ISS Rectors

Ruard Ganzenvoort

Current rector

Professor Ruard Ganzevoort

Before joining the International Institute of Social Studies in August 2023, Ruard Ganzevoort had been Professor of Practical Theology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam since 2005 and Dean of the Faculty of Religion and Theology at the same university since 2017.

He was a member of the Senate of the Dutch Parliament for GroenLinks (GreenLeft) from 2011 until 2023.

Former rectors

  • Inge Hutter

    (2015 - 2023)

    Before joining ISS, Inge Hutter was Professor of Demography (since 2004), Vice Dean Research (2005-08) and Dean (2011-15) at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen. She received an ASPASIA for Associate Professorship in 2000, a KNAW post-doc research position in 1996 and a PhD cum laude in 1994.

    Valedictory portrait image Inge Hutter 2023
  • Leo De Haan

    (2010 - 2015)

    Professor De Haan is the former director of the African Studies Centre (ASC), Leiden and Professor of Development in Sub-Sahara Africa at Leiden University. Before directing ASC Leiden he was Professor of Development Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen and director of the Centre for International Development Issues Nijmegen (CIDIN)

  • Louk de la Rive Box


    ISS' Rector Louk de la Rive Box, is considered to be the most influential person in the Netherlands when it comes to Development Cooperation.

  • Hans Opschoor


    Hans Opschoor has been in environmental and ecological economics since 1971. From 1978 onward he has specialised in international aspects of these fields, especially North-South ones. He has worked and lived in Southern Africa (Botswana) and been involved in projects in India and China. In terms of topics he has, since his parttime retirement, focused on the economics of Climate Change, and Environment and Poverty. In addition to that, he has a strong interest in scientific/academic co-operation in research and capacity development in a North-South-South (or any other permutation) context.

  • Henk van Roosmalen


    Henk van Roosmalen joined ISS in 1965 and held the Chair of Rural Sociology until his retirement in 1992. He was also Acting Rector during his last years of office, and after his retirement he was called upon to return and to act as Interim Rector for a transitional period during 1995.

  • Geertje Lycklama à Nijeholt


    Geertje Lycklama à Nijeholt (Lollum, 1938) studied Western sociology at the Free university in Amsterdam. Lycklama à Nijeholt then worked as coordinator of Women's Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a professor of Gender and Women's Studies in Wageningen and as professor Women and Development at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. From 1990 to 1995 she was rector of this institute. From 1995 to 2003 she was a member of the Senate of the States General. She is also a former member of the PvdA in the Senate. Geertje Lycklama à Nijeholt passed away in 2014.

  • Dik Wolfson


    Professor D. Wolfson is a leading economist and Professor Emeritus of Economics, Erasmus University, Rotterdam. Professor Wolfson is an influential personality within academia in the Netherlands. He served on several academic advisory boards including the Board of Supervisors of the Institute of Social Studies (ISS). He is also the Chairman of the seven-member Scholarship Committee of the Netherlands Institute of Advance Study (NIAS) in the Humanities and Social Sciences since 2002.

  • Charles Cooper


    Charles Cooper was the founding director of United Nations University - Institute for New Technologies, Maastricht from the period of 1990 to 2000. Charles Cooper was the founding director of the Maastricht-based United Nations University Institute for New Technologies, UNU-INTECH (now UNU-MERIT). In 1985, the Dutch Government asked him to prepare a feasibility study on the creation of a UNU Institute specializing in the social and economics aspects of new technologies. The report was presented to UNU in 1987 and was to form the basis for setting up the new Institute in 1990.

  • Louis Emmerij

    (1976 - 1985)

    In August 1977, the Institute moved to the former Hotel Wittebrug. A lighter and far more spacious building, it was more in keeping with its needs and with changes that were taking place in its professional development. A new Rector, Prof. Louis Emmerij, carried over earlier trends to the new location as ISS became less supply- and much more demand-oriented. He has published more than 130 articles in the fields of the economics of education, labour market questions, economic and social policy, and development studies.

    Louis Emmerij
  • Jos Hilhorst


    Jos Hilhorst was born in 1934 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He studied Economics at the Catholic University in Tilburg between 1953 and 1959. In 1964 he defended his doctoral dissertation, which was supervised by the late Professor Jan Tinbergen. Jos Hilhorst joined the Institute of Social Studies in 1962. His task was to develop the new academic field of regional planning. He performed this task for 35 years and was rector of the Institute of Social Studies in the years 1975 - 1976.

    Jos Hilhorst - former ISS rector
  • Chris van Nieuwenhuijze

    (1973 - 1975)

    Professor van Nieuwenhuijze was the one-year acting Rector in the late 1970s. A sociologist, his main writings are on Islam in Indonesia. Later on he expanded his research works on Middle East, including development in slum areas of Egypt. Prior to his labour at ISS, he worked in Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). At ISS, he taught subjects of sociology and social development, including special topics on spiritual factors in social life.

  • Jan Glastra van Loon

    (1966 - 1973)

    Born in Indonesia in 1920, Glastra van Loon studied medicine, philosophy and sociology in Groningen, London, Amsterdam, Leiden, Salzburg and Gottingen. In 1965 he obtained his doctorate in legal studies. Former Rector of the Institute of Social Studies, Glastra van Loon was also politically active, advocating for the introduction of the elected prime minister and electoral structure based on a post system in the Netherlands, and holding the position of State Secretary of Justice in the Cabinet Den Uyl, as well as being a member of the Senate.

  • Egbert de Vries

    (1956 - 1966)

    In January 1952, a Netherlands Universities Foundation for International Cooperation (NUFFIC) was formed by the Dutch universities, and one of its first tasks was to set up an international Institute of Social Studies – a special post-graduate English-language institution that would bring Dutch knowledge to bear in a distinctive brand of higher education concerned with problems of development.
    The Institute went through a short evolutionary period before 1956 when it emerged as a separate institution under the firm and energetic leadership of Prof. Egbert de Vries.

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