Meet Our Faculty


Nives Rumenjak, Ph.D.

Coordinator for International Relations graduate program

Nives Rumenjak obtained her Ph.D. in History from the University of Zagreb. She is a senior IR Lecturer and Head of the IR Department at Webster Leiden Campus. Since 2008, she holds an appointment as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh, where she closely cooperates with Center for Russian and East European Studies. Previously, Dr. Rumenjak held a research position at the Croatian Institute of History in Zagreb for eleven years, where she published her most comprehensive book, "The Political and Social Elite of Serbs in Croatia at the End of the 19 Century: The Rise and Decline of the Serbian Club." Her most recent article, titled "Freedom of expression in multicultural societies: Political cartooning in Europe in the modern and postmodern eras," is published in "Empedocles: European Journal for the Philosophy of Communication" (EJPC 10.2).

Dr. Rumenjak's areas of expertise include Central and Southeast European studies, sociohistorical prosopography of elite groups, nationalism, borderland identities, freedom of expression and political cartooning in the modern era. Her original approach to modern nationalization combines prosopographical and autobiographical methods in research of individual national identities, as well as a visual interpretation of primary sources from popular culture. Dr. Rumenjak's examinations in the modern history of Europe have been regularly presented at the European Social Science History Conference, and Convention of Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies.

In addition to her scholarly activity, Dr. Rumenjak has taught a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses at the University of Zagreb, Amsterdam University College, the Community College of Beaver County, PA, and Webster University Leiden, including History of Central and Southeast Europe in the 19 century, Western Civilization, The Vietnam War, The World System Since 1500, Introduction to International Relations, Introduction to Comparative Politics, Research Methods, Popular Culture, Freedom of Expression, Imperialism Past and Present, Global Civil Society, Gender and Social Movements, Modern History of Racism, and International Political Economy.


Jill E. Adler, J.D.

International Law, Grant Writing, & Fundraising

The instructor studied law and received a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.  She is the director of the East-West Parliamentary Practice Project (EWPPP), an NGO based in the Netherlands which develops and implements capacity building programs for parliaments and civil society organizations in emerging democracies. She also serves as  Vice-Chair of the Board of the Netherlands-American Commission for Education Exchange (Fulbright Center), and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Albanian-American Development Foundation (AADF). 


Mehdi P. Amineh, Ph.D.

Political Science

 Dr. Mehdi Parvizi Amineh is lecturer and researcher on Middle Eastern and post-Soviet Eurasian politics. He obtained his M.A. in Political Science (1991), and his Ph.D. in Social Science (1998), both from the University of Amsterdam.


Marije L. Balt, M.A.


Marije Balt has an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Amsterdam. She is a former senior diplomat of the Netherlands government. She will take students through the world of defense, diplomacy and development from an insider’s point of view. As an expert on peace building, she currently advises organizations and companies working in (post) conflict countries and frequently travels to countries like Somalia, Mali, and Libya. In her capacity as a trainer, she works at the CIMIC center of excellence with NATO Higher Command.


Bram Boxhoorn, Ph.D.

Transatlantic Security Issues

Bram Boxhoorn is Director of the Netherlands Atlantic Association ('Atlantische Commissie'), a cross-political party organization that focuses on transatlantic security issues, such as the role of NATO in the Euro-Atlantic security framework, NATO-EU and EU-US relations, and NATO-Russian relations. Previously he was assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam, where he read European history and international relations.  He received his Ph.D. in History at the University of Amsterdam in 1992. From 1988–1996, he lectured at Webster University (Leiden) on International Business Developments.


Joshua K. Maiyo, M.Phil..

Visual arts and film

Josh Maiyo was a political and international affairs journalist in Nairobi, Kenya and Hilversum, the Netherlands before joining the University of Amsterdam to study International Relations and Politics (M.Sc. 2006), and African Studies in Leiden (M.Phil. 2008). He’s completing his Ph.D. at the VU Amsterdam’s department of Social and Cultural Anthropology on the topic of trans-national land deals, agrarian change, and rural development in Uganda.

Josh Maiyo is also currently a non-resident research associate at the John’s Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies China-Africa Research Institute (SAIS-CARI),an independent consultant on International Development, and a regional expert on Eastern Africa. His current research interests include Political Ecology, African Development, and China-Africa relations.


Daniel Russell, M.A.

International Law

Daniel Russell graduated from Holy Cross College (B.A.), has law degrees from Leiden University and the University of Louvain, and did postgraduate work at New York University and the Hague Academy of International Law.

Mr. Russell began his career as a legislative aide to New Jersey Senator Lesniak. He later served as director of an economic development project for Newark International Airport, following which he became executive director of an NGO regional office. In 1993 he was awarded a Rotary Fellowship to study at Leiden University. Upon completion of his masters’ thesis, he worked on several research projects for the Leiden law faculty, notably in the fields of energy, environmental law, and air and space law. He continues to work as a legal consultant in the field of aerospace law, and is a guest lecturer and academic advisor in the Leiden U. Master of Air & Space Law program. 

Mr. Russell has also taught at both the bachelor’s and master’s level for the past twenty years at, among other schools, Webster, Nyenrode, and The Hague University. He serves as a judge at the Telders International Law Moot Court, the annual competition held at the Peace Palace for law students from throughout Europe.


Iwona Guść, Ph.D.

Cultural History and Literature

 Dr. Iwona Guść holds a PhD in film history from the University of Groningen (the Netherlands). Her dissertation deals with censorship and its impact on film production and reception in post-war Poland.          Between 2010 and 2014, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the NIOD Institute for War,  Holocaust  and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam and contributed to a project on global antisemitism. She    has held postdoctoral fellowships from the Göttingen Institute for Advanced Studies (Lichtenberg-Kolleg) and Imre Kertész Kolleg in Jena.

Currently, she is appointed as a fellow at the Center for Holocaust Studies at the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich. Her research and teaching encompasses Eastern European film, Holocaust literature, the history of antisemitism, cultural transfers and memory in Eastern Europe.    


Tatjana Meijvogel-Volk, M.A.

Civic Education

 With the Western Balkans as her primary interest, German scholar Tatjana Meijvogel-Volk studied in the Former Yugoslavia during the 1980’s and graduated in Political Science from the University of Zagreb (Republic of Croatia) in 1992. Tatjana served the German Foreign Office as Co-ordinator for Humanitarian Aid during the war in Bosina and Herzegovina. Later, she functioned as Head of Protocol for the EU-Administration of Mostar (B&H), which had the task of re-constructing and re-unifying the city of Mostar, which had been divided and destroyed during war times.   

After the war, Tatjana joined the OSCE Mission to Bosnia-Herzegovina as International Election Implementation Advisor, responsible for building up a new electoral system for Bosnia-Herzegovina, organizing several elections, and supervising newly elected legislative bodies. After her field missions, Tatjana pursued a Master’s degree, graduating in 2005 from the Center for Global Politics of the ‘Freie Universitaet Berlin (Germany) with a Master’s thesis focusing on the ideological debate concerning the re-organization of the Yugoslavian State in the 1980’s.       

Nowadays, Tatjana is the project manager in the field of citizenship education at ProDemos – House for Democracy and the Rule of Law, in The Hague. She deals with providing civic education for adults through the organization of lectures, conferences, and debates concerning topics in national, European and international politics. At ProDemos, Tatjana is both the project manager for NECE (Networking European Citizenship Education), a network of European organizations and individuals working on citizenship education, and the manager of Europe Direct, an information center on the European Union.


Piotr Perczynski, Ph.D.

Political Theory

Piotr Perczynski obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in International Relations and Political Science from Warsaw University and was awarded scholarships at Oxford University, Leiden University and University of Amsterdam. He was a postdoctoral researcher on political theory at Leiden University (1998-2001) and Senior Lecturer at the European Institute of Public Administration (2006-2009). He has also served as a Head of Political Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister of Poland, as a National Coordinator for Performance Budget (statutory authority) and as a Vice-Ambassador for Poland to the Netherlands (2012-2016). Currently he is a lecturer on political theory, international relations and political philosophy and is doing research on the work of Baldassare Castiglione.


Nevenka Tromp, Ph.D.

Global Justice

Tromp received her PhD from the University of Amsterdam. She has been teaching in the Department of European Studies at the University of Amsterdam since 1992 and in the Department of International Relations at Webster Leiden Campus since 2018. From 2000 to 2012, Tromp worked as a researcher for the Leadership Research Team in the Office of Tribunal's Prosecutor at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and she was principle researcher on history and politics in the trial of Slobodan Milošević. She is co-founder and Executive Director of the Geoffrey Nice Foundation on Law, History, Politics, and Society in the Context of Mass Atrocities. Tromp's interdisciplinary research explores the interplay between law, justice, history, politics and society. She teaches on the following subjects: theories and history of human rights, humanitarianism in international relations, post-conflict societies, legal response to mass atrocities, and history and politics of post-communist Europe.

Tromp's recent publications include Smrt u Hagu: nezavršeno suđenje Slobodanu Miloševiću (Sarajevo: Sarajevo University Press, 2019); "In Search for Truth at Mass Atrocities Trials: Will Lawyers and Judges Have the Last Word?" (The International Journal for Comparative Law, March, 2018); "Montenegro and NATO membership: an achievement and a risk?" (Internationale Spectator, Clingendael, The Hague, May, 2017); "Profile: Montenegro's game-changing leader Milo Đukanović" (Internationale Spectator, Clingendael, The Hague, May, 2017); "International Criminal Tribunals and Cooperation with States: Serbia and the Provision of Evidence for the Slobodan Milošević Trial at the ICTY," co-authored with Geoffrey Nice, in Margaret de Guzman and Diane Amann (Eds.), Arcs of Global Justice: Essays in Honor of William A. Schabas (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2017); "Criminal Trial as a Tool to Re-Write History" in Karčić, H. et al. (Eds.), Remembering Bosnian Genocide: Justice, Memory and Denial (Sarajevo: Institute for Islamic Tradition of Bosniaks, 2016); Prosecuting Slobodan Milošević: The Unfinished Trial (Routledge: London, 2016).


Maarten Biermans, Ph.D.

Maarten Biermans (1974) is responsible for the Sustainable Capital Market Solutions at Rabobank. With the issuance of Green Bonds and Sustainability linked loans, he helps with advancing sustainable finance across the globe. 

Before joining the bank Rabobank as the head of ESG policy, Maarten worked as a strategy consultant specializing in Responsible Investing within the alternative asset classes.

Maarten has dual Master's degrees in Economics and Philosophy from the University of Amsterdam, where he also obtained his PhD in Economics. While working on his dissertation, he was a visiting scholar at Stanford University.

Maarten is a member of the Excom of the Green Bond Principles and the UNEP FI Social Issues Advisory Board, and is a board member of the Netherlands Network of the UN Global Compact. He also contributes to the international think tanks on improving and advancing the link between sustainability and capital markets. He frequently teaches at various institutions of higher learning on topics such as International Political Economy, Micro-Economics and Business Ethics.


Naema Tahir, Ph.D.

Law, Society, and Justice

Naema Tahir, Novelist, Human rights lawyer, Academic lecturer, Opinion leader.
Naema Tahir is one of Holland's most well-known and acclaimed authors. She was born in the United Kingdom to Pakistani immigrants, and raised in the United Kingdom, Pakistan and the Netherlands, migrating five times between these three countries by the age of sixteen.

Tahir studied Law at Leiden University and practised law from 1996 to 2006, specializing in human rights law, with a special focus on social and economic rights. She served for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the UNHCR, the Dutch Competition Authority, and finally, she became a permanent staff-member at the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg, France. Throughout her career, Tahir has been responsible for the rights of asylum seekers and refugees, migrant worker protection, child protection, women's rights and equality.

In 2006, Tahir decided to devote herself to writing. She rapidly developed into a key figure in Dutch literature, opinion making and media. She blends in her writing her legal expertise with her extensive knowledge of the crucial challenges of our multicultural society. She has authored numerous books and articles on such issues as identity, migration, integration and the sense of belonging. Tahir's latest novel Letters in Urdu, tells the story of Pakistani families torn apart by migration. Tahir's PhD The Arranged Marriage – changing perspectives on a marital institution analyses the arranged marriage system, and delves into the question whether the arranged marriage supports the human rights standard of full and free consent. She will defend her PhD on November 6th 2019 (10:30) in Utrecht University.


Maja Vodopivec, Ph.D.

Maja Vodopivec obtained her PhD in Japan's postwar history and MA in Peace and Conflict Studies from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Her research interests lie in Japan's intellectual history as well as peace and conflict studies with a focus on the Korean peninsula. Since 2013, she has been an assistant professor at Leiden University College. At Webster, she has taught summer graduate course in Asian Area Studies and Non-Western History.