Board of Trustees

Conference room with an oval table with approximately 20 people in front of open laptops
Meeting of the Board of Trustees in June 2022 (Photo: Philip Bartz for Volkswagen Foundation)
The Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees. Each of the Trustees, seven of whom are nominated by the Federal Government of Germany and seven by the Government of the State of Lower Saxony, is appointed for a term of five years and may be reappointed once. In making its decisions, the Board of Trustees is bound solely to the statutes of the Volkswagen Foundation.

Björn Thümler
Member of the German Bundesrat, formerly Minister of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony (Nov. 2017-2022)
(Photo: MWK/

Professor Dr. Hans Michael Heinig
(Vice Chairperson)
Chair for Public Law and Ecclesiastical Law, University of Göttingen

Bettina Stark-Watzinger
(Vice Chairperson)
Federal Minister for Education and Research

Professor Dr. Thomas Carell
Professor of Organic Chemistry, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich

Professorin Dr. Vanessa Miriam Carlow
Head of Institute for Sustainable Urbanism, TU Braunschweig

Professor Dr. Cornelia Denz
President of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, the National Metrology Institute of Germany; Professor of Experimental Physics and Gender Research in Physics

Professorin Dr. Claudia Eckert
Managing Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security (AISEC); Chair of IT Security, Technical University of Munich

Professorin Dr. Christine Falk
Director of the Institut for Transplantation Immunology, Hannover Medical School (MHH), Hannover

Professor Dr. Jens Martin Gurr
Chair in British and Anglophone Literature and Culture at the University of Duisburg-Essen

Elke Hannack
Vice President of the German Confederation of Trade Unions
(Foto: DGB/Simone M. Neumann)

Professor Dr. Sebastian Lehnhoff
Professor for Energy Informatics at the University of Oldenburg, Chairman of the Board of OFFIS e.V.

Professor Dr. Peter Schrijver
Chair for Celtic languages and culture, Utrecht University

Hiltrud Werner
former Member of the Management Board, Volkswagen Group, Integrity and Legal Affairs

Professor Dr. Birgitta Wolff
Rectorate, University of Wuppertal, Wuppertal
(Foto: Uwe Dettmar)