Edson Hato was born in Curaçao and is the first son of the soil to become Dutch Representative.
THE HAGUE--Edson Hato of Curaçao is the new Representative of the Dutch government in Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten. The Dutch Council of Ministers on Friday approved his appointment for three years, starting September 7, 2023.
Dutch caretaker State Secretary for Digitalisation and Kingdom Relations Alexandra van Huffelen confirmed Hato’s appointment during a digital press briefing on Friday. Hato was appointed based on her proposal.
As Dutch Representative, the 53-year-old Curaçao-born Hato will oversee the three country branches in Willemstad, Curaçao VNW, in Oranjestad, Aruba VNO and in Philipsburg, St. Maarten VNP. The St. Maarten office is headed by Chris Johnson. The position of Dutch Representative has been vacant since late 2021, with Saskia de Reuver of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations BZK acting as interim representative. Edwin Arkenbout was the previous Dutch Representative.
This is the first time that a son of the soil has been appointed to the position of Dutch Representative. Hato has a lot of experience in change management processes and leadership development at multinationals, tech scale-ups and social enterprises.
Hato has advised and worked for large companies like Carlsberg Group, management software solutions company SAP, ABN AMRO Bank, ING Group and pharma giant AstraZeneca. Since 2017, he is the founder and owner of LikeMinds BV, an advisory company for coaching of managers, organisation development and company transformation.
The position of Dutch Representative is crucial for solid relations between the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten and Hato’s appointment will contribute to the good relations, said Van Huffelen.
“Hato is someone who is good at connecting. I expect that with his vision on collaboration, he will be an important intermediary who can bridge geographic and cultural differences. He has lived in the Netherlands and has affinity with the Dutch Caribbean countries. We find good relations with Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten important. I am glad that for this position, we found a candidate who knows both sides of the ocean well,” she said.
Hato said in a press release of the Dutch government that he strives for sustainable results and that he sees an important role for himself with regard to a future-proof collaboration within the Kingdom. “I am proud that as Dutch Representative, I can assist to further strengthen the relations between Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten and the Netherlands.”
The new Representative added that he recognised himself in the points of departure on which the collaboration between the countries in the Kingdom is based, namely ownership, equality and unity. He said that these were also leading principles in change.
“With my background and experience, I know that we need to make use the strength of differences in order to empower each other in the Kingdom. Only then you will arrive at inspiring solutions that people want to continue working for,” Hato said.
Aside from representing the Dutch government in the countries and assisting in carrying out Dutch policy, the Dutch Representation in Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten offers assistance for Dutch citizens in emergencies and coordinates emergency assistance from the Netherlands in case of a large disaster. The Representation carries out its tasks in close collaboration with the four countries in the Kingdom.