Press release

Ruth Ditlmann joins the Hertie School as Professor of Social Psychology, recipient of the Volkswagen Foundation's Lichtenberg Professorship

A social psychologist, her interdisciplinary research focuses on integration, peace-building and national identity.

Ruth Ditlmann has joined the faculty of the Hertie School as Professor of Social Psychology and as a recipient of the Lichtenberg Professorship funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. The professorship, awarded by the foundation to only a small number of scholars each year, supports innovative research, often in high-risk subject areas. 

Ditlmann’s research focuses on how intergroup contact can promote integration and peace-building, and on the psychology of national identity. Her interdisciplinary approach aligns with the mandate of the Professorship and teaching at the Hertie School. 

“We are so pleased that such an accomplished researcher like Ruth Ditlmann will join us at the Hertie School, and we are looking forward to her strengthening our growing faculty,” says Mark Hallerberg, Deputy President.

Ditlmann has worked for many years with civil society organisations on projects that encourage different groups to engage with each other and which promote democratic values, often through sports such as basketball and football. In her research, she tries to understand the conditions that can lead to transferring these values to individual lives and ultimately to positive change in society.

“I am looking forward to joining the Hertie School as a full-time faculty member and am particularly excited about joining such outstanding colleagues,” Ditlmann says. “One of my goals is to share insights from psychology and the behavioural sciences with our students and figure out how to apply them responsibly to the most pressing of public policy problems, together.”

Ditlmann received her PhD from Yale University and was a Research Affiliate at Columbia University in New York. From 2012 to 2020, she was a Research Fellow at the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) in the Migration, Integration and Transnationalization unit and from 2014 to 2015 a Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University in the Department of Psychology and Social Policy. She has authored many publications in leading journals in social psychology.

She gained non-academic experience as an impact analyst at PHINEO gAG, an independent, non-profit analysis and consulting institute for effective social engagement.

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Views expressed by the author/interviewee may not necessarily reflect the views and values of the Hertie School.