Voorzitter branchevereniging Element NL

profiel: boegbeeld, belangenbehartiger, communicator

Chair Element NL

In the Netherlands, there are 12 companies with licences to explore and/or produce natural gas (mainly) and oil. These oil and gas companies study the potential of reserves in our subsoil and under the seabed of the North Sea, are responsible for bringing the natural gas to the surface after drilling and they also operate offshore or onshore installations to maintain the production for long periods. These companies come together in Element NL. Element NL represents their shared interests. Together they are working on a CO2-neutral energy system, aiming to decrease the emissions of their own industry but also to participate in the transition with developing for example large CO2 storage capacity offshore. Our natural gas is of elementary importance in this. It provides security of supply for households and is a raw material for industry. During the transition, the Netherlands can therefore rely on a safe, clean and affordable production. Looking ahead: today, our pipelines carry natural gas, beyond tomorrow mainly new forms of energy.

The Dutch oil and gas sector is committed to a CO2-neutral energy system. They will achieve this through innovations, investments and their infrastructure. As we move towards a CO2-neutral future, the sector will continue to supply the Netherlands with energy thanks to the safe and responsible production technologies. At the same time, the companies have an eye on the future and are serious about playing their role in the energy transition.

Because of the transition to a fully sustainable energy supply in 2050, Element NL wants to increase the understanding of the Dutch society of the positive contribution and intentions by its members.

Focus for the chair

The Chair leads the Executive Committee (Excom). Element NL is always balancing  between its two main themes, it’s role in the Energy Transition and Security of supply by gas from Dutch territory, especially since the Ukraine war. The new Chair’s prime focus is mainly external. He/she should be an empathic communicator who visibly supports the vision and is able to connect with government, media and the general public at large, directly and via others. The Energy Transition part of the association goals is a logical starting point for advocacy. The external message however needs to cover the whole vision, including our essential contributions to the energy system by producing domestic natural gas and oil. Bridging the gap on this between the sector and society is a challenging but necessary goal.


Hence the primary scope of the Chair is:

  • Own the vision/strategy and challenge and stimulate Excom members. Lead Excom’s discussions to maintain and bond around the common purpose.
  • Spread the word, both directly and via others. The chair participates in public and media events. Is the primary external face of Element NL.
  • Maintain open and active communication lines with politics and government. Understand the formal and informal processes and structures. Have access to key influencers.


Tandem Chair-Director


The primary task of the Director is to professionalize the Element NL office (10 FTE). He/she must build the capability to support the external engagements (with short cycle times) whilst maintaining the operational capabilities. This will also require personal attention of the Chair (as the sparring-partner of the Director). Together they will build the Element NL narrative based on the mutual vision of the Excom. The Director (and his/her team) formulate the strategic scenario’s, the Excom, led by the Chair, sets the policy. The office, led by the Director, executes the strategy.

Profile of candidates

The main challenge is to bridge the tension between the vision of Element NL (domestic gas production remains relevant for internal consumption for the next decades) and the expectation of certain parts of society (stop fossil energy activites and investments in it immediately). The new chair should be rooted in the Element NL vision and at the same time be able to connect with the views of stakeholders.

The ideal new Chair is an experienced CEO/Chair who has shown an explicit capability in uniting various viewpoints towards a shared agenda. He/she is familiar with the Element NL issues, that could come from different directions (industry, NGO, government, politics, other industry-associations).

We are looking for a strategic thinker with gravitas, who is able to challenge and guide the sector in keeping the vision and strategy up to date. He/she must be interested in the industry and willing to build up knowledge.

The other desired key characteristics are:

  • Is sensitive about public opinion;
  • Treads carefully but resolutely;
  • Is a passionate storyteller, spokesperson. Us comfortable to speak in public and on radio/television;
  • Is able to make the connection with a broad spectrum of stakeholders both internally and externally;
  • Is outgoing. Appeals to the emotion. Communicates with empathy and flair.
  • Understands the value of advocacy via others and is able to mobilise a network of allies to do so.
  • Masters the Dutch and English language fluently.


This role requires a dedicated effort anticipated for 2,5 days on average. The reward is market conform, based on a management fee.


Element NL is assisted by Gasseling Search. For more information you can contact Marcel Gasseling via 073-2032132 or  email info@gasselingsearch.nl