Member of the Executive Board of the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (The Amsterdam School of the Arts)
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
I was born in 1960 in Amstelveen, Holland, of an Irish mother and a Dutch father. I studied Dutch Language and Literature in Amsterdam, where I graduated Cum Laude in 1988. After graduation I started working at De Nederlandse Opera, where after two years I became manager of the Opera Choir. In 2004 I left the Opera and became head of the management team at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. I worked there for four years, and in 2008 left for the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (AHK – Amsterdam School of the Arts), where I became Secretary to the Executive Board, under Olchert Brouwer, the then President.
Since October 2010 I have been a member of the Executive Board, together with my colleague, Jet de Ranitz, who joined the AHK in April 2011 as President. My portfolios are Education and Research, Quality Control, Lectorates, Student Affairs and Accreditations.
The AHK exists of six independent and unique Art Schools, from the Conservatoire of Amsterdam, to the Reinwardt Academy for cultural heritage studies. As Board we have the final responsibility for these schools; to govern them with an eye on the uniqueness of each school, with an understanding of their differences and with a vision on what we have in common.
My aim and focus as member of the Board is to create the best possibilities for those people who actually do the work: our students, teachers, artistic leaders and directors. That means making sure the management is of high quality, that there is a demanding but safe atmosphere in which the talent of students can be fostered and developed, and that they are well prepared for the outside world that awaits them. And on an external level, to play a role in the national discussion about arts education, both in the HBO-raad (Professional Higher Education Council), and with the Ministry of Education (OCW).
It is a demanding, but very rewarding job, which I truly feel privileged to do.