As of 1 March 2023, Sophie van der Zee, Assistant Professor of Applied Economics at Erasmus School of Economics, starts as director of the Centre for the Law and Economics of Cybersecurity (CLECS). She will take over the position from Bernold Nieuwesteeg, the founder of CLECS. As director of CLECS, Van der Zee will further lead the research institute’s growth and stimulate its multidisciplinary nature.
CLECS is a research institute which operates in the same vein as Erasmus School of Law’s motto, Where Law meets Business, and is a collaboration between Erasmus School of Law and Erasmus School of Economics. CLECS is part of the International Center for Financial Law & Governance (ICFG). The institute focuses on transparency regarding cybersecurity, a clear overview of the costs and benefits, and the social debate about cybersecurity. The institute aims to connect economists and legal experts by facilitating a hub of knowledge. CLECS wants to inspire the public debate by offering solutions, correcting wrong information, and advising on global and national cybersecurity strategies and policies. In four years, CLECS created five extra research appointments, which include three fulltime PhD candidate positions in collaboration with Ahold, the ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management, and research platform LDE. Recently, CLECS has been mentioned in national media, like NPO Radio 1, BNR Nieuwsradio, and Het Financieele Dagblad.
Nieuwesteeg founded the institute in 2018 and reflects on an excellent period: “The past years, CLECS has been through a stormy growth, which has exceeded all my expectations. The Centre has matured. In the near future, the legal economy of cybersecurity will be a social and academic topic of great importance. A permanent embedding is a new sensible step. Given her education and expertise, Sophie is the perfect candidate to lead CLECS into this new phase of growth. I will remain involved as a strategic advisor.”
Van der Zee has a background in legal psychology, information technology, and economics. This multidisciplinary background is a perfect fit for the ambitions of CLECS. Van der Zee is excited about her new position: “I look forward to working with this inspiring club of people. At CLECS, researchers with legal, economic, criminological, psychological, and technical background work together to contribute to a safe society. I aim to develop interfaculty cybersecurity educational programs to prepare employees for the digitalised future.”
Bernold Nieuwesteeg and Sophie van der Zee want to thank everyone involved with CLECS for their contribution to the social and academic impact the Centre has had and will continue to make. “Unfortunately, we cannot mention everyone by name, but we would like to express our gratitude to a few core players. We sincerely thank Louis Visscher and Michael Faure for being a member of the CLECS management board and being involved with CLECS from the start. We thank Hélène Vletter-van Dort, Karin van Wingerde, and Evert Stamhuis for their co-guidance of the PhD-candidates and, in doing so, the tireless support of the further growth of CLECS. They have become the true ambassadors of CLECS. We would also like to thank Dean Harriet Schelhaas for facilitating and supporting this important step, which is needed to guarantee the further growth of the social and academic impact of CLECS.”