Ambassador André Haspels congratulates Jim Dykstra after inducting him as an Officer in the Order of Orange Nassau while Jim’s wife Susan looks on.

The Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands André Haspels presented Jim Dykstra with a royal decoration and inducted him as an Officer in the Order of Orange Nassau for his longstanding dedication to strengthening the bilateral relationship between the Netherlands and the United States.

The Order of Orange Nassau is a civil and military order of chivalry founded in 1892 in the Netherlands. The ceremony took place Sept. 16 as part of The Netherland-America Foundation’s (NAF) Annual Ambassadors’ Awards Dinner in a socially distanced, hybrid setting at the residence of Ambassador Haspels. The NAF Dinner raises funds to provide educational exchange programs for Dutch students to study and intern in Washington, D.C.

Jim Dykstra, born in the Dutch-American community of Cedar Grove, Wisconsin, is a true son of the Netherlands and the United States. He is a vocal supporter of the Dutch-US relationship, be it economically or culturally. Jim has been a committed friend to the Dutch Embassy since the 1990s, when he served as a member of The Netherlands-American Amity Trust (NAAT).

The NAAT merged with the Netherland-America Foundation (NAF) in 2004 and Dykstra became an active member on the NAF Board of Directors, and is a member of its Executive Board. He also served as Chairman of the NAF’s DC Chapter. Throughout his many years of service, he has played a critical role in promoting and strengthening the ties between the Netherlands and the United States.

In 2016, Dykstra became Chairman of the NAF’s Annual Ambassadors’ Awards Dinner. Under his leadership, the dinner is recognized as a “must-attend” event in Washington, D.C. Last year’s dinner was attended by more than 300 guests including 25 members of Congress, and former and current government cabinet secretaries.

“For more than 30 years, Jim has worked tirelessly to strengthen ties between the Netherlands and the United States,” said Ambassador Haspels. “Whether it is bringing a group of Dutch ‘klompen’ dancers to perform during the American Bicentennial parade in Washington, DC; to connecting Dutch students to the US; to contributing to the embassy’s Holland on the Hill initiative, Jim is the embodiment of the American can-do mentality and Dutch resilience. The Dutch Embassy truly appreciates his promotion of the Netherlands and all the work he does to deepen the bond between our two nations.”

Dykstra’s home town of Cedar Grove, Wisconsin will most likely remember him for his part in securing the visit of HRH Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and her husband Pieter van Vollenhoven during the 140th celebration of the founding of Cedar Grove.

In addition to Dykstra’s volunteer service for the Dutch-American community, he has experience in senior positions on Capitol Hill, the executive branch, and private industry. He is currently a principal at Eddington Peel & Associates, a government consulting firm in Washington, D.C.