Hellen van der Wal
Chair, National Park Aruba Foundation
Hellen A. van der Wal was born in Leeuwarden (Friesland, Holland) in 1958 and raised in Aruba. The Aruban cunucu and the Caribbean sea were her playground for years. After finishing secondary school in 1976 she studied journalism (1979) and law (1990) in Utrecht, the Netherlands. In 2011 she obtained her Ph.D. in law at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.
Hellen worked in the Netherlands from 1979-1983 as head of Public Relations at the Diabetes Association Netherlands and from 1983-1990 as an editor /producer at the Television Academy Foundation (TELEAC). In 1990 she returned to Aruba, working within the Department of Justice, serving a variety of roles: as a legislative lawyer, head of the policy department at the Directorate of public order and safety (Directie Openbare Orde en Veiligheid), policy advisor to the Minister of Justice and head of policy staff of the Aruba Police Department. In 1997 she started working at the State Council of Aruba (Raad van Advies), where she became Secretary in 2004.
In 2018 her government career came to an end when she was appointed member on behalf of Aruba at the Aruban Board of Financial Supervision (College Aruba financieel toezicht).
That year she also become owner and CEO of the consultancy firm WABC.
Hellen van der Wal is very socially engaged. In 1999 she was one of the founders of the Aruban Children’s Telephone Foundation (Stichting Arubaanse Kinder- en Jeugdtelefoon), of which she was the chairman for 10 years and member of the board for many more. In 2007 Hellen was elected Caribbean Representative at the NGO Advisory Council for follow up to the UN Secretary General’s Study on Violence Against Children, a position she held for four years. In 2005 she founded the Society & Crime Foundation (Stichting Maatschappij & Criminaliteit) to promote scientific research and the development of educational material and projects in the field of safety and prevention.
In 2018 she became a board member to the Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba, at the recommendation of the NGOs. Since 2018 she has been the representative for the Aruban National Park Foundation in the DCNA General Board. In 2019 Hellen became member of the Supervisory Board of the National Park Foundation of Aruba.