I research, write, and speak about democracy, rule of law, exclusion and social justice. In 2016, after defending my PhD thesis at the Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam, I moved to the US with my husband and children. Between 2016 and 2020 I was an associate researcher at ACIL, UvA.
I am also involved in Join for Joy, a foundation that supports primary schools in rural East Africa by implementing playful learning programs. I initially served as a board member and later as an employee, designing and implementing a Monitoring and Evaluation system, planning long-term strategy and focusing on gender equality. Besides, I publish scientific articles and blogs and write opinion pieces for, among others, Volkskrant and Trouw.
In 2018, I started researching the meaning of exclusion in a democracy, ranging from anti-Semitism, racism, and homophobia and everything in between. I wanted to understand how exclusion comes about, who benefits from it and why it is so difficult for us to talk about it. To answer these questions, I bundled scientific research and interviews with leading scientists on group dynamics, and on the role that our biological and psychological processes play. My research led to the publication of my book Vreemde Eenden. Op zoek naar gelijkheid in een wereld vol anderen (2021, Uitgeverij Podium). In my book I examine how we can start the necessary conversation on exclusion, and most importantly, how we can prevent exclusion in our democratic societies.
During law school at the University of Amsterdam (Masters in Constitutional Law and International Public Law), I studied European competition law and international criminal law at Université Paris I – Panthéon Sorbonne for six months. On my return I was invited to participate in the BKB academy. After graduating and completing a thesis on the role of national parliaments in the European Union, I worked for two years as a strategist and researcher at BKB Campaign Agency. I returned to the university in 2009 to study the relationship between new media and democracy for Stichting Democratie en Media. In my subsequent PhD research, I studied the normative claim that NGOs contribute to the democratic legitimacy of international law. Between 2010 and 2011, I worked as a visiting researcher at the University of Sydney Law School, Australia. When I returned to the University of Amsterdam, I worked as a lecturer at the Ad de Jonge Center for Intelligence and Security Studies.