Hiddo Houben is currently a head of division at the European Commission headquarters in Belgium where he is responsible for overseeing trade relations between the European Union and the United States and Canada. Prior to this, he was the Head of the economic department of the EU embassy in Washington DC. He also served in the private office of the UK’s EU Trade Commissioners, Peter Mandelson and Baroness Catherine Ashton in Brussels, working on trade, energy policy and financial markets.
Hiddo got his start in trade policy in the Uruguay Round negotiations in the early 1990s. He was later deputy chief of the EU team negotiating China’s terms of accession to the WTO, a process that took over ten years and was concluded in 2001. Hiddo's 25 years at the EU Commission have given him an insider view of the process of European integration and of the way the process of globalization is redefining the EU and multilateral institutions.