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 in charge of Museum Affairs (Collection and Research, Collection Management and Restoration, Registrar’s Office, Collection Information, Education and Interpretation and Exhibitions) and Public Affairs (Marketing, Pressoffice, Digital Communication, Development, Visitors Service, Events, Publications and The Mesdag Collection).
Adriaan Dönszelmann joined the Van Gogh Museum on 1 July 2011 as Manager Business Affairs. He was appointed Managing Director two years later. Adriaan is responsible for the Staf (Information manager and Professional Services), Staff Office, Quality & Business Control, Operations (Security, Facilities, HR, Finance and IT), Van Gogh Museum Enterprises (Buying and Merchandise, Logistics and Planning, Retail, E-commerce, BtoB and New Business) and the Meet Vincent van Gogh Experience.
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.
Ezra de Jong – Director Operations
Ezra's background is in public safety in the city and region of Amsterdam. The posts he has held in recent years demonstrate his focus on management roles, organizational development and operations. Ezra was appointed Director Operations at the Van Gogh Museum in June 2013. Ezra 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, Collection Management and Preservation, Education & Interpretation, Collection Information, the Registrar’s Office and The Mesdag Collection. 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 University and Business Economics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She has held various marketing, fundraising and management posts at (non) profit organizations including WEKA Business Publishers, the Centraal Museum in Utrecht and at the Dutch Cancer Society, which is the largest fundraising organization in Holland. For seven years she worked as the managing director of the Turing Foundation, a Dutch private grant making charity. Milou has been the Director Public Affairs at the Van Gogh Museum since March 2013. She is responsible for the visitor numbers and the brand Van Gogh Museum, for all the marketing and (digital) communication and for generating revenues through ticket sales, fundrasing & development and events. She is leading a team of 70 employees.
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.