Media release: Stefan Mair New Head of SWP

Berlin, 16 January 2020. Dr. Stefan Mair (56) will be the new Chair of the Board of Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP). In that capacity he also becomes the Director of the SWP research institute. The SWP Council finalised the appointment at its meeting on 15 January 2020. Mair will assume the position on 1 October 2020, taking over from Prof. Dr. Volker Perthes (61).

From left to right: Prof. Dr Volker Perthes, Dr Stefan Mair, Dr Nikolaus Bomhard

Mair began his career at SWP in 1992, after gaining his Ph.D. at the ifo Institute in Munich. He served at SWP for 18 years, first as a researcher on Sub-Saharan Africa and later as a member of the Executive Board. In 2010 Mair was appointed to the Executive Board of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), with particular responsibility for international issues.

“It was Stefan Mair’s management and leadership that convinced us,” said Dr. Nikolaus von Bomhard, President of the SWP Council, “alongside his academic competence and his ideas for SWP’s future development.” “I am certain,” von Bombard continued, “that this decision will uphold SWP’s exacting standards and independence, and secure its position as Germany’s leading think-tank and first-choice advisor on foreign policy and security issues”.

“I am delighted to see Stefan Mair return to the Institute in this capacity,” said retiring Director Volker Perthes. “We have already worked together here as researchers and in senior management, so I am very pleased to be handing over the baton after 15 years. I will turn my energies to other tasks and interests – and of course support my successor wherever possible.”

Contact: Ms. Candida Splett, Head of Communications Department, candida.splett(at), +49 (0)30 88007-161


Press release

New Centre for Applied Turkey Studies in Berlin

Berlin, 18.09.2019. The new Centre for Applied Turkey Studies (CATS) in Berlin was inaugurated yesterday. It operates as part of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), and is funded by Stiftung Mercator and the German Federal Foreign Office.

“There are few countries with which Germany has closer people-to-people relations than it does with Turkey”, said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at an exhibition opening in Istanbul in November 2018. Stepping up research is a precondition for gaining a better understanding of Turkey. CATS will bring together evidence-based research, European networking of expertise on Turkey, and policy consultation. Dissecting the diversity of Germany’s and Europe’s relations with Turkey forms a significant interest, along with laying out options and recommendations. The objective is to contribute to formulating coherent European policies towards Turkey.

The Centre for Applied Turkey Studies will analyse political and social developments in Turkey and relations between Turkey and Europe. It will also create space for informal exchange between important actors, and supply information to political decision-makers and the broader public. CATS intends to become a leading source and contact for German and European media.

The Head of CATS is Dr. Günter Seufert, previously Senior Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). Deputy Head is Dr. Hürcan Asli Aksoy, who previously worked at the Chair of Middle East Politics and Society at the Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg. At any one time up to ten German, European and Turkish researchers will be working at CATS. The Centre sees itself as the hub and curator of an international network of think tanks. CATS will collaborate with European and Turkish think tanks and distribute project funding and scholarships.

CATS is an initiative of Stiftung Mercator and the German Federal Foreign Office. Funding has been secured until 2022: Stiftung Mercator has pledged about €3.2 million, the German Federal Foreign Office about €1.5 million.

For further information on CATS see: For queries and interviews please contact Dr. Günter Seufert: guenter.seufert(at), tel. +49-30-88007-276.