Director of the Institute for Advanced Study appointed Minister of Education, Culture and Science in the Netherlands

Robbert Dijkgraaf, archive photo by Henk Thomas.

Robbert Dijkgraaf, director of the Institute for Advanced Study, has been appointed to join the cabinet of Mark Rutte, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, as Minister for Education, Culture and Science from 10 January.

Dijkgraaf, who led the Institute for Advanced Study for a decade, will be tasked with ensuring “a knowledgeable, skilled and cultured country”. It will focus on higher education, research and the promotion of a creative environment to support students, teachers and scholars in the Netherlands.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the entire Institute family, it is with great pride that we recognize Robbert for his appointment,” said Charles Simonyi, Chairman of the Board of the Institute for Advanced Study, in a written statement. “We are deeply grateful to Robbert for his extraordinary leadership during his ten-year tenure and wish him continued success in this new role. Our community will be greatly missed by Robbert, Pia and their family.

Dijkgraaf began his tenure as head of the Institute in July 2012. The appointment of his successor, David Nirenberg, was announced on November 1.

“For me, this call represents a unique opportunity to serve my country at a critical time. Although I am leaving the Institute with a heavy heart and sooner than expected, I am comforted to know that with David Nirenberg as his successor, the IAS will be in very capable and caring hands,” Dijkgraaf said in a written statement. “Pia and I look forward to a time in the near future to say goodbye in a more appropriate and personal way, although there is no way we can adequately express our gratitude for your support and your friendship over the past decade.”

Sam D. Gomez