Executive board VU Amsterdam

The Executive Board is responsible for the daily management of VU Amsterdam.
It is in charge of all administrative affairs, the management of the university and is accountable to the Supervisory Board.

Members of the Executive Board:


On 1 March 2018, Mirjam van Praag was appointed President of the Executive Board at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

curriculum vitae

Educational background
Mirjam van Praag studied Econometrics at the University of Amsterdam, obtaining her doctorate there in 1996.

Work experience
After having worked at Procter & Gamble, Intomart and The Boston Consulting Group, Van Praag committed herself to a career in science in 1998. She held successive positions at the University of Amsterdam, first as Associate Professor in Organizational Economics and later as Professor in Entrepreneurship and Organization. In 2014, Van Praag took on the position of Professor in Entrepreneurship at the Copenhagen Business School. In addition to her professorship, she has held a range of various ancillary positions. Van Praag was a crown member of the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (2010 – 2018), and has served on various advisory boards and academic networks in the fields of economics and entrepreneurship.

Ancillary positions

  • Professor Entrepreneurship, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.
  • Non-executive Board Member of the Berlingske Media Group, Denmark (De Persgroep). 

Contact information
Secretary: Marie-José Higler
Telephone: 020-59 85305
E-mail: m.j.higler@vu.nl

Marjolein Jansen

Marjolein Jansen (born in 1970) became Vice-President of the Executive Board of VU Amsterdam on 15 December 2015.

Educational background
Marjolein Jansen studied Public Administration in Leiden and Rotterdam, specializing in Environmental Policy and Law.

Work experience
Ms Jansen worked for Agentschap SenterNovem (now Netherlands Enterprise Agency) from 2000 to 2009. Her duties included the position of InfoMil Manager and work for the VROM (Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment) Taskforce for strategy and sustainable operations in government bodies. From 2009 to 2012, she held the position of deputy and acting Secretary General at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. From year-end 2012 until the end of 2015, she was a member of the Executive Board of STC-Group, the Education and Knowledge Institute for the shipping, transport and ports industries. Her portfolio included the Maritime programme at secondary vocational education (MBO) level, IT and facility services.

Ancillary positions

  • Vice President of the Sail Amsterdam Foundation.
‘VU Amsterdam forges links with society and demonstrates great social involvement.’
“How can we help young people reach their full potential, how can we offer them more than just an education? How can the university as a whole, and all individual departments of this university, make a contribution? I believe this to be my challenge: to bring us all together in our quest to achieve our mission. I look forward to contributing to finding solutions to the social issues of today and tomorrow; through well-educated students, an ambitious research agenda and fitting, high-quality operations management.

Please do not hesitate to invite me to a meeting if you run into any problems within our university or if you have any ideas on how VU Amsterdam could further improve its education, research, and supporting activities. My approach is to peel away the outer layers of problems until I get to the heart of the matter, after which I will work at finding solutions by looking at the knowledge available within our own university.”

Contact information
Secretary: Sandra van Arendonk
Telephone: +31 20 59 83609
E-mail: sandra.van.arendonk@vu.nl


Vinod Subramaniam (b. 1967) has served as Rector Magnificus and member of the Executive Board of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam since 1 September 2015.
The focus of his portfolio is on creating the ideal conditions for excellence in research and education. 

Educational background

Vinod Subramaniam studied electrical engineering at Cornell University. He received his PhD in 1996 from the University of Michigan (USA) in applied physics, based on his dissertation on the use of laser spectroscopy for protein folding research.

Work experience
Later he was affiliated with the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen (Germany) and in 2002 he became a senior researcher with AstraZeneca in the UK. In 2004 he was appointed professor at the University of Twente. He was also scientific director of MIRA, the University of Twente’s Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine, which focuses on the interplay between research (basic and applied), practice (clinical base and demand) and entrepreneurial spirit. Professor Subramaniam was appointed Director of the FOM Institute AMOLF in Amsterdam in September 2013.

Ancillary activities

  • Member Supervisory board foundation hDMT
  • Member Advisory Board Cyclotron BV
  • Member Supervisory Board Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten

'Courage and character: defining features of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam'
“Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is a university with courage and character. The mix of students and staff who work and study within its walls on a daily basis reflects the diversity of today’s society. With all our faculties, VU University Medical Center and ACTA here on campus, we have a very valuable combination of specializations on which to draw. In this regard, I would like to encourage greater synergy in all kinds of ways. For me, cooperation is a core concept. My own research has always been interdisciplinary, and that means learning to speak each other’s language. How can you strengthen one other? In addition to mono-disciplinary research, we are increasingly working in consortia which take a multidisciplinary approach. My aim is to create an environment where we can combine our collective knowledge even more effectively and benefit from each other's expertise, knowledge and skills with a view to having an even greater impact on social issues.

We must always be aware of the application and social relevance of everything we do at our university. Of course, this cannot always be done to the same degree. Scientists also need to have the opportunity to carry out research on fundamental issues, drawing on their curiosity and their thirst for knowledge. You never know where the results of such research may lead: after all, the internet began life as an internal communications system at CERN. If only they’d known at the time...

At the start of my term as Rector Magnificus, my first assignment to myself is to listen. I am driven by a spirit of inquiry. What are people’s inspirations and preoccupations? What kinds of challenges are they facing? What ideas are waiting to be snapped up? The academic world has changed so rapidly in recent decades that it’s not always easy to keep up. Looking back in a few years’ time, I hope to be able to say that together we have been able to alleviate the pressure. That a healthy balance has been restored, enabling students, staff and researchers to achieve their fullest potential. That our confidence in one another has grown even stronger. In order to achieve this, it’s important that people share their problems and ideas with me, so I can act as a broker and a facilitator.”

Contact information
Secretary: Paulien Oosterhuis
Telephone:  +31 (0)20 59 85320
E-mail: p.oosterhuis@vu.nl