Board of Trustees

During a board meeting in Hannover
Meeting of the Board of Trustees in April 2018 (Foto: Michael Löwa 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
Minister of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony
(Photo: MWK/

Anja Karliczek
(Vice Chairperson)
former Federal Minister of Education and Research (2018-2021)
(Photo: BMBF)

Professor Dr. Stefan Treue
(Vice Chairperson)
Director of the German Primate Center, Göttingen

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

Professor Dr. Cornelia Denz
Director of the Institute of Applied Physics, WWU Münster; 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

Professor Dr.-Ing Heinz Jörg Fuhrmann
Chairperson of the Executive Board of the Salzgitter AG, Salzgitter

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

Professor Dietmar Harhoff, Ph.D.
Director at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition; Honorary Professor at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich

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

Professor Dr. Jürgen Osterhammel
Distinguished Fellow, Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS)

Professor Dr. Beate Söntgen
Professor of Art History, Leuphana University Lüneburg

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

Professor Dr. Birgitta Wolff
former President of the Goethe University Frankfurt (2015-2020)
(Foto: Uwe Dettmar)