Dr. Els van Schie has been Environment and Safety Director at the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment ) since 1 February 2015.

Making knowledge accessible to policy meansĀ linking two worlds, which is a challenging task. Bringing knowledge to life in practice requires an understanding of society, where insights into social-psychological determinants also come into play.

Els van Schie started her career in the commercial sector, as a Microbiological Analyst at Gist Brocades in Delft. In 1977, she switched to the social domain where she supervised unemployed adolescents and young adults who were experiencing difficulties accessing the employment market.

In addition to her work, Els van Schie completed various educational programmes in Applied Sciences. Her interest in social issues and science triggered her decision to study Social Psychology at Leiden University. She obtained her PhD in Social Psychology at the University of Amsterdam in 1991, with a particular focus on risk perception and decision-making behaviour, and worked as a Scientific Researcher and Assistant Professor at both Leiden University and the University of Amsterdam for approximately ten years.

Els van Schie has held various managerial positions at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) and the former Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM). In 2008, she became Deputy Inspector General and Director of Enforcement Policy at the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment.

Areas of expertise

  • Risk perception
  • Social psychology


E-mail: dm&v@rivm.nl