Ahmed Aboutaleb

Keynote

Ahmed Aboutaleb was appointed as Mayor of Rotterdam on 5 January 2009.

Before that, he held the positions of State Secretary of Social Affairs and Employment (2007-2008) and Alderman of the City of Amsterdam (2004-2007). At age fifteen, Mr Aboutaleb arrived in the Netherlands, together with his mother and brothers, to join his father. The family lived in The Hague, where he successively completed junior secondary technical school, senior secondary technical school, and higher technical education. He graduated in 1987, specialising in telecommunications.

Mayor Aboutaleb is a firm champion of the values embedded in the Dutch Constitution: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the principles of non-discrimination. He regards the acquisition of Dutch nationality as a commitment to respect and propagate these values, and to help build the we-society. The more that people participate in this society, the stronger and more resilient it will be, for better or for worse. He regularly goes into town to meet with residents and discuss issues at play in their districts.