Frank van Erkel


Frank van Erkel (the Netherlands) has had extensive experience as (senior) administrative manager and leader of innovation projects in the public sector. He has been leading governmental change and innovation for the past 20 years, both on a national and local level. He is always looking for new ways to improve government and connecting it to emerging developments in society.

Frank has worked for the city of Amsterdam in various capacities for 14 years, and he is owner of the ChangeLab, specializing in change management, leadership development and social and governmental innovation, using Appreciative Inquiry to create breakthroughs in difficult situations.
He is a certified Executive Coach working for a variety of organizations.

In recent years he has worked together with universities on societal change projects in Espoo, Malmö, Johannesburg and The Hague. He co-founded the networking platform International Initiatives for Societal Innovation (I2SI) in 2015.

Frank has worked at the Department of Environment (1989-1994) in the field of national policy for the living environment, and at the Department of Transportation, Public Works & Water Management (1994-2002), where he worked on and managed diverse projects in the area of participative planning, innovation programs, strategy development, and scenario planning. Among other things, he set up the first ministry-wide innovation program (Roads to the Future), and he led the change program to turn the task-oriented, reactive Civil Aviation Authority into a process-oriented and pro-active Directorate General of Civic Aviation.

In 2002 he became City-Manager in Amsterdam for the district Geuzenveld and was responsible for reversing the downward spiral into social and economic decline and urban renewal in Amsterdam’s most deprived area. In 2008 he was one of the initiators of restructuring the Amsterdam administrative system, and lead CEO for the merger of two city districts in 2010.
From 2010 until 2013 he was the City-Manager of the Amsterdam East district.
The last two years he was the Program Director of Organizational Development for the city of Amsterdam, focusing on making the city administration more flexible and responsive to the needs of its citizens and entrepreneurs.

In his free time he enjoys traveling and encountering different cultures. He loves to run the half marathon and scuba diving in tropical water. He also practices improvisational theater.

Contact Frank at: