Renier Nijskens recently completed an extended diplomatic career during which he served in a wide set of diplomatic posts and challenging environments in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, as well as North America and Europe. Notable appointments included Ambassador in Niamey from 1987 to 1990, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Service at the MFA (1990-1994), Ambassador in Nairobi (1994-1998), Ambassador in Kinshasa (2000-2004), and Director of the Africa Service at the MFA (2009-2011). In 2004 he took a sabbatical from the MFA to act as Resident Representative of the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy in Africa. His final role within the MFA was as Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, from 2014 to 2019.
Whether in charge of a small, middle sized, or very large posts, his professional approach has always been guided by the search for optimal performance through team work and first-hand contacts in a wide network and, when faced with pressing circumstances, the chosen trade-off was always to prioritise the expectations of the Headquarters. When organising a team of collaborators, he has always chosen to grant attention to empowering team members in line with each persons’ skills and assets.
As Inspector of the Belgian diplomatic posts (2014-2016), he had the chance to familiarise himself with best practices and innovative solutions. This expertise allows him to contribute to the training courses organised by the Education & Training Programme, with training sessions on topics such as the functioning of a diplomatic post, the methods of diplomatic reporting, and the definition of a diplomatic post’s priorities.