Jan Gruiters will step down as General Director of PAX as of 1 October this year. “I have decided to step back and make way for a successor,” says Gruiters in announcing his resignation. “It is good for new people to stand at the helm and be able to make their mark on our peacebuilding work.”
Gruiters has served as Director or General Director since 1 January 2000. Prior to that, he worked in various positions at Pax Christi. Under his leadership, the peace movement associated with the Protestant churches in the Netherlands, known by its Dutch acronym IKV, and Pax Christi, the peace movement of the Catholic church, joined forces and are now known as PAX. PAX has evolved to become a renowned and influential peacebuilding organization. PAX operates in 15 conflict areas and employs 150 people.
While other organizations have suffered as a result of increasing competition and successive cutbacks, PAX has continued to grow in size, quality and influence. According to Gruiters, this is mainly due to committed PAX colleagues and partners, who take bold initiatives and achieve convincing results.
PAX also contributes to a more peaceful and inclusive society in the Netherlands. PAX works with 100 local Embassies for Peace and 50,000 people who contribute to PAX campaigns. Gruiters says, “I am delighted with the growing support in Dutch society for PAX. There is also a need to connect and engage in dialogue in the Netherlands, and PAX can play a role in achieving this.”
Marieke de Wal, Chair of the Supervisory Board, says, “We are extremely grateful to Jan Gruiters for his contribution to our peacebuilding work, which has spanned decades. Jan is a true bridge-builder, a connector who has led PAX with integrity in a distinctly professional manner and has ensured that the organization finds itself in an excellent position for the future.”
Gruiters will continue to be involved in PAX as a policy advisor until the end of 2020. De Wal says, “We are naturally saddened that we have to say goodbye to Jan. At the same time, we are thrilled that he will continue to play a role in PAX for the time being and that we can still benefit from his experience and insights for a little while longer.”
Jan Gruiters will say goodbye as General Director to colleagues and partners in September.