Thomas Hesse new Deputy Secretary General of the Humboldt Foundation
In February 2011, the Board of Trustees decided to appoint Thomas Hesse to the position of Deputy Secretary General.
Photo: Nora Jacobs
Thomas Hesse was head of the Selection Department at the Humboldt Foundation and responsible for the selection of fellows and award winners from 2000 onwards. He had previously worked in the Selection and Sponsorship Abroad Divisions as a programme director.
Thomas Hesse read biology in Bonn, specialising in botany, molecular biology of plants, genetics and biochemistry. He subsequently worked at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, taking his doctorate at the University of Bonn and continuing his studies at the Max Planck Institute. As a fellow of the Max Planck Society, Hesse conducted research at the Monsanto Company in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. In 1990, he was awarded the Max Planck Society’s Otto Hahn Medal for his research into the molecular biology of plants.
Thomas Hesse succeeds the previous Deputy Secretary General, Gisela Janetzke, who left the Foundation in September 2010 to embark on the transition to early retirement.
Gisela Janetzke began working for the Foundation as a scientific officer in 1980. She became head of the Policy Division in 1986 and of the Sponsorship in Germany Division in 1987. She was appointed Deputy Secretary General in 2000 and became head of the Sponsorship Abroad Division at the same time. The Foundation would like to thank Gisela Janetzke for more than 30 years in which she worked all over the world as a unique ambassador for Germany and a trusted diplomat for the Humboldt Foundation. Gisela Janetzke will continue to remain closely associated with the Foundation and Humboldtians.