The Board of Trustees, the Executive Board and all the Bertelsmann Stiftung's employees congratulate Liz Mohn on her 80th birthday. In past decades, Mohn courageously, creatively and determinedly provided many ideas for moving the foundation and its culture forward, while assuming substantial responsibility for the organization, which was founded in 1977. She is and will remain its driving force. Therefore, she will continue to be affiliated with the Bertelsmann Stiftung as its global representative and as an honorary member of its Board of Trustees.
International understanding, business topics with a focus on questions relating to modern leadership, and cultural projects – those issues, which Mohn has long championed, will be consolidated in the Bertelsmann Stiftung's new Liz Mohn Center where she will continue to address them. The founder's successful civic engagement will be sustained as a result.
"In her over 40 years at the Bertelsmann Stiftung, Liz Mohn has devoted herself with great vision, openness and empathy to the major issues facing the world," said Prof. Dr. Werner J. Bauer, chairman of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Board of Trustees and former chairman of the Supervisory Board of Nestlé AG, on the occasion of Mohn's birthday. "She has provided important impetus for the foundation's work and dedicated herself to improving an increasingly globalized and digitalized world. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to congratulate her on her 80th birthday and her life's work. I wish her much continued joy, drive and fulfillment in the years to come. And I wish the Liz Mohn Center every success in addressing the tasks that lie ahead."
Ralph Heck, chairman of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board, emphasized that Mohn, through her efforts at the foundation, has made significant and lasting contributions to society's well-being and to social cohesion. "Through her creative ideas, untiring commitment and clear system of values, Liz Mohn has become a role model and guiding light for our organization. She has played a crucial part in bringing about the positive view the public has of the foundation. The Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board congratulates her on her birthday and thanks her for the trusting and successful partnership over the past decades. As for the future, we wish her a life of continued success and are very pleased she will remain affiliated with the foundation."
Ideas for a better world
Liz Mohn began hosting international cultural dialogues in 2001: first in Egypt, then in Japan, later in China and India, as well as in Europe and the US. Before that, the International Bertelsmann Forum with then German Chancellor Helmut Kohl was a flagship event for the foundation. Together with former Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel, she organizes the Trilogue Salzburg, which was launched two decades ago. Since 2017, she has also been organizing the Forum Bellevue on the Future of Democracy with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a series of events that brings together international figures from politics, business, culture and academia. Mohn is also co-president of the German-Spanish Forum, which takes place in the host country during visits by the Spanish king and the German president.
Founded by Mohn in 1987 following conversations with acclaimed conductor Herbert von Karajan, the NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition is now known around the world for promoting young opera talent. Some 40 up-and-coming opera singers took part in the first competition. Today, with up to 1,400 participants from 80 countries, it is considered the best and most successful competition worldwide.
Mohn began serving on the Bertelsmann Stiftung's Advisory Board, now its Board of Trustees, in 1986. In 2005, she became vice-chairwoman of its Executive Board and its Board of Trustees. Within the Executive Board, she was responsible for the programs Germany and Asia, Living Values, Business in Society, Discovering Music, and Leadership and Corporate Culture.
She is president of the Board of Trustees of the Spain-based Fundación Bertelsmann and a member of the Board of Directors of the Bertelsmann Foundation North America, posts she will continue to hold in the future.
"Especially now, it is important that we commit ourselves to promoting international understanding and social cohesion. Education is the key here – to a cosmopolitan communal life based on shared values and an acceptance of diversity. We must work together to make our world more peaceful, sustainable and humane. Let us assume our responsibility for achieving that goal. After all, we only have this one world!" says Mohn.