Board of Directors

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Dr. Maren Jasper-Winter

Dr. Maren Jasper-Winter was elected to the Berlin House of Representatives in September of 2016. In the FDP parliamentary group, she speaks for women’s policy and vocational training and is additionally a member of the Petitions Committee. Before becoming a member of parliament, she worked for nine years as a lawyer at an energy company and wrote her doctorate at the Institute for Energy Law at Humboldt University in Berlin. Maren Jasper-Winter lives with her husband and their two sons in Berlin-Mitte where she is also chairman of the FDP district association. She is the first Berliner in parliament to move her electoral office into a coworking space. More information is available at

FREEARTUS stands for tolerance and liberality and the LAWRENCE project shows how integration can succeed despite all difficulties. This place and FREEARTUS as an NGO enriches Berlin.

Dr. Matthias Köhler

Dr. Matthias Köhler comes from a family that had to flee after the Second World War. As such the subject of flight has accompanied him since his childhood. He is moved by everything that helps others escape, integrate into a new society, and promote cultural exchange. For these reasons, Dr. Köhler is an active member on the board of FREEARTUS. Professionally, he is a Director in the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy where he handles questions pertaining to start-ups and middle class financing in Germany.

I believe that my own experience and my professional activity already explain my appreciation for the approach of FREEARTUS. I consider it forward-looking to meet migrants at eye level and to support them in getting back on their own feet economically as soon as possible and to combine this with new cultural experiences.

Richard Kortmann 

Richard Kortmann considers himself well grounded by his origins. And so his entire – professional – career has been shaped by what is now called sustainability. After studying political science and law, combined with sociology and finance, he started early as a political networker in Bonn, became a staff member in the German Bundestag, switched to international development organizations, for which he designed and was responsible for major public relations and communications projects. Richard Kortmann is also active as a moderator, lecturer and author. He currently holds a senior position at DEG, a member of the KfW Bankengruppe (KfW banking group).

Tolerance and internationality, meeting people, talking to people, communicating – focusing on people and not on their origins. That is my credo and exactly what FREEARTUS is all about.

Dr. Steffen Reiche

Steffen Reiche is a Protestant theologian and pastor of a parish in Berlin Nicolassee. He was born in Potsdam. He is the cofounder of the SPD in the former GDR and belonged to two Brandenburg cabinets as a minister; he was first a minister for science, research and culture from 1994 to 1999, and then for education, youth and sport from 1999 to 2004. From 2005 to 2009, he was a member of the German Bundestag.

As a minister, I dedicated myself to education, which is the key to almost everything. As a pastor, which I am now again, I dedicate myself directly to people. FREEARTUS combines cultural exchange with direct encounters — this is education. Above all, not only in the head but also in the heart.

Dr. Jörg Walendy

Jörg Walendy, born in 1975, studied law in Leipzig, Madrid, Berlin and Brussels. He received his doctorate in energy law and was the head of the legal and consular department at the German Embassy in Algiers from 2006 to 2009. During this time, he was involved in Algeria’s cultural and media scene which was reflected in his crime novel Tag der Unabhängig (Day of the Independent). At the height of the refugee crisis at German Embassy in Beirut, Walendy headed the legal and consular department and organized reception programs from Syrian war refugees together with the UNHCR and the IOM. Since 2016, he has worked in Berlin for the Foreign Minister’s office and has accompanied Frank Walter Steinmeier, Sigmar Gabriel and Heiko Maas on trips to the Middle East, most recently to Iraq and Iran.

FREEARTUS simply does a lot of things right. It shows courage for humanity  and creativity. It is also outside the box as it has exciting projects that shake up and wake up the official in me! I am very happy to contribute to this organization.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Wünsch 

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Wünsch—a trained Germanist, psychologist and media scientist—is now a visiting professor at the Berlin University of the Arts after working for many years as the founding president of the SRH Hochschule der populären Künste in Berlin. In 2017, he additionally founded the non-profit company and foundation—education for Sub-Saharan Africa, which is especially active in the fields of the creative industry, education for the 21st century, and social entrepreneurship. Before that, he was a dramaturge, journalist and event designer. He is also a systemic coach and consultant. He thinks and moderates for various companies and organizations that work in communication and personal matters.

Without a specific vision, even the obvious cannot be discerned. Without looking out for what’s next, you get lost in the distance.

Brigitte Zypries

Brigitte Zypries, a lawyer, was appointed to the position of State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior in 1998 after working in Giessen, Karlsruhe and Hanover. From October 2002 to September 2009, she was the Federal Minister of Justice. From 2005 to 2017, she represented the constituency of Darmstadt as a directly elected member of the Bundestag. From January 2017 to March 2018, she was the Federal Minister of Economics and Energy, and from December 2013 to January 2017, she was the Parliamentary State Secretary for this ministry, responsible for information technology and foreign trade. She was the Federal Government Coordinator for Aerospace from January 2014 to March 2018. Brigitte Zypries has held various honorary posts as well. She is particularly involved in the German Federal Association of Startus, is the Ombudsfrau for various organizations, and is a member of the supervisory board of Betterplace and EIT Digital.

I support FREEARTUS and LAWRENCE because the exchange of people from different cultures is important to me.

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