About ICAP

ICAP, the International Community Advisory Panel is an initiative put together by four long-standing members of the international community to act as an independent bridge between the international community itself and government and civic organisations in the Netherlands.

In particular, we aim to establish an independent forum which represents and reflects the views of the international community on issues which have an impact on the country's attractiveness as a place to live in and do business. 

The Netherland's regularly scores very highly in international comparisons – facts which officials are keen to promote whenever possible. However, these glowing reports do not always reflect the reality on the ground. And there lacks a broad framework for communicating with and receiving input/feedback from the international community and assessing its diverse needs and concerns. ICAP aims to change this. 


our pillars




Work & Inclusion

ThE ICAP Board

Together, the founding members of the International Community Advisory Panel (ICAP) reach a wide and varied group of internationals. The founders are:

Robin Pascoe

Founder and editor of DutchNews.nl, a national news source for English speakers with some 50,000 readers in Amsterdam. Robin trained as a journalist with the BBC and has worked for the Financieele Dagblad, ANP and the NRC. She has lived in the Netherlands for over 30 years. Robin is the Chair of ICAP.

Emmy McCarthy

Founder of Stichting Amsterdam Mamas, a centralised source of information and support for international families in the city and surrounding regions. Amsterdam Mamas is the largest and fastest growing parenting network for international families in the Netherlands. Emmy, is an ICAP Board Member.

Lynn Kaplanian Buller

Co-owner of The American Book Center (ABC who provides the ABC Treehouse as a gathering place for many internationally-oriented groups. Lynn is a driving force behind Project English Books for Dutch Kids which brings experience, matches volunteers with schools wanting to teach English, and material via SWAP20, a free English language lending library for Dutch elementary school teachers. Lynn is Treasurer of ICAP.

Deborah Valentine 

A seasoned expatriate and long time resident in the Netherlands, has in the course of her work been active with both local and local international initiatives such as the WBII and ACCESS where she is currently Executive Director. She has worked with government, nongovernmental and intergovernmental agencies in the Netherlands and brings a wealth of experience to ICAP.  Deborah is ICAP's Secretary.



ICAP is structured as an independent foundation registered in Amsterdam with the KvK. The Board of ICAP also liaises with and considers advice from a panel of experts, reflecting the four areas in which it will concentrate its efforts.

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Henk Jansen

Henk Jansen was born and raised in Amsterdam by a Dutch father and an Irish mother. A mortgage consultant and manager, he has been involved in the launch of several companies and in 2007 founded Expat Mortgages together with Chris van Maasdijk. Since then the company has helped hundreds of internationals find a mortgage and buy their own home. Henk, who also gives presentations and writes columns, advises ICAP on housing issues, particularly on home ownership.

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Hester van Buren

Hester van Buren is CEO of housing corporation Rochdale, which has 42,000 homes in Amsterdam and the surrounding towns, and is a member of the board of national housing corporation umbrella Aedes. She has long career in public service and is a member of several Amsterdam organisations promoting active citizenship. Hester brings a wealth of knowledge about the housing market to ICAP.

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Oscar Kneppers

Rockstart Founder Oscar Kneppers is a successful serial entrepreneur and internet publisher who focuses on new media, innovation and technology. After selling his media businesses (Emerce in 2001 and Bright in 2008) Oscar founded Rockstart in 2011. Rockstart helps startups be more successful in their first 1,000 days through funding and mentorship. To date, over 76% of Rockstart alumni have attracted over €35 million in funding from national and international angel and venture capital investors. Oscar advises ICAP on employment issues and young entrepreneurs.

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Saskia MAAS

As CEO, Saskia Maas is the engine behind Boom Chicago, responsible for business development, strategy, finance, sales and public relations. She also runs Boom Chicago for Business, which produces global corporate programmes.

Saskia is one of the founders of Inter-Acting which teaches children with autism social understanding and skills through improvisation.



Our Supporters

Without the support of the community, and our partners, ICAP would not be able to reach the community as extensively as it does. We thank our colleagues for their support to our efforts to serve as the voice of the international community.


Founding Organisations

Media Supporters

Community Organisations