Henk WJ Ovink is senior advisor for Secretary Shaun Donovan of HUD in his role as Chair of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force. Ovink is responsible for the long term planning strategy, the regional design competition ‘REBUILD BY DESIGN’ and the connected planning conference. He works on the Task Force’s legacy process, the regional resilience science center, regional infrastructure coordination and on the overall Task Force strategy.
Before joining the Task Force Ovink was both Director General Spatial Planning and Water affairs and Director National Spatial Planning for the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment in the Netherlands. As Director General he was responsible for the national policy on, the national legal frameworks for and the long term strategy, investments, programs and projects for water affairs and national spatial planning in the Netherlands.
Ovink believes in a content driven organization where politics, content and organization meet. He has a long-term experience in change management within organizations for higher education, consultancy, engineering and all levels of government from municipality, province to national/federal. In his perspective change drives reflection, quality and commitment.
Ovink is member of the advisory boards of the The Berlage Institute, the UK School of Design, Delft University of Technology Faculty of Architecture and the Master City Developer Rotterdam. He was curator of the 5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam ‘Making City’ and curator of the ANCB Berlin debate series ‘Design&Politics: the next phase’. Ovink initiated the research program Design and Politics, the connecting chair Design and Politics at the TU Delft and a series of publications with 010 Publishers, called ‘Design and Politics’ covering the historical and political perspective with a focus on specific issues (designing the Randstad, Compact Cities and more). Ovink collaborates with and participates in the research program Urban Age within the Cities Program of the LSE. He lectures and publishes on the change of government, governance and planning as well as on the specific relationship between design and politics.