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Kathleen Ferrier - Profile

Born in Paramaribo as the daughter of the late Johan Ferrier, 1st President of Suriname following independence, Kathleen Ferrier is well acquainted with the values, traditions and behavioural codes of disparate cultures. Like her father before her, Ms Ferrier’s dedication to uniting divisions is unequivocal.

With academic proficiency in Dutch, English, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese, her linguistic flexibility has furnished her with exceptional communication skills. The results of which can be seen in an impressive international network. Her mission is to realise equal opportunities for both men and women irrespective of race, colour and creed.

Living in South America from 1984 to 1994, she worked as an expert on international collaboration, initially in Chile and subsequently in Brazil. Upon her return to the Netherlands, she took on the post of Secretary General of SKIN: an organisation of migrant churches, and Secretary of the Latin American Mission of the Dutch Reformed Churches. Her inspirational and motivational approach was perceived as a gift of empowerment to all involved.

In 2002 she became member of Parliament.
In addition to her regular parliamentary work, Kathleen Ferrier served as OSCE Special Representative on Migration and participated in international delegations and assemblies including, UNGASS at the UN, the Global Forum on Migration and Development. Working visits were paid to Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine. A highly sought after keynote speaker, she is noted for her command of language and clear, compelling presentations.

She has operated training missions on democracy, development and empowerment for the Eduardo Frei Foundation of the Dutch CDA Party, and the NIMD: Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy. During the 2012 Atlantic Dialogues held in Rabat, Morocco, organised by the German Marshall Fund, Ms Ferrier spoke on migration.

Extensive travels throughout Africa and an affinity with Latin America and Northern Europe, both of which she regards as home, has afforded Kathleen Ferrier breadth of vision. With compassion and respect for human diversity, she also sees what unites us.

In 2012, recognised for her merits to society, Kathleen Ferrier was bestowed with the military and civil Dutch order of chivalry award: Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau. In 2011 she received the highest decoration awarded by Mexico to a foreign citizen: Order of the Aztec Eagle – Aguila Azteca.

After ten years as MP, Kathleen decided not to run for the elections in 2012, convinced as she is that democracy and politics are not strengthened by politicians who think they are irreplaceable.

She was invited to become one of the nine members of iERG, the independent Expert Review Group, appointed by the United Nations Secretary General to follow up and report on a yearly base on the developments regarding Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, MDG’s 4 and 5.

In 2013 Kathleen moved to Hong Kong, where she and her husband worked and lived for five years. At the Hong Kong Baptist University she worked as a lecturer Spanish and Spanish American Language and Culture and as lecturer Gender and Politics. She also developed a course on Church and Society for the Lutheran Theological Seminay in Hong Kong.

She was appointed Honorary Professor of the Global Practice for Human Rights, at the Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Bangaldesh.

She is an ambassador for The Mekong Club, that fights the business of modern slavery.  

Currently she is based in the Netherlands where she is appointed Chair of the Dutch UNESCO Commision and holds responsabilities in diferent organisations and boards, as chair or as a member, seving causes that defend human rights and democracy on the worldwide level. 

She is a sought after public speaker, she writes columns and articles on international relations, human rights, politics and democracy. 


  Kathleen Ferrier's Blog blog  
’Ze is nooit moe’ Dubbelinterview FD
Artikel van Astrid Theunissen in het FD op 24 november 2020: Gesprek met Kathleen Ferrier en haar zoon Ezra Ferrier de BoerContentspecialist Ezra Ferrier de Boer (29) is de jongste...  |  read blog »
  Kathleen Ferrier on Twitter twitter  
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