||Jozef Ritzen, a Dutch national, is Professor of International Economics of Science, Technology and Higher Education at Maastricht University, UNU-Merit/Graduate School of Governance. Until February 2011 he served as President of Maastricht University.
He previously held various posts at the World Bank, including Vice President of the Development Economics Department and of the Human Development Network, which advises the institution and its client countries on innovative approaches to improving health, education and social protection.
Prior to coming to the Bank, he was Minister of Education, Culture, and Science of The Netherlands, one of the longest-serving Ministers of Education in the world. During his term, he enacted a series of major reforms throughout the Dutch education system. Mr. Ritzen has also made significant contributions to agencies such as UNESCO and OECD, especially in the field of education and social cohesion. Prior to his appointment as Minister in 1989, Mr. Ritzen held academic appointments with Nijmegen University and Erasmus University in The Netherlands, and the University of California-Berkeley and the Robert M. LaFollette Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States.
Mr. Ritzen obtained a master's degree in physics engineering in 1970 from the University of Technology in Delft, and a PhD in economics in 1977 from Erasmus University in Rotterdam. His dissertation on education, economic growth, and income distribution earned him the Winkler Prins prize.
He has written or co-authored eleven books. Many articles written or co-authored by him are published in the fields of education, economics, public finance and development economics.
He became an IZA Policy Fellow in December 2010 and took up a part-time position as Senior Advisor Policy at IZA in February 2011.