Joost Damen (1977) is head of the Centre for Environmental Quality at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).

Foto van Joost Damen

From our independent position, the Centre for Environmental Quality provides knowledge and insights on the quality of the living environment. Our data and analyses can be used in decision-making on major societal and political issues relating to the physical living environment. The increasing interest in these issues means that the centre’s professionals are being kept busy. This makes it a challenging and relevant centre for me.


From his work experience, Joost Damen (1977) knows how important it is to provide a factual basis for decision-making. This was a big reason for his decision to start working at RIVM in 2022. Before that, Joost was the director of Water, Green and Soil at the province of South Holland 

Prior the working at South Holland, he had been working at the province of North Holland in various positions since 2002, including sector manager Environment, acting sector manager Water, and deputy sector manager Nature, Recreation and Landscape. As part of his work, he supported various provincial council negotiations. He was also a member of the Supervisory Board of a housing corporation.

Joost Damen studied Public Administration at the University of Leiden. After that, he followed a number of courses. In 2021, he earned his Master’s degree in Executive Change Management (ECM) at the SIOO centre for management science.