Boards and Committees

Lisa Maskell
Founding member of the Foundation, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees from 1976 to 1998

Lisa Maskell, maiden name Elisabeth Henkel, (born 1914; died 1998) set up the Gerda Henkel Foundation in June 1976 in memory of her mother as a non-profit foundation governed by private law based in Düsseldorf. Gerda Henkel came from a well-known Düsseldorf art family, the Janssens, and Lisa Maskell, a student of sculptor Ewald Mataré, had a great deal of affinity for the Arts and Cultural Studies. She dedicated her foundation to the promotion of the Humanities, particularly the Historical Sciences, History, Archaeology, Art History, Historical Islamic Studies and the History of Law.

Lisa Maskell was made an Honorary Member of the German Archaeological Institute. In 2003, an auditorium in the Faculty of Arts at Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf was named after her.

Lisa Maskell remained the chairperson of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees for more than 20 years and always closely followed the use of funds and the development of research activities. After her death in 1998, her eldest daughter Anette Petersen-Brandhorst was elected chairperson of the Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees appoints the members of the Academic Advisory Council and the Financial Committee, and appoints the Executive Board and monitors its management.

Members of the Board of Trustees are:
Julia Schulz-Dornburg, Chair
Prof Hans-Joachim Gehrke, Deputy Chair
Dr Carolin Emcke
Martin Kobler
Prof Ulrich Lehner
Andreas Schmitz

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Julia Schulz-Dornburg

Julia Schulz-Dornburg (born 1962) has been chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Gerda Henkel Foundation since 1999. After training in furniture design and cabinet making at the Makepeace School for Craftsmen in Wood in the UK, she studied Architecture at the Architectural Association in London. Since 1991 Julia Schulz-Dornburg has been working as an architect in Barcelona. Her output includes design and execution planning of architectural projects, exhibition design and light installation.

Julia Schulz-Dornburg has been awarded numerous prizes for her work. Some of the most significant are the Spanish FAD and the American AIA Award for the exhibition “Home Sweet Home” in 1997. She won another FAD Award in 2004 for the installation La Bossasona. In 2002, Julia Schulz-Dornburg was presented with the City of Barcelona Award for the “Cosmopolis – Borges and Buenos Aires” exhibition, and in the same year she received the Triennial Architecture Award of the Maresme for the house Can Rei in Tordera. In 2000, she published her book “Art & Architecture – New Affinities”, followed in 2012 by the book “Modern Ruins, a Topography of Profit”.

Prof Hans-Joachim Gehrke
Deputy Chair

Hans-Joachim Gehrke (born 1945) has been past President of the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin since March 2011, and since April 2011 has been Professor emeritus of Albert Ludwig University in Freiburg, as well as Director of Outreach at University College Freiburg. He is an Honorary Professor of Ancient History and Classical Philology at the Freie Universität Berlin and Honorary Professor of Ancient History at the Humboldt University in Berlin.

Previously, Hans-Joachim Gehrke was tenured Professor of Ancient History at Freiburg University between 1987 and 2008. He completed his studies in History, Classical Philology, Philosophy and Pedagogy in 1973 with a doctorate at the University of Göttingen, where he subsequently worked as a research assistant until becoming a junior professor in 1982. From 1982 to 1984 Hans-Joachim Gehrke held a professorship in Würzburg, and from 1984 to 1987 he was a tenured professor at the Freie Universität Berlin. In the years 1991 to 1993 he worked as a guest professor at the Humboldt University of Berlin and at the Universities of Zurich and Perugia. In 1999, he was a visiting scholar at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C., and during the 2012-3 academic year he was Guest Professor of Ancient Cultural History at the University of Munich. Between 1999 and 2005, Gehrke was a member of the senate and the main committee of the German Research Foundation. In 2017, the University of Cologne awarded him an honorary doctorate.
Hans-Joachim Gehrke is a corresponding member of the Academy of Public Sciences in Erfurt and the Archeological Institute of America, a member of the central management board of the German Archaeological Institute, a full member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences, the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the Academia Europaea. He is chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Protestant Institute for Interdisciplinary Research (FEST), of the “EUniCult. Network of European Universities” project committee, as well as sub-project manager in the research group “Historical life-worlds in popular knowledge cultures of the present day” (University of Freiburg and DAI Berlin) and an associated member of the “Fictional and factual narration” postgraduate programme at the University of Freiburg.
The main focus of his academic work lies in the historical regional and cultural studies of the central and eastern Mediterranean region, social conflicts and social integration, intercultural relationships and migration, as well as perceptions of history and collective identities.

Dr Carolin Emcke

Carolin Emcke (b. 1967) holds a PhD in Philosophy and since 2014 has been a freelance publicist, contributing a column to the weekend issue of “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. Prior to that she was a full-time member of the editorial staff at “Der Spiegel” and an author and international reporter for “Die Zeit”, for which she covered above all crisis regions such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kosovo, Iraq, Colombia, Lebanon and the West Bank. Before working as a writer she studied Philosophy, Politics and History in London, Frankfurt and Harvard. In 2003-4 she was visiting lecturer for political theory at Yale University, holding seminars on “Theories of Violence” and “Witnessing War Crimes”.

In 2006-7 she was an advisor for the Journalism course run by Hamburg Media School. Since then she has regularly lectured there and speaks on international journalism, globalisation, human rights, theories of violence, witnessing, photography, and cultural identities.

In 2016 Carolin Emcke won the “Peace Prize of the German Book Trade”. That year, she published “Gegen den Hass”, a book that has since been translated into a number of languages including Dutch, Finnish, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Slovenian, and Spanish.

In addition to being a member of the Gerda Henkel Foundation Board of Trustees, Carolin Emcke is a member of the Foundation Council of Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin.

Martin Kobler

Martin Kobler (born 1953) has been the German Ambassador to Pakistan until 2019. Previously, from November 2015 to July 2017 he was Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Head in Libya (UNSMIL) and from June 2013 to October 2015 he was Head of the United Nations’ peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (East Congo) (MONUSCO). After studying Law at the Universities of Bonn and Pajajaran (Bandung, Indonesia) and preparation for senior foreign service, he was posted to Cairo (1985 to 1988), New Delhi (1991 to 1994) and Jericho (1994 to 1997).

As a staff member in the United Nations Directorate General in the German Federal Foreign Office, Martin Kobler took on roles in the liaison office in Windhoek (Namibia) and as an election observer in Nicaragua (1990) and Haiti (1990-1). From 1997 to 1998 he was Deputy Head of the Special Desk for Bosnia in the German Foreign Office, and from 1998 to 2000 was Deputy Head and from 2000 to 2003 Head of the Minister’s Office. From 2003 to 2007 Martin Kobler was German Ambassador in Cairo and Baghdad, before heading the Foreign Office’s Directorate-General of Culture and Communication from 2007 to 2010. In 2010, he was appointed deputy to the Head of the United Nations’ Aid Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). Between 2011 and 2013, he was UN Special Envoy for Iraq and Head of the United Nations’ Aid Mission in Iraq (UNAMI).

Prof Ulrich Lehner

Ulrich Lehner (born 1946) has been a member of the Board of Partners at Henkel AG & Co. KGaA since April 2008. The career path of this industrial engineer, mechanical engineer and certified tax consultant/auditor is closely linked to the Henkel Group. Between 1981 and 1983 and from 1986 Ulrich Lehner worked in various important roles in the company, and from 1995 was appointed to the Executive Board of Henkel KGaA, taking charge of the Finance/Logistics division. Between 2000 and 2008 he was at the helm of the Henkel Group.

Ulrich Lehner is a member of various supervisory boards. He was appointed chairman of the Supervisory Board at Deutsche Telekom in 2008, taking on the same role at ThyssenKrupp AG in 2013. He is Honorary Professor at the University of Münster.

Andreas Schmitz

Andreas Schmitz (born 1960) has been chairman of the Supervisory Board of HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt since June 2015 and President of the Advisory Board of the German-Chinese Business Association since December 2014. Between 2009 and 2013, Andreas Schmitz was President of the Association of German Banks and is still a member of the Association’s Steering Committee and Supervisory Board.  In addition, he is also President of Börse Düsseldorf, President of the IHK Düsseldorf, and a member of the Supervisory Board of the KfW Development Bank and the Advisory Board of German Bundesbank, Düsseldorf Headquarters, as well as the advisory boards of various companies.

He completed his studies in Business and Law at the University of Bonn and was admitted to the bar. He began his career at HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt as assistant to the personally liable partner. He then worked in the corporate accounts section and later established the bank’s investment banking activities.
In 2002, Andreas Schmitz became an individually liable partner of the bank with responsibility for the corporate customers business and the business areas of Investment Banking and Debt Capital Markets. In 2004 he was appointed spokesperson for the individually liable partners. With the change in the legal structure in July 2006, Andreas Schmitz was appointed spokesperson for the executive board. After heading up the Global Banking division for seven years, since 2013 he has been responsible for the Private Banking division and, prior to that, the Commercial Banking division.
He is married and has three children.

The Academic Advisory Council


The Academic Advisory Council submits proposals to the Board of Trustees and the Executive Board for the granting of the Foundation’s benefits and provides support for the professional supervision of the Foundation’s promoted projects.

Prof Martin Jehne, Dresden | Vorsitzender
Prof Ute Daniel, Braunschweig
Prof Birgit Emich, Frankfurt am Main
Prof Peter Geimer, Berlin

Prof Martin Jehne (Dresden)

Martin Jehne (born 1955) studied History and German Philology at the University of Cologne. After his doctorate and qualifying as a junior professor at the University of Passau and a period spent in Münster, he was appointed Professor of Ancient History at TU Dresden in 1992.

Martin Jehne is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Historisches Kolleg in Munich and a member of the jury for the international research prize awarded by the Max Weber Foundation at the Historisches Kolleg. Since 2009 he has been project manager in the German Research Foundation’s special Research Division No. 804: “Transcendence and the Public Spirit”. Martin Jehne is coeditor of the journals “Klio Beihefte Neue Folge” (since 1999), “Historia. Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte” (since 2001) and “Historia Einzelschriften” (since 2001), and the encyclopedia “Enzyklopädie der griechisch-römischen Antike” (since 2004). His publications are dedicated to topics relating to Ancient Greece, the Roman Republic and Imperial Rome. His biography of Caesar, published in 1997, has been translated into Italian, Spanish and Chinese.

Prof Ute Daniel (Braunschweig)

Ute Daniel (born 1953) studied History, German Philology and Linguistics in Marburg and Bielefeld. She gained her doctorate in 1986 in Bielefeld and qualified as a junior professor at the University of Siegen in 1994, where she also worked as a research assistant and lecturer. Since 1996 Ute Daniel has been Professor of Modern History at Braunschweig University of Technology. In 2011-2 she worked as the Gerda Henkel Guest Professor at the German Historical Institute in London and at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Ute Daniel is a member of numerous committees and institutions, including the following: Braunschweig Society of Sciences – class for Humanities, Göttingen Academy of Sciences (philological-historical class), the Association for Modern Social History, the Historical Commission for Niedersachsen and Bremen, the Committee of the Working Group for Baroque Research at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, and the Russo-German Historical Commission. Ute Daniel is coeditor of the “Militärgeschichtliche Zeitschrift” journal of Military History and the journal “Saeculum”. She is deputy chairperson of the Program Advisory Board for the State of Hessen Campaign for the Development of Scientific and Economic Excellence (LOEWE).
Ute Daniel’s research interests lie in the cultural and social history of the 18th to 20th centuries. Her publications cover subjects as diverse as the history of the two world wars, the history of the royal courts and court theaters, the history of media, war reporting and propaganda, gender history and the history of consumption, and questions of historical-academic methodology and theory.

Prof Birgit Emich (Frankfurt am Main)

Birgit Emich studied History and Political Science in Freiburg im Breisgau, where she was awarded a PhD in 1999 and was made a junior professor in 2002. After a Heisenberg Scholarship from Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft in 2005 she worked as visiting professor in Freiburg, Münster and Dresden, before being appointed guest professor at Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies at the University of Erfurt, subsequently becoming Senior Academic Councillor in the Dept. of History at the University of Münster.

From April 2010 to December 2016 she was Chair of Early Modern History at Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg. Since January 2017 she has taught Early Modern History at Goethe University Frankfurt. In 2003, Birgit Emich won the Academy Prize of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences for her habilitationsschrift and in 2005 the Annual Prize of Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft in Freiburg im Breisgau. In 2010, she was inducted into AkademiaNet – Internet portal for outstanding women scholars.

Since 2017, Birgit Emich has been a member of the Academic Advisory Council of the Historisches Kolleg in Munich. Since 2012 she has been an elected member of the DFG Fachkollegium 102 Geschichte and an elected member of the Executive Board of the “Early Modern” Working Party at Verband der Historiker und Historikerinnen Deutschlands. She is the Spokesperson of the Academic Advisory Council of Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) in Mainz.

She belongs to numerous academic and specialist historical associations, including Verband der Historiker und Historikerinnen Deutschlands, Deutscher Hochschulverband, Soci corrispondenti della Scuola Internazionale di Alti Studi “Scienze della cultura” della Fondazione Collegio San Carlo di Modena (Italy) and in the United States the Sixteenth Century Society, the German Studies Association and the Renaissance Society of America. As a member of the editorial board, she is co-editor of the Annali dell’Istituto storico italo-germanico in Trento / Yearbook of the Italian-German Historical Institute in Trento and a member of the editorial board of Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte and Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung. Moreover, she is a member of the Academic Advisory Council of the series “Oldenbourg Seminar Geschichte”. Her research focusses on political and administrative history from a culturalist perspective, on the topics of informality and formalisation, the Reformation and cultures of confession, the cultural history of the Papacy, territoriality, and belonging.

Prof Peter Geimer (Berlin)

Prof. Dr. Peter Geimer studied Art History, Modern German Literature and Philosophy in Bonn, Cologne, Marburg and Paris. His doctorate at the Philipps University of Marburg in 1997 was followed by stints at the Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, at the University of Konstanz and at ETH Zurich.

Peter Geimer was awarded a junior professorship in 2008 at the University of Basel and in 2010 was appointed Full Professor at the University of Bielefeld. Since the winter semester of 2010-1, he has been Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History at the Freie Universität Berlin. There, he is co-spokesperson of the German Research Foundation “BildEvidenz. History and Aesthetics”-research group. Since 2007 he has been a freelance contributor to the arts supplement of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and since 2015 he has been a member of the German Research Foundation’s senate. His research tends to focus on the theory and history of photography, the visual representation of history and the history of science.

The Executive Board

The Executive Board manages the Foundation’s business in accordance with the law, the statutes, the internal regulations issued by the Board of Trustees and the directives that the Board of Trustees gives to the former. It represents the Foundation both in and out of court.

Members of the Executive Board are:
Dr Michael Hanssler, Chair
Dr Angela Kühnen

Dr Michael Hanssler

Michael Hanssler (born 1961) has since 2003 been a member of the Executive Board of the Gerda Henkel Foundation, and since 2008 he has been Chair of the Executive Board. After studying History and English, in 1990 he completed an internship at BMW AG. From 1991 to 1994 Michael Hanssler was a senior adviser in the Training Centre of the Bavarian Employers’ Association, and from 1994 to 1997 senior adviser at the German Federal Environmental Foundation. From 1997 to 2003 he worked as Executive Director of the Bellagio Forum for Sustainable Development, an association of grant-making foundations in Geneva.

From 2005 to 2011 Michael Hanssler worked pro bono as a member of the Advisory Council and, from 2011 to 2018, as a member of the Executive Board of the Association of German Foundations. In addition, from 2005 to 2008 he headed the “International Affairs” working party, and from 2008 to 2011 the “Science and Research” working party. Since 2008 he has been a member of Industrie-Club Düsseldorf. In April 2015, Michael Hanssler was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Ernst und Berta Grimmke Foundation.

Dr Angela Kühnen

Angela Kühnen (born 1969) is a Member of the Executive Board of the Gerda Henkel Foundation. She completed a Master’s studies in Ancient History, Modern History and English Language and Literature at the Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, in 1996. In 2005, she was awarded a doctorate by the University of Duisburg-Essen for a thesis on imitatio Alexandri in Imperial Rome.

Angela Kühnen has worked at the Gerda Henkel Foundation since 1997, first as a research assistant, then from 2001 as a consultant, from 2002 as a proxy Board Member and since 2008 as a full member of the Executive Board.