The Supervisory Body discusses and reviews the overall development of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society and secures the structural independence of the institute. It consists of one representative of each of the shareholders, one representative of the funding institution »Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Internetforschung gGmbH” (GFI) and further distinguished researchers or managers from the scientific community. The members of this board decide on strategic principles and standards of the Institute and oversee the management. The first HIIG Supervisory Body consists of the following members:


Prof. Dr. Otfried Jarren
Prorector for Human and Social Science at the University Zurich 

Prof. Dr. Otfried Jarren studied mass communication and media research, political science and European ethnology in Münster, Germany. From 1998 to 2008 he was the head of the Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research Zürich (IPMZ). Additionally, he was a reviewer of the German Research Foundation from 2001 to 2005. Subjects of particular interest in his research and publications are political communication, media regulation, media shift and social change. Since August 2008 he is the prorector of human and social sciences and a member of the executive board of the University of Zurich.

Representatives of Shareholders

Prof. Jutta Allmendinger
President of the Social Science Research Center, Berlin

Prof. Allmendinger has been professor of educational sociology and labor market research at the Humboldt University in Berlin and president of the Social Science Research Center, Berlin since 2007. She worked at the Max-Planck-Institute for Education Research and at the Harvard Business School, habilitated at the Freie Universität Berlin and was professor of sociology at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich (1992-2007).


Prof. Dr. Jan-Hendrik Olbertz
President of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

In 1992 Dr. Jan-Hendrik Olbertz became professor for education science, with a particular focus on adult education, scientific further education and advanced training (C4) at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg. From 2002 until June 2010 he was the Minister of Education of the federal state Saxony-Anhalt. In 2010 he became the president of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Prof. Martin Rennert
President of the University of Arts, Berlin

After his studies at the music academies in Vienna, Graz and Granada Martin Rennert received numerous awards and honours. Since 1972 he has been appearing worldwide as a soloist and chamber musician. In 1985 he became a professor of concert guitar at the UdK of Berlin (University of Arts) and from 1989 until 1995 he was the dean of the music faculty.

Representative of the funding company GFI gGmbH

Dr. Wieland Holfelder
Engineering Director Google Deutschland GmbH

Dr. Wieland Holfelder is Engineering Director for Google Germany GmbH where he oversees Google’s engineering and research activities in Germany. As part of his Ph.D. research Wieland Holfelder worked at IBM’s European Networking Center in Heidelberg, Germany and the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley, CA. He holds a Master in computer science and economics (Dipl. Wirtsch. Inf.) and a Doctorate (Dr. rer. nat.) in computer science from the University of Mannheim.

Further Members

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Karlheinz Brandenburg
Director of the Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

Karlheinz Brandenburg is an audio engineer who has contributed to the audio compression format MPEG Audio Layer 3, more commonly known as MP3. In 1989 he obtained his Ph.D. from the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg in electrical engineering for his work on digital audio coding and perceptual measurement techniques. Since 2000 he has been a full-time professor at the Institute for Media Technology at Technical University of Ilmenau. In addition, he is the director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Ilmenau.

Christiane Neumann
Secretary-General of the Leibniz-Gemeinschaft 

From 1992 until 2005 she was the administrative executive of the Social Science Research Center in Berlin. During this time Christiane Neumann was the vice president of the Leibniz-Gemeinschaft from 1999 until 2003. She worked for the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin and the Helmholtzzentrum for the Society of Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt as the managing director. She returned to the Leibniz-Gemeinschaft as a Secretary-General in 2010.