Dr. van der Ziel is retired OBGYN. She has been active in the peace and justice movement for decades. She is a Town Meeting member in Brookline, Massachusetts and a member of the Commission for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Relations in Brookline. She is also a member of the Board of Brookline Quezalquague Sister City Project, helping to initiate and staff public health projects in that community. Recently, she became a volunteer contact tracer for COVID-19 for the Town of Brookline. Dr. van der Ziel has been working mainly on the issue of nuclear weapons abolition, one of the 2 existential threats to humanity, in effort to ensure a viable future for not only her family but all of humanity.