The Faces of the Foundation

Mrs @nline

Who actually does what at Humboldt headquarters? Who are the people behind the scenes making sure that everything runs smoothly? This page is devoted to the colleagues at the Humboldt Foundation, their lives at work and beyond. Today: Ulla Hecken.

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  • Text: Ulla Hecken
Ulla Hecken with her dog Wanja

News from the Humboldt Foundation 

If you ever send an email to, then you will probably get an answer from me. I look after the Humboldt Foundation’s website and make sure that our online presence is easy for everyone to understand and works well. And if you ever have a problem with the login or completing an online form, I do everything in my power to get it sorted as quickly as possible. At the moment, I am particularly involved in setting things up so that applications, nominations and reviews can be submitted online for all the Foundation’s programmes. Watch this space!

I am something of an old stager at the Humboldt Foundation. In fact, I joined the Foundation even before I started studying to become a translator. I have worked in the secretariat for our former Secretary General, Heinrich Pfeiffer, for example, organised the logistics and accompanied some of the study tours around Germany that the Foundation runs for its fellows, supervised the building of guest houses for foreign researchers at East German universities – never a dull moment.

For some while now, I have been assigned to the Communications Department. What I enjoy most about working here is the particular combination of content work and technical activities. For instance, I am part of the editorial team of Humboldt Kosmos and proofread all the articles for each issue.

Things can get a bit hectic at times as I try to juggle all the different tasks my work involves. This is where long walks with my Australian Shepherd dog Wanja come in. When we are out in the woods around Bonn she makes sure I can switch off and relax – which is often precisely when I get good, new ideas for the website or find just the right solution for a technical problem.

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