About American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation was established in 1999 as the US nonprofit professional partner of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH), based in Germany, and the almost 6,000 members of US Humboldt alumni network. We are part of a worldwide network of 30,000 alumni of the AvH, including 61 Nobel Laureates and two former US secretaries of energy.

Our Partners

  • NCURA
  • AAPS, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists
  • AWIS, association for woman in science
  • Fraunhofer, USA
  • Advancing science, serving society
  • American society for microbiology
  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
  • German Center for Research and Innovation New York
  • ACS Chemistry for life
  • American Council on Germany
  • APS Advancing Physics
  • Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung
  • German Academic Exchange Service
  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research
  • German Academic International Network
  • Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany San Francisco
  • Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Washington
  • German Historical Institute Washington
  • Goethe Institut
  • Heidelberg University Association
  • Heinrich Boll Stiftung Washington, DC
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Global Indiana University
  • Research in Germany Land of Ideas
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • UAS7 German Universities of Applied Sciences
  • University of Cologne

Our mission

To become a leading source in the United States for the promotion of national and international networking, exchange, and creative collaboration among scientists, scholars, artists, and other professionals, consistent with the goals of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation of Germany.

Our values

To mobilize the intellectual curiosity, creativity, experience, and passion of Humboldtians to shape research, higher education, and professional development in the United States and beyond.

Our vision

We believe in investment in the individual, and in an international community of intellectual inquiry. Humboldtians are at the center of our vision and are vital partners in our mission. As acknowledged leaders in their fields who share a lifelong commitment to collaboration and cultural exploration, Humboldtians are uniquely qualified to serve as special ambassadors of German intellectual life in the United States and as proponents and models of internationalization in the US research enterprise.

  • Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AFAvH) is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion as core values of our organization and programs. Excellence is the guiding principle of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and AFAvH and is found in the work of researchers and other leaders across the breadth and diversity of our respective nations, cultures, and societies.

    Demonstrating these values, we identify, recruit, and support outstanding scientists, scholars, engineers, and other professionals regardless of gender, religion, race, ethnicity, national origin, class, age, disability, gender and sexual identity, and intellectual, academic, and scientific perspective. Furthermore, we are equally committed to reflecting these same values for our employees, board members, and collaborative partners. Through our commitment to excellence, diversity, equity, and inclusion, we endeavor to enrich and enhance the US and other global Humboldt communities. This is a living document that will continue to be updated and improved in response to community input.

    Commitment to Action 2021–2023

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  • Commitment to Action

    Board Statement supporting Latinx and Chicanx* Scholars and Ethnic and Racial Equity in International Science, Scholarship, and Professional Practice

    We take this moment to reaffirm our commitment to the values and goals expressed in our Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. We also recognize that a statement without a commitment to act is sorely inadequate to the times and continuing social challenges. We therefore commit to bring about critical and long-overdue change through thoughtful introspection and sustained, purposeful action.

    As an organization, our guiding principle has always been excellence in science, scholarship, and professional practice in support of transatlantic exchange and learning. The contributions of Americans of Latinx and Chicanx descent to science, scholarship, art, literature, music, and culture has been profound; and their struggle to gain access to, advance in, and lead within the Academy and other professions is not due to a lack of distinguished achievement, creativity, and talent, in short—excellence.

    American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation will engage Humboldtians and other experts to identify the actions we must take to encourage and support Latinx and Chicanx researchers and scholars to apply to the Humboldt Foundation’s international exchange and mobility programs, and to achieve our goal to be a more inclusive, equitable, and diverse organization and network. Future efforts will continue to examine the perspectives, and barriers to inclusion and participation, for members of diverse races, ethnicities, identities, and beliefs. The following actions represent important steps to be made by AFAvH:

    • We will identify and reach out to talented Latinx and Chicanx scholars, scientists, and professionals and encourage them to see a future as a member of our worldwide network of excellence.
    • Our Leadership Series of essays on critical issues for international science and higher education will present perspectives of racially and ethnically diverse Humboldtians and guest commentators on racism in science and scholarship and what must change.
    • In 2024, our Humboldt Dialogue Series will explore the historical legacy of racism against Latinxs and Chicanxs in the scientific enterprise and higher education. This series will seek actions that Humboldtians, as individuals and as a collective, can take to encourage and advance change in their respective institutions, scholarly fields, and communities.

    We continue to strive for our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to serve as a roadmap for sustained action and accountability in all aspects of our governance, operations, and programs. We stand with all those who embrace and work toward a future of equity, justice, and equal access to opportunity in science, scholarship, and society. And we welcome the input and assistance of the Humboldt community.

    * While we recognize that the terms Latinx and Chicanx are not fully embraced by all, for the purposes of this written statement, we utilize these gender-neutral terms for conciseness and aspire to be inclusive of all Chicanos and Chicanas, and Latinos and Latinas, and indigenous communities from Latin America.

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Our people

The Board of Directors is the governing body of American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The Board determines and advances the organization’s mission, and is responsible for strategic direction, oversight, and evaluation of the organization.

The Board of Directors comprises recipients of Humboldt Foundation grants and awards and other distinguished individuals from diverse backgrounds who share the goals of American Friends of AvH.

Board of Directors
Staff
Alumni Council
Humboldtians on Campus

E. William Colglazier, PhD

Chair

Elisabeth Malsch, PhD

Vice Chair

Dale Medearis, PhD

Treasurer

Sumit Ganguly, PhD

Secretary

Katrin Amian, PhD

Timothy Angelotti MD, PhD

John W. Boyer, PhD

Louise K. Davidson-Schmich, PhD

Catherine Epstein, PhD

Joseph S. Francisco, PhD

Emily Yates Giulioni

Akasemi Newsome, PhD

Jeffrey M. Peck, PhD

Loren Ponds, JD

Matthew Roller, PhD

Hugo Sanabria, PhD

Andrea Stith, PhD

Judith Wellen, PhD

Christian Haenel

President

Ilonka R. Oszvald

Senior Vice President

Jessica Strattard Hamilton

Director of Advancement

Madeline Friedrich

Communications and Event Program Coordinator

Sebrena Geier

Alumni Relations and Annual Fund Program Coordinator

Dale Medearis, PhD

Treasurer

Ethan Evans, MSW, PhD

Cecilia Flocco, PhD

Leila Gómez, PhD

Matthew Grayson, PhD

Elisabeth Malsch, PhD

Vice Chair

Folarin Oguntoyinbo, PhD

Mary Oleskiewicz, PhD

Alan Organschi

Deeneaus “D” Polk, MPP

Tarunraj Singh, PhD

US Humboldt Alumni Network

Our network

The almost 6,000 members of the US Humboldt Alumni Network are part of a worldwide network of 30,000 Humboldt alumni that spans academic disciplines and professions. The US Humboldtian Network is spread across 497 Colleges and Universities in the United States.

30,000

The Humboldt Alumni Worldwide Network

Almost 6,000

Members of the US Humboldt Alumni Network

US Humboldt Alumni Network by Discipline

Physical sciences: 61.99%

Humanities/Social Sciences: 22.97%

Engineering: 11.3%

California is the home to the largest concentration of US Humboldtians

followed by New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.

  • California
  • New York
  • Massachusetts
  • Pennsylvania
>50

Institutions with over 50 Humboldtians

<50

Institutions with fewer than 50 Humboldtians

Career Opportunities

Stay up-to-date on career opportunites that match your skills and interests.

Our openings

Humboldt stories

My Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship brought me to the faculties of Gestaltung and architecture at the Bauhaus University in Weimar (2014-2015, 2021), as well as to the faculty of architecture at the University of Kassel (2016). It is hard to put into words how meaningful these experiences were for me. On a professional level, the experience allowed me to gain knowledge about the history of modern architecture in Germany that most scholars in field only dream of. I visited key buildings and explored the major archives. I was able to publish numerous essays and am working on many more. I benefitted from the support of the Humboldt Foundation’s wonderful staff and am proud to say that I became fully fluent in German. On a personal level, I was able…

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Professor Nader Vossoughian

Humboldt Research Fellowship (2014-15)
New York Institute of Technology

The impact of being a “BUKA" was already evident within a few months after the fellowship, when I was offered a position as Project Manager at MOSS, Vertical Urban Agriculture was published, and the vertical farm opened in Utrecht, where more than 500 crops are growing above a restaurant. The BUKA year supported and exposed me to opportunities that have helped me practice my passion and turn it into my work!

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Ms. Kelai Diebel

German Chancellor Fellow (2016-2017)
Makers of Sustainable Spaces (MOSS)

Berlin just after the fall of the Wall was the setting for my postdoctoral studies supported by the Humboldt Foundation. My Humboldt fellowship enabled much more than some of my best scientific research. It also allowed me to establish professional relationships that set a platform for my career. Knowing that you are part of the Humboldt community gives you confidence to strike out into new areas of scientific research and to find where you can make the greatest impact.

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Professor Kurt W. Kolasinski

Humboldt Research Fellowship (1992)
West Chester University

During my 18-month research fellowship I had the privilege of joining a network of extraordinary international scientists, both through my interactions with other Humboldtians and within my host institution. I was provided an opportunity to address questions in the field that I would have not otherwise been able to examine, and to collaborate with Drs. Gunther Moll, Hartmut Heinrich, and Oliver Kratz at the Universitätsklinikum Erlangen. I was extremely honored to meet President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the AvH Annual Meeting in Berlin. The research fellowship helped to enhance my scholarship, expanded my knowledge and skills for being a global citizen, and created lasting friendships and an enduring professional network.

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Professor Lisa A. Gabel

Humboldt Research Fellowship (2016-2017)
Lafayette College

I first discovered the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 1978 when I met Hartmut Kern, Professor of Mineralogy at Christian-Albrechts University, Kiel, at a conference in Aachen. Upon his suggestion, I applied for and received a Humboldt Fellowship, starting collaborations with him on rock deformation and anisotropy in the Earth that have continued since. During my time in Germany, I met a number of scientists with whom I worked closely, among them Heiner Mecking and Fred Kocks, another Humboldt Fellow from Los Alamos. These interactions had a great impact on my career, as they led to the development of new experimental techniques and sophisticated methods of modeling and applying results to metals as well as the deep Earth. Fred Kocks and I also co-authored a book, Texture and Anisotropy, in…

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Professor Hans-Rudolf “Rudy” Wenk

Humboldt Research Award (1981-2001)
University of California, Berkeley

Support us

Your donations build on the support that AFAvH receives from the AvH to create and grow programs and services for US alumni so that we may extend the Humboldt experience and network in the United States.

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