Was trained as an Arabist and anthropologist at the University of Leyden, the Netherlands.
Is an established expert on the Middle East who is frequently approached by radio and television
for his views on issues concerning the Middle East, Arab culture and Islam.
Is a lecturer with the Clingendael Institute, a think-tank and diplomatic academy based
in The Hague acting for the benefit of both government and general public.
Alternated his work as an expert on the Middle East with a career with Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM)
from 1988 until 1996. He has served as consultant for departments where cultural awareness played a
crucial role, like human resources, recruitment, marketing & sales, customer satisfaction and several
Established his own company Leo Kwarten Middle East Consultancy in 1998. Combining his international
business experience and his knowledge of the Middle East, he works with a wide range of international
companies with operations in the Middle East. He delivers country specific business briefings for Arab
countries, team building workshops for Arab/European management teams, and specific workshops for executives,
negotiators and diplomats.
Serves as consultant for oil companies and joint ventures with local partners in Libya, Qatar,
Dubai, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Oman and Saudi Arabia. He is also active in the airline industry,
food and beverages, logistics, transport, steel and petrochemicals. Some of his clients are Arab
companies that want to gain further understanding of the western cultures they are dealing with
Is a staunch believer in direct contact with primary sources. His work often takes him to the far
corners of the Middle East. He has visited most countries in the region and frequently travels there.