Michaela Bauer

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

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.

Grigoriadou Athina

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.

Javier Gutiérrez Boronat

Javier Gutiérrez Boronat

Technology Scout

Javier Gutiérrez joined the Max Planck Foundation in 2021 as Startup Scout.

Javier has been involved in technology transfer since 2009, most recently at the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft. After his technical and scientific career, he continued it as a group leader and then as a project and business coach. In doing so, he worked both directly at his then home institute, Fraunhofer IIS, The Home of mp3, and for Fraunhofer headquarters in Munich, in close collaboration with the Fraunhofer Venture Group.

Javier received his Dipl.-Ing. in Electrical Engineering from TECNUN, at the University of Navarra. Among other numerous advanced trainings, he is a certified ECQA Innovation Manager, Scrum Master and Fraunhofer Research Manager.

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.

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

MPF Vorstand Dr Andrea von Drygalski
Dr. Andrea von Drygalski


MPF Vorstand Dr Horst Goss
Dr. Horst Goß


MPF Vorstand Dr Paul Lerbinger
Dr. Paul Lerbinger


MPF Vorstand Dr Dietmar Scheiter
Dr. Dietmar Scheiter


MPF Vorstand Ruediger Willems
Rüdiger Willems

Secretary-General of the Max Planck Society


Supervisory Board

Stefan von Holtzbrinck
Dr. Stefan von Holtzbrinck



Klaus Berner
Dr. Klaus Berner
Rüdiger Hey




Ulman Lindenberger
Prof. Dr. Ulman Lindenberger

Vice-President of the Max Planck Society

MPF Stiftungsrat Reinhard Poellath
Prof. Dr. Reinhard Pöllath
MPF Stiftungsrat Wulf von Schimmelmann
Prof. Dr. Wulf von Schimmelmann


MPF Stiftungsrat May Shana a
Dr. May Shana’a


MPF Stiftungsrat Martin Stratmann
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

Barbara Bludau Kuratorium MPF
Dr. Barbara Bludau

member since 2014

Gregor Mayer Kuratorium MPF
Dr. Gregor M. Mayer

member since 2014

Reinhard Poellath Kuratorium MPF
Prof. Dr. Reinhard Pöllath

member since 2020

Albrecht Schmidt Kuratorium MPF
Dr. Albrecht Schmidt

member since 2014

Ulrike von Sobbe Kuratorium MPF
Ulrike von Sobbe

member since 2014

Benno Heussen Kuratorium MPF
Prof. Dr. Benno Heussen

member since 2014

Joachim Muench Kuratorium MPF
Joachim Münch

member since 2020

Jasper zu Putlitz Kuratorium MPF
Dr. Jasper zu Putlitz

member since 2017

Marie-Nicolette Schottelius Kuratorium MPF
Dr. Marie-Nicolette Schottelius

member since 2017

Sebastian Turner Kuratorium MPF
Prof. Dr. Sebastian Turner

member since 2014

Hermut Kormann Kuratorium MPF
Prof. Dr. Hermut Kormann

member since 2019

Christoph Philipp Kuratorium MPF
Dr. Christoph Philipp

member since 2020

Dr. Hans-Jürgen Schinzler

member since 2014

Heike Schuhmacher Kuratorium MPF
Heike Schumacher

member since 2020

Margot von Westerholt Kuratorium MPF
Dr. Margot Gräfin von Westerholt

member since 2014