I am an Assistant Professor in Public Administration at the School of Governance, Utrecht University. I work on issues relating to the accountability of semi-autonomous agencies, public sector reforms and effects thereof. I focus in particular on cultural and scientific organizations. I have published articles in Governance, Public Administration, Public Management Review, and International Review of Administrative Sciences.



Assitant Professor 
February 2016 - present


Utrecht School of Governance, Utrecht University


I study the governance and accountability of semi-autonomous executive agencies. I work in the project Calibrating Public Accountability, coordinated by dr Thomas Schillemans.


I teach methods and statistics (BA) and supervise MA theses.


Doctoral Candidate
January 2012 - December 2015


Radboud University, Nijmegen School of Management


In my PhD thesis, I study the effects of public sector reform, and in particular the effects of agencification.


My advisors are Prof. Sandra van Thiel and dr Marieke van Genugten.


I have taught classes on comparative public administration (MA) and the use of quantitative methods in comparative analysis (BA). I also supervised MA theses.



Research Intern

​September 2011 - December 2011


Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR)


I studied trends and developments in government regulation and supervision. This was part of a study into regulation and supervision by the Dutch government. The final council report is found here, with an English summary here (pdf).


Visiting Researcher
January ​2011 - March 2011


École Nationale d'Administration (France)


I conducted a comparative study into resistance to reforms in semi-autonomous agencies in the Netherlands and France. This included conducting interviews with French and Dutch civil servants and agency officials.


Research Intern

​September 2011 - December 2011


Netherlands Court of Audit 


I studied the history of public foundations by the Dutch government. This was part of a larger study into public foundations. The final Court of Audit report (in Dutch) can be found here.


Public Management Reform

Semi-Autonomous Agencies

Quantitative Methods



Radboud University, Nijmegen (NL)
2012 - 2015


PhD in Public Administration. Dissertation: Great Expectations of Autonomous Agencies.


Utrecht University, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Tilburg University (NL)
​2009 - 2011


MSc in Public Administration and Organizational Science (research master). Thesis: Resisting Governmental Control: How Semi-Autonomous Agencies Use Strategic Resources to Challenge State Coordination.


Radboud University, Nijmegen (NL)
2005 - 2009


BSc in Public Administration. Thesis: Public Foundations, Panacea for All Problems?


T: +31 30 253 97 64


s.p.overman [at]

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