Minister Kaag worked for Shell International before moving to the UN Political Affairs Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1990 to 1993. She subsequently held a series of international positions at United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the International Organization for Migration, before becoming a UN adviser in Khartoum and Nairobi. She continued her career at UNICEF before serving as Assistant Secretary-General for the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in New York. Minister Kaag continued her work as the UN Under-Secretary-General and led the mission to eliminate chemical weapons in Syria. In 2015 she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Exeter. She was awarded the Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize in 2016 in recognition of her efforts and the results of her work in the Middle East. On 26 October 2017, Sigrid Kaag was appointed Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in the third Rutte government.