Lieutenant General (Ret.) Rob Bertholee spent most of his career in the military and retired in 2011 as the Chief of the Royal Netherlands Army. Upon retirement he was asked to take charge of the Netherlands General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD), where he served as the director general for seven years. During that period, the AIVD was instrumental in reinforcing the cooperation between the various European security services in order to become more effective in combating terrorism and substantially reinforcing cyber capabilities. In 2004, he received the Gold Cross of Honour of the German Bundeswehr and became Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau with Swords in 2011.