A bit about my self


I was born in June 1948 in Hilversum, the Netherlands, where I had a nice youth and attended primary school and grammar school. In 1966 I moved to Amsterdam where I studied econometrics. In Amsterdam I was involved a.o. in running a student club, university politics and municipal/national politics. I also worked for the Amsterdam Stock Exchange as a guide, for the Dutch Opera Foundation as a stage extra and was a researcher at the Foundation of Economic Research (SEO).


I graduated in spring 1974 with a M.Sc. thesis on Income Distribution and Economic Growth in Developing countries. In summer 1974 I moved to Africa where I worked for the International Labour Organisation in Zambia and Ethiopia as programming officer and research associate. I moved in 1979 to Geneva where I met my wife Marianne. Together we have two lovely boys Cornelis (Kees) and Jorick.  I engaged in research and policy advice on basic needs and structural adjustment in developing countries and helped to organise the High-Level meeting on Structural Adjustment and Employment in 1987.

Rolph van der Hoeven

In 1988 we moved to New York, where I was invited to serve as the Chief Economist of UNICEF with a special focus on Adjustment with a Human Face. I was given a large remit and carried negotiations with many International Financial Institutions, like the World Bank, the IMF, the Inter-American and African Development Bank.


In 1991 the ILO in Geneva appointed me Manager of its Interdepartmental Project on Structural Adjustment and Employment and later as Chief of the Macro-Economic Policies Branch. In 2001 I was seconded to manage the research secretariat of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation, led by Presidents Mkapa of Tanzania and president Halonen of Finland, which published its report in 2004.  I returned to the ILO as Director for Policy Coherence overviewing research, seminars, meetings and negotiations with other parts of the UN system on the challenges of globalisation, work and incomes. In 2007 the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of the Erasmus University (EUR) in The Hague appointed me as Professor of Employment and development Policy. I was made emeritus professor in 2015.

Rolph E. van der Hoeven

Currently I am carrying out research on issues such as income inequality, globalisation, the UNs Sustainable Development Goals and serve on a number of commissions and boards such as the Committee for Development Policy of the UN (UN-CDP), the Development Cooperation Committee of the International Advisory Council on International Affairs of the Dutch Government (AIV-COS), the Board of Trustees of the KNCV- Tuberculosis Fund and the Board of INCLUDE, a government funded programme to undertake innovative research and policy dialogue on inclusive development with scholars, policy makers, NGO  and business circles in Africa.