Prof. dr. Talja Blokland (1971) studied sociology at the Erasmus University Rotterdam and was a PhD student in social sciences at the Amsterdam School for Social Research from 1994 to 1997, and at the New School University in 1996. After her PhD, she was a visiting scholar at Yale University and Manchester University. She worked briefly as a lecturer at the Sociology department of the University of Manchester before returning to Holland as a Fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of the Arts and Sciences (1999-2003). She was then appointed as part-time Gradus Hendriks Professor in Community Development at Erasmus University and became a senior researcher and program director at the OTB Institute for Urban, Housing and Mobility Studies at the Delft University of Technology where she remains affiliated as a visitor. Blokland was a member of the RMO (Council for Social Development), from 2004-2008 where she chaired the advisory committee on ethnic integration policies. She came to Humboldt-University to be appointed on the Chair of Urban and Regional Sociology on February 1st, 2009.