Dr Nikolaos van Dam is a former Dutch diplomat who, between 1988 and 2010, served as the ambassador of the Netherlands to Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Germany and Indonesia, and as the Dutch Special Envoy for Syria between 2015 and 2016.

As a junior diplomat he served in Lebanon, Jordan, the Palestinian Occupied Territories and Libya.

He has published a multitude of books on the Middle East, including The Struggle for Power in Syria: Politics and Society under Asad and the Ba’th Party (4th ed. 2011), Destroying a Nation: The Civil War in Syria (2017), Granaten en minaretten: Een diplomaat op zoek naar vrede in de Arabische en islamitische wereld (2020) (a reflection on his experiences as a diplomat in search of peace in the Arab and Islamic world), and De vrede die niet kwam (1998). Some of his books were also published in Arabic, Turkish and several other languages.

Ambassador Van Dam studied Political Sciences and Arabic at the University of Amsterdam, graduating cum laude in 1973. In 1977, he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Literature, after successfully defending his PhD thesis on Syria.