Christien Bok, SURF, the Netherlands

Short bio

Since 2006, Christien Bok has worked as Innovation manager of education at SURF, the collaborative organisation for IT in Dutch education and research. In that role, she aims to support collaboration between higher education institutions in IT innovation to improve student success and the quality of education. As an advocate for protecting public values in education and research, Christien is convinced that international agreements on standards and architecture are a key to organising education efficiently and flexibly, nationally and across borders. These agreements will support the digital sovereignty of the sector. Therefore, she designed various national programs on its innovations for education, including the Acceleration Plan (2019-2022, 16M) and the Impuls for Digitization (2022-2030, 600M). Also, she is a member of the Advisory Board of the SIDN Fund, an independent foundation that aims to increase the internet’s value to society and the economy. After her studies in Dutch literature at Utrecht University, Christien worked for the Dutch Foundation for Literature and at The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). At NWO, she was responsible for a research program in which IT researchers and heritage managers worked together to make heritage available digitally. 

 Motivation to join the Board of Directors

I would like to join the Board of Directors because it’s my ambition to help encourage more European collaboration on an IT infrastructure that fosters European student mobility and will safeguard public values. At SURF, I am expanding our international focus and trying to build a coalition for collaboration, focusing on supporting European Universities Alliances in their need for IT services. I firmly believe that we can make a difference if we join our forces. I think I can contribute to the Board because I combine decisiveness with diplomacy, thus connecting the world of technical possibilities and solutions with the world of strategy and politics to achieve real change.