Jeroen van der Sommen

Co-founder & director, Amsterdam


Jeroen is responsible for developing and maintaining Akvo’s relationships with all types of partner organisations, with a particular focus on Europe and Africa. He works to achieve a balance in Akvo’s international activities, ensuring support is available for partners in countries where it’s needed. Until March 2012, he was chairman of Akvo’s board.

Jeroen ignited the Akvo phenomenon after meeting Thomas Bjelkeman at Stockholm World Water Week in summer 2006 and has steered Akvo’s evolution to ensure it is relevant to, and supported by, a wide range of implementation NGOs, funding partners and global institutions. He started his career as a geologist in Burkina Faso in 1982 and holds an MSc in Hydrology from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He worked throughout the 1980s in countries such as Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Niger, Mali, Indonesia and India, managing water supply and management projects on behalf of organisations such as the World Bank and the European Union. In 1998, Jeroen founded the Netherlands Water Partnership, where he built a dynamic network of over 200 member organisations that collaborate.