Hans van Himbergen (1948) received a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Utrecht University in 1976 (with John Tjon). He then was a postdoc at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Department of Chemistry (with Robert Silbey) and at the University of California at Santa Barbara (with Douglas Scalapino), before becoming an assistant professor at UCSB and at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. After five years in the USA he returned to Utrecht where he became a professor of theoretical condensed matter physics in 1989, after having spent another year at MIT, and a full professor of theoretical physics in 1992. He has conducted research in several areas of condensed matter and statistical physics. innovation in academic education at every level, in order to enhance quality and (international) opportunity while making students prime movers in the process, has been his enduring passion. He thus became heavily involved in advisory and leadership activities, to which his attention shifted almost entirely in the latter part of his career. Over the years he stood at the cradle of the Dutch Research School for Theoretical Physics (of which he was the first scientific director in the period 1991-1995), University College Utrecht (the UU international liberal arts and sciences College of which he was also Dean in the period 2004-2008) and Junior College Utrecht (a new model of cooperation in science within a network of regional highschools and the university). He was Dean of the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy of UU (1995-2002) and promoted international relations for the university in various capacities (Dean of International Affairs, Vice-Rector for European Relations) between 2002 and 2013, when he became (formally) an emeritus professor. Completing the circle, he still teaches physics and calculus at University College Utrecht, he is currently the project leader of Descartes College, a universitywide, interdisciplinary honorsprogram of the University, based in the Faculty of Humanities, and he occasionally advises parties outside UU on issues of educational innovation and quality assurance.