Secretary General

Dr. phil. Wilhelm Krull, Secretary General (photo: Dennis Börsch)
Dr. phil. Wilhelm Krull, Secretary General (photo: Dennis Börsch)

Since 1996, Dr. Wilhelm Krull has been running the Volkswagen Foundation – following his studies in German, philosophy, education and politics, an appointment as a DAAD lecturer at the University of Oxford, and leading positions at the Wissenschaftsrat (German Science Council) and at the headquarters of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (Max Planck Society). Besides his professional activities in science policy as well as in the promotion and funding of research, he was and still is a member of numerous national, foreign and international committees.  

At present he is the Chairman of the Board of the Foundation Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, a member of the Scientific Advisory Commission of the State of Lower Saxony and of the Board of Regents of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry in Munich, the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam and Hanover, as well as further Max Planck Institutes in Potsdam and Radolfzell.

In 2004/05, he was member of a commission of experts for the evaluation of the Science Foundation Ireland. In 2005, he chaired the founding committee for the new Academy of the Sciences in Hamburg. Together with a commission of leading personalities in the German higher education system, and closely connected with the German Initiative on Excellence to be launched in the same year he formulated a framework for a future-oriented higher education and research system in Germany. Since then Dr. Krull has been chairing several boards and committees in Germany and abroad, among them the Board of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) in 2010-12, the Evaluation Panel for the Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF) in 2013, and currently the Panel for the Evaluation of the Danish Independent Research Council (DFF). Since 2011 he has been a member of the International Advisory Board of the University of Helsinki, and since 2012 a member of the Research, Innovation, and Enterprise Council (RIEC) of the Prime Minister of Singapore. In 2015, he was appointed a member of the Senior Advisory Group of the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC).

Wilhelm Krull devotes himself to the furtherance of foundations on the national and international level. From 2003 to 2005, he was Chairman of the Hague Club, an association of some 25 major European Foundations and from 2006 to 2008 he chaired the Governing Council of the European Foundation Centre. From 2008 to 2014, Wilhelm Krull was Chairman of the Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen (Association of German Foundations).

In the recent past, Dr. Krull received the following distinctions: In 2001, he was honored with the Leibniz-Medal of the Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz, in 2007, he received the Swedish Order of the Polar Star, in 2009, he was appointed Honorary Senator of the University of Konstanz, and in 2010, he received the State Award of Lower Saxony. In June 2012, Dr. Krull was awarded an honorary professorship by the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at Washington University, St. Louis.