Prof. dr. Rianne Letschert

President Maastricht University

Prof. dr. Rianne Letschert (1976) studied International Law at Tilburg University, the University of Amsterdam and the University of Montpellier. She earned her PhD at Tilburg University with a thesis titled ‘The impact of minority rights mechanisms’ (2005), on the role competing international organisations play in making policy and law on national minorities.

In March 2011, Letschert was appointed professor to the new chair of Victimology and International Law at Tilburg University. From April to August 2010 she was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge (UK), and Research Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge, of which she is lifelong member. In 2014, she was Visiting Professor at the University of Barcelona. In 2012, Letschert joined De Jonge Akademie (Young Academy) of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences of which she became chairperson in April 2015.

She has authored and edited several book publications and articles in national and international journals. She also served as director of the International Victimology Institute (INTERVICT), where she established a master's degree in Victimology and Criminal Justice, which quickly attracted many national and international students from different academic disciplines to Tilburg. Working in an interdisciplinary team has greatly influenced her own scientific development. 

In May 2015, she and her team were awarded a Vidi grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research to research the impact of international tribunals on societies and individuals that have been confronted with serious human rights violations and international crimes.

She has always dedicated a lot of time to translating scientific knowledge into societal impact. For example, she was an expert consultant on behalf of the victims at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, she gave several public lectures and her extracurricular positions are related to socially relevant themes.

On 1 September 2016, Professor Rianne Letschert was appointed rector magnificus of Maastricht University. One of her main tasks as the administrative leader of a national programme by the VSNU is to implement the position paper 'Room for Everyone's Talent , not only in Maastricht but in the entire sector.

As of 1 November 2021, Rector Magnificus Rianne Letschert has been appointed as President of Maastricht University. 

 Download the inaugural speech  of prof. dr. Rianne Letschert.  


President's Office

  Patrice Keijzer
  +31 43 38 83210

Linda van Engelshoven
+31 43 38 82746


Current additional positions

Related to the position of President of Maastricht University:

  • Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and Ministry of Finance - Interim Chair National Growth Fund
  • Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport - Chair Committee, Sociaal Cultureel Planbureau
  • Taskorce AI Hub Brightlands - Chair 
  • Universities of the Netherlands - Member SSPG  
  • University Fund Limburg/SWOL - Vice-chair 
  • Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) - Partnerschip Board member 
  • Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE) - President

Related to the position of professorship:

  • Academia Europaea - Member
  • Catharina Ziekenhuis - Member Supervisory Board
  • Fonds Slachtofferhulp - Member Supervisory Board
  • Koninklijke Hollandse Maatschappij der Nederlanden - Member
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Committee member 'Non Lethal Assistance (NLA) program'
  • Ministry of Justice and Security - Member Advisory Board 'Adviescollege Levenslanggestraften'
  • Nederlands Studenten Orkest - Member Board of Recommendation
  • Stichting REDRESS Nederland - Secretary

Research publications

 Prof. dr. Rianne Letschert


  Academic Leadership - Nurturing Talent, Developing Skills
Dies Natalis, 31 January 2020

  Global Challenges, Future Imaginations
Dies Natalis, 25 January 2019

  The power of people
Key note at the HEInnovative Conference ‘Make Innovation Work in Higher Education', Brussels 27-28 February 2018

  The Future of a Data-Driven Society
Dies Natalis, 26 January 2018

  UM Diversity and Inclusivity Day
speech, 8 November 2017

  Acceptance speech first annual YAE Prize
at the joint AE/ALLEA/YAE meeting in Budapest, 6 September 2017