Honory doctorates 2002

Drs. Mariëtte Iris Hamer

Honorary Supervisor Prof. Dr. Ton Wilthagen – 2022 – Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Mariëtte Iris Hamer (Amsterdam, 1958) received the honorary doctorate because of the extraordinary merits throughout her career, which has been characterized by serving the public interest in particular in the field of governance and labor market politics, socio-economic policy, education, and development.

Mariette Hamer door Manon van der Zwaal

(Picture: Manon van der Zwaal)

In doing so, she has always worked for progress, emancipation, and connection, even in difficult times and on difficult cases. She is receiving the honorary doctorate in particular for the outstanding way in which she fulfilled her role as president of the Social and Economic Council (SER). Finally, there is great appreciation for her thorough knowledge, strongly based on scientific research, her skills, and her character, in which openness and honesty, critical ability, and perseverance go hand in hand with an enormous social commitment.

While studying General Linguistics at the UvA, Hamer was president of 'Landelijk Overleg van de studenten van de Lerarenopleidingen' (LOLO). In 1983/84, she was co-founder and first president of the Landelijke Studentenvakbond (national students’ union), the LSVb. After her studies, Hamer worked in education; in 1992 she became project leader Labor Market at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and then head of department of policy at the board of directors of universities of applied sciences (HBO).

Hamer is a member of the PvdA, where she served as chair of Vrouwen in de PvdA (Women in the PvdA) and of the national party leadership, among other positions. In 1998, Hamer joined the House of Representatives where she was education spokesperson for a long time. From 2006, Hamer was spokesperson for social affairs and the labor market. In 2004, Hamer became party secretary and, in 2006, vice-chair of the party. During this period, she also chaired the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Affairs and Employment. Hamer was also a member of the Presidium of the House of Representatives and permanent vice-chair of the House of Representatives.

In 2014, Hamer was appointed president of the Social and Economic Council, where her responsibilities included the creation of opinions on topics such as the future of the labor market, diversity and women at the top, and on the position of young people in the SER. Also, as the initiator of the SER Youth Platform in 2015, she ensured that young people were directly involved in the SER. In March 2022, she left the SER to become Netherlands government commissioner on transgressive behavior.

Hamer received several awards, including the Eberhard van der Laan Mediation Award in 2020, for, among other things, her performance as SER chair in which she managed, among other things, to smooth the pension negotiations between the government and the business community.

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