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Management and organisation


The foundation Fryske Akademy (the Frisian Academy) was established in Leeuwarden on 10 September 1938. According to its statutes, the Fryske Akademy's goal is "to maintain a working community dedicated to practicing science connected to Friesland, the Frisian people and their culture in all its manifestations, and such in the broadest sense".

The Fryske Akademy is an independent foundation based in Leeuwarden. The foundation is managed by a Research Director, who bears ultimate responsibility. A Supervisory Board with both managerial and scientific members, supervises the policy of the director. Since 1990, the Fryske Akademy has been affiliated with the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW).

In accordance with the Covenant on the Frisian Language and Culture (BFTK), the institute is funded by the State (OC&W) and the province of Fryslân. The subsidy of the project activities of Mercator, financed by the European Commission until 2006, has been taken over by the Province of Fryslân. The projects and project staff recruited by Mercator are in employed by the Fryske Akademy, but linked to the specific Mercator project grants.

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Dr. Nelleke IJssennagger-van der Pluijm FSA

Managing Director

The daily management of the Fryske Akademy is in the hands of the Managing Director. The Managing Director is ultimately responsible for all activities and decisions related to the institution. The Managing Director is accountable to the Supervisory Board in accordance with the statutes and rules of procedure.


Management Team

The Managing Director is advised by a Management Team (MT). Since 1 January 2021, the representation consists of:

  • Joop Petter, Head of Finances
  • Marit Bijlsma, Head of Planning and Acquisition



Supervisory Board

Pursuant to the Statutes, the Fryske Akademy has a Supervisory Board. The Board oversees the policy and management of the Managing Director. The Supervisory Board consists of:

  • Drs. Seerp Y. Leistra (Chairman)
  • Wim Kleinhuis
  • Prof. dr.  Anthonya Visser
  • Prof. dr. Jan Don
  • Drs. Rixt N. Heegsma



Works Council

The Fryske Akademy has a Works Council (UR), in which five employees of the Akademy are seated. The competence of the Council, among others the right of advice, the right of consent and the right of initiative, is regulated in the Dutch Law on the Works Council (WOR). According to this Law, the Council works in the interest of the proper functioning of the company. Since 1 February 2024, the Works Council consists of:

  • Eduard Drenth (Chair)
  • Nika Stefan (Secretary/Co-chair)
  • Anne Mulder
  • Han Nijdam
  • Willem Visser