Herman Schaper graduated cum laude in Modern History (MA) at Leiden University in 1974. He holds also a master's degree in International Relations from the University of Virginia (USA).
He was inter alia the Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the United Nations in New York in the period 2009-2013, and before that the Permanent Representative of the Netherlands on the North Atlantic Council in the years 2005-2009. He held several positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including Deputy Director General for Political Affairs, Director of the Security Department, and Director of the European Department. He was also Member of Parliament for the political party D66 (1981-82).
Herman Schaper published around twenty articles on Dutch foreign policy, European security, transatlantic relations, NATO, and the United Nations.
Herman Schaper was appointed to the Peter Kooijmans Chair for Peace, Law and Security at Leiden University – Faculty Governance and Global Affairs as of September 1, 2014.