Royal honour for business reputation specialist Professor Cees van Riel

Professor Cees van Riel, professor of Corporate Communication at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM), has been presented with the Civil Order of Orange-Nassau (Officier in de Orde van Oranje-Nassau), a Dutch royal medal of distinction. Van Riel is the founder of RSM’s specialist Corporate Communication Centre (CCC) for applied and scientific research into the business of reputations at RSM. He is also founder of the Reputation Forum Netherlands (RfN).

The award was presented by Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of the City of Rotterdam, on behalf of King Willem-Alexander. It was handed over during a celebratory 25th anniversary conference organised by the RSM Corporate Communication Centre on the theme of Past, Present and Future Trends in Reputation Management. Mayor Aboutaleb said Professor Cees Van Riel is an authority in the field of reputation management. “In his long career as a professor at RSM, he has been committed to the professionalisation of this field,” he said, and had put the field of reputation management on the global map, with the Netherlands taking a prominent position.

“Van Riel is a keen advocate of the importance of reputation management and its use in companies and organisations on a strategic level. His research and publications have given the Corporate Communication Centre at RSM a prominent position in this field, and his vision has contributed to a better reputation of Dutch brands and thus to a more positive image of the Netherlands worldwide,” he said.

Royal honour for business reputation specialist Professor Cees van RielVan Riel’s publications have been translated in many different languages so that students all over the world know and understand his research – which makes the link between management, public services and social responsibility. He has taught his views on building solid reputations and operating transparent organisations from Brazil to China.

His work about the outsourcing of reputation management has recently been featured on RSM’s online research channel, RSM Discovery. In his most recent video, Van Riel explains how outsourcing can affect reputation management.

Dean of RSM, Professor Steef van de Velde: “RSM is extremely proud of Cees van Riel. This well-deserved honour also reflects the strength of RSM’s Corporate Communication Centre; its academic excellence and high quality research into the management of reputations in business has contributed to the reputation of RSM, and the school’s importance as a source of business and management knowledge in the Netherlands and across the world.”

A royal medal of distinction in the Order of Orange-Nassau is presented for contribution to society; an individual’s managerial and societal contributions on an international level play a role in such a presentation.


Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is ranked among Europe’s top 10 business schools for education and among the top three for research. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam - a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. RSM also has offices in the Amsterdam Zuidas business district and in Taipei, Taiwan.

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