Victor van der Chijs

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Victor van der Chijs
Born 1960 (age 56–57)
Ede, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Occupation President of the Executive Board of the University of Twente

Victor van der Chijs (born in Ede, Netherlands, 1960) is a Dutch entrepreneur. Since October 1, 2013 he is the President of the Executive Board of the University of Twente, the highest managing body of this university. The University of Twente is a technical university that offers research and degree programmes in engineering and in the social and behavioral sciences. In keeping with its entrepreneurial spirit, the university is committed to making economic and social contribution to society.[1] Van der Chijs is currently re-evaluating the strategic direction of the university under the flag of Vision 2020,[2][3][4] Together with students, staff, alumni and external stakeholders of the University of Twente, he is working on a more focused strategy for the future of the university, with the aim of finding solutions for major social issues.


Until summer of 2013, Victor van der Chijs was Managing Director and Partner of OMA, a leading international creative firm offering services in the field of architecture, design and creative advisory. Inspired by its roots in architecture, OMA and its research counterpart AMO offer services in the field of design in its broadest form resulting in buildings, masterplans, cultural advisory, identity studies, branding, exhibitions, sceneography and publications.[5] The firm, founded by Rem Koolhaas, sustains offices in Rotterdam, New York, Beijing, Hong Kong and Doha with projects in over 35 countries worldwide.

Van der Chijs’ particular specialty is turning creativity into commercially viable propositions.[6][7] Van der Chijs joined OMA in 2005 as Managing Partner. Next to the day-to-day responsibility for OMA's operations, he was responsible for business development and expanding and diversifying OMA's activities.[8][9][10] Since 2005 until the departure of Victor van der Chijs, OMA and its think-tank AMO tripled in size while maintaining strict creative standards.[11] On 19 March 2013, Van der Chijs announced his forthcoming departure as Managing Director and concluded his responsibilities at OMA end of June 2013.[12][13]


Before joining OMA, Van der Chijs held various management positions at Schiphol Group (international airport management company).[14] Among others he was Director of Communications and Public Affairs lobbying for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol's aircraft noise mitigation programmes, and Director of Strategic Projects preparing for Schiphol's IPO (which was later derailed by the Dutch Labour Party) and setting up a strategic alliance between Schiphol and Frankfurt International Airport. He was also responsible for Schiphol's USD 1.2 billion terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport[15] in New York City, a position he happened to start on September 11, 2001[16] forcing a major financial restructuring of the project. Before joining Schiphol, Van der Chijs worked for financial services group, ING for over 10 years, of which the last three years based in Hong Kong in the field of project finance in China.

Van der Chijs holds a master's degree in Law from the University of Amsterdam, and has followed post-graduate education at the Amsterdam School of International Relations and at INSEAD, France.

Other positions[edit]

Van der Chijs holds and has held several other positions in Dutch society:

Towards a New Enterprise Policy[edit]

Early 2011, Van der Chijs was appointed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation to head a 'top team' charged with exploring ways of stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship for the creative industries in the Netherlands. The key objective of the project, called To the Top – Towards a New Enterprise Policy (in Dutch: Topsectorenbeleid), is to give entrepreneurs more scope for their activities and enable them to grow. The Top Team generated an extensive report and action plan[17] outlining which measures would enable creative companies to become more competitive, and to find solutions to major societal challenges by achieving 'cross-overs' with other industries, science institutes and governments.[18]

In order to realise this, a number of instruments were established, including CLICKNL, a public-private partnership that spurs innovation in creative SME's by connecting those to scientific research; and innovation vouchers which set out arrangements and financial agreements between businesses, scientists and the government to facilitate short-term research projects. Furthermore, the Dutch Creative Industries Council (D-CIC) was created, of which Van der Chijs held the position of chairman until end of 2013. He is still a member. The Council coordinates the implementation of the action plan, and advises businesses, scientists and the government on measures to address challenges in the sector, and on actions to consolidate the international position of the creative industries to become the most creative economy of Europe by 2020.

ABN Amro International Business Award[edit]

In 2007, Victor van der Chijs accepted for OMA the Jan Huygen van Linschoten Award, the business excellence award granted by of Dutch bank ABN AMRO. The award honors innovative international practice and excellent financial management, and reflected OMA's successful entrance and maintenance in emerging markets such as China, and amongst others, the Middle East.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Interview Management Team, January 2014 (in Dutch)
  2. ^ Interview UT Nieuws, January 2014 (in Dutch)
  3. ^ UT Nieuws, February 2014 (in Dutch)
  4. ^ Interview BNR Nieuwsradio, December 2013 (in Dutch)
  5. ^ OMA
  6. ^ OMA in Conversation: Prudence; about the balancing act of being the managing partner of a leading creative company, The Barbican, Nov 24, 2011 (trailer)
  7. ^ The agency interview : Expanding the field, Interview Victor van der Chijs, Perspecta 45, The Yale Architectural Journal, August 2012
  8. ^ Rem Koolhaas: Architect als visionair, Management Scope, Nov 1, 2005 (in Dutch)
  9. ^ Grenzeloos Ondernemen, RVU, Nov 7, 2007 (TV program in Dutch)
  10. ^ Jan Huygen van Linschoten
  11. ^ Dutch Magic, Hoe Nederlandse ondernemers markten veroveren, P. Ruijs e.a. Sonsbeek Publishers, 2008 (in Dutch)
  12. ^ Eigenzinnig bureau evolueert tot creatief bedrijf op wereldschaal, Financieele Dagblad, March 22, 2013 (in Dutch)
  13. ^ Victor van der Chijs verlaat OMA, Architectenweb (in Dutch)
  14. ^ Sociaal voelende `generaal' die bijna in kabinet zat. Wie is Victor van der Chijs?, NRC, August 6, 2003 (in Dutch)
  15. ^ At Kennedy, Testing a Truism: The Eyes Don't Lie, New York Times, Nov 14, 2002
  16. ^ Public lives; a Dutch Touch in Flying by John Kifner, New York Times, Jan 23, 2002
  17. ^ Report Creatieve Industrie in Topvorm (in Dutch)
  18. ^ Victor van der Chijs, topman van de creatieve industrie, NOS Radio 1, radio interview, March 7, 2011 (in Dutch)