WUR bids Louise O. Fresco farewell after an eight-year tenure

June 1, 2022

Wageningen University & Research (WUR) bid farewell to the current president of the board, Louise O. Fresco, on 1 June. Fresco will remain in position until 1 July, at which time she will have completed an eight-year tenure as president of the Executive Board. At her farewell, she thanked her colleagues for their inspiring collaboration.

With Louise O. Fresco, WUR continued its efforts to find solutions to the challenges of significant, global transitions. Thanks to Fresco’s considerable international experience and her extensive international network, WUR strengthened its collaboration with international partners. The organisation intends to continue to build on this collaboration in the future.

Fresco’s farewell comes at a time when WUR has a strong position in education, research and value creation. The cohesion between the domains of climate, healthy nutrition, food security, biodiversity, and circularity has improved partly due to her efforts.

The Supervisory Board is extremely grateful to Louise O. Fresco for her unprecedented efforts as Chairwoman of the Executive Board of Wageningen University & Research. Thanks in part to her extensive international experience and network, WUR strengthened its cooperation with partners worldwide, something we will continue to build on.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Chairman of the WUR Supervisory Board

When her position as president of the board was announced in 2014, Fresco soon made it clear that the diversity and variety in WUR’s scientific domains make the organisation stronger in her view. By seeking connections both within the organisation and outside of it, better scientific insights are created that are genuinely applicable in society.

Omnia dialogue centre

Fresco was the founder of the dialogue programme and the new Omnia dialogue centre on Wageningen Campus. She addressed the need for dialogue between science and society,

As part of her farewell, Louise O. Fresco officially opened Omnia on 1 June. With the official opening of Omnia, on the day she bids the organisation farewell, she has come full circle.

Omnia is a place that places the dialogue on societal issues in the agri-food domain centre stage. Solutions to the global issues WUR focuses on are brought closer through dialogue and exchanging knowledge and interests.

Louise O. Fresco fund

Omnia is not the only tangible result of Fresco’s time at WUR. The Louise O. Fresco Fund, launched in her honour, makes funds available for students who experience financial difficulties through circumstances beyond their control.

Bachelor and master’s students as well as PhD students without a contract, are eligible for financial support. The fund will not be put towards tuition fees.

Moreover, the fund supports academically schooled refugees who have not been granted a status yet in attending courses at WUR to keep their knowledge up to date and continue to feel as students or researchers.


WUR has already announced Louise O. Fresco’s successor. Sjoukje Heimovaara will succeed her as of 1 July 2022.