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Ahmed Aboutaleb

Mayor of Rotterdam

Ahmed Aboutaleb was born in 1961 in a small Moroc­can vil­lage. His father moved to the Nether­lands to work, fol­lowed by the fam­ily in 1976. At that time, Aboutaleb was fif­teen. In The Hague he taught him­self Dutch using French dic­tio­nar­ies and with the help of vol­un­teer social workers.

He began his career in com­mu­ni­ca­tion work­ing as a pre­sen­ter and pro­gram maker for radio and tele­vi­sion. Between 1994 and 1998 he expanded his career in com­mu­ni­ca­tion. He was press offi­cer at the min­istry of Wel­fare, Health and Cul­tural affairs, head of infor­ma­tion at the SER (Socio-Economic Advi­sory Board) and man­ager of the com­mu­ni­ca­tions and pub­li­ca­tions sec­tor at CBS (Cen­tral Bureau for Sta­tis­tics). In 1998 he was appointed direc­tor of the Forum Insti­tute. As of 2002 he was direc­tor of the social, eco­nomic and cul­tural devel­op­ment sec­tor of the munic­i­pal­ity of Ams­ter­dam. Between 2004 and 2007 he was the alder­man for work and income, edu­ca­tion, youth, diver­sity and urban pol­icy in Ams­ter­dam. He then was appointed state sec­re­tary for Social Affairs and Employ­ment until he became the Mayor of Rot­ter­dam in 2009.