Exterior Advisory Board

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Johannes M. Biermann graduated from the University of Cologne with a master’s degree in business administration. He first worked for Siemens AG in Munich and his current professional role is as Senior Director, Customer Insights, at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise in California. He has been the San Francisco Eric M. Warburg Chapter Director of the American Council on Germany (ACG) since 2003. The ACG is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization incorporated in New York in 1952 that promotes dialogue among leaders from business, government, and the media in the US and Europe.

Rita M. Bral graduated from the University of Ghent, Belgium, with a BA in Art History, a Master’s in Roman Philology and an Aggregate in Pedagogy. From 1988-2002 she was Executive Director of Software Research Institute. She held the mandate of Honorary Consul of Belgium for Northern California and Nevada from 1993-2013, and was knighted twice by King Albert II of Belgium for her services. Currently she is Vice-President Corporate Communications of Software Research, Inc.

Terri E. Givens  was an IES and CGES grant recipient and an active participant in their events while obtaining a PhD at UCLA. She is a renowned scholar in the field of immigration politics. Her most recent book, Legislating Equality was published by Oxford University Press in 2014. She was a Professor of Political Science at University of Washington from 1999 to 2003, and at University of Texas at Austin (2003-2015). At UT Austin, she launched the Center for European Studies as well as an undergraduate major in European Studies and served as Vice Provost of Undergraduate Curriculum and International Affairs (2006-2009). She became Provost at Menlo College in Atherton, CA in July 2015.

Adam Green attended UC Berkeley and began his career as an international student advisor and attorney at Harvard. He later specialized in immigration law and the representation of international students and scholars for more than 20 years. He represents numerous French nationals and companies which employ them in the US. He is listed in the prestigious publication, “Best Lawyers in America” and has an AV rating (the highest possible) from Martindale Hubbell, America’s well known attorney rating service.

Robert Heller was born in Cologne, Germany and obtained his Ph.D. in Economics from UC Berkeley. He began his career as an economics professor at UCLA and the University of Hawaii. Subsequently he was Chief of the Financial Studies Division of the International Monetary Fund and Director of International Economic Research at Bank of America. The President appointed him as a Governor of the Federal Reserve Board in Washington. After that, he became President and CEO of Visa U.S.A. Robert Heller is a director of several public and private corporations. 

Hermann-Victor Johnen was born in Aachen, Germany and received his doctorate from the University of Münster with a dissertation on the former San Francisco mayor Adolph Sutro. Dr. Johnen is President of JCI International, focusing on European-American business development, and represents Protocol Professionals, Inc.™ in Germany and the Benelux countries. From 2014 until 2016, he was a Visiting Scholar at IES.

David Clay Large obtained a Ph.D. in History from U.C. Berkeley in 1974. He has taught at Berkeley, Smith College, Montana State University, and Yale University, where he was also a college dean. A specialist on modern Central Europe, Large has published some twelve books on such topics as West German rearmament in the Adenauer era, Wagnerism in European politics and culture, urban history (Munich and Berlin), the German-hosted Olympic Games, and the Grand Spa-towns of Central Europe. Currently he offers courses through the Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning (University of San Francisco) and serves as a Senior Fellow at Berkeley's Institute of European Studies.

Johann Strobl is a graduate from Vienna University of Economics and Business. He is chairman of Raiffeisen Bank International AG, which is a leading bank in Central and Eastern Europe with a broad network in fifteen countries.

Michel Wendell is the Honorary Consul of Finland in the San Francisco Bay Area. Having earned his EE degree, he left his native Finland in 1985 and landed in the Silicon Valley in 1996. He is co-founder and General Partner of Nexit Ventures, a venture fund focusing on wireless and mobile opportunities. He also serves as a director on the boards of several venture backed high tech companies.


Exterior Board Member Position Description

April 2017

The UC Berkeley Institute of European Studies (IES) is the University’s leading center for advancing
interdisciplinary research and service in European Studies. Founded in 1999, IES seeks to enrich
America’s understanding of Europe -- its people, developments and challenges -- through the generation
of distinguished scholarship and research in cooperation with all Departments on the Berkeley campus.
The Institute’s goals are threefold:

  1. To stimulate, initiate, facilitate, and finance research about Europe;
  2. To disseminate research findings to the broader community of scholars, citizens and students; and
  3. To provide a community for students and faculty who share a European focus to their work.

To achieve these objectives, the Institute requires an engaged board of advisors that takes an active interest in its endeavors and success. The responsibilities of members of the IES Exterior Advisory Board include:

• Creating relationships with potential donors and helping to open doors to potential supporters in the business, professional and philanthropic sectors;
• Supporting the Institute’s fundraising activities, including the annual online Big Give campaign and the annual IES Gala;
• Contributing or raising an annual financial gift of min. $1,000 to the Institute, with recognition for contributions of in-kind services to the Board;
• Attend one IES Exterior Advisor Board Meeting usually held every Fall semester.

Board members:

• Should have a connection and philanthropic inclination toward the Berkeley campus, as an alumnus or supporter;
• Should have a strong interest in helping students and young adults to succeed;
• Should see their role as goodwill ambassadors for IES and are aware that they cannot represent the University of California, Berkeley.

Institute of European Studies
207 Moses Hall, #2316
University of California
Berkeley, CA  94720-2316


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