Roger van Boxtel (63) is the CEO of Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS). He took on the role because of the critical role the railway plays in the Netherlands, and its importance to the one million passengers who use it every day. His stated goal as CEO is to “facilitate perfect train journeys, ensure good faith among passengers and make public transport in the Netherlands future-proof”.
After studying Dutch law at the University of Amsterdam, Roger started his career in the public sector, including as an organisational consultant and interim manager.
He then moved into politics, becoming a member of the Dutch Lower House for D66 from 1994 until 1998. He became politically active in order to defend the individual freedoms of Dutch people, especially as they related to medical ethics. Given this interest, he served as House spokesperson for public health.
Later on, he became Minister for Urban Policy and Integration of Ethnic Minorities and was later appointed temporary Minister of the Interior. He left the Lower House in 2002 but then returned nine years later for a four-year stint as a member of the Upper House and party chair for D66.
When he first left politics, Roger worked for health insurance company Menzis for twelve years from2003, first as chair of the Board of Directors and later as chair of the Executive Board.
In addition to his current work at NS, Roger is an Executive Board member of business association VNO-NCW He has previously served as chair of the Dutch Humanist League from 2003 to 2005 and as chair of public broadcasting service NPS from 2004 to 2008.
Outside of work, Roger has been a supporter of AFC Ajax for many years. He has spent time as a member of the club’s interim administration board and sat on the committee that investigated its organisational structure. This interest stems from when Roger worked as a sports reporter for De Volkskrant.
Roger is also passionate about the environment. He has served as chair of sustainable entrepreneurship platform De Groene Zaak and the Dutch branch of IUCN, the world’s largest and oldest nature conservation union. In January 2017, he strapped himself to the blades of a spinning windmill as a light-hearted way to draw attention to the fact that all NS trains run on green energy.
Van Boxtel is married to Judith van Emmerik, with whom he has two sons.