Dr. Jan Pieter (known as Jan Peter) Balkenende has been the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands since 2002.
Dr. Balkenende studied history (graduating in 1980) and Dutch law (graduating in 1982). He obtained his doctorate in law in 1992 with a thesis on government regulations and civil-society organizations. From 1982 to 1984 he was a legal affairs policy officer at the Netherlands Universities Council. He then served on the staff of the policy institute of the Christian Democratic Alliance (CDA) until 1998. He was a member of the House of Representatives of the States General for the CDA, and leader of the CDA parliamentary party from 2001.
He has also been a member and vice chair of the board of the broadcasting organization NCRV; a member of the Amsterdam Regional Forum; chair of the Association of Christian Lawyers and a member of the group on socially responsible business practices in the Royal Association MKB-Nederland.
In 2002, Dr. Balkenende was appointed Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs in the first government to bear his name. He also served as Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs in his second and third governments. Since 2007, he has been Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs in the fourth Balkenende government.