Diana Suhardiman appointed KITLV director

17 June 2021

Diana Suhardiman, expert on land and water governance and Research Group Leader at the International Water Management Institute, has been appointed director of the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies effective 1 January 2022. KITLV is part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr Suhardiman succeeds Gert Oostindie, who became the institute’s director in 2001 and who is retiring at the end of this year.

Diana Suhardiman (47) graduated from Wageningen University with a Master Degree in Land and Water Management  and a PhD in Social Sciences. Her PhD research focused on the role of government bureaucracies in shaping water policy formulation and implementation in Indonesia. She has spent the past fifteen years working in Southeast Asia, currently as Research Group Leader Governance and Inclusion at the International Water Management Institute in Laos. Suhardiman studies regional, national and international policies at the intersection of land, water, environment and energy, in particular water governance, in Southeast Asia. She has published various books and numerous articles on this topic. She is currently researching the political economy and ecology of water governance, the influence of foreign direct investment on natural resource governance in Laos and Myanmar, and the role of knowledge-sharing and dialogue in transboundary water governance.

Suhardiman investigates the challenges faced by groups in the Global South, including the poor and those most marginalised for reasons of gender and ethnicity. She uses a wide range of approaches, including ethnography and political anthropology. Diana Suhardiman's wide-ranging expertise will make a major contribution to KITLV's research themes and help to broaden the institute, which has established Governance of Climate Change Adaptation as a new research theme. She will also be sharing her large and important international network.

About the KITLV

The KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (founded in 1851) is an institute for interdisciplinary and comparative research on Southeast Asia and the Caribbean. Its research focuses mainly on the colonial period, contemporary history, and present-day developments. The impact of the colonial past on postcolonial Netherlands is another topic of study. The KITLV explores three research themes: State, Violence and Citizenship, Mobility and Belonging, Governance of Climate Change Adaptation.