Prof. mr. dr. Jaap W. Winter

President Executive Board

Jaap Winter (1963) has been appointed as President of the Executive Board at VU Amsterdam since December 1, 2013. He is (among other) responsible for Strategic and External Alliances. His primary goals are creating conditions for excellent education and research. Collaboration with stakeholders are of great importance in that matter. High on his agenda is also the development of an international campus.


Jaap Winter holds a master’s degree and PhD in Law from the University of Groningen. He is a specialist in Corporate Governance in the Netherlands and in Europe.

Work experience

After his PhD Jaap Winter became a lawyer at law firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek in The Hague and Amsterdam. In 1997 he was appointed as legal advisor of the Executive Board of Unilever, for which he was posted in London for two years. In 2001 he returned as partner at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek. He combined this practice with scientific research and teaching: since 1999 he holds appointments in International Business Law at Erasmus University Rotterdam and since 2005 at the University of Amsterdam. In 2010 he also became professor in Corporate Governance at the Duisenberg school of finance.

Ancillary positions

  • Member Supervisory Board Randstad Holding N.V.
  • Chair Supervisory Board Van Gogh Museum Foundation 
  • Member Amsterdam Economic Board
  • Professor International Corporate Law UvA

Contact information

Secretary: Annelies Frehe
Phone: +31 20 59 85305

‘VU Amsterdam is inspiring’

“What attracts me at VU Amsterdam is the way in which people collaborate constructively on initiatives that are meaningful for society.  This struck me when I was involved in the realisation of the Duisenberg School of finance.

The commitment to create something meaningful at a level that was unavailable before is inspiring. Also the identity of VU Amsterdam inspires me: you must ask yourself: why are we doing this? In my working experience I noticed that many problems cannot be solved by more rules, enforcement and new processes. It is much more important to have a fruitful conversation about each other’s background, motives and what you want to achieve in life and work.  At VU Amsterdam you find a rich breeding ground for this, connected with the academic core.

That openness to observe what you can improve together attracts me very much. My portfolio Strategic and External Alliances is not only a question of collaboration with external stakeholders. It is also about what we are going to realise within VU Amsterdam together. What is important to us, what is going on in society, where are we going to? Diversity is an important theme in that matter, for it can breed excellence.

Also considering the role of the VU Amsterdam Association these days is important from my point of view. How do we connect people to our university? A university is constantly developing, we have to keep defining its role in society. As scientists we cherish a curiosity about how the world works. We equip people for an important role in society. Therefore there should be a balance between fundamental research and research with societal impact. Lecturers and students should challenge and inspire each other to anticipate to current societal issues. From that point of view we should bear clear responsibility on how we manage public funding. The collaboration with the University of Amsterdam offers us possibilities to further enhance our performance. To realise this together with lecturers, students, staff and stakeholders is an exciting challenge for me.’