Atzo Nicolaï was a VVD politician. He studied law and political science at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and then worked at the Ministry of Welfare, Health and Culture, and the Council for Culture. In 1998, Nicolaï entered the Dutch House of Commons for liberal party VVD, becoming State Secretary of European Affairs in 2002 and 2003 and Minister of Kingdom Relations in 2006. Between that year and 2010, he was VVD spokesperson in the House of Commons on culture and foreign affairs. In 2011, Nicolaï left politics in order to become the director of DSM Netherlands.