Vice-President Wilma de Koning to Leave Radboud University

14 Jan 2021

Wilma de Koning, Vice-President of the Executive Board, will leave Radboud University for the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). She will take on the position of managing director of the scientific association on 1 June.

Wilma de Koning says that she is honoured to be appointed as the managing director of KNAW. She will start in her new position in Amsterdam on 1 June after seven years at Radboud University.

First Woman

At the end of 2013 she was the first woman to ever join the Executive Board in Nijmegen. She did not think this was a particular achievement: De Koning came from Fontys University of Applied Sciences where women already held half of the senior positions. Nevertheless, she told Vox at the time that she hoped to set an example for other women.

In addition to financial-economic portfolios, she was also assigned the ‘staff’ portfolio in Nijmegen. One of her intentions was to decrease work pressure, and she even mentioned in her recent New Year’s speech: ‘We had hoped to really work on that in 2020 and we did not manage it.


The two portfolios that no doubt caused her most headaches (and continue to do so), are the problems surrounding social safety at Radboud Honours Academy (2015) as well as at the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies. The latter case is still ongoing.

In a press release, KNAW states it is pleased to welcome De Koning as the successor of Mieke Zaanen who is retiring. ‘With Wilma de Koning we welcome another very experienced management all-rounder whose whole heart is in academics. We expect a lot from her steady and transparent style of management, expertise, and courageous leadership.’


Wilma de Koning studied Business Economics in Eindhoven and then at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. She worked at the University of Tilburg, where she was director of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration as well as the general secretary/managing director.

The Executive Board of Radboud University has announced that it will start the search for a successor for the role of Vice-President soon.

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