Prof. P. (Paul) 't Hart

Professor of Public Administration

Paul ’t Hart (1963) was appointed to the Council with effect from 1 January 2023. He is also professor of public administration at Utrecht University. His main research interests are public order and security, crises and crisis management, political and public sector leadership, political psychology, the relationships between politicians and  public servantsgovernment officials, learning from the successes and failures  in public governanceof public policymaking, organizations and partnerships, and Australian politics and governance. 

After graduating with a MA degree in political science from Erasmus University Rotterdam, ’t Hart stayed at the university as a scientific assistant from 1986 to 1987. In 1990, he received his PhD cum laude from Leiden University in 1990 for a thesis on groupthink in  governmentpublic administration. He then remained in Leiden, first as a Royal Netherlands Academy of SciencesKNAW postdoc fellow, then as an assistantociate professor and from 1998 eventually as a professor of public administration. In 2002, he joined Utrecht University and became associate dean at the Netherlands School of Public Administration, where he would serve two terms (2002-2005 and 2010-2022). He was also professor of public management at the Defence University of Sweden from 2002 to 2005. Between 2006 and 2011, ’t Hart took up a lived in Canberra and served as professor ship of political science at the Australian National University and became a core faculty member at the Australia New Zealand School of Government.

’t Hart co-founded the Crisis Investigation Team in 1987 and, as a member of this team, was involved in numerous evaluations, training programmes and advisory processes in the fields of public order, security, police and justice. He was professionally involved in a wide range of issues, from the Vondelstraat squatter riots in Amsterdam to the Heysel Stadium disaster in Brussels and the Bijlmer disaster. He was seconded to the Domestic Security Service for a period in the early 1990s and has since been involved in major change processes in the Public Prosecution Service as an adviser and independent rapporteur. Most recently, he lent his expertise to the Ministry of Justice and Security, the Research and Documentation Centre and the Justice and Security Inspectorate.

Over his four-decade career, he has provided educational programmes, lectures and training courses for thousands of  public servants across many countriessenior officials and administrators. During the coronavirus pandemic, he lectured to and facilitated reflection sessions for political leaders executive councils and senior government management both within the Netherlands teams at home and abroad. He also evaluated the City of Utrecht’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition, ’t Hart served as editor of the journal Political Psychology (2011-2014) and president of the Society for Public Administration (2012-2016), and was elected to the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in he has been a member of the KNAW since 2014. A list of his publications is available here:

Other activities/public offices

List of ancillary activities:


  • Member of the Advisory Board, Directorate-General of Customs (2021-present, on reimbursement basis from Utrecht University)
  • Visiting lecturer, Australia New Zealand School of Government (2007-present, ad hoc)


  • Advisory council of the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (2023)
  • Board member, Centre for Public Impact ( (2020-present)
  • Editor of the Successful Public Governance book series, Edward Elgar Publishing (2018-present)
  • Member of the Advisory College of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (2023-present)
  • Member of the International Scientific Advisory Board for the GOVTRUST research programme, University of Antwerp, Belgium (2020-2025)
  • Member of the Supervisory Board of Het Sticht, foundation for Catholic and general special primary education (2019-present)
  • Programme Committee chair, national research programme What Works in Policing, Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (2020-2024)