Gert Oostindie is director of KITLV and professor of colonial and postcolonial history at Leiden University. He is presently directing the government-funded research program on 'Decolonization, vilence and war in Indonesia, 1945-1950' and two NWO-funded programss 'Confronting Caribbean challenges' and 'Traveling Caribbean Heritage'.

Oostindie studied History and Social Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (cum laude, 1982), and obtained his PhD at Utrecht University (cum laude, 1989). He has been awarded many research grants and fellowships, served on editorial, scholarly and governmental committees both in the Netherlands and abroad, and is a frequent contributor to the Dutch mass media on his areas of expertise. Since 2006, he has held the chair as Professor of Caribbean History at Leiden University; between 1993 and 2006, he was Professor of the Anthropology and Sociology of the Caribbean at Utrecht University.

Oostindie’s principal areas of research have been comparative Caribbean studies and Dutch colonial history. He published and edited, mainly in English or Dutch, over 25 books and authored a large number of articles on the colonial history and decolonization of the Dutch Caribbean; on history, ethnicity and migration in the Caribbean and Latin America in general; on Atlantic slavery and its legacies; and on postcolonial migrations and the significance of colonial history to Dutch national identity.