Ahmed Aboutaleb

Mayor of Rotterdam, Vice-President of Efus

Ahmed Aboutaleb (born 1961 in Beni Sidel, Morocco) has been Mayor of the City of Rotterdam since 2009.

Previously, he represented the PvdA (Labor Party) as State Secretary for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment in the fourth Balkenende cabinet (2007-2008) and as an alderman in Amsterdam (2004-2007). At the age of fifteen, Aboutaleb came to the Netherlands for family reunification. The family lived in The Hague, where Aboutaleb successively attended Junior Technical School, Intermediate Technical School and Technical College, graduating in Telecommunications in 1987. He is a poetry enthusiast.

1985 -2007

In the mid-1980s, Aboutaleb started his career in journalism. He was a discussion leader for RVU Television, made programmes for Radio Stad Amsterdam and Radio Noord-Holland, and reported for Veronica Radio, NOS Radio and RTL News. In 1991, he moved to public services, holding positions within the Ministry of Welfare, Health and Culture, the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER) and Statistics Netherlands (CBS). In 1998 he became an administrator for the Forum institute for multicultural development, and in 2002 he became director of the City of Amsterdam’s sector of Social, Economic and Cultural Development (MEC).


Mayor Aboutaleb strongly advocates for the values enshrined in the Dutch Constitution: freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the principle of non-discrimination. In his view, obtaining Dutch citizenship entails a responsibility to respect and uphold those values and to take part in building the We Society. The more people take part, the stronger and more resilient that society will be, both in good and bad times. He regularly takes neighbourhood strolls through Rotterdam to have talks with residents about their concerns.

In 2015, Aboutaleb published two books: an HJ Schoo Reading (published by Elseviermagazine) titled De roep van de stad ('The City’s Call'), covering the leading roles that cities and urban regions can play at the national and international level, and Droom & Daad ('Dream & Deed'), which was published for the History Week of the Collective Promotion of the Dutch Book foundation (CPNB). In Droom & Daad, he tells a Rotterdam war story to present how to ensure a stable, peaceful society.

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