Press release

Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln to become the new President of the WZB

Successor to Jutta Allmendinger takes office on September 1, 2024

The shareholders' meeting of the WZB has appointed Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln as the institute's future president. She succeeds Jutta Allmendinger, who has headed the institute since 2007. Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln is Professor of Macroeconomics and Development at Goethe University Frankfurt. The handover of office will take place on September 4, 2024 at the WZB.

Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln is a nationally and internationally renowned scientist who returned to Germany in 2009 after several years at Yale and Harvard. Since then, she has been awarded several prestigious prizes, including the Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation and prizes from the European Research Council. In 2019/20, she was Chair of the Verein für Socialpolitik, the largest economics association in the German-speaking world, and since 2021 she has been Program Director at the Centre for Economic Policy Research, a renowned network of European economists.

Her research topics are broadly based in the social sciences and she has extensive experience in interdisciplinary collaboration. Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln conducts research on the topics of inequality, social mobility and growth. She focuses on the question of how institutions and people's experiences influence their behavior and decisions. This includes work on the consequences of German reunification, the differences between the European and US labor markets, as well as the effects of joint taxation on the employment decisions of men and women.

Since 2007, the WZB has been headed by Jutta Allmendinger, who will step down as President on September 1, 2024 after three terms in office. Together with Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln, she will prepare the regular evaluation of the institute by the Leibniz Association in March 2025, continue to accompany BR50, the network of non-university institutes in the Berlin area, as its spokesperson until the end of the 2026 term of office and continue her scientific and science policy projects as emerita.

"With Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln, we have gained an excellent scientist for the WZB who will further strengthen the institute's outstanding research achievements across the entire breadth of the social sciences. Her international experience and networking will benefit the WZB's cooperation with partners in research and society," said Jochen Zachgo, Chairman of the WZB's Shareholders and Board of Trustees, welcoming the decision for the future president.

Jutta Koch-Unterseher, Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees, said on behalf of the State of Berlin: "Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln will enrich Berlin as a science location with her comprehensive professional expertise, her international relations and her experience in policy consulting. Her research topics are broadly based and offer numerous starting points for cooperation at the WZB and with other Berlin research institutions."

Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln comments on the appointment: "The WZB is known for its outstanding research on topics of great social relevance. I will continue and expand this focus. What is particularly appealing to me is that the WZB is a large social science institute that combines economics with sociology, political science and law. The major problems of our time are complex – their analyses and solutions require cooperation between the various disciplines represented at the WZB. The collaborations that Berlin has to offer are also helpful in this regard, and I intend to continue and expand them. I am looking forward to the new task and to further developing the institute's profile."

About Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln

Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln has been Professor of Macroeconomics and Development at Goethe University since 2009. Prior to joining Goethe University, she was an Assistant Professor at Harvard University for five years. She received her PhD in economics from Yale University in 2004 and an honorary doctorate from Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg in 2023.

Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln is program director of the macroeconomics and growth program at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), an elected fellow of the renowned international Econometric Society and a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. She received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG), the most important research funding award in Germany, in 2018 and the Hermann Heinrich Gossen Prize of the Verein für Socialpolitik in 2016. She has twice been awarded funding from the European Research Council (ERC) for outstanding researchers, in 2018 with an ERC Consolidator Grant and in 2010 with an ERC Starting Grant. She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Boards of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action and the German Central Bank as well as a research professor at the European Central Bank (ECB).

About the WZB Berlin Social Science Center (WZB)

The WZB Berlin Social Science Center investigates fundamental social issues. It conducts interdisciplinary research into development trends, adaptation problems and opportunities for innovation in modern societies. The main focus is on the problem-solving capacities of social and state institutions, from the local to the global level. A total of 470 people work at the WZB, including 200 German and international researchers and about 115 student assistants. The researchers conduct problem-oriented research in the disciplines of sociology, political science, economics, law and beyond. The WZB was founded in 1969 on the initiative of members of the Bundestag from the CDU/CSU and SPD. It is a member of the Leibniz Association. It is funded by the federal government (75 percent) and the state of Berlin (25 percent).