Louise O. Fresco receives royal distinction

June 2, 2022

Professor Louise O. Fresco received a royal distinction on Wednesday, 1 June 2022. She received the distinction from Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf (Education, Culture and Science) on the occasion of her farewell from Wageningen University & Research, where she served as president of the board for the past eight years.

Louise O. Fresco was appointed Commander in the Order of the Netherlands Lion in recognition of her unmatched commitment to society. As president of the executive board of Wageningen University & Research (WUR), Louise O. Fresco was responsible for Wageningen University and the Wageningen Research Foundation. Under her leadership, WUR’s position within society was fortified, and its presence in the public debate was increased.

To this end, Fresco harnessed WUR’s unique strengths: the pooling of specialised research institutes and the university. This close collaboration between various disciplines within the domains of natural and technological sciences and social sciences ensures scientific breakthroughs are put into practice and translated to education rapidly. ‘The Wageningen Approach: Finding Answers Together’, through collaboration with other parties such as governments, the business sector and NGOs, is indispensable. She was the driving force behind the dialogue programming in Wageningen through her constant focus on the need for a dialogue between science and society.

Louise O. Fresco receives royal distinction
Louise O. Fresco receives royal distinction

A versatile president

In her role as president, Louise Fresco took on various responsibilities. She was actively involved in the launch of the 4TU Federation, over which she presided from 2020 to 2022. Moreover, she actively contributed to realising sufficient well-trained engineers and technological designers, internationally renowned and relevant research and to fostering collaboration between research institutes, businesses and public organisations. She also served as vice-president of the scientific supervisory commission in preparation for the Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) (2020-2021);

Agriculture and nutrition expert Louise O. Fresco previously held the position of professor at the University of Amsterdam, with a focus on the basis of sustainable development from an international perspective. Before that, she served as Assistant Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). She sat on many commissions and boards, both domestic and foreign, including the National Opera and Ballet Fund and the National Holocaust Museum. She was also a crown member of the daily management of the Socio-Economic Council (SER).