American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Personal Data Policy


American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AFAvH) is a nonprofit charitable organization, as recognized by the United States Internal Revenue Service under section 501(c)3 of the US Tax Code. The mission of AFAvH is to serve as 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 in the United States and Germany, consistent with the goals of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH). AFAvH values its alumni, visitors’, and donors’ personal information and understands the need for security and trust surrounding such information.

This data privacy and protection policy describes what personal information AFAvH collects about alumni of the AvH, other partners, and users of its online information, and how the data are used, stored, protected, and shared. For purposes of this policy, AFAvH refers to the persons comprising its own administrative staff and, for oversight purposes, its Board of Directors.

Data Collection and Use

Transfer of Data About Humboldtians between AvH and AFAvH

AFAvH cooperates with the AvH on a contractual basis. To fulfill the purpose of the cooperation, the two organizations exchange data using standard data protection clauses of the European Commission in accordance with Articles 44, 45, and 46 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The AvH shares with AFAvH the following personal data of Humboldtians who are from the United States or based in the United States: Surname, first name, academic title, country, institutional affiliation and address, position, host institutions and academic hosts (where applicable), sponsorship periods, date and volume of the sponsorship decision, designation of the sponsorship measure, field of research and key words, email address, Humboldt ID, date of birth, gender, and private address (where applicable). Both organizations exchange information on changes to these personal data on an occasional basis for the purpose of maintaining and strengthening the US Humboldt alumni network.

AFAvH processes, stores, shares, and protects personal data of Humboldtians that have been transferred by the AvH in accordance with the data protection regulations and guidelines of the AvH, consistent with the GDPR of the European Union.

For the purpose of fulfilling its general mission, AFAvH may share or publish the following data of Humboldtians: Surname, first name, academic title, country, institutional affiliation and address, position, host institutions and academic hosts (where applicable), sponsorship periods, date and volume of the sponsorship decision, designation of the sponsorship measure, field of research, and key words.

For the purposes of establishing contact and extending invitations, AFAvH may, in addition, share email addresses of Humboldtians with other members of the Humboldt network (sponsored individuals, hosts, and selection committee members of the AvH); the German embassy or German consulates in the United States; research institutions and other host institutions in Germany or abroad; research funding organizations; and the intermediary organizations of Germany’s Federal Foreign Office.

AFAvH does not share further data with third parties except for vendors who provide services for data storage or processing to American Friends on a contractual basis that ensures protection of personal data.

Humboldtians may remove themselves from the database (“Opt-Out”).

Humboldtians have the right to request access, modify, correct, or remove data in our database at any time. Alumni may do so by contacting AFAvH. Complete removal may take a period of time, and occasionally archival copies may be impossible to delete.

AFAvH may need to disclose personal information when required by law when such action is necessary to comply with a current judicial proceeding, a court order or legal process, and/or in connection with a verified request related to a criminal investigation or alleged illegal activity.

The AFAvH online newsletter provides users the opportunity to opt-out of receiving communications from AFAvH through a special online form. Users may also update their personal contact information and preferences through email contact options on the AFAvH website.

Data Collection through Website and other Electronic Media

In addition to receiving transfer of data on US Humboldt alumni, AFAvH collects personal and non-personal information from users on its website.


Our website uses cookies and similar technologies that enable us to track visitors to our website to make it more useful to visitors. Cookies identify the computer used, but not the individual user, and they only record which areas of the site have been visited and for how long. This information allows AFAvH to understand how our website is being used and facilitates planning for further development of the website.

It is possible to visit the AFAvH website anonymously. Internet browsers allow users to erase cookies from the user’s hard drive, block cookies, or receive a warning before a cookie is stored. Users should refer to their browser instructions to reject the use of cookies.

Automatically-collected data

Like many organizations, AFAvH uses log files on website servers to collect and store the following information about each user: the name of the domain from which a user accesses the Internet; the date and time a user visits the website; and the Internet address of the website from which a user links to our site. We use this information to measure the number of visitors to different parts of the site and to make it more useful to visitors. Upon request by a user, we are required by law to disclose to the user any of these records.

Email Tracking

When a person in our database receives system emails from AFAvH, such as event invitations or information on AvH programs, we may collect information that indicates if a user opens the email or clicks on the links in that email. This does not apply to emails sent from individual AFAvH email accounts.

Links and Social Media Tools

The AFAvH website includes links to third-party sites that are not owned or operated by AFAvH and we are not responsible for the privacy policies of or content on other sites. We encourage users to review the privacy policies of third-party sites.

The AFAvH website may also include integrated social media tools, such as social networking tools offered by third parties. If a visitor uses these tools to share personal information or otherwise interacts with these features on the website, those third party companies may collect information about the visitor and may use and share such information in accordance with the visitor’s account settings. Interactions with third party companies and use of their features are governed by the privacy policy of the companies that provide those features.

Online Donations

If an online visitor chooses to make an online donation to AFAvH, we request certain personally identifiable information from the visitor.

For all donors, and in keeping with the AFAvH policy on donor rights and privacy [See Sections Q-5 and Q-6], AFAvH will not share or sell a donor’s personal name with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations.

Information Use

We may store and use personal information for the following purposes:

  •       To deliver programs, services, and publications to alumni of the AvH and other interested persons or organizations;
  •       To respond to inquiries or contact alumni as they request;
  •       To advertise the award and fellowship programs of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundations;
  •       To inform stakeholders about developments in German research and the events of partner organizations with shared interest;
  •       To solicit donations; or
  •       As otherwise disclosed at the time personal data is collected.
  •       We use industry standard practices to review data quality and to confirm that the information we have in our database is up-to-date.

AFAvH uses the information it collects on our website to improve the user experience of the site and to perform statistical and demographic analysis of site visitors. AFAvH may also use service providers, such as Google Analytics, to collect information about visitor use of our website over time for non-advertising purposes. Any data collected via Google Analytics will not identify a specific visitor, i.e., it will be collected guaranteeing the anonymity of the visitor [See].

AFAvH will not sell, rent, loan, trade, or lease any personal information collected online or offline.

Data Protection and Security

AFAvH uses secure data networks for storage of its database and hosting of its website; these networks are protected by firewall and password protection systems that are consistent with industry standards. Our security and privacy policies, as well as those of our vendors, are reviewed periodically and enhanced as necessary. Only authorized individuals have access to information provided by US Humboldt alumni and others who use our site. All AFAvH employees with access to our data networks are bound by our confidentiality policy.

Terms and Conditions

The AFAvH website is published in the United States and complies with all applicable laws of the United States and the District of Columbia.

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