Peter van der Laan was appointed interim director of the NSCR in 2019. ‘In this role, he supervised a transformation of the institute in which the focus came to lie on four central research groups’, says Marcel Levi, chairman of the board of NWO-I. 'In 2020, a fifth research group for evidence-based policing was added, thanks to a multi-year partnership between the institute and the Ministry of Justice and Security and the National Police.' According to employees, Van der Laan is characterized by his great involvement and visibility in the field and workplace. He has also achieved significant growth for the institute, with the number of employees almost doubling. Levi: 'Certainly very special in times of corona. We are going to miss Peter's calm and convincing way of leading the NSCR. At the same time, we are also very happy with Prof. Beate Völker, in whom we have found a fantastic successor.’
Beate Völker has been appointed for a period of five years. ‘I consider it a great honour to lead this wonderful institute where fundamental and at the same time interdisciplinary research is conducted into important social issues concerning criminal behaviour, law and democracy.’ The choice for Völker followed after international recruitment and a positive advice from the advisory committee, the institute advisory council and the works council of NSCR. According to Van der Laan, she can further help the NSCR to increase its (inter)national role, thanks to her network. Völker adds: 'As the new director I would like to commit myself to connecting the NSCR with universities (of applied sciences), police academies and other institutes. I want to contribute to the flourishing of research and innovation, and help building bridges between disciplines and organisations as well as between science and society.'
Völker has held various managerial, administrative and teaching positions. Among other things, she was head of the research group Institutions, Inequalities and Life-course of the Sociology department at the University of Amsterdam, where she focused on friendships and people's opportunities to enter into relationships. She is also affiliated with Utrecht University, where she is a professor in Urban Life and Social Networks. 'Her scientific stature combined with her people-oriented approach will further strengthen the internal cohesion of the NSCR', says Levi. 'At the same time, her high level of ambition and successful track record in developing and sharing knowledge will strengthen the institute's position in the national field of knowledge.'