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January 10th, 2024 | Since 1 January 2024, Christine Kühnel has been Co-Managing Director of the Reiner Lemoine Institute (RLI) and heads it together with Kathrin Goldammer. Kühnel holds a doctorate in industrial engineering and is an expert in civil society aspects of the energy transition and environmental protection. She has been Head of Division at RLI since June 2019. This means that the technology research institute now has an entirely female management team.
In her previous role, Kühnel was responsible for finance, HR and project management as well as IT and is the central point of contact for funding and commissioning organisations. She has many years of experience in the areas of energy transition, climate protection and energy research and will continue to support the topics of heat transition and industrial transformation, among others, at RLI. As Managing Directors, Goldammer and Kühnel will jointly assume the scientific and commercial management of the RLI.
“I am delighted to be heading the RLI together with Christine in the future. The dual leadership model has proved its worth at RLI at the level of the research areas. We are now adopting it for the management. This will allow us to focus even more on our topics: The energy and transport transition – and their scientific support,” says Goldammer, who has headed the RLI as Managing Director since 2016 and has been Chair of the Executive Board since 1 January 2024.
Women are still underrepresented in leadership positions in science, especially in STEM fields. “We do energy research and consulting at RLI and have achieved gender parity at all levels in our organisation. The fact that we now have a dual leadership consisting of two female managing directors is unique in our research area – but will hopefully become more and more normal in the future,” says Goldammer.
RLI is a wholly owned subsidiary of the non-profit Reiner Lemoine Foundation (RLS). Annegret Jatzkewitz, Chairwoman of the RLS Board of Directors, is delighted about the future dual power of the RLI management: “Christine Kühnel is the ideal second Managing Director for the RLI because she is an engineer and has a great deal of expertise in the field of social participation in the energy transition. The RLI has grown strongly in recent years and is now well positioned for the future with the dual leadership of Christine and Kathrin.”
Kühnel completed her doctorate at TU Berlin, worked at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research as a scientific coordinator and as a scientific advisor at the German Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech). She was also team leader in the field of renewable energy and energy-efficient mobility at the German Energy Agency (dena). In an honorary capacity, she was spokesperson for the Berlin Climate Protection Council (2017 to 2021), a member of the Enquete Commission “New Energy for Berlin” of the Berlin House of Representatives (2014 to 2016) and Chairwoman of the Board of BUND Berlin.
Tel.: +49 30 12084 3415
© Photo: RLI (Stefan Klenke)