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Our Board

Our board consists of the following persons:

Gerdi Verbeet (chair)

Gerdi Verbeet chairs the National 4 and 5 May Committee and is a supervisory director of e.g. charity organisation Novamedia. 

Gerdi Verbeet (born 1951) was president of the Dutch House of Representatives from 2006 to 2012. She now uses the experience she gained in national politics for the benefit of other organisations. Verbeet was a political adviser from 1996 to 2001 and a member of the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2006, where she focused on sport, elderly policy and the national old-age pension. She chaired the Standing Parliamentary Committee for Justice and the Thematic Committee on Elderly Policy. She was elected president of the House of Representatives in 2006, only the second woman to hold this post. After two terms in the House (2006-2012), she took on a range of new roles, some of them board positions, including the chair of the Board of the Rathenau Instituut. Verbeet also chairs the Supervisory Board of Novamedia and is a supervisory director at Siemens. On 1 June 2015, she was appointed chairperson of the National 4 and 5 May Committee, which organises the national ceremonies commemorating the war dead and celebrating Liberation Day. 

Prof. dr. M.N.C. Aarts

Noelle Aarts is professor of Socio-Ecological Interactions at Radboud University.

Noelle Aarts (born 1957) is professor Socio-Ecological Interactions at Radboud University. Focusing on conversations between people in different contexts, she studies inter-human processes and communication for creating space for sustainable change. Noelle Aarts studied Biology and Cultural Anthropolgy at Radboud University. In 1998 she completed her PhD at Wageningen UR with the doctoral thesis ‘Een kwestie van natuur; een studie naar de aard en het verloop van communicatie over natuur en natuurbeleid’. Since 1999 she worked at Wageningen UR, where in 2015 she was chosen as teacher of the year. Since 2016, Noelle Aarts has been one of the directors of the ‘Centrum voor Dialoog’.

Prof. dr. Roshan Cools

Roshan Cools is professor of Cognitive Neuropsychiatry at Radboud University Medical Centre.

Roshan Cools (born 1975) was appointed professor of Cognitive Neuropsychiatry at Radboud University Medical Centre in 2011. Since 2007 she has been a principal investigator with the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour at Radboud University. Cools studied experimental and neuropsychology in Groningen and completed a Master’s in experimental psychology at the University of Cambridge, where she obtained her PhD in 2003. Before returning to the Netherlands, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2015, she was awarded a VICI grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Cools has been a member of the Advisory Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (AWTI) since 2014. 

Dr. Hans Dröge 

Hans Dröge  is a supervisory director for the Brabant Development Agency. 

Hans Dröge (born 1956) worked for Unilever Netherlands until the end of 2013. He currently advises organisations and start-ups and other firms on technology, innovation and sustainability. Dröge is also a member of the supervisory board for the Brabant Development Agency. He studied pharmacology. After graduating, Dröge began his career at the Unilever Research Laboratory, held various supply chain positions, and returned to R&D in 2009. He was responsible 
for Unilever’s global R&D infrastructure and the operationalisation of its current R&D strategy. He was also in charge of Unilever’s external relations with the political, government and business communities in the Netherlands. 

Prof. mr. dr. Erwin Muller

Erwin Muller has been dean of the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs (FGGA) at Leiden University and professor of Safety, Security and Law at the same faculty. 

Erwin Muller (born 1965) is editor-in-chief of the Kluwer Series Handboeken Veiligheid and Tekst en Commentaar Openbare Orde en Veiligheid. He is also chair of the Supervisory Board of Lucas Education, vice-chairman of the Supervisory Board of Avans University of Applied Sciences, and a member of the Supervisory Board of GGZ Noord-Holland-Noord. Before that, Muller was vice-chairman of the Dutch Safety Board and director of research for the Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology at Leiden University. He was also the director of the COT Institute for Security and Crisis Management, a member of the Dutch Council for Public Administration, the vice-dean of the Faculty of Law at Leiden University, the director of the Netherlands Police Academy, and the director of the Netherlands School of Public Administration. 

Prof. dr. ir. Peter-Paul Verbeek

Peter-Paul Verbeek is professor of Philosophy of Technology, University of Twente.

Peter-Paul Verbeek (born 1970) is professor of Philosophy of Technology and co-director of the DesignLab at the University of Twente, where he is also vice-dean of the Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences. He is a member of The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Dutch Council for the Humanities and the Centre for Ethics and Health. Between 2011 and 2013 he was president of the Young Academy (part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), and between 2013 and 2015 he was president of the Society for Philosophy and Technology. His research focuses on the relationship between man, technology and society. He has written a number of popular books, including What Things Do, Moralizing Technology and De grens van de mens.

Prof. dr. Marijk van der Wende 

Marijk van der Wende is distinguished professor of Higher Education at Utrecht University's Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance. 

Marijk van der Wende (born 1960) is a guest researcher at Harvard University in the United States, and is working on a project focusing on ‘higher education in China in the age of Globalisation’. She was dean of Amsterdam University College (University of Amsterdam and VU Amsterdam) from 2009 to 2015, and dean of Graduate Studies at Utrecht University from 2015 to 2017. Since 1 November 2017, she is Distinguished Professor of Higher Education at Utrecht University’s Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance. Her research focuses on the impact of globalization and internationalization on higher education systems, institutions, curricula, and teaching and learning arrangements. She has accumulated vast experience in the field of educational innovation.  

Dr. ir. Melanie Peters (secretary)

Melanie Peters (born 1965) has been the director of the Rathenau Instituut since 1 February 2015.

Peters has a broad background in science, business and the public sector, combined with extensive experience in the Dutch and international political and social arena. She trained as a food engineer (Wageningen University) and toxicologist and obtained her PhD in biochemistry (Imperial College, London). Peters worked as an academic researcher at the University of Texas in Austin and headed a research group at the Shell Research and Technology Centre in Amsterdam. She has held various positions at the interface of science, policy, politics and society at the Ministry of Agriculture, the Dutch Consumers’ Association and as director of the Studium Generale programme at University Utrecht. 

More information

The Chairman and other members of the Board are formally appointed by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR), at the nomination of the sitting members of the Board. According to our institutional decree, members are appointed by the Minister of Education, Culture, and Science for the duration of four years, with a possibility of extension.

If you have any questions for (or about) the Board, please email Diana Trimpert (executive secretary).