NWO Executive Board

The Executive Board is the most senior administrative body within NWO. Its members are a President, a Chief Financial Officer and the four chairs of the NWO Domains. The NWO Executive Board is supported by an Executive Board Office.

The president and members of the Executive Board are appointed by the Minister of Education, Culture and Science. The president and the Chief Financial Officer are appointed for a period of five years. The other members, who are at the same time director of a NWO domain, are appointed for a period of three years. The president and the members may be reappointed once. 

Members of the Executive Board

With effect from 1 April 2021

  • Professor Marcel Levi – President NWO

    Marcel Levi web.jpg
    Professor M.M. (Marcel) Levi

    (first term ends 1 April 2026)

    Principal positions

    President Executive Board NWO - paid

    Ancillary positions

    • Professor of Medicine (University of Amsterdam) - unpaid
    • Professor of Medicine, University College London, UK – unpaid
    • Member Supervisory Board, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Ziekenhuis/ Nederlands Kanker Instituut- paid
    • President International Scientific Advisory Committee, Nederlandse Hartstichting- paid
    • Member Supervisory Board, Centre for Human Drug Research, Leiden – paid
    • President Wetenschappelijke Adviesraad, Stichting HIV/AIDS – unpaid
    • Member committee Royal Palace Amsterdam - unpaid
    • Vicepresident Board of  Commissioners, Levensverzekerings­maatschappij de Hoop – paid
    • Member Organising Committee, Congress of the International Society on Thrombosis and Hemostasis - unpaid
    • Fellow of the Royal Colleges of Physicians, UK – onbezoldigd
    • Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) - unpaid
    • Associate editor van de European Journal of Internal Medicine, Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, Clinical Science, Thrombosis Research, Internal and Emergency Medicine, en Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis - unpaid

    Marcel Levi (1964) studied medicine at the University of Amsterdam and became professor of internal medicine at the AMC in Amsterdam. With effect from 1 April 2021, Marcel Levi is president of the NWO Executive Board. His first term ends 1 April 2026.

    In 2000, Marcel was appointed as head of the department and division of Medical Specialisms at AMC. In 2010, he became chairman of the Executive Board at AMC and dean of the Medicine Faculty at the UvA. Since 2009 Marcel is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and vice president of the ZonMw board. He has already been involved in activities at NWO and last year he was interim president of ZonMw.

    Marcel was CEO of University College London Hospitals (UCLH) and professor and clinical dean of University College London before starting as president of the Dutch Research Council NWO.

    Read more

    Announcement 5 October 2020 | Marcel Levi new chair of NWO


    Via Ms Jet van ‘t Woudt

  • Caroline Visser - Vice President and Portfolio holder Operations and Finances

    Caroline Visser
    Ms drs. C.E. (Caroline) Visser

    (second term ends 1 October 2026)

    Principal positions

    Portfolio holder Operations and Finances NWO - paid

    Ancillary positions

    • Member Supervisory Board Teylers museum - unpaid
    • Member Board of Directors Foundation Albron - paid
    • Member Supervisory Board Foundation European Open Rivers Programme - unpaid

    Caroline Visser (1968) studied business administration and completed a postgraduate course in Accountancy at VU University Amsterdam. 1 October 2016 Caroline Visser is appointed as the portfolio holder Operations and Finances within the Executive Board of NWO. Her first term ends 1 October 2021.

    From 1991 to 1998 she worked for Ernst & Young in Amsterdam. Subsequently Caroline worked for Reed Elsevier in Amsterdam and in London until 2007. Her last appointment there was Chief Financial Officer of the scientific division. From 2008 onwards she worked for the Dutch office of the World Wildlife Fund, first as CFO (Chief Financial Officer) and then as COO (Chief Operating Officer). In 2015 she made the switch to the worldwide WWF organisation in Geneva where she led the design and implementation of the reorganisation of the nature conservancy organisation and the worldwide WWF secretariat.


    Via Ms Georgette van ’t Wout

  • Professor Jeroen Geurts – chair NWO domain Medical Sciences

    Professor Jeroen Geurts

    (second term ends 1 January 2023)

    Principal positions

    • Head of the Department of Anatomy & Neurosciences, VU Medical Center - paid
    • Member of the NWO Executive Board, also domain chair Medical Sciences - paid

    Ancillary positions

    • President ZonMw - paid
    • Multiple Sclerosis Journal: Editor for Europe - paid
    • Management Team VUmc MS Centre Amsterdam - unpaid
    • Director Stichting Brein in Beeld - unpaid
    • Scientific Board International MS Cognition Society- unpaid
    • Adjunct Professor Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, University of Calgary unpaid
    • Board member Foundation Praemium Erasmianum – unpaid
    • Chair steering group Samenweten unpaid
    • Member Advisory Board Centre for Urban Mental Health - unpaid

    Jeroen Geurts (1978) has been president of ZonMw and a member of the NWO Executive Board since the start of 2017. He is Professor of Translational Neurosciences at VU Medical Center. He is also a member of the Executive Board of Amsterdam Neuroscience and the VUmc MS center. That is hardly surprising, because for years he has studied grey matter and the causes of multiple sclerosis. His second period as member of the Executive Board runs until 1 January 2023.

    Jeroen Geurts (1978) studied neurobiology at the University of Amsterdam and during his studies he did research into the nervous disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). After his degree, he gained his doctorate cum laude from VU Amsterdam for his research into grey matter damage and multiple sclerosis (MS).

    Watch the video in which Geurts describes how he, together with his team, examines “The Curious Brain” from different perspectives to discover what happens within the brain of MS patients.

    More information

     Research projects and publications of Jeroen Geurts (Google profile)


  • Professor Jan de Boer - chair NWO domain Science

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    Professor Jan de Boer

    (first term ends 1 September 2023)

    Principal positions

    • Professor of Theoretical Physics, University of Amsterdam (UvA) - paid
    • Member of the NWO Executive Board, also chair of the NWO Science Domain Board- paid

    Ancillary positions

    • None

    With effect from 1 September 2020, Jan de Boer is a member of the NWO Executive Board and chair of the NWO Domain Science. During the transition of NWO, Jan de Boer played a role in establishing the NWO Domain Science and in 2017 he became a member of the Domain Board.

    Jan de Boer is Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Amsterdam. He gained his doctorate in 1993 from Utrecht University and subsequently worked as a postdoc in the United States. After this period, he returned to the Netherlands and since then has worked at the University of Amsterdam. He was involved in various broad research initiatives such as GRAPPA, Delta ITP and DIEP. In 2015, he became a member of the Executive Board of the FOM Foundation, which on 1 January 2017 was converted into NWO-I, the Institutes Organisation of NWO.

  • Professor Margot Weijnen - chair NWO Domain Applied and Engineering Sciences

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    Professor Margot Weijnen

    (first term ends 1 March 2023)

    Primary positions

    • Professor of process & energy systems engineering, Delft University of Technology (TUD) - paid
    • Member of NWO’s executive board, also chair of AES Domain - paid

    Ancillary positions

    • Member of supervisory council, Nouryon Netherlands - paid
    • Member of supervisory board, AkzoNobel Nederland BV – paid  (until mid-May 2021)
    • Member of supervisory board, Shell Nederland BV - paid
    • Chairman of supervisory council, NLR - paid
    • Member of general management, Netherlands Study Centre for Technology Trends - unpaid
    • Member of the board, Schuurman Schimmel-van Outeren Foundation – unpaid
    • Chair of the international academic advisory board, UK Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium – unpaid
    • Member of the advisory group, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex - unpaid

    Since 1 March 2020, Margot Weijnen is a member of the executive board and chair of the NWO Domain Applied and Engineering Sciences (AES). From 2005 to 2013, she was a member and vice-chair of the board of AES precursor Technology Foundation STW.

    Margot Weijnen (1957) is professor of process & energy systems engineering at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at the Delft University of Technology. She studied chemical process engineering at TU Delft and received her PhD for research on the prevention of scaling. After obtaining her doctorate, she worked for Shell until becoming scientific director of Interduct in 1990, which at the time was TU Delft’s Interfaculty Institute for Clean Technology. In 1995 she was appointed full professor at TU Delft. She also became scientific director in 2001 of the foundation Next Generation Infrastructures, a knowledge consortium consisting of the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management, the Port of Rotterdam, Alliander, Schiphol, ProRail and Vitens.

    In addition to her work for TU Delft, Margot Weijnen has held many management and advisory positions in organisations such as the Technology Foundation STW, the Netherlands Aerospace Centre, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and the Netherlands Study Centre for Technology Trends. For eight years, she was a member of the Advisory Council for Science, Technology and Innovation and the General Energy Council, and she was a member of the first Innovation Platform and became a member of the supervisory board of AkzoNobel Nederland in 2009. As an STW administrator, she was involved in instruments such as the Perspectief programme and the Partnerships from the very beginning, which enabled the domain to build a solid position for AES.

    Read more in the interview that was published when she began as chair of AES.

  • Professor Anita Hardon - chair NWO Domain Social Sciences and Humanities

    Anita Hardon.jpg
    Professor Anita Hardon

    (first term ends 1 January 2023)

    Primary positions

    • Professor and chair of the Knowledge, Technology and Innovation group, Wageningen University & Research (WUR) - salaried position
    • Member NWO Executive Board, also Chair of the Domain Social Sciences and Humanities - paid
    • Professor and chair of Knowledge, Technology and Innovation group

    Ancillary positions

    • Board member Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD) - unpaid
    • Member of the Supervisory Board of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment - paid

    Since 1 Januari 2020, Anita Hardon has been a member of the Executive Board and chair of the NWO Domain Social Sciences and Humanities. She was born in Woodland, California and came to the University of Amsterdam in 1984. Here, she gained her doctorate in medical anthropology in 1990 and became a professor of Anthropology of Care and Health at the University of Amsterdam from 2001 to 2021. In september 2021, Hardon has been appointed as professor and chair of the Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Group at Wageningen University & Research (WUR).

    From 2004 to 2015 she was scientific director of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR). Since 2016, she has been a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

    As a medical anthropologist, Anita combines the social and medical sciences in her research into global health problems. She studies a wide range of subjects: reproduction and health in women, HIV/AIDS, the social impact of medicines on the lives of vulnerable young people, the relationship between health and sustainable development on a global scale, and the use of chemical substances by young people.