Berend de Groot has over three decades of experience in the design and management of development and humanitarian assistance programmes in Asia and Africa. Graduated as an agronomist from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, Berend started his career as livestock production expert and team leader with Swiss Development Cooperation in India and Pakistan. After joining the European Commission in 1998, he was posted to the EU Delegations in Angola and Madagascar and worked with the Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations on North Korea and the reorganisation of its global food aid programme. As head of cooperation from 2007 onwards, Berend was overseeing the planning and implementation of technical and financial cooperation programmes in the EU Delegations to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ukraine and Belarus.
Throughout his different postings, Berend developed a strong interest in promoting upscaling of community development and reforms in public administration and local governance. Since his studies he also has been keenly following advances in nature conservation and ecological sustainability. He took a sabbatical joining the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in Nepal as an interim director research operations.
Berend retired in 2022 and is currently affiliated as Senior Associate Fellow with the Faculty Governance and Global Affairs at Leiden University in the Netherlands.
Berend's areas of expertise include International cooperation, Local governance and community development, Agricultural transition and nature conservation