Riesenhuber, Heinz

01 December 1935 (Frankfurt / Main)
Historical Notes

Heinz Riesenhuber studied Natural Sciences and Economics at the Universities of Frankfurt and Munich and obtained his doctorate in Chemistry in 1965, having worked as an Assistant Professor until that time. From 1966 to 1971 he worked for Erzgesellschaft GmbH, serving as CTO from 1968 to 1971, and from 1971 to 1982 was CEO of Synthomer Chemie GmbH, both companies being subsidiaries of Metallgesellschaft AG, Frankfurt. His political career started in earnest in 1976, when he was elected to the German Bundestag for the first time. He has sat in parliament continuously ever since, and today is member of the Committee on Economics and Technology and “Father of the House”. From 1982 to 1993 he served as Federal Minister for Research and Technology and, especially during this period, was closely involved with ESA. In 1994 he was appointed Co-President of the German-Japanese Cooperation Council for High Technology and Environment Technology, which he headed until 2002. Since 1995 he has also been Honorary Professor of the University of Frankfurt and since 2006 President of the German Parliamentary Society. He is also a member of the Trilateral Commission, of the Presidential Board of the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) in the state of Hessen and of the board of the CDU Wirtschaftsrat (Economic Council). In addition, he serves on the boards of several national and international companies e.g. EVOTEC, Hamburg, Kabel Deutschland Holding of Munich Unterföhring, HBM BioVentures Agency, Zug, Switzerland (Deputy Chairman), Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Deputy Chairman), Reclay Holding, Cologne (Chairman). In the past, he also sat on the boards of Mannesmann, Vodafone Germany, Altana, and Henkel. His numerous honours and awards include honorary doctorates (Weizman Institute, Rehovot, Israel, AGH University of Science and Technology, Cracow, Poland; University of Surrey, England; Georg-August University, Göttingen, Germany), the German Grand Cross of Merit with Star, Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, France, the Grand Decoration in Gold with Sash, Austria; the Order of the Holy Treasure with Star and Shoulder Ribbon, Japan, the Gold Medal of Academia Europaea, the Wernher von Braun Gold Medal, the Golden Honorary Ring of Deutsches Museum, Munich, and the CICERO Speaker's Award.

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