On Thursday, June 28th, our departing director-general André van der Zande received a Royal decoration from the Dutch Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, Hugo de Jonge. Van der Zande was awarded the title of Commander in the Order of Orange-Nassau at his farewell symposium.
Van der Zande was awarded this exceptionally high distinction, because “not only as a director-general, but also as a human being, Van der Zande tried to make a difference in the lives of people and animals, here in the Netherlands, but also far beyond. This has not gone unnoticed at the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, and it is my honour to be able to tell you that it has pleased His Majesty the King to appoint you as a Commander in the Order of Orange Nassau”, De Jonge said.
André's gift to RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment is a tap water station on the RIVM premises. “Join the Pipe promotes tap water drinking for fair distribution of drinking water and reduction of environmentally polluting bottled water. With the sale of water taps and refillable tap water bottles and with donations, we finance clean drinking water projects in developing countries,” said André van der Zande.
For more than seven years Van der Zande has been director-general of RIVM. He retires today to enjoy his retirement and will be succeeded in September by Professor J. (Hans) Brug.