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Press Release No. 20 | 27 April 2007
First Female Secretary General of the DFG Appointed

Dorothee Dzwonnek to Succeed Reinhard Grunwald from September 2007

Dorothee Dzwonnek has been appointed Secretary General of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) from September 2007. The Secretary General and the President form the Executive Board, which heads the approximately 800-member staff of the DFG. Ms. Dzwonnek is currently the Undersecretary of State for Science, Education, Research and Cultural Affairs of Rhineland-Palatinate and was appointed by the Joint Committee of the DFG in a written ballot today, on the recommendation of the DFG's Executive Committee.

Dorothee Dzwonnek (born in 1957) studied law. After completing her studies and practical training she worked as a research associate with Professor Paul Mikat at the Institute of German Legal History and Civil Law at the Ruhr University of Bochum before joining the Ministry for Science and Research of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia in 1987. There she was concerned with research funding in the natural sciences and engineering as well as basic issues of research funding policy. In 1996 Ms. Dzwonnek was elected chancellor of the University of Dortmund. In 2000 she returned to the Ministry in North Rhine-Westphalia, where she became responsible for policy matters for higher education, research funding, university medicine, and European and international affairs. From October 2002 until May 2006 she was vice chairman of the Board of Directors at the Research Centre Jülich. In May 2006 the Science Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, Professor Jürgen Zöllner, appointed her as the Undersecretary of State for Science, Education, Research and Cultural Affairs of Rhineland-Palatinate.

In seeking a successor for the current Secretary General of the DFG, Dr. Reinhard Grunwald, who will retire on 31 August 2007, an Executive Committee working group primarily applied the following criteria: experience in research and research funding; links to science policy-makers, business and societies and associations; an international standing; personal qualities and expertise; and leadership skills. The Executive Committee believes that Dorothee Dzwonnek's impressive career, covering the entire spectrum between the university and political communities, makes her ideally suited to lead a highly professional, yet personal, body such as the DFG. The nomination of Dorothee Dzwonnek as the new Secretary General of the DFG by the Executive Committee was approved unanimously by the Joint Committee.

Note to editors:
Photographs of the future Secretary General of the DFG may be obtained from the DFG's Press and Public Relations Office.