Prof. Dr. h.c. Klaus-Dieter Lehmann: Biography

Prof. Dr. H.C. Klaus-Dieter Lehmann Foto: Goethe-Institut/Andreas Wrobbel

Born February 29, 1940 in Breslau

Education and career:
  • 1961-1967 Studies in Physics and Mathematics at the universities of Cologne and Mainz; Degree: Diplom
  • 1967-1969 Scientist at Max-Planck-Institut Mainz
  • 1969-1970 Traineeship and Degree (“Second State Examination”) in Library Science<
  • 1970–1973 University Librarian in Darmstadt
  • 1973–1978 Director at the Municipal and University Library Frankfurt am Main
  • 1978–1988 Principal Director of the Municipal and University Library Frankfurt am Main
  • since 1986 Honorary Professor for Economic Informatics at the Goethe-University of Frankfurt am Main
  • 1988–1990 Director General of the German Library in Frankfurt am Main
  • 1990–1998 Director General of the united German Library Leipzig, Frankfurt, Berlin (subsequently the German National Library)
  • 1998–2008 President of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation
  • since 2006 Honorary Professor for Library and Information Science at the Humboldt-University in Berlin
  • 2002-2008 Vice president of the Goethe-Institut
  • since 2008 President of the Goethe-Institut
Prof. Dr. h.c. Klaus-Dieter Lehmann is a member of the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz, a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science and an honorary member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts. Alongside numerous other honorary positions he is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Germanic National Museum Nürnberg, Member of the Board of the German Museum in Munich, member of the Board of Trustees of the German Academy for Language and Poetry Darmstadt, Chairman of the Advisory Committee and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Cultural Foundation and Deputy Chairman of the Curatorium of the Cultural Foundation of the Federal States. He is an honorary member of the Association of German Librarians and of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association (Börsenvereins des Deutschen Buchhandels).

The Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2001. In 2010 he became an honorary senator of the Humboldt University in Berlin.
He holds the Grand Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Order of Merit of the state of Berlin and the "Kulturgroschen" of the German Cultural Council, as well as high distinctions from France, Austria and Italy.