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Henk de Jong, RCLA Visiting Fellow

Henk de Jong is founder and principal of Crust Young Consultants New York. With over 25 years of experience as a senior government official, public sector consultant and entrepreneur, Henk brings extensive expertise in municipal, Dutch, and EU government practices. As the former Secretary General of Amsterdam and Policy Director of Rotterdam, he is highly skilled in policy-making, implementing large-scale initiatives and managing complex municipal operations and crisis accountability.  Now based in New York City, Henk advises and networks with a wide range of business leaders, academic institutions, public leaders and government agencies that are focused on key global themes of sustainability, city infrastructure, education, good governance and innovation and leadership, among other topics.

Henk began his career as a management consultant to Dutch government agencies, which led him ten years later to founding his first consulting firm in 2000. He relinquished his partnership to serve as Policy Director of the City of Rotterdam, but only served only one year until being head-hunted for a five-year term as the Secretary General of Amsterdam, the largest city in the Netherlands.

As Secretary General/General Director and “first advisor” to the Mayor, Henk oversaw all city services and 16,000 employees, including 28 direct reports. He provided leadership for multi-stakeholder projects, policy design and implementation, and fiscal planning and budget oversight. He also acted as Chief of Lobby for Amsterdam at the European Commission and European Parliament. Key successes of his tenure included:

  • Introduction of a new centrally-managed city governance structure that respects the executing power of departments and city districts;
  • Management of the completion of the metro-system expansion, after a critical redefinition of scope, budget and timeframe;
  • Implementation of performance monitoring and quality improvement strategies for all public schools in Amsterdam;
  • Restructuring of city districts from 14 to 7;
  • Budget oversight and direction of two, large-scale cost-cutting programs which reduced government expenditures by 200 million euro in 2010 and 100 million euro in 2012;
  • Crisis management in conjunction with the police, justice department and social service organizations of a high-impact international child abuse scandal;
  • Design and implementation of training and leadership development programs for mid-career government officials.

Henk continues to serve on several high-profile board appointments in the Netherlands, including the Review Board for the Dutch Judiciary System which is developing recommendations for a major organizational change effort. He also participates as a member of the elite ABD TOP Consultants, an initiative of the Ministry of the Interior that provides expert counsel for senior leaders within the national government.  He sits on the advisory board of three Dutch universities for programs in public administration.

As a Visiting Fellow at NYU Wagner’s Research Center for Leadership in Action, Henk will support the learning and leadership development activities of students and practitioners of public service. He will also facilitate a cross-cultural exchange and an action learning approach with the Learning Leadership Labs at Leiden University. Of particular interest is generating knowledge and research to influence practice in the context of current global challenges facing cities and governments.

Henk is an alumnus of INSEAD Challenge of Leadership Program with Manfred Kets de Vries. He has a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Leiden.