Johan Witteveen

Last updated on 20 September 2017

Hendrikus Johannes "Johan" Witteveen (born 12 June 1921) is a retired Dutch politician of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy.

Witteveen, a economist by occupation, worked for the Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CBP) as an analyst from 1945 until 1948. He was a member of the Senate (1958–63; 1971–73) and the House of Representatives (1963; 1965–67) for the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy. He was Minister of Finance (1963–65; 1967–71) and managing director of the International Monetary Fund (1973–78). He also wrote books on Universal Sufism and economics.

Johan Witteveen 1984 (1).jpg
Johan Witteveen 1984 (1).jpg

Early life and education

Witteveen was born on 12 June 1921 in Zeist in the Netherlands. He is the son of architect Willem Gerrit Witteveen and Anna Maria Wibaut and the grandson of social democratic politician Floor Wibaut.[1] He went to the public secondary school Gymnasium Erasmianum in Rotterdam. He studied economics at the Netherlands School of Economics from 1939 to 1946. He received his PhD in 1947 with the dissertation Loonhoogte en werkgelegenheid (Height of wages and employment). His advisor was Nobel Prize laureate Jan Tinbergen.[1]


Witteveen, H.J. - SFA003000443.jpg
Witteveen as Minister of Finance in 1964

Witteveen worked as an economist at the Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis under Jan Tinbergen and Fred Polak from 1947 until 1963. He is a member of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). He served as a Member of the Senate from 23 December 1958 until 5 June 1963 and as Member of the House of Representatives from 5 June 1963 until 24 July 1963. He then became Minister of Finance in the Cabinet Marijnen serving from 24 July 1963 until 14 April 1965. He then served as a Member of the House of Representatives again from 21 September 1965 until 5 April 1967, when he returned as Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister serving from 5 April 1967 until 6 July 1971 in the Cabinet de Jong. He again returned to the Senate, serving from 8 June 1971 until 1 September 1973. Afterwards he became the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, serving from 1 September 1973 until 18 June 1978. From 1978 to 1985 he was the first chairman of the Washington-based economics body, the Group of Thirty.[2] He has been member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1980.[3]

Personal life

Witteveen is married to Liesbeth de Vries Feijens. They have four children. His son Willem Witteveen was also a politician, until he died on 17 July 2014 when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over Ukraine.[4]



  1. ^ a b (in Dutch) Dr. H.J. (Johan) Witteveen, Parlement & Politiek. Retrieved on 19 July 2014.
  2. ^ (in Dutch) Hendrikus becomes the fifth Managing Director,, 25 July 2012)
  3. ^ "Johannes Witteveen" (in Dutch). Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  4. ^ Professor Witteveen, his wife and student daughter, killed in plane crash, Tilburg University, 2014. Retrieved on 18 July 2014.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Jelle Zijlstra
Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Anne Vondeling
Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Roelof Nelissen
Preceded by
Jan de Quay
Barend Biesheuvel
Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands
With: Joop Bakker
Succeeded by
Roelof Nelissen
Molly Geertsema
Business positions
Preceded by
Pierre-Paul Schweitzer
Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund
Succeeded by
Jacques de Larosière

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