I am an all-round ‘knowmad‘ of International Relations, with extensive experience in the fields of development, security, counter-insurgency and counter-narcotics.

Throughout my two-decades career, I have combined research with policy influencing, working on international campaigns and advocacy trajectories for organizations such as Oxfam and ICOS.

I am happiest when I can connect policy-related research to writing, my other passion. I have been a researcher and writer for the United Nations, the German government, the Clingendael Institute, Oxfam and several European NGOs. I have written more than 50 opinion articles and numerous policy papers and academic articles.

I am not afraid of vast, long-term research projects; hence my 461-page PhD thesis and my 397-page book about 20 years the Netherlands in Afghanistan.

I am interested in multi-media projects that combine research/writing with videos, photos or comics. For example, in 2020 I co-developed for Oxfam the graphic novel Zahra: A policewoman in Afghanistan with the Spanish National Comic Award winning couple Cristina Durán and Miguel Ángel Giner Bou. Similarly, In 2009 I worked with Chronoscoop on the documentary Afghanistan, Land of Wonders which combined historical research and filming trips to Afghanistan and Russia with a fictional story of an American novelist.

For an updated overview of my professional career, see here.