Petra Stienen is an author, strategic advisor, leadership coach and moderator. One day a week she is senator for the social-liberal party D66. She is the delegation leader of the delegation of the Netherlands to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Between 1992 – 2009 Petra worked as a diplomat in the challenging environment of bilateral relations with the Middle East, Europe and the United States. After her career as a diplomat in 2009, she worked for the consultancy firm BMC. In 2011 Petra Stienen established her independent consultancy practice. She mainly focuses on issues around inclusion, diversity, gender and personal leadership for clients in local and national government, cultural and social organisations and the business community.
About her work as a human rights diplomat, she wrote the book Dromen van een Arabische lente (Dreaming of an Arab Spring, 2008). After that she wrote two more books Het andere Arabische geluid (The other Arab voices) (2012) and Terug naar de Donderberg (Back to the Thundermontain 2015). In 2019 she published a book on Charisma and Story Telling (Vergroot je Charisma & krijg meer aandacht voor je verhaal) which she wrote with her co-author Maximilian Winkelhuis. Together they give lectures and trainings about this book.
Petra Stienen is chairperson of the Supervisory Board of the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht, What Design Can Do, she is a member of the Supervisory Board of the International Instituut for Social History foundation and a member of the Supervisory Board of Wonen Limburg. She is also a board member of Action for Hope.
Petra Stienen studied Arabic and Middle East studies at the universities of Leiden, Cairo and London. In 2012 Petra participated in the popular TV programme Het mooiste meisje van de klas (The most beautiful girl in the class). Petra Stienen received the Women in the Media Award (2012), the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund Limburg Inspiration Prize (2013) and the Aletta Jacobs Emancipation Prize (2016).