Jaap van Dissel leaving health institute RIVM for retirement

Jaap van Dissel is leaving as director of the Center for Infectious Disease Control of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). He is retiring, the institute confirmed to various Dutch media.

The RIVM is already looking for Van Dissel’s successor. Interested parties can apply until April 9. The new director will start at the end of this year, the RIVM said to RTL Nieuws.

Van Dissel, 66, was appointed director at the RIVM in 2013. Before that, he worked as the head of the infectious diseases department of the Leiden University Medical Center.

Van Dissel became a household name in the Netherlands during the coronavirus pandemic. He was one of the faces of the Netherlands’ approach to the pandemic. The position gained him a great deal of praise and a great deal of criticism.

In 2021, Van Dissel received a prize from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science for how he advised the government on combating the coronavirus pandemic. On the other hand, the Dutch Safety Board said the government got “tunnel vision” in its approach to the pandemic due to Van Dissel’s position on various advisory bodies.

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