Michaela Bauer

Foundations and administration

Michaela Bauer has been working for the Max Planck Foundation 2009-2014 and again since 2018.

Michaela studied music education at the Franz Liszt School of Music in Weimar.

Thomas van Bremen

Investment Manager

Thomas van Bremen has been working in the asset management of the Max Planck Foundation since 2018.

Thomas completed his bachelor’s degree in business administration at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster and his master’s degree in finance & management at the University of St. Andrews.

Marie-Christine Dorndorf

Investment Manager

Marie-Christine Dorndorf has been working in the asset management at the Max Planck Foundation since 2019.

Previously, she worked as a risk manager and later as an asset manager for a pension fund.

Marie-Christine completed her Bachelor´s degree in Business Adminstration and her Master´s degree in “Business Management – Banking and Finance” at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State Universitiy in Karlsruhe and Heilbronn.

Susan Ebeling

Real Estate Manager

Susan Ebeling has been working at the Max Planck Foundation since 2020.

Previously, Susan has been a freelance consultant in transaction and data room management for 8 years. Before that she worked for a financial service provider in the real estate sector for 16 years.

Susan completed vocational training at a bank and studied business administration at the VWA Munich.

Franz Gaul

Chief Investment Officer

Franz Gaul has been responsible for the asset management of the Max Planck Foundation since 2008. Previously, he worked as a managing director at a software company and for a family office in the late 1990s building an alternative investment portfolio. He started his career in a bank and as a business consultant.

Franz holds a degree in Business Administration from the University of Passau.

Athina Grigoriadou

Office Manager / Team Assistance

Athina Grigoriadou has been working at the Max Planck Foundation since 2020.

Prior to this time, she worked as a personal and management assistant in internationally operating companies in various industries and divisions.

After completing her bank apprenticeship, Athina studied philosophy, education and psychology at the LMU Munich. Following her first degree, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in human resources and an additional qualification in intercultural communication.

Julia Hof

Philanthropy & Commitment

Julia Hof has been working for the Max-Planck-Foundation since 2020.

From 2016 to 2018 she already had been contact person for the concerns of new and existing major donors.

After studying business administration at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg and working as Marketing Director in an international consumer goods company she advised private donors and companies in starting and developing their own foundations at Haus des Stiftens. Last she was head of partners and donors for a foundation supporting a new concert hall in Munich.

Mark Möbius

Technology Scout

Mark Möbius has been working for the Max-Planck-Foundation since 2020.

He has been in leading positions at startup incubators for 20 years, working with technology-based startups from universities. Additionally, he has created his own successful ventures and worked as a coach, trainer and consultant for startups as well as for large corporations.

He holds an MBA in Innovation and Business Creation from TU-Munich and holds a Master in Media Science from Bauhaus-University Weimar.

Friederike Nohl

Operating Officer Asset Management

Friederike Nohl has been working for the Max Planck Foundation since 2010. Before that she was employed in the tax department of a medium-sized auditing firm; since 2010, she is a certified tax consultant.

Friederike holds a degree in Economics from the University of Heidelberg.

Since mid June 2020, Friederike has been on parental leave.

Johanna Pöllath

General Manager

Johanna Pöllath has been working for the Max Planck Foundation since 2012. Previously, she worked in cultural marketing and public relations.

Johanna studied cultural economy at the University of Passau and holds a certificate in foundation management.

Jan Schnorr

Technology Scout

Jan Schnorr has been working on startup scouting for the Max Planck Foundation since 2020.

He is co-founder of a deep technology startup based on research during his PhD at MIT. He built the startup as CTO and as CEO for over 5 years. Since early 2019, he has been advising other startups and founders with a focus on strategy, financing, team building and talent acquisition, as well as technology development.

He holds a PhD in chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Diplom in Chemistry from Goethe University, Frankfurt. Additionally, he worked at Max-Planck-Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz, between his Diplom and PhD.

Iryna Shafranovych

Operating Officer Asset Management

Iryna Shafranovych has been working for the Max Planck Foundation since 2016. Before, she was employed in the accounting department of an international automobile and motorcycle manufacturer.

Iryna graduated in business administration at the TU Dresden and at the National University of Economics at Ternopil, Ukraine.

Karin Theede

Managing Director

Since the establishment of the Max Planck Foundation in 2006, Karin Theede has been a main contact for all sponsors and Managing Director. Previously, she worked at the non-profit – also scientifically oriented – Carl Friedrich von Siemens Foundation.

Karin has a degree in Economic Geography from LMU.

Since April 2017, Karin has been on parental leave.

Verena Walterspiel

Philanthropy & Commitment

Verena Walterspiel has been working for the Max Planck Foundation since January 2019.

After studying philosophy, linguistics and literature, Verena has been in the non-profit sector since 1988: first in the foundation of a visionary entrepreneur, then as the board member of a foundation established according to the last will of an artist.

Max Planck Foundation closely cooperates with the Max Planck Society through their Development Unit. Head and a member of the MPF management is Beatrice Melot.

Board of Directors

Prof. Dr. Reinhard Pöllath



Dr. Paul Lerbinger

formerly banker

Rüdiger Willems

Secretary-General of the Max Planck Society


Supervisory Board

Dr. Stefan von Holtzbrinck



Dr. Andrea von Drygalski


Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Angela Friederici

Vice-President of the Max Planck Society


Dr. Horst Goss

Family office manager

Rüdiger Hey

Family office manager

Prof. Dr. Wulf von Schimmelmann

Member of several supervisory boards and of the Government Committee for the Corporate Governance Code

Dr. May Shana’a

R&D Head

Prof. Dr. Martin Stratmann

President der of the Max Planck Society



The members of the Board of Directors and of the Supervisory Board are unpaid volunteers.

The Advisory Board supports the Max Planck Foundation; its members are honorary ambassadors.

Advisory Board

Dr. Barbara Bludau

member since 2014

Dr. Gregor M. Mayer

member since 2014

Dr. Hans-Jürgen Schinzler

member since 2014

Ulrike von Sobbe

member since 2014

Dr. Andrea von Drygalski

member since 2016

Dr. Jasper zu Putlitz

member since 2017

Dr. Albrecht Schmidt

member since 2014

Prof. Sebastian Turner

member since 2014

Prof. Dr. Benno Heussen

member since 2014

Dr. Dietmar Scheiter

member since 2014

Dr. Marie-Nicolette Schottelius

member since 2017

Dr. Margot Gräfin von Westerholt

member since 2014