MAASTRICHT. With the arrival of Amsterdam lawyer Annelies van der Pauw (57) as the new chairperson of the Supervisory Board, another powerful woman has been appointed to the top of the Maastricht university board.
The previous one was rector Rianne Letschert, who was given that same designation in de Volkskrant, with ‘quick to laugh’ as a prefix. In her field (corporate law, mergers, take-overs), Van der Pauw counts as one of the few women who is capable of bringing a large number of really big deals to a good end. She belongs to the group known as “powerful women”, the “exclusive club of female top lawyers” in this sector, according to the website M&A (mergers & acquisitions). For example, she was involved in the stock-market flotation of ABN AMRO.
Van der Pauw is partner at the Amsterdam office of international law firm Allen & Overy. Until recently, Ferdinand Grapperhaus - who is now minister of Justice - also worked there, combining the job with a part-time professorship of Labour Law in Maastricht for years.
Van der Pauw: “When I was approached for the position of chairperson of the UM Supervisory Board, sometime in September, I immediately discussed it with Ferd, of course. He was really enthusiastic. ‘Do it,’ he said. Ferd is passionate about the UM anyway, about the international character and the dynamics that this brings about.”
The new board chairwomen knew the UM primarily because of her contacts with legal interns from Maastricht: “We take them on from all universities in the Netherlands.” She herself studied law in Utrecht, where she got her master's in 1984 and then did a master's of Fiscal Law in Leiden. According to the UM press release that went out this week, she was appointed by the minister of Education, Culture and Science “because of her affinity with academic education and research”. Van der Pauw on that subject: “Whoever wants to work in our office, will find that the highest threshold to take - an absolute condition actually - is that you have an academic interest and possess profound analytical capacities. Other requirements only come after that. And Allen & Overy invests a great deal in permanent education for its lawyers; I once went on a long weekend to Cambridge. Really good.”
Her new supervisory position at the UM – taking over from the departing chairperson Truze Lodder - is not the only position that Van der Pauw holds. She is a member of a number of Supervisory Boards, some in the cultural and media sector. For example, she is chairperson of the supervisory board of the Mondriaan Fonds, a public promotion fund for visual arts and cultural heritage. Furthermore, she was commissioner on behalf of the employees at NRC Media for years, until 2014. She is also a board member at the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, which focuses on strengthening the position of the media, including civilian journalism, in countries in conflict or crisis.