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Head of department at the Danish Environmental Protection Agency to be the new director of DCE - Danish Centre for Environment and Energy

In the new year, 48-year-old Maria Sommer Holtze will take over as the director of DCE. She has ten years’ experience from the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, where she had special focus on pesticides.

Photo: Jakob Kjøller

DCE will gain a highly qualified leader when Maria Sommer Holtze becomes the new director on 1 February 2024. She originally trained as a biologist, but she wrote her PhD dissertation at GEUS on pesticide leaching into the groundwater.

She has worked at the Danish Environmental Protection Agency for almost ten years – first as an administrative officer and the last 4½ years as a head of department. Before the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, she worked in the private sector for a few years. And before that, she worked on research at GEUS.

Maria Sommer Holtze is looking forward to starting at DCE; a place she has always respected professionally.

 “I know DCE from way back when it was called DMU and was a sister organisation to GEUS. I’ve always followed DCE from the sidelines and admired the great professionalism there. I will therefore start at DCE in February with a slight sense of awe,” she says.

She believes that, with her background in research at the Danish Environmental Protection Agency and at private companies, she can help develop and secure the breadth of the DCE.

“I’m very much looking forward to be sitting on the other side of the table than what I’m used to. And it'll be great to be close to the research environments again.”

Ole Hertel, vice-dean for public sector consultancy and business collaboration at the Faculty of Technical Sciences, is delighted with the choice of the new director for DCE.

"Maria comes to TECH with strong academic competencies that fit perfectly into DCE and at the same time span towards the DCA area. She has good management experience, as well as in-depth knowledge of the political-administrative system at the Danish Ministry of Environment thanks to her years as a head of department. She also has strong focus on personnel management, and she’s a talented networker. I'm sure Maria will be a great asset to DCE as well as to TECH," he says.

Maria Sommer Holtze takes over from Vibeke Vestergaard Nielsen, who has skilfully filled the role as acting director since the beginning of 2023.

Maria Sommer Holtze has three children aged 10, 14 and 16. She lives on Amager.