Graduate cum laude in Politics and Economics, Free University Amsterdam, 1988.
Management consultant Shell Netherlands Refinery BV, Pernis, 1988—1990. Policy advisor Shell Netherlands BV, Rotterdam, 1990—1992. General affairs manager Shell Romania Exploration BV, Bucharest, 1992—1993.
Staff planning and development manager Shell Companies Greater China, Hong Kong, 1993—1996. New markets consultant Shell International Oil Products, London, 1996—1998. Member House of Representatives of States General for Labour Party, Netherlands, 1998—2000, 2002—2007.
State secretary finance 2nd Kok Government Netherlands, 2000—2002. Deputy prime minister, minister finance 4th Balkenende Government Netherlands, Netherlands, 2007—2010.
Leader Labour Party, Netherlands, 2002—2007.