Aart Jan De Geus, born in 1955, studied law at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. After his graduation (Master of Laws), he completed a postgraduate course in labour law at the University of Nijmegen.
From 1980, De Geus worked for the Christelijk Nationaal Vakverbond (CNV), a trade union federation in the Netherlands. He became its vice-chairman in 1993 with responsibility for social security, pensions, health and employment. In this capacity, he was appointed a member of the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (Sociaal-Economische Raad).
In 1998, he became a partner in the consulting firm Boer & Croon in Amsterdam. From 2002 to 2007, De Geus served as Minister of Social Affairs and Employment in the Balkenende administrations.
From 2007, as Deputy Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), De Geus was responsible for employment, labour and social affairs (including health, pensions and migration), education, and entrepreneurship and governance. He co-ordinated the horizontal project Making Reform Happen, and was also in charge of the OECD’s activities on gender and diversity issues.
Since September 2011, De Geus has been a member of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board, serving, since 5 August 2012, as the organisation’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He is responsible for the Stiftung's work on European integration, the future of democracy, sustainable economies and international megatrends and partnerships.
Aart De Geus was an acting member of Sitra’s international advisory panel in 2017-2019.