Jaap de Hoop Scheffer is a retired Dutch politician of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA). He served as the 11th Secretary General of NATO from January 5, 2004 until August 1, 2009.
He previously served as a Member of the House of Representatives from June 3, 1986 until May 23, 2002, and became the Parliamentary leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal in the House of Representatives of the Netherlands and CDA Party leader on March 27, 1997 after Enneüs Heerma stepped down. He resigned his positions as Parliamentary leader and CDA Party leader, after a internal power struggle, between him and then CDA Party Chair Marnix van Rij on October 1, 2001 and was succeed him in both positions by Jan Peter Balkenende who became Prime Minister of the Netherlands after the Dutch general election of 2002, with De Hoop Scheffer becoming Minister of Foreign Affairs in the new Cabinet Balkenende I, and continued serving in the Cabinet Balkenende II. He was an important figure in the Dutch decision to participate in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He resigned as Minister of Foreign Affairs on December 3, 2003 when he was selected as the next Secretary General of NATO, he served as Secretary General from January 5, 2004 until August 1, 2009.
After his term as Secretary General of NATO ended, De Hoop Scheffer became a professor at the Leiden University sitting in the Pieter Kooijmans Chair.