Meet Christine Reh, Dean of Graduate Programmes.
Get to know Christine Reh, our new Dean of Graduate Programmes and learn about her role at the Hertie School and her goals for the coming year. Since 1 September, the school has had a new leadership structure, governed academically by President Henrik Enderlein and three Deans - Dean of Graduate Programmes Christine Reh, Dean of Research and Faculty Mark Hallerberg and Dean of Executive Education Andrea Römmele, alongside Managing Director Axel Baisch. The new leadership will guide our growth in the coming years – the addition of five new Centres of Competence, a Data Lab and the hiring of over a dozen new professors, thanks to the generous support of the Hertie School’s main funder, the Hertie Foundation.
What does a Dean of Graduate Programmes do?
In a nutshell, it is my role to work on what we teach, who we teach, how we teach, and what we can do to support our students’ learning, inside and outside the classroom. I am also involved with our international partnerships. As a Professor of European Politics, I research and teach on the European Union’s institutions, legitimacy and politicisation.
What are your goals for graduate programmes in the coming years?
I just joined the Hertie School in September 2018 and I am now exploring what ideas my previous experience can contribute to optimising our graduate programmes. To me, the Hertie School’s aim of training tomorrow’s leaders is a much more daunting task in today’s world than when the school was founded. But if our students leave us as analytically skilled and normatively aware graduates, with a strong commitment to upholding civic and democratic values in their careers of choice, then our master’s programmes, and we as an institution, have delivered on this task.
Where are you from and how did you come to Berlin/the Hertie School?
I am originally from Mainz, but I grew up in Brussels and on the Rhine. I joined the Hertie School after spending almost 20 years abroad: in Bruges, Florence and London.
Who was your favourite teacher in graduate school?
Both were at the European University Institute in Florence: the political scientists Stefano Bartolini, who taught us to think comparatively, and Friedrich Kratochwil, who taught us to interrogate and challenge every mainstream argument.
What’s the best thing about Berlin? What’s something every student should do while they are here?
I love the relaxed and free feel of the city, the many bridges, the water everywhere, and Museum Island in particular. One of the most powerful sites for me is the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. It is a space that makes me experience German history and the dark side of Berlin physically.
What do you do in your spare time?
Hang out with my daughter and discover Berlin with her. If I find the time, I love going to the theatre, doing fitness boxing, and exploring the culinary city.
What is the most important thing you have learned from Hertie School students?
Our students have real drive, initiative and are full of ideas on how to make the Hertie School a better place. I look forward to teaching my first course this coming semester and to great debates in the classroom!
What is the best book you’ve read in the last year?
Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton. A great read for public policy students and scholars who are interested in constitutional politics, the making of the world’s most powerful political and financial system, principled debate, immigration, the art of political compromise (and its absence), and the (re-) writing of the history of the early United States.
What’s at the top of your wish list for 2019?
A European Parliament with a pro-European majority after the May 2019 elections.