Irene was born and raised in the Netherlands, and has worked in libraries and education for over 20 years. She has a worldwide resume, having spent 11 years sailing around the world with her husband.

Irene worked in New Zealand co-developing an online course for teachers in the LMS Moodle, with social constructivism being the main thrust. In Thailand, she taught English as a Foreign Language, sometimes to Buddhist monks. During her time on the Dutch Island of Bonaire, Irene transformed all face-to-face courses for the Teachers College into online courses in the LMS Blackboard, emphasizing blended learning. Additionally, she was Flexible Learning Advisor and taught a variety of courses.

Prior to her sailing adventure, Irene was employed in Curaçao where she was a developer of corporate training programs and a corporate trainer. She also taught teachers in elementary and high schools new pedagogies and cooperative learning. While working with the Department of Education, she managed the upgrading of all vocational schools, overseeing a budget of 10 million Euros.

Irene resides in New Brunswick, Canada. She is a passionate runner, having completed a marathon in South Africa and many half-marathons, including the “Hypothermic Half- Marathon” (in PEI, in February). She is a voracious reader, inveterate (land) traveler, and a lifelong vegetarian. She speaks Dutch, English, Papiamentu, Spanish and German.