The museum’s management team consists of the Executive Committee, the Directors of Public Affairs, Museum Affairs and Operations, and the General Office and Quality & Business Control.
Axel Rüger became the Van Gogh Museum’s Director in April 2006. He is responsible for Quality & Business Control, the Project Management Office and Museum Affairs (Collections, Research & Exhibitions, Collections Management, Registrar’s Office, Library & Documentation, and Education).
Adriaan Dönszelmann joined the Van Gogh Museum on 1 July 2011 as Operations Section Manager. He was appointed Managing Director two years later. Adriaan is responsible for the General Office, the Operations section (ICT, HR, Financial Affairs, Security and Support Services) and the Public Affairs section (Marketing, Communication, Publications, Fundraising and VGME B.V.)
Babette Meerdink-Schenau - Secretary to the Board & Head of the Staff Office
Babette Meerdink-Schenau (1974) studied Dutch Law at Radboud University (Nijmegen) and International Trade Law at the University of London. She began her legal career at Houthoff Buruma before working for many years as a (legislative) lawyer at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. Babette also worked as a Clerk at the Enterprise Division of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal. She became Secretary to the Board of the Van Gogh Museum in September 2017, providing the Board with policy and legal support.
Esther de Jong – Director Operations
Esther’s background is in public safety in the city and region of Amsterdam. The posts she has held in recent years demonstrate her focus on management roles, organizational development and operations. Esther was appointed Operations Section Manager at the Van Gogh Museum in June 2013. She is responsible for policy and management at the Security, Support Services, HR, Financial Affairs and ICT departments.
Nikola Eltink – Director Museum Affairs
Nikola has worked at the Van Gogh Museum since June 2011. She is responsible for policy and management at the following departments: Collections and Research, Exhibitions, Collections Management, Education & Interpretation, Collection Information and the Registrar’s Office. She was previously employed at the Rijksmuseum as head of Museum Display, and at Science Center NEMO as Senior Program Developer. Her study included Media & Culture and Management in Cultural Institutions, while she also attended the Art Academy.
Milou Halbesma – Director Public Affairs
Milou studied French at Grenoble and economics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She has held various marketing, communications and management posts at organizations including WEKA Business Publishers, the Centraal Museum in Utrecht and KWF Cancer. In 2006, she set up the Turing Foundation on behalf of Pieter and Françoise Geelen. Milou has been the Public Affairs Section Manager at the Van Gogh Museum since March 2013. She is responsible for policy and management at the departments Marketing, Digital Communication, Press Office, Publications, Visitor Service, Development and the Mesdag Collection.
Jeroen van de Beek – Head of Quality & Business Control
Jeroen worked previously at ABN AMRO, KLM, Netherlands Railways (NS), GVB and Eigen Haard. He was appointed Head of Quality & Business Control at the Van Gogh Museum in August 2013.
Ricardo van Dam – Director of Van Gogh Museum Enterprises
Ricardo studied economics at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. He began his career as a management trainee at Koninklijke Ahold. After more than ten years at Ahold, Ricardo moved to the Royal Schiphol Group, where he was responsible for commercial development. He has also completed a range of interim and consultancy assignments in area development, commerce and business models, primarily for international airports and railway stations. Ricardo joined Van Gogh Museum Enterprises (VGME) in October 2014, initially as interim director and since 1 April 2017 as director. He is responsible for purchasing and merchandise, logistics, retail, wholesale, licensing, e-commerce and new business.