Jurist Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Katharina Boele-Woelki will assume the role of President of Bucerius Law School in Hamburg. The Board of Trustees approved the motion of the Senate for Boele-Woelki to begin her term on 1 October, 2015. As of 1 September, 2015, Boele-Woelki will join the Law School as Claussen Simon Foundation Professor of Comparative Law. Born in 1956, Katharina Boele-Woelki is currently a professor of private international law, comparative law and family law at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, and an extraordinary professor at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa.
Boele-Woelki studied law from 1975-1979 at the University of Göttingen and the Freie Universität Berlin and completed doctoral work at the FU Berlin in 1982. She has taught and conducted research in the Netherlands since 1982 and served as a member of the Faculty of Law at Utrecht University since 1990, having taken on her current role in 1995. In addition, Boele-Woelki directs numerous research programs, supervises dissertation work and chaired her faculty’s Department of Private Law three times from 1995-2012, each time for a term of two years.
She is a titular member of the International Academy of Comparative Law and was elected to her current role as President in 2014; until 2014, she was additionally President of the Dutch Association of Family Law and a member of the board of the Dutch Association of Comparative Law. She is a member of the German Society of International Law (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationales Recht) as well as the Academic Association for Family Law (Wissenschaftliche Vereinigung für Familienrecht). In 2007, she established the Utrecht Centre for European Research into Family Law (UCERF). She has been the chair of the Commission on European Family Law, which was established upon her initiative, since 2001.
Boele-Woelki serves as an editor to several Dutch, South African and European journals and book series including the European Family Law Series since 2003. She has organized prestigious international conferences, delivered numerous guest lectures at various universities around the world, was a visiting professor at Columbia University, New York, USA, and has served as a reporter, speaker, expert and panel member at many international conferences.
Boele-Woelki was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2011 by the University of Uppsala (Sweden). In 2012, she received the Anneliese Maier Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for her work in the area of international and European Family Law. In 2013, she was elected to the International Advisory Board of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. On 29 May, 2015, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Lausanne (Switzerland).
Professor Dr. Michael Göring, President of the Board of the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius: "Katharina Boele-Woelki, the new President of Bucerius Law School, distinguishes herself in so many ways. Her international undertakings and long list of academic accomplishments in the fields of research and teaching provide impressive documentation of this. I laud the search committee’s success in having been able to identify such a strong leader for this position and offer my sincerest thanks to Professor Karsten Thorn for having taken on the role of acting president in the summer of 2014 and masterfully carried out this duty. Being returned to female leadership with Prof. Boele-Woelki’s accession to power in October of this year, the private institution founded and funded by the ZEIT-Stiftung will carry on its tradition of academic excellence."
Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Katharina Boele-Woelki, President-elect of Bucerius Law School: "I would like to offer my thanks for the confidence being placed in me and look forward to the tasks that await me in the coming years. The history of success and pioneering role of Bucerius Law School represent both commitment and incentive. The task now is to position the Law School as an engine in the further development of innovative and international legal research and teaching."
Professor Dr. Karsten Thorn, Acting President of Bucerius Law School: "We gain in Katharina Boele-Woelki an outstanding researcher and university professor with a strong international profile and extensive leadership experience. Her international renown and interdisciplinary vision are a perfect fit for the profile of our institution. The entire Law School looks forward to having her as our new president!"
Professor Ton Hol, Head of the Utrecht University School of Law: "Katharina Boele-Woelki will be deeply missed by Utrecht University. Her scholarship was of crucial importance not only to the School of Law, but the University as a whole. Striving for the inclusion of jurisprudence into multidisciplinary research projects, she was an outstanding ambassador to other academic disciplines. In addition, Professor Boele-Woelki demonstrated a strong sense of responsibility for her organization, a trait evidenced by outstanding performance in her administrative roles, both in and outside of the university. While her departure comes as a great loss for Utrecht, we are extremely proud that she is becoming President of Bucerius Law School and wish her great success in this role."
Bucerius Law School is the first private law school in Germany. The school was founded in 2000 by the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius. It belongs to the best law faculties in the country (ranked number one by the CHE since 2008) and is also one of the most successful private German university models. The presidency of the law school has been vacant following the appointment of Professor Dr. Doris König, M.C.L. to the Federal Constitutional Court on 21 May, 2014. Then Vice President Professor Dr. Karsten Thorn, LL.M. assumed the role of Acting President. He will continue to serve in this capacity until the new president begins her term on 1 October, 2015.
A photograph of Katharina Boele-Woelki is available at http://1drv.ms/1H0Biat