Christian Hänel

American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, President

Christian Hänel is President of the American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Washington, DC. He leads the U.S. partner organization of the German Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung, which has been promoting global exchange in science and research for seven decades. His main focus is fostering science diplomacy, in order to keep channels of international communication and cooperation open in turbulent times of geopolitical shifts, re-nationalization, and de-globalization. A German native, Christian brings over two decades of leadership experience in international non-profit management.

Before he came to Washington, he served at the Robert Bosch Stiftung in Germany. As Senior Vice President International Relations, he developed and directed the foundation’s portfolio in America, Asia, Europe, Middle East and North Africa. Christian also built and lead a new, cross-organizational unit, Future Issues and Foundation Development, which dealt with challenges and opportunities for the impact ecosystem in the nonprofit sector, digitization, sustainable alumni networks, agile structures, and strategic foresight. Hänel has led the strategic implementation and evaluation of international and transnational partnerships and programs in topic areas such as civil society, governance, promoting Europe, international affairs and global issues, education and cultural exchange. He holds a M.A. in history and economics from the Universität Bielefeld and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.