Press release
23.02.2024

Annette Schavan becomes the new Chair of the Hertie Foundation

The former politician will succeed Frank-J. Weise from 1 April 2024. Management consultant Frank Mattern will be the new Deputy Chair on the Executive Board.

Annette Schavan, former Federal Minister for Education and Research, will become the new Chair of the Executive Board of the non-profit Hertie Foundation on 1 April 2024. She succeeds Frank-J. Weise, who will officially hand over the position on 31 March after having served ten years. Frank Mattern, independent management consultant and member of the Supervisory Board, will take over as Deputy Chair. Also new to the Board are Sascha Spoun, President of Leuphana University Lüneburg, and Karl von Rohr, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DWS Group GmbH & Co KGaA. 

As a member of the founding family, Dr Sabine Gräfin von Norman remains on the Board of the Hertie Foundation. Bernd Knobloch, Rainer Neske and Gordon Riske have left the Board. 

Annette Schavan brings many years of experience from her former role in the German federal government. Among other things, she was Minister of Education, Youth and Sport in Baden-Württemberg, Federal Minister of Education and Research, and German Ambassador to the Holy See in Rome. 

Annette Schavan: "Hertie Foundation is doing important pioneering work" 

"The Hertie Foundation is a strong voice in the foundation landscape in Germany. Its funding priorities are internationally recognised. This applies to outstanding initiatives in brain research as well as the debating competition Jugend debattiert, the Hertie School, and projects to strengthen democracy. The Hertie Foundation is doing important pioneering work – now more important than ever. I am looking forward to my new role and would like to thank the members of the committees for their trust," said Annette Schavan about her new position. 

Frank-J. Weise on the new Executive Board: "I congratulate Ms Schavan and Mr Mattern on their new roles. Two experienced, competent and very well-connected personalities are taking over the leadership and will be able to provide an important impetus for the further development of the Foundation's topics. At the same time, I would like to thank the departing members and especially Bernd Knobloch, who, as my deputy, has helped shape the fortunes of the Foundation for many years and has been a very valuable partner to me." 

Cornelia Woll, President of the Hertie School, on the new appointments: "Congratulations to the new members of the Hertie Foundation Board! We are very much looking forward to working together, especially with the new chairpersons Ms Schavan and Mr Mattern, and are convinced that they will fulfil their new roles with competence, foresight and commitment. We are grateful for the very good and trusting cooperation with Mr Weise and Mr Knobloch, who have promoted and shaped the Hertie School’s development for a decade." 

There have also been changes to the Board of Trustees of the Hertie Foundation: Hans-Jörg Vetter has stepped down as Chair, Dr h.c. André Schmitz-Schwarzkopf, Chair of the Schwarzkopf Foundation, has succeeded him. His deputy is Prof. Dr Dr Andreas Barner, former CEO of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG.  

The Hertie Foundation: Founder and partner of the Hertie School  

The Hertie School was founded in 2003 by the Hertie Foundation, which has remained its main funder ever since. The work of the Hertie Foundation focusses on two main themes: exploring the brain and strengthening democracy. The foundation's projects aim to stimulate research within these areas, consistently keeping in focus people and the concrete improvement of their living conditions. The non-profit Hertie Foundation was founded in 1974 by the heirs of businessman Georg Karg and is today one of the largest ideologically independent and entrepreneurially unaffiliated foundations in Germany. The name "Hertie" goes back to Hermann Tietz, co-founder of the department stores' group of the same name at the end of the 19th century.  

Further information on the Hertie Foundation and its history can be found on the Foundation’s website.  

Further information on the founding and development of the Hertie School can be found on the webpage Our Story.  

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