Benno Van der Laan
Director, Transatlantic and Latin America
Benno van der Laan is a director at Interel’s Washington, D.C., office and leads the firm’s transatlantic practice. Benno also oversees Interel’s work with clients and partners in South America, and is a leading expert on international agricultural issues. In cooperation with Interel’s offices in Brussels and elsewhere in Europe, Benno provides senior-level counsel on government relations and public affairs in the European Union to multinational corporations and trade associations based in the Americas. In addition, Benno supports Interel’s Global Practice and is responsible for managing and building Interel’s partner network and client work across Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, and Peru. During this time, he has developed a deep understanding of the region’s economic, political, and cultural characteristics.
Benno began his career in Brussels in 1991 at the European Commission, before becoming a consultant. Over the years, Benno has designed and executed numerous international government affairs projects and advocacy campaigns in many policy areas. He has developed particular expertise in agribusiness and food policies, the natural resources sectors, and environmental legislation. In 2001 Benno opened the firm’s Washington, D.C., office, which has since grown substantially to become Interel’s single largest entity. He is a recognized expert in the U.S. on European Union politics, policies, and procedures, and is regularly invited to speak on these issues.
In addition to his native Dutch, Benno is fluent in English, Portuguese, French, and German and has a working knowledge of Spanish. He lives in the Washington, D.C., region with his wife and two children.