UTAlumni CommunityCalendarTwente/4TU Alumni Event New York City, 14th September 2023

Twente/4TU Alumni Event New York City, 14th September 2023


The DEAN* event will be hosted at the Dutch Consulate General in New York with both a great keynote speaker as well as panelists! Hear from Ard Venema (alumnus UT) about his career of over eighteen years at the United Nations. Ard originally started with the Procurement Division in 2005 and has been involved in many initiatives to improve procurement policies and supply chain management processes of the UN Secretariat. He is currently responsible for contracting strategic commodities such as engineering, medical, life support (fuel and rations), vehicle fleet and security equipment, in support of UN field missions around the world.

Afterwards explore what it's like to work for the UN from recent hirees during a panel discussion with Rob Lafeber (alumnus TU Delft) and Catharina Nickel (alumna WUR). The programme also includes opening words by Wageningen University President Sjoukje Heimovaara, updates from both the Embassy as well as our TUs, and concludes with a networking 'borrel'. Prior registration is necessary to attend so please sign up using the link below. 

Keynote Speaker:

Ard Venema currently serves as Officer-in-Charge of the Sourcing Support Service in the Logistics Division, Office of Supply Chain Management, at the United Nations Secretariat in New York, where he is responsible for contracting strategic commodities such as engineering, medical, life support (fuel and rations), vehicle fleet and security equipment, in support of UN field missions. Ard has been working with the UN for more than eighteen years, originally starting with the Procurement Division in 2005 and has been involved in many initiatives to improve procurement policies and supply chain management processes of the UN Secretariat. During 2008 and 2009 Ard served as Chief Procurement Officer in UNDOF on the Golan Heights, while living in Damascus. Before joining the United Nations, Ard worked in the private sector for ten years, as procurement manager in the telecommunications industry in the Netherlands, and as project manager and strategic sourcing consultant in Ireland and Australia. Ard holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering (‘Technische Bedrijfskunde’) from the University of Twente.


Rob Lafeber graduated in 1998 from the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at the TU Delft. In June 2019 he joined the United Nations as a Political Affairs Officer in the Security Council Affairs Division (SCAD) within the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA). Within SCAD, Rob works in the 2231/Iran-team that is responsible for the reporting on the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015), that was unanimously adopted by the Security Council on 20 July 2015 and endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) concluded on 14 July 2015. In the 2231/Iran-team, Rob is responsible for the monitoring and reporting on the specific restrictions as set out in Annex B to resolution 2231 (2015). Rob’s previous work experience included a brief stint (following his graduation) as an IT-consultant with Cap Gemini and 4 years at ADSE Consulting & Engineering, a company founded by former Fokker engineers after the bankruptcy of the Dutch aircraft manufacturer. From 2005 till 2019, Rob worked with the Dutch Ministry of Defense as a senior intelligence analyst. In this capacity, he performed and managed the research and analysis of missile and UAV programmes of countries of concern, like Iran and North Korea. From 2010 to 2018, Rob also acted as the chairman of the Information Exchange Meeting of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). The MTCR is an informal political understanding among 35 states seeking to limit missiles and missile technology proliferation.

Catharina Nickel graduated from the MSc program in International Development Studies at Wageningen University in 2016. She joined the United Nations right after graduating from WUR and had her first UN job at the United Nations University - Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) in Bonn, Germany, from where she moved to New York in 2018 to work in UN peacekeeping. After a short stint in the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and a one-year assignment in the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA), she returned to New York in 2023, working at the United Nations University's Center for Policy Research (UNU-CPR).

Having completed a graduate degree in Social Work before enrolling at Wageningen University, Catharina has served as a Social Worker in different NGOs, where she specialized in treating patients diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. She has also worked as a field researcher assessing the interlinkages between gender, vulnerability, and the extraction of natural resources in East Africa, and as desk researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle an der Saale, Germany. 

Participants will have an opportunity to meet fellow alumni not only from Twente but also TU Delft, TU Eindhoven & Wageningen University. With over 1000 TU graduates living in the greater New York City region there will be a great cross selection of participants from different companies, sectors and roles – the closing reception/borrel will be organized to maximize networking opportunities.

This event is free for alumni from the Dutch Technical Universities but for logistical and security reasons, prior registration is required via this online form (Registration is being handled by the TU Delft Alumni Office)

Date: Thursday September 14th 2023

Time: 5:30PM to 9:00PM (EDT)

Location: Consulate General of the Netherlands, 666 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10017


5:30PM – 6:00PM, Arrival with light refreshments

6:00PM – 6:10PM Opening words on behalf of the Dutch Consulate General

6:10PM - 6:20PM Greetings from Sjoukje Heimovaara, President -  Wageningen University

6:20PM – 6:30PM Updates from your TU's

6:30PM – 7:00PM Talk by Ard Venema, Officer-in-Charge - Logistics Division, Office of Supply Chain Management - United Nations Secretariat

7:00PM – 7:20PM Careers with International Organizations - Panel discussion with alumni Rob Lafeber & Catharina Nickel

7:20PM – 7:30PM Summary

7:30PM – 9:00PM Networking Borrel

Alumni from the New York area who are unable to join this gathering but wish to be notified of our future DEAN activities can submit/update their contact details using the event's registration form. A special DEAN USA Linkedin group also exists to faciliate sharing information and networking between nearly 8000 graduates living in the country - to request to become a member click here.    

>> Additional DEAN events will also be taking place in Houston (Sep 7th) & Washington DC (Sep 12th) >>

* ABOUT DEANThe Dutch Engineers Alumni Network (DEAN) is the cooperation of the four universities of technology of the Netherlands in the field of alumni relations, and launched its activities in 2014. Together, they represent over 300,000 alumni all over the world. Today DEAN encompasses over 30 alumni communities in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Nordics, Spain, Switzerland and the USA with activities aimed at connecting local alumni both with each other as well as with students and the universities. Read more: https://www.4tu.nl/en/about_4tu/alumni/

Twente/4TU Alumni Event New York City, 14th September 2023