General Assembly voted new members Dr. Barbara Praetorius and Nadia vom Scheidt onto the Committee


The Committee of the Öko-Institut has two new members: last Saturday, 27 June, the General Assembly elected Dr. Barbara Praetorius and Nadia vom Scheidt to serve on the Institute’s decision-making body for two years. Serving Committee members Nicola Moczek and Franz Untersteller stood for re-election at the same General Assembly. Both were returned to office for a further two-year term.

“I would like to play a part in successfully raising the profile and guiding the strategic direction of scientific policy consulting at the Öko-Institut,” said Dr. Barbara Praetorius, explaining her reasons for standing. “The Institute has been making its mark on the research scene for over 30 years, and doing so with growing success and discernible influence,” said the 44-year-old scientist. Since October 2008 Dr. Barbara Praetorius has worked for the German Association of Local Utilities (Verband kommunaler Unternehmen, VKU), where she is responsible for the Strategy & Energy Sector Policy Division. An economist and political scientist, she previously spent many years working in climate and energy research and in policy consulting at the German Institute for Economic Research (Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, DIW).

From 2002 to 2008, Dr. Barbara Praetorius led the interdisciplinary research group TIPS, on sustainable Transformation and Innovation in Power Systems, which involved cooperation with the Öko-Institut. She took her doctorate at the Otto Suhr Institute at Freie Universität Berlin. She still undertakes regular adjunct lecturing there and at Humboldt University, Berlin.

“The Institute’s objectives of promoting sustainable development and an environmentally and socially sustainable way of life are in tune with my convictions and my vision of society,” were the reasons stated by Nadia vom Scheidt for her candidacy. “I have experience at national, European and international level in public administration and within a range of organizational structures, which I would like to contribute to the Institute’s continuing development in the hope of promoting innovative and participatory environmental policy,” said the 37-year-old. After studying History, Political Science and Public Law in Giessen and Bordeaux, in 2000/2001 Nadia vom Scheidt completed the Robert Bosch Foundation’s Postgraduate Program in International Affairs (‘Stiftungskolleg für internationale Aufgaben’). She is a qualified mediator and was seconded to the European Commission from 2005 to 2008 as a national expert on human resources policy.

Nicola Moczek is executive director of the German Geothermal Association (Geothermische Vereinigung – Bundesverband Geothermie, GtV-BV). For the previous five years she was executive director of the youth wing (BUNDjugend) of Friends of the Earth Germany (Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland, BUND). She has served on the Committee since June 2005, where she has particularly supported implementation of the “Members” and “Advisory Board” elements of the Institute’s mission. As an environmental psychologist, she hopes to continue as a strong advocate of consumer advice and communication with the public, particularly in the areas of risk perception and everyday behaviour, and to contribute her experience from the field of organizational development.

Franz Untersteller – a qualified landscape planner and long-time parliamentary consultant to the Baden-Württemberg Landtag (regional state parliament) – has been an elected member of parliament at the Baden-Württemberg Landtag since March 2006. He is deputy leader of the regional parliamentary Green party and its spokesperson on energy policy. He has been a member of the Öko-Institut Committee since May 2003, where he has been responsible for the Infrastructure & Enterprises Division. Franz Untersteller was an adjunct lecturer at Nürtingen University of Applied Sciences, and as a Heinrich Böll Foundation scholarship holder he took part in a two-year exchange programme with the Washington Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP).

Two outgoing members of the Committee, Anja Köhne and Hanne Tügel, did not seek re-election.

The Öko-Institut is organized as a non-profit association with around 3000 members. Members of the Committee serve in an honorary capacity.

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Other news from the General Assembly will be included in the next edition of the eco@work magazine, to be published at the end of September.


Christiane Rathmann
Head of Public Relations & Communication Department
Öko-Institut e.V., Freiburg office
E-mail contact