Photo of Daniela Schwarzer

Daniela Schwarzer appointed to Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board

Daniela Schwarzer has been appointed a member of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board. The political scientist previously led the work of the Open Society Foundations in Europe and Central Asia as Executive Director. Prior to that, she was director of the German Council on Foreign Relations (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik, DGAP). Together with Executive Board Chairman Ralph Heck and Board Member Brigitte Mohn, she will oversee the work carried out by the nonprofit Bertelsmann Stiftung.

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Jochen Arntz
Vice President Media Relations


Daniela Schwarzer will join the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board effective May 1, 2023. The foundation’s Board of Trustees has appointed the internationally recognized expert for Europe, international affairs and democracy to serve on the Executive Board. "The Bertelsmann Stiftung addresses the most relevant challenges affecting the future of society, policy making and the economy. It offers unique conditions in Germany for thinking forward holistically, combining domestic and international issues. In times of geopolitical and geoeconomic conflict and profound political, societal and technological change, this is more important than ever," Schwarzer said. "I am very much looking forward to working with the foundation’s team to help Germany and Europe expand their innovative capacity, their power to shape the future and their societal and political resilience."

"We are very pleased to welcome Daniela Schwarzer as a new member of our Executive Board. She will be focusing on two of our foundation’s core issues: the strengthening and further development of democracy and the future of Europe in times of global change," said Ralph Heck, chairman and CEO of the Bertelsmann Stiftung. "Daniela Schwarzer has extensive international experience in a wide range of topics. She will effectively position the Bertelsmann Stiftung amid the challenges of a changing world." 

"I am delighted that Daniela Schwarzer will be strengthening the perspective of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board on foreign and European policy," emphasized Liz Mohn, the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s global representative. "With her proven expertise and international network, Daniela Schwarzer will help to further develop the foundation’s work and thus jointly find constructive solutions to the pressing issues of our time."

"I am very pleased that Ralph Heck, Brigitte Mohn and our new Executive Board member, Daniela Schwarzer, will be shaping and leading the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s work together," said Prof. Dr. Werner J. Bauer, chairman of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Board of Trustees. "Daniela Schwarzer’s international experience is an important and solid prerequisite for successfully internationalizing the foundation’s work."

About Daniela Schwarzer

Prof. Dr. Daniela Schwarzer is a leading expert on European and international affairs and has had a 20-year career at renowned think tanks, foundations and universities.

Most recently, since 2021, she served as Executive Director for Europe and Central Asia at the Open Society Foundations, the world’s largest foundation working to strengthen the rule of law, democracy and open societies. In 2021, she was appointed honorary professor of political science at Freie Universität Berlin. In autumn 2022, she was a visiting professor at Harvard University, with which she remains affiliated as a senior fellow.

From 2016 to 2021, she was director and CEO of the German Council on Foreign Relations. (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik, DGAP). Prior to that, she served as research director on the executive team of the German Marshall Fund of the United States and lead its Berlin office and Europe program. From 2004 to 2013, she worked for the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, where she headed the Europe research group beginning in 2008. From 1999 to 2004, she was an opinion page editor and France correspondent for the Financial Times Deutschland.      

Daniela Schwarzer is regularly consulted as an expert and policy advisor. She is currently a member of the working group convened by the French and German governments on reforming the EU and, from 2020 to 2022, served as special advisor to the High Representative and Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell. She also advised France and Poland during their respective EU presidencies and was a consultant to the French prime minister’s Centre dʼAnalyse Stratégique. She is a member of the supervisory boards of BNP Paribas and Covivio, an honorary board member of DGAP and a member of the advisory board of the Jacques Delors Institute, Paris, and a Council member of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). In 2017, she was inducted into the French Legion of Honour.