HD mourns the passing of Ambassador Herman Schaper of The Netherlands at age 72. Ambassador Schaper served with the HD Board from 2015 to 2019, when he stepped down due to his gathering illness.
Ambassador Schaper was a champion of the view that the quest for peace must include sustained engagement with one’s antagonists. He deplored what he felt was a narrowing of Western diplomacy – a growing tendency not to engage with those whose views and behaviours were seen as unacceptable.
He felt that a willingness to engage, to search for common ground, was both a moral and practical imperative of diplomacy. He had a strong moral compass of his own, and was politically active, and he saw a willingness to use the full range of diplomatic tools as an expression of confidence and of openness to the world.
Herman served with the Board Operations Committee, which reviews and approves all new HD projects, and which has oversight of its confidential work. He brought to the committee a profound knowledge of the world’s armed conflicts and security risks, and of the diplomatic tools that could mitigate those risks.
Herman’s long career with The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs included the posts of Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York and Permanent Representative to NATO.
Beyond his diplomatic career, he was the Chair for Peace, Law and Security at Leiden University in The Hague and a member of the First Chamber of the Dutch parliament.
HD is grateful to Herman for his years of service and his exceptional guidance as a diplomat, scholar and humanitarian during many important moments.
We offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and colleagues.