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 General Assembly 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 a freelance communications consultant and sustainability expert based in Berlin. He assists 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. He is a member of the German Environment Ministry’s expert panel on environmental data and digitalisation, and sits on the advisory board of the German Federal Environmental Foundation’s project on digitalisation, digital communication and climate action.

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).

Dr. Nele Kamppfmeyer
has been a member of the Committee as staff representative of the Berlin office since 2017. She works as a researcher for the Environmental Law & Governance Division.

Prof. Dr. Gerald Kirchner
joined Oeko Institut’s Committee in 2015. He is Director of the Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker Centre for Science and Peace Research at the Universität Hamburg and has engaged in many cooperations with Oeko Institut in recent decades on problems associated with the use of nuclear energy.  His main areas of research include the further development of procedures for verifying nuclear and biological arms control agreements, radiation protection and nuclear emergency preparedness, the long-term safety of repositories and the risk and proliferative potentials of advanced nuclear reactor concepts.

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.

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.

Moritz Vogel
has been a member of the Committee as staff representative of the Freiburg headoffice since 2017. He is a scientist working in the Energy & Climate 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.