Karel served in the Netherlands Foreign Service for 37 years before retiring in 2012 as Chairman of the 31 country International Taskforce on The Holocaust. He served in Prague, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Los Angeles and Nairobi before becoming Head of the UN Operational Department in the Ministry. He set up the  Management Information System for the Development Cooperation Ministry. He then became Minister Plenipotentiary in New Delhi, Ambassador in Lusaka, Deputy Secretary General in the Ministry 2000-2005, and from 2005-2008 Ambassador in Ottawa. From 2008 -2011 he was Director General at the Ministry. 

Between 2011 and 2012 he served as Ambassador-Chairman International Taskforce on the Holocaust. Since his retirement he has been active as an adviser for the Ministry of Foreign affairs: he advised on the Organization of Nuclear Security Summit 2014 and he also reviewed the Organization of the Summit Conference. He headed the Review Team that looked into internal crisis response of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and others on the MH17 Air Disaster. He reviewed the Global Conference on Cyber Security (2015). He was Advisor for the Organization and implementation of the Netherlands EU Chairmanship in 2016.In 2016-2017 het advised the Government on the organization and preparation for the Netherland Participation in the Dubai EXPO 2020.

Mr de Beer has been a Director of the Centre for Political and Diplomatic Studies (CPDS) since 2010 and has been teaching in Asia, Middle East and Europe and has specifically developed courses on Management and organization

In his spare time he is a keen golfer and already for many years a flight simulator enthusiast.

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