Bonn, 29.09.2010. Dr. Christian Bode, who has been General Secretary of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for 20 years, goes into retirement at the end of September. On the 1st October, he is to be succeeded by Dr. Dorothea Rüland, currently Director of the International Centre at Free University Berlin. Yesterday evening, the retiring General Secretary was officially discharged in the presence of politicians, national and international partners and companions. In his speech, Federal Foreign Minister Dr. Guido Westerwelle recalled Bode’s first years at the DAAD, in which Europe was undergoing radical changes and the borders between East and West were also opening up for academics. "You are among those who have promoted the internal unity of our country – here, you have made a lasting contribution." DAAD President Professor Sabine Kunst thanked Christian Bode, also on behalf of the member higher education institutions and students, for his outstanding engagement and stressed: "It is to you that we largely owe credit for the DAAD being so well-prepared for the future." The President of Technical University Munich, Professor Wolfgang Herrmann, awarded Dr. Bode the TU Munich’s Golden Ring of Honour in recognition of his services.
Christian Bode was born in Cottbus in 1942 and studied Law. He started his career in 1972, at the Federal Ministry of Education and Science, where he worked at the Higher Education Department and as Head of the Planning Group. In 1982, he transferred to the West German Rectors’ Conference to become its General Secretary in Bonn. Since the 1st August 1990, he has been General Secretary of the DAAD, which has developed into the largest organisation world-wide for international co-operation in higher education and academic exchange. During Bode’s period of office, the number of those supported almost doubled from just under 34,000 in 1990 to almost 67,000 in 2009. The General Secretary has made crucial contributions to promoting the development of the DAAD as an internationalisation agency and introduced new focal areas of activity. He has been active in education marketing, establishing a network of 50 information centres around the world and German higher education projects abroad, such as, currently, the German Turkish University. Several honorary doctorates, decorations and awards from abroad pay tribute to his achievements.
The new General Secretary, Dr. Dorothea Rüland (55 years old), studied German Language and Literature, History and Musicology at Albert Ludwigs University Freiburg and did her doctorate in 1984. After working as a foreign languages assistant in Thailand for five years, she joined the DAAD, headed various units at the headquarters and, on a temporary basis, the Jakarta Office. In the years from 2004 to her transferring to Free University Berlin (2008), she was the DAAD’s deputy General Secretary.
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