The International Development Studies Alumni Association of Utrecht University


Based in Utrecht, The Netherlands, the International Development Studies group (IDS) of Utrecht University maintains and enhances a highly engaged, vibrant community of alumni and friends worldwide through its International Development Studies Alumni Association (IDSAA). Members include recipients of degrees granted under the Human Geography of Developing Countries (SGO), Human Geography of Developing Countries and Internationalization (SGIO), International Development Studies, and Sustainable Development – International Development Master programs of Utrecht University as well as a wide range of movers and shakers in the field of international development located across the planet.

IDSAA helps alumni connect with IDS and the growing and global IDS network through a wealth of professional and social networking activities including continuing education programs and fun events. If you want to stay up-to-date on happenings, volunteer your time as an Alumni Mentor or simply stay connected with IDS, please register!


Dinasas (Dinu) Abdella's professional interests combine research, higher education and policy in international development, gender, health, anthropology, sustainability and peacebuilding. After a Bachelors from UCU she received a SYLFF Fellowship for her first Masters at IDS. Dinu then completed her second Masters in Human Geography and Planning also at UU. Her IDS field internship was with SNV Tanzania, examining effective service delivery. In 2006, she joined the Gender, Security and HIV/AIDS program at SSRC in New York. She then received a NWO-Mozaeik grant for her PhD at IDS, and is now working on issues in service delivery, access, decentralization, local governance, gender, health systems, sexual and reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS – focusing on Tanzania and Ethiopia. During her PhD, she has been lecturing at IDS and UCU; supervising Bachelor and Master students; presenting papers at conferences; serving on the board UNOY; chairing the SYLFF Global Council; and initiating the UCU-in-Africa Alumni and IDSAA networks. In addition, she is an active member of the Netherlands network on sexual and reproductive health and aids (Share-Net) and is the co-founder of the JU90 Development-from-Within Organisation. Dinu also has a passion for travel writing, painting, photography, and therapeutic massage work.

Ine Cottyn is a PhD student at IDS with a research background and interests in international development, cultural anthropology, tourism, migration, rural livelihoods and rural-urban connections. After a Bachelor in Cultural Anthropology and a Master in International Development Studies at Utrecht University, she did  internships at FIAN Netherlands and Fairfood International as a project assistant and as a researcher on issues of food sustainability, human rights and international land grabbing. In 2013 she was part of the research project on responsible business in Africa and the contribution of Dutch agro-businesses at Utrecht University, commissioned by MVO-Netherlands. Currently Ine is conducting research on rural-urban mobility and the transformation of rural livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa for her PhD. 


Michelle McLinden Nuijen is an independent sustainability consultant as well as a lecturer and PhD Fellow at IDS with research interests in sustainability, political economy, rural development, post-conflict land issues, development-induced dispossession and climate change adaptation. After a Bachelor in Environmental Studies with a specialization in Environmental Technology and Management and a Research Master in Sustainable Development - International Development at Utrecht University under the Utrecht Excellence Scholarship, she conducted research consultancies in SE Asia on human rights and industrial sugar production and on climate change adaptation in Africa. During her PhD Fellowship, awarded under the The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) Toptalent grant, Michelle will assess market-based adaptation and resilience of rural communities Cambodia.

Femke van Noorloos is a researcher and lecturer at IDS with varied research interests in land issues, sustainability, tourism, mobility, urban development and climate change. After studying Cultural Anthropology at Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands, she conducted her PhD research, completed in 2012, at Utrecht University under the auspices of LANDac on residential tourism and its implications for development in Costa Rica. Femke is also a writer, editor and board member for LaChispa magazine on Latin America and the Caribbean.

After spending his childhood in Ireland and Australia Murtah Read found his way to the Netherlands at the age of 14. Upon completing his Bsc in Humanistics he went on to study International Development Studies in Utrecht as a means to draw a bridge between the critical methods of his former studies with the more practice oriented and globally focused field of IDS. After graduating from IDS at the end of 2013 he made the switch from student to employee, taking up the position of Lecturer at IDS. His background has led to a strong conviction that development should be centered on fostering resilience,self-determination and diversity of people throughout the world.

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Teun Smorenburg is currently enrolled in the research master Sustainable Development – International Development. During his bachelor in Human Geography he developed an interest in the private sector and development and was able to pursue his interests in his master. In 2014, he conducted researched in Cambodia on CSR in the natural rubber sector and on youth employment. He is currently writing his thesis on labour market integration of Syrian refugees in Istanbul. Besides the private sector and development, Teun is also interested in the fields of conflict and development and land grabbing.