Janet Merkel joined the Centre for Cultural Policy at the Hertie School of Governance in February 2013. She studied social sciences at Berlin’s Humboldt University where she finished her PhD on “Creativity and the city. Role, effects, and forms of public-private coordination in urban development for the promotion of the creative industries.” in urban sociology in 2012. From 2008-2013, she was a research fellow at the WZB’s research unit ‘Cultural Sources of Newness’. Her work focuses on the mutual relationships and interdependencies between creativity and urban spaces. Before her academic career, she worked for eight years as a freelancer in the fields of search engine optimization, online marketing and web development for several companies and internet startups.