Lousewies van der Laan (born Rotterdam, 1966) is a Dutch lawyer based in Slovenia, who has served in various leadership positions in public service at national, European and international level.
She brings her experience of politics, European affairs, democracy and good governance, human rights and the rule of law to ICANN. She grew up in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and the United States of America, where she graduated from the United World College of the American West in New Mexico.
After obtaining a law degree from the University of Leiden (the Netherlands) she obtained a diploma in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies in Bologna, Italy. She started her career in Brussels at the European Commission working on supporting countries of the former Soviet Union transition into market oriented democracies.
After a stint at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London, working in environmental investments, she rejoined the European Commission as a member of cabinet of WC Commissioner Hans van den Broek working on the reunification of Europe, international relations and global human rights issues. In 1999 she was elected to the European Parliament for the progressive democratic party D66, where she served as Vice-president of the Budget Control Committee and the Committee on Justice and Civil Liberties. She was also a member of the Committee for Equal Opportunity and Women’s Rights and co-founder of the Intergroup for LGBT Rights and the Campaign for Parliament Reform, working to make the Parliament more transparent and accountable.
She forced the European Parliament to publish its internal documents: by copying them from the institution’s intranet to the Internet, enabling equal access to information. In 2003, she became a member of the Dutch Parliament, where she served as chair of the committee for Technology Policy and vice-chair of the Europe Committee. In 2006, she became the D66 parliamentary leader. After leaving Parliament, she served as chief of staff of the President of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which was set up by governments to fight impunity worldwide.
She currently works as an independent consultant on strategy, communication, public affairs and politics, democracy, human rights, rule of law and good governance. She lives in Ljubljana with her husband and two children.
Until November 2015, she serves as vice-president of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.
She was appointed to serve as an ICANN Board Director. Her term will expire at the Annual General Meeting 2018.