I work as a professor of public administration at the Utrecht University School of Governance Between late 2005 and mid-2011 my Utrecht appointment was fractional, with my main appointment being as professor of political science at the Australian National University in Canberra. I am currently still a core faculty member of the Australia New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG). Before joining Utrecht University, I was at Leiden University's Department of Public Administration from 1987-2004 (where I received my PhD in January 1990, cum laude). I have held visiting positions at the University of Canberra (1990), Nuffield College Oxford (1991), and the Stockholm Centre of Organizational Research (SCORE) of Stockholm University (1995 and 1996). Between 2001-2005 I was adjunct professor of public management at the Swedish Defence College in Stockholm. 

As of 1 January 2023 I combine a parttime appointment at Utrecht with membership of the Scientific Council for Government Policy ('Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid'), the Dutch government's independent think tank advising the Dutch cabinet and parliament about long-range and boundary-crossing public policy challenges (https://wrr.nl). This now occupies the bulk of my time. 

My main fascination is with people who hold and wield public power - politicans, public servants, community or corporate leaders. How do they gain and lose authority, momentum, credibility? What do they attempt to do with it? How do they navigate the institutions, contexts and stakeholders they are faced with? How do they operate when the chips are down, unscheduled events throw up challenges, the stakes and the public emotions run high, existing institutional routines don't apply, and there is blame to be dispensed and lessons need to be drawn? How can we as observers capture their practices, understand their behaviour, and evaluate their acts and impacts? For about two decades I spent most of my time on the 'dark side' of government, performing case studies and comparative research of how governments and leaders operate in riots, disasters, scandals and other crises. I then gradually shifted my focus towards 'life at the top' of the public sector in more normal and mundane circumstances, studying political-administrative relations within departments and the delicate balancing act between 'serving' and 'leading' that key public sector officials such as department secretaries or municipal CEOs have to perform on a daily basis.

I was elected a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) in 2014, and in 2016 was awarded an Advanced Grant by the European Research Council to investigate why it is that some public policies, programs and projects are very effective and broadly supported over long periods of time. This research, conducted from 2016-2021, has formed the basis of building a broader 'positive public administration'  movement within our field (see: https://minerva-access.unimelb.edu.au/handle/11343/279456). 

 Over the last 35+ years I have taught and trained thousands of mid-level and top-level public officials in the Netherlands (mainly through an ongoing engagement with the Netherlands School of Public Administration/NSOB in The Hague), Australia, Sweden and beyond. In addition I  regularly act as an adviser or facilitator to leadership teams and senior leaders of public agencies in the Netherlands. In the mid-nineties, I was seconded to the Dutch Intelligence Service as well as the Public Prosecution Service. My more recent service roles include: president of the Dutch Society for Public Administration (2013-2017), member of the Commission for the Evaluation of the 2012 Police Law (2013-2017), and independent advisor on the 'transition' of the nexus between research and policy in the ministry for Justice and Safety (2019-2021). During the Corona crisis I have facilitated reflection sessions for executive boards of Dutch government departments and agencies, mayors, city managers, boards of Mayor and Alderman as well as local councils of Dutch municipalities, school administrators, health care executives, the Swedish cabinet, and numerous groups of public servants in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. 

Recent and forthcoming books:

- The Politics of Crisis Management: Public Leadership Under Pressure (with Arjen Boin, Eric Stern and Bengt Sundelius) (Cambridge: Cambridge   University Press 2017 (2nd rev ed.)
- The Leadership Capital Index: A New Perspective on Political Leadership (co-edited with Mark Bennister and Benjamin Worthy, Oxford: Oxford   University Press 2017)
- Pivot of Power: Australian Prime Ministers and Political Leadership (with Paul Strangio and James Walter, Melbourne: The Miegunyah Press 2018)
- Dienen en Beinvloeden: Verhalen over Topambtelijk Vakmanschap (The Hague: NSOB 2018)
- Great Policy Successes (co-ed. with Mallory Compton, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2019)
- Successful Public Policy: Lessons From Australia and New Zealand (co-ed. with Jo Luetjens and Michael Mintrom, Canberra: ANU Press 2019)

- Understanding Public Leadership (2nd rev ed with Lars Tummers, London: Macmillan/Red Globe 2019)

- Guardians of Public Value: How Public Organisations Become and Remain Institutions (co-ed. with Lauren Fahy and Arjen Boin, Palgrave Macmillan 2020)

- Governing the Pandemic: The Politics of Navigating a Mega-Crisis (with Arjen Boin and Allan McConnell, Palgrave Pivot, 2021)

- Policy Success in Canada: Cases, Lessons, Challenges (co-ed. with Michael Howlett, Evert Lindquist, Grace Skogstad and Genevieve Tellier, Oxford University Press, 2022)

- Successful Public Policy in the Nordic Countries: Cases, Lessons, Challenges (co-ed. with Caroline de la Porte, Guony Björk Eydal, Jaakko Kauko, Daniel Nohrstedt and Bent Sofus Tranøy, Oxford University Press, 2022)

-Pathways to Positive Public Administration: An International Perspective (co-ed. with Patrick Lucas, Tina Nabatchi and Janine O'Flynn, Edward Elgar 2024)

-The Oxford Handbook of Dutch Politics (co-ed. with Sara de Lange, Tom Louwerse and Carolien van Ham, Oxford University Press 2024)

-Zo Kan Het Dus Ook: Leren van Overheidssuccessen in Nederland (co-ed. with Erik-Jan van Dorp and Wouter Jan Verheul, Boom Bestuurskunde 2024/25)


Books 1-10, 1987-1994

Books 11-18, 1996-2002

Books 19-27, 2004-2009

Books 28-36, 2010-2015

Books 37-45, 2015-2019