Remembering Rolf Hoffmann, Executive Director of German Fulbright Commission

Remembering Rolf Hoffmann, Executive Director of German Fulbright Commission

With great sadness the German Fulbright-Kommission has informed us that their esteemed Executive Director, Dr. Rolf Hoffmann (1953-2016), passed away on April 21, 2016 in Berlin.

“With enormous expertise and foresight Dr. Hoffmann managed the German-American Fulbright Program for more than 12 years and inspired it with important new initiatives and ideas. It is thanks to his extraordinary engagement that the German-American Fulbright exchange programs are held in high regard worldwide.

Dr. Hoffmann earned a Ph.D. in zoology and behavioral sciences at the University of Tuebingen, Germany, and Duke University, USA. After teaching for two years at the Technical University of Karlsruhe (KIT), he joined the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn, where he became the deputy director of the Feodor-Lynen Program. From 1991 until 2004, Dr. Hoffmann worked for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Bonn. He first served as DAAD´s head of the Northern Hemisphere programs and later became the director of DAAD´s U.S. office in New York where he formed and managed DAAD´s strategies for the internationalization of German universities. Back in Germany, he directed DAAD´s world-wide initiative for promoting German higher education excellence, and he co-founded and directed GATE Germany, a university consortium of the DAAD and the German Rectors´ Conference for international higher education marketing.

In 2004 Dr. Hoffmann was appointed executive director of the Fulbright Commission in Berlin and helmed its academic exchange programs between the U.S. and Germany. It is due to his ingenuity and his innovative vigor that in times of changing university systems and evolving international education markets, the German-American Fulbright exchange programs continue to enjoy great prestige and an excellent reputation. Dr. Hoffmann was deeply committed to the German-American friendship and the balance of interests between the two governments. An imaginative architect of the German-American Fulbright program, he initiated new transatlantic Fulbright collaborations and new scholarship formats and for this enjoyed great appreciation and respect on both sides of the Atlantic. His expert advice and his dynamic creativity will be sorely missed both in the German-American Fulbright Commission and in the greater transatlantic academic community. We will remember him with high esteem and gratitude.

A private memorial ceremony will be held in the circle of family and close friends. A memorial ceremony with the colleagues, friends and partners from Dr. Hoffmann´s professional networks will take place in June in Berlin.”

If you wish to express your condolences to Dr. Hoffmann’s family (his wife’s name is Dr. Renate Foerg), please email your message to or send your letter to our office address below and we will forward your messages.

—Reiner Rohr, Acting Executive Director

Luetzowufer 26
D-10787 Berlin

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