Board of directors


Robert Cats

Robert worked for more than 20 years in the International ‘arena’ in different management positions and moved to Qatar in 2015 to work for Katara as Interim Director. As it happens in (Int’l) business whilst planning to go back to Europe, Robert was offered the position of Country Manager for a leading Facility Management company in Qatar. Robert studied Commercial Economics and several international Management courses ‘which gives me great advantage with doing business in Qatar’, says Robert. ‘The friendly Qatari people, diversity in cultures and business opportunities that Qatar offers makes it a great country to work in’.

Robert is the Chairman of the Dutch Business Council Qatar.

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Matthijs Westra

Matthijs has over 15 years of international banking experience in different roles across investment banking, wealth management and treasury. After working in the Netherlands for 6 years, he moved to the GCC region in 2007 where he has lived and worked in three countries. Besides his interest for Financial Markets, Matthijs has a passion for sports and fitness and started his own business in 2017 as he became the master franchisee for a Dutch boutique fitness brand called fit20. Matthijs holds a bachelor’s degree in international marketing and Management.

Matthijs is the Treasurer of the Dutch Business Council Qatar.

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Valérie Pans

Valérie has 20+ years of international experience in marketing, business development and communication from BtB and BtC industries. She has worked and lived in more than six countries before relocating to Qatar. After a corporate career Valérie established her brand & marketing consultancy company, PinkOrange, in 2015. Valérie holds an MBA from the University of Groningen and is currently finalising an MSc in Organisational & Business Psychology. She has two children and shares a passion for triathlons with her husband.

Valérie is responsible for Content and External Communication

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Marieke Witkamp

Marieke Witkamp is an attorney, working for the American law firm K&L Gates in their Doha office. Marieke has more than 15 years of legal experience, focusing her practice on construction law, litigation, and dispute resolution. Before joining K&L Gates, Marieke worked as in-house counsel in the Dutch natural gas industry, as in-house counsel in Qatar in the sports industry and for a boutique litigation firm in Houston, Texas. Marieke originally trained as a commercial judge in The Netherlands and still works as substitute judge for the Court of Rotterdam.

Marieke is responsible for Events & Sponsors of the Dutch Business Council Qatar.

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Freek Matheij

Freek works in project management with more than 7 years experience in the design and consultancy industry. After working for four years in the Netherlands, he moved to Qatar to work on the mega project such as the Doha Metro, Hamad International project, and other project such as the new Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. He is currently working on the Freek holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in construction management and engineering. Besides work, Freek has a passion for playing football. He is playing for a local team Barcedoha, which is part of the Qatar Community Football League which is sponsored by the Supreme Committee of Delivery and Legacy (SC) which is responsible for delivering the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Freek is responsible for Marketing, Events and (Social) Media for the Dutch Business Council Qatar.

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Nick Leissner

Nick has over 10 years of experience in financial consultancy and project (cost and controls) management in a variety of sectors, including Banking, Insurance, Consumer Electronics and Energy. Before moving to Qatar during early 2012, he has worked/lived in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. Nick holds an MSc in both Business Administration as well as Financial Law, and is a qualified Project Management Professional (Prince2, Ipma D).

Nick has a passion for sailing, diving, and travelling.

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