“I have had a lifelong commitment to nature and an interesting career so I believe I can be of service to Wetlands International. From the start, Wetlands International has taken the approach of working for and with people in wetlands. I hope to help strengthen this approach and bring in innovative approaches so that wetlands can become part of the much needed sustainable solutions for this planet.”
Professor doctor André van der Zande, PhD (1952) is Director-General at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). He has held this position since 1 January 2011 until his retirement in June 2018. Van der Zande was awarded the title of Commander in the Order of Orange-Nassau at his farewell.
“Committed to health and sustainability”
André van der Zande studied biology at Leiden University and graduated with distinction in 1976. In 1984 he was awarded his PhD from the same university on the subject of the field of tension between recreation and bird conservation. From 1986 onwards he managed various large knowledge institutes in Wageningen, among them Alterra. In addition he was a part-time professor of Spatial Planning and Cultural History under the Belvedère programme at Wageningen University (2005-2009).
In 2002 André Van der Zande made the changeover to the former Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (ministerie van Landbouw, Natuur en Voedselkwaliteit – LNV). Until 2007 he was Director-General at the LNV and his responsibilities included agricultural policy, nature and biodiversity, manure policy and general environmental policy. In 2007 he became Secretary-General there, until the merger of the LNV with the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.