Hans Smits new interim president of the Executive Board of Erasmus University Rotterdam

12 Nov 2019 | Network Updates | Update from Erasmus University Rotterdam
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

The Supervisory Board of Erasmus University Rotterdam has appointed Hans Smits as interim president of the Executive Board. On 1 December 2019, Smits will be taking over from Kristel Baele, who will step down after completing her first term of four years.

H.N.J. Hans Smits MAOpens external (1950) is well-acquainted with Erasmus University Rotterdam thanks to many years of experience working within the university and Erasmus MC. Until the end of May 2018, Smits was a member of EUR’s Supervisory Board, for a term of nine years – four of which he served as the Board’s Chair – and of the Board of Erasmus MC, for a term of eight years. He was reappointed to EUR’s Supervisory Board on 1 October 2019, but will be vacating this position as of 30 November in connection with his appointment as interim president of the Executive Board. Smits is moreover an alumnus of EUR and Delft University of Technology, where he studied Business Administration and Civil Engineering respectively.

Mr. Smits is now the CEO of Janssen de Jong Groep. Until 2014, he was the president and CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. Before this, he held various senior positions at Rabobank, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, as well as serving as Secretary-General of the Ministry of Transport and Water Management.

Experienced administrator

Corien Prins, Chair of the EUR Supervisory Board: “Hans Smits is a very experienced and highly respected administrator. He has a large network at his disposal and has a strong track record when it comes to the collective management of large, complex organisations. This makes him exceptionally well-equipped to manage Erasmus University, albeit on an interim basis. I am consequently delighted with his appointment.”

The Supervisory Board decided to appoint Smits following consultation with the Executive Board, the deans and the confidential committee of the University Council.


Mr. Smits has been appointed for a term of seven months that runs from December 2019 until the end of June 2020. The Supervisory Board has opted for an interim solution to ensure that the university can select a new president with due care and without having to work under time pressure.

Hans Smits

“I look forward to renewing my acquaintance with Erasmus University. After my first conversations with administrators and members of the representative body, I look toward the future with confidence.”

This article was first published  on 11 November 2019 by Erasmus University Rotterdam. 

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