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Sabine Kunst Elected President of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Current Minister of Science, Research and Culture of the state of Brandenburg will take up her post at HU at the start of the 2016 summer semester

Foto: Mark Wagner

Sabine Kunst
Figure: Mark Wagner

The Board of Trustees of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) has appointed Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. Sabine Kunst on Jan 19, 2016 as the new president. She is likely to take up her post at the start of the summer semester. Sabine Kunst is currently the Minister of Science, Research and Culture of the state of Brandenburg, and also chairs the Administrative Commission of the German Council of Science and Humanities, Germany's most important science policy advisory body, where she is also the coordinator of the federal state representatives on the Council. The internationally renowned university professor and politician has extensive experience in the fields of science and research and also in the development of academic institutions and structures.

"I am grateful for the confidence placed in me," says Sabine Kunst. "I am looking forward to working for the Humboldt-Universität, and to mastering the upcoming challenges together with all those who intend to advance this illustrious university even further. Thanks to its excellent teaching and research, the Humboldt-Universität is already of huge importance for the future development of the German capital. In a joint effort with Berlin's other universities and research institutions, I intend to focus on making Berlin an even more renowned international science and research location. I would like to thank my predecessor, Mr Jan-Hendrik Olbertz, for the outstanding dedication he has shown to this historic university, and everyone else who is so committed to our institution."

The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU), Prof. Dr. Michael Seadle, said:

"I would like to congratulate Sabine Kunst on being elected President and hope that she is going achieve much at the Humboldt-Universität. The HU Board of Trustees appointed Ms Kunst because it is convinced that she will develop Humboldt-Universität further over the next five years, and will turn it into an even stronger community of students, lecturers and employees.

Prof. Dr. Rolf Emmermann, Chairman of the HU University Senate, emphasised:

"With Sabine Kunst, the Humboldt-Universität has chosen a widely-acknowledged academic and excellent university manager with wide-ranging science policy experience. I am delighted that we have been so fortunate as to gain her for this position."

The current President, Prof. Dr. Jan-Hendrik Olbertz, also congratulated his successor:

"Sabine Kunst is an excellent choice for this position; I am certain that she will successfully continue the path pursued by the current governing body, to maintain the Humboldt-Universität's teaching and research excellence." Jan-Hendrik Olbertz will stay on as the President of the HU until Sabine Kunst is free to take on her new role.

Prior to her ministerial appointment in February 2011, she was the President of the University of Potsdam for four years. Previously, Sabine Kunst, who has a PhD in engineering and also in political science, held various executive positions at the University of Hannover, including Director of International Affairs and Vice President for Teaching and Academic Programmes.

First Female President of the German Academic Exchange Service

From 2010 to 2011, Sabine Kunst was the first female President of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the largest international academic exchange organisation. In 2010, she won the "Hochschulmanagerin des Jahres" award for university head of the year. In 2013, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the American Jewish University Los Angeles. Potsdam offers the only Jewish theological science course in Germany.

In October 2013, Sabine Kunst was also appointed President of the Deutsches Nationalkomitee für Denkmalschutz, Germany's national historic building conservation council, an umbrella organisation where the national and the regional governments, local communities, churches, professional associations, societies and other institutions and civic initiatives jointly address historic building and monument conservation.

Further information

Interview with Sabine Kunst

Press contact

Hans-Christoph Keller
Spokesman of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Head of Press and Public Relations Office
Tel.: +49 (0)30 2093-2946