The Institute is named after Johan de Witt (1625-1672), the famous Grand Pensionary of the Netherlands. Through his negotiation skills, he managed to be one of most influential leaders of the world at the time.


At the Institute we bring experts on negotiating together. Through this knowledgeable and influential network, we can assist people in our community to resolve issues by negotiations, rather than struggle. We combine proven principles and pratices, with in-depth knowledge of negotiations and dispute settlement.


These professionals form the ring of the Institute:


Maarten van Rossum

is one of the founders of the De Witt Institute. He was trained in the Harvard Program on Negotiations by professor Robert Bordone. Maarten teaches advanced negotiations and international negotiations at various academies in the Netherlands.


Maarten is the co-author of the book "Toponderhandelaars". The book focuses on the practice behind all the theory of negotiations. For the book, 10 top negotiators were asked to elaborate on their practice, among them the Prime Minister, CEO's, Members of Parliament, Ministers, ambassadors and a UN-general.    


As a diplomat Maarten was stationed in Brussels, Afghanistan and Washington, and senior counsel to the Prime Minister. He is now the Global Director of Public Affairs at the HEINEKEN Company.



Tim Masselink

is co-author of the book “Toponderhandelaars” and works as Senior Consultant Leadership and Development at Berenschot.


Before joining Berenschot, he worked as a trainer in International Negotation Skills for the Netherlands Institute for International Relations “Clingendael”.


Tim is an organizational psychologist and politicologist by training and has always had an interest in the behavioral and psychological side of negotiations.


Elske Doets

Elske is CEO and owner of travel company Jan Doets America Tours. Elske won the Chairman’s Circle Honors Award 4 times, a prestigious entrepreneurs award in the USA.


In 2017 she was honored to become Business Women of the Year in the Netherlands. To pursue her mission she founded the Young Lady Business Academy in 2017 that focuses on empowering young women who strive for a top career, i.e. by enhancing their skills such as negotiating.


Elske is a very experienced in negotiations, she specialises in gender and other forms of diversity in negotiations. Elske is fascinated by negotations where the difference in power plays a large role. 


Robert C Bordone

Robert is Senior Fellow at Harvard Law School. He is the Founder of the Harvard Negotiation & Meditation Clinical Program.


Robert's research interests include various aspects of dispute handling systems for organizations, societies and institutions. Robert is the co-author of two books: Designing Systems and Processes for Managing Disputes (Aspen, 2013) and the Handbook of Dispute Resolution (Jossey-Bass, 2005).


As a negotiations and conflict resolution consultant, Robert worked with some of the worlds largest corporations and (non)-governmental organizations. He specializes in assisting individuals and groups seeking tot manage conflict in highly sensitive, emotional or difficult situations.


Juan David Yrausquin 

Juan David is the former Minister of Finance in the Government of Aruba, and served as Minister Plenipotentiary for Aruba in the Hague. 


Juan David negotiated major pension reform with several public sector unions in Aruba which closed the US$1.4 billion pension funds’ underfunded pension liabilities.


He was trained in the Harvard Program on Negotiations by Professor Daniel Shapiro and is an alumni of Columbia University in New York. 


Anne de Graaf 

Anne is a senior manager at the Heineken Company. She used to work for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and coordinates the negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework of the EU: challenging and long multilateral negotiations. Prior to her current position she was stationed in Malaysia and at the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands to the EU in Brussels during the Dutch Presidency, where she lead negotiations in the field of the financing of military EU operations and EU external migration policy.  Before joining the Diplomatic Service she also represented the NL in multilateral working groups of European supervisors on capital markets.


For Anne, negotiations are part of everyday life. They involve social skills, analytical skills, leadership as well as cooperation, to name only a few. Her compass is her curiosity and continuous ambition to understand her counterparts.  


Maartje van Bavel

Maartje owns Speech Republic. Speech Republic trains politicians, CEO's, entrepreneurs, scientists and high potentials in the Netherlands and abroad. Maartje helps them to first find their story and then communicate it.


The goal that Maartje is pursuing with Speech Republic is to be the amplifier in the voice of changemakers.


Negotiations are about so much more than numbers and data. Negotiations are also about the story you tell and the connection you manage to build with the other party. 


Bart Wolters 

Bart is the Partner Corporate M&A at Holland van Gijzen Lawyers. Bart has been active for over 16 years in the field of the Dutch and international transaction-practice. Bart areas of expertise are merges and acquisitions, private equity and complex joint ventures and outsourcingstransactions. Bart has been stationed at HVG's London branch to assist Dutch companies based in the UK.


Bart holds a cum laude post doctoral Corporate Law-degree of the famous Grotius Academy of law and is active in the Dutch Network of Outsourcing (PON).


Peter van Keulen


Peter is founder of Public Matters, a public affairs agency with offices in The Hague and Brussels. 


Previously, he worked for food-retailer Albert Heijn, and an international communications agency. He started his career working in Dutch parliament. He founded the Dutch association for public affairs professionals, and regularly gives training, publishes and gives interviews about his profession. 


For Peter, negotiations are the key to success for effective influencing. About key arguments, about band-width of what to give & take, and about awarding the interlocutor in a dialogue. Never from a disbalance in power, always by respecting the other.