Since 2020, Cuppen has been Professor of Governance of Sustainability at the Institute of Public Administration of Leiden University. She previously worked at Delft University of Technology and VU Amsterdam, where she obtained her PhD at the Institute for Environmental Studies. At Eindhoven University of Technology, she studied Technology and Society (currently Innovation Sciences). In addition to her job as director, Cuppen will continue to work one day a week as a professor at Leiden University.
'I've been following the Rathenau Instituut since my student days,' says Cuppen. 'I was not only impressed by the quality of the research, but also by the role that the institute plays in putting societal issues around technology and innovation on the agenda. Now that technology is affecting our daily lives ever more deeply, that role is going to become even more important. I feel honoured and intrigued to have the opportunity to lead the Rathenau Instituut in that role.'
'With Eefje Cuppen, the Rathenau Instituut has gained an accomplished, inspiring, and passionate director,' says Maria Henneman, chair of the Rathenau Instituut's Board. 'She understands better than anyone what the institute stands for and is good at communicating what science, technology, and innovation can contribute to society. Her research focus ties in well with that of the institute. She looks at how the participation of citizens and stakeholders can ensure that attention is paid to a wide range of values, knowledge, and interests, so that solutions have a firmer basis. Furthermore, she is a very pleasant person.'
Cuppen's appointment is a joint decision of the boards of the Rathenau Instituut and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). With this, they are following the unanimous nomination of an advisory committee on appointments, in which staff members were also represented.
As director, Cuppen will succeed Melanie Peters, who passed away last year. Until Cuppen's arrival on 1 October, Henk de Jong will remain in charge of the day-to-day management of the Rathenau Instituut and will fulfil the directorship on an interim basis.