Managing Director Wageningen Food Safety Research (WFSR)

Managing Director Wageningen Food Safety Research (WFSR)

We are looking for
Wageningen University & Research is looking for an outstanding Managing Director (MD) for Wageningen Food Safety Research. Holding final responsibility for the strategy and functioning of the institute, the MD will lead the development of an inspiring vision for WFSR and promote a structurally strong scientific position as well as the excellent performance of national and international tasks for governments. Creating cross-unit cooperation and synergies, the MD can link scientific quality and innovation to entrepreneurship, acquisition, and marketing. The MD is a connector and team player with a guiding and coaching leadership style who can be decisive when need be. In this role, the MD will also be the coordinator of all statutory tasks of WUR and be a member of the WUR Board of Directors.

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Wageningen University & Research


On behalf of Wageningen University & Research, Perrett Laver is recruiting for this position.

Wageningen University & Research
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) is recognised worldwide as the leading centre for state-of-the-art knowledge on food and the natural environment. WUR’s integral approach, combining fundamental scientific research at Wageningen University with the market focus of the Wageningen Research Institutes, leads to scientific breakthroughs that can quickly be translated into practice and incorporated into education. More than 7,000 employees and 13,000 BSc and MSc students together “explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”.

The strength of Wageningen University & Research lies in its ability to join the forces of Wageningen University (WU) and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation (WR). WR performs seven statutory tasks (WOT) programmes for the national government, most with an international dimension. The total turnover of these tasks is about €70 million, and they are organised into five WOT programme units and one WOT institute: Wageningen Food Safety Research.

Wageningen Food Safety Research
Wageningen Food Safety Research (WFSR) conducts high-quality independent research into safe and reliable food. This is achieved by supporting food safety authorities, national and international governmental bodies, NGOs and third parties through analysis and reference tasks (legal tasks), advice, knowledge transfer and capacity building. WFSR also collaborates with leading international scientific partners and governments in applied and scientific research in the areas of food safety, feed safety, food quality and food authenticity. The institute has strong partnerships across all Science Groups of WUR and, in its field, belongs to the European top.


The ideal candidate:

  • has a vision on how to develop and run WFSR and how to develop, transfer and add value to knowledge;
  • is result- and quality-driven and has proven management skills, with experience in managing a large project organisation;
  • is a connector and team player who promotes collaboration, within and outside the own organisation, and has a leadership style that is both guiding and coaching;
  • will act as an ambassador for WFSR and WUR; is outward-facing and sensitive to the public and political debate;
  • has a national network within the government, governmental inspections and services, and relevant institutes and universities;
  • has an international network (including governments, academia, NGOs, industry and other societal partners) and is expanding this constantly;
  • has an interest in the specific position and high-quality needs of the execution of statutory tasks;
  • has an affinity with the scientific domain of WFSR, and an affinity with scientific research;
  • has preferably a PhD;
  • is receptive, seeks consensus yet can be decisive if necessary, takes responsibility and stands behind decisions taken;
  • is fluent in Dutch or willing to learn Dutch (C2 level) within two years. Is fluent in English (C2 level);
  • recognizes the role of the Works Council (employee participation) in the governance of WFSR and is able to maintain constructive relations with it.

We offer
Salary is competitive and depending on qualifications and experience. Salary and benefits are based on the collective labour agreement for Wageningen Research. Additionally, Wageningen University & Research offers an attractive package of secondary employment benefits.


Wageningen University and Research centre
The mission of Wageningen University and Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With its roughly 30 branches, 7.200 employees and 13.200 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

These are the points our employees list as good reasons to come work at WUR: read the 5 reasons to come work at WUR.

Meer informatie

An executive search exercise is being undertaken by Perrett Laver to support the university in identifying the widest possible field of qualified candidates and assisting in the assessment of candidates against the requirements for the role. Queries can be directed to Feride Yetis at eride.Yetis@perrettlaver.com">Feride.Yetis@perrettlaver.com or +31 (0)20 2409 344.

Applications should consist of a letter of motivation and a complete curriculum vitae including a publication list. These can be uploaded at https://candidates.perrettlaver.com/vacancies quoting reference 5935. The closing date for applications is 9am CEST on Monday 1st of August 2022.

Applications will be considered by the selection committee in August and shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview in September. Selection of and negotiations with the preferred candidate and final campus visits will take place thereafter.

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