Starting 1 May 2024, Professor Menno de Jong will take on the role of director of RIVM’s Centre for Infectious Disease Control (CIb) . He succeeds Jaap van Dissel, who is retiring in April 2024. Alongside his new responsibilities, Menno de Jong will continue to work as a professor at Amsterdam UMC (University Medical Center) one day per week.

Since 2020, Menno de Jong has led the Amsterdam UMC (University Medical Center) Department of Medical Microbiology and Infection Control. Prior to this, he held similar positions at the former AMC (Academic Medical Center Amsterdam) and VUmc (VU Amsterdam Medical Center). Additionally, he served as Head of Virology at the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for a number of years. He began his career as a medical microbiologist at Leiden University Medical Center and AMC.

Menno de Jong is a prominent figure in the field of infectious disease control and played an active role in the Outbreak Management Team during the COVID-19 pandemic. He completed his doctoral thesis on the treatment of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) in 1996 and was appointed professor of Clinical Virology at the University of Amsterdam in 2007. His current academic activities focus on clinical and applied research into infections with respiratory viruses, such as influenza and COVID-19.

Menno de Jong: ‘Leading this important centre with its wealth of expertise in infectious disease control is a tremendous honour for me. I am eager to contribute to the effective management of infectious diseases in the Netherlands. I also look forward to fostering the necessary cooperation within the CIb, RIVM, the Netherlands and beyond.’

RIVM welcomes the appointment of Menno, who will also join the knowledge institute’s Board of Directors as the director of the CIb. Hans Brug, Director-General of RIVM: ‘We are delighted to have Menno de Jong on board. We were looking for an authority, leader and specialist in the field of infectious disease control, with good relationships with our partners in infectious disease control in the Netherlands and beyond, who will continue to strengthen connections with other RIVM domains and who is also a great colleague. Honestly, I did not think I would find someone who could meet all these criteria, but I believe I have found that colleague in Menno. I look forward to working with him.’

RIVM’s Centre for Infectious Disease Control coordinates infectious disease control from both national and international perspectives, in cooperation with medical professionals and partners in public health. This means that during major (national) outbreaks, the CIb is responsible for coordinating and communicating about control measures, in conjunction with local and regional infectious disease control efforts.

The CIb’s daily work revolves around preventing outbreaks. To achieve this, the CIb formulates desired prevention and control policies and advises the government and professionals in the field. It conducts its own surveillance, scientific research and specialist diagnostics. Additionally, the CIb contributes to expertise development, quality and uniformity in infectious disease control. It ensures clear and reliable communication to the public and professionals, as well as effective international cooperation.

This appointment was made through the general procedure for positions within the Senior Civil Service (Algemene Bestuursdienst, ABD). The ABD Directorate-General, together with Bureau Perrett Laver, assisted RIVM with the selection procedure for this vacancy. As usual, the vacancy was widely advertised, allowing anyone to apply.