President Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier Appoints Islamic Studies Scholar Gudrun Krämer and Sociologist Heike Solga to German Council of Science and Humanities

President Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier Appoints Islamic Studies Scholar Gudrun Krämer and Sociologist Heike Solga to German Council of Science and Humanities

German President Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier appointed Islamic studies scholar Gudrun Krämer from Freie Universität Berlin and sociologist Heike Solga from Freie Universität and the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) to the German Council of Science and Humanities for a three-year term. Krämer, director of the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, and Solga, director of the "Skill Formation and Labor Markets" research unit at the WZB, are among seven individuals jointly proposed by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Max Planck Society, the German Rectors’ Conference, the Helmholtz Association, the Fraunhofer Society, and the Leibniz Association to join the Council. The term will begin on February 1. International law specialist Heike Krieger from Freie Universität has been a member of the German Council of Science and Humanities since 2014.

Gudrun Krämer studied history, Islamic studies, political science, and English language and literature in Heidelberg, Bonn, and Sussex. In 1981 she earned a doctorate in Islamic studies at Universität Hamburg. She then worked as a Middle East consultant at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Ebenhausen near Munich. In 1993 she completed the habilitation process and was appointed a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Bonn. In 1996 she accepted an appointment as a professor at Freie Universität Berlin. Since 2007 Krämer has been the director of the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, which was founded as part of the German government’s Excellence Initiative and is run jointly by Freie Universität Berlin as the host university, along with Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient. Her main areas of research include religion, law, politics, and society in Islam with a focus on the modern Arab world. Krämer is Secretary of the Humanities Department of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and a member of the Tunisian Academy of Sciences, Letters, and Arts. She is a member of several scientific advisory boards and boards of trustees in Germany and abroad. Visiting lectureships and professorships took her to Bologna, Cairo, Paris, Jakarta, Erfurt, Beirut, and Beijing. In 2006 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Tashkent Islamic University, and in 2010 she received the Gerda Henkel Prize.

Gudrun Krämer is co-editor of the Encyclopaedia of Islam Three. Her publications include Der Vordere Orient und Nordafrika seit 1500 (The Near East and Northern Africa since 1500), Geschichte des Islam (History of Islam), The History of Palestine, and Hasan al-Banna, which is an English-language biography of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. She has also published several collections of essays as well as numerous chapters in books.

Heike Solga studied sociology at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Stanford University. In 1994 she earned her doctorate at Freie Universität Berlin, where she completed the habilitation process in 2003. Following a research position at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development (1991-2004), Solga held professorships at the universities in Leipzig and Göttingen. In Berlin she was appointed director of the "Skill Formation and Labor Markets" research unit at the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB), which is a member of the Leibniz Association, and also a professor of sociology at Freie Universität Berlin. She has also been a visiting professor at Yale University, ETH Zurich, and the University of Zurich and a visiting research fellow at Harvard University.

Heike Solga’s main fields of research are the labor market and education and training. Her current research focuses on the educational and employment biographies of low-skilled persons, the importance of educational certificates and competences in company recruitment processes, and international differences in adult education and their significance for employment biographies.

She was awarded the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society for her dissertation on social inequality in the GDR. In 2013 she was awarded the Berliner Wissenschaftspreis for her research on disadvantaged young people in the transition from secondary school to college or training programs as well as individuals lacking skills necessary for the labor market. Her work includes quantitative data analyses, experimental approaches, and intervention studies.

Solga has experience in numerous committees: She has been a member of the Senate of the Max Planck Society, deputy chairperson of the German Data Forum, and a member of the Senate and Joint Committee of the German Research Foundation (DFG). She is currently on the board of trustees of the Volkswagen Foundation, in the working group of the DGF dealing with "Research-oriented Equality Standards," and in the Research Council of the European University Institute in Florence. She was co-editor of the Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie for ten years.


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