Kirsten Verdel

The Netherlands

  • Program Year
  • 2007-08
  • Country of Current Residence
  • The Netherlands
  • City/Town of Current Residence
  • Rotterdam
  • Current Position
  • Senior Advisor
  • Organization
  • Dröge & van Drimmelen
  • Profession(s)
  • Researcher, Political Analyst

  • Sector(s)
  • Communications (including media), Politics / Policy, Public administration
  • Language(s)
  • English, Dutch
  • Interest(s) / Expertise
  • education, international relations, media relations, politics, strategic communications
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Kirsten has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Erasmus University in Rotterdam. She also took classes in International Relations, Communication Technology and International Law at Carleton University in Canada, and studied Chinese language and culture at Taiyuan Daxue in China.

Kirsten is highly involved in politics. She was an elected member of the provincial parliament of South-Holland for the social democratic party PvdA. She worked in various political campaigns at the local, provincial and national level. Kirsten has pursued other ambitions as well. She traveled to China, where she worked in an illegal orphanage for severely disabled children in Houma. Eventually, with the money she raised, the orphanage managed to get a permit, to move to a new location and to afford medical equipment, wheelchairs and surgeries for some of the children. She is also the co-founder of a new development project dedicated to improving education for children in Sierra Leone (West Africa). Some well-known personalities have already agreed to contribute to the project, including Dutch football legend Johan Cruijff.

Kirsten believes that the Sauvé Program and the resources of McGill University provided her with excellent opportunities to gain more knowledge about the influence of the media on the way people vote. In January 2009, Kirsten launched her book “Van Rotterdam naar het Witte Huis In het hart van Obama’s campagne” about her experiences working with the Democratic National Committee at the heart of the Obama campaign.

As a Fellow

Kirsten researched the role of media coverage in political campaigns. As a staffer for 5 months at the Democratic National Committee, she was able to live the experience leading up to the 2008 U.S. presidential election.