For Research. For Berlin.

Press Release

08/23/2021 // (10/21)

Einstein Foundation Berlin announces new Executive Board chair

On August 18, 2021, the Council of the Einstein Foundation Berlin unanimously elected Prof. Martin Rennert, former president of the Berlin University of the Arts, to be the new chair of its Executive Board. Prof. Martin Rennert already serves on the foundation’s board and will assume his new role on September 1, 2021. He will take over from Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Günter Stock, who has stepped down from the position.

The acting chair of the Foundation Council, Dr. Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, congratulated the newly elected chair on behalf of the entire council: “I’m delighted that we have been able to find yet another outstanding individual for this role with vast amounts of experience and creative energy. I wish Professor Martin Rennert all the best in realizing his goals for the foundation and look forward to continuing our successful partnership with the Executive Board. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Günter Stock, who held the post for several years, for his excellent, committed work on behalf of the foundation. His extensive experience in research policy, his tremendous dedication to the foundation, and successful endeavors made him instrumental in helping the foundation achieve both national and international recognition for its work to promote excellence within Berlin’s research community.”


In his introductory speech, Martin Rennert stressed that he planned to continue Günter Stock’s valuable legacy, further develop the foundation’s high standing both in Germany and abroad, advance the strategic discussion on how to carry on growing the foundation’s profile as an organization that promotes excellence in Berlin’s research community, and fight to increase the Einstein Foundation’s budget by sourcing funds from the public and private sectors.


Background: Prof. Martin Rennert

Martin Rennert was president of the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) from 2006 until early 2020. Born in New York in 1954, he studied classical guitar in Vienna, Granada, and Graz. In 1985, he was appointed professor for guitar at the Berlin University of the Arts, and from 1989 to 1995, he served as Dean of the College of Music at the UdK. During his time as president, Martin Rennert also acted as deputy chairperson of the “Landeskonferenz der Rektoren und Präsidenten der Universitäten und Hochschulen des Landes Berlin” (LKRP), an organization that unites all university presidents in the state of Berlin, and was spokesperson for the higher education institutions in the arts at LKRP. Since 1995, he has also served as an advisor to the European Union on issues concerning cultural policy and arts education during accession negotiations as well as to the ministries of culture and science of several European and non-European countries. From 1995 to 1997, Martin Rennert was president of the European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA) in Amsterdam. Between 2007 and 2019, he was a member of the Advisory Board of the Zurich University of the Arts, and from 2011 until 2018, he was a member of the Broadcasting Council of Berlin-Brandenburg Radio/TV (rbb). In April 2019, he was elected to its board. Since February 2020, he has been a member of the Einstein Foundation Berlin’s Executive Board.


The Einstein Foundation Berlin is an independent, not-for-profit, science-led organization established as a foundation under civil law in 2009. Since then, its task has been to promote international cutting-edge science and research across disciplines and institutions in and for Berlin. To date, it has funded over 170 researchers, including three Nobel laureates, 71 projects, and seven Einstein Centers. For its efforts to promote Berlin as a research hub and to grow the city’s international reputation, the Einstein Foundation was named German Research Foundation of the Year 2021.