Nieuws - 15 april 2013

Ousted state secretary is new CDI director

Co Verdaas pleased that Wage­ningen has confidence in him.
'I want to live with ideals.'

Former state secretary Co Verdaas (for the left-wing PvdA) will become the new director of the Centre for Development Innovation (CDI) in May. Verdaas became embroiled in a scandal at the end of last year shortly after becoming state secretary for Economic Affairs. There were questions about his expense claims when he was a Gelderland province councillor. He had been a planning and development provincial administrator for the PvdA for many years before that. He is pleased with his new job. 'I think Wageningen UR deserves praise for ignoring the negative media attention and forming their own judgement of my capacities. That is a sign of confidence.'
What does he have to offer the field of development cooperation? 'I want to work with ideals. That might be an overused word, but even so... I want to use knowledge to bring about progress in the world, to work towards sustainable agriculture and fisheries based on local conditions. How do you set up local supply chains and get the private sector involved?'
Verdaas will start in May by talking to staff to get a good picture of the CDI, after which he will 'extend the playing field.' He will also be taking a course in English 'so that I can use the professional terms properly.'