banner photo African Parks

African Parks Foundation (The Netherlands, Amsterdam)


    Mr Robert-Jan van Ogtrop | Chairman

    Robert-Jan van Ogtrop is the former CEO of Bols Royal Distilleries and subsequently became CEO of Remy Cointreau, prior to becoming an industrial partner at CVC Capital Partners where he is currently on the advisory board. He founded transition platform Circle Economy ( with the goal to accelerate the transition to a circular economy and continues to be an active investor in companies with the objective of making them circular focused. Robert-Jan proactively pursues opportunities in which he can combine his business experience with activities focused on nature conservation and on development in Africa, amongst others as chairman of African Parks, chairman of the TBL Mirror Fund, as a board member of the Wilderness Foundation and as a founder of the Foundation for Natural Leadership. He is also a non-executive board member at various companies.

    Mr Piet Klaver | Board member

    After finishing his Masters Degree B.A. and Finance at the University of Amsterdam (1971), Piet Klaver joined SHV Holdings N.V. in 1972. He held various positions in the company in The Netherlands, Denmark, Austria and Taiwan. He succeeded Paul van Vlissingen as CEO and is now Vice-Chairman of the Supervisory Board of SHV. Piet is also on the Supervisory Board of several other companies, amongst others ING Group. Piet is a sustainable farmer with a love for nature, especially birds. Paul asked him, before he died, to take over the chairmanship of African Park Foundation from him. Piet got greatly involved in the organization and was impressed by the possibilities, as Paul called them, to build "musea of nature". During his chairmanship Piet decided to africanize the organization by moving the head office to Johannesburg and stepped back as chairman. He is now a member of the board of the Dutch organization.

    Dr Frederik W.H. van Beuningen | Board member

    Frederik van Beuningen holds a degree in Economics from the University of Groningen. Dr van Beuningen has been the Managing Director/Co-Owner of Teslin Capital Management BV since 1991 and the Managing Director of Investment Company Rhoon, Pendrecht en Cortgene BV since 2002. He's served on the Board of the African Parks Foundation since 17 December 2007.

    Mrs Laetitia Smits Van Oyen | Board member

    Laetitia Smits van Oyen was one of the first Dutch female entrepreneurs of the 80’s. In 1986, two years after her graduation at the Technical University in Delft she started a company in the ICT-Organization Consultancy and sold this company in 1990 to Getronics NV. She stayed involved in its management for another four years and moved to the Caribbean to set up inter alia a Maritime Museum and the Curacao Dolphin Academy. Her strength is to find the niche where she can add value. After finalizing a global executive MBA, she wants to make a difference by sharing her drive, energy and proven success and leave a ‘Planet We’ for the next generation based on sustainable businesses. Laetitia has an autonomous personality characterized by passion, guts, responsibility and a sincere interest in the environment.

    Dr René Hooft Graafland | Board member

    Rene Hooft Graafland holds a degree in Business Administration from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and completed a post-doctorate in Chartered Accounting. In 1981 he started his career at Heineken, where he became a Member of the Executive Board in 2002, and member of the Executive Committee and Chief Financial Officer in 2005. He retired from Heineken in 2015. Dr Hooft Graafland spent a few years in DRC for Heineken, a period he much enjoyed. He joined the Board of Stichting African Parks Foundation in April 2010. In 2015 he was appointed as non-executive board member at Ahold, Friesland Campina and Wolters Kluwer.

    Mr Arent Foch | Board member

    Arent Foch (1960) holds a BA in Biology from the University of Amsterdam and an MBA from Erasmus’ Rotterdam School of Management. After working in finance and consultancy, Arent started his first business in 1994. He has helped build several businesses since. Until 2003 he was an executive board member at Kamps AG, Europe’s largest bakery group based in Düsseldorf. Arent since founded Foreman Capital – a private equity outfit based in Amsterdam, fully funded by the firm’s partners, with a focus on mid sized businesses in Northern Europe. Next to for-profit interests, Arent holds various not-for-profit board seats, including positions at the European Cultural Foundation, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and Vereniging Rembrandt. Arent and his family currently live in the Zurich area.