Ambassador Jean De Ruyt retired from the Belgian diplomatic service in March 2012 after some 40 years. Now an independent political analyst, Jean De Ruyt currently consults for Covington & Burling LLP as Senior European Policy Advisor and is a member of the Board of Counselors of McLarty Associates in Washington.
Ambassador Jean De Ruyt was until September 2011, the Permanent Representative of Belgium to the European Union. He was then appointed to advise the European Union's High Representative/Vice-President Catherine Ashton on specific foreign policy issues, specifically the solution to the problem of Camp Ashraf in Iraq until March 2012. Previously, he was the Ambassador to Italy, covering also, from Rome, the FAO (UN Food and Agricultural Organization), Albania and the Republic of San Marino. From April 2001 until August 2004 he was the Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations in New York. In this capacity and as the Representative of the European Union Presidency in 2001, he contributed actively in the UN reaction to the events on September 11.
De Ruyt has a doctorate from Louvain University Law School (1969) and studied at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He was Assistant Professor in Public Law at Louvain University before entering the Diplomatic career. Since his return to Brussels in 2007, he is a regular visiting Professor at Louvain University (UCL) and in the College of Europe in Poland (Natolin). He has conducted seminars on European issues for the joint European Studies Institute of Louvain and St Louis Universities and sits on the Board of The Royal Institute for International Relations. He elected Associate Member of the Belgian Royal Academy in March 2017.
His publications include L'Acte Unique Européen Editions de l’Université de Bruxelles 1987, second Edition 1989; European Political Cooperation towards a European Foreign Policy, Atlantic Council of the U.S., 1989; A Minister for a European Foreign Policy, Schuman Centre, European University Institute, Florence, 2005 and various articles on European institutions and defence policy. His latest book “Leadership in the European Union” was published in 2016 by Louvain University Press.