Committee

Oeko-Institut (Institute for Applied Ecology) is a registered non-profit association. It comprises all active members, whereby staff automatically receive the status of an active member. The Members' Meeting elects the seven external members of the Committee on an honorary basis by secret ballot, for a term of two years. The following also have voting rights on the Committee in addition to the Committee members: A representative of the extended management, the CEO, and one staff representative from each of the institute’s three offices – Freiburg, Darmstadt and Berlin.

The Committee appoints the CEO and the Members of the Executive Board, the divisional heads and the chair of the Committee. The Committee heads the association, transferring tasks to the Executive Board and the extended management.

The current members of the Committee are

Dorothea Michaelsen-Friedlieb
First Chair of the Committee
works as a business consultant for non-profit organizations and has been a member of the Committee since 1996. She has a particular commitment to personnel issues, and is the Committee’s women’s officer.

Ulrike Schell
Second Chair of the Committee
has been working at the Consumer Association of North Rhine-Westphalia (Verbraucherzentrale NRW) since the mid-1980s. She is currently head of its Food and Environment Division and is responsible, amongst other things, for the planning and implementation of environmental and climate protection and resource conservation projects. As a member of the advisory committee for the "Social-ecological research" programme at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), her focus is most notably on research projects relating to sustainability and consumption.

Ulrike Schell was previously a member of Oeko-Institut Committee from 1986 to 1990 and re-joined it in 2011.

Sebastian Backhaus
is Head of the Sustainability Management Unit at the City of Freiburg. Previously, he was a freelance communications consultant and sustainability expert based in Berlin and assisted ministries, local authorities, organisations and enterprises in all matters relating to communications, public relations and sustainable development. The texts he publishes in his blog were recognised by the German Commission for UNESCO as a project within the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.

Dr. Martin Cames
has represented the extended management of the institute on the Committee since 2021. He is Head of the Energy & Climate Division for Berlin.

Dr. Susanne Dröge
is a Senior Fellow of the Global Issues Research Division at Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs). She became a member of the Oeko-Institut’s Committee in 2020, having already been a member of its Advisory Board since 2010. Her research focuses on international climate negotiations, international trade and climate policy, and the security policy implications of climate change. Key topics of her work include emissions trading and the European Union’s Green Deal. She also sits on the Executive Committee of the German Protestant Kirchentag, on the Board of Trustees of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and on the Development Service and Humanitarian Aid Committee of Bread for the World (Brot für die Welt).

Clara Löw
has been a member of the Committee as staff representative of the Freiburg headoffice since 2021. She is a scientist working in the Sustainable Products & Material Flows Division.

Dr. Roman Mendelevitch
has been a member of the Committee as staff representative of the Berlin office since 2021. He works as a researcher for the Energy & Climate Division.

Thomas Rahner
became a member of Oeko-Institut Committee in 2011. Rahner is a lawyer, who focuses most notably on environmental, building, planning and municipal law. From 1994 to 2005 he was mayor of Biebesheim in southern Hesse. He has also gathered many years of experience in committees, having previously served, for example, on the committee of a waste management company and on the supervisory board of a housing construction cooperative.

Wolfgang Renneberg
Wolfgang Renneberg has worked in various nuclear regulatory authorities at national and state (Land) level since 1987. From 1999, he was a Director-General in Germany’s Federal Environment Ministry (BMU), with lead responsibility for the nuclear phase-out. From 2010, he worked as an appraiser and expert on nuclear safety and published numerous specialist reports and opinions. In 2012, he was appointed to a professorship at the University for Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna, heading the Institute of Safety and Risk Sciences until 2015. He has been a member of the Austrian Government’s National Advisory Council on Nuclear Waste Management since March 2021.

Jan Peter Schemmel
is CEO of the Oeko-Institut and member of the Committee ex officio.

Christof Timpe
has represented the extended management of the institute on the Committee since 2009. He is Head of the Energy & Climate Division for Freiburg and Darmstadt.

Inse Warich
has been a member of the Committee as staff representative of the Darmstadt office since 2020. She works as an assistant for the Environmental Law & Governance Division.

Prof. Dr. Volrad Wollny
Volrad Wollny joined Oeko-Institut’s Committee in 2014. Since 2001 he has been Professor for “General Economics and Material Flow Management” at the Fachhochschule Mainz (University of Applied Sciences in Mainz, Germany). His research and teaching focuses on corporate management, strategic management, supply chain management and environmental management. From 1990 to 2001 he was employed by Oeko-Institut as a researcher and from 1992 to 1994 he was head of the chemical sciences division.