Quick access:

Go directly to content (Alt 1) Go directly to first-level navigation (Alt 2)

President and Board of Directors

The President is head of the Board of Trustees, which is reponsible for supervising the business conducted by the Goethe-Institut as well as making decisions in matters of fundamental importance. The Board is elected for a term of four years.

The Board of Directors manages the Goethe-Institut’s business affairs in terms of content and administration. It is made up of the General Secretary and the Commercial Director. The General Secretary holds the chair as spokesman for the Board of Directors. The term of office for each board member is five years. 
Prof. Dr. Carola Lentz Photo: Goethe-Institut / Loredana La Rocca

Prof. Dr. Carola Lentz

Johannes Ebert Photo: Martin Ebert

Secretary General
Johannes Ebert

Rainer Pollack Photo: Goethe-Institut/Loredana La Rocca

Business Director
Rainer Pollack

Former Presidents and Secretaries General

Presidents of the Goethe-Institut

Prof. Dr. Carola Lentz (since 2020)
Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Lehmann (2008-2020)
Prof. Dr. Jutta Limbach (2002-2008)
Prof. Dr. h.c. Hilmar Hoffmann (1993-2001)
Hans Heigert (1989-1993)
Klaus v. Bismarck (1977-1989)
Hans v. Herwarth (1971-1977)
Peter H. Pfeiffer (1963-1971)
Dr. Max Grasmann (1962-1963)
Dr. Kurt Magnus (1951-1962)

Secretaries General of the Goethe-Institut

Johannes Ebert (since 2012)
Dr. Hans-Georg Knopp (2005-2012)
Dr. Wolfgang Bader (2005, interim)
Dr. Andreas Schlüter (2004)
Dr. Horst Harnischfeger (2003)
Prof. Dr. Joachim-Felix Leonhard (2001-2003)
Dr. Joachim Sartorius (1996-2000)
Dr. Horst Harnischfeger (1976-1996)
Hans Kahle (1973-1976)
Dr. Christoph-Ulrich Wecker (1973)
Dr. Werner Ross (1965-1973)*
Richard Wolf (1958-1965)*
Helmuth Brückmann (1952-58)*

* bis 1973 lautete der Titel Hauptgeschäftsführer bzw. Direktor des Goethe-Instituts