Mariëtte "Jet" Bussemaker (born 15 January 1961) is a retired Dutch politician. A member of the Labour Party (PvdA), she served as Minister of Education, Culture and Science from 5 November 2012 to 26 October 2017 in the Second Rutte cabinet. She has been a professor of Science, Policy, Social Impact and Healthcare at Leiden University since 1 July 2018.

Jet Bussemaker
Jet Bussemaker 2015 (1).jpg
Bussemaker in 2015
Minister of Education,
Culture and Science
In office
5 November 2012 – 26 October 2017
Prime MinisterMark Rutte
Preceded byMarja van Bijsterveldt
Succeeded byIngrid van Engelshoven
State Secretary for Health,
Welfare and Sport
In office
22 February 2007 – 23 February 2010
Prime MinisterJan Peter Balkenende
Preceded byClémence Ross-van Dorp
Succeeded byMarlies Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
6 May 1998 – 22 February 2007
Personal details
Mariëtte Bussemaker

(1961-01-15) 15 January 1961 (age 59)
Capelle aan den IJssel, Netherlands
Political partyLabour Party (since 1997)
Other political
GroenLinks (1992–1995)
Children1 daughter
ResidenceAmsterdam, Netherlands
Alma materUniversity of Amsterdam
(Bachelor of Social Science, Master of Social Science, Doctor of Philosophy)
OccupationPolitician · Political scientist · Researcher · Academic administrator · Author · Professor


Early lifeEdit

Mariëtte Bussemaker was born on 15 January 1961 in Capelle aan den IJssel in the province of South Holland as the daughter of Henk Bussemaker (1928–2018) and Elly Verduyn den Boer (1932–2017). Bussemaker attended primary and secondary education at the Rijnlands Lyceum in Oegstgeest. She subsequently studied at the University of Amsterdam where she obtained a Bachelor of Social Science and a Master of Social Science with cum laude in political science (specializing in Political philosophy). In 1993, Bussemaker received a doctorate degree as a Doctor of Philosophy in political and social-cultural sciences at the same university. Between 1993 and 1998 she was assistant professor of political science at the University of Amsterdam. She had been a member of the GreenLeft (GL) party during that period, but in 1995 she left it to join the Labour Party (PvdA) in 1997.

Political careerEdit

In the 1998 elections Bussemaker was elected into the House of Representatives. She specialized in employment policy, health care and taxes. In 2000 she was co-initiator of a proposal to allow conscientious objection for working on Sundays. This proposal became law in 2002. She remained assistant professor during her membership of the House of Representatives, now at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.[1]

After the election of 2006, Bussemaker was asked to become State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport in the Cabinet Balkenende IV. Bussemaker accepted and resigned as assistant professor the same day she took office as the new State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport on 22 February 2007. In May 2008, Bussemaker received strong criticism from MPs and fellow cabinet members after stating for the radio that she supported 2008 American Presidential candidate Barack Obama, and that she would consider the election of his Republican competitor John McCain to be a disaster. She did this in defiance of a ban on Cabinet members discussing foreign politics in a personal capacity,[2] instituted earlier after Bussemaker's fellow Dutch Labour party member and Finance Minister Wouter Bos expressed a similar sympathy for Barack Obama.[3] On 20 February 2010 the Cabinet Balkenende IV fell and Bussemaker and the rest of the Labour Party cabinet members resigned on 23 February 2007.

In January 2011 it was announced that Bussemaker would be part of the Board of the "Hogeschool Amsterdam" (that includes the International Business School and the Johan Cruyff University) and the University of Amsterdam, (they share the same board), she would also be dean at the Hogeschool Amsterdam. In December 2011 Jet Bussemaker and the board received heavy criticism for apparently allowing or not being able to curb widespread diploma fraud at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam.[4]

Bussemaker gave the 2013 Mosse Lecture, titled Grenzen aan homo-emancipatiebeleid: burgerwacht of politieagent? – Over de 'red lines' van het homo-emancipatiebeleid (Limits to gay emancipation policy: civilian or police officer? - About the 'red lines' of the gay emancipation policy).[5]


Ribbon bar Honour Country Date Comment
  Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau Netherlands 14 February 2018 Elevated from Knight (23 November 2010)


  1. ^ Newsletter of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 2007-06-27, retrieved 2008-08-01[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Expatica, Dutch news in brief, 2008-07-28, archived from the original on 2013-01-22, retrieved 2008-08-01
  3. ^ Expatica, Balkenende annoyed at Bos' support for Obama, 2008-06-02, archived from the original on 2008-04-19, retrieved 2008-08-01
  4. ^ Chaos op de Hogeschool van Amsterdam, 2011-12-17, retrieved 2011-12-17
  5. ^ "Mosse-lezing door minister Bussemaker" [Mosse lecture by minister Bussemaker] (in Dutch). COC Nederland. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2019.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Clémence Ross-van Dorp
State Secretary for Health,
Welfare and Sport

Succeeded by
Marlies Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Preceded by
Marja van Bijsterveldt
Minister of Education,
Culture and Science

Succeeded by
Ingrid van Engelshoven
Academic offices
Preceded by
President of the Council of the
University of Amsterdam

Succeeded by
Louise Gunning
Ad interim
Rector Magnificus of the
Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences