Because Evelien Verbij came from an agrarian family and wanted to do something with nature herself, she decided to come to Wageningen University and study Forest Management.
During her studies, she took a gap year, in which she was a member of the board of Argo, the Wageningen Student Rowing Association. During this year, she discovered her talent and interest for leadership. Because her degree allowed her to take a lot of elective courses, she decided to specialise in government and policy.
In 1999, Evelien graduated and then obtained a PhD at the Wageningen research centre Alterra. During her time as a PhD student, Evelien was also very involved in the university as member of Promové, an interest group for employees with a temporary contract.
Nowadays, Evelien has her dream job, she says, in which she can combine her love for nature, management and leadership. Since September 2013, she is the CEO of the VBNE (Dutch Forest and Nature Reserve Owners Association), which connects the largest nature governing organisations in the Netherlands, such as Staatsbosbeheer and Natuurmonumenten with private and municipal nature owners.