Scroll through this page to take a look at our community! Below you can find profiles on our office team, as well as our long-list of Academic Directors. You can also find our contact details and visiting and mailing addresses below.
Graduate School of Social Sciences | University of Amsterdam | PO Box 15725 | NL - 1001 NE Amsterdam | The Netherlands | Tel: +31 (0)20 525 3776 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Amsterdam |Amsterdam Roeterseiland Campus | Nieuwe Achtergracht 166 | 1018 WV Amsterdam | Our room nr.15 is located on the 7th floor of the B-building: REC B 7.15
A Cultural Anthropologist by training, Mirjam grew up in and around Amsterdam. Mirjam is the founder of the Summer Programmes Office, starting with the Summer Institute on Addiction and the Summer Institute on Sexuality, Culture & Society over 24 years ago. Mirjam is an alumna of the University of Amsterdam, and has devoted her professional life to the creation and development of academic programmes. Mirjam also gives lectures in summer programmes, and is a lifelong fan of Amsterdam's football team, Ajax, and a major foodie. Along with Grace, Ian, and Charlotte, Mirjam leads the Summer Programmes Office's year-round team in order to bring quality programmes and experiences to students from across the world.
Originally from the United States, Grace has been living and working in the Netherlands after completing her studies (MSc) at the University of Amsterdam in Political Science. Grace has developed many programmes, among them our courses on Security Governance and Conflict Resolution, as well as Migration and Integration, and Economics and Game Theory. Grace is also responsible for managing curricula, and our extensive scholarships network, and developing new summer school programmes. Grace's scholarly interests lie in political science, (cyber) security, and economics.
Ian moved to the Netherlands from Canada to undertake a degree in Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam. Ian is responsible for managing summer school programmes, developing partnerships, and coordinating the media landscape of the office. He is the main contact person for students in Amsterdam throughout the summer. Ian's academic work surrounds education practices and cultural memory/cultural institutions in (post) colonial societies.
Charlotte joined the Summer Programmes team after gaining exposure in summer 2018 as the UvA Student Scholar for the programme, Urban Studies: Planning and Living in Cities. Charlotte is now responsible for coordinating a variety of our ongoing programmes, and helping to develop new ones. Charlotte holds an MA in Cultural History from the University of Utrecht, focusing in cultural studies and sociology, and is also responsible for our social media presence.
Laurens Buijs is a social scientist who teaches in the Sexuality Studies program at the University of Amsterdam, and one of the Academic Directors for the Introduction to Sexuality Studies programme. He is also the founder of IncInc, a diversity policy consultancy. His work focuses on Dutch public policy, mainly in the realm of LGBTQ politics, sex work, multiculturalism, and the rise of new right-wing anti-Islamic parties after 9/11. A critic of the myth of ‘progressivism’ in the Netherlands, he is frequently asked to comment on these and other topics in the Dutch media.
Dr Marie-Louise Janssen is the Track Coordinator of Gender, Sexuality and Society (MSc Sociology) and is one of the Academic Directors of Introduction to Sexuality Studies, as well as a module coordinator in the Summer Institute on Sexuality, Culture and Society. Marie-Louise Janssen lectures in the areas of gender and sexuality studies, migration and human trafficking and ethnographic research methods and techniques at the department of Cultural Anthropology of the University of Amsterdam.
Diane di Mauro holds a PhD. in Social Psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and has functioned as the Academic Director for the Summer Institute on Sexuality, Culture and Society, since 2009. She has worked over 25 years in the field of reproductive rights and human sexuality, specializing in the design, implementation and supervision of major programmatic initiatives relating to public health and policy. From 1995 through 2006, Dr. di Mauro directed the Sexuality Research Fellowship Program at the Social Science Research Council. From 2002 to 2017 she was a faculty member at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health where she taught and mentored MPH students in sexuality, public health, research and service delivery. While at Columbia University, she also directed the MAC-AIDS Fund Leadership Initiative which provided comprehensive training of South African advocacy leaders in HIV/AIDS prevention and gender equity. She currently has a private forensic practice, specializing in child placement, custody and child/parental rights. For her full professional profile see her LinkedIn profile.
Maja Wrzesien is a former postdoctoral researcher (Marie Sklodowska Curie fellow) within the Psychopathology and Development group of the Research Institute of Child Development at the University of Amsterdam. Maja is Academic Director of Mindfulness and Compassion-based Interventions. Her research is largely interdisciplinary, focusing on emotion regulation in youth with special emphasis on mindfulness, self-compassion, and new technologies. She is also a certified mindfulness trainer. She has performed different mindfulness training in public and private sectors for youth, parents, and educators. She has supervised several Master students and has participated in both international and national research consortia. She has published in numerous academic journals. Here you can find her personal website: https://majawrzesien.com/
My research focuses on social and cognitive processes related to psychopathology (alcohol use, smoking, anxiety) in adolescents and young adults. I am interested in the interplay between the social context (e.g., peer influence) and individual risk factors such as automatic motivational processes, risk taking and genetic make-up. In addition to conducting assessment studies to get a refined understanding of the processes and risk factors involved in psychopathologies, I conduct intervention studies. Among others, I investigated the effect of cognitive bias modification (retraining approach tendencies) combined with cognitive behavioral therapy to help adolescents quit smoking. Moreover, I am involved in online intervention studies using cognitive bias modification to decrease alcohol use, smoking, and anxiety (e.g., retraining approach tendencies and attentional bias via online training). Next to my research, I am in training as a cognitive behavioural therapist (VGCt, UvA minds) and I am a programme manager of Research Priority Area Yield. Yield conducts multidisciplinary research among 10 different research programmes (University of Amsterdam) with a focus on the bioecology of human development.
Guido van Garderen (MSc at UvA; MPA at Harvard) is currently pursuing a PhD in marketing, and Academic Director of the Building Brands and Influencing Behaviour programme. His research examines how a well-defined brand strategy helps destinations attract talent, trade, tourists and investment, thereby gaining an economic competitive advantage. As a former Strategy Director at the Global brand consultancy Interbrand, he combines best practice examples with the latest academic insights, to develop an understanding of key analytical frameworks and tools, that are essential for a winning brand strategy.
Marco te Brömmelstroet currently holds the position of Associate Professor in Urban Planning at the University of Amsterdam, and is Academic Director of the Planning the Cycling City programme. His teaching in Planning Bachelor and Master's programmes centers around the (problematic) integration of land use and mobility and ways to improve this. His research is strongly intertwined with planning practice. He has done several studies on how to improve the use of knowledge in urban strategy making processes. Recently, he extended his curiosity into the role of the bicycle in the functioning of cities and vice versa. Not a coincidence; he covers around 5.000 kilometer annually as a bicycle commuter in Amsterdam, 7.000 kilometer on his racing and touring bikes and he owns a cargo-bicycle shop in Germany. He tries to combine a fanatic advocacy attitude towards cycling in cities with a healthy distant view as academic researcher.
Meredith Glaser is an urban strategy and mobility consultant, based in the Netherlands since 2012, and Academic Director of the Planning the Cycling programme. She is originally from California, holds Masters degrees in urban planning and public health from UC Berkeley. Meredith holds a guest appointment at the University of Amsterdam, where she co-leads this summer programme and conducts research on cross-national policy transfer and knowledge exchange related to cycling and mobility. She hosts other university-level student groups and international professional delegations for cycling and mobility study tours. Meredith regularly collaborates with local Dutch municipalities and universities on cycling projects and workshops. She lives in Amsterdam with her family, 4 bikes and no car.
George Liu is a researcher, educator, and consultant in urban mobility and in 2020, will be the acting Academic Director of the Planning the Cycling City programme. He specializes in online education, presenting weekly academic paper reviews on the Urban Cycling Institute's YouTube channel and helped create the world's first academic cycling Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) at the University of Amsterdam. His research investigates the experience of cycling and exploring how ideas from urban design can guide the creation of healthy and attractive environments that encourage cycling as a practical and delightful mode of daily transportation. His previous research at the University of Toronto includes a study of cycling patterns in the suburban communities. George is cross-appointed at the Department of the Built Environment at the Eindhoven University of Technology. Fun fact: George plays trombone with the Bicycle Showband Crescendo, the only mounted band of its kind in the world!
Freek Janssens is an urban anthropologist, specialising in food, public space, and social movements, and Academic Director of the summer programme on Social Movements and Social Change. His research focusses on the politics of urban marketplaces in an era when they are increasingly being ‘replaced’ by both supermarkets and farmers’ markets. Freek has conducted extensive ethnographic research in London, Amsterdam, and Istanbul, amongst other places.
Prof. Richard Ronald is a core member of the Centre for Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam and Honorary Professor at the University of Birmingham in the UK. He is the Academic Director of the Urban Studies: Planning and Living in Cities programme. Among other functions, he is the editor of the International Journal of Housing Policy, coordinator of the Home Ownership and Globalization Working Group of the European Network for Housing Research and Co-editor of the Palgrave book series The Contemporary City. He has published widely on housing in relation to social, economic and urban transformations in Europe and Pacific Asia including a number of monographs and edited volumes. Richard has held Japan Foundation as well as Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowships at Kobe University in Japan (2002-2006), and been a Visiting Professor at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea (2010-2012) as well at the Asia Research Institute as National University Singapore (2015). He is originally a graduate of the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University in the UK.
Thea is an assistant professor, doing research in Urban Geography at the Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies (GPIO) at the University of Amsterdam, and teaching various courses in the undergraduate programme in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences. She obtained her PhD at the same department in 2007, and is now Academic Director for Urban Studies: Sense, Space and Strategy.
Her main research interests lie within the field of Urban and Political geography. Over the years, Thea has done research on topics like: European and Dutch (area based) urban policy and policy discourses (URBAN, Grotestedenbeleid, urban restructuring); diversity, identity & social cohesion; urban and multi-level governance and the 'Europeanization' of Dutch cities. Her present research interest is more interdisciplinary in character, still focusing on the urban, but now combining insights from various disciplines like Human Geography, Psychology and Sociology. Topics relate to, for example, Sense of place, the Multisensory City and the 'planned' & the 'lived' city.
Mendel is an Assistant Professor of Sustainable Urban Development and Infrastructure within the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research at the University of Amsterdam, and Academic Director of the Circular City summer programme. He is the Founder and Chair of the Sustainable Cities group within the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP). He works on projects in adaptive decision-making and planning of spatial interventions, the up-scaling of low carbon urban development, and the governance of resilient and circular urban water systems. He supervises two PhD research projects and has participated in both international and national research consortia. Mendel holds a certificate in "Essentials of Leadership" obtained at the Erasmus University and has published extensively in a variety of academic journals.
Iris van Huis is a new face to the University of Amsterdam, and has jumped in to Summer Programmes with us in her first year. Iris' work is truly interdisciplinary: her areas of academic interest range from engaging men in conversations and movements regarding gender+ equality, urban sociology, Dutch nationalism, and cultural anthropology. Iris is co-directing our summer programme, Placemaking in the City.
Joris joins us from the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies and is co-directing our new programme on the Anthropocene. Joris' background as an ecologist and education developer led him to his current position, where he aims to connect critically needed education with organisations and individuals outside the university. His goal is to put education to use for the greater public good. Joris is also actively involved with organisations outside of the UvA related to sustainability in urban environments.
Dr. Martijn Dekker is a political anthropologist, specialised in human security from below: how people confronted with armed conflict try to improve their own security. Martijn is the Academic Director of the Security Governance and Conflict Resolution programme. His research interests include self-organised security initiatives in war situations, humanitarian interventions, the (re-)emergence of social boundaries in times of conflict, and the dynamics between community based forms of security and the (official) state security apparatus.
Evelien van Roemburg holds a Bachelors degree in law (LLB) from the University of Amsterdam (2006) and a Masters degree in law (LLM) from both The University of Amsterdam (2008) and Columbia Law School, New York City (2009). She also holds a Masters degree in political science (M.Sc.) of the University of Amsterdam (2010). Evelien is a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Law, and Academic Director of the Migration and Integration summer programme. Her thesis, under supervision of Prof. Zieck, concerns the supervisory task of UNHCR, the refugee agency of the United Nations. She has been a lecturer at the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Science at the University of Amsterdam, where she specialised in conflict studies, refugee studies and the United Nations. She is currently serving as the Europe Migration Campaign Manager at Oxfam International, based in Brussels, where she works – together with her team – on influencing the EU and member states’ position and policies towards refugees.
Dawid works in the UvA’s Faculty of Social And Behavioural Sciences within the programme group on Political Economy and Transnational Governance. Dawid is also a researcher on education policy with the Department of Sociology. Dawid scholarly work is mostly focused on economic sanctions and international trade. He is the Academic Director for the summer programme, Economics: Markets & Society.
Alex Voicu is a lecturer in the Political Science Department (Afdeling Politicologie) of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG), and is Academic Director of the Comprehensive Introduction to Research Methodology and Design. He has designed and taught courses on party politics, international relations, and social science methodology. His courses, workshops and guest lectures have had audiences from a variety of disciplines (political science, international relations, anthropology, sociology, human geography, development studies, medicine) and academic levels (BA, MA, Research Master, PhD). Alex received an honorable mention in the UvA Lecturer of the Year (Docent van Het Jaar) 2014 competition, recognizing his place among the top 5 lecturers in the faculty that year. His own research deals with political elite recruitment and its implications for democratic representation in Romania, Hungary and the UK.
Andrew Chakhoyan is the Academic Director of the Multilateralism, Globalization & Corporate Diplomacy programme. He holds a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School and is an alumnus of the World Economic Forum’s Global Leadership Program. Andrew is the founder & CEO of the Netherlands-based Strategic Narrative Consulting, a boutique advisory firm that specializes in business diplomacy and public policy in tech. He has previously served in the U.S. Government, managed corporate affairs for a global telco, and held a leadership position at the World Economic Forum. Andrew is a member of the Netherlands Speakers Academy and a regular contributor to publications such as Futurism, NewCo Shift, and WEF Agenda.
Daniel Bossuyt completed his Research Masters in Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam in 2016. In addition to studying at the University of Amsterdam, he also studied at the Free University of Berlin and Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) at Stockholm. Daan is the Academic Director of the Pre-University Honours Programme in Sustainable Cities. He is currently pursuing his PhD with the Human Geography, Planning and International Development department at the University of Amsterdam. Daniel's research focuses on self-build housing in the Netherlands and Brasil.
Daniel is co-director of the PUHP: Sustainabile Cities programme with Afra Foli.
Afra Foli completed the Research Master in Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam in 2016. Her study included a research visit at the University of Pretoria. She is currently pursuing her PhD with the Human Geography, Planning and International Development department at the University of Amsterdam. Her thesis is on waste practices/infrastructure in rapidly growing cities, using the case of Accra to investigate socio-political interactions with waste in urban space.
Afra is co-director of the PUHP: Sustainabile Cities programme with Daniel Bossuyt.
Luuc Brans is en education coordinator and project manager at Diversion, a social enterprise, and co-founder of DISI, a startup that aims to better understand the divisive forces behind disrupted societies, and is a former lecturer at the UvA in Political Science. He studied political science and the sociology of culture at the University of Amsterdam, while also doing an exchange at the Free University in Berlin. Luuc is the Academic Director of the Pre-University Honours Programme in Politics and Identity. He went on to obtain his master’s degree in Nationalism Studies with distinction at the University of Edinburgh. Luuc’s research interest lies with nationalism and national identity in general, and the development of German national identity after the fall of the Berlin Wall in particular. As a political sociologist, he values interdisciplinary approaches.
Benjamin Roberts is an American writer, historian, and journalist based in Amsterdam, and Academic Director of the Pre-University Honours Programme: Journalism. His fascination for Dutch history and culture started when he was sixteen while taking a boat trip through the canals of Amsterdam on his first visit to the Netherlands. Afterwards, he decided he wanted to live in Amsterdam and study Dutch history. He first enrolled at the Vrije University of Amsterdam where he earned a Bachelor's and Master's in Dutch early modern history, and afterwards did a PhD at the University of Groningen. In 2018, the English edition Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll in the Dutch Golden Age was published. He currently works as a journalist writing about art, culture, history, and sports for various English and Dutch magazines including Time Out Amsterdam, XPO Magazine, and The Holland Times. Besides history and writing, he also enjoys teaching spin and yin yoga classes.