Anne de Graaf is UvA's Chief Diversity Officer. Together with Diversity Officers from each faculty, she is a key player in shaping diversity policy at the UvA while working to promote equality, inclusion and diversity within the university. The Chief Diversity Officer is appointed for a term of three years.
Anne is a bridge-builder by nature. She primarily considers her role as CDO as that of being a facilitator: ultimately, the change must take place within our community itself. We must engage in dialogue with one another and be unafraid to challenge each other’s perspectives. Anne is happy to assist in this regard. With her vast experience of other cultures as well as her specialisation in international relations and marginalised groups, specifically youth, voice and agency, she has been hired to help lead the UvA toward greater equality, inclusion and diversity. President of the Executive Board Geert ten Dam describes Anne as someone with a broad view of diversity, a high level of ambition and the ability to forge connections, as well as sensitivity and flexibility.
Anne de Graaf has a wealth of international experience. Born in San Francisco, she attended Stanford University. She holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of St Andrews, Scotland.
Anne has been focusing on issues related to war and peace, exclusion and justice for quite some time. Her work has taken her to every country in sub-Saharan Africa, along with Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Bosnia and Russia. Until recently, she was Head of Studies for Academic Core at Amsterdam University College, which is operated by VU University Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam (UvA). She continues to lecture there on the topics of human rights and peace building. Anne has written a wide variety of children’s books and novels for adults as well.
If the UvA is to become a place where everyone feels at home, represented and heard, a cultural transformation will need to take place. Such a change will take time and require a clear vision in addition to a well-considered approach. Learn more about this ambition in the section on vision.
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Chief Diversity Officer Anne de Graaf is supported by the CDO-team (Chief Diversity Officer-team). The team works together intensively to achieve the goals.
Fatima was born in Alkmaar, she currently lives in Amsterdam and is of Moroccan origin. She has a background in Social Work & Service at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA), and she studies General Social Studies at the UvA. In addition to her coursework, Fatima has been active in the Education Committee and as a board member at Amsterdam United, which is a superdiverse platform at the UvA.
Since 2006, diversity has become an important topic for Fatima, one that she engages in as part of her studies, her professional life, as well as her private life. In April 018, Fatima became part of the CDO team as Researcher/ Educator. Her role within the team includes coordinating the peer-to-peer academic mentoring program ADP (Academic Diversity Program), which aims to create a space wherein the unique characteristics of each student are fully appreciated. Through focusing on the intersectionality of gender, culture, ethnicity, religion, mental and physical health, as well as socioeconomic background, Fatima hopes to add depth, understanding and relativisation to the ongoing conversation on diversity. From her own life and experiences, Fatima aims to function as a role model and experiential expert supporting students from diverse backgrounds to develop themselves to their full potential.
For Fatima, diversity is a given, one that enables people to connect to and inspire each other; it is with this motivation that the Academic Diversity Program was established.
Alfrida was born and raised on Bonaire. Since 2015, she has been part of various grassroot organisations dedicated to the democratization and decolonisation of education, including the University of Colour, New Urban Collective and Diversity Forum (formerly Diversity Contact Group).
Within this network consisting of students, activists, and lecturers, she strives for inclusive and decolonial education. As an Afro-Bonairian woman, she is able to transform her personal experiences facing discrimination, racism and colonialism into valuable knowledge for her work. Alfie is currently finishing her Masters degree in Media Studies at the UvA. She is specializing in Digital Humanities and has a particular interest in how social media can be used to create ‘safe’ spaces for support, healing and decolonial education.
Alfrida has been working with the CDO team since April 2018. Her tasks as Researcher/ Educator include conducting research on inclusive education practices, diversity literacy and tracking systems that can be used to enhance diversity and inclusivity at the UvA. She is also responsible for organising monthly events such as discussion evenings and panel discussions.
Agathe joined the CDO team in September 2019 to work on improving social safety at the UvA. In the past two years she set up the Stichting Our Bodies Our Voice, to help improve sexual violence prevention and awareness within universities in The Netherlands. In 2019-202, Our Bodies Our Voice facilitate a large number of workshops for students and staff at the UvA, in coorporation with the Chief Diversity Officer-team. Agathe moved from France to the Netherlands in 2016. She graduated from the PPLE ( Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics) bachelor with a major in politics in 2019.
Janissa is the management assistant to Anne de Graaf, starting August 2019. Her tasks include policy advice, administrative activities, facilitating workshops, and providing the Diversity Team with logistic and planning support. Janissa joins us from Spencer Stuart, where she brings over five years of experience from the leadership advisory and recruitment industry, specializing in business development and strategy. Janissa has a Master’s in International Public Management and Policy and speaks Dutch, English, Spanish and Papiamentu.
Drs. Thea van Schoot is senior policy advisor of the Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) Team at the University of Amsterdam. Thea has a degree in Educational Sciences. She has been working at the UvA for more than 20 years. She has held various positions with particular emphasis on education policy and organization management. In recent years, she has focused particularly on intensive educational cooperation between the two universities in Amsterdam: the Vrije Universiteit (VU) and the University of Amsterdam (UvA). In 2018, she became part of the team of the Chief Diversity Officer. Within the team she is the contact person for the HRM department and she is (co) initiator for strengthening the LGBTQI+ community within the UvA. The aim is that everyone feels welcome, at home and safe at the UvA.