News Item, , Gütersloh: Jörg Dräger, Ph. D. (Cornell U.), joins Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board

Hamburg politician will lead foundation's Education program area and become director of Center for Higher Education Development

Jörg Dräger, Ph. D. (Cornell U.), Hamburg's minister for Science and Research will join the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board on July 1, 2008, overseeing the foundation's Education program area. In addition, he will become director of the nonprofit Center for Higher Education Development (CHE). Dräger has been a politically independent member of Hamburg's Senate since October 30, 2001. He led the city's Health Department for two years beginning in April 2004.

"In having Jörg Dräger join its Executive Board, the Bertelsmann Stiftung is gaining an internationally recognized and politically successful education expert," said Dr. Gunter Thielen, the foundation’s chairman and CEO, in making the announcement. "By introducing new structures and performance-based management, Jörg Dräger reorganized Hamburg's higher education institutions in a much-admired reform effort. As a proven academic manager with extensive leadership experience, he will be a valuable addition to the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board."

"I enjoyed holding political office and launching key reforms in Hamburg. Now I am looking forward to the intellectual challenges and long-term perspective of working on critical issues relating to education and research," Dräger said, discussing his decision to move from the political sphere to the nonprofit sector. "The Bertelsmann Stiftung, as a leading think tank devoted to social change, and CHE, as a driver of reform in the German educational landscape, offer me a chance to continue helping Germany enhance its position as an educational venue."

For a number of years, the Bertelsmann Stiftung has been contributing to reform efforts within the German educational system and, in doing so, has focused on increasing opportunities across the entire educational spectrum. A number of projects, for example, target early childhood education, including development of musical and cultural competencies. The foundation also supports schools in becoming more independent and self-managing and creates educational networks that unite regional actors. In addition, it has developed the SEIS standardized self-evaluation tool, which is now used by numerous schools throughout Germany. Finally, it promotes projects that facilitate lifelong learning.

In order to advance the necessary reforms in Germany's higher education system, the Bertelsmann Stiftung founded the Center for Higher Education Development (CHE) together with the German Rectors' Conference in 1994. Through its diverse projects, CHE helps Germany's colleges and universities increase their independence, cost-effectiveness and renown. In addition, it promotes academic excellence and competition among higher education institutions on both the national and international levels. One highly regarded project is the CHE university ranking, which is published in collaboration with Die Zeit, the national weekly newspaper.

About the Bertelsmann Stiftung
The Bertelsmann Stiftung is dedicated to serving the common good. It executes projects in its four core areas of education, business and social affairs, health, and international relations, and strives to promote peaceful coexistence among the world's diverse cultures. Through the example of its civic engagement, it wants to encourage other individuals and organizations to support their own communities as well. Founded in 1977 as a registered charity, the Bertelsmann Stiftung is majority shareholder of Bertelsmann AG. Structured as a private operating foundation, it is politically non-partisan and works independently of Bertelsmann AG.

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