Speaker profile


  • Mr Gerard de Graaf
    Director, Digital Economy & Coordination (Directorate F)
    DG CONNECT, European Commission


Gerard de Graaf is Director for the Digital Economy and Coordination in Directorate-General "Communications Networks, Content & Technology" (DG CONNECT). In this capacity, he is responsible for a number of policies and instruments which are key to the development of the digital economy in Europe, including the implementation of the Digital Single Market Strategy and the coordination of the EU's R&D&I programme (Horizon 2020) in the area of ICT. His directorate is inter alia responsible for e-commerce and copyright reform, standardisation, innovation policies, access to finance, ICT reforms as part of the European Semester, competition aspects and economic analysis of the Digital Economy. 

Previously, Gerard de Graaf was director for electronic communications, networks and services and director for audiovisual, cyber security and international aspects. Before joining DG CONNECT, Gerard de Graaf was Head of Unit for Innovation Policy in DG Research and Innovation. Between 2005 and 2010, he was Head of Unit in the European Commission’s Secretariat-General, responsible for policy coordination. From 2001 until 2005, Gerard de Graaf was Head of the Policy Unit in DG Internal Market. From 1997 until 2001, he was trade counsellor at the Commission’s Delegation to the United States in Washington DC with a particular focus on financial services, procurement, e-commerce, data protection and technology issues. 

He joined the European Commission in 1991, and worked inter alia on procurement policies and financial services. He started his career in the private sector and ran his own company on industrial market research. 

Gerard de Graaf studied Social Geography and Regional Planning (cum laude) at the Free University in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) and European Studies (magna cum laude) at the Catholic University in Leuven (Belgium). 

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