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.

Dr. Regina Betz
joined Oeko-Institut’s Committee in 2014. She is Senior Lecturer for energy and environmental economics at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW). Prior to this, she taught environmental economics and the economics of climate change at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia, where she was also Co-director of the Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets (CEEM). From 1998 to 2004 she was a Research Fellow at the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (FhG ISI) in Germany.

Vanessa Cook
has been a member of the Committee as staff representative of the Berlin office since 2013. She works as specialist translator for the Energy and Climate 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.

Dr. Georg Mehlhart
has been a member of the Committee as staff representative of the Darmstadt office since 2015. He is a scientist working in the Resources & Transport Division.

Thomas Rahner
became a member of Oeko-Institut Committee in 2011. Rahner is a lawyer specialised in administrative law, 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.

Michael Sailer
is CEO of the Oeko-Institut and member of the Committee ex officio. His main fields of work include reactor safety and waste management. A chemical engineer, he is a member of several commissions and committees, including (1999 - 2014) the German Environment Ministry's Reactor Safety Commission and (since June 2008) German Environment Ministry's Nuclear Waste Management Commission (ESK).

Tobias Schleicher
has been a member of the Committee as staff representative of the Freiburg headoffice since 2014. He is a scientist working in the Sustainable Products & Material Flows Division.

Kathleen Spilok
is a freelance science journalist who specializes in matters relating to the environment, energy and future technologies. She chairs meetings including those of Oeko-Institut’s Advisory Board and organizes and runs writing workshops for technicians, evaluators and researchers. She holds a degree in Chemical Engineering and was previously employed by the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) as a Technical Specialist. At UBA she also worked on the German Bundestag’s Enquete Commission on the Protection of Humanity and the Environment and was project leader for a number of projects. She became a member of Oeko-Institut’s Committee in 2010

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.

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.