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CV Prof. Dr. Beate Rudolf, Director

Portrait Beate Rudolf

Since 1 January 2010, Prof. Dr. iur. Beate Rudolf is the Director of the German Institute for Human Rights. Prior to that, she was a junior professor for public law and equality law at the faculty of law of Freie Universität Berlin and director of the research project "Public International Law Standards for Governance in Weak and Failing States" within the Research Center "Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood". Her research focuses on human rights and legal principles on state structures under public international law, European law and German constitutional law as well as from a comparative law perspective. She carried out her activities in research and teaching in these areas at the universities of Bonn, Dusseldorf, Tulane Law School, New Orleans and Freie Universität Berlin. She gained practical experience in human rights work during an internship at the Directorate for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, by representing applicants before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), and as an active member of the German Women Lawyers Association and the European Women Lawyers Assocation, of which she was a Vice-President until end of 2011. She also belongs to the editorial committee of the German-language version of decisions of the ECHR. Her numerous publications (in German, English and French) in the area of human rights range from conceptual questions of specific rights, gender equality and non-discrimination to problems of implementation and improving the UN human rights system.

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CV Michael Windfuhr, Deputy Director

Portrait Michael Windfuhr

Michael Windfuhr is a political scientist, educated at the University of Heidelberg. Since 2011, he has been the Deputy Director of the German Institute for Human Rights, the national human rights institution of Germany. For the five years prior to this, he served as Human Rights Director of Bread for the World, the development organisation of the Protestant church of Germany. Between 1988 and 2006 he worked with FIAN-International (FoodFirst Information and Action Network), an international human rights organisation that focuses on the realisation of the right to adequate food. Initially he coordinated FIAN's Latin American work concentrating on land conflicts and agrarian reform. He represented FIAN at the United Nations Human Rights system from 1992 onward. In the last 10 years, he has contributed to the effort to set standards for the right to food. He was actively involved in the elaboration of the “Voluntary Guidelines on the progressive implementation of the right to adequate food” adopted by the FAO Council in November 2004. He became Secretary General of FIAN in 2005.
He brought his experience in international relations to the Institute of Political Science at the University of Heidelberg. From 1996 to 2000 he was also a part-time assistant to Prof. Klaus von Beyme. In addition Michael Windfuhr lectured at the Institute for more than ten years. His main fields of publication and teaching are: human rights policies, international relations theory, international economic and development policies. He has published extensively, particularly on economic, social and cultural rights as well as on trade and agricultural policies.
Lastest book publications: Windfuhr, Michael (ed.): Beyond the Nation State. Human Rights in Times of Globalisation, Stockholm, 2005. Bals, Christoph / Harmeling, Sven, Windfuhr, Michael: Climate change, Food Security and the Right to adequate Food, Study written for Brot für die Welt, Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe und Germanwatch, November 2008.

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CV Dr. Valentin Aichele, Head of the CRPD National Monitoring Body

Portrait Valentin Aichele

Dr. Valentin Aichele, LL.M. (University of Adelaide) is with the German Institute for Human Rights since 2005. He is an expert in the field of economic, social and cultural human rights. Since May 2009, Valentin Aichele is Head of the independent monitoring body to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.


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CV Dr. Nina Althoff, project “Gender Diversity in Law”

Portrait Nina Althoff

Dr. Nina Althoff works as a Policy Adviser in the Department for Human Rights Policies Germany/Europa at the German Institute for Human Rights where she currently undertakes academic research and drafts an expertise on the topic of “Gender Diversity in Law” for the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. Prior to this, she led the project “Lawyers for Human Rights and Diversity” (2012 – 2014) and coordinated the project “Non-Discrimination: Competencies for Associations” (2009 -2011) at the German Institute for Human Rights. She obtained her second legal state examination and received her ph.D. in international and European law on the subject of fighting discrimination in the European Union. Her main focus areas are non-discrimination and equality law, access to justice, and international human rights institutions and procedures.

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CV Lissa Bettzieche, Policy Adviser

Portrait Lissa Bettzieche

Lissa Bettzieche, LL.M., is a Policy Adviser at the German Institute for Human Rights. She works on Business and Human Rights, specifically the development of a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights. Lissa Bettzieche is a lawyer, specialised in Public International Law and European Law, and holds an LL.M. in International Human Rights Law from the American University Washington College of Law. Previously, she has worked in children's rights and development policy at the Institute and as an adviser for the Public Sector Governance Department of the World Bank as well as for the NGO Public International Law & Policy Group. During her post-graduate practical legal training, she worked for the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in Berlin as well as for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), supporting the African Court on Human and People’s Rights in Arusha, Tanzania. Publications: How the Child's Right to Participation Can be Promoted in German Development Cooperation (2015, with Lena Stamm); Policy Paper Nr. 25. zuhören – ernst nehmen – handeln. Wie das Recht auf Partizipation von Kindern in der deutschen Entwicklungszusammenarbeit gefördert werden kann (2014, with Lena Stamm).

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CV Dr. Wolfgang S. Heinz, Senior Policy Adviser

Portrait Wolfgang S. Heinz

Political Scientist. Responsible for international security policies and the United Nations human rights system. He was member and chair of the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee and is 2nd Vice President of the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT). Dr. Heinz teaches at the Free University of Berlin as a senior lecturer for political science. Among his many publications are (in German): "Causes and impact of human rights violations in the Third World" (1986), "New democracies and the military in Latin America. The experiences in Argentina and Brazil (1983-1999)" (2001), „Stärkung oder Reform? Die Verbesserungsvorschläge für die UN-Menschenrechtsausschüsse werden bescheiden ausfallen“ (with Caroline Maillard; 2013), „Der UN-Sicherheitsrat und der Schutz der Menschenrechte. Chancen, Blockaden und Zielkonflikte“ (with Peter Litschke; 2014) und „Wann hat der Staat das Recht zu töten? Gezielte Tötungen und Schutz der Menschenrechte“ (2014).
In English: German Unification, in: David P. Forsythe (ed.), Encyclopedia of Human Rights, Bd. 2: Democracy Promotion, Oxford 2009, pp. 305-311; Germany. State Responses to Terrorist Challenges and Human Rights, in: Brysk, Alison/ Shafir, Gershon, (eds.), National Insecurity and Human Rights. Democracies debate Counterterrorism, Berkeley 2007, pp. 157-176; The Military, Torture and Human Rights. Experiences from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay, in: Ronald D. Crelinsten / Alex P. Schmid (eds.), The Politics of Pain. Torturers and their Masters, Boulder, Col. 1995, pp. 65-98.

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CV Andrea Kämpf, Senior Policy Adviser

Portrait Andrea Kämpf

Andrea Kämpf works as a Senior Policy Adviser in the Department International Human Rights Policies at the German Institute for Human Rights. She currently focuses on accountability of donors as well as strategies for civil society promotion. Next to advising both state and non-state institutions of development cooperation, she works as an independent consultant. Andrea Kämpf is a lawyer and specialized in international public and European law. Prior to joining the Institute, she worked for a private development consulting, the OSCE, the EU and a civil society organisation. Recent publications include: "Zwischen Menschenrechtsförderung und Duldung von Menschenrechtsverletzungen? Anforderungen an die Entwicklungszusammenarbeit aus der Perspektive der extraterritorialen Staatenpflichten" ("Between promotion of human rights and toleration of human rights violations? Requirements for development cooperation from the perspective of extraterritorial human rights obligations"), in: Zeitschrift für Menschenrechte 2012/02 (with Inga Winkler); "Menschenrechte der 'dritten' Generation" ("'Third' generation human rights"); in: Menschenrechte. Ein interdisziplinäres Handbuch (Human Rights. An interdisciplinary handbook), Stuttgart 2012.

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CV Julia Kercher, Senior Policy Adviser

Portrait Julia Kercher

Julia Kercher works as a Policy Adviser in the Department for International Human Rights Policy at the German Institute for Human Rights where she currently focuses on the Sustainable Development Goals ("Post-2015 Agenda") which will replace the MDGs. Julia joined the Institute from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights where she coordinated the High Commissioner’s efforts to integrate human rights standards and principles in Post-2015 Development Agenda, including by supporting government partners in their negotiations. Prior to this, Julia worked for UNDP where, among other things, she managed a cross-regional pilot project to further develop and apply UNDP’s human rights based approach in the area of poverty reduction. She also contributed to advancing UNDP’s mainstreaming of the rights of persons with disabilities. Julia has also worked for non-governmental organizations such as Amnesty International, CARE and Transparency International. She is a fully trained German lawyer, holds a Masters degree in "Development Practice" from Oxford Brookes University and speaks English, Spanish and French.

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CV Dr. Sebastian Müller, Policy Adviser

Portrait Sebastian Müller

Dr. Sebastian Müller has been working since April 2013 for the German Institute for Human Rights. He is Policy Adviser in the International Human Rights Policy Department and supports with background research the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. Before (2006 – 2013) he was working at the Law Faculty of Bielefeld University with Prof. Dr. Christoph Gusy. His scientific activities focused on two EU-funded research projects on the European Court of Human Rights (JURISTRAS) and on independent media in democratic states (MEDIADEM). He studied law in Freiburg i. Br. and completed his Ph.D. in Law in 2010 on international human rights monitoring.

He has published widely on human rights protection, including "The interrelationship between domestic judicial mechanisms and the Straßbourg Court rulings in Germany" (2013) and "Menschenrechtsmonitoring" (2011).

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CV Dr. Griet Newiger-Addy, Policy Adviser

Dr. Griet Newiger-Addy works as a Policy Advisor for the project "Children's Rights in Development Cooperation" at the German Institute for Human Rights. Prior to this, she worked for six years as a consultant and free-lance journalist in Ghana where she focused on local economic development and communication for development, among other things. Griet has also worked as a research associate and lecturer at the Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science of the Freie Universität Berlin and as a policy adviser for domestic affairs of a parliamentary group in a federal state parliament in Germany. She holds a doctorate in political science from the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences of the Universität Potsdam. Other topics of her work include local governance, participation and civil society as well as anti-discrimination policies.

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CV Jan-Christian Niebank, Policy Adviser

Jan-Christian Niebank is a Policy Advisor for Business and Human Rights in the International Human Rights Policy department of the Institute. His work focuses on the State’s duty to protect against human rights violations by private actors, the corporate responsibility to respect human rights and the shared responsibility of States and companies to provide legal and non-legal remedies to victims of corporate misconduct. He studied law at Humboldt University in Berlin and Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli (LUISS) in Rome and specialized in Human Rights and Democratization in Venice and Strasbourg. Prior to joining the German Institute for Human Rights, he was a Legal Advisor at the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and has gained further working experience at the German Mission to the United Nations in New York, Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Colombia.

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CV Dr. Sandra Reitz, Head of Department Human Rights Education

Portrait Sandra Reitz

Dr. Sandra Reitz is Head of the Department Human Rights Education. She finished her studies of English and Social Sciences at the Westfälische Wilhelms-University Münster with her Erstes Staatsexamen (State Examination for teachers). She received her PhD at the Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg and worked as a Research Associate ("Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin") at the Institute for Political Science, Goethe-University Frankfurt from 2009 to 2013. The title of her PhD thesis is: "Improving Social Competence via E-Learning: The Example of Human Rights Education". 
Selected publications: "Standards der Menschenrechtsbildung in Schulen" (2005, together with other authors from the working group Human Rights Education, Forum Menschenrechte); "Building a Global E-Community: Intercultural Courses on Human Rights Education" in: Martin Ebner & Mandy Schiefner (Eds.): Looking Toward the Future of Technology Enhanced Education: Ubiquitous Learning and the Digital Native (2009, pp. 88-106); "Menschenrechte im Unterricht" (2010, together with Ingo Köhler, Sabine Bäcker, Steffi Pohl und Jens Wetzel; "Improving Social Competence via E-Learning? The Example of Human Rights Education" (2012, dissertation); "Menschenrechtsbildung für Kinder und Jugendliche - Befunde und Empfehlungen für die deutsche Bildungspolitik" (2014, gemeinsam mit Prof. Dr. Beate Rudolf); "Policy Paper No. 31: Kinder und Jugendliche haben ein Recht auf Partizipation. Was aus menschenrechtlicher Sicht im Bildungsbereich getan werden muss" (2015).

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CV Christopher Schuller, Policy Adviser

Portrait Christopher Schuller

Christopher Schuller is a Policy Adviser for Business and Human Rights in the International Human Rights Policy department of the Institute. He deals with issues of access to remedy for victims of business-related human rights violations, human rights and agricultural investment, human rights in the internet and telecommunications sectors, extraterritorial state obligations and the human rights impact of German economic policy.
He read Law and German Law at Oxford and is a member of the New York Bar. He also serves as Assistant Editor of the Oxford University Comparative Law Forum.
Prior to joining the German Institute for Human Rights, he was Lecturer in English Law at the Humboldt University of Berlin and a consultant lawyer for the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR).

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CV Eric Töpfer, Policy Adviser

Portrait Eric Töpfer

Eric Töpfer is Policy Advisor at the Department for Human Rights Policies Germany/Europe focusing on issues of policing, internal security and data protection. In addition, he is in charge of conducting and coordinating studies contracted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights in the framework of its FRANET research network. Töpfer studied Political Science at the Free University of Berlin and worked from 2001 to 2010 in various projects on surveillance technologies and urban security policies at the Centre for Technology and Society of the Technical University of Berlin. Prior to joining the German Institute for Human Rights in 2012, he worked as freelance research consultant for the UK-based civil liberties organization Statewatch. A list of his publications can be found at

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CV Deniz Utlu, Policy Adviser

Deniz Utlu is Policy Adviser for Business and Human Rights in the International Human Rights Policy department of the Institute. His work at the Institute focuses on impacts of economic activity and policy on society, especially concerning extractive industries, export promotion and economic policy such as austerity. Before joining the Institute he was Lecturer in Economics at the Berlin School of Economics and Law
(HWR) and an academic staff member at the Berlin Migrant Qualification Network (BQN)

Publications: National Baseline Assessment. Umsetzung der UN-Leitprinzipien für Wirtschaft und Menschenrechte, Lissa Bettzieche, Christopher Schuller, Deniz Utlu und Michael Windfuhr, DIMR, 2015; Transnational Cooperation in Business and Human Rights. A model for analysing and managing NHRI networks, Christopher Schuller und Deniz Utlu, Study, DIMR, 2014; Menschenrechtliche Risikostandards im System der Außenwirtschaftsförderung, Deniz Utlu, Dokumentation, DIMR, 2014; NHRI actions in the field of business and human rights – Update on steps to implement the 2010 Edinburgh Declaration, Claire Methven O’Brien, Cathrine Poulsen Hansen, Sofia Manukyan and Deniz Utlu, in: Business and Human Rights – The Role of National Human Rights Institutions. The Potential of Trans-national NHRI Cooperation, DIMR, 2013; Migrationsforschung als kritische Analyse von Marktmechanismen, in: Mecheril, P.; Thomas-Olalde, O.; Melter, C.; Arens, S.; Romaner, E. (Hrsg.), Migrationsforschung als Kritik? Kontur einer Forschungsperspektive, Springer VS, 2013

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CV Dr. Anna Würth, Head of Department International Human Rights Policy

Portrait Anna Würth

Anna Würth is Head of Department International Human Rights Policies at the German Institute for Human Rights. She earned her PhD in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and has taught at the Free University of Berlin and the University of Richmond in Virginia (USA). She has worked with Human Rights Watch, and has more than 15 years of experience as an independent consultant in development. Anna Würth has published widely on contemporary Islamic Law, on human rights and human rights policy.

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DIMR/Amélie Losier (Aichele, Hildebrand, Reitz, Scherr, Schuller, Töpfer, Windfuhr) It is not allowed to use these pictures on Facebook or Twitter!
DIMR/S. Pietschmann (Heinz, Kämpf, Palleit, Rudolf, Würth)
Photo S. Müller: Annette Koroll


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