Thom de Graaf

Thom de Graaf

Thomas Carolus (Thom) de Graaf (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈtoːmɑz də ˈɣraːf];[1] born 11 June 1957) is a Dutch jurist and politician. He is a member of social liberal party Democrats 66 (D66).[2]

Since 7 June 2011 he has been a member of the Senate, and since 1 February 2012 he is President of the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences (HBO-raad).[3] Previously he was Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Minister for Government Reform and Kingdom Relations, and mayor of the city of Nijmegen.


De Graaf was born in Amsterdam and studied law at the Catholic University Nijmegen where he obtained his LL.M. in 1981. He was a member of the House of Representatives in the period 1994-2003, where he also held the post of party leader and faction chairperson for D66 from 1997 onwards. He sat as vice-chairman in the parliamentary inquiry commission that looked into the investigative methods used by the Dutch interregional police force, leading to the resignation in 1994 of the Minister for Internal Affairs, Ed van Thijn.[2]

De Graaf served in the second Balkenende cabinet as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Government Reform and Kingdom Relations from 23 May 2003 until 23 March 2005. In 2005, de Graaf resigned, after the introduction of democratically-elected mayors had been rejected in the Senate, with a deciding vote cast by the Labour Party faction under guidance by Ed van Thijn.[2] The proposal was especially important as it had become a symbol of the government reform that D66 had wanted since its creation.[4] Alexander Pechtold took his place in the cabinet.

From 8 January 2007 until 1 February 2012, De Graaf was mayor of Nijmegen, as successor of Guusje ter Horst. De Graaf's father, Theo de Graaf, was a KVP member of parliament and from 1968 until 1977 mayor of Nijmegen.[2]

Since 1 February 2012 Thom de Graaf is President of the HBO-raad.[3]


  1. Thomas in isolation: [ˈtoːmɑs].
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Mr. Th.C. de Graaf" (in Dutch). Parlement en Politiek. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
  3. 1 2 "CV voorzitter mr. Th. C. de Graaf (Thom)" (in Dutch). HBO-raad. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  4. "Dossier kabinetten Balkenende" (in Dutch). Koninklijke Bibliotheek. 17 September 2010. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
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Political offices
Preceded by
Johan Remkes
Roelf de Boer
Deputy Prime Minister
27 May 200323 March 2005
With: Gerrit Zalm 20032005
Succeeded by
Gerrit Zalm
Laurens Jan Brinkhorst
New ministerial post Minister for Government Reform and Kingdom Relations
27 May 200323 March 2005
Succeeded by
Alexander Pechtold
Preceded by
Guusje ter Horst
Mayor of Nijmegen
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