Leadership 2018/19

© 2016 John Harrington

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Advisory Board

Till Brönner

Jazz Musician

Full Bio

Till Brönner is Germany’s leading jazz trumpeter. His first album, "Generations of Jazz", with Ray Brown, Jeff Hamilton, Frank Chastenier and Grégoire Peters, was released in 1993. From then on he played with international greats such as Dave Brubeck, Tony Bennett, among others. Brönner also composed and produced albums for Hildegard Kned and Mark Murphy and he wrote several soundtracks. Brönner’s eighteen studio albums have repeatedly reached gold status. Since 2009, he has been teaching jazz trumpet at the College of Music Carl Maria von Weber in Dresden.

Dr. Karen Donfried

President, German Marshall Fund of the United States

Full Bio

Dr. Karen Donfried is the President of the German Marshall Fund. Before assuming her current role in 2014, she served at the National Security Council as a Special Assistant to the President of the United States and Senior Director for European Affairs. She is a senior fellow at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Council on Germany, and WEF’s Europe Policy Group. Donfried holds a PhD and MALD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a Magister from the University of Munich, Germany. She received the Cross of the Order of Merit from the German Government in 2011 and received a Superior Honor Award from the U.S. Department of State in 2005 for her contribution to revitalizing the transatlantic partnership.

Deborah Feldman


Full Bio

Deborah Feldman was born and raised in the Hasidic community of Satmar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. At the age of 25 she published the New York Times Bestselling memoir, "Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots" and two years later she followed up with "Exodus, a memoir of post-religious alienation and identity". Deborah lives in Berlin, Germany, with her son.

Ute Frevert

Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society
Co-Director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin

Full Bio

Ute Frevert is a German historian. She is a specialist in modern and contemporary Germany, with an interest in social and gender history. She currently serves as the executive director of the Center for the History of Emotions at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. She is Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society. From 2003 to 2007, she was professor of German history at Yale University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Bielefeld in 1982, and was previously on the faculty of the Freie Universität of Berlin, and the University of Konstanz and of Bielefeld.

Cornelia Funke


Full Bio

Cornelia Funke studied book illustration in Hamburg. With over 26 million books sold worldwide, Cornelia Funke is one of the internationally most successful and best-known German children's book authors. She has been awarded numerous prizes for her books, including the most recent one in 2015, the Annette von Droste Hülshoff Prize and the Bavarian Book Prize. Cornelia Funke has written over 50 books translated into 50 languages. She lives in San Francisco.

Tina Hassel

ARD-Hauptstadtstudios, Berlin

Full Bio

Tina Hassel has been (WDR) studio director and editor-in-chief of television at the ARD capital studio since July 2015. She was born in Cologne and holds a master's degree in German, history and politics. From 1994 to 2001, Tina Hassel was ARD correspondent at the television studios in Paris and Brussels, before heading the programe group Europe and Abroad for ten years from 2002 as head of foreign affairs at WDR. From 2012 to 2015, the political journalist took over the management of the ARD studio in Washington.

Gesche Joost

Professor for Design Research
Berlin University of the Arts

Full Bio

Gesche Joost is Professor for Design Research at the Berlin University of the Arts and since 2005 heading the Design Research Lab. With international partners, she conducts research and development projects in the areas of human-computer-interaction, wearable computing, as well as user-centered design and participation. Since 2016, she is Research Director for Interactive Textiles at DFKI, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence.

Daniel Kehlmann

Novelist and Playwright

Full Bio

Daniel Kehlmann was born in Munich in 1975 and lives in Vienna and Berlin. His works have won the Candide Prize, the Literature Prize of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Doderer Prize, the Kleist Prize, the WELT Literature Prize and the Thomas Mann Prize. His previous novel "Measuring the World" was translated in more than 40 foreign languages and is one of the biggest successes in post-war German literature.

Wolfgang Ketterle

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Full Bio

Wolfgang Ketterle is a German physicist and professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His research has focused on experiments that trap and cool atoms to temperatures close to absolute zero, and he led one of the first groups to realize Bose–Einstein condensation in these systems in 1995. For this achievement, as well as early fundamental studies of condensates, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001, together with Eric Allin Cornell and Carl Wieman.

Michael Naumann


Full Bio

Michael Naumann is director of the Barenboim-Said Academy. Between 1985 and 1995 he was publisher and CEO of the German publishing company „Rowohlt“. From 1995 on he was head of the New York based publisher Henry Holt. In 1998 he was appointed commissioner for cultural affairs in the federal government of Germany. Between 2001 and 2010 he was chief-editor, then publisher–editor of the German weekly „Die Zeit“.

Heike Paul

Professor of American Literature Studies

Full Bio

Heike Paul holds the chair of American Studies at Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg and is director of the Bavarian American Academy (BAA) in Munich. In 2018, she has received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz-Prize of the German Research Foundation. She has taught at various German, European, and US universities (among them Harvard, Dartmouth College and Zurich University).

Ursula M. Staudinger

Professor of Sociomedical Sciences/Psychology
Columbia University

Full Bio

Ursula M. Staudinger is a psychologist and aging researcher. She is one of the world’s leading lifespan psychologists and is known for her work on the positive plasticity of aging (cognition, personality) as well as her research on resilience and on wisdom. She is Professor of Sociomedical Sciences and of Psychology at Columbia University and was the Founding Director of the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center (2013-2018).

Erwin Tschirner

Universität Leipzig

Full Bio

Erwin Tschirner (Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley) is Gerhard Helbig Professor of German as a Foreign Language and Applied Linguistics at the University of Leipzig and President of the Institute for Test Research and Test Development in Leipzig, Germany. Before joining the University of Leipzig, he taught at the University of Iowa, Iowa City (1990-1998) and at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1988-1990).

Joseph Vogl

Humboldt University, Berlin

Full Bio

Joseph Vogl is a German philosopher who has written on literature, culture and media. He is Professor of Modern German Literature, Literary, Media and Cultural Studies at the Humboldt University of Berlin and he is currently Permanent Visiting Professor at the Department of German at Princeton University.

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