The Wageningen Ambassadors during a dinner presentation on the WUR campus

Wageningen Ambassadors

The Wageningen Ambassadors are prominent alumni of Wageningen University & Research (WUR). They are all leaders in business and government sectors and are sympathetic towards WUR. With the deployment of their network, experience and financial resources, they aim to build a bridge between WUR and society.

The Wageningen Ambassadors were founded in 2003. The initiator was alumnus George Lubbers, whose idea of ​​strengthening the bond between WUR and its most influential alumni in the Netherlands was immediately well-received by the former chairman Aalt Dijkhuizen of the Executive Board of WUR. Since then, the group has grown from 12 members from the very beginning to 35 members at this moment, and the entire WUR board is involved. The platform has contributed in various ways to the growth and prosperity of WUR.

Gerda Feunekes has been the chair and Tjapko Poppens vice-chair of the Wageningen Ambassadors since 2021.

Mission and aim of the platform

The Wageningen Ambassadors are all WUR graduates and leaders in industry and (semi) government, who are supporting and sympathetic towards WUR. The aim of the Wageningen Ambassadors to contribute to the growth and prosperity of WUR on strategic topics, is still relevant today.

With the deployment of their network, experience and financial resources, the Wageningen Ambassadors aim to build a bridge between WUR and society. The Ambassadors platform mainly functions as a catalyst for innovation processes. The members meet twice a year in a private meeting at Hotel de Wereld in Wageningen.

The nature, size and composition of the Ambassadors platform is organised in such a way that the limit is set at 50 members. The objective is to achieve a better reflection of WUR by, among other things, attracting more young and female alumni.

Subjects that are supported by the Wageningen Ambassadors

The Ambassadors platform contributes to topics that are relevant, current and urgent for WUR. The members decide for themselves which projects will be started or supported. To achieve that, they actively use their knowledge, make time available and create the necessary financial space.

Topics that qualify for their support (in time or money)
• support important strategic choices for WUR
• are forward-oriented
• have added value and improve the reputation of WUR
• appeal to the content and involvement of the Ambassadors
• form a link between study and career
• lead to social impact for society
• are very attractive for students.

One or more Ambassadors are committed to a subject. Each project is carried out with the guidance of a contact person within WUR.

Projects the Wageningen Ambassadors contribute to in 2021

  • WUR student challenges
    partner and coach at the ReThink Protein Challenge'2
  • MSc Honors student mentorship program
    contributing to the development of the leadership track
  • Wageningen Youth Institute
    inspire high school students to come up with a solution to the world food issue.
  • TEDx
    contributing to the organization of TEDx Wageningen University
  • Young Alumni programme
    contribute to research into the needs of young alumni
  • WUR 'Wereldlezingen'
    organizing a dialogue about socially relevant topics.
  • FabLab/Plastic Recycling
  • Wageningen Entrepreneurial Fellowship

To become a Wageningen Ambassador

Candidates are generally nominated by the sitting Wageningen Ambassadors. If the candidates are working in the private sector, they are asked to make an annual donation of €3,000 to the Wageningen Ambassadors Fund. For candidates from the public sector and for pensioners, the amount is €1,500.

In case you are interested to join, please contact Lies Boelrijk.