Academy appoints new Director General

12 January 2021

The Academy Board has appointed Wilma de Koning as Director General of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). She succeeds Mieke Zaanen, who will be retiring on 1 July 2021. Wilma de Koning is currently the Vice-President of Radboud University’s Executive Board.

Ineke Sluiter, President of the Academy: ‘We consider ourselves truly fortunate to have Wilma de Koning on board. Like her predecessor, she is a highly experienced, versatile executive who is passionate about science. We expect to gain huge benefits from her calm and straightforward management style, her expertise, and her bold leadership.’

Wilma de Koning: ‘I am very happy about this exciting opportunity and feel honoured by this appointment. It offers me the unique chance to use the experience I have gained in my previous positions on behalf of the Academy.’

Photograph Radboud University/Dick van Aalst

About Wilma de Koning

Wilma de Koning (1962) studied Business Economics at the School of Business Economics (HEAO) in Eindhoven and at Erasmus University Rotterdam. She subsequently obtained a postgraduate degree in Accountancy in Rotterdam and a degree in Accountancy and the Environment at the University of Amsterdam. One common thread in her varied career has been her professional involvement in higher education and research. For example, her previous positions include Director of the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies and General Secretary/Managing Director at Tilburg University, member of the Executive Board of Fontys University of Applied Sciences, and (since 2013) Vice-President of the Radboud University Executive Board.

About Mieke Zaanen

Mieke Zaanen has been Director General of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2014. Ineke Sluiter: ‘It was no small task to find someone who could follow in Mieke Zaanen’s footsteps as our Director General. The Academy is flourishing thanks to her versatility, broad outlook, energy, love of science and deep concern for the people in her organisation. Both the Academy Board and I personally owe her a huge debt of gratitude.’