. To be able to make my passion my future I decided to study Biology in the Netherlands at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. During my bachelors I... Read full bio

  • Glenn Thodé - Governance Expert: Board Member

    Dr. Glenn Thodé is a governance and law expert who joined the DCNA Board in 2013. Prior to becoming the Rector of the University of Aruba, where he is currently employed, Dr. Thodé served as the Governor of Bonaire. He himself is a graduate of the University of Aruba at the Faculty of Law.  Dr. Glenn Thodé has also studied at the University of Groningen and obtained his PhD in 2006... Read full bio