The Board

Aad Veenman

Aad Veenman has been involved in sustainability initiatives from the very beginning. The words transportation and technology are a common thread throughout his career; involved in regional transportation, the OV-chipkaart, President and CEO of the NS (Dutch Railways), Figurehead of the Top Sector Logistics, and of course, aviation. For years, he was chairman of the Advisory Board of NLR and he is still chairman of LRN.

At the start of Luchtvaart in Transitie, he was a driving force behind this initiative and took on the role of interim director of the LiT project office. He handed over this role to Ron van Manen after six months.

In addition to his role as an independent chairman of the board for the Stichting Luchtvaart in Transitie, Aad Veenman is chairman of Achmea NV, chairman of the Supervisory Board of Regional Transportation Gooiland, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of OneLogistics, Member of the Supervisory Board of Sweco Holding BV, Member of the Supervisory Board of TenneT GmbH, and member of the Continuity Foundation SBM Offshore.

From 2002 to 2009, Aad Veenman was President of the NS (Dutch Railways). Before that, he had a long career at the industrial company Stork, where he was a member of the Board of Directors from 1990 and chairman of the Board of Directors from 1998 to 2002. Additionally, Aad Veenman was the Figurehead of the Top Sector Logistics (until December 2023).

Lex Besselink

Lex Besselink is the Chairman of the Board of the NAG. He has a distinguished career with his background and expertise in military and strategic management. Graduating from HBS-B in 1971, he furthered his education at the Royal Military Academy and Technical University of Delft, specializing in Technical Physics. His military journey, spanning from 1975 to 2008, saw him in various roles within the Royal Dutch Army, including as an Officer and Military Attaché for Germany and Switzerland.

Transitioning into civilian leadership, Lex served as the Director of Procurement and later as the Director of Material Directorate for the Army. As a Major General, he held the position of Director of Weapon Systems and Depots at the joint Defense Materiel Organization. Lex has been a key figure in various capacities, including leading the Program Office World Class Maintenance and chairing the Strategic Advisory Council at TNO for Defense, Safety, and Security , and he is also member of the supervisory board of the NLR.

Beyond his military and professional accomplishments, Lex has dedicated himself to numerous societal roles. From being a Lion’s Club District Governor to leading the boards of war museums and conservation organizations, Lex actively contributes to his community. His diverse interests include tennis, golf, reading, crafting, and puzzles. Lex’s commitment to excellence extends to his current roles as Chairman of the Netherlands Aerospace Group and the Board of World Class Maintenance, showcasing his ongoing passion for advancing technology and knowledge.

Erik Geertsema

Mr. Geertsema has a strong track record in executive leadership positions at Fokker, GKN Aerospace and Panta Holdings B.V. leading and growing aftermarket businesses serving airlines and OEM’s both autonomously as well as through M&A. Mr. Geertsema acted as Accountable Manager for EASA & FAA Part 145 repair stations and served as Board Member for US and Singapore based entities.

Next to his business experience Mr. Geertsema brings a strong network in the Aerospace ecosystem through Board positions of the Independent Aircraft Modifier Alliance (since 2020) and Development Center for Maintenance of Composites (2016 – 2021).

“I am proud to lead the HAPSS project and deliver a Dash8-300 demonstrator with a liquid Hydrogen Fuel Cell Propulsion System. With an estimated 3 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation industry, sustainability is more than a trendy, hot topic; it’s crucial. I am confident we will reduce emissions and become more sustainable to enable generations to come to fly. Industry collaboration and public funding are fundamental elements to get there – Aviation in Transition is combining these elements’.

Ellen Hanselman

Ellen Hanselman is the Managing Director of the MBO Colleges Airport and Amstelland. MBO College Airport in Hoofddorp serves as the vocational school for courses focused on the airport, aviation, and logistics services. Ellen also serves as a board member of the Board of Stakeholders Aviation Education (College van Belanghebbende Luchtvaartonderwijs, CvBLo). In this capacity, she is involved in the Human Capital Agenda of Aviation in Transition and has been a board member of the Foundation Aviation in Transition since December 2023.

Juriaan Kellermann

Juriaan Kellermann is a seasoned professional with over twenty years of experience in managing complex multidisciplinary projects, departments, and companies, currently leading as the CEO of Fokker Next Gen. His dedication to sustainability, innovation, and operational excellence is evident in his role, where he is steering the company towards pioneering sustainable aviation solutions. With a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor’s degrees in Industrial Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, Juriaan brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his position. His diverse background encompasses 9 years in the aerospace industry, along with significant roles in IT consulting and healthcare management, contributing to his success in making Fokker Next Gen a frontrunner in aircraft manufacturing. Under his guidance, the company is developing an innovative 120-150 seat airliner powered by liquid hydrogen combustion, aiming to democratize sustainable aviation. As a devoted father to seven-year-old twins, his personal commitment to sustainability is driven by a desire to ensure a healthier planet for future generations.

Adriaan Leyte

Adriaan Leyte is Vice President Strategic Business and supports both the civil and defence divisions in GKN Aerospace / Fokker Technologies. In this role, he is responsible for setting up and development of campaigns and supports senior and executive relationships in the Netherlands Aerospace & Defence ecosystem. He represents in the Netherlands, GKN Fokker in the sector transformation to sustainable / zero emissions aviation. Adriaan is also member of the Supervisory Board of PAL-V; which is developing the world’s first flying car.

In previous roles, Adriaan was responsible for all Fokker Technologies commercial aerospace customer business development incl. Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Cessna, Gulfstream, Dassault, Honda, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce etc. Before this assignment he lead all Civil, Defence & Aero-Engine business development for Electrical Wiring and Interconnection Systems (EWIS) of Fokker Elmo and played key role in establishment of the Fokker Elmo facilities in China, Turkey, USA, Canada and India.

GKN Aerospace is one of the world’s largest independent first tier suppliers to the global aviation industry. With over 100 years’ aerospace experience, and delivering complex, high-performance, high-value metallic and composite assemblies for airframes and aero-engines as well as landing gear, transparencies, electrical wiring interconnection systems. Well over € 3bn annual revenue and employing over 17,000 people in 38 manufacturing locations across 3 continents and 12 countries

Arjan Meijer

Arjan is President & Chief Executive Officer of Embraer Commercial Aviation and EVP at Embraer S.A. Arjan joined Embraer in April 2016 as Vice President of Commercial Aviation for Europe, Middle East, Russia and Central Asia. Appointed Chief Commercial Officer of Embraer Commercial Aviation in January 2017, based in Amsterdam, Arjan oversaw worldwide sales, marketing, customer support and primary customer relationships. In June 2020 Arjan was appointed President & CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation and, as an EVP, joined the management board of Embraer S.A. Prior to April 2016, Arjan spent 15 years at KLM on the engineering, technical services and fleet development aspects of the company. His last role was Managing Director of KLM UK Engineering Limited, a wholly-owned AFI KLM E&M subsidiary specializing in maintenance solutions for regional and narrow-body aircraft fleets. Arjan has a degree in Aerospace Engineering from Delft University of Technology and also holds an Executive MBA (International Master’s in Management) from Purdue University.

Michel Peters

Since 2010, Michel Peters (1959) has been the Chief Executive Officer of Royal NLR – Netherlands Aerospace Centre, the leading centre for aerospace research and innovation in the Netherlands with a global reach. Michel is responsible for NLR’s strategy and applied research agenda. In partnership with industry and government, NLR focuses on more sustainable civil aviation, safe and secure integration of drones in civil airspace, protection of aircraft and helicopters during international peacekeeping missions, and the development of small-scale, affordable satellite systems.

Michel Peters believes collaboration is extremely important, as shown by his other positions. He is a board member of the Association of European Research Establishments in Aeronautics (EREA), a board member of the Association of European Space Research Establishments (ESRE), a board member of the International Forum for Aviation Research (IFAR), Co-Chair of the Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe (ACARE), Chair of the board of German-Dutch Wind Tunnels (DNW) and chair European Transonic Windtunnel (ETW), a member of the Council of ‘Lucht- en Ruimtevaart Nederland’, a board member of the Dutch National Aviation Program (LiT) and a member of the Committee of Recommendation of the Dutch Aerospace Foundation NLF.

Aerospace is the connecting theme in Michel Peters’ career. Before being appointed as CEO of NLR, he served as head of NLR’s Aerospace Systems & Applications division and Air Transport division. Prior to NLR he held various positions at Martinair (now part of KLM), where he was responsible for aircraft maintenance. The foundation for his career was established at Delft University of Technology, where he obtained an MSc in 1987 specializing in Avionics Engineering.

Steffen de Vries

Steffen de Vries, born on May 3, 1968, is the CEO of Aeronamic B.V. He studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Twente. Early in 1992 he started as a Regional Account Manager at Structures and Computers Ltd., Zeist, Steffen conducted FEM analysis using NSYS software. In 1995, he joined Urenco Nederland B.V., Almelo, focusing on conducting analysis for product and production improvement of ultra gas centrifuges for uranium enrichment and aerospace systems. Steffen’s positions included Mechanical Engineer, Design and Project Manager for Aerospace projects, and subsequently Manager of Design Engineering.

In 2001 Steffen left Urenco to join Fico Tooling B.V. as Operations Manager, overseeing logistics, purchasing, and production. In 2003 he returned as Operations Manager to Urenco Aerospace (which was later renamed Aeronamic B.V.)

Steffen progressed to become CEO of Aeronamic B.V. in March 2013. Currently, he heads a team of 148 employees in the Netherlands (Aeronamic B.V. in Almelo and Aeronamic Services in Woensdrecht) and 85 employees at Aeronamic Eastern Europe in Romania.

Henri Werij

Henri Werij obtained his MSc in experimental physics and PhD in atomic physics and quantum optics at Leiden University. After spending several years in Boulder, Colorado (JILA) and Amsterdam as a postdoc, he started working at the Dutch research organisation TNO in the field of satellite instrumentation for Earth atmosphere monitoring. His last position at TNO before moving to Delft University of Technology in 2017 was Director of Space and Scientific Instrumentation. Since then he is professor and dean at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering. Here, together with a scientific staff of about 130 professors in aerospace engineering and nearly 400 postdocs, researchers and PhD candidates, he aims to contribute to a sustainable world, by enabling developments needed for the worldwide energy transition in general and sustainable, i.e. climate-neutral, aerospace in particular. Interdisciplinary world-class research, international collaboration and excellent education to many and highly motivated students at the Faculty are the cornerstones of his policy.