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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 director of the Institute for Science in Society (ISiS) at Radboud University.

Noelle Aarts (born 1957) is director of the Institute for Science in Society (ISiS) at Radboud University. She studied Biology and Cultural Anthropolgy and obtainted her PhD in 1998 at Wageningen UR with a doctoral thesis on the communication between the government and farmers about controversial nature and nature policy in the Netherlands. Before she was appointed professor Socio-Ecological Interactions at Radboud University in 2017, she was professor Communication and Change in Life Science Contexts at Wageningen UR. Noelle Aarts’ research focuses on the meaning of everyday conversations on tracks of complex change involving nature, human-animal relations and the use of land.

Drs. Felix Cohen

Felix Cohen is chairperson of the board of commissioners of Regina Coeli. During his extensive career he has held many supervisory positions.

Felix Cohen has always worked on the intersection of new technology and ‘normal people’. Currently, he works as an energy coach. In this role he advises consumers on energy saving. Furthermore, he is chairperson of the central board of clients of a health facility in The Hague. In addition, he writes a blog on sailing and politics. During his career, Cohen has managed change processes and reorganizations for numerous organisations. He worked as a marketing manager for Philips Information Systems. As the general director of the Consumentenbond he was at the helm of an organisation which has 80.000 paying members.

Dr. Hans Dröge 

Hans Dröge is a supervisory director for i.a. Brabant Development Agency and General Employers' Association Netherlands

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. 

Dr. L.J.F. Guérin

Laurence Guérin is lector World Citizenship at The Hague University of Applied Sciences

Laurence Guérin (1971) is a lecturer on World Citizenship at The Hague University of Applied Sciences and a practitioner on Citizenship at ROC van Twente. She studied Business Administration at the Ecole Supérieur de Commerce de Rennes in France. After having worked for ten years in Basel (CH) in the pharmaceutical industry as, amongst other things, a quality manager, she studied Pedagogy at Utrecht University. She holds a PhD in Citizenship (political and pedagogical justification of civic education and civic didactics). She has developed and led the project "Beta citizenship" and currently leads the NRO educational research workshop "Democratization of critical thinking" at MBO level. The focus of the research in her practice and professorship is critical civic education in the context of vocational preparation, the promotion of youth participation and the impact of technology on social questions in a deliberative democracy.

Prof. LLM 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. Furthermore, he is honorary professor of Techno-Anthropology at Aalborg University, Denmark. Moreover, he is the chair of the UNESCO World Commission for the Ethics of Science and Technology, and member of The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Council of Supervision of TNO. Furthermore, he is a member of the Commission for the Freedom of Science, the council of the Responsible Innovation Programme of NWO and the Dutch National Commission at UNESCO. 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.

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).