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4TU.
Resilience Engineering

Lilian van den Aarsen

My experience lies in connecting knowledge and policy and connecting state and region. After my promotion at Wageningen University & Research, I went from the scientific world to working at the government, a conscious choice for the public cause. My affinity lies in the physical domain and especially: water, nature, environment, landscape and spatial planning. Later, I did my MPA (master of public administration) study at the Netherlands School of Public Administration.

Since 1-12-2020 I am the director of the central office of the National Delta Programme Commisioner. The Deltaprogramme focuses on protecting the Netherlands from flooding, to ensure a sufficient supply of fresh water, and to contribute to rendering the Netherlands climate-proof and water-resilient. The programme involves concerted efforts by several governments and organisations.

From 2010-2020, I worked at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management as director of Knowledge, Innovation and Strategy (KIS) which stimulates, supports and coordinates the use of knowledge and innovation in the primary policy process.

Before this, I was program director of the Delta program Rivers. Here, representatives of provinces, water boards and the central government worked together on a long term sustainable strategy for the entire river delta, including a strategic knowledge and innovation agenda for water security and other spatial ambitions.

I’ve started at the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, first at the board of nature management and later at the board of regional affairs as the regional director east.

The driving motivation for my studies and work is to contribute to a more ecologically healthy and sustainable world. My phD-research focused on the application of an ecological theory on persistence and resilience as a framework for judging interactions between agriculture and nature conservation. I am still interested in the use of ecological theories in policy- and decisionmaking, therefore my interest in 4TU Resilience Engineering.