The Foundation Staff

At present some 100 people work directly for the Volkswagen Foundation – in the "Staff Divisions" of the Secretary General as well as in the departments "Funding", "Investment Management" and "Finance and Administration".

Selahattin Danisman
Dr. Selahattin Danisman

Program Director

F +49 (0)511 8381-4256
Additional Information

Member of the funding team "Understanding Research". Responsible for projects in medicine, health sciences and science communication (research).

Career: degree in biology at Bielefeld University, PhD in molecular biology at Wageningen University, then research assistant at Bielefeld University and (briefly) funding officer at the Dutch national funding organization (NWO).

Gabriele Darge
Gabriele Darge

Assistant; Accounts Payable

F +49 (0)511 8381-4268
Portrait Mareile Demuth
Mareile Demuth

Head of Human Resources

F +49 (0)511 8381-4220
Hanna Wielandt
Dr. Hanna Denecke

Head of Team Exploration

F +49 (0)511 8381-4291
Additional Information
Hanna Denecke is an economist with a long experience in research management and heads the funding team "Exploration”. After studying economics in Heidelberg and Hamburg, she completed a master’s degree in "Development Economics & Policy” at the University of Manchester (UK) and a doctorate in applied microeconomics at the Humboldt University in Berlin.
At the foundation, Hanna Denecke is responsible for business administration and economics and previously supervised cooperative research projects between Africa and Germany as well as research projects in the field of artificial intelligence.
Dr. Franz Dettenwanger

Program Director; Coordination Niedersächsisches Vorab

F +49 (0)511 8381-4217
Additional Information

Has been responsible for projects from the engineering and material sciences as well as mathematics.

Background: Studied Physics at the University of Tübingen and  NMI Reutlingen, Doctoral studies in the area of Materials Science at the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research at the University of Stuttgart, later research assistant; previously worked for DECHEMA, Frankfurt am Main, in the areas of research and research funding.

Dr. Pavel Dutow

Program Director

F +49 (0)511 8381-4396
Additional Information

Responsible for projects in life sciences, especially in Biomedicine.

Background: Studies of Biology with focus on Microbiology, Genetics, and Biochemistry at the University of Göttingen (Institute of Microbiology and Genetics). Doctoral studies and Postdoc at the Hannover Medical School (Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hospital Epidemiology).