Chris Hoornaert was born in Belgium on December 24, 1963. He holds a master’s degree in Political and Social Sciences from the Catholic University in Leuven which he received in 1985. He also obtained a diploma in European Advanced Studies from the College of Europe in Brugge in 1986. Since then, Hoornaert has extensive experience as a diplomat within the Belgian government and the European Commission.
He started in 1986 as a parliamentary assistant at the European Parliament in Brussel. He then received a traineeship at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1988 where he held various positions. In 1992, Hoornaert joined the European Political Cooperation as a member of the secretariat and in 1994, he became administrator of security and defense matters at the EU Council Secretariat. From 1996 to 2000, he was the principal assistant to the Deputy Permanent Representative at the Belgian Permanent Representation to the EU. He then was appointed Counsellor at the Belgian Embassy in London. From 2003 to 2004, he was Director for EU External Relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before he became Diplomatic Advisor to the Prime Minister in Brussel.
He took up his duties as Belgian Ambassador to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Paris on August 1, 2007. Afterwards, he went on to assume the positions of Secondment as Port Ambassador to the Port of Antwerp (2011) and Belgian Ambassador to the Netherlands, The Hague (2014).
Currently, Hoornaert is the Head of Mission EU Delegation to Panama at the European Union, a role he accepted in December 2018.
Hoornaert speaks five languages: Dutch, French, English, German, and Spanish. In his spare time, he likes to cycle and practice photography. He also has an interest in modern art and architecture.