Professor Wendy Janssens appointed to AIGHD Executive Board and Full Professor at VU

The Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development congratulates Professor Wendy Janssens for being appointed Full Professor of Development Economics at the Vrije Universiteit and the newest member of the AIGHD Executive Board, representing the School of Business and Economics of the VU. She will take over from Chris Elbers who is retiring as professor of Development Economics at VU-SBE later this year.

Wendy has been actively involved in AIGHD activities as Academic Staff since 2016. Previously, she worked at AIID (Amsterdam Institute for International Development) since 2001, where she collaborated with AIGHD researchers before the two institutions integrated. In addition to various positions with the VU-SBE, she has had appointments as World Bank consultant, and as Visiting Scholar at the World Bank Development Economics Research Group and the Institute of Fiscal Studies in London. She is also Research Advisor at PharmAccess Foundation.

Her work focuses on econometric and experimental evaluations of the impact of development programmes in the areas of health financing and health behavior, sexual and reproductive health and HIV/Aids, and women’s empowerment and intra-household decision-making, aiming to understand the behavioral foundations underlying those impacts. She has extensive experience in designing and coordinating multi-disciplinary mixed-method research programmes to provide rigorous and locally grounded policy advice to national and international organisations and governments.

Her appointment to Full Professor is significant in view of the lack of gender diversity among professors in economics. Female professors represent about 25% of all professors in the Netherlands; however, this number drops to about 10% within the economics departments. “Diversity is important for a thriving and creative intellectual environment, not only in terms of gender but also in terms of disciplines, ethnicities and other respects.”

Since her early years at former AIID, Wendy feels that she has “grown into the institute” and she is ready to assume new responsibilities on the AIGHD board. “I will continue with my own research agenda and the teams that I am working with, but in this new role, I am also much looking forward to thinking about where we, as AIGHD, see our future, where our strengths lie, and how we can become an even stronger organization in global health and development.”

Please join us in congratulating Professor Janssens for these notable and well-deserved appointments.